Friday, July 13, 2007

Alaskan Cruise - The Food!

O.K., O.K., I know it's been forever and you all are dying to hear details! I hardly know where to start....there's so much to say! I'm going to do this in parts because I don't have time to do this all in one sitting!

So, I'll start with the FOOD! The royal treatment you've heard about is true! We traveled aboard the ms Noordam, one of Holland America's newest and biggest ships. Holland America is also one of the most elite ship lines, and I can definitely recommend them! The food was truly amazing and PLENTIFUL! We could eat anywhere on the ship, at any time, and nothing ever cost extra (for all of you who traveled with Steve Canfield....the food really does come with the cruise!)! There was one ultra fancy restaurant that needed reservations and cost $30 extra per person, but we never felt the need to do that! The formal dining room we could eat in each evening was elegant and wonderful enough for us! Our dinner sitting each night was at 8:15 p.m., which made things very interesting for the kids. Once we got to Alaska, the time change for us was 2 hours! So, essentially, we were sitting down to eat at 10:15 p.m. Calgary time finishing up around midnight! Of course, the issue was not that we were hungry at all. In fact, I usually found that by that time in the day, I was so full I could hardly enjoy my fancy dinner! The problem was more like trying to not fall asleep!! We ended up only bringing Sara and Sky to the late dinner with us twice on the whole cruise. Both those times they were hard pressed to sit in their chairs properly and Sara spent the majority of her time whining. Sky was slightly more cheerful and simply amused himself by using the plentiful array of utensils to "build" creations! Both of our kids usually do really well in restaurants, but it was asking a little too much for a dinner that lasted 2 hours and kept them up 3 hours past their bedtime! So, a couple of nights, we put them to bed early, and the other nights we took them upstairs to Club HAL (more on that later) where they could chill out and watch movies and eat snacks or do crafts. Then we all enjoyed the evening much better that way! So, as far as food taste and quality, both were excellent! I got to try things like Alaskan King crab legs, lobster tail, filet mignon, beef Wellington, all kinds of soups and chowders, brioche and more! It was so fun to eat elegant, expensive food and not pay for it! During the day, there was always something yummy to eat. They went from breakfast, to lunch, to afternoon snack, to dinner, to bedtime snack and then all over again the next day! Even in the half hour or so breaks between the major meal and snack times, there was always ice cream, pizza (Bryan would have been in heaven!), a make-your-own taco bar, burgers and hot dogs, and a huge salad bar. You could order room service at any time for no extra charge too! We ordered breakfast to our room a few mornings and that was so nice. We just checked everything we wanted on the breakfast order card, including what time you wanted breakfast, and hung it from our door handle. The food would magically appear the next morning right at the time specified! So fun! One afternoon, on the pool deck, they had a bratwurst and saurkraut festival and we really enjoyed that! The kids had fun with the pretzels, as you can see here! They had German potato salad, Dad! Mmmm! So, we definitely never went hungry, but we can still fit into our clothes, so that's really good! We tried not to be pigs! It was hard not to at breakfast - Joshua and I both love breakfast food, so we probably ate a little more every morning than we should have! Our family favourite was the waffles. They came in the shape of a flower and they were sooo yummy! Sky and I preferred ours with butter and plain syrup, but Joshua and Sara enjoyed the strawberries and whipped cream! It's been hard to come back home and eat toast and yogurt again!

The most spectacular display of food during the whole cruise was the night they presented the dessert extravaganza! This was set up around the pool deck at 10:30 p.m. one evening. The lights were turned down low and a string quartet was playing festive music. There were lighted ice sculptures, chocolate fountains, bread sculptures, and more dessert options than you can even imagine! It was beautiful! I was so full that night, I only had a small piece of chocolate torte, but just to see the presentation was more than satisfying! Joshua and I had to put the kids down for bed, so did the tag team thing and each took a turn admiring the sights and eating dessert! It was all so lovely! You just can't beat the food on a cruise!

1 comment:

Karen said...

Finally... DETAILS! ;) It sounds WONDERFUL! I can't imagine the time change from HERE for that! My kids would've been out every night and up EARLY every morning! How did you manage to fit into your clothes... I remember the "belly" you'd have after meals at churches :)