The Dish on The Mariners Galley

By Drew Miller

Student opinion varies on the quality and content of the various offerings The Mariner’s Galley provides for College of Coastal Georgia.

 The Crow’s Nest interviewed a cross section of students during various dining hours on what their take on their dining experience within The Mariner’s Galley has been.

 “The menu options are fair and balanced,” said Business major Lane Silva. “The staff does an excellent job with keeping the options well rounded, considering the menu never repeats itself. Most days, the options are spot on, and fewer days they are questionable. The food consistently stays within the B range as far as rating systems are concerned.”

“I think the staff is extraordinarily kind and friendly. The menu options definitely suit student dietary needs for the most part,” Business major Chris Humphry added to Silva’s statement.

On the other side of the spectrum, student Matt Vey begs to differ. 

“They have this uncanny ability to somehow manage ruining some of the simplest menu items,” Vey said “They could ruin the easiest dishes without much effort.

“They made a grilled cheese including Granny-Smith Apples within. Why? It tasted like wood pulp,” Vey lamented. “The first few stations in the queue are too eclectic for most students, but at the heart of the cafeteria rests the salad and pizza bars. Within this heart, it is impossible for any chef or cook to commit any evil.” 

Psychology major Andrej Tomic agrees with Vey’s sentiments.

“You arrive in the dining hall and are greeted by friendly and seemingly accommodating staff, but one constant is that the food is always lacking on the weekends. It looks like half of what is made is barely even touched.

“All in all, we are all dealing with our preconceived school cafeteria experiences,” Tomic continued. “[Chartwells] does the best they can, but many aspects can be improved upon.” 

One major area for improvement students have voiced concerns about is the restroom situation.( See article Cafeteria Design Flaw) Students must leave the dining hall before reaching their place of refuge. Problems arise with this fact given that all students must check in with a front desk agent before proceeding into the dining hall. No payment, no go.  

Daniel “Sunshine” Rush remarks with a wink and nod cloaked in a air of facetiousness, “The Mariners Galley is the third best option on campus. It is great.” 

 Simultaneously, nearby diner sophomore Alyssa Keeve nods her head in agreement as she removes a fruit fly from her beverage. Rush acknowledges this moment, and adds, “The silverware and cups are continually caked in what is considered gnarly.” 

“I feel the main issue outside of food quality and presentation is how chaotic the lines can get during dining rush hours,” said American Studies major Bryan Merritt.

“Students constantly cut one another off, and there is a complete lack of order,” Merrit continued.

The dichotomy of opinions comprise a sliding scale balanced between negative and positive. Students offer testimony, but hardly any solutions.

When options are varied and numerous, it is easier to get caught up in the minutia of testimonies and opinion rather than activate the brain capacity we all use while sitting through our classes. 

Secretary of Student Government and Business administration Major Kristopher Harper serves as a master conduit of Mariner vox populi , providing the most spot on information for the Mariner’s voice on campus considering his position within Student Affairs. 

“The resounding feeling of Mariners regarding the cafeteria experience is that food quality is good as a whole,” Harper said. “Yet, one concern many students voice is the lack of a well-rounded menu that includes those students with dietary restrictions; i.e. gluten-free or vegetarian options.

“Aside from problems within the menu, students would definitely like to see better hours during the holiday seasons. Not all students go home and stay within the dorms,” he added. “They should have the option of utilizing the Mariners Galley while away from their families.”

Through the course of these interviews, solutions arrived. 

The Mariner’s Galley website offers daily menus and a calorie intake calculator for each menu item. This way each student is able to plan and maintain their own caloric schedule whilst dealing with the matched perils and epiphanies of their studies.   

 Students can monitor and the daily menus offered to plan their meals. Planning food intake is just as crucial as planning studies and sleep schedules. Harper noted that the Mariners App does not have the full functionality in regard to menu accessibility. Until that problem is addressed, students will have better luck going to the actual website.

With these varied student opinions some facts remain. Chartwells employees are providing breakfast, lunch and dinner for thousands of students daily. Whereas the food options are numerous, the quality certainly will not match that of your mother’s home cooking given she is cooking for just a few people.

Chartwells provides an area under CCGA’s Mariners Galley website for student feedback. Students can utilize this feature to voice their opinions and recommendations for the school cafeteria.

Broaden your horizons. Opt for the road less traveled. When confronted with typical fare, try the shorter lines in the serving area. You may discover culinary gold. College is all about broadening your horizons. Your pallet should be expanded as well. 

Nothing on the menu that you like at the Mariner’s Galley? Use you Mariner Access Card at the Dockside Deli at either the Brunswick or Camden campuses. 

Continue the conversation on social media. Tweet us with questions, comments, and concerns @ccga_crowsnest using hastag #marinersgalley.