Monday, June 21, 2010

Sensational Dining

My favorite part about the cruise was the all-inclusive, delicious food!  My last post described the food we ate on the Lido Deck.  Now it's time to dive into the meals we ate in the Sensation Dining room!

We ate in the dining room as often as possible during our cruise, simply because it was a much nicer experience.  The atmosphere of the dining room was very elegant.  The servers were incredibly kind and very good at their jobs.  And the quality of food was remarkable!

Breakfast was served in the dining room from 8:00 until 10:00 am every morning.  Lunch was offered from 12:00 noon until 1:30 pm, and our dinner time was at 6:00 pm.

We only ate lunch in the dining room once because it was a bit of a hassle to change into nice, clean clothes just to eat lunch.  That's one of the liberties of eating on the Lido Deck - you can walk right up to the deli in your swimsuit!  It was fun getting dressed up for dinner, though!

Since there were seven people in our party, we had one big table to ourselves.  If you're in a smaller party, keep in mind you'll most likely be sharing your table with strangers.  Which is kind of fun, actually, because after you eat dinner with them a couple nights in a row, they're no longer strangers!

Each night, there was fun entertainment!  The waitstaff sang and danced for us.  We had awesome servers - our head waiter, Vas from India, and his assistant, Siwa from Thailand.

The magician, Prax, awed our table with a few tricks.

Every meal was served with bread, or danishes for breakfast, and drinks.

At breakfast, there were many juices available: Orange, Pineapple, Grapefruit, Pineapple and Tomato Juice.  At lunch and dinner, iced tea and water were complimentary. Coffee was available at all meal times.

You could also order alcoholic beverages from the bartender on your own dime.  Margarita time!


The Caesar salad was tasty, but then again, they always are.  I also tried the Mixed Garden and Field Greens.  This salad was a flop because they forgot the dressing and I had already eaten it before our server came back.

Both of these salads were Carnival Classics, which means they were available on the menu every night.

The most unique appetizer we tried was the Escargots Bourguignonne: Burgundy Snails in Garlic Butter with an Infusion of Chablis and Pernod.  I only sampled a bite, but in my opinion,, the texture was similar to mushrooms. Austin's comment was that the dish was very buttery.

A similar-looking and similar-tasting dish was the Stuffed Wild Mushrooms.  Almost everyone in our party ordered these mushrooms.  They were very tasty, and quite cheesy.

There were a couple of appetizers that I couldn't eat because of my shellfish allergy.  Everyone else loved them, so I thought I would share.  On the left is the Black Tiger Shrimp Cocktail.  On the right is the Crab Cake.

Gettin' fruity with it: Chilled Supreme of Fresh Fruit with Peach Schnapps, and Fresh Fruit with a Scoop of Orange Sherbet.

On the left, Cured Alaskan Salmon.  On the right, Smoked Hudson Valley Duck Breast.  I loved the flavor of the duck meat!

My favorite appetizer was Chilled Creamy Bing Cherry Soup.  It sounds strange, but it seriously tasted like dessert!

I decided to try the Chilled Curried Apple Soup on a whim since I loved the cherry soup so much.  Sadly, they were not at all comparable.  I could not get used to the combination of flavors.  This one got tossed in the trash passed to Austin.

One final appetizer I tried was the Vine Ripe Beefsteak Tomatoes and Fresh Buffalo Mozzerrella: Marinated with Basil Leaves and Virgin Olive Oil.

Once again, the presentation was gorgeous, and the taste was marvelous.  I love fresh mozzerrella!


Braised Short Ribs from Premium Aged American Beef.  The gravy is what really made this dish so amazing.  We discussed the fact that this entree resembled a pot roast more than ribs.  Either way, it tasted great!

For lunch one day, Grandpa, Austin and I each ordered a traditional favoriteFish 'n Chips.

I really enjoyed the Prime Rib of American Beef Au Jus.  It was so good that I was hardly jealous when everyone else was chowing down on the Broiled Lobster Tail and Jumbo Shrimp.

We ordered a couple of the Carnival Classic entrees, as well.

On the left is Grilled Flat Iron Steak from American Choice Beef.  On the right is Broiled Mahi-Mahi.  This was the one entree that I truly didn't enjoy.  The fish was dry and bland.

