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-   -   Cruise Restaurants were to formal (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/travel-gripes/346097-cruise-restaurants-were-formal.html)

conversationist February 5th, 2008 08:57 AM

Cruise Restaurants were to formal
 
Does anyone else get tired of all the formality of dining on a cruise ship. I long for a informal restaurant like Perkins, Cracker Barrel, TGIF or similar spot. I wish just once the waiter would come up to me and say, "hey guys my name is Bob how are you all doing!"

The waiters on most cruise ships are very formal, polite, efficent and cold as ice. They seem scripted and act like a waiter in Europe at a fine restaurant. They know english but are not into small talk or chatting. I attempted to make some small talk with a few of my waiters but got no where.

Would anyone else like a meal option like Cracker Barrel or Perkins on a cruise ship?

LibraLass February 5th, 2008 12:03 PM

We have Ocean Village here (for people who don't DO cruising) a informal ship. Personally I love the formal nights myself, but their are choices out there

Sue

huntr104 February 5th, 2008 02:23 PM

I never had a problem chit chatting with the waitstaff. I'm always curious of their lifestyle off the ship. This past cruise I talked to our head waiter about where he was from, his family back home and other small talk for quite awhile. Oh well, I guess everyones experience is different.

TravelBugs February 6th, 2008 10:47 AM

There are many dining options available on most ships. So, no I don't get tired of the "formality" in the main dining rooms or speciality restaurants.

Plus, I'm sure their training didn't include addressing their customers as "hey guys my name is Bob how are you all doing!" LOL They have to follow "the rules" to keep their jobs. Not that this would bother me if a waiter addressed us this way, but I can just imagine many people could take offense and that could mean a bad report card for that waiter.

That said, I'm glad we're not paying for a cruise only to have that down-home experience of a Cracker Barrel or TGIF in the main dining rooms/specialty restaurants. LOL I can get that experience any time I wish, at home.

I've never experienced a waiter that was as stuffy as you've encountered. They have always been pleasant, friendly, chatty and interesting. Guess we've always lucked out.

You may have encountered staff that were near the end of their contract and they were just plain worn out, or they were tired from the long hours on duty, or they miss home, or they just plain weren't in the best mood to be chatty. I can imagine being in their shoes, having to deal with some of the "stuffed shirts" they may encounter, the long hours on duty, etc....I'd find it difficult to remain cheerful, smiling and constantly bantering with the diners, in addition to making sure that the service given meets the ships standards.

I'm curious what topics you brought up as "small talk"? Good conversationalists follow the "small talk" rules. (Now, I'm just poking fun.) :wink:

Kuki February 6th, 2008 11:20 AM

Quote:

I long for a informal restaurant like Perkins, Cracker Barrel, TGIF or similar spot. I wish just once the waiter would come up to me and say, "hey guys my name is Bob how are you all doing!"
The solution for you.... EZCruise.

TravelBugs February 6th, 2008 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kuki
Quote:

I long for a informal restaurant like Perkins, Cracker Barrel, TGIF or similar spot. I wish just once the waiter would come up to me and say, "hey guys my name is Bob how are you all doing!"
The solution for you.... EZCruise.

Hi, Kuki.

What is EZCruise?

DayvidB February 6th, 2008 02:35 PM

I'm guessing Kuki meant EasyCruise, its like a bus at sea in the Med around certain European ports,,,real backpacker stuff. Kuki if thats not what you meant, sorry.

Having said that, then this is my quote of the week

"That said, I'm glad we're not paying for a cruise only to have that down-home experience of a Cracker Barrel or TGIF in the main dining rooms/specialty restaurants. I can get that experience any time I wish, at home".

Nice one and big :D

TravelBugs February 6th, 2008 05:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DayvidB
Having said that, then this is my quote of the week

"That said, I'm glad we're not paying for a cruise only to have that down-home experience of a Cracker Barrel or TGIF in the main dining rooms/specialty restaurants. I can get that experience any time I wish, at home".

Nice one and big :D

Why, thank you. :D

mehawk February 6th, 2008 08:33 PM

My waitstaff has always been pleasant, gave me their names, joked, danced and entertained. If you don't want to dress up for dinner, find a Jack-in-Box near your house.

