Thursday, August 21, 2014

Eating Our Way Through the Caribbean- By Way of Kellie

Summer Cruise 2014 
"My Eyes were BIGGER than my Stomach" 

August 3-10, 2014 

Chris and I are real "foodies" and "food snobs" when it comes to cruises and this being our 3rd cruise it was no different than before. This was, however, our first Royal Caribbean cruise and we wanted to taste and try as much as possible so we could get a real comparison to the food aboard Carnival ships. Combined Chris and I have lost 210 pounds in the last 10 months so needless to say our stomachs have shrunk quite a bit so most meals we would order multiple menu options only to find out we could only finish 25% of them. This blog post will be about all of the tasty and some not so tasty options we had while aboard The Navigator of the Seas. 

We will be using a 0-5 point scale with 5 being the absolute best and would signify it was the best dish (in it's category) we have had in our lifetime. The middle score of 2.5 would be average and what was expected. This is not a 2.5 in the realm of land food but what you would expect to get on a cruise ship

We will break it into our daily meals and score each menu item and at the end we will summarize with our favorite options within each category. We had a LOT of fun doing this on our 7 day Western Caribbean cruise and we hope you enjoy our review as well! 

Sunday, August 3, 2014 


Windjammer Buffet

Pizza- 2.5 
These were pretty tasty, especially since it had been close to 10 months since we had eaten pizza 

Red Curry and Beans- 3.5 

I don't like curry but this was really good and I would say it was the best dish we had on the buffet the entire length of the cruise. 

Build a Burger Bar- 1.5 
This was NOTHING to write home about. I like Guy's Burger Joint on Carnival A LOT better! 

Assorted Desserts- 1.5
These too were nothing to brag about but were delicate nonetheless. 


Main Dining Room 

Smoked Fish Rillettes- 4.5 
This was a cross between a seafood salad and a ceviche. It had scallops, shrimp, salmon and other types of seafood in it. It came with large garlic toast and it was a great way to start the cruise. 

Watermelon and Raspberry Soup- 4.0 
I am a HUGE fan of chilled fruit soups and this did not disappoint. The mixtures of melons and berries was superb. 

Main Courses
Seafood Spaghetti- 3.5

This was a very tasty dish with all of the seafood including mussels, clams, shrimp and scallops. However, there was not enough sauce so once the seafood was eaten the spaghetti was pretty bare. 

Soft Shell Tortillas- 1.5
I was not paying attention and this happened to be the vegetarian dish of the day and included SOY BEAN Chili. That was interesting... to say the least! The veggies and condiments were good but the chili really ruined it for me. 

BBB Creme Brulee- 5.0

This was a banana based Creme Brulee and it was AMAZING! The texture and taste were the best I have ever had. Yummy! I had this multiple times throughout the rest of the week. 

Moist Almond Chocolate Cake- 2.0
Despite not being a chocolate fan, our waitor suggested it so I wanted to see what the fuss was about. It was not at all moist

Monday, August 4, 2014 (Sea Day #1)
Room Service

Scrambled Eggs with Bacon- 1.5 
These were the absolute works eggs I have had in my life. They were too dry and almost crumbly. The bacon was over cooked and too crispy

Main Dining Room 

Ham and Cheese Omelet- 2.5 

This was not as good as the omelet's on Carnival and was somewhat of a disappointment for me since these were my favorite part of cruise breakfasts.  

Pancake of the Day/ Banana Pancakes- 2.5 
These were OK but seemed a little crispy and overcooked and the maple syrup was watered down and didn't seem to go with the banana flavor of the pancakes. 

Fresh Fruit Bar- 2.5 

This was a bar full of fresh fruit and it had lots of Caribbean fresh fruit options. 


Chili Cook-Off on the Pool Deck

Soy Bean Chili Nachos- 2 
Again, with the soy beans! Yuck! 

Main Dining Room 

Tutti Salad Bar- 3.5 

 This was a pretty neat experience and a perfectly fresh, made to order salad bar. The salad itself was nothing spectacular but the experience was fantastic! 

