October 07, 2007


Some more on the cruise:

Everyone knows that cruises involve food--lots and lots and lots of food. This cruise was no exception. There was, indeed, plenty of opportunities to eat. Every night there's a sit-down dinner (this information is for the non-cruisers). You can request the early seating (main seating) which is at..I don't know--not at 8:30 which is the late seating. We are obviously late seaters. You are assigned a table where you will eat for the rest of the cruise. Hopefully the people at your table are nice. Ours were. Well, 2 out of the 4 were. One was just really, really weird, and the other was his rather innocuous mother. The dinner is a real affair--menus, table service, the whole nine yards. The food is almost always delicious. I say almost always because I had an encounter with some quail that nearly made me cry. Fortunately our waiter brought me some steak (you get the same waiter every night too). Let's just say that when you order something and your waiter indicates that it's probably not a good idea, he's usually right.

There's also a sit-down lunch in the restaurant but we only ate there once. We usually did lunch upstairs in the casual dining area. This is an area of the boat that's devoted to eating and swimming (which we didn't do). There are all kinds of buffets and things to eat--we tended to eat at the hamburger and hot dog bar and I did the pizza thing several times. You could also get sandwiches and various other buffet-type items (carved roast beef, for example, or salad). We ate up there in the mornings as well, at the waffle and pancake bar. The waffles were heavenly--made right there before your very eyes with all sorts of accoutrements. I was partial to the melted butter and cinnamon and sugar mix. Add to that an unending supply of bacon and you've pretty much got Shelby in heaven. I had lots of bacon. Lots and lots and lots of bacon. The eating was, as you might imagine, quite hedonistic. Kevin and I had an unspoken agreement that we weren't going to point out things while eating, such as, "I think you've got an entire pound of bacon there" and "is a fourth serving of bacon really a good idea?" In turn, I refrained from commenting about Kevin's dessert selections. That's what makes our marriage so strong.

There is also a "special restaurant" aboard. The special restaurant requires reservations and is also a sit-down affair. It costs an additional $30 per person (all the other food is included) which sounds kind of silly given the amount of money you've paid to go on the cruise itself, but believe me, it is MORE than worth it. You are doted on at every turn by a number of waiters and the food is different than the menus you get in the regular restaurant. Additionally, they prepare things at your table (to the extent that they can. Sometimes "prepare things" means "cuts them up and puts them on a plate"). We went to the special restaurant twice. The first time we had the wine pairing menue--a fixed menu paired with carefully selected wines. Wonderful. Among other things we had a goat cheese souffle and a rack of lamb cooked in a puff pastry. And I'll eat pretty much anything in a puff pastry.

Our second visit we chose off of the individual menu. It was tough because we wanted to try different things, but we couldn't resist a repeat performance of the chocolate souffle. My second entree was a roasted duck (quack quack) and let me tell you--it was the best duck I have ever had in my entire life. And I don't say that lightly. I'm a critic when it comes to food, but this duck was fabulous.

Everyone has asked us about a midnight buffet. Unlike days of old, cruises don't really have a bigass buffet every night at midnight. Toward the end of the cruise they did do a Grand Buffet and let me tell you, it was grand. First they let you in to take pictures (that's how Grand it is) and then you can eat. The unfortunate thing is that if you have the late seating at dinner, we didn't leave the table until 10:00 or 10:30 some nights after chatting, and then the Grand Buffet started again at like 11:15. Basically we went, took pictures, and went to bed. I think they probably just shoved all of that food into the ocean--it was way too much for anyone to eat at that hour.

So I think that about wraps up the food. There was a lot. We ate it. It was good. Also, bacon.

Posted by Shelby at October 7, 2007 06:26 PM
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