Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cruise 2012: Endless Eats

Where do I even begin when describing to you my culinary experience on the Carnival Dream?  First, a brief look at the many dining options.
  • Gathering: This is the main buffet section located on the Lido Deck.   Multiple sections included a theme section that changed daily (Italian, American, Caribbean, French), Tandoor Grill (Indian), Mongolian, Make Your Own Pasta, Salad Bar, Pizza, Grill (hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries), Fruit, Frozen Yogurt, and Desserts.  Breakfast was also served in this area and was probably my greatest disappointment on the food front.  Choices included omelets, eggs, multiple greasy meats, yogurt (filled with HFCS), pancakes, fruit, and sugary cereals.  By the end of the week we were all missing our usual whole grains and fresh berries.
  • Wasabi Sushi Bar: Each night from 5-8pm they served snack plates of fresh sushi.  Each plate featured 3 unique pieces along with a mix of sides (Japanese applesauce, aoili, pickles, ginger, and wasabi).  Combined with a cocktail, it was the perfect plate to wet our appetites before heading to the dining room.
  • Crimson Dining Room: We elected the 6pm reserved dining and enjoyed waterfront dining each evening.  The nightly menu featured several items that were always available and then a separate page of appetizers and entrees that changed nightly.  On the daily menu there were 6-8 appetizers, an equal number of entrees, and 3-4 desserts to select from.  I was impressed with the variety and complexity of the entrees, as well the inclusion of a vegetarian selection each night.
Without further ado, let's get to the food!  I'll let the pictures do most of talking.

Lunch Buffet Day 1:  My favorite way of dining - lots of little bites.  The Indian entrees and fresh salad were a hit!

Baked Corvina and an Assortment of Steamed Veggies

Vegetarian Chile Relleno, Mexican Rice, and Veggies

Caribbean Buffet Lunch
A huge salad full of fresh veggies, falafel, chickpea masala, coconut bread, and a sampling of desserts.

Mom and I all cleaned up and ready to enjoy dinner

Herbed Parmesan Polenta and Mushroom Ragout

Warm Cinnamon Raisin Date Cake and Rum Raisin Ice Cream

Lunch at the Mayan Ruins
Marinated Farm Raised Chicken (thankfully not the iguana they initially said they were serving),
Rice and Beans, Slaw, Salad, and Watermelon.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

White Fish, Pumpkin Mash, and a Caribbean Fruit Sauce

Roasted Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, and Squash Pot Pie

Pumpkin Pie and Vanilla Ice Cream
This sounded really good, but was a huge disappointment.  Sugar free desserts are just not worth the effort.

Black Bean and Vegetable Enchiladas with Guacamole and Sour Cream

Tropical Fruit Dessert

Chilled Bing Cherry Soup
So good, but would have made a better dessert rather than appetizer.

Seafood Delight
Tiger Shrimp, Smoked Salmon, and Ceviche

Mixed Vegetable Salad with Marinated Tomatoes

Giant Prawns, Pesto Cauliflower, and Mustard Mashed Potatoes

Amaretto Cake

Marinated Mushrooms and Greens

Zucchini and Eggplant Lasagna

And last but not least, lunch at the airport while waiting for my flight home.
Spicy Tuna Sandwich on Multi-grain Bread from Au Bon Pain
Pretty great spread of food, right?  It was certainly a week of indulgences and large meals, but when you travel with the Perkins family, we are all about the food!

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