Lunching in Luxury: The Colonnade Aboard Seabourn Odyssey

Clearly, I’m overdue for a post.

Well you’re in luck because today I had the pleasure of lunching in The Colonnade aboard the luxurious Seabourn Odyssey cruise ship while she was docked in Port Everglades!  You can think of The Colonnade as an abbreviated version of the lido/buffet on other more contemporary cruise lines, like Carnival.  It’s smaller-scale, but also noticeably tastier!  It’s not often that a Seabourn ship visits South Florida, so I was super excited to sample.

Since I approached the hot food station first, I actually started off my meal with an entree plate instead of appetizers.  Here’s the salmon with bok choi (though if you ask me, I’m not so sure I recognized the bok choi there… ), with curried cauliflower and roasted pumpkin on the side.  Note the very nice presentation of the salmon and veggies!  FYI, the placement of the veggies was done by yours truly, as I was inspired by the rest of the plate.

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The salmon was delicious… Continue reading

New Orleans Day Two, Part One: Lunch on the Carnival Dream Cruise Ship

After sleeping in on day two of my Southern adventure, the morning began with a one mile stroll from the hotel to the Port of New Orleans, where the Carnival Dream was docked alongside the Mississippi River.  That’s right, time for lunchin’ onboard another Carnival cruise ship!

On today’s menu: Indian, Pizza, and also… dessert!  Only select ships within the Carnival fleet offer an Indian station on Lido (i.e. buffet area), and since it’s one of my favorite lunch spots, I was super glad that I was onboard one that did.  Once onboard, I made a beeline for the Indian station, which surprisingly is a relatively empty one (likely because it’s tucked away toward the back of the deck), and started piling on the butter chicken, corn, rice, and naan.

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After I was done consuming round one… Continue reading

Four-Course Lunch in The Black Crab on MSC Divina

Dining on a cruise ship is the best!  Today’s adventure… the MSC Divina out of the Port of Miami!  Italian-style cruising, somewhat similar to what Costa Cruises offers.

I experienced a four-course (really, five-course) lunch in The Black Crab dining room.  I’d ordinarily tell you about my tour, but since I’m exhausted from spending nearly a day onboard and in the sun — the sun really saps my energy — I’ll just cut to the chase and show you some pictures from my culinary adventures.

First up, the appetizer… Smoked Salmon Roll with chive cheese mousse filling.  The “chive cheese” was only a little piece of chive garnish atop the plate.  Also, what’s the difference between “cheese mousse” and cream cheese?!  The dollops of sauce in the foreground were tasty though… kind of like Big Mac sauce.  Not sure what the green veggies in the back were, as they weren’t mentioned on the menu… I’d rate this plate an okay-fine.

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Next up, the soup… Ca’ppuccino, cream of Porcini mushroom soup topped with frothed milk, served with a mini cumin croissant.

Continue reading

A Taste of Italy on the Costa Mediterranea

Those of you that have been reading my blog likely know by now that food is the way to my heart.  And I am always open to and appreciative of a good ethnic meal.

Luckily, I got to experience an authentic piece of Italy today, onboard an authentic (and gorgeous) Italian cruise ship — the Costa Mediterranea!  My morning began with a nice frothy cup of cappuccino — and great service to go along with it.  So good so far.  After a three-hour walking tour of the ship, I had the privilege of having lunch onboard in one of the ship’s main dining rooms.

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Like any good Italian meal, this meal started off with antipasti.  Prosciutto crudo e Grana Padano con bruschetta al pomodoro.  Translation: Raw ham and Grana Padano cheese with tomato “bruschetta.”  (I had the privilege of walking through the galley of the Mediterranea earlier and saw the chefs carving the chunks of cheese out of a humongous cheese wheel, so had been mentally drooling and super eager to try this appetizer.) Continue reading

Carnival Glory Cruise Day 7: Second Sea Day

We’ve almost come full circle now — well… I guess technically the ship has sailed around the Caribbean in more of a pointed oval — and after just one more full day at sea, we’ll have returned back to Miami, FL.  Time to take advantage of all the ship has to offer, including the Serenity adult only area — no kids running around and making noise, yay! — the live production shows, and of course my (balcony) cabin!

And let’s not forget the food…

I started the last day off at the Seaday Brunch, after sleeping in of course.

