Friday, August 22, 2014

Eating Our Way Through the Caribbean- By Way of Chris

Summer Cruise 2014 
"Time to Eat Like a Davis!" 
August 3-10, 2014 

I am an avid runner and burn tons of calories, so therefore throughout this cruise I was able to order and finish 3-4 entrees per meal plus appetizers, desserts and sides. Kellie 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. 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
Pasta- 2.5
Fried Chicken- 3.5
Pizza- 3
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. 

Assorted Desserts- 1.5
These were hard, dry and not very tasty! The only good item was the carrot cake!

Cafe Promenade 
Poppy Seed Roll with Italian Salami (left)- 2.5
Ham and Cheese Croissant (left)- 3
Green Olive Focaccia with mozzarella and Pesto (right)- 0
These were not very good the first day. 

Cookies and Desserts- 2
I enjoyed the chocolate chip cookie even though it was hard and dry

Main Dining Room 
Aromatic Asian Coconut Seafood Soup- 0
I was stepping out and trying something I would not normally order, and it did not pay-off this time. There were many great appetizers on the cruise, but this was the worst.

Escargots Bourguignonne- 5.0
These were great! 

Main Courses
Horseradish-Crusted Fillet of Atlantic Salmon- 5.0 

Wow this was good! The Best salmon I have ever had.  

Slow-Roasted Prime Rib- 5.0
As good as any prime rib I have ever had. If there weren't so many other options, I would have ordered two.

Mojo-Marinated Grilled Pork Chop- 4.0
I  liked this because it was cooked well, juicy, and had good flavor.

Carrot Cake- 5.0

I like carrot cake, and this was the best I have ever had!

Blueberry-Peach Crumble- 2.0
I was not impressed. I was looking forward to this, but it was a disappointment. The ice cream was good, but the crumble part was hard and dry.

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

Scrambled Eggs with Bacon-  2

The eggs were bad, and the bacon was sub-par

Main Dining Room 
Ham and Cheese Omelet-  3
The hash browns were good, but the omelet was lacking.  

Pancake of the Day/ Blueberry Pancakes-  4
I thoroughly enjoyed all the pancakes and would order them later on the cruise.

Eggs Benedict- 1
 This was a major disappointment. Eggs Benedict is my favorite breakfast food, and these were barely edible.

Morning Snack 
Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle 
Assorted Appetizers- 3.5
These were impressively tasty, we didn't know what was in them though.


Chili Cook-Off on the Pool Deck
Soy Bean Chili Nachos- 2
Again, with the soy beans! Yuck! 

Main Dining Room 
Mexican Corn and Avocado Salad- 4.0

This was very good.

Pan-seared ocean trout- 4
This was the best trout I have ever had!

Main Courses
Royal Beef Burger- 4.0

Overall, a pretty good burger.

Warm Spiced Rum Cake- 3 

It was just average.

Raspberry- Chocolate Ganache Tart- 2.5
I liked the chocolate portion, but the raspberry flavor was just okay.

Afternoon Snack 
Cafe Promenade 
Pepperoni and Hawaiian  Pizza- 3.5  
This pizza was much better than the day before.

Assorted Desserts and Cookies- 2
The banana bread was good, but dry.  Same with the white chocolate chip-cranberry cookie, and the chocolate chip scone.

Main Dining Room 
Royal Shrimp Cocktail- 3.5

These were available every night, and next time I will order them more often when I am not trying so many things.

Shrimp Ravioli- 3.0
These were good, but Kellie enjoyed them more than I.

Main Courses
Silver Corvina Fish Fillet- 4.0

The fish on the boat was generally very good and this continued the trend.  Flaky and moist. 

Carved Filet of Beef Tenderloin- 5.0
Very tender, juicy, and flavorful, exactly what I like.

Roasted Duck- 4.0
It was extremely good.  Duck can be tricky, but this was very well done.

Bittersweet Chocolate Souffle- 4.0

 Not as good as Carnival's, but still very good

Double Strawberry Cheesecake- 3.5
This was very good.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 
Windjammer Buffet 
French Toast and Waffles- 3
The waffles were good.

