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Old October 1st, 2008, 07:49 PM
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Default Is it me or does others think NCL has the worst food?

We found the food to be very bland, very small portions and more limited on the choices then Royal caribbean and Carnival in the dining room?

Even for breakfast, I ordered hash browns and they were the size of a half dollar!

The appetiser selection was horrible, very limited and very unappealing.

When I got the prime rib, it was sliced paper thin and I mean paper thin.

So, comparing to other cruise lines in the same class like royal caribbean and carnival, what do others think?

On Royal Caribbean and carnival, both were pretty good for the class. I would rate the dining room food a notch better on royal carribbean and the buffet, pizza, ect... a bit better on carnival.

Entertainment was about the same on all 3 cruises, but i found the people on Royal and carnival much more social and friendly.

I'd love to hear your opionon if you have any to compare.

I will never take another cruise on NCL.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 08:23 PM
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Did you only eat in the buffet and main dining rooms?

Thus far we've taken 4 NCL cruises, we have cruised several time on other lines as well.

I really am not a big fan of buffet food and I really don't care if it is at land or sea...buffets leave me cold.
I do love a good cut of red meat and it is very hard to beat what I can get right here at home. I can say that it has been my experience in the last year or two to enjoy some very good cuts of beef on NCL...however, that was not in the main dining rooms generally speaking, nor was it in the buffet, it was in Cagneys, Le Bistro and Teppanyaki. I also enjoy seafood and have had excellent sushi, sashimi and other seafood on NCL but the best selections were also in the surcharge restaurants. The few dinners we had in the main dining room were not bad, but we were served much larger portions and higher quality in the speciality restaurants, as it should be.
We had very large meet & greet turn outs on our last two cruises and there were some complaints regarding the food quality, taste, frustrations etc.. encountered in the main dining room and buffets. The only really odd thing I myself encountered was some sort of fruit we ordered had bits of summer squash in it, which was just weird and had to have been a mistake (I hope ) I go to the main dining room for breakfast and lunch and refuse to fight the crowds in the buffet unless I sleep in.

I cannot say that NCL is any better or worse in the food department than RCCL or Carnival, if you are willing to spend a little extra to enjoy the speciality restaurants I think NCL is pretty good, but the folks who I did talk to that were unhappy with the food on NCL were those who didn't try the speciality restaurants. To me thats part of the fun. Our last cruise on NCL was 14 days and by the end of the cruise we knew all of the Maitre D's, Asst. Maitre D's and speciality restaurant staff by name and they always made us feel very welcome and took very good care of us.

I do have to say the very worst steak I ever had was on RCCL. It was the ever infamous RANCH STEAK from Hell a/k/a Shoe Leather. It was the pits, and I even tried it once more to be sure it wasn't just a fluke and it was terrible.

Because of budget constraints, I feel that the quality of food served on cruise ships has been scaled back dramatically but all in all it's still better, because they cook it and serve it to me and then clean up the mess afterward.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 08:23 PM
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Hi...I cruise NCL once a year. I think the food is good. I am single and when i cook at home i have to take the batteries out of the smoke detector.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: Is it me or does others think NCL has the worst food?

Quote:
Originally Posted by peninsularoad
We found the food to be very bland, very small portions and more limited on the choices then Royal caribbean and Carnival in the dining room?

Even for breakfast, I ordered hash browns and they were the size of a half dollar!

The appetiser selection was horrible, very limited and very unappealing.

When I got the prime rib, it was sliced paper thin and I mean paper thin.

So, comparing to other cruise lines in the same class like royal caribbean and carnival, what do others think?

On Royal Caribbean and carnival, both were pretty good for the class. I would rate the dining room food a notch better on royal carribbean and the buffet, pizza, ect... a bit better on carnival.

Entertainment was about the same on all 3 cruises, but i found the people on Royal and carnival much more social and friendly.

I'd love to hear your opionon if you have any to compare.

