Monday, November 29, 2010

Royally Bad Coffee

We signed up for a cruise. I was a little concerned about finding allergy-safe food but with assurances from Royal Caribbean personnel and a choice of three restaurants on board, I felt that I could find adequate food. (However, I did bring a bag filled with snacks just to be sure. )

Since I recently started on a heartburn medication, I was looking forward to being able to drinking decaf coffee with meals. At the first dinner, I had a rude awakening.

My cup of decaf had a scorched, acrid smell. I asked the waiter if any other kind was available. "No madam," he informed me, "All the coffee on the ship is Shattle's Best." That's how he pronounced it, but I knew what he meant.

I asked if another restaurant would have a different brand. I don't care for Seattle coffee, and the so-called "Best" is actually the city's worst, at least in the decaffeinated version. Even if I could get past the odor, the taste is not pleasant and I'll always associate it with the severe chest pain I suffered after drinking it at Burger King.

But no, the entire ship serve's Seattle's Best exclusively. And not only do they not provide coffee makers in the staterooms, they don't allow passengers to bring their own. I imagine I could have got away with bringing in a French press but I did not pack one.

So there I was at the dinner table, horrified with the prospect of spending nine long days on a ship without decent coffee. And when my dinner arrived, it was mediocre. I ate part of it, trying not to look unhappy in front of the strangers we were seated with. But before dessert was served, I made an excuse and left. I made it back to our room before letting the tears of frustration flow.