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Cruise Day 2 – Dinner

October 1, 2012

One thing you can be certain about when cruising is that at least one of the nights on the cruise will be the ship’s official Formal Night, if not twice or three times during the course of a cruise.  This is a night where everyone is supposed to dress formally for a certain occasion, sometimes for the Captain’s Gala or the Chef’s Dinner.  It’s basically an excuse to dress up (if you want) and have fun.  For me, I enjoy formal night because it’s very rare, unless I’m going to a wedding, that I get the chance to dress up just for fun.  And hey, us girls, sometimes just like to dress up and feel pretty.  The second night of our cruise was the first of two Formal Nights on our cruise.  This was the Captain’s Gala where we all had the chance to meet the Captain, if we wanted to.

Most of the time, on Formal Night, you can look forward to some of the best food you’ll be treated to on a cruise.  Afterall, it’s the Captain’s Gala and they want to impress the guests.

As we sat down at our table, we were presented with the menus for the night.  Here is the Vitality and Alternative Selections menu.

The Staters menu for the night had some appetizing selections.  I should clarify what I mentioned earlier about having some of the best food on the cruise during Formal Night, I guess this is a subjective opinion.  It’s probably more accurate to say that some of the most gourmet meals of the entire cruise will be served during Formal Night, so if you like eating gourmet, and sometimes exotic, foods, this is probably the night that you’d enjoy the most.

And here is the entrée menu.  I zeroed in on a selection right away while my husband vacillated between a couple of choices.

To start the meal, I chose the oxtail broth.  However, from the menu to what was brought to my table, I didn’t see the cheese twist.  Maybe it was me?  But the soup was decent, nothing too spectacular about it.  I didn’t taste the sherry in it, but for me, that’s a good thing.  This soup tasted and resembled a basic beef broth rather than anything else.

My husband surprised me and ordered the lobster bisque.  He’d never had lobster bisque before, and actually isn’t the biggest fan of lobster, but he figured this was his opportunity to try something different.  As soon as he tasted it, he said that it was really rich and you could definitely taste the lobster.  I took a sample of the soup, and you’re right, certainly rich and filling.

Caesar salad was my safe choice for a salad.  But, if you know me, you know I absolutely love caesar salad, and I generally don’t pass up an opportunity to order it.  This cruise was no different, I must have ordered caesar salad at least 4 nights of this cruise.  I thought that they did a really nice job with the caesar dressing on the cruise; it was not too thick, and not too watery.  The taste perfectly coated the romaine and worked well with the other ingredients.

My husband discovered a new favorite dish on the cruise, escargots bourguignonne.  I couldn’t believe it.  He had said before we went on the cruise that he wasn’t going to try escargot.  Then he looked at the menu, and much like the lobster bisque said, “what the heck!” and went for it!  I couldn’t believe it.  When it was brought out to the table, he took a look at the dish, stabbed an escargot and then exclaimed about how delicious it was.  He spent the rest of the night, and several other nights of the cruise, raving over how fantastic the escargot was.  If they had offered it again on another night, he would have ordered it in a heartbeat.

Filet of beef was my dinner choice for the night.  It was also the Chef’s signature selection, so I figured it couldn’t go wrong with it.  Served with a green peppercorn sauce and creamy whipped potatoes, how could I, as a meat and potatoes girl say no.  And I will say, it was really delicious.  The beef was super tender and the green peppercorn sauce flavorful.  And I certainly devoured the mashed potatoes.  The only thing not eaten on my plate was the mushrooms and the spring of rosemary!

To continue the “surprise” theme of the night, my husband chose the roasted duck for his entrée.  He figured if this was going to be a night for him to try new things, he might as well continue the theme.  While he’s had duck before, he’s only had it prepared Chinese-style.  When the duck was brought out to the table, it was such a huge portion!  We both thought that the duck portion would be half of what it was.  And since it was still on the bone, trying to cut away the meat was a bit cumbersome.  But, my husband said it was good.  And I can attest to the fact that golden brown croquettes were pretty good.

After an already filling meal, there was still dessert to contend with.  I wasn’t about to be deterred though.  There was one particular dessert I always look forward to on a cruise, and it was going to be on tonight’s menu, so I needed to make sure to leave room for it.  What is this dessert?  Souffle.  I absolutely love souffle, and tonight’s selection was bittersweet chocolate souffle with an espresso sauce.  Since I had asked our waiter the night before about when we would be getting souffle on the cruise, he didn’t even have to ask me for my selection since he already knew what I wanted!  It was so yummy.  Brought out to the table hot out of the oven and looking amazing.  The waiter took my dessert spoon, poked a hole in the middle of my souffle and then spooned in some of the amazing espresso sauce.  It was dessert heaven for me.  The bittersweet chocolate pairing with the not-too-sweet espresso sauce was the perfect combination.  I was a happy camper!

To prove to me that he didn’t think souffles were all that special, my husband ordered something different from me for dessert.  He opted for the night’s other featured dessert, which was double strawberry cheesecake.  Of course, my husband loved the cheesecake.  It’s hard not to love a cheesecake that looks that good!

We both accompanied our desserts with a cup of vanilla ice cream.  Hey, if you’re going to be bad, you might as well be bad.

I’m certainly not going to end up going hungry on this cruise.  Although, I think with the amount of food available at the various venues, it’s probably a little tough for something like that to happen!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2012 6:16 am

    Sounds like you and your husband enjoyed the formal meal. It is nice that your husband tried and liked new dishes.

  2. leumas permalink
    October 3, 2012 11:06 pm

    Top shelf on the escargots.

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