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Calling all COFFEE LOVERS!


LauraS

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I've been drinking coffee since 8th grade and I drink it black. I like strong coffee and all the speciality coffee shops - nothing better than the smell of fresh brewed coffee.

 

I liked the room service coffee on Princess, but hated the Horizon court coffee. I drink caf in am and decaf in pm. These days the decaf is as good as caf. Also thought the coffee in dining room was fine as was the coffee at La Pat. Also liked the special coffee for a fee. Not saying I loved their coffee - but just fine for all our days on ship.

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Princess coffee is usually pretty good except for the Horizon. It is way better than Starbucks

 

I agree.. The coffee in La Pat is freshly brewed and not bad.... and free..

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Coming from the Northwest we are pretty spoiled here. We have some of the best coffee in the world IMHO. I could never drink a coffee syrup so I don't even try. I am bringing on my french press and some good expresso. I must start my day off with a great cup of coffee......Princess has the worst coffee if you are a real coffee lover.

 

Yes you do have great coffee houses in the Northwest. Since I am not there I have to stick to Starbucks and other great coffe houses. I bet if you took a poll of real coffee lovers (four or more cups a day) who know their coffee and buy their brew at the gormet coffee houses such as Starbucks you would find it zero for Princess coffee and a gazillion against Princess coffee. I have an aunt who drinks coffee that looks like tea. I bet she would really like Princess coffee. I might add that coffee syrup is not real coffee as we know it, it is imitation coffee.

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Last year on Caribbean Princess, in response to the adverse comments about their coffee we bought our own, very elegent coffee maker (From Target $9.95 after $5.00 instant rebate label stuck on the box), and since I was going to THAT much trouble might as well get the best coffee, so I ordered a pound of pure Kona direct from Hawai!

Of course then you need the 'half and half', milk just wouldn't be civilized, and those little one serving containers - ugh! We tried keeping the Half & Half in the very small fridge but then the door wouldn't stay shut, so we had to displace the champagne!

So how do you choose? Good coffee with fresh Half & Half and tepid Mimosas? Or bold, biting, brisk Mimosas with so-so coffee? This conundrum bothered us for two or three days and we didn't sleep well. Then, one of us left the fridge door ajar. I'm not pointing any fingers but there were only two of us in the cabin and IT WASN'T ME.

Next morning we had warm orange juice, flat champagne and that's when we REALLY needed a good cup of Kona - but most of the Half and half had started to clump together and the rest had turned runny.

We called room service - the coffee wasn't half bad!

We going again in October but this time the coffee maker stays at home. I've had quite enough excitement for one cruise.

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The coffee is made from a coffee syrup, not beans. If you doctor up your coffee (milk sugar) it has a nice "coffee candy" type of taste. My wife who drinks it black, said it was horrible. However we went to the "lobby bar" daily, for a nominal charge you can get fresh ground expressos, cappichinos, lattes, etc. These items were great!

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I think all the Princess decision makers drink tea. They probably don't recognize good coffee from bad since they probably don't drink it. The good thing for me is that they always have a great selection of tea including my favorite, Earl Grey. :D Don't drink the coffee switch to tea.

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Tom, does this apply only in the dining room, or is it in the personal choice restaraunts, too? I am on the Diamond Princess next week for my first cruise ever and I was thinking I would be paying a lot for lattes every day. All of the other postings I have read have seemed to say that you paid extra for expresso drinks. Thanks, Debbie

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Unless they changed in the last few months - the cappucino anywhere was an extra cost - I think $1.50 or $1.75. It's a large cup and still cheaper than UGH! Starbucks burnt stuff.

 

Ron

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Is there a Patisserie on the Golden? :confused: If so, where is it located and how come I missed it? :eek:

 

My 2 cents: I found the coffee less horrible than I expected (notice I didn't say it was good), at least in the mornings. In the afternoon or evening, we'd just drink an herbal tea. However, what I did find absolutely inedible were the eggs at breakfast, both the scrambled and the premade omelets. The taste and texture were just ghastly, IMO.