I will never take another cruise on NCL.
food is so subjective and by the way, is there a reason for posting pretty much the same thing on 2 threads, just curious.. When did you cruise NCL and what ship? Though I do not think the food is gourmet in the main dining rooms I happen to think the worst food we have had is on RCI, that is why I say food is subjective. We have had prime rib many times and it has never been paper thin. Normally posters are happy with the appitizer choices. NCL is also noted for their great soups, and breads, maybe you don't eat either.

No, I, for one do not think their food is the worst, I do think HAL does a better job, I think Princess has better entrees, but their salad choices and breakfasts, including dining room and buffet are the worst.

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Old October 1st, 2008, 10:42 PM
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Of the mass market lines I believe RCI has the worst food overall.

Just the past couple of years I've become a big fan on NCL. And have cruised them 4 times in the past two years.

The real key to enjoying all NCL has to offer is
1. cruising on the ships which were specifically built for Freestyle cruising (so that's all their newer ships.. Jewel, Jade, Gem, Pearl.
2. budgeting for an extra $100 PP (if its a 7 day cruise), so you can try all the restaurants, which make NCL different from the other cruise lines.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 10:45 PM
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I agree, it is all subjective. I'm strickly speaking about the dining room selections. I generally think all buffets are pretty much the same, none are great, but I don't expect any to be good. I'm also not speaking of pay restaurants, I hate the idea, because when you pay for the cruise, food is what you are paying for. To pay 20.00 per person, per night, that amounts to 280.00 more, certainly not a bargain when you add it in!
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Old October 1st, 2008, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
. To pay 20.00 per person, per night, that amounts to 280.00 more, certainly not a bargain when you add it in!
I always recommend people ADD that cost into their budgets before they even book. If the total, including the extras for the alternate restaurants, isn't still a great price, don't book it.

I actually find NCL's base prices are generally lower than other mass market lines, which allows the room to budget for the alternate restaurants.

Frankly I feel that if you're not using NCLs alternate restaurants you're not taking advantage of all NCL has to offer. To me that's what's so good about NCL - 10 different restaurants, with different menus, and different specialties. Wide varieties and choices.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 02:17 AM
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Apart from the buffet, the food is good on NCL and especially in the Specialty restaurants
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 09:00 AM
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I was on a NCL cruise a couple of weeks ago. Some of the food was very good, a couple of things I ordered were truly bad, and some was just "okay".

Overall I would say it is fine. We did try all the restuarants - which I would recommend. We found it worth the extra money. I didn't order any beef dishes, as with my jaw problems unless it is filet I really can't eat it. My husband ordered them quite often, he found them a little tough and over done.

I found that there was a good variety and we always found new things to try and truly many of them were good.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 09:22 AM
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I'm usualy destination driven. I actually want to go wherever the ship is going, so we have traveled on a variety os cruise lines. I have noticed a few things lately. All the lines I've traveled seem to offer standard fare you can have every night... chicken, steak, salmon. NCL does have a smaller menu, but food is food, and it was good enough. As someone just said, I'm not cooking, serving or cleaning up, so it's better than home. As for the specialty restaurants, On our last cruise we were traveling with my daughter, sil & 3 children, the youngest was 4. and they don't eat a variety of food. to spend $20 each to eat at a specialty restaurant doesn't make sense. I actually thought the Pearl's Buffet was not bad. We wouldn't chose to go there for dinner, but lunch and breakfast were just fine. On several evenings, when we got back from port late, we did eat in the buffet, and it was fine. They put tablecloths on the tables, and serve wine so what could be bad. I love the idea of cruising, Of seeing new places and having new experiences every port, and not having to pack and unpack. We have seen wonderful things on cruises, in places we would never have gone... the Falkland Islands for example, Estonia, Latvia, Cartagena, Caracas, Curacao, Zihuatenejo, Fanning Island..... Cruising has broadened my experiences and if they are cutting down on the food, so be it. They're still sailing and that's what's important.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 01:45 PM
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I think the food is fine. We avoid the buffet, too many people in there.
What I really love about cruising is that you just show up for dinner. It doesn't get much better than that. I've gotten to the point where I love freestyle too. Frees up your schedule. Say, what if you are doing something really fun and have to cut it short to get to your appointed dinnertime? That's a real drag. Love the service on Norwegian.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 02:25 PM
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It may well be you

As Kuki pointed out add ~$100 to the fare before you book and if the total price is still OK you can have the best food of the three. It is not $20 a day as posted above since there is no need to eat in a specialty restaurant every night. Food is subjective and those nights the menu in the main dining room is not to your taste use the budget to get somethig you really want. The options are almost endless from Sushi to 32 oz Ribeye for two.



