Do vacation calories count?
Last month I had the pleasure of sailing to the Western Caribbean for 7-nights on the Carnival Dream. This gave me 18 opportunities to try new entrees that I had never tried before. Yes. I measure my cruises by meal times. Don’t you?
Here’s a list of the “Top 11 Things I Ate and Drank” on board the ship, in no particular order.
1. Cheese Board
Fromage. Perfect for both an appetizer and a dessert. Unless it’s in cake form, and then it’s just wrong. The cowboy would slap me right now if he read this. He loves cheesecake. But who are we kidding. He never reads my stuff. This cheese board is a “Carnival Classic” on the Dream dinner menu, meaning you can get it every night if you’d like. I ordered this plate on Day 1 of our cruise and my amazing server Ioan gave me it to go so I could take it back to the room for later. Each passenger is allowed to bring one bottle of wine on board the ship. The cowboy, being only a vodka and Red Bull drinker was able to bring on a second bottle for me. Don’t judge. It was seven nights and there was a lot of cheese. You can’t have one without the other.
2. Dirty Vodka Martini
James Bond’s got nuthin’ on me. On Day 3 of our cruise we were invited to a special Captain’s VIP cocktail reception where we got to mingle with the captain and senior crew. This VIP party can also be experienced by taking multiple Carnival cruises and is a perk offered to the higher tiered cruisers. The bartenders on board really know their stuff when blending the perfect martini. I may or may not have had quite a few of these. It is the “fun ship” after all.
3. Tuna Tartare
This picture makes me angry! Angry that I don’t have a plate of it in front of me now. Also from Day 3 was the most amazing tower of raw fish and heirloom tomatoes I’ve ever consumed. This ranks right up there with heaven. Only available at The Chef’s Art steakhouse, which is an up charge of $35 per person. I would gladly pay this premium to dine here again.
4. Spice Rubbed Ribeye
Another amazing piece of food porn from the steakhouse was this gigantic spice rubbed ribeye. Many of the meats at The Chef’s Art are aged. Aged meats tend to punch me in the gut so I opted for this cut which was not aged. It was a sad evening when I couldn’t finish it and had to leave about half of it lying there on the plate. Farewell oh glorious steak…
5. Build Your Own Burrito
From the outside it doesn’t look like much, but how can you be unhappy when you get to build your own burrito at the Burrito Bar? Mexican is my favorite food group and I was jazzed when researching the ship to find out there was an all-you-can-eat, build-your-own Burrito Bar. This baby was filled with grilled chicken, tomatoes, cheese, rice and beans and I picked up three different salsas to pour on top. I thought I would have a burrito every day for lunch until I discovered #6 on Day Four of the cruise!
6. Pasta Bella Lasagna
I literally had this for lunch every day for the remainder of the cruise. This lasagna is the bee’s knees! It’s layers of pasta stuffed with shredded beef brisket, spinach, mashed sweet potato and cheese and it all floats on a glorious pool of the sweetest tomato sauce on earth. This dish is served only on board the Carnival Dream in the exclusive Pasta Bella restaurant. There’s no additional charge to dine here and you actually get table service instead having your lunch buffet style which is huge for me. I’m not a big fan of the buffet.
7. Chocolate Melting Cake
Another “Carnival Classic” is the Chocolate Melting Cake which I experienced on Day 4 of the cruise. This is a warm lava cake with a side of cool creamy vanilla ice cream. Do yourself a favor and ask your server to bring you out two shots of ice cream. Since this is on the dinner menu every night it’s also a good idea to order it…and another dessert from the rotating menu. Because two desserts is ALWAYS a good idea.
8. Classic Mojito
This beverage was enjoyed on Day 6 as we pulled out of the port of Costa Maya, Mexico. As I mentioned before, the bartenders are on-point when pouring cocktails on board the Dream. This wasn’t a sissy drink and I was feeling fine by the time we cleared the dock.
So I was a little skeptical when our server brought this plate over to me. How can a steak that has been pre-cut have any of it’s juices left? I love my steaks cooked medium rare, so it looked like it would be good. After one bite I was hooked and quickly devoured the rest of it. The meat was tender and juicy with great flavor. I loved the reduction underneath but could have done without the sides. The chateaubriand itself was pretty amazing.
10. Sweet Potato Soup
On Day 7 of our cruise I got to sample one of my favorite soups…by accident. You see my daughter had ordered the sweet potato soup. Our server must have thought that my husband wanted one as well as two bowls were delivered to the table. I figured what the heck. I’m not going to let a perfectly good soup go to waste. So I took a bite. And then I took another bite. And then I took a bite with one of the crispy croutons and oh my, whats in this soup? Crack?
11. Cappuccino Ice Cream Pie
Dare I say the final dessert of my 7-night cruise was my favorite dessert? Yes. Yes I do say. This pie was divine. The crust was amazingly crisp. The ice cream was decadent and the whipped topping added a nice finish to the dish.
12. Hey, how’d that get here?
If you’d like to see more of what my fmily and I did on our Western Caribbean Cruise with Carnival check out my cruise recaps on my other site. Ready too book your own Carnival Cruise? Visit Carnival.com or call 1-800-764-7419.
Special thanks goes out to Carnival for hosting my family and I on this cruise. All opinions are my own.