Spend any time aboard a cruise ship and you will long to leave the port. That’s how I felt when I attended a luncheon on Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas recently. (I think that’s why they keep your driver’s license at the port.) It had been a couple of years since I had been on a cruise ship of this size and it was fun watching the excitement of the passengers as they prepared for a little relaxation time.
The bakery, which is a separate kitchen, had that “Mom is baking something really good” smell. A few pastries, including croissants were sitting there left-over from breakfast. I was starting to get really hungry looking at all this food. They showed me where they make all their dinner rolls from scratch and also all of the pie crusts. It would have been easier, and perhaps less expensive to buy these items, but they insist on making them. The only possibly store-bought item I saw were some hamburger buns. A huge oven and proofing box were ready for the evening’s bread items. Each of them would hold an entire cart of baked items, which is about 10 – 12 racks.
Dining options are much more flexible these days on cruises. On Royal Caribbean, you can choose to accept an assigned seat or sit in the upstairs portion of the main dining room at tables seating two to four. If you don’t feel like dressing up, you can casually dine at the Windjammer Cafe or elect to have food brought to your room. Before or after dinner, you can wind down with a cocktail at the Viking Crown Lounge, a large glass-enclosed area near the top of the ship with beautiful views of the water.
One of my favorite spots on the boat was the Solarium. It is an area for adults to relax poolside with those little umbrella drinks. Located right next to the spa (how convenient), it is all about indulgence and regenerating. Totally enclosed in glass, you can get some sunshine without regard for the temperature outside. The area is totally climate-controlled and if you get hungry, there is a little, intimate dining area off to the side where you can nosh if you feel inclined.