Let’s talk about what we ate in Antarctica.
First off, the food was excellent. We ate so well on this trip. And it felt like they were always feeding us when we were on board, which was awesome.
Mealtimes were noted on the daily program. (It was broadcast on its own channel on the TVs in our rooms as well as posted in various spots throughout the ship.)
First was a continental breakfast served in the main lounge, for the hour before the main breakfast started. I could not tell you anything about this one as I was never out of bed to partake of this one.
Then came the main breakfast served in the dining room. This lasted an hour and usually began sometime between 7 and 8am. The seating (for all meals) was open–just sit wherever you wanted. There were a few tables for two, lots of tables for four or six, and a few larger ones.
(I did not notice that my face was in the bacon until I was processing these back at home.)
Breakfast was served buffet style, with a variety of meats, cheeses, breads, eggs, potatoes, fruits, etc. Coffee was free but sodas (including club soda) cost $3 each.
Lunch was also served buffet style, sometime around 12 or 1pm. Each morning they posted the lunch menu describing what was offered in the buffet for that day. There was always at least one vegetarian option (except for one day when there were anchovies in the pasta sauce, which seemed like an oversight).
Some of the things served at lunch included: vegan white chili, couscous salad, tangy tomato salad, chicken cacciatore, Norwegian fish & chips, Monte Cristo sandwich, pan-fried swai, artichoke and prosciutto salad, blackened catfish fillet, chickpea ratatouille, beef & broccoli stir fry, coconut curry chicken, hearty vegetable soup, and pomodoro pasta.
The soups and drinks were served to you by the servers; everything else you just helped yourself to at the buffet. It was no small feat on some days for the servers to carry cups of soup and trays of drinks, with as much movement as there was sometimes. (And sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, things slid off to the ground anyway.)
Glasses were laid on their sides in hopes of preventing breakage.
The dessert table at lunch. The best thing about the dessert table is that it always included cheese.
Dinner was usually served around 7 or 7:30, after our daily re-cap.
Dinner was not a buffet; it was seated. Servers took our orders off the nightly menu. Again, there was always at least one vegetarian option, sometimes two. Wine & cocktails were also available (for a fee).
Some of the things we were offered at dinner (and the only way I can remember these is that Quark gave us a file with a bunch of info from the trip, including the menus, after it was over): cream of potato leeks, snapper fillet, roasted pork tenderloin, smoked salmon fettuccini, eggplant milanese, beetroot salad, duck breast salad, carrot ginger soup, tofu tempura, broiled haddock fillet, Ukranian red borscht (vegetarian!!!), vegetable moussaka, Greek salad, vegetable torte, seafood bisque, and mahi mahi fillet.
And then there were two dessert choices, plus ice cream (made on the ship).
Basically, the food was fantastic. And this wasn’t even all of it. They also served snacks each afternoon just before the re-cap. Re-cap was held in the main lounge, and they’d set up a table just outside the lounge with various appetizers–bruschetta, shrimp cocktail, little sandwiches (cucumber and tomato for the veggie option), and so on. There was a bar in the lounge so you could order drinks as well.
And at all times, there were cookies, coffee, tea, and water available in the lounge.
My only complaint about the vegetarian options was the day they had a BBQ. It was meat, meat, and more meat. I thought they’d at least have a veggie burger or something, but no. There were enough sides to make a decent meal but I really wanted a veggie burger.
I almost forgot to mention the awesome announcement that the woman at the reception desk would make when the dining room opened for meals. She had the perkiest voice, and she would announce, “The dining room is now open. Enjoy your lunch!” It doesn’t come across in writing, I’m realizing, but since I’m writing this for me as much as for you guys, I’m leaving it b/c it will remind me of her cute little upbeat announcement.