I think it is important to recognize the demographics of the passengers on this cruise. I have no idea of the actual number of passengers on board, but at 2600 capacity, I suspect that that was close. I know it seemed that way at times, particularly when it came time to have breakfast in the Horizon Terrace, the cafeteria.
These folks came from all over, we spoke with folks from various places in the USA, and a lot from Canada. Nearly all had cruised before, some for many times. The west coast of the US and Florida seemed to have the most people represented. Canada was well represented as well. Some families had brought kids along, but they were very few and seldom seen.
The guest representation included one couple that had cruised 1115 days with Princess, and no that is not a typo. And no it was not Warren Buffet!
Joan made the observation before we booked that the guests would likely be older, and would have sailed previously. A very accurate guess. What she didn’t pick up on was that a very large percentage of very obese people, men and women. I have never seen so many scooters, wheel chairs, walkers, and canes in one place at one time before in my life!
While some of them were older, there were way too many people in, shall I say advanced middle age, that were almost taking up entire elevators! They would get their scooters and ride to the lounges and park there, getting up only to use the bathroom or the food court. Some of these people were in the 400 pound plus stage. Maybe I need to be a bit more charitable, but from what I saw most of these obese people simply did too little and ate too much! There may have been a fraction of them that had a medical condition, but I don’t know. The implications to them are obvious and all bad, early death, worn out knees, hips, and the like. One guy and his wife were on a shorex, she had the window, he sat beside her. He was big too, and wound up with just one cheek on the seat! Oh yeah, that’s gonna be comfy!
I know the imagery I am going to bring to you now is likely a bit too much, but try to stay with me for a few moments. The cabins are not big, and the bathrooms are small, very small. The showers are about 28 inches by 28 inches. Now imagine for a moment a 400 pound person who is about 5 foot 8 inches tall, taking a shower. They would need to be all soapy just to squeeze into the shower. Please do not drop the soap! you will never get bent over to get it back. Don’t even try to imagine using the loo.
Enough of the people, I would like to move on to the food, where it was and how good it was. There are a number of restaurants to choose from, ranging from fixed dining, to smaller food kiosks. One location in the atrium is open 24 hours a day for sandwiches or coffee. Breakfast can be had in a number of places, but many folks like to eat in the Horizon Terrace, a cafeteria style place. The food there is good, and offers a good selection. There is some of the best bacon found anywhere, link sausages as well. Eggs are available as scrambled, omelettes, fried and even as eggs Benedict! Various melons were there along with apples, oranges, grapefruit, and sometimes even bananas except when you needed to ask for a banana, since somebody decided to stop putting them out. We ate all our breakfasts there and a few dinners as well.
The Horizon Court is likely the most poorly laid out eating areas we have ever used. To top it off, it is the format of choice for Princess! There is a large oval where you can select what you want on the outside edge of this oval. Inside the oval there is a kind of island where food can be selected from both sides. This all works OK when things are not busy, but when it is busy, people are wandering around stopping, selecting, waiting for a spouse, wandering in both directions, but you get the picture.
The dining room where we had dinner, served basically bland good food, Always a fish, beef and a chicken selection. The meals according to the consensus at our table was spotty at best. Can you imagine tough lamb chops? We got them on 2 occasions, the only time they were on the menu. Dining room service was very good, friendly and efficient. I am of the firm opinion that the quality of the dinners has gone down, with the agenda being that we would like you to spend 25 to 35 bucks a pop eating in their specialty restaurants, or as they should be called “Profit Centers”! It was not all poor in the dining room, I had one of the best prime rib dinners, I have ever had, but it came without a baked potato. We never saw one baked potato in the dining room the whole time! A couple of other meals were pretty good too, but it was inconsistent. I met a guy on board from Cruise Critic, the online web page, and was quite critical of how the dining experience had deteriorated. The mints were no longer available as you exited the dining room, the same for toothpicks. One kind of salad nightly, but you get the picture.
You should know that there is a food kiosk that serves lunch on the pool deck. They offer fresh pizza, made right there, in various configurations, all Italian style with thin crust, tomato sauce, and maybe a meat topping. They are very tasty, and they got a lot of raves. Beside it is a grill serving bratwurst, knockwurst, hot dogs and hamburgers. All very good and they enjoyed a lot of diners for lunch.
To get an idea of how cost recovery is being handled, there is one restaurant that is normally only open for dinner as a specialty eatery. It is the Crown Grill, but about once a week, they offer lunch, at no charge. They serve British style fish and chips, and they are fresh and quite tasty. Alcoholic drinks are charged for, but so is coffee, milk or anything other than water. The final straw was how they handle a request for malt vinegar, since none was on the able. The first time we asked for malt vinegar, the waiter brought a bottle, squirted it on the fries, asked if that was enough, took the bottle and left! The next time we had lunch, we got a small dessert bowl brought when we asked for malt vinegar! Maybe they thought we were going to take it home with us.
I remember my dad having a saying, “When you have had steak for a while, beans taste fine”. Frankly I felt that I enjoyed the pizza place about as much as anything, because it had far more taste.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.
I stole this one from the GM Retiree news letter, sorry.
Gotta love those grand-kids.
I was eating breakfast with my 10-year-old Granddaughter and I asked her, “what day is tomorrow?"
Without skipping a beat she said, "It’s Prime Minister Day!".
She’s smart, so I asked her "What does Prime Minister Day mean?" I was waiting for something about Trudeau or Martin, etc.
She replied, "Prime Minister Day is when the Prime Minister steps out of the Prime Minister’s Mansion, and if he sees his shadow, we have 4 more years of Bull Shit."
You know, it hurts when hot coffee spurts out your nose!
Have a Great Day, and be nice to each other.