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tomservo

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About tomservo

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    NYC
  • Interests
    Good food, relaxing
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Bermuda

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  1. Did you happen to grab any menu pics? I was wondering what the prices looked like at Food Republic. Judging by a recent Encore menu it looks like they doubled, wanted to see if it affected the Bliss as well.
  2. Day 3 (continued) Dinner We had reservations for 5:30 at Chops with my sister. I looked at the Coastal Kitchen menu prior to the cruise and for the nights where the menu didn't look appealing to either my wife or myself, I made reservations for specialty dining. The ship seemed to really be rocking now and I was not in a good place. Chops Menu (from the RCCL site) I ordered the shrimp cocktail and crab cake, my sister got the mushroom soup and tuna tartare (when she saw my shrimp cocktail she ordered one too), and my wife got the crispy goat cheese salad. The shrimp was huge and excellent, not rubbery, meaty and well cooked - much better than what I had in Coastal Kitchen. I wouldn't order the crab cake again, it was too bready, but the sauce and corn that came with it was good. My wife really enjoyed her salad. Shrimp Cocktail Tuna Tartare Bread Cake (with a touch of crab) Mushroom Soup Crispy Goat Cheese Salad When my wife told the server she was vegetarian (she was planning on just eating sides), he offered to get her a pasta dish from Jamie's, which she welcomed. The server was great as well, very accommodating and gave great service. I ordered the rib eye and my sister got the spicy jumbo shrimp. After I ordered my entree I went back to the room to lay down for a few, hoping it would alleviate some of the sea sickness. I was also worried about throwing up in the restaurant. It never came, but I felt close for a while. After 15 minutes, I tried going back to the restaurant to at least try some of my food. I can't remember the sides we got but I'm guessing the creamed spinach, the mac and cheese, and the mashed potatoes. I ordered it medium rare and it came out a little rarer than I liked. I got through a few chewy parts of gristle (the rest of the steak looked fine) but had to throw in the towel and went back to the room. Bone-in Ribeye Spicy Shrimp My wife said her pasta dish was ok, I think it ended up being a pasta with red sauce, and my sister enjoyed her food. My wife got the key lime pie which she enjoyed after scraping off the meringue (she doesn't like it and it seems like cruise ships have an excessive amount of desserts with meringue, often in place of whipped cream). I stayed in the room and they met with my cousin to see The Gift, which they said was ok. I stayed in bed and we all went to sleep when they got back from the show.
  3. Day 3 Breakfast We decided to try the MDR for breakfast this morning. We were joined by my sister, my cousin, and her family, and it was nice to have a meal with everyone. They prefer to eat in the buffet because it's easier for them since they have younger kids. Our kids are a little older, but we prefer a sit down meal so we make our kids deal with it. I had the french toast, my wife had an omlette with a side of grits, and my kids had french toast and pancakes. There were also servers walking around with juice and pastries (same ones from the buffet). Breakfast overall was decent, I liked it better than the buffet. I didn't get a chance to check it out for dinner but overall was not a fan of it for breakfast and lunch. MDR Breakfast Menu French Toast Omelette Grits Pancakes During breakfast the captain made the announcement about the final itinerary change and that we were headed to Coco Cay. The dining room applauded - people were definitely excited to finally go somewhere warm. We finally set sail around 11am. We went up to the SeaPlex to play some foosball with the kids and watch the sailaway. We then headed back to the room to watch some of it from our balcony. We went back out and let the kids have some fun around the ship, stopping by the arcade, the kids club (the free play area, they did not enjoy being dropped off), and the SeaPlex. The theater was showing Secret Life of Pets, but our kids were not interested so we left. I was starting to feel a little sea sick so I put on my cruise patch. By the time we were done we missed lunch at the MDR, which stops serving lunch earlier than I would expect (I think around 12:30). We stopped by the buffet for a late lunch. I walked around the whole buffet but didn't see anything that appealed to me. I ended up with a bowl of chili, which was fine because I had a late breakfast and an early dinner. We went back to the room and hung out in there for a bit while my wife and older son got ready for Northstar, they had a reservation with my cousin and sister. I stayed in the room with my younger son, who was too young to go. The seas were getting a bit rough, and even though I had the patch on for a few hours I was starting to feel worse.
