As I have mentioned previously, there are always special moments when cruising, some accidental and others planned and created before traveling.

In our little group of three couples, each couple has established a tradition of a special dinner once a year. Bob and Carol always have us over for a wonderful Christmas meal. Jerry and Dorene, although not Irish, host a St. Patricks Day corned beef and cabbage dinner. The best corned beef and cabbage ever. Mary and I have a tradition of having the two couples over for a Valentines’dinner.

We knew that we would be cruising on Valentine’s Day and thought it would be a great idea if we invited our friends to dinner in the specialty restaurant, The Nouveau Steakshouse, on the Carnival Spirit. A week before departure I emailed to get a reservation. Valentines Day was apparently very popular and the restaurant was fully booked for that evening. Alternate reservations were made for the second full day at sea, Sunday, which would probably have been the day we would have hosted the dinner if we were not cruising.

The restaurant is located on decks 10 and 11 at the top of the nine story atrium, underneath the red glass slooped ceiling that is part of the Carnival ships signature fantail smokestacks. You can reach the restaurant by elevator dirctly to deck 10 or go to deck 9 and walk up the circular glass staircase that cantilevers out over the atrium in a semi-circle eight decks above the atrium bar and lobby.

As we were escorted to our table it was hard not to notice the gigantic cheescake desert that the table next to ours had just been presented with. It was the size of half a sheet cake. Well, not quite, but certainly larger than a normal serving. This set the tone for the dinner we were about to have. The size of every course from apetizer, soups, salad, main course, and desert was huge and presented on oversized and extremely heavy plates. We all had very different choices for each course so we got to see a lot of the options available in the restaurant. My favorites were the French Onion soup which was in a mini tourine. A gigantic serving. The 24 ounce Porterhouse Steak was cooked to perfection and delicious. Again, way too much.

When it came to desert we knew to stay away from the cheesecake. Trying to figure out what desert was the smallest was no easy task. I settled on a chocolate concoction of some sort that came in four pieces. Each piece came in a container the size of a quadrupled shot glass. By the time dinner was over we were all stuffed, yet very content and another memorable cruise moment to talk about for years to come.

Tomorrow I will discuss the once in a lifetime dinner at “The Chef’s Table”. You don’t want to miss this.

Until tomorrow,
Bon Voyage!