April 18, 2012

NCL Jewel: The Food

Last week, I shared a bit about our trip on the NCL Jewel... last time was all about the ship and our experience.  This time, it's all about the food on the ship!

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The Jewel offers a number of dining options and since this is a "freestyle" cruise, you get to choose when and where you want to dine.  It's all about what works for you.  There are no required formal nights, but there are people who do still dress up nicely a few nights during the cruise.  You can chosee when to do this and even get some photos taken while on the ship.

We enjoyed the Garden Buffet for breakfast every morning.  As you can see from the happy boy above, there was something for everyone... everything from fresh fruits, pastries, sausage, bacon, gravy, omelets made to order, various types of eggs... the list could go on and on.  I'm not typically a fan of a buffet unless it's for breakfast.  I just don't tend to eat enough to make it worthwhile.


The main dining rooms, Azura and Tsar's Palace, were nice options for lunch or dinner.  The only problem we had was that their menus were exactly the same and they really didn't change at all.  The kid's menu was a typical kid's menu... but, we learned quickly that when ordering the onion rings to have them double the order because it only comes with 4 onion rings.  While tasty, not enough for our boys. 

Since we wanted some variety to our dinner options, we chose to go to a few of the ship's specialty restaurants that had a cover charge.  The first one we tried was Mama's Italian Kitchen.  Initially, we were going to skip this one as we have really good Italian food available to us at home and figured it wouldn't be worth the additional charge.  Our friends who were traveling with us had gone there earlier in the trip and said it would be worth checking out.

The menu is typical Italian food fare and I opted for the Farfalle Pomodoro.  A flavorful sauce that was light enough to offset some of the other things I had been indulding in during the trip.

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My Youngest chose the pasta and meatballs and it was a very generous serving with a sauce that was simple enough to please his palate.

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My Oldest is not a huge pasta fan and we allowed him to order off of the main menu.  He chose a personal pizza... which, was enough for several people!

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The desserts were worth the calories... as most are when on vacation!

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During our trip, a new dining option was added... Moderna Churrascaria (this replaced the previous restaurant, Tango's).  It's a Brazilian barbeque style restaurant and the meats are cooked and brought to your table on a huge skewer and you can taste as many as 16 different meats cooked in different ways.  We only made it through about 8 of them the night we went... and really enjoyed our experience.  The selections were full of flavor and it was fun for our boys to try something completely different.

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We also dined at Tappenyaki - the Japanese hibachi-style steak place.  We enjoyed ourselves and the food was good.  We were a little disappointed that some of the "tricks" the chef usually does weren't done - like the 'volcano' of onions with the steam coming out of the top.  Not a huge deal, and our kids didn't know what to expect so they didn't miss it.  They had a lot of fun and I imagine we'll take them out closer to home to one of the places we have here in NJ or even in NYC.
Overall, the dining options were good... not 5 star quality or even foodie-worthy.  Even so, we didn't go hungry for a moment and we found that by dining in some of the specialty restaurants that we had enough variety to keep us satisfied. 

My final post in this series will share the ports of call and the excursions that we chose to do.  What's your favorite vacation destination?

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Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

7 comments:

Loveforfood said...

yummy

Roch said...

Mmmm that looks so good! You're making me hungry. corporate catering

Melanie @ Nutritious Eats said...

Looks fun and tasty! I've been on a couple cruises and they were a blast. The food varied on each one, but overall a great experience. Those midnight buffets are something to see!

Joanne said...

Not gonna lie, the thing I'm most dreading about having to go on a cruise to Canada for school again this summer...is the food. I'll be bringing peanut butter, jelly, and bread. For sure. And save my other calories for the desserts :P

kids accessories said...

You looks like your having fun with the food. Every restaurants have their different specialties. You found a place that their specialties are for kid's. I think this is good enough for adults.

restaurant seo said...

Family, fine dining, and a cruise. My oh my, what a way to pamper yourself. I should probably try this out.

Keeley said...

I love cruising and my husband and I find it to be a great value. I do agree that the food can be hit or miss, but I like the variety and I've never gone hungry on a cruise ship. I've never cruised NCL and I may try it. It gets mixed reviews from my friends.

I'm thinking that the chef at the Japanese hibachi restaurant may not have done the volcano trick because of regulations against open flames at sea. We were told on a previous cruise that they are not allowed to set fires or have any type of open flame (even a gas burner).

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