2019 Berlitz cuisine scores among majors

I was just looking at my new 2019 edition of Berlitz. Interesting changes on the cuisine scores among the nine majors. A few years ago they dropped Cunard as a major. They now define "major" as those with 10 ships or more. The rest are in their "The smaller Lines" category.

In 2018---MSC #1, Celebrity #2, Princess #3, HAL #4, NCL & RCI tied #5, Carnival #6, AIDA # 7, COSTA #8

In 2019---MSC #1, Princess #2, Celebrity #3, RCI #4, NCL #5, HAL #6, COSTA & AIDA tied #7, Carnival #8

Congratulations to RCI and Princess Condolences to Celebrity, Carnival and HAL

11 Answers

I have heard from other sources that Princess' food is improving after a slump in quality. Glad to see those rumors confirmed. Hate to see Carnival dumped to the bottom, but perhaps they need to follow Princess' example and improve their product.

Interesting rankings...and especially glad you cited the source.

Oh well Carnival is last...I like riding on garbage scows, eating wal mart food. Separates men from boys. Yo ho a Carnival life for me

Meet you at McD's…..

Coaster, IMHO Carnival has better food and service then NCL. I'd rather go Carnival then NCL any day.

I find it interesting that MSC is #1, I have read a ton of reviews that are not happy with the food on MSC and the more hands off European service on MSC. I wounder if the majority of voters in this are European or American ?

Interesting! Like to know the sample size of those surveyed and region or country or origin.

Yea, any scoring effort for almost anything can be argumentative at best. This wasn’t a poll or survey. One of the reasons I have always been a fan of Consumer Reports is that they aren't influenced by manufacturers through advertising but rely solely on comprehensive analysis. But even then, over the years I have written them a letter or two questioning their methodology.

Berlitz ratings aren't polls---They have this to say about cruise polls: "This fiercely competitive business is one within which any marketing opportunity is seized upon and hyped to the utmost. Magazine or online readers' polls provide a perfect such opportunity and are extremely valuable to the cruise companies. Yet these polls are only ever as good as the number of people who vote in them, the number and types of ships, and the criteria established for measuring quality. For example, if a magazine initiates a readers' poll, and no readers have cruised aboard a French-speaking cruise ship, that ship will receive no votes. So votes go to the most-traveled ships, which are not necessarily the best. The magazines never state the criteria. The results are therefore unreliable."

Rather, Berlitz ratings and analysis are accomplished by Doug Ward and a small team of trained assessors.

“The ratings are conducted with objectivity, from a set of predetermined criteria, using a modus operandi designed to work across the entire spectrum of oceangoing cruise ships, in all segments of the business. Each ship review is preceded by a panel providing basic data on the ship's size and facilities broken into categories. For instance "cuisine"---There are of course at least as many different tastes as there are passengers. As in any good restaurant, you generally get what you pay for. Cruise lines put maximum emphasis on promising passengers how good their food will be, often to the point of overstatement. Cuisine categories involve Dining venues/cuisine---Casual eateries/buffets---Quality of ingredients---Tea/ coffee/ bar snacks.”

It may be last in the rankings, but the food is still far superior to any of my local restaurants! (It is just not as good as it used to be).

I certainly accept rankings from outfits like BERLITZ, or CONSUMERS (to which I also subscribe ), as being as objective as possible. In the case of Consumers, you may have noticed over the years they are basically divided into two sets of analyses..one from testing with their own equipment and employees..the other, input from consumers, arranged so that even a casual reader can come away educated re what ever product or service is of interest. I have noticed that in the case of "consumers inputs", its usually the squeeky wheels (those with complaints) who are more apt to respond..)

In the case of cruising, while online forums provide great places to vent and/or answer questions, in the end, the "evidence" presented here is anecdotal at best..as in "I cruised with ____(insert line) 13 years ago, it was the worst cruise ever and I'll never cruise with them again..." or, equally useless (to me at least) .."This was my first cruise and here's my list of 37 complaints…" I DO enjoy reading reviews and comments from folks who, either newbies or experienced cruisers who have pleasant, positive things to say about their experience. But that's just me I guess.

Yes, thanks for the reminder, I forgot about the survey.--"How we test: Overall score combines our test results and reader survey data for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction." On vehicles, I really pay attention to the "reliability" column. As you know, I drive long distances into the bush. Long ago I got tired of my pickups breaking down. Then having a friend come tow me to my wilderness place where I had to overhaul it myself. So I switched manufacturers, twice. Finally got something reliable. Every year C.R. comes out with a report on new and used vehicles, where the reliability section is very interesting. But when they send me my questionnaire I can't comment as the vehicles must be within three or four years old. My pickup is 19 years old now and my wife's SUV is 17 years old. When I look at new ones she says mine is fine, "You don't need a new one" She is correct.

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