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

Assorted Proteins- 2
These were ok but not great. 

Windjammer Buffet 
Main Courses
Sweet n Sour Chicken- 2 
Vegetable Remoulade- 3.5
Singapore Noodles- 4
Curry with Rice- 4
Most Chinese/ Asian restaurants have better recipes, however the noodles and the curry were very good.  I also had some pizza.

Tiramisu- 1.0 
Wow... It was bad! Even for a buffet it was terrible!  Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, so this was a big let-down.

Main Dining Room 
Arancini (Fried Mushroom Balls)- 1.5
I was not impressed. 

Escargots Bourguignonne- 5.0
The best I have ever had! 

Main Courses 
Garlic Tiger Shrimp- 3.5

I enjoyed this much more than Kellie

Pork Tenderloin- 4.0
This was fantastic. 

Chicken Marsala- 4.5
The mashed potatoes were EXCELLENT!, the chicken was very good too.

Tiramisu- 1.0

I ordered 3 with high hopes but it was a MAJOR disappointment.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 (Grand Cayman) 
Main Dining Room (Chocolate Day) 
Chocolate Pastry- 3
Chocolate is not a typical breakfast food, but this was okay

Chocolate Waffles- 2.5
These were good but weird to have chocolate for breakfast!

Chocolate Moose- 2.5

Even though this is not a breakfast food, this was the best part of the meal.  It was delicious. 

Chops Grille (with Mr. Werner- Dir. of Food and Beverage) 
There are no pictures as we thought it would ruin the atmosphere of the special evening.  It was however the best meal on the entire cruise

Pretzel Bread- 5
Excellence! I had 3 loaves by myself

Classic Caesar Salad- 5
I am not a huge salad person, but this was as good as they come

Shrimp and Crab Cake- 4.0
Wow this was great, and yet it was the lowest rated portion of my meal.

Creamy Spinach- 5
This was so unbelievable good we ordered several servings.  It was the absolute best spinach I have ever had.
Roasted Mushrooms- 5
I like Mushrooms and these were tremendous.
Grilled Asparagus- 4.5
I am not a huge asparagus person, but these were very good.  The only thing that kept me from eating more than I did, was that there were so many other good options.
Mashed Potatoes- 4.5
A theme throughout the whole cruise, the mashed potatoes were excellent, which is good because it is one of my favorite sides.

9 oz Filet Migon'- 5
It was thick and cooked to a perfect pink the whole way through. Tender, juicy and flavorful, and it was surrounded by a nice au-jus.

Cheesecake- 5
As far as cheesecakes go, you cannot beat this one.  Just wow!

Late Night Munchies 
Room Service 
Bistro Burger- 3.5
This burger was cooked to order and was very juice but I still prefer Guy's Burger Joint on Carnival! 

Spinach Dip- 3
This was very good, and Kellie let me eat most of it.

Pepperoni Pizza- 4
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 w/sweet potato fries- 3
We heard so much about this, but it was just okay.  Chicken fried in a honey-flavored batter.

Royal Cheese Plate- 4
There were some cheeses I really enjoyed and some I didn't care for.

Thursday, August 7, 2014 (Jamaica) 
Classic Romance Package on the balcony 

Assorted Proteins- 2.5

Spanish Omelet- 2
Kellie was more impressed with this than I was, but the hash brown was good.

Mimosas- 4
These were pretty strong but we liked them. 


Chukka Ziplines
Jamaican Jerk Chicken with rice and salad- 4
This was spicy and good!  I loved it.

Main Dining Room 
Spinach Dip- 3.5

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

Seared Beef Carpaccio- 3.5
Wow... This was awesome. Large chunks of crab, scallops, clams and shrimp. Incredible! 

Main Courses
Roasted Rack of Lamb- 3.5

This was very good lamb, it was not overcooked or dry, which is easy to do with lamb

Aged Hand-Cut Manhattan Strip Steak- 3.5
The steak was cooked well, but the star was the mashed potatoes.

