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  #1  
Old March 13th, 2013, 06:00 PM
iceleven iceleven is offline
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Default Why does Princess use coffee syrup?

Not a stranger to Princess and certainly not to cruising. I recognize each cruise line seems to have some strengths and some weaknesses that are unique to each. Some are so minor one wonders why they are even an issue. There are only two issues I am hopeful that Princess will correct...sooner than later. Their beds are finally being changed out to something more comfortable. Seven-day cruises are not too terribly difficult to endure but two weeks and more can leave us with long-lasting effects.

Why is Princess' coffee made with syrup instead of ground beans? Haven't there not been enough complaints that they would upgrade to a better tasting, better quality offering? Or, are they entirely motivated by forcing us to buy ($$) their cards to get what other ships offer for free?

Maybe now that they will be collecting $15 for every extra bottle of wine brought on board they will be able to offer brewed coffee from ground coffee beans to all travelers. Perhaps their bean counters (pun intended) are tea drinkers and don't know the difference.
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  #2  
Old March 13th, 2013, 06:06 PM
caribill caribill is offline
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The syrup based coffee is used not just on Princess, but also on some other cruise lines and in many land based restaurants.

Like ground coffee, syrup based coffee comes in various qualities with pricing to match the quality.

Speculation is that Princess is not using the highest quality syrup based coffee.

And, based on Cruise Critic member comments on other threads, Princess is not alone in supplying coffee that people feel is not the best.

Cruise critic members comments on coffee quality on other cruise lines:

HAL: Coming back to HAL after a 7 year hiatus, I forgot just how BAD the coffee is. UGH absolutely undrinkable. One reviewer has mentioned that they use real coffee in the Lido...NOT, it is freeze dried instant. I am a black coffee drinker, but when coffee doesn't taste right I add milk to see what color it turns (should be a rich caramel), on the NA it consistently turned something resembling olive green!!!.

Celebrity: How is the coffee? Here's an anecdote. Was sitting yesterday at a luncheon with five other people. Everyone had coffee. The waiter poured all from the same carafe. The woman on my right said, oh that's good coffee. The man on my left said, that coffee is way too strong, and poured some water into his cup. The woman across from me said, this coffee is really bitter. Her husband asked, why can't you make coffee this good. The woman next to him made a face and said that it tasted stale to her. I thought it was too weak.

So how's the coffee board? Probably too strong, too weak, too bitter, too stale, too hot and too cold.

Celebrity: Free coffee is bad. Not the worst at sea, but baaad.

Celebrity: We are veterans of a couple Celebrity cruises and remember that the free coffee was just horrible

Carnival: Personally, I find the Carnival room service coffee to be awful; just my opinion. [/color]

Carnival: The coffee on my last Carnival cruise (Pride) was horrendous... no exaggeration.

RCCL: The coffee we had on Voyager in summer 2011 was terrible. If you asked for cream, you were given watery milk. We had a suite and often ate breakfast in Portofino and had the same terrible coffee. We loved our cruise and would do it again in a heartbeat, but just did not like the coffee.

RCCL: I don't care what they call it... I call it terrible. Very bitter. No amount of extra cream and sugar will help. Its enough to turn a person into a tea drinker.

Last edited by caribill; March 13th, 2013 at 06:09 PM.
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  #3  
Old March 13th, 2013, 06:07 PM
goodie2shoes goodie2shoes is offline
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While I do wish Princess did not use syrup to make their coffee, they are not alone. On a recent cruise on Celebrity (our first try with them, and probably our last) I questioned the coffee served to us at breakfast one morning. I was told that it was made from syrup. In my opinion, it was worse than Princess and that's pretty bad.

They do it because of cost, and ease of storage and preparation. I wish it wasn't so, but it is, so we must buy coffee cards or bring our own if we want something we like.