 

Even so, I can't wait for my next cruise on Princess! Aiming for Alaska in 2006 and Med in 2007 :D

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what I did find absolutely inedible were the eggs at breakfast, both the scrambled and the premade omelets. The taste and texture were just ghastly, IMO.
On the Royal Princess, they had a chef at the "egg" station who cooked the 'premade' scrambled eggs, omelets right there. You could also request your eggs 'over easy' or however you wanted them and he'd cook them specially for you. The Regal also has a chef who will prepare your eggs any way you want them although he doesn't make the premade egg. I don't remember if the Caribbean Princess has the individual chef.
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I'll preface my comments by stating that I'm not a coffee snob but I do know and have the trained palate to detect the difference between good fresh brewed coffee and mediocre coffee. I work part time both as a barista in an espresso bar and as a professional coffee roaster, typically roasting as much as 700 - 800 pounds per week of high quality varietal beans that are used by a number of coffeehouses and upscale restaurants in our area.

 

By the way - I'm among those who hates Starbucks coffee and thinks their espresso is worse. Their coffee is over-roasted and often bitter and they brew it too strong in their stores. I hav4e had coffee that friends brewed at hoem form Starbucks beans and found it much better but I digress.

 

I have cruised only once - on the Princess Grand in the fall of 2003 - but I'll be on the Caribbean this fall and will bring my own coffee and coffee maker. The coffee in the main dining rooms was to my taste acceptable but hardly "great" or "terrific". It didn't have noticeably objectionable qualities like excess bitterness or off flavors but it was flat and a bit bland. I felt that it was "okay" as a caffeine delivery vehicle for breakfast consumption but I could never sit down and enjoy it on its own as a satisfying cup of brew to appreciate just for its own merits.

 

The coffee on the upper decks in the food court was noticeably worse but guess what? The same liquid concentrate is used for all the coffee on the ship except for that served at the bar in the main atrium where they use individual foil packets of a decent arabica blend and brew by the individual pot.

 

The Food and Beverage Director of Princess actually emailed me directly to discuss my comments when I posted them here in a trip report after my first cruise. I was thrilled with the cruise experience but had commented on the coffee issue. Needless to say - I was impressed by the fact that people with the cruise line actually read forums like this and pay serious attention to people's concerns.

 

The VP of Beverage Services for the supplier that provides the coffee concentrate to Princess and a number of other cruise lines also contacted me directly by email a few days later to discuss my concerns. Both men acknowledged that variations in water pressure may account for the difference in coffee taste and consistency between the dining rooms and the upper deck food court. The systems that mix and deliver the coffee are targeted at optimal results from specific water pressure. The upper decks may at some times have less than optimal water pressure and thus the coffee doesn't come out the same way.

 

The reality is that when you're "brewing" and serving many thousands of cups of coffee every day on a ship that carries 2,500 to 3,000 passengers and 1,000 or more crew - it's a huge challenge to find adequate storage space for enough ground coffee not to mention disposal space for the grounds. Liquid concentrate is really the only practical solution for ships this large and I accept that. Another issue that affects the taste fo coffee on cruise ships in general is the water that is typically used. I think that more often than not it is water which has been treated in some fashion, whether it be by virtue of reverse osmosis or some other kind of filtering. For this reason it has no mineral content. A moderate amount of mineral content, such as one finds in better quality municipal water or good quality spring water, is crucial to achieving great taste in a cup of coffee.

 

I've seen enough favorable comments on the Princess coffee to recognize that for most people it's good enough. But if you enjoy a great cup of "specialty" coffee (vs. the so-called "gourmet" coffee that every corner gas station now seems to sell) you're likely to be disappointed by the Princess coffee unless you go the the bar in the atrium where they brew it by the pot.

 

I'll be bringing my own little four cup brewer and a week's supply of fresh roasted beans. Now I just have to decide whether I should bring whole beans and my own grinder or just make my own pre-sealed packets of ground coffee in the vacuum food sealer!

 

And if you're on the Princess Caribbean eastern Caribbean sailing departing October 29th you're all welcome to come hang out on our baclcony some morning for a cuppa joe (just not too early - we like to sleep in a bit on vacation).

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The reality is that when you're "brewing" and serving many thousands of cups of coffee every day on a ship that carries 2,500 to 3,000 passengers and 1,000 or more crew - it's a huge challenge to find adequate storage space for enough ground coffee not to mention disposal space for the grounds.

