Cruising on the Norwegian Gem: Grand Pacific Dining Room

My family and I took a cruise on the Norwegian Gem and we enjoyed a lot of wonderful dinners at the Grand Pacific Dining Room. It was one of the dining rooms on-board that was included in our cruise fare. Of the seven nights that we cruised, we ate at the Grand Pacific three nights and one morning. The waitstaff was very easygoing and accommodating, and the food was delicious.

The first night, I decided that I would try something new and ordered the Louisiana Blackened Red Snapper with Andouille Gumbo. I planned to eat something I had never eaten before prior to the cruise, so when I saw the Red Snapper on the menu, I knew my chance had come. It was a little spicy, but so good, like gumbo should be. After that meal, I came to the conclusion that if I saw Red Snapper on any future menus, I would consider ordering it. I always eat shellfish and mollusks, but don’t usually eat fish unless it’s flounder or cod. This changed my mind about fish in general; that’s how good it was.

The second night, I ordered the Potato Leek Soup and a Caesar Salad, because on a cruise, you can have whatever you want. You can eat all desserts for dinner or have all bite-size versions of the entrees or even double lobster with your Surf and Turf. It is great to have that kind of freedom, and since Norwegian Cruise Line practices freestyle cruising, so you don’t have a scheduled time for dinner every night. You can just show up whenever you want, as long as the time is within the time that they serve the meal you want to eat. For instance, dinner is served from 5:30 p.m. until midnight.

OK, back to the soup and salad. The Potato Leek Soup was good, but a little grainy. The Caesar Salad, however, was delicious and so was the crostini that came along with it, surprisingly. For dinner, I ordered the Potato Gnocchi in Pumpkin and Sage Sauce. It was buttery and delicious with just a hint of sweetness probably from the cinnamon in the sauce. That night’s meal was the perfect amount of food.

On the third night, I wanted to try the Cream of Tomato Soup to start off my meal. It was very good and a little tangy. Then, I had the Prime Rib and it was also good, but nothing really stood out about it. However, when it came around to dessert, I was in heaven. They finally had a real chocolate option on the menu and it was called Chocolate Decadence. This was a warm and gooey chocolate cake with berries trickling down its sides. This was my favorite dessert of the week, hands down! It was a full dish of completely indulgent chocolate; the kind that you have stuck on your teeth for a few minutes and stuck in your head for months. I loved it, but my dad said it was, “Too much chocolate.” Have you every heard such lunacy? I don’t even think “too much chocolate” even exists. I shared my dessert with the entire table because I wanted them to share in my joy. OK, enough about the chocolate …

The Grand Pacific Dining Room was a great option for dining on the Norwegian Gem and anything we ate was included in our cruise fare. There is a dress code, so you cannot just show up to eat after a swim in the pool. Shorts and jeans are not allowed to dinner. When you dine there, it really feels like you are getting pampered, so you might as well dress the part. Fortunately, I packed all dresses and I enjoyed every meal.

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