MALABRIGO KNITTING CRUISE - FOOD
Food is always good. I really like food. But the food on a cruise is something else again! There were several dining rooms with sit down service and cloth napkins. There were restaurants where the meal had to be paid for and reservations were highly recommended. There were cafes dispersed throughout the ship where you could pick up a meal or a snack. There were small areas where you could grab ice cream and there were lots of bars.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. And the Windjammer Market buffet dining rooms were where I headed every day but the last.
Kathi captured this view one very early morning.
The buffet had all of my favorite breakfast (or for that matter, any other meal) foods. The hot bar held the oatmeal I usually eat every day, complete with a pot of hot milk right beside it. Walnuts, dried fruit and a box of granola cereal to mix into the oatmeal and I was set. However, I also had smoked salmon every morning (protein, you know). And they had the most incredible bread. I asked and asked about it and for the recipe. All I got was what they call it: German bread. I'd do somersaults for that recipe. It was dark and had seeds and oatmeal and I don't know what else because they wouldn't give me the recipe! I make bread at home every week and I really like my recipe. I add oatmeal, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, oat bran and wheat bran and whatever seems to work. So I am not putting down my bread when I say that this bread was outrageously good.
They also had a breakfast goodie table and anything and everything (I don't lie) that you could imagine using to get a start on your day!
Usually Kathi and I had lunch separately because of the scheduling of classes. The last class day we were able to dine together in the Adagio 3 dining room with waiter service and an unbelievable buffet.
Lobster gratin was on the buffet which we visited with joy. In addition, I had a lovely small portion of tomato risotto (with something else but I can't remember). And I was able to meet several people in the group I hadn't met yet. That was even lovelier!
However, the main show was in the Adagio 4 dining room where we had dinner every evening. Talk about lovely! Our main dining room steward's name was Erimel but he told us immediately to call him Mel. I don't remember the name of the assistant waiter but I do know that he was from Ukraine and had a very complicated and fascinating family history. Both of these gentleman treated us like queens and kings. Napkin placed in the lap kind of thing. And after my request on the first night they made sure that I had a plate of lemon slices for my water. I only had to ask once!
This is Mel. He always had that beautiful smile on; well, except when badgered by the one bad apple in the entire bunch. But enough about that!
On formal night Kathi and I insisted that he have a picture taken with us.
We felt pretty snazzy that night. There were two formal nights but, as often happens, we forgot to get a picture. But wait! I have one from the last cruise where I am wearing the same dress I wore for the first formal night on this cruise!
As an all-included cruise package was in place, one could order whatever and as many of whatever as one wanted. And we did. Now to the promised pictures of delicious, spectacular food.
Crabcakes with wasabi aioli
Fish with capers and raisins in tomato sauce
More lovely fish . . . I believe this was called corvina.
Gorgeous roast duck!
The piece de resistance was available on Friday's formal night. Remember the part about as many as you want? People partook particularly on this night when we could have lobster tails and shrimp as our entree.
Oh, my, the most perfectly prepared lobster I've ever had was on that plate. The shrimp was perfectly prepared every night, particularly in the shrimp appetizer. Your usual shrimp cocktail with 4-5 huge luscious shrimp and a wonderful cocktail sauce. One of our crew ordered two every night because it was superb and because, well, why not?!
And of course, as mentioned before, there was The Cupcake Shop. Just a reminder of the cupcakes we had . . .
Because it is a cruise, by golly, and of course I came back several pounds heavier. What kind of fool would I have been otherwise?
We insisted on hugging Mel the last night because he had been a total sweetheart. We also hugged the Ukranian-who's-name-escapes-me. They were so wonderful, at full tilt boogy full time and and never forgot a preference. We had two tables, one with six seats and one with around 14. So they were nonstop busy and never lost their cool. Not once.
I miss them.