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What is Your Typical First Lunch on Embarkation...


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for providing a refreshing change to these threads.  It’s nice to discuss happy memories.  
 


Not much to report on a first lunch.  Embarkation is usually insane.  Getting onboard, walking the ship to get our bearings, muster drill, etc.  If we are sailing on RCI we usually check out the buffet if it’s not too crowded.  Sometimes we might nosh lightly...a snack...if we can find a place to sit.  Our first meal is in the evening.  We will usually try one of the extra tariff restaurants or the buffet.  The MDR is always a madhouse on the first night.  If we are sailing in MSC Yacht Club we have our choice of the YC restaurant for a sit-down 3 course lunch with wine or the YC Pool Deck with an array of lunch items and a great drink menu.  

 

 

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On 7/16/2020 at 8:57 PM, CGTNORMANDIE said:

Thanks for providing a refreshing change to these threads.  It’s nice to discuss happy memories.  
Not much to report on a first lunch.  Embarkation is usually insane.  Getting onboard, walking the ship to get our bearings, muster drill, etc.  If we are sailing on RCI we usually check out the buffet if it’s not too crowded.  Sometimes we might nosh lightly...a snack...if we can find a place to sit.  Our first meal is in the evening.  We will usually try one of the extra tariff restaurants or the buffet.  The MDR is always a madhouse on the first night.  If we are sailing in MSC Yacht Club we have our choice of the YC restaurant for a sit-down 3 course lunch with wine or the YC Pool Deck with an array of lunch items and a great drink menu.  

Hi cgtnormandie,

Yes I wanted to see what else other like.

 

We agree with you. We sail the QM2 and first board and drop off our hand bags at the already available cabin. Then we head the crazy Kings Court Buffet. First we find the table then we each go up one holding the table.

 

Granted being on the QM2 don't think we have nice lunches in the Buffet. It's crazy. Next time we are going to try a bar that serves Fish & Chips that to new passengers don't know about and head to the buffet.

 

We too won't eat to much since we board around 1230PM and dinner is around 630PM. So having a decent meal around 1PM will hold us for our first excellent meal later on. There is enough goodies to hold us till then.

 

Since we are in a separate dining room, we don't experience the hair raising first night...

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On 7/16/2020 at 8:57 PM, CGTNORMANDIE said:

If we are sailing in MSC Yacht Club we have our choice of the YC restaurant for a sit-down 3 course lunch with wine or the YC Pool Deck with an array of lunch items and a great drink menu.  

 

That was my plan:  Lunch in the YC Restaurant on MSC Meraviglia.  Due to embarkation issues, didn't happen; I arrived on the ship late. YC Pool Deck's lunch service was acceptable with several hot dishes available--as well as grilled to order burgers, etc.--but, salads and lighter entrees were missing.  Even the selection of breads and crackers, cheeses and cold meats  were skimpy.  

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OP, I have thought about your post for some time.  I have returned to some of my journals to re-read what I wrote about embarkation lunch.  There is no consistency as to menu.  The only consistency is to attempt to dine in the MDR as soon as I am able to do so after I have embarked and completed my "other perceived needed tasks" before having lunch.  

 

Avoid any buffet as much as possible and have never been a patron of Dive-in on HAL at that time.  But, if worse came to worse:  I'll have a Cannonball with Fries, thank you very much!

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18 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

That was my plan:  Lunch in the YC Restaurant on MSC Meraviglia.  Due to embarkation issues, didn't happen; I arrived on the ship late. YC Pool Deck's lunch service was acceptable with several hot dishes available--as well as grilled to order burgers, etc.--but, salads and lighter entrees were missing.  Even the selection of breads and crackers, cheeses and cold meats  were skimpy.  


Hi RK,


Our first lunch in YC on Divina was fantastic and the offerings on Pool Deck were very nice.  But you had to be on time.  I never expect much on embarkation day on the mass market lines...except in YC.  The YC experience is a whole different First Class experience that cannot be compared to the usual E day on other ships.  
 

BTW...Meraviglia would not be my first pick for the YC experience...just MHO.   

