CRUISINE

     April 19, 2014

Since there was a polar vortex the past six months in New York, I decided to take a mini-vacation and cruise to the Bahamas. Having been on my fair share of cruises in the past, I knew what to expect: umbrella drinks, sea-sickness, and food. Copious amounts of food would be laid out at all hours of the day, allowing passengers to stuff their faces with everything you could think of. From a 24 hour pizza bar to a Johnny Rockets to a midnight buffet to nightly dinners, I can honestly say I spent 85% of the cruise eating something – which did wonders on my self-confidence when I attempted to wear a tank top in public.

 

When we first arrived on the ship, the upstairs had a buffet-style restaurant known as The Windjammer Café. Here, there were hotdogs, carved meats, and trays and trays of desserts. As mentioned before, there was also a Johnny Rockets on the ship. If you are not familiar with Johnny Rockets, shame on you. This classic 50’s diner themed restaurant has some of the best milkshakes and onion rings around. I don’t want to say I chose this particular ship because there was a Johnny Rockets, but it did have a sizable input.

 

For dinner, we had the 9pm seating, which I preferred because there would be no kids and no seniors. The first night was our “casual” night and we arrived to the dining room promptly at 8:50 to check out the menu and claim our seats early.

Dinner is a pre-set menu with five or six items that change each night. There is also a standard menu with the same four items on it throughout the cruise. The items on this list were pretty safe and boring, for those picky eaters out there.

 

Speaking of picky eaters, my friend who I will refer to as Ricardo for legal reasons, is an extremely picky eater. And when I say “picky” I don’t mean he only eats grass-fed beef or prefers heirloom tomatoes. I mean he eats the same three things for dinner every day, and those things are: hamburgers, chicken tenders, and honey Teddy Grahams. (No, he is not 7). So for his dinner, he played it safe by ordering the burger sliders.

 

For dinner the first night I selected the Spanish cheese plate, which featured one of my favorites, Manchego, accompanied with salami or pepperoni and olives. For my main course I had the N.Y. strip steak with broccoli, asparagus and a baked potato. It was no Outback Steakhouse, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. For dessert I had the apple turnover with vanilla ice cream.

The next day, we went to the private island, called Coco Cay. Not being a fan of the beach (or sand or sun) I was primarily there for the lunch buffet. It featured the basic barbecue type of foods, cheeseburgers, hotdogs, pasta salads, and spare ribs. Even though the food was borderline…cold, I still ate it and enjoyed every bite of the macaroni and cheese.

(Note: do not eat three hotdogs, a hamburger and macaroni and cheese followed by three chocolate chip cookies and then go kayaking).

 

Dinner the second evening was the Captains Dinner, with a dress “suggestion” of formal. The nicest clothes I brought with me was a pair of Gap jeans, so I squeezed them on and prayed no one else at our table would be wearing tuxedos and gowns.

 

Luckily, everyone else at the table was pretty casual with the occasional cummerbund and Pocket Square. Usually on this night, the menu has fancy-food such as Prime Rib, Lobster

Tail and my personal favorite, Escargot. Unfortunately for me, there was no Escargot because of a “world-wide shortage.” Apparently snails are becoming more infertile every day. Trying to not let this ruin the entire evening, I ordered a Caesar salad and the Prime Rib.

 

The last night on the ship was casual-themed as well, so I could wear a t-shirt and shorts, to show off my amazing legs, streaked with red skin. Maybe it was because I was too dried out from the sun to care, or maybe it was the eleven ice cream cones I had before dinner, but I just wasn’t feeling anything on the menu. 

I ordered the Lasagna with no appetizer this time. It was okay. I should have gotten the grilled chicken dish my friend had, but when they went to the restroom, I made sure I took a few bites. For dessert, I had the chocolate cake (I think it had some creative name like “Chocolate Explosion” or “Fudge Supreme” but I can’t remember and our waiter is not returning my phone calls.)

All in all, the food was as good as you would expect on a mediocre cruise line with a chef that has to prepare 3,000 meals in one day. I can honestly say that I gained 4 pounds while on my cruise. (No, I actually did. I weighed myself before and after and it was four pounds.) But it was so much fun and I am glad that I went. I just don’t think I’ll be eating an ice cream cone or wearing a tank top for a long time.