We got up a little late this morning and needed to move breakfast along if we wanted to make the Behind the Scenes Tour on time. When we went to the Haven restaurant, we were asked if we wanted our table for ten. We said “No” figuring that being seated separately would move things along. NOT! As our friends drifted in, we were treated as one large party. It took nearly an hour for our breakfast to be served…in various degrees of under-cooked and coldness. Finally all of the problems were straightened out, but we had little time to get to the tour.
As on the Epic Inaugural Crossing, this is an abbreviated ship tour. The one on regular ships is a three-hour tour with a ton of explanation. This one is 90 minutes and rather rushed. We saw the main kitchen between Taste and Savor, the laundry and the Speigel Tent. The only real “new” bit was that the laundry on the Breakaway is two levels. The washers are primarily on the first level and the dryers and presses on the next. The system is so automated that they can stuff the laundry in the first machine and not see it again until it pops out of the dryer. How cool is that? For sheets and table linens, they are dried by the same machine that presses them. Talk about high tech!
After the tour we eventually had lunch in the Haven restaurant. We have now noticed a trend. If we are dining in the restaurant we get excellent service. If we dine at the pool-side tables, we are looking at a very lengthy, disorganized meal service. Unlike the breakfast service, we were served promptly and all meals cooked to perfection. 🙂
I then finally wandered around the ship a bit. Decks 6, 7 and 8 are the hubs. The Waterfront on deck 8 will be amazing in good weather (even with our 50 degree weather a couple of the bars were open). I noticed that they have “viewing binoculars” positioned around the Waterfront so passersby can zoom in on ocean life or islands as they come into view (picture those coin operated metal viewing stations you find at the Grand Canyon without the coins!).
Carlos’ Bake shop and the Gelato place actually occupy the same space. The hotdog stand has not been spotted so far. Perhaps that’s being set up when we arrive in NYC?
Oh! A neat thing for Haven guests. About 20 minutes before the first show, a couple of the Cirque performers come to the Haven pool area to warm up (it’s the only place on the ship with a high enough ceiling for them to perform…and without 4,000 passengers gawking at them). A very cool bit of free entertainment!
Tonight was dinner at Moderno. We’ve noticed that while the Epic had a lot of structural issues, the crew was fantastic. On the Breakaway, the opposite seems to be the trend. The ship has some minor touch-ups being completed, but service has been terribly slow and disorganized in every restaurant we’ve dined in so far.
I’m sure the kinks will be worked out, but am afraid it’ll take some time.