Hey Pork Chop.  Flame roasted, double cut thick pork chop is topped with caramelized onion, served with green beans and carrots.

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Rating:  Good.  Very super tasty, but not too heavy and not too much in terms of quantity.  That may look like a buttload of onions, but I assure you their taste did not overpower the rest of the dish.  And look, I’m eating my fair share of veggies too!  Trying to be somewhat healthy, tee hee.  (Who am I kidding?  Look at that puddle of gorgonzola cream on the side… mwahahaha…)

At 3:00p on the dot, the activities calendar led me to Tea Time, which I wasn’t expecting on a Carnival ship (but would on a Princess or Holland America ship).  I’m all about new and interesting things, so I stopped by.

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Green tea — with milk! — with mini desserts.  That powdered white thing above is a scone (fine).  Chocolate macaroon (okay) to the right of that.  Sweet-cornbready thing (fine) to the left.  FYI, my “fine” ratings are based on the fact that the desserts were sweet but not overly so.  Like!  Sadly, no finger sandwiches were served.  Too fancy, probably.  About 30ish people attended the afternoon tea, and we were all seated/spread over a few large tables.

Continue on to read about what I feasted on for dinner!   Continue reading

Carnival Glory Cruise Day 6: Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

Grand Turk… the last port of call on this Carnival Glory voyage.  Grand Turk was actually the only port of the four that I had visited previously, so I wasn’t super highly motivated to do a shore excursions on land.  I ended up spending most of the day shopping in port — one of my favorite activities!  Afterwards, I stopped by the gorgeous beach, with clear, blue-green waters and warm sand, lined with bright green palm trees, that was literally right in front of the ship!

Dinner in the evening featured the second of two cruise elegant nights.  Time for an American Feast!

Day 6: Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos
Dinner: American Feast, cruise elegant

Appetizer(s)
Chesapeake Crab Cake: Herb remoulade

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Rating: Good, pretty tasty.  FYI, crab is one of my favorite types of seafood, especially blue crab.

Four Season Salad: Lettuce, corn, cucumber, tomato

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Rating: Below average.  The salad was fresh, but seemingly unadorned.  What it lacked was some volume.  Obviously, it didn’t live up to my expectations.  Also, the turnips arrived unannounced and uninvited.

Keep reading for the main course — or courses?! — of this second cruise elegant night!   Continue reading

Carnival Glory Cruise Day 5: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Late nights like tonight call for short posts.  So, quickly… before I fall asleep at the computer…

Next stop of the cruise… San Juan, Puerto Rico!  It was very nice to walk around town, actually, in Old San Juan and right along the water.  Old San Juan was filled with historic, colorful buildings that kind of reminded me of an old downtown area.  Essentially what the area is anyway.  I walked up quite an appetite and was totally ready for dinner after boarding the ship in the late afternoon.  Got plenty of Vitamin D during the day, and was now ready for some other nutrients!

Day 5: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Dinner: American Table, cruise casual

Appetizer(s)
Beef Carpaccio: Shaved parmesan, vinaigrette

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Rating: Below average-no.  Beef Carpaccio is really good if done right, but that definitely wasn’t the case here.  This seemed kind of mushy.  The texture was just off… and I probably wouldn’t order it again on a cruise ship.

Escargots Bourguignonne: Burgundy snails, garlic butter

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Rating: Fine.  I’m pretty use to having this on a cruise ship (and in restaurants), so the novelty has kind of worn off.  Yummy nonetheless, though wish my snails were more plump.

Keep reading for more appetizers and most importantly… dessert!   Continue reading

Carnival Glory Cruise Day 4: St. Thomas, USVI

The cruise — and thus the eating — continues.  On day 4, the Glory stopped in St. Thomas, the port I was most looking forward to during the entire trip!  I’ve heard the scenery’s beautiful and the shopping’s great, and was disappointed on neither counts.

Speaking of St. Thomas, fun fact for you… There are four main islands that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands: St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, and Water Island.  The capital of the USVI is Charlotte Amalie, which is located on St. Thomas.

Anyhoo, I spent my day in St. Thomas touring the hilly island via air-conditioned shuttle — thank goodness for air conditioning! — a shore excursion coordinated via Carnival Cruise Lines, and of course, shopping!  Afterwards, I re-boarded the ship and got ready for dinner in the evening.  After all that activity during the day, I had worked myself up quite an appetite!