Pork Scaloppine Oscar- 3.0
The pork was okay, but yet again, the star was the mashed potatoes and gravy.

Two-Toned Chocolate Praline Finger- 3.0
This was okay, but I was expecting so much more

Chocolate Sensation- 4.0
This was not a sensation, but it was good nonetheless 

Warm Chocolate Cake- 4.0
Whoa...  I liked it.

Friday, August 8, 2014 (Sea Day #2) 

Main Dining Room 

French Toast- 2.5
 This was okay.

Daily Special/ Open Faced Country Omelet- 2
This was somewhat disappointing

The Muesli (left)- 3
 Make Your Own Cereal Bar(right) - 4.5
This was the best part of breakfast for the whole week, I went back to the make your own cereal bar several more times.

Main Dining Room 

Main Courses
Tomato Risotto- 4.5

Wow... this was AMAZING! I do not get risotto often but this was really good and the flavors were perfect! 

Harissa Charred Barramundi Fish- 4.5
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. 

Grilled Palm Sugar Chicken- 3.0
It was lacking a little bit. 

Caramelize Banana Mille-Feuille- 4.0

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

Warm Cherry Custard Crepes- 3.5
 (Brought to us without knowing from our waiter... He heard we were "journalists" and wanted to impress us)

These were pretty good

Pre-Dinner Appetizers 
Classic Romance Package 

Petite Appetizers and Chocolate Delicacies- 5 

These were presented so well and tasted even better, I especially liked the chocolate offerings.

Main Dining Room 
Roasted Poblano Pepper and Corn Soup- 0.5
This was just terrible. 

Royal Seafood Salad- 3.0
I enjoyed this but it could have been so much more

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! I had 3 Lobster tails plus the 4 shrimp that came on the plate. 

Prime Rib- 4.5
This was not as good as the first day but it was really good.  

Grand Mariner Souffle'- 1.0
This was one of my favorite desserts on Carnival, but this was a disappointment and a let down. 

Baked Alaska- 4.0
This was impressive with the baked meringue

Ivory Chocolate Moose- 4
This was very good and Kellie raved about it so much, the waiter gave us some more to-go. 

Saturday, August 9, 2104 
Main Dining Room 

Eggs Benedict- 1.5
This was a little better than the first time around, but still a major disappointment.

Onion and Bacon Quiche- 4.5
This was fantastic 

Blueberry Pancakes- 3.5
I really enjoyed these

Make Your Own Cereal Bar- 4.5
 loaded mine up with berries, granola and whipped cream! It was tasty! And I love the concept and idea! 

Main Dining Room

Main Course 
Linguine Pomodoro -4
It was nice to have some good-ole fashioned pasta and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Turkish Style Chicken Wrap- 3.0
Interesting, to say the least, but tasty. 

Tandoori Lamb Skewers- 3.0
Interesting, is all I have to say about this

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

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake- 3.5
Another in a long line of good chocolate desserts on the cruise.


Pan-Seared Sea Scallops and Chorizo- 4.0
These were very good, I wish I had ordered more.

Main Courses 

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

Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast- 4.0
While this was very good... it tasted like turkey and there was turkey on the nightly menu so I wonder if there was a mix-up. 

Fish, Seafood and Mash- 4
I liked this dish way more Kellie, too bad there was only one scallop in this dish.


Creme Brulee- 4
Very good!!

Frozen Strawberry Souffle- 3.5
It was good, but not great.

Key Lime Pie- 3.5
This was good and very light.

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- Make your own cereal
Best Lunch Main Course-  Barramundi
Best Dinner Main Course- Carved filet of Beef Tenderloin and Filet Mignon (Chops)

Best Dessert-  Carrot Cake and Chops Cheesecake (Chops)
Best Starter-  Escargot

Best Side- Mashed Potatoes and creamy spinach (Chops)
Best Breads (Offered at all MDR dinners)- Onion Bread and Pretzel Bread (Chops)

Biggest Disappointment
The Windjammer buffet, any egg dish at breakfast, tiramisu, and the grand mariner souffle!

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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