Brian and I went on a little vacay…okay, a big vacay! We went on a week-long Caribbean cruise to Coco Cay in the Bahamas, St. Thomas USVI, and St. Maarten D/FVI. As you know, one of the main draws of a cruise for a lot of people is the food: the endless, boundless gluttony of food.
So here it is: a week’s worth of cruise ship dinners:
“Pan-seared” pork medallions with mushroom “ragout” and (nutmeg) mashed potatoes. And a broccoli.
Low-fat blueberry and peach cobbler with gratis ice cream.
The Caesar salad was pretty good, but my “pan-seared” pork was a little closer to lightly browned and
finished with 400 other pork loins in the massive ship oven. The mushroom “ragout” was cream of mushroom – they weren’t fooling anyone. And nutmeg in mashed potatoes…in May…in the Caribbean…was a little off-putting, as was the one limp stalk of broccoli bravely staked out in it’s green stamp. The low-fat (a description that was emphasized ad nasuem) blueberry and peach cobbler was probably my second favorite dessert of the entire trip, although the added scoop of vanilla ice cream certainly negated any healthful properties that dessert possessed.
Shrimp cocktail and lobster bisque.
“Filet” of beef with mashed potatoes and 2 mushroom caps.
Grand Marnier/Amaretto souffle with “enough” sauce.
Formal night: creme de la creme. And I loves me some shrimp cocktail. And thank God our server (who was already beginning to grate at this point) had the sense NOT to dump the cocktail sauce all over my shrimp, but gave me a glop on the plate beside the shrimp. And what is it with these people and the nutmeg? Although it added a nice kick to the bisque. I was looking forward to the filet of beef: the nicely caramelized outside you cut through to a warm and deliciously tender center. Except this filet was 2 SLICES from a hunk of meat, meaning minimal caramelized outside goodness. Le sigh. I also happen to love a souffle, although our waiter seemed to think Grand Marnier and Amaretto were the same things…and proceeded to give me two scoops of sauce, because when
I asked him to stop at one he thought it wasn’t enough.
Risotto with scallops, Caprese salad.
Lamb shank with mashed potatoes, diced potatoes, carrots and celery.
Warm chocolate cake accompanied by a strawberry sundae.
The risotto was good – but my scallops are better. The Caprese salad was good because Caprese salad is just good. The entree was also good, but I happen to love lamb and mashed potatoes (sans nutmeg). And dessert was…meh. And you can guess why the cake came with a scoop of strawberry ice cream smothered in sugary strawberries. Because chocolate cake clearly screams for a strawberry sundae accompaniment instead of something like, say, VANILLA ice cream (which is what I asked for, but it was revealed that our server didn’t care to go to the kitchen to get it and just so happened to have the makings of a strawberry sundae nearby.)
Caesar salad spears and a shrimp and crab cake.
6 oz filet with baked potato, creamed spinach, and sauteed mushrooms.
Croissant bread pudding.
The food was clearly the best this night, with the service matching. I loved the presentation of the Caesar salad spears: long romaine lettuce leaves topped with the dressing, croutons, and cheese. The filet was fantastic, the sides great, and dessert fabulous!
Spinach salad and a crab cake.
Sugar-free fruit “pillow.”
The crab cake was described perfectly by our table-mate, Diane as “deviled” crab cakes – exactly what they were. The pork loin was actually pretty good, although the fruit “pillows” totally and completely lame.
Mushroom puff pastry and Caesar salad.
Another formal night, this time with lobsters (which, incidentally, I just read a hilarious anecdote about in the book Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously. This book is a food blogger’s hidden dream come true.) It must be said: this was maybe the worst food of the trip. You can’t impress me by just flinging down a lobster tail. I’m not going to ignore the tasteless ice cream scoop mound of rice, underdone broccoli, and blanched baby carrots because you taunt me with a crustaceous vehicle for butter. At least bring me a baked potato that I can suffocate with various dairy products. And your flour less chocolate dollop isn’t so decadent that it can tempt me without some beautiful cream to cut it’s richness. Where do you think we are, CANCUN?! (yes, Alison…that was soley for you).
I decided against dessert to assert my snobbery and Cancun-i-ness.
Caesar salad, spinach dip, and shrimp cocktail.
Turkey with mashed potatoes and stuffing.
Key lime pie.
We were warned by Brian’s dad and stepmother the first night to expect “Tom Turkey” the last night. But I just so’s happen to love turkey, so I quite enjoyed it and the trimmings (although there wasn’t enough gravy. There never is…) And the key lime pie? Best dessert of the cruise, and fitting since it was the last morsels to leave the proverbial taste in our mouth as we left our cruise.
I am quite happy to report that I only gained 1 pound on the ship. Of course, this may have something to do with the fact that I am basically a stick of butter and eat so much normally that this was almost par for the course.