(If you missed them, here are Part 1 and Part 2).
On Wednesday we were in Costa Maya. We didn't have an excursion, and were on the ship for lunch at Royal Court. This was one of my favorite meals of the whole cruise.
I ordered the Tomato and Mozzarella Salad, with breasola and argula and balsamic dressing. It was really good.
Lee had the Chicken Tortilla Wrap, with grilled chicken, peppers, sour cream and guacamole. He said it was good - I think the only problem is that it wasn't big enough. :-)
I also had the Smoked Duck Breast Salad with brie, walnuts, oranges and pomegranate dressing. The duck was excellent - a wonderful smoked flavor and not gamey at all. Judging from the size of the pieces it was a pretty large duck!
Lee had the Mild Chicken Curry with rice pilaf and popodum. This was also very good, though a little more heat would have been nice.
My dessert was the best dessert I had on the entire cruise - it was called Double Chocolate Cake, but that really doesn't describe it at all. It was more like a lovely chocolatey flourless cake topped with chocolate mousse. Really, really good.
Lee tried the Coconut Cream Pie - a little individual pie, and he really enjoyed that, too. It was also a very attractive dish.
That night was the Animation Magic dinner in Animator's Palate, which we had really been looking forward to. Dinner was done a little differently, though. Because of the time it takes for us to do the drawings, and for the servers to collect them, they have to simplify the dinner a little bit. They do this by only offering one appetizer and one soup, which are exclusive to Animator's Palate. We chose whether or not to partake in one or both. For entree and dessert we had choices from the menu. The ship-wide menu that night was Prince and Princess, but we received a modified version of that: the entrees were the same and the desserts were mostly the same.
The Crush show is a little too busy for me, and overall I found this one much less intrusive and distracting. And the animation sequence itself, which used our drawings, was really fun. They used everyone's drawings, and it was fun trying to pick them out as they moved and danced across the screen. I wish I'd gotten some video of it.
But, as this is a food blog, onto dinner itself!
As I mentioned we didn't have a choice of appetizer and soup/salad (except the choice to NOT have them). So our appetizer was a plate with three different hors d'oeuvres on it: Marinated Garlic and Herb Shrimp, Prosciutto with Melon, and Sesame-crusted Tuna Sashimi. The shrimp and prosciutto were good (I traded my sashimi to Donna for her shrimp, and I'm told it was good).
The soup was very unusual: Corn Three Ways. It was buttered popcorn soup. According to the menu it was topped with caramel corn and spiced cornbread but those were actually served on the side. I thought it was tasty, and I did put the caramel corn in mine, which gave it crunch and a little extra sweetness. The cornbread was also unusual, and I enjoyed that.
As I mentioned the entrees were from the Prince and Princess menu that was served in all three restaurants that night. I had the Oven-roasted Tom Turkey Breast - green beans, sweet mashed potatoes, rosemary stuffing, giblet gravy and cranberry relish - though I didn't have any cranberries, and I had some dark meat in addition turkey breast meat. The turkey was moist and flavorful, and the accompaniments were good - occasionally there's been some odd spicing in the sweet potatoes and stuffing, but not this time.
Lee tried the Rosemary-scented Medallions of Lamb - with grilled red peppers, yellow squash and zucchini on a polenta cake with lamb jus. He shared a bite of the lamb with me and it was nice and tender.
The dessert menu was a very scaled-down version of what was on the Prince and Princess menu. :-( I would have ordered the chilled chocolate souffle by itself, but I had to settle for the sample of it that was part of the Sweet Temptations. It also came with lemon cheesecake (no sugar added) and tiramisu.
Lee had Princess Jasmine Banana Bread Pudding. It was topped with caramel sauce and macadamia nuts, and he liked it.
Thursday we were at sea, and it was semi-formal night, with The Captain's Gala as the ship-wide menu. We were in Enchanted Garden again. I guess most of our table mates had something against Enchanted Garden, since, except for Beci, they were all in Remy or Palo again. (Hmmm...or maybe it was something we said? :-) ) So it was just three of us for dinner. (Our Remy diners, one of whom had been a little hesitant about it, said that it was just incredible. Maybe we'll make it there on a future cruise.)
This menu seemed quite different to me than when I'd had it before on the Magic and the Wonder. It still has the lobster and the lava cake, but a lot of the rest of it looked newer. I started with the Asian Pear, Sweet Corn and Jicama Slaw - with avocado puree and lime vinaigrette garnished with mint leaves. It was a very small serving, but it was quite crunchy and refreshing.
Lee had the Aged Prosciutto - served with sun dried tomatoes, shaved parmesan and roasted garlic. This certainly looked good, and I think he enjoyed it.
We both had the same salad: California Mixed Salad Leaves - with toasted pine nuts and orange segments. It was fine - nothing special about it, though.
There were two vegetarian entrees that I wanted to try. The first was Farro Stew, which Deb Koma had written about on the Preview Cruise. It was described as including "garlic roasted green beans, shallots, hazelnuts and shredded red radishes", but I couldn't find any hazelnuts, and it didn't seem to have very much flavor. It wasn't what I would consider "stew" either - stew should have some kind of savory sauce, and this had no sauce at all. So this was disappointing.
On the other hand, the Green Pea and Fava Bean Risotto - drizzled with pesto sauce and pine nuts, was really excellent. Perfectly cooked, and the pesto sauce added a wonderful flavor to it. The parmesan crisp on top was yummy, too.
Lee ordered the Oven-roasted Pork Tenderloin - over creamy cheese polenta with sauteed wild mushrooms and merlot reduction. The pork was tender and nicely cooked and the cheese polenta was quite good.
