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View Full Version : Beach Blanket or Parrot Cay on first day?


debmomof2
03-01-2010, 11:02 AM
I thought I saw a post a while back that said to head up to Beach Blanket for lunch on the first day rather than following the crowds to Parrot Cay. I can't find the post now, so I'd appreciate any opinions on this idea. Thanks everyone!

Deb

disneydawgs4
03-01-2010, 11:16 AM
...if you like to have your drinks served to you, go to Parrot Cay. That was the main difference we noticed at the two places. Another thing we noticed was the line at Beach Blanket was horribly long, but later we found out that if you try the other line (the one on the right, I think, I can't remember which side we tried first), it usually has less people. The food is pretty much the same in both places, if not the exact same. If it is a beautiful day out, Beach Blanket is nice because you can either sit outside the restuarant, or take your tray to a table by the pools and eat. When we were in Parrot Cay, the characters were there as well so we got to take pictures with them right away. Just some thoughts.;)

outahere
03-01-2010, 11:16 AM
The main differences between the two are: 1) a server will get your drinks in Parrot Cay, and 2) inside seating at BBB is pretty limited, so if it's hot that might be something to consider.

They also close PC earlier to get ready for dinner, so if you are boarding a little later, they may be closed. They will also temporarily close PC if it becomes full, but there are plenty of tables on deck if you go to BBB.

Another thing to consider is that all of the "fast food" places are also open for lunch on embarkation day. On our last couple of cruises, we've gone to Goofy's Galley for a sandwich, while our son got a burger or hot dog.

HallsofVA
03-01-2010, 12:05 PM
We prefer Parrot Cay because it just seems a bit more sane, especially if you are hauling carryons around with you. Plus we prefer to sit inside.

mmouse37
03-01-2010, 12:09 PM
PC, to us, is a much more relaxed way to start the cruise. We enjoy our embarkation lunch there very much. No juggling trays with carryons and looking for a table, no humidity, no birds, no wind. Some days I am sure it is lovely to eat outside of BBB or Topsiders (and we always have breakfast outside there), but our tradition is PC for lunch. There is a place when you enter to leave carryons and you are escorted to a table and your drinks are served to you.

There is no right or wrong answer here...totally personal preference!

MJ

Cdaub
03-01-2010, 12:24 PM
Are the fast food places near the pools open? I was hoping that maybe we could go that route and get a seat by the pool and start vacation that way.

outahere
03-01-2010, 12:38 PM
Are the fast food places near the pools open? I was hoping that maybe we could go that route and get a seat by the pool and start vacation that way.

Yes they are all open.

tjbaggott
03-01-2010, 01:24 PM
We've done both and I too found PC much more relaxed. First cruise we went to BBB after boarding (came from WDW by bus and were on board around 2pm) BBB was VERY Busy, difficult to find a table, and the lineups were long.

2nd trip (most recent), we were at the port early and had boarding pass #4 and went to PC. Not crowded at all no lineup at the buffet on our initial trip there. :)

Keira1387
03-01-2010, 01:40 PM
Is there a strategy as far as what time to get to PC? Last time we were turned away because it was too full.

tjbaggott
03-01-2010, 01:48 PM
I think the earlier you are on the ship, the better your chance of getting into PC. When we boarded last fall, it was around 12 noon, no later. We were actually directed to PC. We had arrived at the terminal for 10 am.

kmaclou
03-01-2010, 03:47 PM
I think it's all in what you want. We love eating at BB on the first day because we can sit outside. The lines can be long, but I've always felt they move along pretty quickly. I can see how it'd be hectic with kids and carry-ons and all of that - sometimes it's easier just to sit them down and stay in one spot! :goodvibes

TKH
03-01-2010, 04:19 PM
Does anyone know if PC still serves that yummy mushroom soup? Or if you can get it at BBB as well? That was my favorite food of all...but I don't know what it's even called! Please tell me they always have it... :)

DMMarla07860
03-01-2010, 04:29 PM
we have done both, I like BBB more then going to PC, but if it was raining out or something I would prob choose PC, both have the same food

scootch
03-01-2010, 04:38 PM
We were going to do BBB since we thought it would be nice to sit outside, but we caught a cool day and thus went to PC. It was very nice and we had plenty of opportunities to sit outside for breakfast so we will likely sit inside when we go on the Dream.

KSandbergFL
03-01-2010, 04:43 PM
Is there a strategy as far as what time to get to PC? Last time we were turned away because it was too full.

The best strategy is, yes, get there early! ;) However, on our last cruise (Jan 21, 2010) we learned that if you're told "Parrot cay is full", you can ask to wait - which we did. We only had to wait about 10 minutes, before they seated us. Maybe we just got lucky?

We prefer the relative quiet of Parrot Cay to the "free for all" that happens up on the 9th Deck.

Angelhalo
03-01-2010, 05:08 PM
Is there a strategy as far as what time to get to PC? Last time we were turned away because it was too full.

We get to the port as early as possible so that hopefully we will be one of the first groups onto the ship. We've never had to wait to get in to PC and be seated and it has never been horribly crowded in there. It is much more relaxed than BBB I feel.

pugmom626
03-01-2010, 06:15 PM
We have tried both (on different cruises). Parrot Cay was somewhat less noisy and obnoxious, but not by much. Since they are both buffets, there are people walking around with plates of food back and forth to their tables. At Parrot Cay, you are seated at a table, but you still have to navigate the buffet. At Topsiders, you are on your own to find a table. It seemed as if the children were more out of control at Topsiders, perhaps there were considerably fewer children at Parrot Cay at the time we were there. We did not enjoy the food or the atmosphere at either location and I'm going to just stick with the snack locations next time and skip the embarkation buffets all together. We don't enjoy any type of buffet, in general, so the embarkation lunch is our least favorite meal of the cruise. I wouldn't say that either location is better than the other, it's really just a matter of personal preference.

sing4joy
03-01-2010, 08:03 PM
However, on our last cruise (Jan 21, 2010) we learned that if you're told "Parrot cay is full", you can ask to wait - which we did. We only had to wait about 10 minutes, before they seated us. Maybe we just got lucky?

