Hello Tea Time @ Holland America ms Zuiderdam!

Hello Tea Time @ Holland America ms Zuiderdam!

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While on my cruise vacation, every 3pm, was my favorite time on Holland America’s ms Zuiderdam! Why 3pm? Well, dear blog friends it is because 3pm was tea time!

Tea time consisted of a lovely afternoon tea party at the deck three of the cruise ship in the Vista dining room. Here vacationers like myself got to enjoy a variety of little sandwiches, pastries and of course tea! I loved the little sandwiches that consisted of toppings like egg salad, cucumber and turkey. The pastries they served were always freshly baked! It was always sweet afternoon when one can eat lemon cookies, scones, tiramisu and chocolate dipped strawberries. The best thing however the tea that accompanied the food. We had our pick of different teas. My favorite was the cranberry apple tea. The classic green tea however was always a good choice for some zen time.

Tea time was something I looked forward to everyday! It was always a delightful afternoon whenever 3pm came around! 🙂

Hello Vista Dining Room @ Holland America ms Zuiderdam!

Hello Vista Dining Room @ Holland America ms Zuiderdam!

Every evening during the Holland America ms Zuiderdam cruise, cruise
go-ers like myself had the special treat of fine dining at the lovely Vista Dining Room. Located on the third deck of the cruise ship, Vista Dining Room is a nice, spacious dining area with wooden decor and a beautifully lit ceiling.

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Each dinner started out with a choice of a appetizer. Appetizer choices varied. I first got to try the grilled four mushroom crostini. It was lovely appetizer that had grilled portabella, shitake, oyster and button mushrooms on a toasted baguette. The following night I got the spinach and feta tart. This was a flaky crusted egg custard filled with tender spinach and creamy feta. A favorite for many was the calypso shrimp cocktail that had sweet shrimp with a mustard based Calypso sauce on a bed of gourmet greens and shredded iceberg lettuce

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Second course always consisted of soup! Soup types were always different. One night there was cream of chicken and artichoke soup. This had tender artichoke hearts and chicken in a cream based soup. There was also french onion soup. This was topped with melted Gruyere cheese. One of the most interesting soups was the pepper pot soup with dumplings, root vegetables and beef flavored with ginger and garlic.

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Main courses were always unique and fulfilling. For the main entrees we had choices of chicken, beef, vegetarian and fish! For the chicken dish there was a chicken breast with israeli couscous entree. This was pan roasted chicken that was served with mushroom artichoke sauté and accented with black olives and curry bell pepper coulis. Their gourmet vegetarian dish consisted of asparagus tomato risotto with fresh goat cheese and accented with pine nuts and balsamic caramel. The beef dish, the carribean braised beef pot roast was my favorite. The pot roast was braised in red wine sauce accented with rum raisins. The beef was topped with frizzled onions and served with root vegetables, a mushroom medley and pineapple marinated yams. As for fish, lot of people liked the fish dishes. They included swai with coconut lemon grass

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At the end of the meal desserts were a special treat! Tarts seemed to be the dessert theme! The first night I had the banana chocolate tart. It had caramel and chocolate sauces, chocolate almond fudge and honey candied walnuts. Other tarts included tarte tatin, a classic tart of apples sauteed in butter and sugar and served with vanilla ice cream and the honey butter tart with caramel sauce. My favorite dessert however was the creme brulee. It was a huge creamy custard with a sheer layer of crisply caramalized sugar.

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It was nice to enjoy such delicious and pleasant meals in the Vista Dining room each evening. Fine dining in the beautiful dining room on the lovely ms Zuiderdam was indeed a treat!

Hello Lido Restaurant @ Holland America ms Zuiderdam!

Hello Lido Restaurant @ Holland America ms Zuiderdam!

I recently came from four day cruise to Vancouver, Canada aboard Holland America’s ms Zuiderdam ship. Upon first entry on the ship, I noticed right away that several of the travelers would always go off the 9th deck of the ship. I soon found out that this was because the ninth deck is the Lido Deck where the Lido Restaurant is located. From breakfast to dinner, the Lido restaurant offers abundant variety of food choices buffet style.

It has been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and at the Lido Restuarant, vacationers have their pick of a variety of hearty breakfasts. They have Asian style rice porridges where toppings include chicken, beef, tofu, onion and garlic. For egg fans, they had a variety of egg-licious choices such as customized omeletes and different eggs benedicts from around the world. For a sweeter start of the day, breakfast offerings included yogurt parfaits and waffles topped with fruits.

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The main courses for Lido Restaurant rotated around different entrees from around the world. Some food dishes during our trip included classic French quiches, Indian vegetable curry, beef vindaloo and lamb kafta, turka dhal and Japanese fried rice and udon.

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Dessert at the Lido Restaurant was always abundant. From cheesecakes, cupcakes and various cakes, there was something sweet for everyone. Ice cream flavors rotated daily with traditional flavors like vanilla to unique flavors like cactus.

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One could never go hungry aboard the ms Zuiderdam, thanks to all the food choices that Lido Restaurant offered. Lido Restaurant was just one of the choices for foodies aboard this Holland America’s cruise ship. I will share with you all more happy foodie places aboard the ship in my upcoming blog posts! Soon 😉

Hello, I’m on a boat!

Hello, I’m on a boat!

“Just sit right back
And you’ll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful trip,
That started from this tropic port,
Aboard this tiny ship…”

I could hear the start of that Gilligan’s island theme song in my head as I entered the boat named Entertainer for a dinner cruise event in Marina Del Rey.

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Just like the Gilligan’s island crew, my friends and I were there for a three hour tour. Unlike the Gilligan’s island crew we did not get stranded on an island (hehe, thank goodness) but instead we enjoyed a beautiful evening cruise up and down Marina Del Rey. All while we enjoyed the crisp air and pretty views, there was food and drink all around

The evening started with a small glass of sweet champagne upon boarding the vessel. From there folks were free to enjoy the three layers of the ship.

Two levels of the ship had a buffet tables set up as well as bar for folks to purchase beverages. (There’s even a Gilligan’s island drink on the menu). The buffet menu consisted of various warm breads, salad, veggies and two types of soft and fulfilling pasta. They had vegetarian tortellini and chicken penne.

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After dinner, we were served soft chocolate chip cookies, brownies and s’mores brownies. It’s a chocolate fans dream with the three different versions of chocalate treats.
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It was nice to enjoy food and drinks, all while chatting with friends and enjoying the view. The later, the evening got, the pretty lights surround Marina Del Rey shore could be seen all around. Overall, the cruise was enjoyable.

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Good evening, good times and good company and we didn’t get stranded ;). (Though I did know where to find the lifesaver ring hehe 😉 )

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This was actually my second time to try out Hornblower Cruises and Events.
For more smiles, please read about my first experience cruising the shores of Marina del Rey on Yelp.