Tuesday was Grand Turk which I learned from my first visit via Eurodam means one thing: BEACH DAY. After a quick lido breakfast that consisted of some fruit and fresh squeezed OJ and some fresh salmon benedict we headed off the ship. We skipped all the shops and Margaritaville in favor of a couple lounge chairs, the sun and the water. After a couple hours, even the SPF 85 wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and we ended up a little toasty, but all in all not too bad. We were out til about 12:30 p.m. and then headed back on board when we were struck by a very interesting thought.
Twenty total cruises, nearly all of them on HAL (obvious reasons of course) and we had never done the Pinnacle Grill for lunch. Ever. And after eating in there as we were docked in Grand Turk we seriously began to wonder why. The amazing Anne Jameson, Pinnacle Grill Manager aboard Nieuw Amsterdam, was able to squeeze us in shortly before the venue closed. This was also our first of many opportunities to eat in the reconfigured Pinnacle Grill. Lunch consisted of a Five Onion Soup, Blue Cheese Crusted Filet with grilled asparagus and scalloped potatoes (minus the blue cheese which was easily accommodated) and for dessert an absolutely decadent Orange and Lime Panna Cotta. The soup was delicious and creamy with a subtle yet complex flavor, the filet was the same as the petite cut filet mignon on the dinner menu and the panna cotta was among the best I’ve ever had, served with candied zest, fresh berries and a touch of chocolate ganache that the chefs shaped to look like palm trees. I seriously have no idea why it took us 5 years of cruising on HAL, slightly longer than my time working for the company, but am certain it will not take that long to go back!
The Pinnacle Grill.
The rest of the afternoon consisted of some napping and a little blog writing and then dinner eventually came around. We met up with our friends and were taken right to a table of 8. This dinner also included my first time having another staple item, the Parmesan Crusted chicken. Paired with a chardonnay that was a gift to the table it was absolutely delicious. There was also French onion soup which is almost always a definite order, a fabulous tuna carpaccio appetizer and a key lime pie for dessert that was one of the best I’ve ever had. Culinary Operations Manager Jonathan Lewis stopped by the table at one point and was happy to see that most of the table ordered it, as it was his personal choice for the evening as well.
Entertainment was a cast show with the singers and dancers called Garage Band. Lots of great effects using the latest technologies incorporated into the Showroom at Sea. The show was a good one and then we were off to the Silk Den for some of the specialty drinks that can only be found on Deck 11 midship. Some of the specialties include a drink called the Silk Den featuring fresh watermelon juice, a Samurai Mojito made with sake and a Blue Zen which is an awesome twist on a pina colada. After an hour or so of sharing stories and chat, along with a little furniture reorganization we got everything back the way we found it and headed to bed.
Tomorrow… San Juan, Puerto Rico.
DBA, our favorite HAL employee and blogger, is on board Nieuw Amsterdam and will be blogging from the ship during his cruise. To check out his blog, visit www.dutchbyassociation.com. Enjoy the Posts!