Let me begin by telling you about the main A La Carte dining rooms on the ship. On our ship, every passenger, if they desired, was appointed to a table of up to ten people at one of the two sitting for diner. You had the same wait staff for each dinner and you could get to know them and the people at your table well over the journey.
Obviously, the food was first class. There were two menus; the first was the regular one which offered the same meals each night. The second changed each meal offerings to tempt the taste buds. Many of the meals were unknown to us needing us to ask our waiter to explain what was in each course.
With all the choices available, I decided that for every course in every dinner I would chose a different offering. I was able to do this without choosing a course I did not like. There were always four courses. No course was large so that you never felt that you had overeaten. (You could always walk around the promenade deck a few times to wear off the extra weight).
Throughout the cruise, there were many theme nights. There was a French and Italian night to give two examples. The wait staff would dress up in national costumes to add even more flavour to the night. (These also occurred in the buffet restaurant).
Towards the end of the cruise the menu featured lobster and for desert all the waiter and many of the kitchen staff marched in with Bombe Alaska to top things off.
Depending on the duration of the cruise there were dress-up nights in these restaurants. Guests dressed up in their finest. Long flowing gowns were worn by many of the women escorted by their menfolk in tuxedos. While others like myself wore a jacket and tie. On one of these evening the night was begun by the creation of a champagne pyramid in the ship’s atrium. There, if you wished, you could add a bottle of champagne to the pyramid while getting a photograph taken to record the event.
Have you ever been to an “English afternoon tea”? On our ship, at three thirty in the afternoon, such an event was held in one of the main restaurants. The waiters wore white gloves and served tea, scones, little sandwiches, cakes and slices. The scone, in particular, were delicious served with jam and cream and were made to a different recipe to those normally eaten in Australia. At each of these sessions you sat with different people. That was always interesting.
There were many other dining options available to the passenger from the buffet (open from 5am to 11pm) to the pizzeria to the café offering burgers and the ice cream parlour. If coffee was your “Thing”, a coffee card was available to reduce the cost of speciality offerings of coffee.
On special occasions during the cruise, the kitchen staff would produce ice carvings and carved animals and other figures out of fruit. It was amazing watching their skills at work.