  4. How did it work at Food Republic? Could you get whatever you want, or was it 4 items?
  5. We're in a similar situation, my wife is vegetarian and I'm also doing keto (although I will take a break for the cruise and resume once done). I haven't asked for anything keto/low carb in the Haven before, but I would play it safe. You can certainly ask, but I expect that most of the crew will not be familiar with low-carb foods. Like you said, stick to proteins and green vegetables, you will probably be ok with creamy salad dressings but you never know if they have sugar in them (you can always get oil and vinegar). You can ask if they dressings are made in house or pre-made, if they're made in house you have a better chance of finding out exactly what's in them. Dessert-wise you might be able to ask for berries or something with no sugar added depending on your carb allowance/tolerance (MDR and buffet have NSA desserts). Vegetarian is a little trickier. We were in the Haven on the Getaway and they were reasonably accommodating, but they didn't really go out of their way either. I asked what were some off menu vegetarian options the chef could whip up since there's only one dinner option for her, and they couldn't think of anything. They kept asking what she would like, but she's not good at coming up with something, she likes having options to choose from. I asked if they could make her any indian dishes and they said no, which was weird because I thought it was supposed to be easy to get indian food on a cruise since a lot of the chefs are indian. Finally I asked to look at the MDR menu and they were happy to accommodate with 1 day's notice. They did end up making her vegetarian version of the Butternut Squash soup, and she got a grilled eggplant and vegetable dish from the MDR. We didn't get a chance to go back to the Haven for dinner, so she didn't get to try the ravioli but I hear it's excellent. I did have the filet and it was very good too. Your best best is to figure out which days you want to eat in the Haven and speak to the maitre'd to see if they can make something or have something brought up from the MDR. They have the MDR menus for the week for you to look at. They don't mind making these kind of arrangements, they just want a reasonable amount of notice.
  6. I've sailed in the Haven on the Getaway, and I have 2 upcoming cruises in the Haven on the Bliss and Encore. I previously had a cruise booked on the Divina in the Yacht Club, but it got cancelled due to a charter. It was a 10 night Caribbean cruise out of Miami, and was a hair under 6k for the 4 of us (2 kids), which at the time I thought was a fantastic price (600/night). I've been looking for a chance to try the YC again, but prices have gone up significantly since then. From what I've seen, YC prices at the low end are pretty much on par with Haven prices at the low end. For example, the cheapest deluxe room for us starts at 5k (from a US port). Our Bliss cruise was a hair over 6k (which includes the free at sea gratuities). Yes the YC is 1k cheaper but the main differences are that port and the room. We've leaving out of NYC and I've seen similar Haven cruises out of FL for as low as 5k. The bigger difference is the room. We have the Aft Penthouse on the Haven (H6), which is obviously much bigger than the YC deluxe suite. When I tried to pitch the YC to my wife, she was onboard until I showed her the room, which she complained was just a standard balcony cabin but a bit bigger. I showed her the family suite, and she was onboard until I told here there was no balcony. That was a non-starter. So for us the biggest issue with the YC is the suites. For our family, the Haven suites work better, whether it's an H4, H6, H7, etc. I can see a more appropriate comparison between the H5 and the deluxe suite, since those cabins are similar, but we can't stay in an H5 since I think they only hold 3 max. Also I would always pick an H6 over an H5 anyway, the aft view and balcony are awesome plus the walk to the Haven is not an issue for us.
  7. Day 2 (continued) Coastal Kitchen Dinner Menu Day 2 Artichoke Soup Lobster Salad with dreaded vanilla sauce Skrimps "Grilled" Ribeye Chocolate Bar Cheesecake Creme Brulee
  8. Day 2 (continued) After lunch we went to check out Family Karaoke in the Music Hall. It's exactly what it sounds like, it's kids singing kids songs. They seemed to have a hard time getting kids to come up and sing. Neither of our kids wanted to sing anything so we left. I'm not sure what else we did before dinner but we I think we went back to the room and hung out for a while. Dinner We ate in Coastal Kitchen. I think this was the most disappointing CK meal for me. The Artichoke soup I think was ok. I asked for the dressing on the side for the Lobster Salad, which was crucial (thanks @Noreen411!) I tried dipping a few pieces into the dressing, but it is just not good on that salad, it is way too sweet. They need to send it back to the test kitchen. It does need some kind of vinaigrette, maybe a nice citrus vinaigrette. The shrimp were fine, but the Grilled Rib Eye was not good (also it was definitely cut off a roast and not grilled). Rib eye is my favorite steak, and I'm not a steak snob or anything, but it's disappointing to get a poor version of your favorite thing. The portion was very small - essentially a normal-sized slice of prime rib cut into quarters. The meat itself was a bit tough with not much flavor, likely a result of either being made earlier in the day and being held at temp or just not being a quality piece of meat (or both). My wife had the Zucchini Spaghetti, which she said was ok. I got the Creme Brulee but sent it back (too thin, like it was made with skim milk). I tried the Mascarpone Cheesecake, which came in little cheesecake balls rolled in graham cracker crumbs, which was decent. My wife got the Valrhona Chocolate Bar, which was good but very rich, and she wasn't able to finish it.
  9. Yeah there were a few people from overseas who didn't really have much of a choice since they already had flights booked etc. There was one couple from Europe and it was their first cruise. I guess at least stuff like this makes for good stories down the line. We had kids but it didn't bother them too much (they're younger). My wife was the most annoyed out of all of us, mostly because she was eager to get away from the cold.
