Here is my obligatory post to whine about the food I’m having to eat.
This is my first cruise, but I know people who’ve been on several, and the common theme is, you could eat yourself to death on the fantastic food that’s always available.
I don’t know if those reports were exaggerated or not. On this cruise, I have noticed the food is not available all day. For instance, when I get peck-ish in the middle of the afternoon (because I skipped lunch), there is no food to be found. So I’ve learned to have a wee bite, as my Irish friends say, to carry me over until dinner at 6:15.
For the record, we have the first dinner seating, which we are extremely happy about. Our table is number 320 in the Avon restaurant, aft, on Deck 10. We are next to a window, and enjoy the company of our fellow diners. I understand not everyone is so lucky.
What about that fantastic food? Okay, I’m going to be me and tell you what I really think. Can you guess?
I’m giving the food a big, fat, “eh.” It’s good, mind you, and there is plenty of it. But you know I would only be truly satisfied if they grew their own extensive variety of vegetables and offered whole grains. Organic, all of it.
Caveat: I am not complaining. I’m well aware that my food preferences are far from the normal part of the curve, and I don’t expect the rest of the world to cater exclusively to me.
The fact that I’m right and everyone else is wrong does not mean I can make demands .
The breakfast buffet consists of various cereals, dried fruits, and walnuts. In this section, there is also canned fruit, in syrup, believe it or not. Pears, peaches, as well as prunes. Yogurt is the sweetened, fruited variety, available in individual containers. There are donuts and muffins of various kinds, croissants, and “freshly baked” rolls. I suspect that means they are premade and stored frozen, to be defrosted daily and baked. It doesn’t mean there is a ship’s baker making them from scratch. Ditto with the donuts, muffins, and croissants. None of this ever got close to a whole grain, either.
There follows a row of cheese slices – cheddar, jack, and blue, then smoked salmon with capers, onions, and sour cream. Then “fresh” fruit – cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple, and watermelon – none of it particularly ripe and all of it tasteless.
Then we reach the cooked food, of the “authentic” British breakfast kind: scrambled eggs, and eggs fried sunnyside up (and quite rubbery, to keep from killing the passengers with possible uncooked egg baddies), hash browns (out of a box, in perfect frozen triangles that are baked until golden brown. I can only suspect they started life as potatoes). Sausage and Canadian bacon, as well as “crisp” bacon. Roasted tomato halves, and sometimes blood sausage, in perfect round patties that I’m certain came out of a box like the hash browns. The worst part of all this is the toast: white bread slices that must have been dipped in oil and baked until the consistency of oily crackers. Yuck.
Off in a corner, I eventually found a toaster and a selection of breads to run through it. Um… two selections – white or “brown,” as they call it. I have no assurances that the brown bread is whole grain, or merely white bread with caramel coloring, but I use it.
This morning, I found a lovely dark Swedish bread available for toasting. You can bet I grabbed up a couple of slices of that.
You can order pancakes, French toast, and omelets. I was at first excited about the omelet option, certain that I could at last add a vegetable to my diet. Surely they would have spinach or zucchini and other things for omelets? Alas, no. There are mushrooms, and an “herb” option, which I do get. Herbs have many nutrients.
Which brings up my biggest complaint – the lack of vegetables. Dinner offers small servings of vegetables such as green beans, asparagus, or peas. There are salads, but the lettuce is always iceberg (except for Caesar’s romaine), and the only vegetables in the salad are a couple of cucumber slices, a tomato wedge, and if I’m lucky, a broccoli floret.
Lunch does offer another type of salad or two, such as beet or bean, but these are always sweetened and full of oil. In general, a dismal showing.
Overall, the food is lovely, and dinner especially, gives us showy displays of gourmet offerings. But even there, the food is only “good.” Nothing makes me sit up and say, “wow.” So in the end, I simply don’t understand why everyone always raves about the food on cruises. It’s okay. But I eat better at home.