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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Dining On a Cruise Ship

Dining On a Cruise Ship

Whenever I talk about a cruise, two comments always seem to arise.  Is the food really fabulous, and are dinners all formal dress?

Second question first.  No.  Yes once upon a time they were formal and men wore tuxedos or at least a suit, women dressed to the nines.  Currently dress is casual though most guests do wear nice casual.  Shorts are frowned upon and collar shirts are preferred.  The old time cruisers love to lament the casual dress.  They feel cruises should be formal and luxurious.  These people are old snots who apparently can afford to board the ship with several suitcases or a huge travel trunk.  If they had their way the cruise liners would go out of business, because their snobbery would turn away most passengers.

The answer to the first question is No.  The food is good, it is not fabulous.  Breakfast is a notch below what you get at a Jersey Diner…which is still pretty damn good, lunch is ok, but not great and dinner is good…it is not fabulous.  Given so many passengers all eating at the same time the service and food is darn good, as good as can be expected, but it is not fabulous.  The people that rave about the food are really raving at the fact that if you want you can eat 24/7. 

Cruiser food is good, but don’t go on a cruise just for the food, unless you want unlimited carbs, sugar, and salt.  If you want to pack on the pounds, a cruise is the way to go.

Dinner is interesting.  On my first cruise we ate every night at the same time and we were seated with the same couple.  Fortunately the couple we were seated with was a lovely couple from Germany.  We had very nice, very interesting conversations.  I have heard stories of people having to change arrangements mid-cruise because they were paired with people that ruined their appetite.

On this cruise we were seated with different people every night.  We met many lovely people and it worked out very well.  We only had one meal with a butthead couple.  He looked like a fat bald Cathy Bates from the movie “Misery.”  She was the spitting image of Susan Boyle.  A fun couple, they have not had sex since 1983. 

We knew there was something strange about them on the introductions.  One couple at the table was from Montreal, Canada; we declared our home as from New Jersey, fat bald Cathy Bates and Susan Boyle were from “The Pacific Northwest.”  WTF!  Did they just get off the Lewis and Clark trail?  Is there still a territory in North America that is unclaimed?  Were they homesteaders?

Worse yet, fat bald Cathy Bates was a Manspreader and I could barely reach the table for lack of non-knee touching space.  Even more worse, he was a bread hog.  He somehow managed to coral the bread basket into his own little section of the table and proceeded to pick at the bread as if it was all his own.  He would grab a slice; rip off a piece and put the rest back, kind of a bread equivalent of a double dip.

It would not have been too bad, except this couple insisted on leading the conversation.  Susan was upset that the comedian the night before was racist.  This comedian was very funny.  He imitated Indians, blacks, Asians, Muslims, Wasps, and Jews.  Yes he made fun of stereotypes.  But he did it in a way that was more endearing than vicious. Susan Boyle could not recognize the difference in mocking out of hate and having fun with different cultures, and he left no one out.  BTW, he was a Jew, as if that mattered.  I really did not want to get into an argument, so I just agreed, “Yes he was a little offensive, I’d much prefer a comedian who could make fun out of things that were not controversial…you know, like asking a doctor to “Take my pulse…Please!’”

“Why,” Susan asked, “Is that funny?”

“Oh yeah, I guess if you are from the Pacific Northwest, it doesn’t make much sense.”

Then fat bald Cathy Bates starts up, “How about that Donald Trump, isn’t he just a disgraceful clown?”

It doesn’t matter if I like Trump or not, he doesn’t know my position.  Why would you chance insulting someone who might really feel strongly about Trump?  I would have been just as annoyed if he said, “Isn’t that Hilary a lying crook who belongs in jail.” 

Anyway, I didn’t want to get into a fight so I just said, “You probably don’t like him because he wants to put a wall around the Pacific Northwest, and make the homesteaders pay for it.”


At this point dinner was over, so Mrs. C and I politely excused ourselves, left the Pacific Northwest and headed to the casino.


