Monday, August 24, 2009

Ruby Princess - Part 4

One aspect of every cruise that seems to be much lamented over is cruise food. You either love it, or you hate it. When you sail on a cruise, you expect to dine like a king, and you expect the food to be worthy of that of a king. But sometimes guests walk away from a cruise feeling more like they were treated to peasant food than food fit for a king. However, food, like much else that contributes to your cruise experience is strictly subjective. What might be food worthy of a king to one person, may be no better than kitty litter to another person.

While I'll never claim that I'm going to starve on a cruise, there are times where I feel that I've had better cruise food on certain cruises versus other cruises. Again, it's all subjective. What I like and enjoy may not appeal at all to another passenger. In comparing my Greek Isles cruise on Ruby Princess to other cruises I've been on previously, I will have to say that the cruise food on this voyage was pretty middle of the road. It didn't wow me, but it didn't bore me to death either. I think that my opinion of cruise food overall remains the same as it was going into this cruise: Holland America is the cream of the crop, followed by Royal Caribbean, followed by Princess.

The one area of cruise food where I have the biggest grievance probably is with choice and selection. There were numerous nights during dinner where I felt that I had a limited selection of choices for dinner. Not just in the entree, but also in the appetizer, soup and salad. There were days were I felt hard pressed to find anything on the menu that was appealing to my taste. I'm already a bit of a picky eater to begin with, and too often, I felt like I had to either just randomly select something or choose off of the alternative menu. I would much rather have preferred to see a more diversified menu with a great selection of courses.

This isn't to say that there weren't wonderful meals, or food options. There definitely was. But it was almost like it was hot and cold. On some nights there just seemed to be an overabundance of options, and on other nights it was just dry.

One thing I really liked about this Princess cruise in terms of cruise food was the Piazza and the food selections available there. Located within the Piazza is the Coffee Bar, International Cafe and Vines. As both the International Cafe and Vines were very rarely advertised or mentioned, many passengers weren't aware that the food served there was generally complimentary. Therefore, you'd be hard pressed to really find crowds there. And it was a hidden gem. The food options in the International Cafe during breakfast and lunch were plentiful, and the sushi and tapas for dinner in Vines were fantastic.

Horizon Court is a place that is hard to miss on any cruise. As Horizon Court or Cafe Caribe are virtually open 24 hours a day, this is an ideal spot to grab an early breakfast, a quick bite for lunch, or snacks throughout the day. Cafe Caribe was a nice alternative dining venue for those who didn't feel like going into the dining room, and it was also a great night spot for the late night munchies.

As I said, food is purely subjective. Unfortunately, in this case, my subjectivity often left me wanting more.

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