Saturday, July 9, 2016

Back From Alaksa!

Norwegian Pearl Breakfast Buffet (my typical breakfast while on the ship... veggie omelet, fresh tomato slices, and fresh fruit)

Hello.  I am back from Alaska and I have so much to share.  Seeing how this is a cooking blog and all, I decided it would be fitting to talk about food first.  I've mentioned in the last few posts that, just before my cruise to Alaska (June 26 to July 3), I started a healthy eating and exercise plan called "21 Day Fix".  I lost at least 8 pounds in the 19 days I participated in the 21 Day Fix.  I was short just a few days since I left home for Seattle to get on the cruise ship before I could complete the 21 day cycle.

I did not want to gain the weight back, so I went on the cruise with a bit of a strategy.  My traveling companion, Marilyn, and I decided we'd skip the bread and butter on the table.  I decided I would also try to plan active excursions off the ship and also walk on deck as much as the weather would allow.  Another goal was to eat as much fresh seafood as possible.  Finally, I saw the ship had a gym so I planned on going to the gym a few times while on the cruise. Here is a great article which gives tips for how to avoid gaining weight while on a cruise (I think I followed a lot of the advice I found in this article).

In the very first photo, you can see my typical breakfast.  I found the omelet bar where you can have an omelet made to your specifications. Alvin made me an omelet nearly every morning with fresh onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, as well as sautéed mushrooms and sautéed spinach.  On top of my omelet is a little rolled up piece of smoked salmon; delicious and smoky but very rich. I could hardly eat one piece!  At the buffet, I ate fresh fruits and veggies to my heart's content. 

Marilyn has enjoyed so many Alaskan cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line that she has Platinum status.  I got to enjoy the perks that went along with that since we were cabin mates.  One night we got to dine at one of the specialty restaurants; we chose "La Cucina", a fancy Italian restaurant.  If you are on a cruise, there are specialty restaurants where you can dine but for an additional cost.  Below, you can see our fancy salmon dinner.  In the foreground, there is a bit of basil pesto; in the background, you can see a ragout of cannellini beans in chunky tomato sauce with basil, onion, and garlic, all topped off with a fried basil leaf.  I am going to try to replicate this delicious meal at home!

We splurged and shared dessert at La Cucina.  That is Tiramisu in the photo below.
Delicious! I think this may be the VERY BEST THING I've EVER eaten in my LIFE!
YES! It was that good!

We even got wine with dinner at La Cucina. We were allowed to bring the leftover wine back to our room and it took us two nights to finish off the bottle. Yes, we were such big drinkers!

Yet another perk of traveling with my Platinum Partner Marilyn was that we were invited to a Cocktail Party (wine and hors d'oeuvres) one evening, as well as a Wine & Cheese Party anotherer evening. And on the first day of the cruise, our Cabin Steward brought us beautiful chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of sparkling wine. 

We enjoyed lots of great meals.  The La Cucina meal was the best, but we also ate in the dining room called "Summer Palace" a number of evenings. This dining room was very fancy and at the back of the ship. The ceilings were high and the back wall was all windows so you could see the water.  One especially great dinner I had in the Summer Palace was a fancy spinach salad with grilled swordfish.  I could go on and on about food.  Yes, food on cruise ships can be very good and it's also very plentiful.  When I got home, I was a little hesistant to jump on the scale.  Initially I thought I might have gained a few pounds but after being home for a day, I realized I had actually dropped a little weight while away from home.  Cruise and lose! 

I think that just about covers my adventures in eating while on the cruise and in Alaska.


Caillie Evans said...

Great to read about your food adventures with my mum. Looks like I might like to read your blog more often!

Kim said...

Hi Caillie: So glad to have you visiting my blog. Your mum is a wonderful travel companion.