Prime rib night in the main dining room just ask for a double cut it was outstanding. The lobster night is back with beef Wellington.

No reason to eat over cooked beef. look at this from the Jade this summer



Even the Action Station resaurant (buffet) was not bad with everything from fresh carved turkey to sushi





If you don't buget to take advantage of all the options and food is important to you then you are missing the real value of NCL. If you just going to dig your heels in and refuse to pay extra for food you will be fine but really not the way to totally enjoy what NCL has to offer on the newer ships.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 02:40 PM
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He's right. Hey, great pictures. We had a blast in the Bistro and if you stick to certain items (we didn't) the price is right. Naturally, we spent an armload.
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 04:28 PM
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Kuki and Shoreguy have it right. We split our meals up and do allow extra in our budget for specialty dining as this is part of freestyle, so many choices. This certainly doesn't mean we eat all our meals in the specialty dining rooms but plan on 2 or 3. In fact, regardless of the line we cruise we like to experience the specialty dining rooms.

When my daughter and I did our last Sun cruise a couple of years ago we never ate dinner in the same place twice. My cousin and I hardly did on the Star last September.

We have had a couple of meals in the main dining rooms that have been awful; anyone remember the lamb kabobs from about 4 years ago? Over all we feel, if we split the dining up we are usually very satisfied. Yes, we do allow an extra $100 or so in our budget for special meals. That is only $50 per person.

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Old October 2nd, 2008, 05:07 PM
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Oh, I don't disagree about the speciality dining, I only meant, that because we had 3 little kids with us, it didn't make sense, that's an extra $60 per meal in a speciality restaurant, and they don't eat anything. however, I really had no complaint with the food in the main dining rooms, nor at the buffet. We'll be taking the pearl again in January to Belize and Roatan with another couple (adults) and I'm sure we will try the speciality restaurants. On our first trip on NCL, the Wind, the speciality restaurants did not charge extra, Now that was nice. Of course you couldn't get into them. The other trick to NCL is to make reservations, regardless of where you're eating, but especially if eating in the main dining room. Otherwise, you'll find yourself waiting on line to get in.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 12:43 AM
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Our opinion is that main dining room food on NCL is comparable with what we've found on other lines we've cruised (HAL, Celebrity, Renaissance, and Grand Circle). The array of choices NCL offers, even if at extra cost (as are nearly all of the alternative dining rooms on other lines), separates NCL from the others.

Buffet food is buffet food, but NCL offers at least as much choice there as other lines. Celebrity didn't even offer a dinner buffet on our Galaxy cruise.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 05:35 PM
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Well, We went to the Cagneys, and we wont again. Why? Because the food was not that superior at all. It was a nice timeand a large group, but the food in the main dinning rooms has been excellent that we would not pay to eat else where on NCL. Is everything perfect? Nope. I dont expect perfection. Some things we love, some things so so, one thing I remember I had to look for the shrimp in the pasta, so I asked for some more, well I got a bowl full of them. So, personally, we like the food, I am abit of a blan eater in that my stomache is easily upset, but Sam and DS are eaters and eat everything and anything and if they are happy then I know it is OK. I dont tell people to put aside money for specialty dining, fine if you want, BUT ITS NOT NEEDED. You dont only get a decent meal in specialty, and frankly, some of it I dont even like ( shushi etc ) If I dont like a meal being served, I dont eat it, I order something else. It lets them know that its terrible and I end up with something not terrible.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 04:50 AM
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On our recent transatlantic cruise on Norwegian Jewel there were no lines at all in any of the restaurants. I think that we had to wait for about 5 minutes outside one of the main diningrooms one night but all other times, no lines.

