Monday, January 5, 2009

The dangers of cruise-ship dining

I’m lucky to be writing this. Twice now I’ve put my life at risk by violating the cardinal rule of taking a cruise: Never, ever, ever be in the buffet-style restaurant when the feeding frenzy hits. As any crowd-control expert knows, do not be anywhere near the place at the start of a meal.

Fortunately I must’ve entered near the Rice Cakes/Lite Fare station at lunch, because I managed to find the down-traffic side of a pillar and ride out the stampede. The glassy-eyed horde was far more interested in the pizza/burger/hotdog area. And from there, it’s just a short charge to the Hot Ethnic Foods table. Not a pretty sight.

But the worst carnage came near the dessert stand, where a family of slender Brazilians never made it to the frozen-yogurt dispenser. All that was found of them were a free cruise line T-shirt and a hair barrette.

I won’t even describe the breakfast charge, when the crowd was whipped into a George Romero plotline by having forgone food for a whole five hours. Just the carnage from over-laden plates of eggs made a soccer riot look like a church picnic.

Uh-oh. The ship calendar lists freshly griddled pancakes as tomorrow’s breakfast special. I’m not going near the dining room before 10:30.

But I have to be wary of catching the early edge of the lunch throng. Tomorrow's the Sloppy Joes Fest.

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