Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Anniversary Voyage

Our Surprise Happy Anniversary Cake on the Cruise

After a flurry of visitors, before and after the 4th of July holiday, we decided we wanted to take an adventure for ourselves to celebrate our anniversary on July 14th.  So, we serendipitously booked a NCL cruise on the Norwegian Pearl to Alaska, originating from Seattle, because it fit our dates. 

It was going to be a double adventure:  our first real cruise and our first trip into Alaska.

We arrived in Seattle a day early and found a restaurant that we can highly recommend --- for the location as well as the food and service. Elegant, yet casual.  Great seafood.  It was the best meal we had on the trip and we would go back again.

Waterfront Seafood Grill on Pier 70

As far as the cruise goes, I would start off by saying that the food isn't really the focus.   The scenery and the wildlife and the activities are.  However, there was A LOT of food. And plenty of choices.  Service is one of their strengths.  In particular, we had a delightful server from Romania and a memorable meal at the French restaurant on our anniversary. They surprised us with a small cake. The ship's friendly staff comes from all around the world.

Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) offers freestyle cruising, which means that you can eat wherever and whenever you want.   People don't go hungry, that's for sure.  They pile up their plates at the buffets and there was a wide range of food and restaurants (I think there were 7 in addition to the buffet), to appeal to a wide range of people, ages and cultures.  Our ship was big (2500) and it was fascinating to watch how they fed that so many people, so well, everyday, for 7 days.

I hear from experienced cruisers that NCL is above average, but the best food is on the smaller ships which tend to be more upscale.

The only complaint we had is--- and it isn't really a complaint, but more a curiosity --- why don't they serve cookies?


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