Kelly the Culinarian: Crusing with Kelly: General tips

Monday, February 18, 2008

Crusing with Kelly: General tips

Oh my goodness, all we did on our Bahamas cruise was eat! They feed you every 20 minutes, so the first tip that I have to offer is pace yourself. They say the average guest will gain 10 pounds during the course of a five-day cruise. I couldn't tell you if it's true, I'm boycotting my scale until further notice.

There is food available 24 hours per day, no joke. There's ice cream and pizza as well as room service around the clock. There's a seated and buffet option for every meal and sushi most evenings. Breakfast is the same every day, but there are myriad options for lunch -- there's always a themed buffet such as French, American or Mexican along with another general buffet, Thai stir fry made to order, burgers and a rotisserie station.

As for dinner, it's an event. There's a seated dinner that's business casual most nights and formal one night, so bring nice clothing. Otherwise, pack less clothing than you would suspect you need. You'll be lounging in the sun most of the time anyhow and these are small rooms. There's a menu with starters, salads, entrees and desserts. Order what you like according to your appetite -- it's all included. If you really hate it, try again, but I never had that problem.

Everything is included except for drinks. And the cheapest drink is $4, so plan accordingly. The only complimentary cocktails you'll find are at the captain's reception, a painfully short engagement featuring awesome live jazz, tasty snacks and small cocktails. It's a must attend for the music alone -- it's the only time on the cruise you'll hear the band unaccompanied by dancers and singers.

The best deal as far as adult beverages are concerned is purchasing a bottle of wine to enjoy at dinner. They'll store it for you between meals and it will be waiting for you when you get there. If you're a big fan of caffeine, my advice is avoid the soda. Juices, water, coffee and milk are included, but if you're looking for anything bubbly, it's going to cost you. Sodas cost $1.75 each or you can buy a fountain pass that entitles you to as many Coca Cola products as you can handle, but it's $5 per day for adults and $4 for kids. You'd have to drink at least 20 sodas per day to get your money's worth. Have a lemonade instead.

My only issue with our Carnival cruise was the room. We got an upgrade to a room with portholes, which was pretty cool to have a view and such. However, our room was at the very front of the boat and every time we docked, I might as well have pulled up a cot to the engine room. We also needed motion sickness bracelets in a big way because we felt every single wave. On this particular ship, the smaller the room number, the closer you are to the front. If you have a choice, pick the cheapest room in the middle of the boat. Every room is going to the same place and eating the same food, so in my mind, an executive penthouse suite just isn't worth it. Those suites run up to $4,000 on my particular boat and I would suspect that if you have that kind of cash, there are more exclusive ships. Or, you can choose to invest in Kelly the Culinarian ...

Tomorrow: The first on cruise food highlights

1 comment:

Mandy said...

Invest in Kelly the Culinarian, hmm? You got stock options?