Food on a cruise ship normally borders on above average to excellent — even better than your above average restaurant in the United States. I looked forward to the variety of food and expected local food to also be served, especially my favorite which is platanos maduros (fried yellow plantains) which I had had on a previous cruise in the Caribbean.
The food on the Caribbean Princess was average for the most part but not excellent. I liked that the portions were enough to make me feel full without making me feel stuffed. I was disappointed though that Caribbean food was not served. Although there was plenty of fruit, it was not ripe most of the time.
The service was also lacking. For the first three days our waiter seemed to be distracted even to the point of giving me other people’s food which I had to return. Sometimes both he and the busboy stood around doing nothing even though the area they were responsible for was not that large (2 tables). Instead of re-filling the bread baskets or drinks they stood waiting for us to be finished with our meal. This is unheard of in the cruise world. The waiters/busboys are trained to wait on you hand and foot and replenish things immediately.
After the third day, I spoke to the maitre’d before heading to our table to see if we could come to dinner at a later time. Once we got to our seats the service immediately changed. We started getting the service that we had come to know when cruising. One of my son’s told me that the waiter had seen me speaking to the maitre’d. I wonder if he thought I was complaining as his demeanor changed. The waiter became more friendly and the service we expected came to fruition.
Below are some of the pictures I took of some of the meals our family ordered:
I received a survey from Princess Cruise and told them about our experience. They had someone call me and I reiterated what I had put down on the survey. Their response? “We’ll pass the information along.”
I hope the food and service comes up to industry standard — or perhaps the industry standard has come down. That would be really disappointing.
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