After an interesting day 1, we submitted a request to have our dinning time change from 5:30 fixed early seating to the 8:00 fixed late seating. As I made the phone call first thing after breakfast I did not expect us to have a table ready for us that night. My first complaint of this cruise was how the patter (for those who don't know the patter is the daily newsletter telling you what is going on for the day) was arranged, as the interesting activities overlapped and you had to choose between going to one or the other. I understand that there is a need for crowd control but why not schedule multiple sessions or have the repeated?
Today as in most days we avoided the
grazing buffet and decided to enjoy a more leisurely lunch in the dining room instead
New Zealand Green Shell Mussels - Nice and tasty "Pretty Good" 8/10
Chunky Yellow Split Pea Soup - Nice pea flavour, not overly chunky. 8/10
James Beard's French Toast - Typically only availible on debarkation day in the main dinning room we were rather surprised to find this favorite on the "Brunch" menu. Unfortunately although it was tasty the outside was a little soggy and did not have it's usual crunch. 9/10
Philly Steak Sandwich - The bread was much too tough on the outside and too soft on the inside, a roll would have been a better choice as it was just not a good match. The meat on the other hand was tender and it was not overloaded with onions. Overall as a sandwich it was a failure. 5/10
Fruit Tartlet - Was very fresh and not too sweet, the pastry was too hard. Nothing special about this dessert. 6/10
Singapore Street - Style Beef Satays - Was really looking forward to this as I recently was in Singapore, the peanut sauce was spicy and full of flavour and presentation wise (other than the meat being in thicker slices) was very well done. Unfortunately the beef was much too tough and they should have used a leaner more tender cut of meat. 7/10
Pineapple with Honey-Roasted Pistachios - Pretty simple appetizer, pineapple was surprisingly sweet considering it was only 2 days into our trip. Really didn't find the marscapone memorable or taste any date flavours in it. 6/10
Sea Scallop and Shrimp Cocktail - Spongy and chewy scallops, no taste in the shrimp whatsoever. Best part of this dish was the coleslaw that everything was sitting on. 4/10
Shrimp Bisque with Sweet Potatoes - Tasted like tomato broth, there was no shrimp flavour in the base. 5.5/10
San Francisco-style Cioppino - The cioppiono was overpowered by the tomatoes and had a similar taste to what you would get out of a can. The tomatoes overpowered the various seafood items on the dish and the mussels were tiny, quite disappointing considering the mussels at lunch were much bigger. 4/10
Pan-Fried Pork Chop with Fig Demi-Glace - A nicely cooked huge pork chop, probably close to 2 or 2.5 times what you would get at a regular restaurant. Again did I mention it was cooked nicely and not dried out ! Not really a huge fan of pork chops but this one was decent enough. 7/10
Traditional Key-Lime Pie - Very nice lime flavours, not heavy at all. 8/10
A very nice day at sea with lots of good food. So far none of those mini Tiramisu's from the International Cafe, will keep my eyes open and keep looking.