I know there are many who find no fault with Princess coffee. My husband is one. But if I can choke down one cup in the morning that's about all I can manage. I drink a lot of tea on a cruise.
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  #4  
Old March 13th, 2013, 06:19 PM
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I will be very interested to see what they do on the Royal...the videos of this new ship keep saying that they used customer feedback and suggestions for this ship design, features, etc and the quality of the coffee is discussed so much on these boards if they really listen, I would hope they have brewed or at least better coffee. Only time will tell!
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  #5  
Old March 13th, 2013, 06:24 PM
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I've never had a problem with either the beds or the coffee. Both are very subjective. Just because one or more people don't like one or the other doesn't mean that it's "bad." It just means someone doesn't like it, not that everyone doesn't.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 06:52 PM
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Yes, of course both are subjective but the two issues (beds and coffee) seem to be the most consistent complaints on Princess. Neither will make or break a cruise for us. If a syrup is the most practical way of storing and delivering coffee on ships, at least improve the quality that is being offered.
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  #7  
Old March 13th, 2013, 06:56 PM
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Syrup coffee is really instant coffee. The syrup concentrate mixes with hot water when it is drawn for the tap. The water needs to be very hot. It was explained to me that when you prepare brewed coffee you can only store it for a limited period of time before it looses taste. Some servers place the brewed coffee in thermos containers to extend the life, but it still goes downhill. With syrup concentrate every cup is the consistent, and there is no storage issue. Besides cost I believe this is a valid reason why they use concentrate. Many land based restaurants also use syrup for the same reasons. While I prefer the brewed, I don't find the Horizon Ct. coffee distasteful. I drink it milk/no sugar.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 07:05 PM
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Also, they don't have to dispose of the grounds.
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  #9  
Old March 13th, 2013, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by sknight View Post
Syrup coffee is really instant coffee. The syrup concentrate mixes with hot water when it is drawn for the tap. The water needs to be very hot. It was explained to me that when you prepare brewed coffee you can only store it for a limited period of time before it looses taste. Some servers place the brewed coffee in thermos containers to extend the life, but it still goes downhill. With syrup concentrate every cup is the consistent, and there is no storage issue. Besides cost I believe this is a valid reason why they use concentrate. Many land based restaurants also use syrup for the same reasons. While I prefer the brewed, I don't find the Horizon Ct. coffee distasteful. I drink it milk/no sugar.
I agree. It's consistently bad. With that said I like the firm bed. We have an extra firm mattress at home which is about 20yrs old and is still in good shape. You have to remember that there are many passengers of different shapes and sizes’ sleeping on these mattresses and a firm mattress holds up better than a soft one.
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  #10  
Old March 13th, 2013, 07:36 PM
ksm77 ksm77 is offline
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We just returned from a cruise on the Caribbean Princess. I have never liked the coffee either, but on this cruise I thought it was much better. In the dining room I thought it was very good and in the Lido it was not bad. maybe they have changed it. I could tell a difference.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 08:01 PM
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I find that the coffee varies in quality. Maybe it's the machine or something. What is consistently BAD is the iced tea. I can usually drink the coffee if I doctor it up enough, but the iced tea is undrinkable.
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  #12  
Old March 13th, 2013, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by sherryf View Post
I find that the coffee varies in quality. Maybe it's the machine or something. What is consistently BAD is the iced tea. I can usually drink the coffee if I doctor it up enough, but the iced tea is undrinkable.
I believe that the tea is also made from concentrate and on most ships you need to delete it 1:1 with water to make it drinkable. I brew tea with bags from the HC and make my own most of the day.
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  #13  
Old March 13th, 2013, 08:18 PM
iceleven iceleven is offline
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I guess I've really not taken into consideration that some restaurants do use the coffee syrup, as well. I generally don't drink coffee other than at breakfast and that is almost always at home. Each day I grind my beans, put them in the hopper and within 5 minutes have a very freshly brewed cup of coffee. Maybe that is why I find coffee that has not been brewed pretty offensive. Now we are told it is re-hydrated "instant coffee."

As for beds, I am all for them being firm. Firm is good but they don't have to be like a board on the top or that you can toss a coin on top and it would bounce. There are many beds that are firm but with "toppers" that allows the body to sink softly onto the firm mattress. The mattress will still support the body with firmness. Other cruise lines have them and they are a heck of a lot easier on the body. I know that Princess is beginning to put them on some of their ships so hopefully it is a sign they are listening.

Of course, even a firm mattress can sag once it has lived out its usefulness.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 11:00 PM
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Sounds like Goldilocks and the three bears. I am a Dunkin' Donuts drinker and decaf to boot. Some may say that's the best or worst coffee. To me, Starbucks is horrible but lots of people love it. I can't remember the last time I had a good cup of coffee on board except on Oceania where I found a fresh ground machine that made a strong brew which I diluted a little with hot water. Perfection!
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Old March 13th, 2013, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by TracieABD View Post
Also, they don't have to dispose of the grounds.
I have heard this on CC for years, but I don't buy it. They dispose of hundreds of pounds of uneaten food and food scraps evey day. Why are coffee ground singled out as being different, and more difficult to dispose of? Just grind them up and send them out to sea with the rest of the food waste.