  10. Day 2 (continued) Lunch We picked our kids up from the club which closed at noon and decided to check out Two70 for lunch. Kummelweck! Lunch Menu Breakfast Menu Dessert case I had a Kummelweck sandwich, and it's as good as everyone says it is. I wish I had eaten more of them. We sat and ate in Two70 and watched some of the members of Spectra's Cabaret rehearse. Apparently it was a new cast and people were excited for Terry's return (who plays the main character). He spent a few years playing Spectra on Anthem before leaving to pursue other roles. I thought he did a great job. SpectraRehearsal.mov
  11. I had no idea they left the ship, it would have been fun to see them in 270. We thought about leaving the ship too but since it was our first time we ended up just walking around exploring the ship. Thanks for commenting, glad to hear from others who were also on this cruise. I was in the FB group as well but it got negative pretty quickly (understandably).
  12. Day 2 This was a port day in Bayonne, and at this point the plan was to leave for Bermuda the next day. They did offer shuttles from the dock to the Bayonne light rail, which you could take to the PATH or maybe a bus (not sure) to NYC, which was nice of them to arrange. We didn't mind so much since it was our first time on the Anthem, so we took the opportunity to explore the ship for the day. The general mood on the ship seemed to be annoyed but trying to make the best of it. Breakfast We had breakfast with my cousin in the Windjammer. The breakfast pastries were ok, and I would say the (relative) standouts were the raspberry danishes and the chocolate donuts. The chocolate donuts were weird, they're not like normal donuts, much firmer than regular donuts but not in a stale kind of way. I think the chocolate croissants were decent too but I can't remember. The filled donuts were not good, they were doughy and undercooked. I think my wife said the muffins were decent as well. After breakfast we dropped our kids off at the kids club for an hour while my wife and I wandered around the ship. I managed to grab this pic of the Johnny Rockets menu (prices have definitely gone up, they're basically land prices now). I got my first mocktail at Two70 as I had the Refreshment package. The Mexican Limeade was ok, but way too sweet. Also it's supposed to be flavored with habanero, but the only spicy thing I saw the bartender put in there was Tabasco, which does not taste the same as habanero. I did manage to get some pics of the drink menu - I think this is the only bar menu I was able to get. Bar at Two70 We also stopped to check out the Solarium since we were sans kids. I was hoping they still had real fruit smoothies but alas they only had the premade mixes (the white cartons in the middle). We went out on the bridge wings to take some pictures. Get ready for some cranes! My cousin's husband is a longshoreman, so he was joking about how he got on a cruise to get away from cranes, not stare at them all day. We also saw this monument. It's the Tear Drop Memorial, a memorial to the victims of 9/11 and the WTC bombing. Interesting side story - the monument was donated by Russia, and the intended recipient was Jersey City (which is right across from downtown Manhattan and the WTC), but they didn't want it, so it ended up in Bayonne.
  13. I found a video review for some of the food on the menu.
  14. Day 1 (continued) Dinner Dinner was in Coastal Kitchen. Iwayan was our waiter, he was great. He did a good job with the kids, although I think they were a little young for some of the magic trick type stuff he was doing with them, like the one with bunch of cards with numbers on them and you tell him if your number is on each of the cards and he figures out the number. Dinner for the most part was good. The shrimp cocktail and pear dessert were ok, and the filet was pretty good. Portions were small, which I wasn't expecting but I think it's a good idea because it lets you sample more dishes by getting multiple apps/entrees. I will definitely get 2 filets next time. Coastal Kitchen menu Day 1 Smoked Tomato Soup Shrimp Cocktail Pork Belly Filet Cauliflower Steak Warm Honey Pear Chocolate Cake After dinner I grabbed a quick video of a demo of the roboscreens in Two70. Two70Demo.mov
  15. Day 1 (continued) On the Ship Once we were on, I deposited my wife and kids at the Bionic Bar while my sister and I went to make reservations. I first made dinner reservations at Coastal Kitchen, then went to Wonderland to make the rest of our specialty dining reservations. My sister went to make reservations for iFly, the escape room, etc. Originally we were going to find an alternate lunch option for lunch, but because so many people had cancelled, the buffet wasn't too busy. The food was alright, nothing to write home about (I remember the fried fish being good). We went to the Seaplex and arcade while we waited for our rooms to be ready. There was a roller skating session going on at the time (was hoping for bumper cars). We went to the room and I got to surprise my wife with the Jr Suite. She started to get upset when I told her how much JS's normally run (4-5k from what I've seen) since this was supposed to be a cheap last minute cruise, but I told her that I won an upgrade and she was ok after that. We hung out in the room for a little while then got ready for the muster. Here are some pics I took of La Patisserie while waiting for the muster to start. We sat in Sorrentos for the muster, which was a life vest demo and the mini spy-movie they played on a tv. They did set out a bunch of slices of fresh pizza for after the muster which was nice. I had low expectations going in, but Sorrentos was actually not bad. Much better than buffet pizza, it was thin crust with decent sauce and cheese. I never got a chance to get one made to order but I did grab some snack slices a few times throughout the cruise. Definitely get it hot, it's not nearly as good once it cools down.
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