Petty Cruise Ship Complaints

We departed Cozumel a couple of hours ago and are on our way back to Galveston. Normally this is a bit of a disappointment, but we’ve had a great time and by Sunday morning we’ll be very ready to be home and sleep in our own bed.

I’ve spent many posts detailing the great things onboard this ship, and I’m probably not done yet, but I thought I’d tell you some of the things we really miss while being on these trips.

In no particular order:

1. Chips, salsa and Tex-Mex in general.

They have a litte walk-up custom burrito place by the pool and it’s not bad, but you would never mistake their offerings for the menus and tastes at places like La Brisa, Estebans, or Lupe Tortilla.

I had a little pico de gallo on a small taco the other day and it had no heat. The jalapenos were utterly missing in action.

They did however have a chunky salsa with jicama in it. That should be against the law.

2. TV and Internet – Most of the TV channels onboard are Carnival related and most of those are trying to sell you something. Of the few other channels we get we’ve mostly watched a cartoon channel that plays a lot of Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry. No Simpsons, no King of the Hill and no classic reruns either.

They have a channel that plays a selection of programs from the different Discovery channels and I think they have showed the same World’s Cutest Cats program every day.

No ESPN means almost no way to keep up with the Astros or sports in general. We get local news from Miami and their sportscasts don’t even show scores from any teams not in Miami.

I know many won’t care about this on vacation, but we inevitably find ourselves with some down time in our room during the day and being able to watch a little of what what we want for an hour or so would be really nice.

Of course we miss high speed internet. I am paying $5 a day for their social media package. That means I can access Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as much as I like, but nothing else. When I click on a link to a news story or some other item of interest I am told the site is unavailable. If I were willing to spend $16 a day I could get their value plan which allows me most non-streaming sites, but both the social media and value plans are very, very slow. Trying to load a friend’s Facebook post with 4 attached photos takes forever (plus or minus an hour).

A higher speed package is available at a criminal price, but I’ve heard it’s not that much faster.

3. Our own kitchen – I love iced tea and drink huge quantities of it, but not on the ship. What they call iced tea comes from a dispenser and is made a Nestle syrup product labelled (I am not kidding) “Iced Tea Flavored Beverage Base”.

It’s disgusting. I’ve been surviving on Crystal Light lemonade for the past week.

I also miss an unending supply of ice. The cabin steward delivers ice twice a day but the little ice bucket has no insulation and it melts in no time. If I want ice any other time I have to get dressed, walk to the elevator, wait for a car to show up and then come downstairs to the buffet. 30 seconds later I have to do the whole trip in reverse.

My kitchen also has real Texas iced tea glasses. You know the ones that hold 28 ounces or do. On the ship the buffet glasses hold about 8 ounces.

The coffee mugs onboard are about the size I use when Henry wants espresso before we take him home to his mom and dad. Three of these little cups brim full would equal one mug at home.

The other thing we miss from home is being able to go into the kitchen and eat what you want. The food on the ship has been very good, but the menus are completely out of our hands.

4. Solitude – It was reported that something like 4500 people are on this cruise. There is no place where you can go for real quiet and solitude except your cabin and often kids and adults are far from quiet in the halls.

I’m a very introspective person and mass human interaction at school or on vacation taxes me greatly. I need time to get away from everybody and recharge my batteries so to speak.

I’m writing this from a deck chair on the promenade deck, one that goes all around the outside of the ship. It is mostly deserted at this time of the day, but loud groups of people come by every few minutes, some of them yelling and acting like what they are — idiots on vacation. So much for recharging the batteries.

5. Family and friends – it’s hard to keep close though the occasional post and Facebook message. We tried to video chat with Henry this morning, but the network was too slow.

6. Being able to write posts from a computer – I am very particular about the wording of what I write and it’s tough to not make mistakes writing in a box less than an inch high on my phone.

The phone’s spell checker is a great evil. I will write what I think is a good sentence about an experience on the ship and when I go back to reread it, the words will read something like

“Bacon sombreros venom arterial fjords”

Well, I better stop before this post becomes longer than a Tolstoy novel.