In Search of a Decent Room Service Breakfast

June 7, 2013 | By | 10 Comments

Room Service
I’ve pictured it a thousand times: sun shining, waves lapping against the side of the ship as I enjoy my perfect breakfast on my cruise balcony. A thousand times. Maybe more. The reality, though, is while nature might have cooperated, I’ve never had the perfect room service breakfast on a cruise. At best, I’ve had so-so room service breakfasts. But mostly, the experience has been disappointing.

For starters, no order I’ve placed has ever come to my room the way I was expecting it. (I swear this is true.) No matter what I’ve ordered — from simple to complex — something always is just a little off. White toast instead of wheat; sausage rather than bacon; hot chocolate in place of chocolate milk.
Make that warmish chocolate milk. Which I guess speaks to another problem I have with room service breakfast: temperature. Cold eggs, hot orange juice, tepid fruit. Sure, I understand the sheer volume of orders that must be delivered every single morning and the massive ground any such breakfast must cover. It probably would bother me less if the food got to my cabin within the allotted 30-minute window, but it’s a rare occasion in which I don’t end up on the phone hunting down my order well after its promised delivery time.
To be clear, I’ve never had a single problem with the people who deliver breakfast to our cabin. Without exception, meals are served with a smile, and I happily tip for such pleasant service. And I’m not particularly hard to please — correct, hot (or cold) and on time would do the trick. Maybe two out of three would be enough.
Still, the perfect room service breakfast has become my white whale, for which I hunt again and again. The idea captivates me at least once — usually at the beginning of — every cruise.
Me to husband: “Aaaah, won’t it be sublime, honey, to have our breakfast delivered tomorrow morning and enjoy it in the fresh morning air on our balcony while bundled in our comfy bathrobes?”
In theory, this always sounds like a wonderful part of my ideal, relaxing vacation experience. We’ll get up early a few days during our sailing, have a tasty hot breakfast in our cabin and be off to the gym. No fuss, no muss. No battle of the buffet omelet line. No endless circling of the restaurant to find a couple empty seats. No waiting in the main dining room.
No day’s ever been ruined by the less-than-ideal results of my grand breakfast vision, and some of the more hilarious cruise memories involve stories of room service gone awry. But, so far, the results have left me a bit hungry for a better experience.
It can’t be just me, right? Please weigh in: Are you a lover or a hater? How would you rate your in-room breakfast experiences?
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    10 Responses to “In Search of a Decent Room Service Breakfast”

    1. Jen
      June 7th, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

      If you have a suite on Royal Caribbean you can order from the dining room menus. However, I have to say that breakfast in the dining rooms were never particularly unique to me vs. the buffet, the breakfast menu barely changed day to day, so although it was nice to get eggs served to us, the quality wasn’t any better than just going to the buffet and bringing it back to the room.

      With Princess, one trick we learned from Cruise Critic is that there are certain hot items you can request on your breakfast door hang as a write in, that they’ll actually bring you. We were able to receive pancakes one morning and egg sandwiches with canadian bacon on another morning. Pretty much whatever we wrote, they tried to accommodate with something in that general category.

    2. Janet Cartwright
      June 7th, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

      I’ve been on 14 cruises, Carnival, Princess, MSC and Celebrity. We often order room service in the early AM. Like 6:30 or 7AM (and maybe that’s the key, order early) and have never had a late delivery or a cold breakfast. So not sure where the author has been cruising, but she needs to try another cruise line. We also enjoy going to the dining room later in the morning. Have never ordered room service later in the day.

    3. Nancy Rideout
      June 7th, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

      We just got back from a cruise to Bermuda on Celebrity Summit. We were in Concierge class so we had an expanded breakfast menu. I, too looked forward to having a lovely breakfast on the extra large balcony. However on the first morning, room service delivered a rather tepid breakfast. Nothing like cold eggs! I mentioned it to Guest Relations and from then on our amazing stateroom attendant delivered a piping hot breakfast each and every morning, along with complimentary Mimosa. You have to love the crew on Celebrity!!

    4. DK Sampson
      June 7th, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

      We often had room service breakfast on the Statendam in Alaska. It was always correct, hot and on time. We loved it!

    5. Laurie
      June 7th, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

      We’ve often had room service bring us breakfast and it was right every time–each time with Holland America.

    6. judy
      June 7th, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

      We have been on 10 cruises with Holland America, cruised with various other lines. Holland has always given me great hot food on time on each cruise. Princess didn’t have the diversity in their hot food selection that I’m used to was a bit disappointed.
      We are going back on Holland America to South America and I’m sure we will have the great in room service we are used to having!

    7. Carol Mannchen
      June 7th, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

      I always order room service breakfast, it’s one way I control eating on the cruise. I always cruise with Princess and have a simple breakfast — fruit and cereal or toast, coffee of course, and juice. We got a giant upgrade to a full suite last time and got to order bigger breakfasts, but usually passed on that. I have never had a problem getting anything wrong.

    8. Mike
      June 7th, 2013 @ 10:39 pm

      I’d have to agree about Holland America. I took a transatlantic cruise with them and each morning, my room service breakfast was spot on time and served hot. Kudos to Holland America!

    9. Brenda
      June 10th, 2013 @ 10:26 am

      One reason we book the C class cabins on Celeb is the breakfast menu and dining on our balcony, especially if we are sailing into port. Heaven! I guess I enjoy it so much that I don’t notice if the food is too cold.

    10. TBone2k
      June 11th, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

      Royal Caribbean always seems to call and deliver breakfast early. The only time the food wasn’t hot was when I told them I wasn’t ready yet because they are trying to deliver earlier than expected. I expect rather than wait on making my breakfast, they left it sit until the requested time. The only issue I’ve ever had with the food itself was they can’t get me tea that doesn’t taste like coffee, but that problem is not isolated to room service.

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