Main Courses
Pan Seared Ocean Trout Filet- 2.5

I love a good trout filet but this was not it. It was dry and crusty. The middle of the filet was good but unfortunately the outer sides were too dry for my taste. 

Calamari Salad- 4.0
This was a great way to eat calamari. The fish was cooked to perfection and the salad greens it laid upon were fresh and not at all soggy. The dressing didn't seem to fit to me but it was still a great dish! 

Warm Spiced Rum Cake- 2.5 

This was a good rum cake but Nancy Washburn (friend of mine) and Tortuga make them better! 

Afternoon Snack 

Cafe Promenade 

Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza- 4.0 
This pizza was hot and fresh and the spices seemed to really make it "pop". 

Double Chocolate Cookie- 1.5
The taste was great but it was just as hard as a brick
(Or our bed if you have been reading our other posts)


Main Dining Room 

Bay Scallop Gratin- 4.5
These scallops were some of the best I have EVER eaten! Perfectly cooked and seasoned. Not to be missed! 

Lobster Bisque- 5
Easily the best Lobster Bisque I have had in my life. The broth was thick and creamy but not too milk based! 

Escargots Bourguignonne- 5 
These were the best snails I have ever had! 

Main Courses
Shrimp Ravioli- 3

The ravioli seemed to be lacking in filling but had the Lobster Bisque as the cream for the topping. I have had better seafood ravioli at Red Lobster and Babin's. 

Artichoke-Filled Crepes au Gratin- 3.5 
I was nervous about this but they turned out great. The filling was hearty despite not having any meat. The sauce was perfect and left me wanting more. 

Chilled Banana and Rum Soup- 4.5

This was one of the best chilled soups I have had in my cruising experience. Great flavor combinations and creaminess. 

Kids Brownie Sundae- 2.5
The other desserts just seemed like "too much" so I ordered a good ol' fashioned favorite. Again, I have family members who can make better! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 
Windjammer Buffet 
Assorted Pastries- 2.5
These were OK but not great. 

Omelet Station- 2.5
This was slow and not a great cook. They were runny 


Windjammer Buffet 

Main Courses
Sweet n Sour Chicken- 2 
Most Chinese/ Asian restaurants have better recipes

Vegetable Roumalade- 3.5 
These veggies were cooked and seasoned perfectly and the sauce was amazing, especially for a buffet. 

Tiamusi- 1.0 

Wow... It was bad! Even for a buffet it was terrible! 


Main Dining Room 

Caprese Salad- 3.5
Simple and elegant! It was perfect! 

Arancini (Fried Mushroom Balls)- 3.5
I love mushrooms and this put a new spin on a pub favorite of mine... fried mushrooms. Yummy! 

Chilled Strawberry Bisque- 4.5
Another PERFECT chilled soup! 

Main Courses 
Shrimp Insalata Mista- 2.5

This was just a glorified green leafy salad with shrimp. 

Lasagna al Forno- 3.5
This was a very tasty lasagna but my mom and Spaghetti Warehouse versions are better. These had egg noodles and they were too think. 

Tiramisu- 1.5 

This was slightly better than what we had on the buffet but was still lacking in taste and especially texture. Chris ordered 3 since it was his favorite dessert last time but was very disappointed. 

Sticky Bread and Butter Pudding- 4.0

I have never met a bread pudding I actually liked... Until now! Yummy! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 (Grand Cayman) 
Main Dining Room (Chocolate Day) 

Ham, Cheese, Onion and Mushroom Omelet- 3.5
 The omelets seemed to improve as the cruise progressed.

Chocolate Moose- 2.5
I am not a big fan of chocolate, especially at breakfast, but this was a very delicate moose and I enjoyed it. 

Morning Snack 


Iced White Chocolate Latte with Hazelnut- 5.0+ 
Easily the best Starbucks I have ever had. 

Clif Shot Block Energy Chews 
Such a great idea to bring along on your next cruise. You never know when you will need some energy and not be on or near your ship!


