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Caribbean Holiday Cruise - Part I

Author: arubalisa (More Trip Reviews by arubalisa)
Date of Trip: December 2006

The toilet flushing took a little more persistence. It was never clogged or stuck, it just did absolutely nothing, zero, and zilch. First time, my husband phoned guest relations and again no one answered the phone so he trudged on down to pay them a visit. Maintenance came by and waved their magic wand and we were back in business. The next morning we were back to the same situation. As my husband left the cabin he bumped into our cabin steward who said he would take care of it. A couple of minutes later we were in our cabin and from the bathroom we hear that oh so lovely "whoosh"!!! Later on in the week it happened one more. This time maintenance came up and outside in the hallway removed a panel and reset some sort of button. We were back in business once more with no further issues. My parents were in the cabin right next door to ours and had no such problems ever with their toilet.

The only other maintenance problem with our cabin was the inexplicable "cut wires". All of a sudden, our 2 key cards were not working. We got a hold of our daughter to open the cabin door before going down to have new cards made. Her key was around her neck on a lanyard, so unlikely it could have been demagnetized. Her key card did not work either.

Maintenance sent our friendly toilet repair man to check things out. "Jack of all trades", he tried a couple of things none of which worked. The result was that he had to take the entire lock apart. In doing so he found the wires inside the lock were "cut" and the part which contained the wires would have to be replaced. So he goes off to wherever on the ship such parts are stored and returns promptly with a new part. Everything was quickly put back together and all the key cards were working again. No one ever explained to us how the wires got they way they were. The maintenance man would only say it was extremely rare. Had someone tried to get into our cabin? We will never know.

Oasis Cafe

Hours were generally as follows: Breakfast Buffet 6:30 a.m. -- 9:30 a.m. (Port days) Breakfast Buffet 7:30 a.m. -- 10:00 a.m. (Sea days) Waffles & Pancakes 6:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. (Port days) Waffles & Pancakes 7:30 a.m. -- 10:00 a.m. (Sea days) Late Breakfast 9:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. (Port days) Late Breakfast 10:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. (Sea days) Lunch Buffet 12 Noon - 2:30 p.m. Soup, Sandwiches & Salad 12 Noon - 3 p.m. Ice Cream 12 Noon - 10:00 p.m. Pizza & Pasta Corner 12 Noon - 1 a.m. Casual Afternoon Tea 4:00 p.m. - 5 p.m. Ocean Grill 12 Noon - 7 pm Hamburgers and hot dogs Tastings (Cova) 8:30 a.m.- 11 a.m. Croissant & Danish Tastings (Cova) 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Pastries Late Night Gourmet Bites 11:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. Sushi Cafe 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Casual Dining in the Oasis Cafe 6:00 p.m. - 10 p.m. by reservation with suggested gratuity of $2 per person

Quality of the food at the Oasis Cafe was good and the selection was for the most part pretty good. Mornings in the Oasis, coffee service was spotty. They start out fine with the rolling cart, but seems the later into breakfast they get and the busier they are just keeping up with clearing and cleaning tables. For people who requested a waiter to go get a cup of coffee for you there was never a problem. You just might not get it quick enough as when you went and got it yourself.

In the morning at breakfast in the Oasis Cafe, I never had a problem finding someone from who I could request a glass of tomato juice and purchase two cups of cappuccino. Trying to get someone to serve you a soda with a soda card at lunch was a whole 'nother story. We just found it easier to order our sodas at the Oasis pool bar and carry them in ourselves on our way in for lunch. At least it was convenient in finding out what the pizza and pastas of the day were. I personally found some days the pizza was the pits and then on other days it was fabulous.

The ice cream bar with hand dipped flavors rotated daily and soft serve ice cream, was extremely popular the children in our family. There were always an assortment of toppings which they seemed to rotate but these were rarely refilled. If you were not there for say the sprinkles, chocolate sauce or chocolate chips before they ran out, your loss. Maybe the ice cream server needs an assistant to refill the toppings?

Though we did not have dinner in the Oasis, tables at night were set with linen tablecloths. A condensed version of the evening's menu is offered. The one night formal night I viewed the casual dining dinner menu, it was missing the top two items from the dining room's menu, one of which was Beef Wellington. The message here I suppose is if you would like to eat the really "good" stuff, you needed to get dressed up and head to the dining room in order to eat it.

Orion Dining Room -- Food and Service

Orion dining room hours for the most part followed the schedule below, on days in port, sometimes there was an open seating for lunch and other times the dining room was closed for lunch Days in port open seating breakfast 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. Days at sea open seating breakfast 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Days in port open seating lunch 12 Noon - 2 p.m. Days at sea open seating lunch 12 Noon - 2 p.m.

Our family booked this cruise in April and the only seating available was the early seating at 6 p.m. Upon booking, we were waitlisted for the late seating at 8:30 p.m. Sometime during the summer, individuals in our family group were gradually been switched over to late seating. My brother and his son in one cabin seemed to be the two who were never switched. A couple of phone calls back and forth between our travel agent and Celebrity and things were finally straightened out.

Overall, our entire family's experience with the dining room on the Galaxy both last year and this year, was excellent. The food was terrific, maybe even a little better than last year. We were a family of 10 so there were usually some extra orders of appetizers and entrees of pasta to be shared as side orders. The first night we requested a plate of cheese and crackers to nibble on while we were waiting for our appetizers and wine to be served. The request was very quickly filled and every night there after, when we arrived for dinner there was cheese, fruit and crackers already placed on the table. There were never any issues with undercooked meat being returned and special requests were always greeted by a smile. My husband and I were especially surprised by the size of the portions of all of the entrees. They were huge!

Beef was the same quality as last year. It could have been a little more tender but was certainly edible. The desserts are still "hit or miss", but no one starved for lack of something that was appealing to them. One night our waiter urged us NOT to order a particular item. Those who had ordered it during first seating dinner, has said it was "tough". At her age, my grandmother, does not have the best of hearing and did not hear his warning. Everyone was busy chatting when she placed her order, so none of us caught it. Well the waiter was correct, it was tough. By far the worst meal she had on the ship. Lesson learned, always listen to your waiter's recommendations.

My only real complaint about the food, and believe me, I can survive just fine without it, was the bread. Some nights it was delicious and other nights it seemed to have been recycled or previously frozen and stale. Who knows, perhaps it was recycled from the earlier dinner seating.

To their credit, this year aboard the Galaxy, they did NOT run out of ANY food as they did last year at the end of our sailing.

My Mom taught me to be polite, and "wait for everyone to be served" before beginning to eat the course which was being served. My husband and I are attempting to do the same with our daughter. This trip made it difficult though. Our waiter had us - a table of ten, a table of two and then a table of eight. Our waiter Sergiu and his assistant Agus were excellent but they are under such pressure to push out the food that once you finish a course, you are served the next one regardless of whether or not the rest of the table is at the same place in the dinner as you are. No way at all do I blame this on the waiter. I would bet they are just doing what they are told. To their credit though, ladies were always served first and plates were served from the left and cleared from the right as is proper etiquette. Now THAT is attention to detail.

It was wonderful to have finally convinced my husband that breakfast in the dining room was not something to be feared. The breakfast buffet in the Oasis is fine, but I hate standing in line for an omelet and then being facing with the other choice of runny scrambled eggs. Omelets in the dining room were always delicious and the service was fast. My husband never wavered from eggs Benedict. We could get in and out of the dining room for breakfast about as fast as we could get in and out of the Oasis Cafe without having to serve ourselves.

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