Getting a bite to Eat on board


© irene waters

Before boarding I researched how to survive the amount of food I was going to be presented with. There were lots of hints: ask for half serves of everything, sit with your back to the smorgasbord or avoid them altogether, don’t eat between meals.

I was set to try all of these but I ended up trying none. We had opted to have anytime dining which meant that we would be allocated to the first available table when ever we turned up. Our dining companions would alter each night – or we could choose to sit alone which we did the first night on our anniversary where we got a barbers quartet and a super yummy cake.


© irene waters 2017

Every other night we sat at a round table with six people. As everyone wanted to have a good time most nights were very jolly. The waiters also went out of their way to make each meal memorable. The quantities of food served in the two dining rooms we could use was not massive. In fact I would say they got it just right. I never walked out feeling I had overeaten, nor did I leave feeling hungry. The quality of the meals was always good, a couple of times above average and less often superb. Never were they bad. After eight days, although the menu changed they developed a sameness about them.


© irene waters 2017


© irene waters 2017


© irene waters 2017

But that was okay as you could go to one of the three gourmet restaurants, or try the crab shack, the smorgasbords or simply have a hamburger at the bar (first photo). You could even get ice cream cones.

We ate at the smorgasbord every day for breakfast and lunch but after a few days where you did try everything and find that your eyes were bigger than your belly you tended to just become normal again and have healthy choices. My favourite for breakfast was a baked apple, a little natural muesili and plain natural yoghurt. But there was simply everything. These were open 24 hours a day. Hygiene was a big issue and they placed a hand disinfecting policeman at the entrance to the smorgasbords. We did not hear of anyone getting sick and we certainly didn’t.

In the aftermoon or morning if your were into teas (or coffees) you could go to the coffee bar where you could get salads, pies and lots of sweet pastries. They also served a continental breakfast which I did not try. I was amused as in the afternoon a waitress would wander amongst the tables offering milk and cookies.

Of course there was room service if you didn’t want any of these options but again we didn’t take up the experience. One experience a veteran cruiser told us about that we made sure not to miss was the last night on board. He told us they only do it at the first sitting so on the last night we fronted up at 5.30pm to eat. A little early for us but we weren’t taking the risk. Roger took on the excitement of the occasion, still giving me instructions which I ignored whilst the fellow we were dining with was unimpressed although he did glance up at one stage to see if Roger was for real. I of course took a video which your can watch below.



About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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13 Responses to Getting a bite to Eat on board

  1. Oh my! Quite entertaining! I wondered what the food would be like! I don’t think we have a smorgasbord on the ship we will be cruising on. We sign up for the restaurants at the end of March! Hmmmm………..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That looks like so much FUN! I’ve never been on a cruise. We don’t travel often and it’s usually to visit our younger son’s family. Some day, maybe when my ship comes in, maybe it will be a Princess liner, ready to sail me off to the islands. Seems like it was substantial but not particularly inventive. What was your favorite meal?


  3. HA HA … fun. I love twirling the napkins. My hubby thinks it’s silly. He likes to eat. I don’t.
    We took the Princess Royal for a 14 days cruise through the Panama Canal ending in San Francisco; then, a five day stay there. I was exhausted. It sounded better on paper.
    I adore cruising we’ve been on 16. Our favorite line is Celebrity. Since I don’t like eating I don’t gain weight. My hubby who is always hungry eats half of what he’s served but does eat 3 meals a day.
    Afternoon coffee and a small pastry is our only treat besides a well-made Martini.
    Hope you’d had a GREAT time ….
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Charli Mills says:

    An interesting and useful post, but I love catching your humorous insertions, such as in the credits of your video…Disinterred Man!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share: 11th March 2017 Happy Birthday to me. | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

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