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?
From best meals to healthy tips, get the skinny on cruise food and eating when you visit our Ultimate Guide to Cruise Dining.
Enter to win one of five gourmet cookbooks, provided by Oceania Cruises, Cruise Critic’s 2012 Editors’ Picks winner for Best Dining.
Get your very own Lido Deck subscription.