I’m not a foodie; I just like trying new things. From a typical dish with a twist to a completely unique blend of flavors and ingredients, I’m game for it all.
On a recent 7-day Caribbean cruise aboard Norwegian Getaway, I put forth a valiant effort to try at least one unique food or drink item from each of the 27 dining options on board. I think I’m still digesting.
While my food settles, I bring you a list of culinary superlatives I had all week, from the tastiest, most palate-pleasing dishes and drink to the not so typical menu items and little culinary surprises in no particular order.
1. Most Likely to Keep You From Sharing
Chocolate Fondue for Two
Chocolate lovers rejoice. The chocolate fondue for two at Le Bistro is delicious and beautifully prepared. From the medley of fruit perfectly placed inside a carved-out pineapple to the rich and creamy dark couverture chocolate (58%) by Cocao-Barry Callebaut bubbling to a warm temperature in the fondue pot. And while it says fondue for two, it’s ok if it’s just for you.
When you finish all your fruit don’t be shy either. Grab your knife and cut the pineapple into bite-sized pieces. We wouldn’t want to waste any chocolate now, would we?
Where to find it: Le Bistro is a specialty French Restaurant on board Norwegian Breakaway, Dawn, Epic, Gem, Getaway, Jade, Jewel, Pearl, Sky, Spirit, Star and Sun.
Cost: Dine at Le Bistro for approximately $20.
2. Most Likely to Make Your “Food to Try” Bucket List
One of the best parts of cruising is that you have the option to sample. Take advantage of it and try something out of the ordinary. When I saw escargot on the menu, I thought of it as a check mark on my “food to try” bucket list rather than a pesky garden creature.
The escargot was prepared bourguignonne style, which means the snails were removed from their shells (great option for first timers), prepared in a pocked plate with drawn butter, shallots, garlic and parsley, and then baked in the oven. It was served hot with a generous portion of French bread. I finished the entire dish. Le Bistro is a popular Norwegian restaurant featured on almost all of Norwegian Cruise Line's ships including the newest ships, Breakaway, Epic and Getaway.
Where to find it: Le Bistro French Restaurant on board Norwegian Breakaway, Dawn, Epic, Gem, Getaway, Jade, Jewel, Pearl, Sky, Spirit, Star and Sun.
Cost: Le Bistro is a specialty restaurant and cost approximately $20 per person.
3. Most Likely to Make You Ditch the Lunchtime Buffet
New England Style Lobster Roll
If you’re looking for a sea day snack on the water, head to Ocean Blue on The Waterfront and order Norwegian’s take on the traditional New England lobster roll. Served on a brioche bun with chunks of perfectly cooked lobster mixed with spicy mustard dressing and just enough zing from a lemon. And of course a side of thick cut and freshly fried chips.
Ocean Blue on The Waterfront is only open from 12 – 2 p.m. on sea days.
Where to find it: Ocean Blue on The Waterfront window only on board Norwegian Getaway and Breakaway.
Cost: All food items are a la carte and the Lobster Roll in particular is approximately $10.00.
4. Most Likely to Make You Think You’re in South Beach
Mojito Flight of Six
On a Miami-inspired ship, it’s only natural to have Miami-style drinks. And nothing says Miami better than a flight of mojitos. Sample six freshly mulled mojitos served in three-ounce glasses, enjoy the warm Caribbean air and take your time deciding on a favorite.
From a classic Bacardi mojito with fresh mint and rum to a Spicy Passion Mojito that lives up to its name thanks to a drop of sriracha and passion fruit. Pause and let your palate process. Continue on to the Jalapeño Cucumber Mojito that has quite a bite to it as it consists of fresh jalapeños mulled with mint. It’s actually quite nice, as the mix of jalapeños, sugar and mint blend well together. And then there’s my personal favorite, the Pineapple Coconut Mojito that tastes like a sweet relaxing day on the beach. Tempting, isn’t it?
Where to find it: Sugarcane Mojito Bar on board Norwegian Getaway only
Cost: $20 for a mojito flight – day or night
5. Most Likely to Please the Craft Brew Lovers
La Rubia Blond Ale from Wynwood Brewing Company
Micro-brew lovers, no longer do you need to settle for the bland taste of tailgating beer on your cruise. O’Sheehan’s is a neighborhood styled pub stocked with a few Miami local brews on tap.
La Rubia Blond Ale from Wynwood Brewing Company is one of their most popular brews that’s light in color but high in flavor. It has a crisp bitterness to it with a slight sweet-hoppy taste and an ABV of 5.0 %. Brewed specifically for the hot weather in Miami, La Rubia is a perfect choice when you’re cruising in the Caribbean. If you forget the name of the local brewery, keep your eyes peeled for spray-paint bottles as the tap handle.
Don’t just sit at the bar while you’re at O’Sheehan’s. Head to the back of the bar where you’ll find duckpin bowling lanes, skee ball and a few other arcade favorites. An insider tip to keep in mind, if you want to order La Rubia Blond Ale while you’re dining at one of the specialty restaurants, ask your server in the most polite way. It will take a little longer to get to you, but you’ll get it.
Where to find it: O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill on Norwegian Getaway
Note: You can also find Wynwood Brewing Company and more than 20 other drafts beers at The District Brew House on Norwegian Escape.
Cost: Approximately $6.00 a glass.
6. Most Likely to Become Your New Go-to Soup
Vietnamese Pho Soup
What the Pho? That’s the only way I can remember if it’s an “ah” or an “o” sound when I order Pho but either way, I was surprised to see it on the lunch menu at Taste, one of the complimentary dining venues on board Norwegian Getaway.
Pho is a delicious noodle soup some consider the national dish of Vietnam. This pho dish was quite tasty with a chicken broth blend of typical herbs, garnishes, rice noodles and chunks of white chicken.
Traditionally, pho is served with the bean sprouts, fresh jalapeños, lime wedges and basil on the side for you to add to your own liking, but the chefs took the liberty of adding these ingredients before serving it. I ordered an extra side of freshly cut jalapeños to give it more of a bite and it was perfect.
Where to find it: Taste or Savor
Cost: Complimentary dining venue on board Norwegian Escape, Getaway and Breakaway although keep in mind their menus may change.
7. Most Likely to Satisfy Your Morning Sweet Tooth
Buttermilk pancakes with caramelized bananas and French press coffee
It’s tough to improve upon a classic that’s already delicious, but The Haven Restaurant found a way to do it. And it’s oh, so, sweet. I found this hidden gem my second morning aboard Norwegian Getaway and let’s just say, I didn’t venture too far every other morning.
The buttermilk hot cakes were paired with walnut butter (sounds odd but it was delish), caramelized bananas and warm maple syrup. I ordered a side of blueberries that added a particular bite. And the coffee, French pressed to perfection. Grab a table by the window for beautiful ocean views.
Where to find it: The Haven Restaurant on board Norwegian Escape, Getaway, Epic, Breakaway, Gem, Jade, Jewel and Pearl.
Cost: The Haven Restaurant is a complimentary dining venue for The Haven guests only.