The Food Awards!

As with the cruise ports it’s time to reflect on the best meals of the holiday! I’ll choose a best starter, best main and best dessert, then the best overall meal, Let’s go!
Best Starter:
Without a doubt the Beer Battered Cod Fingers. They were so good that, to not sound too weird, sometimes I can still taste the curried tartare sauce, it was just that good!
Best Main:
Although the Seafood Spaghetti scored higher, the Salmon En Croute was a lot more memorable and had some really delicious aspects. Anything with pastry is a winner with me and everything else was just a cherry on top.
Best Dessert:
Three words, White Chocolate Cheesecake. It was so insanely good that I just want to relive the experience everyday for the rest of my life. 
Best Overall Meal:
This was a hard one to choose as there good points and bad points about all of them but I finally settled on the meal I had on Day Eleven. It was the Beer Battered Cod Fingers, Beef Wellington and the Coffee Mousse. There was a mixture of fish and meat and the dessert drew everything together , it was very nice indeed.
I’m going to miss looking back on all of the food I ate on my holiday because it reminds me what I ate and maybe what I liked enough to have again in the future. Bring on the next holiday so I can do this again!

Food Day Fourteen

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Starter-Pan Seared Scallops and Chorizo

Super delicious, but don’t expect anything less from this combo. The portion size was small but it was very big on flavour. It came with a creamy cauliflower puree which was really nice and the scallops were perfectly cooked. The chorizo was nice although it did just taste like crispy bacon and everything was in proportion.
9/10
Main-Seafood and Mash
I’d never come across this combination before but it was surprisingly good. The scallops were tough, which was odd as they were fine in the starter, but they still had a good flavour. The remoulade sauce was very hie and went well with everything. The mashed potato was extremely tasty, the fish was very nice and the prawns were the best thing on the plate.
8/10
Dessert-Lemon Tart
This was delicious. The custard was really creamy and had a lovely lemony flavour. It came with a biscuit base which I’d never had on this dessert before but it was really buttery and it was gorgeous. the portion size was good and it was just beautiful.
10/10

This was an extremely good overall meal and is definitely up there in terms of the best so this gets a 9/10.

Food Day Thirteen

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Starter-Creamy Mushrooms
This starter was full of flavour. The texture of the mushrooms were nice as they were not too hard or too soft. The pastry was nice, it was puff pastry which isn’t my favourite but it was a mixture of crispy and soggy so I thought it was really nice. the sauce lived up to its name as it was nice and creamy.
8/10
Main-Roasted Duck
The duck was dry again, as I had it at the beginning of the holiday and it was the same. Some parts were moist but on the whole it wasn’t, however the crispy skin made up for it. There wasn’t much colour on the plate other than the pod peas which made it look not that appealing to eat. The sauce was really nice but there wasn’t enough of it and the mushroom risotto was tasteless. 
6/10
Dessert-Ivory Chocolate Mousse
It was a white chocolate mousse and was really tasty. There were a variety of berries on top which went really nicely with the mousse. The portion size was just the right amount.
9/10
This meal was good but the duck let it down quite a bit so I’d give this meal a 7/10. 

Food Day Twelve

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Starter-Spinach Dip 

I didn’t really know what to expect with this dish but it was very nice. The spinach sauce type stuff was topped with melted cheese and it was full of flavour and was nice and creamy. It came with warm tortilla chips which were tasty and there were a good amount of them. I liked this as it was different from any other starter that I’ve had before.
8/10
Main-Pork Scaloppine Oscar
This was very strange and interesting. It was a thin piece of pork covered in a cheesy creamy sauce  with white crab meat on top. It was a very strange but a nice combination. The crab was really delicious, the mash was creamy and the asparagus. The pork was a little tough to cut but wasn’t chewy.
7/10
Dessert-Warm Chocolate Cake
This was delicious. It wasn’t really a chocolate cake, it was more like a fondant without a melting middle. It was very chocolatly, had a nice texture and a nice portion size. Yummy!
9/10

Another good meal but I could have thought when I ordered not to order too many creamy things as it all got a bit creamy so I’d give it an 8/10 because it was still very tasty. 

Food Day Eleven

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Starter-Beer Battered Cod Fingers
This starter was out of this world. The batter was super crispy, the fish was perfectly cooked and the curried tartar sauce had so much delicious flavour it was crazy. By far the best starter on the ship but possibly the best starter I’ve ever had! Perfection. 
10/10
Main-Beef Wellington
Beef Wellington is one of my favourite meals of all time and this didn’t disappoint. The only thing that let it down was that the fondant potatoes as they were undercooked and hard and the pastry was a little undercooked but it was still really tasty and had a good texture. The meat was perfectly cooked and was very tender and soft and went really well with the tasty carrots. 
8/10
Dessert-Coffee Mousse
The texture of this mousse was better than yesterday as it was more of the mousse I’m familiar to. The taste was gorgeous and there was plenty of it and the little piece of chocolate on top was a nice touch.
8/10
Another great meal was definitely as good as yesterdays so to I’ll match the score with a 9/10! 

The Destination Awards!

As my cruising journey draws to a close it’s time for me to reflect on all of the holiday fun! I’ve made a few categories and will be choosing a winner for each one, so let’s go!

Best port:

The winner of this one is Cadiz, for the sole reason that it was the closest port to the actual centre of the destination, meaning less walking and a happy Abz! Special mention goes to Vigo for also having a short walking distance to the shops but Cadiz just pipped it to the post.

Best experience:

Without a doubt it has to be seeing the dolphins in Gibraltar, it was just incredible. Having them swim beside the ship on the way into the port was insane and then seeing them up close and personal on the dolphin trip was the cherry on top of an amazing dolphin cake. I think it’ll take a lot to beat this as one of the best things I’ve ever seen.

