Moving on to everyone’s favourite part of a cruise….. the food!
On boarding the ship we decided a caffeine fix was in order so we headed to Cafe Bacio. As we had the Premium drinks package all the speciality coffees were included, which is fantastic as I enjoy good quality coffee, especially in a morning. The coffee did not disappoint and the cakes, pastries and cookies on offer here looked delicious but I resisted… for the time being! The pastries, cakes and cookies are all included in your cruise fare so if you just fancy grabbing a pastry and coffee in the morning before exploring your port of call it is ideal.
Once we had explored the ship and got our bearings we went up to the Ocean View cafe to grab a bite to eat for lunch. There was a great selection on offer for lunch including a lovely fresh salad bar, handmade pannini’s and sandwiches, Stir frys, Curry’s and Pizza to name a few! Of course there was a lovely selection of tempting deserts for afterwards.
In the Ocean View cafe there is also an Ice Cream kiosk which offers Ice Cream and cookies throughout the day, all included in your cruise fare.
On the subject of the Ocean View cafe, we ate dinner in here one night as a more casual option after a busy day ashore. I have never done this before on a cruise so it was quite novel for me! I was very impressed with the dinner choice and each night there was a section which had a specific theme to it. I was spoiled for choice, I wanted to try everything. My husband had a stir fry made for him where he got to choose the meat, sauce, veg and noodles that went in to it which smelled and tasted divine! This particular evening there was sticky toffee pudding with vanilla custard as one of the desert options so I made sure I saved room for this, I have such a sweet tooth.
In the late afternoon at the Ocean View cafe they have little sandwiches available with a selection of cakes as a kind of afternoon tea. The scones here are delicious, topped with cream and jam of course! I should also mention that the Pizza area is open virtually 24 hours a day for your snacking needs!
The Spa cafe is one of my favourite places for a light bite at lunch time and I love the smoothies they make there. Again, as I had the Premium drinks package these are all included. The food here is obviously on the healthy side mostly featuring salads with a protein source such as fish or chicken and they do a delicious yogurt and granola pot topped with fruit coulis.
If you are craving a substantial burger at lunch time, head for the Top Deck burger bar. These are made using high quality Wagyu beef and you can choose as many toppings as you like plus the usual fries of course. There is a charge of around $10 for one these burgers. The standard burgers/hotdogs and fries are available in the Ocean View cafe if you don’t want to pay this charge.
We took out a speciality dining package when we got on board which allowed us a meal in each of the speciality restaurants on board. This does give you a saving overall if you are going to dine in each restaurant and we love the atmosphere and change of scenery from the main restaurant for a few nights when cruising.
Qsine – This is a new addition to Constellation since her refurbishment, replacing Ocean Liners. Personally I love this restaurant but I appreciate it is not to everyone’s taste. The menu is tapas style ( but very large portions in my eyes! ) and you make your selection from the menu on an I Pad. Each dish is so quirky and beautifully presented, it is a real feast for both the eyes and tummy. The desert I had this time was called a Chocolate Tombstone and it was huge! Almost the size of my shoulder to shoulder as you will see in the picture below. Very nice but I couldn’t finish it all.
Tuscan Grille – The restaurant itself is situated up on the pool deck so the views are spectacular if you dine at sunset. The evening we visited we had the pleasure of a window table and views sailing by Capri! Stunning! The sunset this evening was beautiful.
The food here was probably the best I had on board and the service was second to none. Very attentive waiting staff, but not overbearing, and the sommelier was excellent keeping our wine glass topped up for the duration of our meal.
Whilst looking at the menu we had a fresh bread basket with olive oil infused with fresh basil which was cut and added to the oil table side. I will be trying this at home as it was something different to the usual olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
We had a lovely sharing board to start with which had a variety of Italian cheeses, meats, olives, chutney and artisan bread. This was a great starter to whet our appetite.
For our main course we both opted for steak, which was cooked to perfection, with a selection of side dishes.
As this is an Italian restaurant I thought it only fitting to have Tiramisu for desert, which was light and delicious with a slight caffeine hit, just what I needed after a large meal!
I really can’t recommend this restaurant enough. If you only do 1 speciality restaurant on board, do this one!
Sushi on Five – If you like Sushi this is the place for you! Normally you pay per item in this restaurant but as we had one of the dining packages we could basically have anything from the menu and as much as we wanted. Sushi is deceptively filling, I guess due to the rice! We had a veritable feast this evening and I had no complaints with any of the dishes we chose and the waiting staff here again were top notch.
Finally the main restaurant. We had opted for Celebrity Select dining ( anytime dining ) and had booked all our dining times online prior to our arrival. I am so pleased we did this as the queues were rather long at peak times ( usually between 7.30pm and 8.30pm ). In the future I will always do this and my top tip to you, if you select this dining, is to do the same. There is a separate queue if you have already made reservations so are seated within minutes.
The food and choice was great in the main restaurant. I don’t eat a great deal of meat so I opted for fish or a vegetarian option each evening. The fish was always beautifully cooked with crispy skin, when featured, and the portion sizes were just right in my eyes. I do think the cruise lines in general have cut down on portion sizes since I first started cruising, which is not an issue for me as I always disembark feeling like I am sick of the sight of food! Of course, if you are still hungry a few hours later there is always the buffet in the Ocean View cafe to go at.
I have a love of all things vegetable so would on occasion ask for extra veg on the side and this was never a problem. My husband is an avid carnivore and his stand out dish was the Jerk Chicken with rice and peas which we had in the first couple of days on board. This was a huge chicken leg marinated in Jerk spices which I have to admit smelled delicious. He assured me it tasted as good as it smelled!
We experienced fantastic meals on board Constellation, the service was excellent in all restaurants so I have no complaints. I disembarked a happy, rounder, Natalie! Post cruise diet is well underway……
Don’t forget to check back for the final installment, all about my ports of call.
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