I think this was the only night I didn't order Sweet Temptations, because none of the three (amaretto cheesecake, banana creme brulee, and apple pie) appealed to me. And, you may be shocked, but I didn't order the chocolate lava cake, either - because the one I make is better. So I had the Tropical Sundae with rainbow sherbet, coconut macaroon, and rum infused coconut cream. I was expecting the coconut macaroon to be larger and the coconut cream to have a stronger flavor, so I was disappointed in this. It was pretty, though.
Lee did have the Warm Chocolate Lava Cake, so I tried a bite. Nope, mine is still better. :-) Of course I'm not trying to serve it to several hundred people simultaneously, either. Lee liked it, but he also prefers mine.
Friday was our day on Castaway Cay. We didn't really have breakfast because of the 5K, and lunch was the BBQ lunch at Cookies Too. It's just ok.
We were back in Royal Court one last time for the Sea Ya Real Soon! dinner.
For an appetizer, Lee and I had what I think was the best appetizer of the entire trip: Grilled Potato and Goat Cheese Napoleon. It was a stack of grilled potatoes, topped with goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, basil, and a balsamic vinaigrette. It was SO good!
Next I had the Cranberry Salad with mixed field greens, sunflower seeds, Craisins and cranberry dressing. It comes with blue cheese, but I requested it be left off. It was a very good salad, though a few more sunflower seeds would have been nice.
Lee had the Potato and Leek Soup. That's almost always good - it's often available at the buffet in Cabanas, too.
For my entree I had a very interesting vegetarian dish, Green Pancakes with Stewed Lentil. This was described as lentils, carrots, leeks and parsnips, sauteed garlic and herbs on a green pancake with lime butter. The pancake was on top of the rest of it, though. :-) And it wasn't really green in color, though it was stuffed with something green (minced spinach, I think) inside. It was...different. Not bad, but not so tasty that I'd rush right out to order it again.
Lee ordered the Roasted Filet of Beef Wellington, served with mushroom stuffing, wrapped in puff pastry, with fingerling potatoes, baby vegetables, and Cabernet black truffle jus. (I think that was the longest menu description of the week!) He said it was good - I thought they were pretty stingy with the vegetables.
For dessert I ordered the Sweet Temptations for the final time: Celebration cake, Chocolate Decadence, and Cappuccino Mousse tartlet (no sugar added). But I got distracted and didn't take a photo of it, because we received a special congratulations and cake in honor of our 25th anniversary. Our anniversary was back in January, but in true Disney fashion we've decided that we're going to make it a year-long celebration. :-)
Our dessert was a very nice chocolate mousse cake - it was actually my second favorite dessert of the cruise.
Lee ordered that night's special - Baked Alaska. Sponge loaf layered with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream, covered in burnt meringue (not really burnt - just browned). But we did not get the parade of chefs carrying flaming baked Alaskas like we have experienced on the Magic and the Wonder. :-( He always gets the baked Alaska, so it must be a favorite.
What do you mean the cruise is over and we have to get off the ship???? Sigh. We were in Royal Court for our final breakfast, which for us started at 6:45 since we had the early dinner seating. Yikes.
I ordered something unremarkable like oatmeal that I didn't even bother photographing. :-) And all they had to go on top was brown sugar - no toppings bar!
Lee had the Chef's Farewell, which was an open-faced omelet topped with barbecue chicken, green peppers, onions and melted Swiss cheese. It looked very good (except for the peppers) and he liked it.
And another cruise comes to an end...as does another set of food blogs.
Some Final Food Thoughts
This is the first time we've had the early dinner seating instead of the late seating, and I really liked it. Because of the second dinner seating, we HAD to be out of the dining room in less than 2 hours, and we usually made it in less than 90 minutes. On too many of our late dining dinners it's been at least 10:30 before we got out of the dining room. Early dining meant we had the late show, but it was usually out by 9:30, giving us some extra time to do something else (like go to Ooh La La).
With late seating we've always found that we had to have a small meal around 5:00 to tide us over until dinner, and we didn't have to do that this time. Fewer meals consumed = less weight gained while on cruise. :-)
We didn't eat very much at the Food Court on Deck 11 this time. The pizza at Luigi's was ok, but I was disappointed with the selection at Fillmore's. The equivalent place (Goofy's Galley) on the Wonder and Magic has always had different sandwich/wrap selections throughout the cruise - Fillmore's had the same sandwiches and wraps every day, it seemed - or at least they did on the four days that I checked it out. Now, they did have a better toppings bar on the Fantasy - in addition to shredded lettuce and sliced tomatoes for burger toppings they had chopped lettuce and grape tomatoes and dressing to make a salad.
We really enjoyed the Palo brunch again - that's a wonderful treat, and I think it may be my favorite meal on board ship.
I'll give you a few of our "bests".
Laura: Best Entree (not counting Palo): Green Pea and Fava Bean Risotto (Captain's Gala). The Pacific Black Cod from Animator's Palate would have won if it had been accompanied by something more appetizing than sauteed mushrooms.
Best Appetizer: Grilled Potato and Goat Cheese Napoleon (final night dinner)
Best Dessert: Double Chocolate Cake (Royal Court lunch)
Lee: Best Entree: Jack Sparrow's BBQ Marinated Beef Short Ribs (Pirate Night)
Best Appetizer: Corn Three Ways (Animation Magic dinner)
Best Dessert: Bananas Foster Sundae (Enchanted Garden)
Hope you enjoyed the blogs - thank you for reading! If you have any questions, please use the links below to send a comment or submit feedback.
Our next cruise will be one of the New York cruises on the Magic in September.