So, we all know cruise holidays are about destinations, service, having a great time and of course… FOOD! At every turn there were delectable delights waiting for us with sweet and savoury offerings in the Top Sail Lounge and refreshing fruit and gorgeous cakes on the pool deck.
Apologies this will be a long post as we explore the food throughout the cruise!
Prior to heading to the port we enjoyed a selection of treats at the home of espresso coffee in Naples – Gran Caffe Gambrinus. Before the cakes arrived the complimentary cicchetti were served – we almost wished we’d not ordered the cakes there was that much! Alas the cakes arrived and between the three of us we demolished them!
Compared to standing inside the cafe and having an espresso this was somewhat more expensive, but what a treat to enjoy – a great spot to people watch before we headed to the port to embark on the beautiful MSC Seaview.
We were slightly too late for lunch, but that did not matter, given all that we had eaten it was a welcome break from food for a while!
As this blog post will focus wholly on the food, I won’t recap on what we did each day, but wanted to share with you pictures of the menus and the food we enjoyed.
Night 1 dinner
We both had steak tartare, followed by risotto and then the mixed grill and then I had tiramisu whilst Andy opted for Black Forest (he is allergic to coffee). Unfortunately I can’t find the picture of the mixed grill or the black forest gateau, so we will just have to have another cruise to secure the photograph!
So how did we find the food on night one? Have a guess? Perfect. The attention to detail on the Tiramisu is a case in point. The square of chocolate that garnished the dish was delicious.
You can read more about our first day here: Day 1
Day 2 – Lunch
We took breakfast in the Yacht Club restaurant, this was the only day that we did this, purely on the basis that we seemed to opt for lighter options of just fruit or cereal on deck.
I opted for Eggs Benedict, which is usually served with ham, which I’m not keen on. The waiter asked if I’d prefer smoked salmon, which I absolutely would, so a gorgeous Eggs Royale was served up with beautifully runny. Perfection!
The menu in the Yacht Club for breakfast is exactly the same as that in the main dining room of the ship, with a multitude of items to choose from: bakery items, cereals, eggs any way you can imagine, waffles, fish such as smoked salmon or kippers – the list goes on!
Also available in the Top Sail Lounge was a variety of gorgeous looking sweet pastries and various savoury items.
Lunch on Day 2 was again in the main restaurant
From this lunch menu we both opted for the bresaola, then I had the halibut and Andy had the always available Caesar Salad with king prawns, followed by a cheese plate
Dinner that evening was the Elegant dinner menu:
This menu is designed by Ramon Freixa, who also puts his name to the Ocean Cay speciality dining restaurant onboard. We were lucky enough to meet him when we dined there on the ship’s maiden voyage.
There was so much choice on this menu it was really difficult to know what to have for the best! I decided to go with the escargots, as I really love them, Andy had the scallops and we both went for the filet mignon for main course.
An amuse bouche was presented to us just after we ordered, which was a lovely touch. The food soon arrived and as you’ll see from the below photos it was magnificent and very nicely presented.
For dessert Andy opted for the poached pear and I had the chocolate royale cake. I think the wine was flowing so much during dinner that I forgot to take a photo! You’ll certainly never go thirsty on an MSC cruise!
To read the rest of what we got up to on Day 2 Click here
As mentioned previously, breakfast was a light-affair taken on the deck. The pool deck of the Seaside class is much improved to the Fantasia class in that the Yacht Club grill facilities offer far more choice as it is larger. This obviously means the chef has more space to prepare a variety of dishes, and this would work really well during warmer weeks – one of the hazards of cruising in winter is that you might not get to enjoy a ship at its absolute best.
Back to the Yacht Club restaurant for lunch and here’s the menu:
Plenty of choice for a lunch menu. We both opted for samosas, the waiter was apologetic that they were in fact spring rolls for that day – we didn’t find this a problem.
Andy had the roasted veal leg and I had the salmon fillet, followed by ice cream – the selection of the day was stracciatelle gelato and raspberry sorbet – yum!
That evening we opted for Roy Yamaguchi’s Asian fusion restaurant. As Black Card holders in the MSC Voyagers Club we were able to have a meal for two in one of the speciality restaurants, and as we’d tried Ocean Cay previously we thought we’d give the Asian Fusion a try.
The dining experience allows you to choose from a set menu. Please excuse the quality of the photo – I’m not a professional! This is also the menu you’re able to choose from if you pre-purchase a speciality dining package.
For our starters I opted for the Bao Buns and Andy the Steamed Clams
For main course I chose the Lamb Chops Viatnamese style and Andy went for the Filet Mignon.
