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Cruise Diary: Culinary Delights

Journalist Lou Freed and her husband Jim (who took the photos) sailed the Mediterranean on Noordam’s Roman Empire Cruise. Enjoy!

Afternoon tea provides a welcome break after a day of touring.

Noordam’s dining options
In addition to the culinary programs, Noordam aims to please its guest through five specialty restaurants providing a wide variety of dining options: the Vista Main Dining Room, Canaletto, Lido Restaurant, Pinnacle Grill and Terrace Grill. On our first night, we sampled Canaletto’s Fish Soup that caressed our palates with each sip, as well as, the delicious Linguine with Seafood, sauce of which recalled some of the best we’ve had in well-known Italian restaurants. For the rest of the cruise, we dined in the Vista Main Dining Room except on the special dinner evenings we attended at the Pinnacle Grill. Some of Vista’s most memorable dishes were the Steak and Lobster Thermidor served at the Captain’s Welcome Gala as well as the King Crab Legs and the Beef Wellington with Foie Gras, all served fast by warm and smiling attendants.

Lido Restaurant and Canaletto Manager Greg Jack showing oriental creations he oversees.

Other food and wine venues and programs
Lunch at the Lido Restaurant means cultural diversity with special sections serving Oriental, Italian and Western style dishes. Lido Restaurant and Canaletto Manager Greg Jack happily reported that for maximum cuisine pleasure at both facilities he supervises, he assigns specific personnel to take care of dining services, restaurant cleanliness and the fresh orchids on the tables. “Some guests are surprised the flowers are real and not artificial,” according to the Indonesian native who once lived in Mestre, Italy.

For guests who prefer relaxing and dining privately, a complimentary room service with delectable selections is available 24 hours a day.

Ultimately enhancing and extending cruisers’ sensorial experiences are the “Navigator’s Wine Tasting” and “Premium Wine Tasting” events with Sommelier Frank. At both events, the cellar master navigates the world of wine and answers queries on the subject, creating great educational opportunities.

Dessert Extravaganza tempts guests with tasty treats.

Noordam’s appreciation initiatives
What’s more, to further Noordam’s exciting culinary offerings, the vessel provides a “Dessert Extravaganza” that fills three floors of the Atrium with chocolates, pies and cakes, answering a “sweet-tooth’s” dream; a “Mediterranean & Greek Delights Lunch” plus a “Barbecue Evening at the Lido Deck” for guests to view the legendary sunset at Santorini. For mid-afternoon snackers, tea and coffee are served with canapés and sweets at the Vista Dining Room. Two special themes, “Indonesian Tea and Coffee” and “Royal Dutch High Tea,” are among the highlights of the cruise.

As a token of their appreciation to special guests and repeat customers, Captain Mateboer and Hotel Manager James Deering host a “Welcome Cocktail” at the beginning and a “Mariner’s Society Brunch” towards the end. Both events showcase delectable appetizers and offerings with colorful refreshments. This is also a great opportunity to socialize with other cruisers, officers and crew members.

As the old saying goes: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” In the MS Noordam’s case, its creative culinary staff, along with efficient and hospitable dining attendants, has indeed won our hearts through their exceptionally choreographed food and wine repertoire.

Lido Deck barbecue evening at Santorini.

  • M. Constance

    We totally agree with you 100% on your views of Holland America’s cuisine and service. We, too have similar photos taken at the port of Barcelona on the Noordam 20-30 June Mediterranean Enchantment cruise, where we docked overnight. We were quite happy to delight in the sumptious BBQ, accompanied with seafood paellas, and the wonderful choice of salads always avail. on board. I have followed your journey from the start, and am glad that we are not the only crazed cruise lovers out there…Congratulations on your photo work.

  • Kathy

    10 years later I still remember that Lobster Thermidor, where can I find the recipe?

  • Julie

    Let’s see what we can do to get that recipe!

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