I do agree that it´s not necessary to go to the specialty restaurants, the food is good in the main diningrooms, but it´s nice to go to some of the specialty restaurants too. We went to Cagney´s, Mama´s and Le Bistro (twice) this time and the experience was great. We had Cagney´s Banana Foster Flambee for dessert at Cagney´s and that only was worth the extra 20$!
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Old October 5th, 2008, 12:59 AM
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I just got home today from the Star and if anyone says they like the shrimp cocktail appetizer in the main dining rooms, they must not have any taste at all!!!!

Smitty
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Old October 5th, 2008, 07:49 AM
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Smitty, I liked the shrimp cocktail appetizer in the main dining rooms on the Jewel. If they taste the same as on the Star, that doesn´t mean that I don´t have any taste at all, it just mean that my taste isn´t the same as yours!

People are different! I could say that people who don´t like the shrimp cocktail on the Jewel don´t have any taste at all but I should never do that, it´s just that they like other things than me, they have a different taste!
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Old October 5th, 2008, 11:10 AM
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Food for you Eric. Different people have different tastes. I have friends who will not come on the trip we're taking in january, because they don't like the food on NCL. The food is fine, and the cruise experience is wonderful... being on the sea, seeing new things. My life is not run by food. If you dont' like something send it back, they'll be glad to get you something else. I had to do that on HAL, never on NCL. So... does that mean the food on HAL is bad, NO, it meadns I didn't like that particular item.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: Is it me or does others think NCL has the worst food?

Quote:
Originally Posted by peninsularoad
We found the food to be very bland, very small portions and more limited on the choices then Royal caribbean and Carnival in the dining room?

Even for breakfast, I ordered hash browns and they were the size of a half dollar!

The appetiser selection was horrible, very limited and very unappealing.

When I got the prime rib, it was sliced paper thin and I mean paper thin.

So, comparing to other cruise lines in the same class like royal caribbean and carnival, what do others think?

On Royal Caribbean and carnival, both were pretty good for the class. I would rate the dining room food a notch better on royal carribbean and the buffet, pizza, ect... a bit better on carnival.

Entertainment was about the same on all 3 cruises, but i found the people on Royal and carnival much more social and friendly.

I'd love to hear your opionon if you have any to compare.

I will never take another cruise on NCL.
I have to say that the NCL Buffet is at the bottom of my list but the rest of the restaurants are at about the top.

I didn't see the half dollar hash browns, or the paper thin prime rib. The food in the alternative restaurants are some of the best at sea IMO.

I guess for each opinion there is usually a contrary one. Mine is somewhat contrary.

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Old October 5th, 2008, 03:01 PM
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I did not say that all the ships had bad shrimp cocktails. The ones on the Star were little soggy, almost slimey, shrimp like you would get from a can and there were only about a tablespoon of them, which was a good thing!!!!

Smitty
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Old October 6th, 2008, 04:09 AM
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Smitty, was that an answer to me?

If it was, I said "if they taste the same as on the Star" and with that I meant that if the Jewels shrimp cocktail taste the same as the Stars, I like them. Since I haven´t been on the Star I didn´t said anything about their shrimp cocktail!

My guess is that they are almost the same since I´m sure that the recipy is the same.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
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I just got home today from the Star and if anyone says they like the shrimp cocktail appetizer in the main dining rooms, they must not have any taste at all!!!!

Smitty

I took the star and I agree smitty! It was horrible, the food was bland and boring in its presentation.

The other thing I hated about the Star was that everytime I went to the pool, I had to go through the buffet to get there.

When I went, the virus had broken out, so, everytime I went to the pool or went back to my cabin, I was forced to wash my hands because you had to go through the buffett.

I hate those hand sanitisers and then they had a person chase you with a spray bottle on top of that!

It was annoying!
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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:48 AM
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[quote="peninsularoad"]
Quote:
Originally Posted by suedue
I just got home today from the Star and if anyone says they like the shrimp cocktail appetizer in the main dining rooms, they must not have any taste at all!!!!

Smitty

I took the star and I agree smitty! It was horrible, the food was bland and boring in its presentation.

The other thing I hated about the Star was that everytime I went to the pool, I had to go through the buffet to get there.