We both opted for Roy’s Chocolate Souffle for our dessert
So what’s the verdict on this restaurant and the meal? To be honest we didn’t enjoy it. We felt it wasn’t as good as the food we’d been having in the Yacht Club restaurant and based on previous speciality dining we’ve had on cruises it didn’t seem that ‘special’. It took the best part of two hours to eat the three courses as the service was slow. Perhaps it just wasn’t our style of cuisine, it isn’t something we’d usually go for. In hindsight we should have gone back to Ocean Cay or tried the Butcher’s Cut. Unfortunately the Teppan Yaki wasn’t an option – we absolutely loved that experience on the MSC Meraviglia.
To read more about Day 3 Click Here
Things were back to normal! Again breakfast was fruit on deck. Lunch in the Yacht Club restaurant – menu as follows:
We both opted for the cured ham, our friend Mary who was joining us had the swordfish escabeche. Andy and Mary then both opted for the Sirloin and I tried the ‘alays available’ burger as I didn’t fancy the steak.
We all opted for the chocolate tart for dessert.
Again what a great selection of food! The cured ham was obviously freshly cut.
I was very tempted by the tuna, however on our previous Yacht Club cruise we seemed to consume a lot of burgers (we just sat outside chatting in the sun with our friends and they were readily available) so I was intrigued how they would compare. This was probably the best burger I’d had in a long time.
The dessert was also very good, with a lovely crunchy base and the delicate but warming flavour of ginger running through the cream.
Of course as we were able to treat Mary to a day’s Yacht Club experience we let our lunch settle and then somehow managed to force afternoon tea down us! Complete gluttony – we didn’t need it but wow was it fantastic!
The tables laid out with crisp table cloths, the white-gloved service from the butler with a selection of teas and a tower of tempting treats with sandwiches, cakes, biscuits and scones with clotted cream and jam. Needless to say we didn’t have room for much of the food, but a cup of Earl Greay with a slice of lemon was very welcome!
Another Elegant night followed – here’s the menu:
Again, a well-rounded menu with lots of choice. Andy and Mary had the Foie Gras creme brulee and I had the shrimp cocktail:
A fish course of lobster followed for Andy, Mary and I sat that one out. For main course I really enjoyed the beef tagliata whilst the other two went for Carlo Cracco’s signature braised beef with pomegranate. The only reason I opted for the tagliata rather than the braised beef option is that I enjoy my meat less well cooked, so braised dishes do not appeal to me, even though this was beautifully tender and flavoursome.
The ice cream pyramid was divine – an individual Baked Alaska. Andy and Mary both had the cherries jubilee and our waiter also brought a chocolate dish that wasn’t on the menu for us to try.
Eventually we rolled out of the restaurant and you can read more about the day here
Good Lord can I stop eating now? I feel like I’m going to pop but it is ALL SO DELICIOUS! That being said, we did average 6 miles a day walking, which would hopefully combat some of the eating. Quite remarkable since we didn’t get off the ship!
I tried the pancakes on deck for breakfast, they were wonderfully light and fluffy. Have to say it’s not something I’ve tried before but the Americans seem to love it so thought I’d give it a go!
Lunch was again in the Yacht Club restaurant:
We both opted for the salmon tartare and the grilled sea bass fillet – quite a light lunch considering, but I think our stomachs were ready for a rest!
The Parma ham starter was again delicious, I had the grilled swordfish fillet and Andy the rack of lamb. Again it was pretty difficult to choose what to have! The individual tarte tatin from the chef’s specials selection was the perfect size to finish off the meal.
Read more about Day 5 here
As we’d eaten so much we decided to skip lunch in the main restaurant, however the menu was as per the below. I think I’d have gone for the gravlax salmon and the grilled pork if we had gone…
We decided to have a wonder up to the pool deck as we’d not really taken much notice of the lunch options up there. To my surprise there was a whole roast turkey! Various other options were also available such as sweet and sour pork in addition to various fresh meats and fish displayed on ice to allow you to pick what you might like
We both had some freshly grilled prawns and then a few other bits and pieces off the buffet to make a meal.
Our final night onboard was Mediterranean night with various option from around the region to choose from. Unfortunately my photos of the food haven’t turned out very well (blame the free-flowing wine again) but here are the menus!
Read more about our final night and disembarkation Here
In summary, the dining experience on MSC Seaview and in particular the Yacht Club were second to none. Fair enough, we didn’t enjoy the food in the Asian restaurant but that’s not to say there was anything wrong with it per se.
The attention to detail in the Yacht Club is really something else, and the service is easily on a par with The Ivy, and certainly better than the restaurant at the Eiffel Tower.
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