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May 28, 2013

Cruising with the Cotés: The Food

Half of the fun of going on vacation is knowing you're going to be consuming gobs and gobs of amazing food. Am I right, or am I right? The food aboard the Celebrity Reflection was no exception. D and I had heard that the average cruiser comes home at least 5 pounds heavier after just a week of sailing. If this bit of knowledge was true, for our 12 day sailing, we were looking at almost double that in weight gain. That wasn't going to fly with either of us...so, we devised a plan. We would try our hardest to eat as if we were home. No splurging on pancake breakfasts, skip dessert at least 6 out of the 12 nights, avoid pasta as a main course, salads for lunch most days, keep a head on the cocktail count each night (no more than 2), and hit the gym at least every other day. Sounded doable, right? Yeahhh...so that snappy plan lasted all of 5 days...then we said to heck with it. Vacations are for splurging, so who are we to deny ourselves the best vacation ever? D and I didn't go crazy, but we also didn't worry ourselves sick about the amazing cheeseburgers we ate every "at sea" day by the pool (the Mast Grill burgers are some of the best we've ever tasted!), or the room service breakfasts we ordered 6 out of the 12 days on board. We hit the gym a handful of times (not to mention all the walking in port that we did while sight-seeing), so we had ourselves a nice balance. We ate all the amazing food we wanted, but remained physically active. I'm happy to report that neither D nor I gained a single ounce on our cruise! So there you have it, folks...it is possible to get the most out of your vacation without having to bring your fat pants for the ride home. 

As much as I wanted to take photos of every course we ate in the Opus Main Dining Room each night, I refrained. We met a fabulous group of cruisers whom we ate with almost every night, and while they all knew I was a blogger, they'd not been subject to my incessant food picture taking. D was the only one privy to that annoyance. I didn't want to scare them off, so I kept my food photo snapping to a minimum. Although, I mustn't have done a great job of hiding my obsession with food photography because by the end of the cruise, they were all holding up their own meals for me to get shots of. Ahhhh, the Celebrity Gang. They knew the way to my heart. Coolest people ever. More on them later...back to the food!

So, the Opus Main Dining Room was the setting for our meals almost every night. We opted for the Celebrity Select Dining option so we had the flexibility of choosing what time we wanted to go to dinner each night instead of having to either be seated at 6pm or 8:45pm. Every night, Opus had two kinds of menus: a set menu with items that could be ordered every day, and a specialty menu with options that were unique to that evening only. Both menus had great variety, each having 3 options for appetizers, 3 for soups/salads, at least 5 or 6 options for main courses, and 3 options for desserts. It wasn't hard to find something you liked from either menu...and I never ate a meal I didn't enjoy. The portions, while on the smaller side, were perfect so as not to over indulge on one course before ever receiving your main meal. The Sommelier's were excellent and offered great wine paring suggestions to enhance the dining experience. Celebrity had a wonderful German Riesling on board that kept this girl happy! As if the food and wine wasn't already fabulous enough, the ambiance and decor of the Opus Dining Room was definitely an added bonus. The cool brown and silver accents made Opus feel like a swanky 1960's venue reminiscent of Disney's "Tomorrowland." If you can make me feel like I'm in Disney World while sailing the high seas, you've got a place in my heart forever (maybe we should try and Disney Cruise next, huh?). From the pristine white table settings to the friendly wait staff, the Opus Dining Room left absolutely nothing to be desired.

{Celebrity also offers vegetarian, vegan, allergy-concious, and gluten-free options...you just need to talk to the maitre d' before your first meal there to make sure your dietary needs are taken care of accordingly.}

Are you drooling yet? I know I am! D and I also ate at one of the Refection's specialty restaurants, Qsine, but that meal deserves its own post, as 3 hours of dining should. Up next, exploring our first port...Santorini, Greece!


  1. Wowww I thought you said you DIDN'T take a lot of food pictures? If this isn't much, I can only imagine all the yumminess you didn't snap! So jelly of you and all your cruise meals! Man...I need to book another cruise. :)

    The Nectar Collective

  2. My mouth is watering! Food really is the best part of the on-cruise experience. I've been on 2 Disney cruises and I always looked forward to dinner every night LOL :) The best part of cruising with Disney is the Disney standard of customer service. They refuse to let you leave the ship unhappy. Can't wait for more photos from your trip!

  3. hahahah that cracked me up. I still feel awkward taking food pics, but it's gotta be done!

  4. Oh my gosh! I am going on the exact SAME cruise as you guys in three weeks with ALL my family, and just looking at your pictures is getting me psyched! Seriously, I am taking major notes from your blog right now.

    Mouth is watering from those food photos though, guess I better go and find me some food right now! Ha!


  5. That food looks soooo good! And yay to no fat pants! Haha!

  6. OMG this post makes me want to get back on a cruise ship right now! The food was one of the best parts of cruising and while I am usually careful about what I eat, I "let go" on the cruise and it was worth it! Also, that dining room looks amazing! Can't wait to read about Santorini

  7. yum!! and totally agree, you have to gain weight on trips, it's only right!

  8. I've been looking forward to this post!! The food on cruises is the BEST and this looks 4 star!

  9. i would be an oopa loompa after a cruise!!

  10. Your so right: Holidays are for splurging! And the food looks so delectable, I certainly wouldn't have wanted to miss out on anything! :)

  11. here's how I handled not overeating on our cruise back when I was in middle school:

    1] go absolutely crazy the first three days on board (when we were at sea, traveling from Vancouver to Alaska). stuff yourself at the buffet twice a day, get ice cream as an afternoon snack, and eat all four courses at dinner.

    2] get physically ill from having shoved so much food into your body in such a short window of time. once you see it come back out, your appetite can't help but be affected

    3] spend the rest of your vacation feeling skittish about eating too much in order to avoid reliving step #2.


    *note - I don't actually recommend this to anyone. it was kind of miserable, and it made me really not appreciate the cedar plank salmon during our first excursion.

  12. Oh my... this post made the foodie in me go crazy! haha. Also, since I watch almost all of chef Gordon Ramsay's tv shows, I have really wanted to try beef wellington because it's one of his signature dishes. Everything looks great!

  13. When hubby and I went on a cruise I lost weight and I ate a lot of nice yummy food but I walked up and down the stairs to and from our cabin and didn't take the lift and also went for a lot of walks around the ship and then there was all the walking we did on tours and such............

  14. Cruise food is the best! We were always about to eat or just finished eating when we were on the ship. My husband had major food withdrawals when we got home.

  15. I would have easily gained 10 lbs in 12 days because all of that look too good to resist!

    1. At ClubMates Cruising we take the hassle out of getting away together, there's no cooking, cleaning or organizing - we take care of all the boring bits.


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