Breakfast is the best meal of the day – especially on this boat.
To be fair , whilst saying that this is a better meal here than lunch or dinner is not actually much of a compliment, it has been pretty good. The boiled eggs actiually have runny yokes, the fried eggs are not congealed, the porridge is really quite good and the bacon is remarkably good especially in a part of the world which is noted for it’s poor quality bacon.
But today is different…
Today is the final breakfast before the crew breathe a hefty sigh of relief as they watch us waddle off down the gangplank to get on the coach back to the airport.
Today there is no bacon as they didn’t get it out of the freezer last night – mainly because they went ashore for a night out. Today the boiled eggs are solid. Today we are a bloody nuisance that they want out of the way so that they can get the boat sort-of-ready for the next bunch of victims. Everyone is moaning – except for us because we’ve seen it all before!
I remember Alan Whicker once said that he had three rules for travelling : Never refuse a meal, never walk past a toilet and sleep whenever you can. As seasoned travellers we have certain final morning rules which I would like to share with you in the hope it may help to oil the wheels of your chosen travelling device, so to speak.
Firstly, never give up your room until the last moment. Take no notice of the tactics they may employ to hurry you along because you have paid for it and until disembarkation time it is yours. We never concede this point. Also, always lock your room when you leave. Once in Barbados, a guy who wanted us turfed out of our room because he wanted it tried to get his own back by sneaking in through the open door while we were sat by the pool and making a $100 worth of long distance calls which he then tried to charge to our account. Needless to say, it didn’t work but my advice is why take the chance?
Second rule : Never put your tips envelope into the box until after breakfast. Also, leaving it in plain view on the breakfast table has been known to improve the waiter service but I admit on this occasion, I didn’t bother. Plus you need to be seen to put the envelope into the box so that your suitcase doesn’t go missing or get thrown down the gangplank. Even if you think the service has been totally shit, be seen to put the empty envelope in the box or, as I admit I did on one occasion, put a note inside explaining that your are leaving what you feel is appropriate – namely, sod all.
Our final rule relates to tipping. Some cruise boats automatically add tips to your bill when you get on. Some even insist on charging them to your credit card when you get on. In this case tell them your credit card is in your luggage and say you’ll come back later. Then forget. Remember that tips are discretionary and never be embarassed to tell them to take them off the bill of you have had crap service. What we do is to start with the recommended tipping guideline (how presumptuous is that for a start?) which in this case was €10 per person per day and then knock off €10 every time they do something that pisses you off.