When I went, the virus had broken out, so, everytime I went to the pool or went back to my cabin, I was forced to wash my hands because you had to go through the buffett.

I hate those hand sanitisers and then they had a person chase you with a spray bottle on top of that!

It was annoying![/quote

I forgot to add, that because of the Virus, no one was allowed to get their own drinks or food at the buffet, so, the lines were long and service was slow. When I go to a buffet, I like to serve myself, I hate having to wait for someone to serve me and they had only one server per station, so, you had to wait for one person to make up his mind through each station!

Then, at the drink station, just to get a refill on water or tea was like a 5 minute ordeal and you know how small those glasses are all for a 5 minute wait cause they would only have one side of the drink station opened and manned by a person!
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Old October 6th, 2008, 12:28 PM
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Noone has to go through the buffet to get to the pool on the Star, I guess that the shortest way to get to the pool from your cabin was through the buffe but you could have taken another way!

I don´t like the hand sanitisers but if they prevent people from getting ill, they are great! Especially if virus had broken out on the ship, it´s important to use them!

Please remember that I don´t argue about the food, your opinion is that it was bland and boring in its presentation and I don´t argue about that!

Your opinion is the right opinion for you.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 02:52 PM
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I have not been on the Star, but I must say, I'm religious about handwashing and sanitizing on a ship. My husband got sick on the Noordam last February (not stomach flue) and we had to go to the doctor twice. (by the way, not as unpleasant as I was afraid of). The cruise unfortunately was spoiled for him, He only really enjoyed the first 4 days. If having your hands sprayed can prevent your missing the cruise, it's worth it. And since you know you have to do it, every time you enter the buffet, why did anyone have to chase after you to do it. Keep in mind, if the virus had broken out already, they were protecting your cruise too.
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Old October 15th, 2008, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
Of the mass market lines I believe RCI has the worst food overall.

Just the past couple of years I've become a big fan on NCL. And have cruised them 4 times in the past two years.

The real key to enjoying all NCL has to offer is
1. cruising on the ships which were specifically built for Freestyle cruising (so that's all their newer ships.. Jewel, Jade, Gem, Pearl.
2. budgeting for an extra $100 PP (if its a 7 day cruise), so you can try all the restaurants, which make NCL different from the other cruise lines.
What a nice post Kuki! and you would know as much as you cruise! I also feel RCI's food is the worst or at least it ties with Disney-for the main dinningroom food- although both lines do have great pay extra restuarants.

I take my first NCL cruise next month-so can't say yet. but if the food is as "decent" as Princess, and better than RCI I will be a happy camper.

We plan to try out at least 3 restuarants and possibly 4. We would like to do Cagnys, le Bistro and possibly the Lotus Room, but we may substitude Italian or Mexican for the Lotus Room.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by frequentcruiser
I have not been on the Star, but I must say, I'm religious about handwashing and sanitizing on a ship. My husband got sick on the Noordam last February (not stomach flue) and we had to go to the doctor twice. (by the way, not as unpleasant as I was afraid of). The cruise unfortunately was spoiled for him, He only really enjoyed the first 4 days. If having your hands sprayed can prevent your missing the cruise, it's worth it. And since you know you have to do it, every time you enter the buffet, why did anyone have to chase after you to do it. Keep in mind, if the virus had broken out already, they were protecting your cruise too.
First off, if you ask any expert, those hand sanitisers do not prevent the virus from spreading.

Second, if I was just going to the pool from my room and i had no plans to eat, then I did not want to have my hands sprayed. Therefore, it did bother me that just because I wanted to go to the pool, I had to have that disgusting stuff sprayed on me.

No other vacation I have had ever had people insisting I spray before entering a room with food. Also, if they did this in the snack bar and the buffet, then why wouldn't they do it in the paid restaurants and the dining room?

I'll tell you why, because they did not want to upset the people. Why don't you do it then in every bar or even every elevator?

By doing it on only some parts of the ship won't prevent anything!

How about the pool? I mean, with all those bodies in the water, that is the most infected place you can be, but I don't see them making us all disrobe and spray us down head to toes!
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