As for Princess coffee- until they can reach consensus with 100% certainty between a waiter and a junior waiter about which pot is decaf and which isn't, I'm staying clear of all of it. After a $463 Medical Center on our last cruise which I feel certain was a result of getting caffeinated coffee at breakfast, exacerbating a heart arrhythmia, it's not just bad coffee, it's "bad for me" coffee.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by iceleven View Post
Yes, of course both are subjective but the two issues (beds and coffee) seem to be the most consistent complaints on Princess. Neither will make or break a cruise for us. If a syrup is the most practical way of storing and delivering coffee on ships, at least improve the quality that is being offered.
After having read CC for a while now, I know that those are the popular ones-but keep in mind most cruisers do not write on CC. As far as I know, most cruisers probably have no problem with the coffee either. Being that syrup is being used in many restaurants, it seems to be popular among the food service people. Yet, if it were as bad as some people say it is (and I have no doubt for them it is) it would have been gone a long time ago.

The fact that it is not means a lot of people either don't notice or don't care-or even like it. I know I have no problem with the coffee made from syrup.

Now, can they improve the quality of the syrup-if they can, I say go for it!
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Old March 14th, 2013, 09:33 AM
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Does anyone know what type of coffee is served in Sabatini’s for breakfast? My DH and I have splurged on our next trip and we get to go to Sabatini every morning J

I am really looking forward to it. He has a plain black coffee, but I love my lattes.

Do you need to pay for a latte in Sabatini’s? I will be buying one each morning at IC before breakfast (we are early birds and up by 6 most days) but had assumed my latte at Sabatini’s would be free. If it is charged, I may buy a coffee card since I will use most of it in a 7-day cruise.
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Old March 14th, 2013, 10:13 AM
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At the International Café and some lounges:

Brewed coffee is $1.25/cup, most specialty coffees are $2.50-$2.75 for a regular size, espresso $1.75.

$33.35, including gratuity, buys a coffee card with fifteen punchouts for specialty coffees, and unlimited brewed coffee at the cafes and lounges that have brewed coffee. You can also use it in the dining rooms for specialty coffees. The server is directed to take two punch outs for double shot orders, some do, some don't.
Since the coffee card is for a discrete quantity it's not time limited. If there are punch outs remaining at the end of the cruise the card will carry over to the next cruise. The unlimited brewed coffee does not carry over.
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If you are accustomed to good quality coffee, you definitely will want a coffee card. The vile concoction in the Horizon Court (buffet) is syrup based. Room service and dining room coffee are also syrup based. I must say the dining room coffee tastes a tad better. Maybe the kitchen staff cleans their machine.

Not that syrup-based coffee is always a bad thing. My hometown source, http://www.javacoffee.com/, informs me there are different grades for syrup coffee, just as with ground coffee. Regardless of grade, the taste of syrup based is always going to be somewhat inferior to an equivalent grade of ground. Based on flavor, Princess must use the lowest grade (cheapest) available.

You'll find brewed coffee from grounds at some lounges, and in the International Cafe. Not all ships have the Int'l Cafe. They do, however, have a Coffee Bar for regular and specialty coffees
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Old March 14th, 2013, 02:45 PM
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I may not buy the coffee card. On the 7 day cruise I will have 7 lattes in the morning from IC. Since we do not cruise very often and I am likely to loose the coffee card before the next cruise, it will be cheaper to just pay for each one that I want each morning.

But, I may have a second latte with breakfast every morning at Sabatini's (if they will get one for me). If I have to pay for it when I am in Sabatini's, then I would need to pay for 13 lattes and the coffee card makes more sense.

So the question is, as a suite guest, will Sabatini's get a latte for me for breakfast (I assume yes) and will I have to pay for it?
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Old March 14th, 2013, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevesan View Post
If you are accustomed to good quality coffee, you definitely will want a coffee card. The vile concoction in the Horizon Court (buffet) is syrup based.
Again, this is subjective. I consider anything from Starbucks to be vile... I've tried it multiple times and each time, have had to spit it out and then throw out the cup. People have said, but you have to put cream and sugar in it. No, I don't think so. What one person considers "vile," another considers "nectar of the gods."
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