TRIP: Fine Dining on the Cruise 2014

Without a doubt one of my favorite ways to travel is by cruise. Often times cruises get a bad rap it's either a bunch of old people, or a party boat full of kids or people getting sick. And yes those things happen but that completely overlooks the best parts of this type of vacation: Super relaxing (internet is too expensive you're forced to unplug), meeting new people, seeing a bunch of destinations without hurrying through airports, super customer service and of course let's not forget the food.

This time around we're taking a cruise visiting Northern Europe and Russia. As I mentioned last post we started in Amsterdam and are currently blazing through Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. It's the longest cruise I've taken but so far the days are flying by. I'll post some highlights along the way.

Day one we took advantage of the discount on the "premium" restaurant and booked a seat at the "Oceanliner". On each of the cruises I've taken in the past the boat usually has one or two "premium" restaurants that they charge you a bit more for a really top shelf dining experience. You'll see the classic busboys with the heavy silver trays holding up dishes and a small army of waiters simultaneous unveiling dishes for large tables of patrons. This was a little more pricey than I remembered at $40 per person (with the discount) it's usually like $20 maybe inflation has caught up with me. Either way it was a great meal to start off our vacation.

We kicked off dinner with an amuse bouche of pureed butternut squash and shrimp (upper left). For our first course I got the braised pork belly (left) and my wife got the salmon terrine with two kinds of caviar.

My wife opted for the spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette and I got the porcini mushroom risotto.

The Lobster was finished tableside by the waiter the sauce was a mushroom cognac brandy sauce.

My chateaubriand was also done tableside for other guests but I guess we only get one show per table. The steak was perfect medium rare served with a red wine reduction and a classic béarnaise sauce.

For dessert I opted for one of each of the cheeses under the big glass dome. The chef came by and visited with us telling us about the ingredients and the operations/logistics of ordering and provisioning (not easy on a huge ship with a bunch of hungry people on a 12 night cruise).

My wife did gravitate towards something sweet so a nice raspberry sorbet to finish up the meal her. We had a great time I highly recommend giving the fine dining option a try if you ever get on a cruise.

Ok we're at sea tomorrow and it's formal night I can't wait to see what they serve.


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