More than a disappointment, we felt duped! Jacques Pepin should be ashamed. Our seven day cruise on the Marina ended as efficiently as it began- no more no less. The cruise experience was Applebee’s food on a fair airport hotel on the water. Embarkation was efficient, but cold. Not one crew member or staff member smiled during the entire seven days we were on board! Only our cabin steward Anna welcomed us, but she did not explain anything about the veranda cabin we were assigned to. She, like most of crew members spoke minimal English or, if they did, seemed not to acknowledge us with anything other than a blank nod.
Let’s start with the cabin: large bed was only comfortable amenity on the cruise. A stained carpet welcomed us. The bathroom had a huge bathtub that was impossible to get in and out of for people over the age of 50; we had to use the minuscule shower which had a nozzle that spouted water everywhere in the bathroom, and the portable showerhead if dropped, could break your toe. The hairdryer was vintage 1980, weighed at least 8 pounds, and looked like it has seen many many heads. The fake leather brochure holders were chipped, and it took us two days to discover that on the bedside were books to inform us about the amenities of the cruise and they were impossible to release from there receptacle. Breakfast room service did not allow us scrambled eggs, omelettes or bacon, just pastries, breads, juice, fruit salad, yogurt. The bread and bagels were stale; the pastries felt like rocks; the yogurt came in a “Toy Story” paper container and the fruit salad appeared to be cubed Dole canned fruit salad and was both tasteless and disgusting looking.
The restaurant service was impossibly disorganized. We never never knew who our waiter was and we never saw one staff person more than once in the “Grand” Dining Room.The sommelier was surly or pompous or both. And not one of the servers seem to understand English; they either ignored us or walked away when we spoke to them. Only one restaurant staff was pleasant and that was in the Red Ginger restaurant. The rest of the kitchen serving staff, especially in Terrace Buffet, seemed to be automatons, roaming around, not knowing what to do or where to go. They certainly weren’t serving anyone either politely or in a welcoming manner. As for the so-called gourmet food, he buffet were plentiful but everything seemed to be just defrosted from a large refrigerator; it was pretty cold and tasteless. The sushi were like like pellets and desserts overly sweet. The Grand Dining Room was anything but grand. The meat was tough; the portions impossibly small and often lukewarm and bland or overly spiced. After dinner we felt we’d rather have had a hamburger. There was no attempt to math the buffet food with the port local cuisine/(We had a Mexican buffet the secon night out of Venice. The specialty restaurants all had snooty servers and slow inattentive service. Again, the meat was tough; the lobster had never seen Maine and, all in all, we felt they thought we were privileged to eat there when in fact we had much better food in off ship in port then we had on the cruise Jacques really should be ashamed!