The best entree award goes to the Double-Cut Chops of New England Spring Lamb.  This was my first time to try lamb, and it certainly was a great first impression!

Other entrees included the Supreme of Chicken ala Greque and Broiled Pike Perch with Panko Crusted Green Beans and Fried Rice.

Pork Tenderloin with Panko Crusted Green Beans and Fried Rice.  Grandpa shared a bite of his pork tenderloin with me and it was delicious! 


Dessert makes me happy!  Especially when chocolate is involved.

I could have eaten the Black Forest Gateau with Vanilla Ice Cream every single night, if I'd had the choice!  Cherries and dark chocolate are soul mates!

The Old Fashioned Apple Pie was good, but it was lacking chocolate.  So I might have ordered a second dessert, sue me.  The Warm Chocolate Melting Cake is a Carnival Classic.  My aunt ordered it every single night!

Baked Alaska was a special treat.  I enjoyed the chopped pieces of fruit on top!

There were a couple of desserts my mom would have loved: Cinnamon Bread Pudding and Poached Pear "Belle Helene" drizzled with chocolate and served with a scoop of ice cream.

The Grand Marnier Souffle was divine.  Of course, how could it not be when the defining ingredient is a French Liqueur made from a blend of cognacs and a distilled essence of bitter orange?

One more dessert, as if I needed it!  Cherries Jubilee, along with a couple of [unpictured] stolen spoonfuls of Warm Chocolate Melting Cake to satisfy my chocolate craving.

I discovered a new breakfast favorite while I was on the cruise ship.  Stewed bananas served warm with Belgian Waffles.

You have no idea how upset I was when I found out they ran out of bananas on the cruise ship!  Sadly, I only got to eat this once.  I will definitely be attempting to make stewed bananas again at home.

The rest of the breakfast items paled in comparisonSmoked Salmon on a Bagel and Eggs Benedict with a side of Corned Beef Hash.  The hollandaise sauce did not appear to be very fresh.

I love fresh fruit in the mornings. Cantaloupe, Honeydew Melons and Grapefruit.

The Cinnamon French Toast was my second-favorite breakfast item.  I tried the Stewed Blueberries and Strawberries on the side, but neither were quite as good as the Stewed Bananas.  Can you tell I'm still pouting about the bananas?  My conclusion was that the french toast was best with syrup!

This concludes my review of the Sensation Dining Room.  My overall score is an A+.  I loved the food and I am inspired to try to re-create some of the items we tried on the cruise!

Does anyone have a recipe for stewed bananas?  If so, you'll be my new best friend!
Austin said his Grandma used to make stewed bananas, so I'm hoping that maybe someone in his family has a recipe for them.  Otherwise, I'm going to just start Googling recipes!


  1. I didn't know such a thing as stewed bananas existed. great eats though, love this post!

  2. omg how do i comment on all these dishes!! im finding it hard to focus since they all look so incredible!! WOW!

    i would love to have this food prepared for me daily lol. how awesome would that be!!

    thanks for posting these droolable posts!! AMAZING

    xoxo <3

  3. Your food pics are so pretty!! I kept thinking, I want that - no! I want that! My eyes were in food porn heaven. :)

  4. hey girl! thanks for checking out my blog :) love that you get to dress up for dinner! and not to mention that it's alllll incluuuusive!

  5. sooo much good food!! i'm so jealous!
    and yessss i get amanda seyfried all the time! like once a week, i swear. but thank you for saying i'm prettier, hehee :)

  6. wow lots of delish food!!!!!!!! I would say the fine dining would be the best eats on the cruise!! I have never been on a cruise before, it was fun to see your reviews on the cruise you went on!!!

    Thanks for the comment, Anthony is a great kid!!!

  7. I'm signing up for the next cruise - strictly for the food only. I won't even leave the dining room lol

  8. Can't help with the bananas. Stewed does sound sooo good though.

    Cruises are so fun. I want to go on another very soon! It was kind of embarrassing because one night I couldn't decide between two entrees so the server brought me both and every night after I would order and then she'd bring two plates and say she thougt I might like this other dish too! My husband said she could tell I was a big eater! lol!

  9. Oh my word! All of that food looks out of this world! I bet you felt like you were in heaven with all the delicious options!