Best ship view:

Ibiza is the winner of this one as the view from my mums and dad’s balcony was simply stunning. It was mainly sea but with a small rock in the centre and a large island in the distance. To the left was the best part as there was a lighthouse on a rock and it looked beautiful when the sun was making the sea sparkle. I thought that this view was so calm and serene it was definitely my favourite.

Best buildings:

Barcelona without a doubt. There was such an array of different buildings, from normal apartment type buildings to breathtaking gothic cathedrals. I also loved Barcelona as a place in general and would definitely go back (but not on a Saturday, it was a little bit too busy).

Favourite picture:

This one was really hard as I had A LOT of of pictures to choose from but I finally settled on this one. I have the worst aim and normally my photos aren’t in focus so I was really proud when I saw how this one turned out. Plus this little birdy is so cute, how could he not be my favourite!?!

This holiday was definitely unforgettable and was one of the best ever, go cruising!

Food Day Ten

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Starter-Thai Green Chicken Salad

I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this! I’d never normally choose a salad but I didn’t fancy anything else on the menu so I thought I would give it a go and I’m very glad I did. It was really tasty with a little bit of a kick. The chicken was perfectly cooked, nice and moist, and went really well with the different textures, a mixture of crunchy and soft, The portion size was good and the sauce was very tasty, could have just done with a little more of it.
9/10
Main-Sea Bass
I love sea bass and I wasn’t disappointed. The fish was cooked perfectly with lovely crispy onions (another favourite of mine) and a tasty tomato sauce that brought everything together, could have just done with a little more of it. The potatoes were thin and crispy and the spinach was nice and tasty.
9/10
Dessert-Coffee Mousse
Compared to all of the other mousses I’ve had on this holiday this one was certainly the strangest. The texture was unusual as it was a little bit chewy which I’ve never come across before. However the flavour was really nice and the little bit of raspberry sauce and cream were tasty as well. The portion size was just enough as well.
8/10

This overall meal was probably the best so far on this trip. Everything was consistently very good and I enjoyed everything a lot so this one gets a 9/10!

Wandering Around Cadiz

Welcome to one of the weirdest weather days I’ve ever experienced in a foreign country. Is it hot, is it cold? Is it blistering sunshine or overcast cloud? We experienced it all! Cadiz was a beautiful place with a really nice atmosphere that was calm but bustling at the same time. The port was in the perfect place, stepping off the boat straight into the centre, my favourite (less exercise!). The cobbles narrow streets leading to hidden historic statues were beautiful and so cute!

The architecture in Cadiz is stunning. Much like Vigo the buildings remind me of little Paris apartments with the bright colours and balconies, except these were only three or four storeys so they weren’t as imposing and made streets and squares nice and light. There was one main church which was central in Cadiz and when you saw it from the boat it looks like the biggest, most imposing building in the world. However, from the ground it is beautiful. It’s in the most gorgeous square filled with market stalls (one which sells insanely good churros!).

Our plan for the day was just to walk around and have a little explore which worked out really well as everything was clustered together so we didn’t have to walk far to get anywhere. When we went and had our usual little drink at a bar we had a beautiful view of the sea with little bobbing boats and the beach that was full of life. I’d love to go back and maybe stay for a few days as I think it would be a really nice place to relax, have a browse of the markets and spend a little time on the beach. I seriously loved this place and would definitely go back.

Food Day Nine

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Starter-Tomato Seafood Risotto
This was beautiful. The seafood was calamari, scallops, mussels and prawns and everything was cooked to perfection. The portion size was good and risotto was an excellent texture. The only thing that would have made it perfect would have been a more tomato flavour.
9/10
Main-Coq Au Vin
This dish was really nice. It was a little large but I’d rather it be too big than too small. The chicken was cooked beautifully and was in a very flavourful sauce. The spinach was nice but I wasn’t a fan of the grilled polenta as I thought the texture was wet and strange and there wasn’t much flavour coming from it.
7/10
Dessert-Creama Catalana
It came just like a creme brûlée which I am usually a huge fan of but I didn’t eat the sugar on the top as it was very greasy. The texture was good and there was a nice orange flavour. It was very large and it came with a chocolate biscotti which was nice but I would have preferred it to have had more of a chocolate flavour.
7/10
This was a nice meal but it wasn’t one of the best so I think it was a 9/10. 

Party in Ibiza

 Next stop Ibiza and I was quite looking forward to seeing what all the fuss was about. I have to say I was a little bit disappointed as to put it lightly there wasn’t really anything there. Don’t get me wrong, the scenery was beautiful and it was the most stunning port view we docked at, but in the actual town itself there was nothing there other than a few shops and bars.

The port itself was a twenty minute car ride from the ship (there seems to be a recurring theme at some of these ports) but this time we decided to take a different route. For €3 return there was a little speed boat that took 15 minutes and docked in the centre of Ibiza town. Can’t really go wrong! The boats came every half an hour, which is pretty frequent, and it was a smooth ride which I was grateful for as over the past couple of years I’ve started to get a bit travel sick.

We went for two drinks when we were in Ibiza town, one in Pacha (I think that was what it was called) and one in a bar next to the Hard Rock Cafe. In Pacha, I’m not even joking we waited 20 minutes for someone to take our order and everything else was just as slow. It was terrible, the staff were slow and unfriendly and I would never ever go back. This is when we went to another bar in the hope that we may have a better experience and we definitely did. The staff were friendly and worked at a normal speed (hooray!) and even the situation of the bar was better as it was in the centre of a little grassy square, lovely.

My overall thoughts on Ibiza is that if I ever went back, I would go to a different place or do my research more on Ibiza town to see if there was anything more interesting to do there that we just missed walking around.