Chops Grille (with Mr. Werner- Dir. of Food and Beverage) 

Warm Goat Cheese Souffle' Salad- 5.0

Best salad of my life... And I personally eat a LOT of salads! Wow... I would swim back to the Caribbean for this dish! 

Shrimp and Crab Cake- 4.5
Wow... this was clumpy and meaty with loads of fish! Perfect for my taste. The dipping sauce was fantastic too. A cross between Raisin' Canes and chipotle ranch. 

Filet of Branzino- 4.5
I have never had this fish and it was bold and tasty. It was cooked almost like a blackened way and I think I would have liked it better if it was simply broiled. 

Mississippi Mud Pie- 4.0

This was all over the forums we read prior to embarkation and it did not disappoint. Light delicate moose with an Oreo crust! Yummy! 

Late Night Munchies 

Room Service 

Bistro Burger- 3.0 
This burger was cooked to order and was very juicy but I still prefer Guy's Burger Joint on Carnival! 

Spinach Dip- 2.5
This was a tasty and creamy mixture of spinach and cheese. However, I have been to some restaurants that have a better recipe. 

Pepperoni Pizza- 4.0
This was a personal size pizza and was better than both Cafe Promenade and the Windjammer Buffet. If you want pizza... Order it via Room Service. 

Honey Stung Chicken- 2.0
This got rave reviews by people on the forums we followed but it was nothing to write home about. Dried out, fried out chicken! The sweet potato fries were the saving grace of this dish! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014 (Jamaica) 

Classic Romance Package on the balcony 

Royal Cheese Plate- 1.5
I am just not a fan of these smelly cheeses. 

Cinnamon French Toast- 3.5
This was a great French toast and I really enjoyed the cinnamon taste. 

Mimosas- 4.5
These were pretty strong but we liked them. 


Chukka Ziplines
Jamaican Jerk Chicken with rice and salad- 3.0
This came with our Shore Excursion and was made by a local restaurant. It was pretty good but I just don't think I like Jerk Chicken. 

Main Dining Room 

Spinach Dip- 2.5

This seemed to be the same recipe as the room service and the chips were stale. 

Seafood Ceviche- 4.0
Wow... This was awesome. Large chunks of crab, scallops, clams and shrimp. Incredible! 

New England Clam Chowder- 4.5
This was only 2nd to Boston Clam chowder. The broth was perfect and lots of clams inside! 

Main Courses
Shrimp Gyoza- 4.0

Sounded weird on paper but tasted amazing! Shrimp dumplings with a delicious shiitake mushroom sauce! 

Conchiglioni Pasta- 3.5
This reminded me of Olive Garden's cannaloni or manicotti! It was light and delicate yet satisfying! 

Warm Chocolate Cake- 1.5

Whoa... Carnival has set the bar high with their molten lava cake and this was barely warm and didn't have a liquid center. I was very disappointed! 

Friday, August 8, 2014 (Sea Day #2) 

Main Dining Room 

Daily Special/ Open Faced Country Omelet- 3.5
This was labeled "country" because of the potato and I liked it but Chris was not a fan. 

Main Dining Room 

Main Courses
Tomato Risotto- 5.0

Wow... this was AMAZING! I do not get risotto often but this was the best I have ever eaten and the flavors were perfect! 

Harissa Charred Barramundi Fish- 4.0
I love Barramundi fish and this did not disappoint. It was crusted with a very spicy spice and then charred but it was cooked to perfection. 

Fish Enchiladas- 2.5
These were dry due to a lack of sauce but the fish inside was flaky and flavorful. It was topped with Sour Cream, Guacamole and Picante and I think it would have tasted better with a cream seafood sauce. It would have brought the whole dish together! 

Caramelize Banana Mille-Feuille- 3.5

A fancified Banana's Foster. I would still prefer actual Banana's Foster but this was still pretty good. 

Warm Cherry Custard Crepes- 4.0
(Brought to us without knowing from our waiter... He heard we were "journalists" and wanted to impress us)!These were wonderful and some of the best dessert crepes I have ever had! 

Pre-Dinner Appetizers 

Classic Romance Package 

Petite Appetizers and Chocolate Delicacies- 5 

These were presented so well and tasted even better! Happy Anniversary honey! 


