Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day 9: At Sea

Today was all about relaxation following yesterday's exhausting odyssey to Cairo.

We had breakfast early and then sat in the solarium. Libby read a book, I wrote for the blog.

This afternoon we continued lounging about and basically did nothing productive. I sometimes dislike days at sea, thinking them a waste of precious vacation time. But, today was good for recharging the batteries.

Dinner tonight was at Portofino, the ship's other specialty restaurant. You can probably guess by the name that it's Italian-themed. Overall, we thought it was decent... certainly better than the “son of Olive Garden” on NCL's ships. But, Portofino was billed as a fine dining (rather than a casual eatery). In that sense, it missed the mark. We began with a nice selection of breads and exceptionally good spreads (including a wonderful mushroom pate). Both of our salads were also very good. Then things went downhill. Our soups were just plain bad. Libby's Italian bean was too salty; my chilled tomato and red pepper was just utterly unbalanced and downright vile (“worst dish” of the cruise award).Libby's main course, the signature seafood dish (a dangling rod of fruits of the sea), was both too clever (and phallic) by far. This was made worse by the ham-fisted table service that sent Libby's salmon flying (and thus needing to be recooked). I had veal wrapped in prosciutto served on a bed of wild mushroom risotto. The veal was decent but the risotto was excellent. The meal ended well with a selection of miniature desserts (basically smaller portions of their entire dessert menu). All were pretty good. Would I try Portofino again? Probably. But, if I could only select one, I'd go to Chops.

Tomorrow is our final port of call: Malta.


  1. I think a visit to Vino e Pasta is in order when you return to Tampa, so you can remember what good Italian food is like.

    I am enjoying your posts, as always. Thanks

  2. You're on my friend! btw, I managed to buy a bottle of wine from Malta today. It should be a dry rose... it might be awful or great, but either we'll share it with you. :-)