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1 hour ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:


Hi RK,


Our first lunch in YC on Divina was fantastic and the offerings on Pool Deck were very nice.  But you had to be on time.  I never expect much on embarkation day on the mass market lines...except in YC.  The YC experience is a whole different First Class experience that cannot be compared to the usual E day on other ships.  
 

BTW...Meraviglia would not be my first pick for the YC experience...just MHO.   

 

The parking issues, the delay at the YC tent, then another delay in the YC lounge in Terminal F:  all contributed to me getting on board late and not in time for a YC Restaurant lunch.  

 

I am encouraged by the news that MSC expects to start sailing from Port Canaveral.  Port Canaveral is easy to navigate for a driver (at least it has been) while Port of Miami surely is not!  I hope to sail on whatever vessel they place at Port Canaveral.

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  • 1 month later...

We haven't been on a cruise yet. Will be on OTS in March hopefully. I have several thoughts on what to do for lunch. Everyone says to avoid the buffet (probably cafeteria when we cruise). I thought about Playmakers, but I will be too excited to sit and wait for food to be prepared. I am now thinking we will head straight to the Port Side BBQ. 

 

However, a lot of this assumes you are even onboard for lunch any more for embarkation. 

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13 hours ago, bigrednole said:

We haven't been on a cruise yet. Will be on OTS in March hopefully. I have several thoughts on what to do for lunch. Everyone says to avoid the buffet (probably cafeteria when we cruise). I thought about Playmakers, but I will be too excited to sit and wait for food to be prepared. I am now thinking we will head straight to the Port Side BBQ. 

However, a lot of this assumes you are even onboard for lunch any more for embarkation. 

bigrednole,

 

Hope and praying we will return to the traditional setups of the past we too hope to experience on our next July sailing.

 

It is true many head for the buffets since it has the mass amount of food available to select and are well known by those repeat cruisers. Some cruisers even know of alternative locations like on our ship ex. a pub or upscale grill (elegant) type of restaurant.

 

The last time we were onboard and went to the buffet we were disappointed with the crowds. Selections run out so fast and not replaced with the same selections but hamburgers. Not a great way to start a sailing with different enjoyable food we wouldn't have at home.

 

So sorry to think we will have to contend with restrictions for 2021 sailings for another year till the vaccine is proven we can ease down with facial covering.

 

Our ship will be the Queen Mary 2 and has alot to offer at Embarkation Lunch to enjoy. Hope yours ditto the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 9/11/2020 at 7:54 AM, bigrednole said:

We haven't been on a cruise yet. Will be on OTS in March hopefully. I have several thoughts on what to do for lunch. Everyone says to avoid the buffet (probably cafeteria when we cruise). I thought about Playmakers, but I will be too excited to sit and wait for food to be prepared. I am now thinking we will head straight to the Port Side BBQ. 

 

However, a lot of this assumes you are even onboard for lunch any more for embarkation. 

 

It's difficult to predict what the embarkation meal service will be like when cruising re-starts.  I'd say that the only thing that is for certain is "there will be food available" before sailing. 

 

The reason I say this is because, in my experience, having some food in one's stomach helps to keep the stomach "calm" when one begins to experience "the motion of the ocean".  Calm seas upon sailing or not:  makes no difference.  There has to be a reason every cruise line has plentiful food available soon after one embarks and before sailing.  

 

Also, having some food in the stomach helps in absorbing the effects of too many "umbrella drinks" that some cruisers consume prior to and during sailaway.  

 

Since this will be your first cruise, whatever food operation that you choose will be to your liking, I predict.  

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16 minutes ago, cb at sea said:

We generally eat a late breakfast before heading to the ship, so we don't have to partake of the feeding frenzy!  We might grab a snack before the buffet closes, if we feel the need.

Never! The food onboard is freeeee! Wheeee!

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On 9/13/2020 at 10:54 AM, marci22 said:

Never! The food onboard is freeeee! Wheeee!

 

And the great majority of your fellow guests--on whatever cruise line on which you sail--will agree.  Thus, the mayhem in the Lido Restaurants that ensues during the early hours of embarkation.  

Edited by rkacruiser
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  • 1 month later...

First stop is a cocktail and then the buffet where - on the last two cruises - we were greeted by name, and had a table allocated. 
Collect buffet meal which is carried by staff to the table.