CaptainEdwardJohnSmith February 6th, 2008 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mehawk
......If you don't want to dress up for dinner, find a Jack-in-Box near your house.

rofl x 6 times!


Captain

mehawk February 6th, 2008 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptainEdwardJohnSmith
Quote:

Originally Posted by mehawk
......If you don't want to dress up for dinner, find a Jack-in-Box near your house.

rofl x 6 times!


Captain

Up kinda late aren't you Captain? :D

CaptainEdwardJohnSmith February 6th, 2008 09:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mehawk
Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptainEdwardJohnSmith
Quote:

Originally Posted by mehawk
......If you don't want to dress up for dinner, find a Jack-in-Box near your house.

rofl x 6 times!


Captain

Up kinda late aren't you Captain? :D


couldn't sleep tonite! :wink: water is freezing cold down here! LOL :wink:

btw, did you check out all OP's other threads? :arrow: rofl

Captain

Edit: PS. I see you did!

conversationist February 7th, 2008 02:08 PM

There is a place for formal restaurants but not every night
 
I like going to a fancy formal eating establishment every once in a while but not every night for a ten night cruise. Give me the option for a Cracker Barrell style spot as one of my dining options.

I do not want to have to go to the buffet every meal either. How about a casual sit down spot with a full menu?

CaptainEdwardJohnSmith February 7th, 2008 02:19 PM

Re: There is a place for formal restaurants but not every ni
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by conversationist
I like going to a fancy formal eating establishment every once in a while but not every night for a ten night cruise. Give me the option for a Cracker Barrell style spot as one of my dining options.

You already have that option, it is called the BUFFET! :roll: :roll: :roll:


Captain

Dave the Wave February 12th, 2008 03:15 PM

If I wanted to go to Cracker Barrell (and I don't) there is one in town at the exit ramp to the interstate next to a large trailer park. I cruise to enjoy the formal service and get dressed up.

Steven February 12th, 2008 06:57 PM

Dave Wrote:

I cruise to enjoy the formal service and get dressed up.

:D

Definitely.

To receive similar service and cuisine on land, I'd probably spend $100 to $150 plus tip for my wife and me.

Who would spend that kind of money and hope to get 'Cracker Barrel' service?

Let me know where you live because I want to open a Cracker Barrel in your neighborhood and charge $50 per dinner.

Formal service and excellent cuisine are also one of the reasons I cruise.

Bring on the formal service. And yes, they do smile and like to talk.



PS - How come I can't get the quotes to work for me?

Sassy2005 February 12th, 2008 11:20 PM

Can't you have the dining room food delivered to your room anyways???? Aren't there enough Cracker Barrells in the US? My town is notorious for not having many popuolar restaurants, and even it has Cracker Barrell.

justgr8fl2cruise February 21st, 2008 08:07 PM

Never seen a Cracker Barrel around here and don't know what it is. I do know however that every TGIF I've ever eaten in SUCKED!!! oh sorry....

If the dining room on a cruise ship was like that I would never sail that line again.

I also always have a great time chattin' with the waiters. But then it's what you put out there as to what you get (most of the time).

When I focus on the negative the negative grows, when I focus on the POSITIVE, the positive grows.

Joe323 March 21st, 2008 11:44 AM

Seems to me that the waiters on the ship are more freindly then the waiters at Cracker Barrel, TGIF, etc. And on Carnival at least there was no need to dress up except on formal nights I would wear a nice polo shirt and Dockers. If I did not want to dress up at all (IE shorts and T-Shirts) I went to the buffet.

And the food is much better then those restarants

familyfromvt April 7th, 2008 06:18 PM

I'm not a fan of those chain resturants. Like others have said - that's what the buffet is for.