Main Dining Room


Creamed Wild Mushrooms- 3.5
The pastry crust on these were to die for and the mushrooms themselves were fantastic. 

Royal Seafood Salad- 4.0
Imagine the best seafood salad (Mayo based) you have ever had. Now times that by 100! It was fantastic! And low-carb! Not that I was counting but it helped since we were eating a lot! 

Main Course
Fisherman's Plate (Lobster, Scallops, Shrimp)- 4.5
The lobster on this plate was superb and was cut out by "Surgery" of our waiter! IT was a very fancy experience. The shrimp and scallops were lacking but it could have been just because the lobster was so good! 

Three-Cheese Tortelloni- 3.5
Perhaps it was due to the amazing-ness of the lobster but this was not as good as I had hoped! It was filled with tasty cheese but was a little dry when comparing pasta to sauce! 


Ivory Chocolate Moose- 5.0 
 WOW WOW WOW! The best dessert of my life. I order an additional one on the spot and then asked for 2 to go! Wow.... It was amazing! Don't skip this one... Order it! 

Saturday, August 9, 2104 


Main Dining Room 

Onion and Bacon Quiche- 4.5
This was fantastic and I asked for another one! The crust was flawless and flaky! 

Make Your Own Cereal Bar- 3.5
I loaded mine up with berries, granola and whipped cream! It was tasty! And I love the concept and idea! 

Main Dining Room

Main Course 

Tutti Salad Bar (With fresh tortilla bowls)- 3.0
Again, such a neat concept!

Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi- 1.5
This was more potato based that I was thinking and was lacking in flavor. 

Toasted Steak Sandwich- 2.0
I was thinking this would be sliced roast beef... Nope, it was seriously a STEAK sandwich. A piece of strip steak between bread! If you like that kind of thing then this is for you. 


Brazo de Mercedes- 3.5
This was a light vanilla meringue filled with custard. It was very good! 

Main Dining Room

Pan-Seared Sea Scallops and Chorizo- 4.5
Once again, they hit it out of the park with this one. It was delicious. I just wish it was a bigger serving. 

Tomato and Baked Feta Cheese Salad- 3.5
This was light and tasty and the feta was aged very well. 

Main Courses 
Rigatoni Pasta- 1.5
This was nothing to write home about and the flavor was lacking. 

Fish, Seafood and Mash- 2.0
I discovered with this dish that I prefer broiled or steamed fish. I am over the whole fried fish movement. I guess that is what healthy eating and cooking for 10 months will do to you. 

Frozen Strawberry Souffle- 3.0
The pungent flavor of strawberry was perfect and refreshing in this dish. 

BBB Creme Brulee- 4.5
If it ain't broke.. don't fix it! This was a great start and now end to our cruise! Yummy perfection! 

Sunday, August 10, 2014 (Disembarkation) 

Main Dining Room 
Protein Rich Omelet-3.5
Back to life and back to the diet! This omelet was one of the best I had while on the ship! 

This cruise was all about trying out what Royal Caribbean had to offer in the realm of food. We found some great dishes and some we were disappointed in. We categorized our favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner main entrees in addition to our favorite starters, desserts, sides and bread options. If you are a "foodie" like we are then give Royal Caribbean a try. They had some MAJOR disappointments but they also had some MAJOR SURPRISES! 

Best Breakfast- Onion and Bacon Quiche 
Best Lunch Main Course- Tomato Risotto 
Best Dinner Main Course- Lobster 

Best Dessert- Ivory Chocolate Moose 
Best Starter- Lobster Bisque and Escargots Bourguignonne 

Best Side- Mashed Potatoes 
Best Breads (Offered at all MDR dinners)- Onion Bread 

Biggest Disappointment
The Windjammer Buffet and the Tiramisu 

It has been fun enjoying and blogging about all of these lavish meals. It will take me a month just to get rid of the pounds I gained while on board! BUT... It was worth it and I deserved it! I cannot wait to get back on board in March and have my favorites again! 

God is good... ALL the time!  

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