Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head

Cruise ships are a smorgasbord of good times and good eating, as Pat found out recently on her trip to Alaska.  Read her hands on report of eating (and eating and eating and eating) aboard ship, below!

Have you heard that expression “never eat anything bigger than your head”?

I thought about this every day during my recent cruise because I couldn’t ignore that the most readily available plates at the breakfast and lunch buffets were the size of serving platters – and definitely bigger than my head.

I watched as my fellow cruisers heaped a variety and overabundance of foods upon these mammoth plates, barely able to balance the weight, as they exited the buffet line.

OK, I admit that putting just a few items on the platters looked, well, unattractive but piling them sky-high like mountains looked just as bad. I began to wonder if some of my fellow diners were going to expire from overeating before the day ended.

Perhaps the cruise director put it best: “You come on the boat as guests and you leave as cargo.”

When I was expressing my concerns about this, a fellow passenger said, “Isn’t that why people come on cruises – to eat?”

Not me, although I must admit that there is definite luxury in being somewhere for a week where you never have to think about planning meals, buying the ingredients or preparing them.

Still, I think it’s difficult to eat healthy on a cruise. Consider the breakfast buffet line – 15 kinds of breakfast breads and freshly baked pastries tempting you, for example. Sure, there is oatmeal, cold cereal and even congee (a rice porridge popular in Asian countries), as well as the Swiss combination of uncooked rolled oats, fruit and nuts known as museli. There’s also French toast, pancakes, omelets, fried eggs, “American” bacon, Canadian bacon, etc., etc., and also something I’ve never seen before—Oriental fried eggs, which appeared to be hard-boiled eggs fried in batter.  And don’t get me started on lunch.

As one who normally tries to eat healthy portions, I must admit that the size of that huge plate sent all reason overboard. I reveled in the assortment of food offerings, trying new options and since it all was “free,” discarding those I didn’t like after a bite or two.

However, the buffet line was probably the most dangerous place on the cruise ship. As a comedian noted one evening, it was like being amid bumper cars as people wielding huge platters wandered from station to station, oblivious to their fellow cruisers, as they honed in on the next culinary target.

I did attempt to counteract the popular cruise activity of eating by visiting the ship’s onboard gym, which not surprisingly was one of the smaller areas on the boat, and walking the decks (2.5 times around equaled a mile) but I realized I hadn’t worked hard enough at this when I reached the airport security checkpoint for my flight home.

“Please remove everything from your pockets,” the TSA employee curtly ordered.

I ignored her. She persisted. “M’am, what do you have in your pockets? You need to take everything out.”

“But I don’t have any pockets,” I sheepishly admitted. “I’ve been on a cruise.”

“Oh, OK, go on through,” she said.






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