Personally, I'd like to see the food stepped up a notch. It's good - I enjoy it - but not 4 star dining IMHO.

katlady April 8th, 2008 10:05 AM

I have never been to a Cracker Barrel are they good? Some cruise ships have a Johnny Rockets you could eat there at night and be less formal. I like the dinning room the way it is now. I like to feel I got my money's worth in terms of food, so I want Prime Rib, Salmon, and other some food I can't normally afford at home like lobster.

rjburd April 8th, 2008 11:46 AM

Even though we don't want to see one on the ship, Russ and I like Cracker Barrel on occasion here at home.
They play up a "down-home" image, with food to match. You can find dishes like chicken fried steak, meatloaf and chicken 'n dumplings. They also serve breakfast all day, with grits (a treat to find here in the North).

fourxbusymom April 8th, 2008 02:18 PM

I love dressing up for dinner! It's one of those things that we just don't do at home, and even the kids enjoy. We always get to know our waitstaff, and by the end of the cruise they are like old friends. As for eating at the chain restaurants, I have a rule about that. If I can eat at one near home, we can't eat there on vacation! Being from Ohio originally, we love Bob Evans. I grew up about 45 minutes from the original farm, and now even my kids keep an eye out for them when we travel where there might be a location. We all LOVE the Wildfire Chicken Salad!

Terri

DayvidB April 8th, 2008 03:08 PM

Honest question 8)

Why would a person go on a cruise and expect to find everything they experience 365 days of the year on that ship? And their comfort is it will be just like back home, on the ship, its food or the ports and people we visit. Do they expect it will just be like back home but on water?....cant get my head around that one. But that is what some expect it seems

When booking a cruise, did they think...

This may be something different to my life or did they just ignore that part? Did they not expect something different to what they live in their normal boring lifes,,,,but could gain an experience that included new people, new food and doing something different like washing and getting dressed for dinner,,mmmm Nope, we are anti social at home, we slop about at home and will slop about again on this “paid for” vacation…How sad, they missed the real experience.

luv2cruise99 April 8th, 2008 04:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DayvidB
...Nope, we are anti social at home, we slop about at home and will slop about again on this “paid for” vacation…How sad, they missed the real experience.

Each person defines for themselves what the "real" experience is. For me, and others like me, the "real" experience does not include spending an hour getting dressed for dinner or sitting through a 2 hour formal meal. There are so many other things to do onboard ship. Mealtime just isn't that important to me.

I don't "slop around" at home, nor do I wish to onboard ship. But neither do I care to live like the rich and famous getting "dressed for dinner" or being waited on like royalty. Why does it always have to be one extreme or the other?

Fortunately, most cruiselines today are offering choices so that everyone can enjoy the cruise experience, no matter how they define it.

kd April 8th, 2008 04:32 PM

DayvidB, nice puppy! They obviously deleted my post about your former picture. Today, I didn't have to keep my left hand over the picture in order to read your good posts. Thanks. :D
On topic, why go on a cruise to dine like you can around the corner? We live in the country and have little access to even 'good' restaurants, never mind 5 star ones. Nice that cruises offer a choice. BTW we've always carried on small talk with our wait staff; home country, family, work etc.

jackieb April 10th, 2008 03:14 PM

cracker barrel
 
We love Cracker Barrel, even if its by the trailer parks! LOL Its one of our favorite places to eat! But they don't have formal night every night so once or twice a cruise is nice. Other than that casual clothes for dinner shouldn't hurt anyone. Plus you can always get room service or pizza!

Texasmunk April 12th, 2008 11:54 AM

A few more thoughts
 
#1 Formal nights have been pretty much diregarded by thousands of cruisers....so pretend it is a Cracker Barrel.
#2 You guys can swithc roles every evening. Go to the buffet, one of you pretend to be the waiter or waitress from Cracker barrel and take your mate's order! ALternate evenings!
#3 on the way to your ship, stop at Cracker Barrel, order enough food for a one week cruise, smuggle it onboard.

Problem solved!

DayvidB April 12th, 2008 01:57 PM

Its all called pick your line, and the people you expect share the same values as you,,,yes I agree getting very difficult these days :-?

mehawk April 12th, 2008 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kd
DayvidB, nice puppy! They obviously deleted my post about your former picture. Today, I didn't have to keep my left hand over the picture in order to read your good posts. Thanks. :D
On topic, why go on a cruise to dine like you can around the corner? We live in the country and have little access to even 'good' restaurants, never mind 5 star ones. Nice that cruises offer a choice. BTW we've always carried on small talk with our wait staff; home country, family, work etc.

kd, when I was a child, eating out was a luxury and it was also when I was a young adult. As I became older, I made an excellent living and eating out became the norm. Now that I am retired and have a small pension, eating out has, once again, become a luxury. Funny how that works. LOL


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