No frenzy, no panic, then ‘drag the meal out’ ( the AI wine helps 😁 ) until 2pm when the accommodations are officially available.

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On 10/21/2020 at 12:07 AM, BklynBoy8 said:

I prefer the Stir Fry in the Asian Section.

 

 

 

On HAL ships, the Asian Station often has very interesting choices.  I have been impressed with realizing that during Breakfast  Congee is available.  If one has not tried it, one ought.  For me, I think it has to be an acquired taste.  But, once was good.  

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On 10/21/2020 at 7:24 AM, MBP&O2/O said:

First stop is a cocktail and then the buffet where - on the last two cruises - we were greeted by name, and had a table allocated. 
Collect buffet meal which is carried by staff to the table.

No frenzy, no panic, then ‘drag the meal out’ ( the AI wine helps 😁 ) until 2pm when the accommodations are officially available.

 

May I ask what ship this type of service was received?  

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7 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

May I ask what ship this type of service was received?  

rkacruiser,

I must admit that it was such a common occurrence on the QE2 in the past in the Lido Buffet. Even with a full tray, I was offered assistance by a waiter.

 

I have seen this in the past and recent sailing of assistance on the QM2 for those of Senior Age.

 

And even my wife asked for assistance and it was happily offered by a waiter to our open table. We were happy to see the staff offering some Old Cunard Traditions. We would not ask unless there was a reason since we want the staff keep the buffet moving.

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20 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

May I ask what ship this type of service was received?  

Silversea ..... 
serious rumour is they have photographs of all passengers and they are pinned up in crew areas so as they can recognise you.

As an aside, when we boarded we were twice greeted by name whilst en route to reception to check in.

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2 hours ago, MBP&O2/O said:

Silversea ..... 
serious rumour is they have photographs of all passengers and they are pinned up in crew areas so as they can recognise you.

As an aside, when we boarded we were twice greeted by name whilst en route to reception to check in.

 

I have heard this as well aboard HAL ships.  Upon embarking the Volendam or the Eurodam this past Winter, (I forget which), the Guest Relations Manager was at the head of the gangway when I embarked and welcomed me aboard by name.  I was quite surprised!  I have experienced such recognition by other HAL crew with whom I have had no direct contact from time to time during a HAL cruise.  One more reason why I keep wanting to return to one of those --dam ships.  

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11 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I have heard this as well aboard HAL ships.  Upon embarking the Volendam or the Eurodam this past Winter, (I forget which), the Guest Relations Manager was at the head of the gangway when I embarked and welcomed me aboard by name.  I was quite surprised!  I have experienced such recognition by other HAL crew with whom I have had no direct contact from time to time during a HAL cruise.  One more reason why I keep wanting to return to one of those --dam ships.  

I know they do that for certain pax such as Neptune suite occupants but I don’t think it is for the entire passenger list.  That said they are trained to get to know you and greet you far more than any other line that I have sailed.  They are a personable group. 

Edited by Mary229
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But back to the food.  I am a nester and go to my room to get it just right before any meal.  I go to the Lido for a light lunch, usually soup and salad, as I like to anticipate the first 5 course evening meal.   Then off to reservations, touring and taking advantage of first day sign up sales - spa, fitness and internet 

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15 hours ago, BklynBoy8 said:

I must admit that it was such a common occurrence on the QE2 in the past in the Lido Buffet.

Certainly was not my experience on QE2.

 

My sole experience on QE2 was a 1980 trans-Atlantic embarking in Hamburg to New York.  There were labor problems aboard the ship at that time and service was lacking.  At times, being very poor and rude.  We were in Tourist Class, but friends who were in First Class were experiencing the same level of poor and disappointing service. 

 

The most pleasant and memorable service that I experienced was from a Deck Steward (an older gentleman, probably who had been with Cunard for some time) who tucked me into my deck chair on a very aft windy deck and served two Bloody Marys to me.  Why two?  In attempting to bring my first one to me, the wind caught his tray and it sailed backwards towards him, coating him with Bloody Mary!  He apologized.  (Wow, I thought!)  Returned in a fresh uniform with another drink.  If I had had some cash with me, he would have received a very nice tip.  

 

On QM2, I do recall seeing such service that you described on occasion.   

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