 

Just my two cents: The same could be said for any of the various foods and drinks that are served aboard ships - I don't think that "lack of storage space" is an adequate reason for not having "real" coffee on a cruise ship (this isn't the Navy). And I would guess that the grounds would go overboard while at sea, as most of the food waste does. Don't most other cruise lines use actual brewed coffee?

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Just my two cents: The same could be said for any of the various foods and drinks that are served aboard ships - I don't think that "lack of storage space" is an adequate reason for not having "real" coffee on a cruise ship (this isn't the Navy). And I would guess that the grounds would go overboard while at sea, as most of the food waste does. Don't most other cruise lines use actual brewed coffee?

 

Coffee grounds and food wastes do not and cannot just "go overboard". All Princess ships are fitted with disposal systems and or storage bunkers for non-incineratable wastes. "Going Overboard" would result in some seriouys fines.

 

Ron

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I love my coffee in the morning, perfer it black and strong. I will drink the Horizon Court coffee, but will usually order room service for coffee before going to breakfast. I agree with most that the coffee in the dining rooms are much better. I can understand why Princess would serve the syrup blend, there are a lot of people in the Horizon Court. On our past trip to the Baltics, coffee urns were set up on tables next to the buffett and I found that it was brewed!

 

So my vote is, as long as you don't get it from the dispensers in Horizon Court, the coffee on the Princess ships are fine. Not my Starbucks, but good enough for a dedicated coffee drinker.

I would like to see them put a coffee shop like the one I visited on the Carnival Pride.

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Coffee grounds and food wastes do not and cannot just "go overboard". All Princess ships are fitted with disposal systems and or storage bunkers for non-incineratable wastes. "Going Overboard" would result in some seriouys fines.

 

Ron

 

Hmmm - I believe what you're saying, because it makes sense that they wouldn't just dump food for environmental reasons, but for some reason one of the waiters on our last cruise was pretty adamant about how the food goes out to sea - he was emphasizing that even pre-served food is "given to the fishes" he said, as they always make too many desserts, etc. He was pretty self-righteous about the whole thing, like we should feel guilty about how much food is wasted. I thought it was strange when he said it, but I figured he knew about it since he worked there....

 

Also, hubby remembers when we took the galley tour on one cruise (don't remember which line) they said something about excess food "feeding the fish". Maybe it's all processed first?

 

 

About the coffee: I wonder, too, if part of the reason they use a syrup, at least at the Horizon Court, is that it's open 24 hours. It would probably be a challenge to make sure brewed coffee was "fresh" - but I wonder if the same is true for syrup coffee, or if it "keeps" better so that it's available all day and night in the dispensers without going bitter. (or really, bitterer I should say, as I'm one of the ones who dislikes it...)

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If they can brew coffee for 5000 sailors on an aircraft carrier, why can't princess do it for 2000. I am sure that the navy spends less for their coffee and use a lot more every day that any cruise ship. Princess just doesn't care no matter how nice their letters are. I received one too but it doesn't make their coffee any better.:eek:

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Here is a thought to improve the Princess coffee ( for those who think it is awful and prefer Starbuck's)

 

Give their coffee a distinctive name, such as - Princess Mediterranian Blend, Princess Caribbean Blend, Princess Alaska Blend ---------, and charge $3.50 like Starbuck's does and serve it in a Princess Logo cup - I'll bet Starbuck's lovers will leave the Starbucks coffee emporiums an take a Princess cruise just for the coffee!!

 

Ron

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Coffee grounds and food wastes do not and cannot just "go overboard". All Princess ships are fitted with disposal systems and or storage bunkers for non-incineratable wastes. "Going Overboard" would result in some seriouys fines.

 

Ron

Well, actually they can, sort of. Strange as it seems, beyond 25 miles offshore just about any garbage (not oil or other toxic material, of course) except plastic can legally be discharged!

 

From 3 to 12 nautical miles offshore, it is illegal to dump:

  • plastic;
  • dunnage, lining and packing materials that float; and
  • all other vessel operational garbage if not ground to less than 1 inch.

From 12 to 25 ncal miles offshore, it is illegal to dump:

 

  • plastic and dunnage, lining and packing materials that float

Outside 25 nautical miles offshore, it is illegal to dump plastic.

I'm very glad that Princess, and other some lines, treat their garbage in a more environmentally freindly way than the law requires. :)

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