Day 4: St. Thomas
Dinner: American Table, cruise casual

Appetizers
Braised Ox Tongue: Onion marmalade

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Rating: Fine.  A bit tough, but still tasty.  And novel!

I also had the Ceviche (marinated redfish fillets and shrimp with fresh lime juice, cilantro, chilies), but that was so unphotogenic that I just didn’t take a picture of it.  It was also kind of sitting in liquid, which was slightly unpleasant.  It reminded me of the ceviche I’ve had at Fish & Chips, possibly a bit worse, except placed on a small white serving plate instead of in a small plastic cup.  Rating… below average.

Entreé
Shrimp Curry: Sauteed shrimp in a Caribbean curry sauce with chilies and tropical fruit.  Served with pilaf rice.

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Rating: Okay.  Didn’t really have anything negative to say about this.  Nor anything positive.  I guess the sauce was fairly tasty.  Not unexpected from curry in general though.

Dessert
And here’s what I had for dessert.  I don’t remember what it was called, but it kind of reminded me of a cinnamon roll in bread form, with sweet dipping sauces on the side.  Sugar overload for sure!  I’d give it an okay-fine.

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Carnival Glory Cruise Day 3: First Day at Sea

One of my favorite parts of full days at sea is the Seaday Brunch!  That’s right, no need to get up early to catch the breakfast rush before heading off the ship, into port.  I get to sleep in late, then go to what I think is probably the best meal of the entire cruise… Seaday Brunch!

I started my morning off right, with some protein… Huevos Rancheros.  Chicken quesadilla, topped with fried eggs, manchego cheese, and mucho más Mexican flavors and other words you wouldn’t understand.  Description courtesy of the actual menu.

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Rating: Fine.  The main portion was fine, but the salsa and mole — I think mole — weren’t too awesome.  And I couldn’t really tell what those little fried balls were.  Either way, they weren’t great and remained on my plate for the duration of the meal.

Right around lunchtime, I went to a cooking demo that took place in the steakhouse aboard the Glory, where I got to sample some prepared foods while watching chefs in the kitchen do their thing.  Mushroom cappuccino, baby leaf spinach and fresh mushrooms, boiled supreme of free range chicken, and tiramisu.  My favorite was probably the dessert — though I’m not usually a dessert fanatic —  since it tasted subtly rich, if you know what I mean… rich, but in a subtle way.  Plus, it was quite photogenic.

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Overall, all was fine except for the baby leaf spinach and fresh mushrooms.  I mean, a few leaves of spinach and a few mushrooms isn’t really anything to jump up and down about…

Keep reading for what I had later in the afternoon at the Taste Bar and afterwards at dinner… the first of two cruise elegant nights featuring American Table!   Continue reading

Carnival Glory Cruise Day 2: Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

Remote private island surrounded by calm, cool, refreshing blue-green waters and warm, semi-grainy off-white sand.  Relaxed yet?  Well, I bet you’d be even more so if you were actually standing on the beaches of Half Moon Cay, a private island (owned by Holland America Line) in the Bahamas.

On day two of my week-long Carnival cruise. I stopped there for the day, toured the island, and dined at an afternoon BBQ, open to all cruisers.  Here are two quick snaps I took of the main entree and dessert lines.  Didn’t stay too long because it was super hot outside, so just grabbed a couple samples and headed back to the ship.

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And here’s what was on par for dinner.

Day 2: Port Day at Half Moon Cay
Dinner: American Table, cruise casual

Appetizer
Braised Rabbit: Garlic, Red Wine

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Rating: Good.  Yes, this little flavorful delicacy gets a good from me!  Plenty tasty and the pastry was pretty flaky too.  Presents nicely.

Entreé
Junkanoo Pot: Nassau hosts the largest Junkanoo street parade in the Bahamas.  Shrimp, calamari, and chicken combined in a tropical sauce with pineapple and peppers, you gotta try it.

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Rating: Okay-fine.  This gets novelty points since I’ve never had it before, but I wasn’t super impressed with the quality of seafood nor rice.  If I remember correctly, at least the sauce was flavorful.