Will Cruise For Food – Do You?
Written by: Kuki
This past week I met, and had a discussion with someone who’s never been on a cruise. When I meet a non-cruiser, and they find out I write about cruising they normally start asking questions. This case was different. This man told me he hasn’t been on a cruise because on cruises they force you to eat too much. I wondered how many others might think of cruises in these terms.
When you wake up in the middle of the night with an URGENT need for Pizza. Is it because you’re pregnant, or you’re a veteran cruiser?
That person at the buffet seemingly overindulging at the buffet, piling two foot stacks of food on their plates, isn’t doing so voluntarily; they are being watched to be certain they obey the rules, and meet the required weight gain minimums.
All of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay should be placed on cruise ships. It’s really not such a bad plan really… if we make our enemies more obese than we are they’ll be less interested in the destruction of western civilization, culture, and society, and more interested in relaxing on a couch watching Dr. Phil.
The conversation did give me pause to give some thought to how commonplace this perception—–that cruising is all about food—and eating lots of it— is amongst those who have, or might someday, consider a cruise vacation.
Is the perception reality, or is it miss-perception?
Well, if you read cruise reviews, either user generated or “professional”, you’ll find fairly significant portions of almost all reviews dedicated to the discussion of food. Some will go so far as to list exactly what they ate for each meal, each day… and I’m betting those don’t include all the snacking they did at the grill, Pizzeria, and room service orders… to make sure they aren’t viewed as total gluttons.
A large percentage will talk about the “cutbacks and decline in food quality” which occurred since previous cruises. That’s generally not a real indicator of how the food actually was, as much as it a statement to prove what an experienced cruiser the writer is, and is used to help validate other opinions and comments they’re making in the review.
When both experienced and inexperienced cruisers read reviews they aren’t really interested in the colors and décor of the cabins, nor the ship’s public areas; they want to know how many times lobster is offered on the menu, and the discerning will want to know if it’s Maine lobster.
You see some complaints about overcrowding in the showrooms, and how you have to arrive there too early to get a good seat…. But are they are really just saying …there isn’t enough time to finish their 5th entrée, and 4th desert in the dining room, and still get to the showroom to get a good seat?
When returning cruisers are asked how their cruise was, their first response is the food was fabulous! The fact that they saw dolphins, or whales playing within feet of their balcony may come up sometime later in the conversation, and they may even forget to mention they were able to visit the most beautiful beach in the world. Yet, they’ll be sure to mention the great waiter who brought three appetizers for them to try without them having to ask.
While I “may” be exaggerating the scenarios ( as I like to do), gastronomic indulgences do indeed seem to carry unusual weight (note the pun) in determining if a cruise was good. And maybe even in choosing the cruise you’re going to go on.
So, perhaps it shouldn’t be so unexpected to encounter those, who like the man I had the conversation with this week, think that cruising is mainly about the food!
When you’re talking to friends and acquaintances about cruising do you talk up the food the most, without even thinking? Do you think that this word of mouth advertising may have more influence than the cruise line’s own advertising on potential cruisers?
Let’s meet at the buffet to discuss it.
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Posted: July 7th, 2009 under Kuki.