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  Tahiti Cruise  -  R3/R4 Food and Wine

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Zuiderdam group Renaissance_New_Board message 8844  Drink Prices (most recent first) group Renaissance_New_Board message/3907  

Quotes (Diane and Buil's experiences follow others):

After you arrive from the airport and get processed onto the ship, they'll tell you to explore the ship and go to the buffet if you want something to eat. Don't go to the buffet--it's basically just stuff left over from lunch and is pretty grim. As long as you get there before 9 you can go to the Club for dinner instead.

The dinners were all pretty good, but the lunches were generally mediocre.

We enjoyed...freedom of eating when you want to.

The Club restaurant was the best...service was better in the Club...Panorama  buffet is quite good, too.

The food in the Panorama Buffet was very good (the pastries, rolls etc. were out of this world!) and also fast...

Excellent French fries from the BBQ.

The buffet is a little limited in choice but is still pretty good.

Food in the Club Restaurant was excellent and incredibly varied, service very good (lots of Eastern European waiters), and being able to sit with different people was wonderful...

The food ranges from good to very good, with a couple of dishes (the lamb and a couple of the dishes in the Italian restaurant) exceptional. The staff is very helpful, always friendly, and you can get anything you ask for! We ate in the specialty restaurants a few times, but enjoyed sitting with new people in the Club restaurant.

...we had to wait through their appetizers to get our one course.

...the lunch menu is exactly the same in the buffet.

(ed. the Club restaurant) I'd recommend it for breakfast if you're not in a hurry. We ate breakfast in the buffet every day (the egg-type stuff isn't that great but there are cereals, fruit, etc.) until the last one. It turned out that the Club breakfast was better; you can get bagels with smoked salmon and a number of other things that weren't in the buffet. It's also nice and quiet.

The coffee is uniformly awful. There is an espresso machine in the buffet (at the bar when you first walk in) but even that was pretty bad. However, we had a latte every morning, which was about $2. (By the way, they automatically add tips onto everything.)

Maybe...bad luck...Italian eatery didn’t work out...from New York City where...some pretty good Italian food.

The Grill is quite good, but you have to make reservations for it (and the Italian restaurant). You must call the day before you want to eat there (e.g., call Monday morning to make a reservation for Tuesday night), starting at 7:30 a.m., I believe. Just let the phone ring until someone answers. Try to get in early on so you can do it again later.

...battled with the tips ???? along with a lengthy discussion with one of the maitre d’s on our last day.  We ate...the Italian, the Grill...the Club...the Buffet...Some of the waiters were EXEMPLARY but some...were simply promoted bus boys and highly inexperienced at that...Sadly it was clear that management made no attempt to reward the Good Waiters instead tended to use them as convenient trainers and stool pigeons <<<<<<a common occurrence in far too many industries...It was also clear that inadequate training was going on along with a failure by management to ensure that for eg ....if lamb was on the menu in the club there was an adequate supply of mint jelly >>>>>we waited 15 minutes...while our waiter was sent up to the grill to get some and at 7 pm in the evening !!!!!!!!!!!  Only once were we actually offered the Black pepper grinder even in the Grill (standard procedure on Princess, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean)...Poor English and poor understanding were another bar to good service as often the wrong item was bought to the table or an item ordered rare turned up well done...clearly the rapid expansion of the cruise industry has a lot to do with this problem but when all concerned know that irrespective of how they perform they get an equal share in the tips pot the problems will continue.  We basically enjoyed our cruise and I was especially grateful to learn that everything was cooked on Stainless steel (as I am severely allergic to Aluminum)

...the corkage fee is $10...The wine markup on the menu is average. One nice thing is that if you don't finish your bottle at dinner you can ask them to save the rest for the next night...By the way, they had a wine tasting event onboard which was pretty fun for $5.

...we were never able to obtain a reservation in the Grill or the Italian Restaurant despite repeated efforts and finally just gave up!

It is virtually impossible to get a table for two at any meal. The Grill and Italian restaurants have only two tables for two and the Club tables for two are separated from the main table by only a couple of inches so that in reality you are group dining. Very little chance you’ll be able to have a romantic evening dining alone on this cruise. We found the food itself to be mediocre in quality, indifferently prepared (in the Italian restaurant inedibly prepared) and ineptly (although pleasantly and even enthusiastically) served. The menus were repetitious with only the most minor of changes during the length of the cruise. Room service is not worth discussing. A meager continental breakfast the only thing available in the morning and leftover canapés from the buffet in the evening.  

Renaissance does not use MSG in their food preparation



Jeanyves, the head wine steward, was outstanding for his enthusiasm and his happy cheerful attitude.  We also enjoyed Visaluks Panorama bar service for her constant steady smile and consistent service in the face of occasional grumps.  Anita, the bar waitress was also incredible in her good-hearted handling of all circumstances and her willingness to go to other lounges on the ship to obtain a drink sometimes not offered in the current bar.  We were very pleased with the dining room waiters, Goliwar, Zelko, and Tammy.  As you can see, we felt the service was of good quality.

Everyone felt the Pizza in the Panorama buffet was incredible for the first week with it's remarkable crispy golden brown crust (we thought maybe lightly sprinkled cheese along the edge?).  The Pizza crust suddenly changed, and when we asked the pizza man, Christian, we found the crust had been hand made during the past week, but no more.  It was a genuine loss.  Many times the fish in the Panorama was not over-cooked (just right) as it was occasionally in the dining room.  In the Panorama's evening dining offering before we went to the Club, we sampled tasty huge shrimp and scallops one night and just tasty huge scallops another night .  Very good for a buffet, though the choices were somewhat limited.  The dessert choices in the Panorama and the Club were some of the best of any of our cruises.  All very good with the Club having remarkable ice cream as well.

The BBQ, just outside the Panorama buffet, made up the hamburger patties ahead of time, so they were usually a bit dry.  These practices are for the convenience of the service and the passenger suffers from the lack of freshness.   The ribs were better but just ok.  Soft ice-cream was served during 4-5pm tea time at the pool bar, but did not approach the quality of the ice-cream at dinner.

The discovery of an inexpensive but quite good French red wine, Roussillon J. Deville Rouge, $3.75 a glass, encouraged us to have wine more often in the Panorama buffet which had an outstanding bar within (unusual).  

As others, we felt the Club restaurant was better than the Italian, and we didn't make it into the Grill.  Besides the better food, the Club Maitre'd was a great guy, always doing his best with a smile.  Also we found it difficult to make a phone reservation in the upper restaurants, partly due to the slightly crusty attitude of the Ren staff when we attempted making a reservation.  We knew one couple who only dined in either the Italian or the Grill the entire cruise, as one of them always went in person early every morning to make a reservation.



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