Time to wrap up our tour of Norwegian Cruise Line‘s Norwegian Dawn although I thoroughly enjoyed touring her. I get so many emails about what cruise food is like on specific ships and the best way to discuss it is to show you some menus and well, some food pictures! No cruise is complete without the requisite buffet and the Norwegian Dawn does have the The Garden Café on deck 6 mid-ship and you can choose to have a few or all of your meals there, but you don’t have to. With Freestyle Cruising and 14 dining options, the choices are endless.
We enjoyed our lunch in the Venetian Restaurant, which is one of the main dining rooms on the ship. Normally on a ship inspection you’re given a limited menu, but NCL allowed to order off the regular lunch menu, which was nice. For my appetizer, I enjoyed the Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Chili Lime Dipping Sauce. As always, I have to watch what I eat and besides no meat, dairy, eggs, etc. while at home, I try not to stress too much while on a cruise or a ship inspection. I did eat only the veggies and not the rice or the wrapper and yes, they could have been rolled tighter, but overall it was good. The other diners at my table tried the Roasted Eggplant and Olive Tapenade, the Fried Calamari with cilantro mayonnaise, and the Cobb salad. They ate them and enjoyed them, but they weren’t raving about the food.
Next up are the entrees from our lunch on the Norwegian Dawn on June 10, 2011. This is the Salmon and Shrimp Salad Sandwich with Avocado that one of the diners at my table had. I opted for the Vegetable and Black Bean burger, but the waiter apparently misunderstood me. When he came to the table to deliver the entrees, he said, “McDonald’s!” I looked at him and then the plate and realized he had in fact brought me a regular cheeseburger. He apologized when I told him that I had ordered the Vegetable and Black Bean burger. Although in the menu it doesn’t have cheese, they made it with cheese and so when it arrived at the table I removed the bun, fries, cheese, and onion. It was definitely house made and it was really good! I can’t usually say that about veggie burgers so I appreciated what they did to make it tasty.
Other diners at my table enjoyed their entrees that ranged from the pictured Chicken Milanese with Arugula Salad with olive oil and lemon dressing; Grilled New York Strip with mushrooms, garlic butter, and french fries; and a club sandwich with ham, turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and served with potato chips and was proclaimed to be on the dry side. The sandwiches seemed rather average, but I was impressed with how the chicken looked as it wasn’t greasy and was browned nicely, which doesn’t always happen on a cruise ship.
Last up is dessert and I bet you couldn’t wait! This is the Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with no sugar added raspberry sauce that I ordered and although I don’t eat dairy, again I opted to try it while on the ship inspection. For some reason desserts seem to be the downfall of cruise ship chefs and although nice, I can’t say that it was great. Other diners at my table had the Warm Apple Bread Pudding with butterscotch sauce, the Blueberry Cheesecake with berry compote that looked strikingly like a Twinkie, and a standard scoop of vanilla ice cream. Overall I would have to say that the food I had was really good and I would rate Norwegian Cruise Line‘s food as better than some of the other contemporary/mass market cruise lines out there for food. Now if we could just get them to work on vegan/vegetarian food and dessert we’ll be all set.
What if you don’t want to eat in the main dining room or off the buffet in the Garden Cafe? Then try one of the many other restaurants on board like Cagney’s Steakhouse. If you’ve cruised with Norwegian Cruise Line in the past, then you’ll recognize the name as it is one of their regular restaurants. Here you can see the menu with appetizers including Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Cagney’s Signature Chopped Salad, and entrees including a 16 oz. T-bone or 5 or 10 oz. Filet Mignon and yes, even a vegetarian option (Vegetarian Saffron Casserole). Thank you NCL!
Interested in more menu and more pictures of food? Visit my FaceBook page and the photo album titled, “Norwegian Dawn.” Inside you’ll find 115 photos and lots of information about the Norwegian Dawn with pictures of the restaurants on board and menus, like the menu you see here from Teppanyaki. Located in Bamboo – A Taste of Asia, you are invited to sit at tables of 10 for a truly Asian dining experience, where preparing food has never been more entertaining, or authentic. This is one of the restaurants that charges a fee ($25 per person), but you might find it well worth your time. Don’t forget to visit the Sake Bar before leaving for the night! In addition to those pictures, you’ll see some of the recent upgrades thanks to the May 2011 refurbishment. Considering that this ship is less than 10 years old, they did a magnificent job while she was in drydock and she looks like a new ship.
Thinking about a cruise on the Norwegian Dawn soon? Maybe this will be the cruise where you decide to treat yourself and get an Owner’s Suite or Penthouse Suite. Check out the pictures and descriptions on my FaceBook page before you say, “No!” I happen to love my city of Boston and would encourage you to think about taking a cruise from Boston. Spend a few days before or after your cruise and enjoy all that this great city has to offer. Who knows? I might take you around town myself!