That's exactly what we did on 2/11. Politely asked if we could wait for a table at PC, and also waited 10 minutes. Enjoyed the live piano singer and danced with my 4 year old - quickest 10 minutes ever :)

debmomof2
03-01-2010, 08:18 PM
Thanks for the replies, everyone! This forum has helped so much in our plans!! I think we'll play it by ear, and most likely go to BBB, depending on the weather. After our winter in Wisconsin, we're looking forward to being outside every minute we can!! Frankly, even 50 degrees would feel warm!

Deb

El&Asmom
03-01-2010, 10:56 PM
We were a bit disappointed with the food at BBB on embarkation. Thankfully we had a beautiful outside window table, and the kids could get in the pool when they finished eating. I also like the fast food places better than the food they serve at that buffet meal so we just picked up a few things from them.

minniesota
03-02-2010, 08:40 AM
Thanks for the replies, everyone! This forum has helped so much in our plans!! I think we'll play it by ear, and most likely go to BBB, depending on the weather. After our winter in Wisconsin, we're looking forward to being outside every minute we can!! Frankly, even 50 degrees would feel warm!

Deb

From Minnesota here and we have cruised in January, March and October (coming up on our 3rd Oct. cruise!) and we love going to Topsiders on our first day! Just soaking up the sun and humidity is what we look forward to all year. It immediately feels like vacation! Now if we were cruising in July or August, you would find me inside at PC with the air conditioning.:thumbsup2

WiscBill
03-02-2010, 10:50 AM
We've done four cruises so far. The first one we were directed to Topsiders because we boarded after 1 PM. That was the least enjoyable. Very crowded, had to wait for a table. The next two times we ate at Parrot Cay. That was nicer. You do get a table and the waiters do bring drinks. You may have to wait to get in, but it's usually minimal The hard part is getting around all the luggage that people have with them until the cabins are opened. The best time we had was the last one. We avoided both buffets and went up to deck 9. Got a nice table by the family pool and then went and got lunch at Goofy's (pannini and a caesar salad), two beers, and pizza. Very relaxing, no lines. Around 2 PM we moved the luggage down to the rooms and hung out till it was time for the lifeboat drill.

Husurdady
03-02-2010, 10:23 PM
I thought I saw a post a while back that said to head up to Beach Blanket for lunch on the first day rather than following the crowds to Parrot Cay. I can't find the post now, so I'd appreciate any opinions on this idea. Thanks everyone!

Deb

Deb , go on to PC, I think we waited 10 min. tops to be seated. Besides we have to go back to PC for our 1 st lunch , you are not going to believe this, our last 3 cruises[Sept 09, May 09 & Sept 08] our waiter has taken us to the same table. Like what our the odds of this happening 3 cruises in a row....Go figure. OK , opinion you asked for, let me ask you this can you carry your carry-on or pull your carry-on while carrying a tray to your table......I think not. HAPPY SAILING

TKH
03-02-2010, 11:16 PM
From Minnesota here and we have cruised in January, March and October (coming up on our 3rd Oct. cruise!) and we love going to Topsiders on our first day! Just soaking up the sun and humidity is what we look forward to all year. It immediately feels like vacation! Now if we were cruising in July or August, you would find me inside at PC with the air conditioning.:thumbsup2

Just noticed you're from Minnesota and cruising in October. Us too! :)

debmomof2
03-27-2010, 05:41 PM
OK - we ended up at BBB because it was a warm day. We really didn't have any problems with it. It was great to sit outside, the view was great, and we really felt that our cruise had begun! There was plenty of room for our few bags at our feet. This was not an issue for us. We did get there early, around 12:30, however, so it was probably less crowded.
Deb

Bookwood
03-28-2010, 06:38 AM
We were a very early boarding number in August (right after "special and consierge" guests) and we were sent to BBB because the line was so long! (It was pouring rain also) The food was ok nothing special but I don't live to eat so I didn't mind. I did want to mention though they had drinks everywhere and brought them to the tables! When the rain stopped some went outside and dried off tables and chairs we just waited to get to the staterooms at some nice tables near our cabins.

CMcruiser
03-28-2010, 09:39 AM
I prefer Parrot Cay for 2 reasons.

The servers bring you your drinks and will get you any refills that you might need.

The other reason is that its a much easier setup to go back and get food. At BBB/Topsider you would have to go back through the line to grab additional non dessert items where at Parrot the buffet is not the first thing people go to when they ebter the restaurant. At BBB/Topsider you go from the entrance right into the food line where at PC you go from the line to your table then to the food line. A much more efficient setup if you ask me.

cyndisun
04-04-2010, 11:07 AM
We prefer eating by the pool. We aren't big eaters so we generally avoid buffets--the salads served at the counters near the pool are fine. We don't bring a ton of carry on luggage so that's not an issue. Plus DS just wants to get the pool first thing. :yay: You can usually get some very good seats near the pool since most people are still at the buffets. Remember to pack your swim suits in your carry on though! :idea:

kandeebunny
04-04-2010, 11:43 AM
We love going up to BBB!!! We enjoy siting outside and watching the water and all the activity on deck. Last time we watched the crew test all the lifeboats as we sat and ate.