Hello from the back room of my house I call my office. I usually post some kind of randomness to open up this blog but today I just can't think of anything worth telling so I will just jump right in. I told you all several weeks ago that I had written down a few topics to blog about shortly after getting back from our cruise in November. Actually, we were not writing them down at the time but I bet Linds or me said at least once everyday "there's a blog topic". For those of you who know me personally you already know I always have an opinion and do not mind sharing it if you ask. I must warn you though, do not ask unless you truly want it because I call em like I see em. Sometimes this is a good trait but most of the time, after sharing my thoughts, I wish I had the ability to just keep quiet. The very first employee I hired back when I opened the Roly Poly and the only one who was with me from beginning to end use to always tell me I should really put a filter on my mouth. Not from cussing but from just saying what ever was on my mind. One instance immediately jumps into my mind...it was during a busy lunch one day. If you ever came in you know we had a 2'x2' pass through from the kitchen to the cashiers and I usually was running the grill directly behind it. There was actually a reason for it and that was because from where I stood I could see all parts of the dining area and kitchen therefore attempt to run a better operation as well as have some interaction with the customer. Well on this particular day the line was probably 15-20 people deep when I notice a friend of mine and classmate of Linds about half way in the line. From no less than 15 yds away through the pass through I yell "hey Lee I had a dream about you last night". Needless to say JF(the employee) absolutely lost it! She sat on the floor laughing so hard and Lee's face was the brightest red I have ever seen. Let me tell you here and now that both he and I were and still are happily married today...I had just had some random dream that he was a part of so when I saw him the next day I thought I would share it with him, not stopping to think how it must have sounded to all the other folks who didn't know me or him for that matter. Wow I just managed to sneak in an irrelevant story after all. How about we get to the blog topic.
What I intended to blog about before the long story above was the dining on a cruise. As most of you know we went on a five night cruise back in March with my parents on Holland America's Veendam. I had some thoughts then about the food and overall dining experience but held them back wanting to get another experience under my belt before judging the industry as a whole. Well after our November cruise with Princess Cruise Lines I feel like I pretty well have it figured out. All I had ever heard from just about everyone that has ever gone on a cruise was how great the food was so I was really looking forward to it because I do like to eat. Boy have I been disappointed. Don't get me wrong there is lots and lots of food on board and it is available anytime of the day or night you want it, but it isn't anything to write home about. I am not alone in this judgment, my daddy and Linds totally agree. I will say that on Holland they had a taco bar during the day out by the pool and it was great as did Princess have a pizza bar that was out of this world! It's the buffet and dining food that has been a real let down for me. I really think this is a result of having a mother and grandmother that knows how to really cook real down home food that has made us this way. Compared to their cooking the cruise line's food is like eating a burger at McDonald's versus a rib eye at Conestoga. It will get the job done but it sure ain't the same.
This leads me into another area of cruise dining I would like to discuss, the formal dining room. I was pretty excited about this experience when going on my first cruise as well as the second for different reasons. The first was based off all the wonderful things I had been told about the food and menus the second was to see if I had missed something on the first. I came away with the same impression from both. I hate the experience! It was an hour and a half to two hours every time. They are obviously doing this on purpose so as to have you "experience" an elegant dinner with fine waiters. I know that there are people out there, like my dear Aunt, that eats this kind of crap up but not this ole boy. I don't mind being waited on and believe it or not I know how to act in such settings but to make me sit bored out of my mind for that long is complete torture to me. On both cruises the dessert was the best part and on both I was begging Linds for us to just leave because I was so tired of being in there. I found out early on in the first cruise that the buffet upstairs has the same food and I can get in and out in half an hour then go do something I enjoyed. Both cruises I managed to talk Linds out of going into the dining room on most of the nights and I know she agreed because she could truly see the pain and aggravation it caused in me.
Towards the end of the second cruise Linds and I were talking about this very subject and came up with the conclusion that the cruise lines try so hard to have a fine dining experience and make the dishes look so "perfect" that they forget taste. We also concluded that part of it was due to the fact we were raised in South Alabama and were not used to real fine dining, therefore not accustomed to the taste of those kinds of dishes. As far as the "experience" you get in the dining room, just shoot me! I will say that Linds didn't mind it so much so I am going to blame that on genetics...I am just like my daddy. To sum all this up I think I need to give the cruise lines a break and admit I am just a little too country for their style of cooking and dining. Just put some fried chicken or a rib eye(about half cooked) on a plate with mashed potatoes and gravy, a roll(that doesn't bounce) on a plate, bring it to me with some SWEET tea, leave me alone and I will be as happy as a pig in mud!
5 years ago