If I tell you I went on a dinner buffet cruise, you might think that I am such a socialite foodie- probably I had roast duck, caviar and wine. You might be expecting me to change my profile picture in Facebook to show my recent food adventure. I would expect the same experience after submitting my payment to the deal offered in one of the Group Buying site offering 50% discount for an Eat-All-You-Can Dinner Buffet Cruise.
Roast Duck, Caviar and Wine are little exaggerated expectations. If not grand, decent experience is what we were expecting, especially if you are presented with this picture.
But our experience was next to Jack and Rose’s experience in Titanic (ok, the ship didn’t sink, and we are all safe.. just keep on reading..). I bought vouchers online because I wanted to treat my sister and her family to a nice buffet – at least something unique and memorable. I thought I was lucky to get the deal just on time. There were 41267 vouchers sold!
It is noted that we must call for reservation, so I did. I was expecting weekends would be fully-booked. There were two time slots – 6PM and 8PM. Again, I was feeling lucky to get a slot for 6PM the same day I called in. So we decided to have dinner there after whole day of strolling in the mall. We were still feeling full from the lunch we had at Zao Vietnamese Bistro (thank God!) and we were early at the dock area (we arrived at 5PM) that gave us time to talk to the others who were waiting on the sea side.
One of the old guys told us they (he and his wife) were referred by a friend; the other group sworn on how good the salad is. It was their second time. She even gave us a tip that we must get as much because we wouldn’t have time to do a “second round”.
Looking at the “ship” – it looked so old and rustic. But I was not judging it yet. The food must be good. But when I saw the buffet table – it is just a small buffet table – now I wonder how would they fit all the food in there?!
When the receptionists and the crew finally changed their uniforms and opened the registration, we were surprised that it would still be a first come, first served basis. They have the list of all those who called – most of us have vouchers bought online. So we finally got our stamps (on our wrists) and we were just waiting to board. The buffet table was situated at the lower deck, so we decided to just get a table in there since we had kids and senior. Those who would want to stay at the upper deck need to pay additional Php100 per head.
My mom needed to go to the washroom, and the crew was kind enough to let us in and use the washroom. When I got inside the yacht, I knew we were in trouble. It looks rustic and dirty, the washroom needs maintenance. Argh.
When I stepped out from the washroom, they already let people in. We got table beside the buffet table. We waited and waited. Glad that we would have buffet compared to the other yacht beside us which only offers a set-menu. A waiter asked if we wanted to order drinks for Php50 regardless if it is bottled water, soda or iced tea. We just ordered for the kids. Good thing that I always bring bottled water. Or we could just drown ourselves with house water. We could worry about diarrhea after.
When the buffet was finally opened – reality was presented to me – there were only 3 dishes – and there were staff members serving the food in our plates. I felt like a convict.
The yacht started sailing, and I just tasted the food in my plate while the other guests were lined up behind our table. My family and I were so disappointed and we just laughed about the experience and enjoyed each other’s company.
The whole experience is sooo disappointing, the chairs were just plain monoblock-type, the tables were covered with plastic. I was not expecting cushioned chairs, but at least something close to what was pictured in the deal. I forgot to mention that when we got to the buffet table (we were actually second on the line), there was a cockroach on the table (I was so disgusted!). I was just thinking the crew is certified food servers and they know about food handling.
Curious what’s on the buffet table?
I honestly don’t know what’s in there. A pork dish, beef dish, and veggie dish with noodles – they all tasted the same. They are seasoned with Instant Seasoning Agent. If I don’t die from food poisoning, I might die from the foul smell of the sea water.
And yes, there is a salad bar – actually a salad plate, but even the carrots were not edible. I was guessing they were not even cooked. Someone should teach the chefs how to blanch!
I know we were not the only ones who were expecting a good meal, and a good experience. Most of the diners were even dressed to impress. There were even a couple who I suspect was on a date mood – the girl was wearing really nice minidress and sexy shoes. I was glad I just came in shorts because I was even thinking of wearing my new maxi dress and pretty hat – Haha Thinking about it makes me laugh. I would just save it for that walk-in-the- park mood.
I understood why one cannot do a “second round”. It was already halfway of the trip and there were still people on the line (those who stayed on the upper deck).
I could tell from their faces that I was not the only one disappointed about the whole experience. To cap the meal, we were served with these:
I don’t know which government agency is incharged of false advertising, is it DTI? But I am not counting on that. The government might be too busy checking Baby Books and looking for names to replace existing road and street names.
So now, I am just crossing out this backlog blog post. Just to post something good about the cruise, well, you can take lots of pictures and just pretend you have fun.