Sadly, this is the last installment of the post-cruise recap. Next week we are back to more local adventures. Meanwhile… It is no secret that I had been dreaming of the almond croissants aboard Seabourn ships from the minute we booked. The food is one of the reasons this cruise was so appealing. After all, we did basically the same cruise ten months ago, so the itinerary was not the draw here, it was the ship and the eats.
There are four dining venues onboard: The Restaurant, Restaurant 2, Patio Grill and The Colonnade. Plus, room service and snacks at the coffee bar in
Seabourn Square. Un-creative names aside, each venue serves delicious fare. Our first stop after boarding was The Colonnade, where lunch was set up. Typically for breakfast and lunch there is a buffet with salads, cheeses, smoked fish, breads and some hot entrees. You can also order from the menu: eggs at breakfast (or lamb chops, if that is your thing), and burgers and the like for lunch. Embarkation and debarkation are the only times The Colonnade was crowded, as this was really the only place for everyone to go. We enjoyed a light lunch, loads of champagne and good conversation with new friends. The cruise was off to a good start.
Though The Restaurant is a popular place for dinner, it is not so popular for breakfast and lunch. They are not open for lunch on most port days, but on the few occasions we made it in for either meal, we were delighted by wonderful service, very good food, and a truly relaxing, quiet atmosphere. Of course the highlight of lunch in The Restaurant is the Galley Lunch. The entire kitchen staff go to great lengths for this special afternoon. There are cold salads set up along the back of the main restaurant with seafood, gazpacho shots, cheeses, breads, and, of course, salads. The center of the room is reserved for desserts, and there are many. But the star of the show, of course, is the giant buffet that snakes all the way though the kitchen. Guests are welcomed to the galley with a shot of vodka, or Aquavit (my choice), and from there onto the fondue station (Note: Eat the fondue while you are in line; it saves room on your plate), the chilled seafood station with shrimp, crab legs and more. As you meander through there i no shortage of
pastas, paella, lamb, a carving station with a whole pig, and even sushi. One of the food highlights for me was the perfectly crisp fish and chips (although I skipped the chips in favor of sushi.)
Dinners at The Restaurant are equally special. We enjoyed a table for two on some nights, while others we dined with people we had not yet met, and one night with a member of the entertainment staff. Each meal is a multi-course feast. I did hear some folks complain that the portion sizes are too small, and that I say: Yes, they are small. I happen to like that, because it means I
can have more courses. On the other hand, if you just want a giant plate of lamb chops, well, you just need to ask.
Restaurant 2 is a reservation-only, set menu dinner. The red furnishings immediately evoke a sense of intimacy, and the warm service makes everyone feel comfortable. Although the menus are set, they do ask if you have any allergies prior to dining. After all, death by duck seems like an incredibly bad way to go. It is an experience, and although I am sure there are those that do not enjoy, it is worthwhile to try while aboard. (Hey, there is no extra charge for any dining venue, so you really have nothing to lose. Plus, it is good!)
Perhaps the biggest surprise to me was the Patio Grill. Located adjacent to the pool, on sea days it was quite crowded at lunch
time. Not only is the location convenient, but it is open far longer than any of the other lunching places. The gyro lunch day was a standout, and the swordfish skewers in particular were delicious. Again, in addition to the buffet, you could also get made to order food, such as perfectly cooked burgers.
The other side to the Patio Grill is dinner. On our last cruise we did not have dinner there at all, preferring the other choices. We missed out. First of all, most nights we had glorious weather (it rained most days, at least it was nice out at dinner time!) and dining al fresco was just delightful. Second of all, so few people eat here, that they are serving a maximum of about fifty people per night. That means all of your food is cooked to order just at the right time, and served piping hot from the grill just a few feet away. The service is friendly, but flawless. Appetizers and salads are served buffet style, so our preferred method of eating became picking out apps we wanted to start. Once done, we moved on to ordering a pasta (the pastas here were some of
the best I have had anywhere… ). By the time we finished the pasta, we could assess if we had any room left for a main (who were we kidding?). Meats were grilled to perfection, and the chef was able to interact with passengers, making it one of our favorite dining experiences onboard.
Haven’t had enough? Do you want to see what the actual menus for each day looked like? No problem, just click here. If you have any questions, simply leave them in the comments section below and I will gladly answer them. Now go grab a snack, you must be starving.