  1. You can live through one bad night!!

  2. LOL......this is funny to me as at our luau, there was a couple who I swear also claimed to be from 'The Pacific Northwest' and couldn't wait to out the lesbian couple sitting next to me and then talk about their gay son and his partner.

    Maybe people from the PNW don't learn about boundaries?

    1. People from the Pacific Northwest want to build their wall at the Oregon California line.

  3. What sort of seating arrangements are there for those who are so shy they'd rather sit alone rather than make a fool of themselves amongst others? Do they have to ride behind in a canoe?

  4. Yeah, there's no way to talk national politics with strangers. Or family outside the nuclear unit. It's easy enough for me to find reasons not to like people without getting into those waters.

    My parents love cruises. Maybe someday, I'll give it a go.

  5. Oh bless their hearts. It's all about them and the heck with everyone else. I would have hated being at that table and I may have just left. I'm guessing they didn't fare well on that cruise.

    Have a fabulous day Cranky. ☺

  6. Did that couple actually mention they hadn't had sex since 1983? I would hope this particular night's dinner was only one or two courses. I think you were very polite with your responses; not sure I would have been the same


  7. What an obnoxious couple. The way he man-handled the bread would have sent me over the top! Dude, knock it off!! I would have gently poured my wine over the entire bread basket all the while exclaiming how, "Utterly delicious wine a bread go together!"

  8. Well, Cranky, you gave me a good laugh! But how miserable and sad their life must be...

  9. I've been on several cruises and I find the food tiresome and bland. Chocolate desserts always look good but have little taste. I do like conversing with people but then I am a chatterbox.

    1. You're from the Pacific Northwest now, aren't you?
      Seriously, I agree with you about the food.
      The breakfast buffet is the best meal on the ship.

  10. I've never been on a cruise. I don't know why it doesn't appeal to me particularly given my love of the sea and boats - it would be almost worth it to meet people like that though!

  11. Yeah, after spending my former life in the Midwest and deep South, sometimes I find people here in the PNW kind of arrogant. Funny because half of us are transplants from somewhere else. How odd that they didn't just come out and say what state they were from. You have given a good enough description of them that I bet if I run into them I'll recognize them!
    Never been on a cruise, but now vicariously detesting them through reading your posts. Do you remember the name of the comedian? Because I want to look him up.

  12. Oh dear. I would have lost my appetite with the bread ordeal and would have thrown myself overboard before I'd have another conversation with such a couple as this.

  13. Wow, the food must have slipped on cruises. In the good old days, it was amazing and you are right--24/7. I judged a cruise by how many pounds I gained.
    Lucky you to have had different dining companions each night. At least the awful ones gave you a fun post--for us.

  14. After reading about the Pacific Northwest couple it got me to thinking about those stories of people who somehow disappeared (fell overboard?) while on cruises and were never heard from again. Could there be a common thread? Did the PNW couple make it back to port? ;)

  15. If this was true I'd say you handled the dinner conversation quite well.

  16. Next time, try one of the small cruise ships that don't stop at the typical tourist places. My understanding is the food is better, and the people are there because they want to see these places, so most aren't meatheads.

  17. As I mentioned on a previous post I've been on two cruises, Carnival and Regency. Carnival, a week cruise was so dreadful I actually jumped ship (I was an invited speaker for a company, so felt on compunction to stay), and the only decent food were the lunch burgers.
    The last, Regency lines, the food wasn't half bad. About midway betwix gourmet and ok. And, one could special order things I found out during the cruise.
    The tables were not 'family style' unless one requested, most were two and four place.
    Most of the people I found insufferable, being the unreconstructed liberal I am. I did however, engage in little 'name calling', figuring Trump had cornered the market on that one.

  18. I never understood the appeal of cruises. To me, it always looked like a week+ of being stuck in the Garden State Plaza, only you can't leave because you're in the middle of the open sea. And alcohol costs triple its actual value. NOPE NOPE NOPE

  19. Heh, heh! The Pacific Northwest Lewis and Clark homesteaders!

    The Pacific Northwest is where Newman learned to climb trees like a ring-tailed lemur, enabling him to retrieve Puddy's man fur that Elaine threw out the window, you know.


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