As you can see, the food on the Lirica did not impress us. We don’t think that we are tough sells, but do admit that our tastes have changed over the years. I know a time when I would have thought this was the best food ever. But, I don’t suffer eating the questionable things that I did when growing up. Anyway, food preference is relative, so take everything with a grain of salt, if it is on the table. Oddly enough, we had to request salt several times as the shakers had been removed from the table. We assumed that it is an expensive commodity and can’t be left out for general usage.
So, the following are some observations about the food on the MSC Lirica.
Room Service Food
Always read the daily newsletter and check the opening times of the dining areas. Obviously, we didn’t do that one day and headed down to the dining room as we usually did. Ordinarily, breakfast was served here until 10:00. Not today. So we went up to the buffet, which is also open until 10:00. Not today. We were baffled and stopped at the front desk to grab a copy of the daily newsletter and saw that breakfast stopped at early today for some unknown reason. Nothing about today was different, although we heard later that the ship was being inspected.
We went back to the room and ordered room service, which operates 24-hours per day. We just needed something quick, so we ordered tea, orange juice and pastries. 20 minutes later, there was a knock on the door. The room service guy came in with a smile carrying a pot of tea and nothing else. There wasn’t even cream for the tea. No pastries, no juice. He told us that there was no food available. So much for 24-hour room service.
Once very nice thing about MSC is that they supply the stateroom with fresh fruit. As we had run out of breakfast options, we really appreciated our nice bowl of fresh fruit and grabbed a few pieces to hold us over until lunch. We made sure that we checked the lunch opening times.
As it turns out, this was the day mentioned in the last post when the grill only had hot dogs. This was definitely not our day for food.
I remembered reading a comment about no food being available at certain times of the day and thought it was no big deal and nobody would likely starve. I have changed my mind about that.
If you have left to go ashore, you need to make note of the times that food is served, if you want to eat on the ship. Otherwise, you may have to wait until something is opened. This was a new experience for us, as usually whenever we returned from ashore, there was always some place to grab a bite.
Usually between 4 and 5, the afternoon tea takes place. This consists of small sandwiches and pastries. Coffee, tea and punch are always available. We found that the cup supply was sometimes depleted as was the cream supply. Be sure to carefully check the cream containers. They contain either half-and-half or non-dairy creamer. I had a little surprise the first time I emptied the containers without reading the labels. The mix of non-dairy and half-and-half wasn’t appetizing.
There is a dessert option called Fructose Sweetened. What? We asked our server what this meant since many products contain fructose. Did they add extra sugar to these desserts? He told us that these desserts contain artificial sweeteners. Guess that something got lost in the translation.
The menu does list choices for Italian, lighter fare, and vegetarian options. I find it interesting that they have to indicate which of the choices are Italian. It’s good that they do this because it isn’t always obvious. As mentioned before, don’t expect southern Italian dishes like saucy pastas. Having said that, in the list of always available choices is a Bolognese Spaghetti. Other always available options are: Caesar salad, sirloin steak, chicken breast, salmon filet served with a choice of french fries, baked potato or vegetables of the day.
On our 10-day cruise, we had three gala dinners. Supposedly, these dinner feature special food. We didn’t notice anything special about the food. In fact, on the last gala dinner that featured lobster, we saw many plates being sent back. The people at our table who had the lobster found it tough, dry and tasteless.
Our server was distressed that I didn’t finish many of my dinners including the Gala offerings. He offered to bring me something else, but I had usually had enough to eat considering the multi-courses offered. I was usually full enough after the soup and salad. Our server did say that there were only four days with good food. That was rather bold of him. However, we could not tell which days were the good food days.
The buffet does not open on Gala Dinner nights so that everybody may enjoy the Gala Dinner or so the MSC people say.
The midnight buffet has different themes featuring things like snacks and sandwiches and pasta.
This is the first ship that I have been on that offered potato chips with drinks. Also served with drinks are olives and a snack mix.
Next time: The drink on the MSC Lirica