KidsBites: The Kid Food Critic on a Carnival Victory Cruise
My name is Wyatt. I'm twelve years old, in 6th grade and I like food. I like it so much, that I decided to be a food critic. With parental supervision, I started my own awesome blog to give you my honest opinion on food. I am excited to be contributing to KidsBites!
I went on the Carnival Victory for a five day cruise to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands on March 8 - 13, 2014. We left out of the Port of Miami. The ship was very big, fourteen floors. I think the ship could use an update, it looked a little bit old. I was in cabin 8240, it had a nice balcony. When I walked into the room, I realized that it was very small at first, but we got used to it. There were five of us total in the room. It had one king size bed, a fold down bed, a fold out couch bed and a roll away cot. I was on the fold out couch. There was a small bathroom with a shower, too. On the little counter was a basket of fruit and a bottle of champagne, for my parents, of course. I liked the towel animals that our room steward left for us every night. My mom bought us the towel animal making book, so we could do it at home too.
My family and I got to go on a galley tour (galley means kitchen on a ship) which was led by the Chef de Cuisine Michael Wisdom. He was really nice and informative about everything. At first, I thought that it would be a pretty small kitchen, but I was hugely mistaken. The kitchen was bigger than my house! It was all stainless steel, with so many different stations like the dessert station, the soup / sauce station and the salad station, etc. Chef Wisdom taught us how to make my favorite dessert, warm chocolate melting cake and gave us the recipe. I can't wait to try and make it at home. We also got to go on a tour of the bridge, where they pilot the ship. It reminded me a lot of the bridge in the movie Captain Philips, but without the pirates. There were so many consoles with so many buttons, but I only saw a few guys working everything!
For the kids, instead of roaming the ship alone while their parents were out, there is a sort of camp. For the littlier kids, it is called Camp Carnival, for 12-14 year-olds (my group) it's called Circle C (cruise, chill, connect) and for the 15-17 year-olds, there is Club O2. I only went there when I wanted to. I liked it better than I thought I would. It was fun, I made some new friends and even the supervisors were nice. What we basically did was hang out, go for ice cream or pizza runs, play video games or blackjack.
There were self serve ice cream machines all over the Lido deck. The first place I ate at, after getting ice cream, was the Pizza Pirate, a restaurant on the lido deck. It was thin pizza with either pepperoni, cheese, or vegetables. I was surprised at how good he pizza was. It was hot and crunchy.
We had the Pacific dining room 6:00 PM seating at table 682. There were sculptures of mermaids holding up the walls and on every table end. The service here was the best I've ever experienced! The waiters always smiled and said hello, always so nice. Our head waiter was Anthony Oscar and he was super friendly and helpful with the menu. Prasanth the magician came by our table every night. He was very skilled, he left us in shock and wonder every time.
For the first night's dinner, I had the beef and barley soup, the beef brisket with gravy and mashed potatoes, for a desert I had their warm chocolate melting cake. The soup was good, the broth was rich. The beef brisket was very tender and savory. I especially like it with the potatoes and gravy. There are also vegetables on every entree, for show I guess. Next came my favorite part, the dessert. The warm chocolate melting cake was like warm pudding. I thought that it was exceptionally sweet and delicious. I had it three times for dessert during our trip!
The second night I had gator fritters, spring rolls, bow tie pasta with Alfredo sauce and chocolate melting cake. I normally don't like pasta in Alfredo sauce, but this was amazing! It was creamy and smooth. I also enjoyed the gator fritters, they tasted like really tender chicken.
On the third night, I had the spring rolls, chicken soup, country fried chicken and sherbet. The spring rolls were one of my favorite starters. They were warm and had great flavor. The chicken was on the bone, but I usually prefer tenders. This chicken was cooked perfectly, it was crispy, yet really tender and juicy. I haven't had sherbet in a while and this reminded me just how good it could be.
For the fourth night, I had the frog legs, beer battered fish & shrimp. I skipped dessert because I was so full! The frog legs were like soggy chicken wings. I didn't like them much. The fish was really flaky and juicy. The batter was very flavorful. The shrimp tasted like ordinary fish sticks, nothing special.
On the last night, I had the onion soup, meatloaf and ice cream. The onion soup had a nice rich flavor and texture with the bread, cheese and onions. Astonishingly, the meatloaf was my favorite meal of the cruise. It was tender, savory and delicious. The ice cream was the best that I've ever had! It was smooth and sweet.
Everyday at sea is the sea-day brunch. You have your choice of french toast, bagels, eggs and lots of other breakfast and lunch items. I had the fat stack pancakes with hash browns and two scrambled eggs. I was too full to finish the pancakes, but they were light, fluffy and sweet.
When we were in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, we went on an excursion to ride horses on the beach. Everybody there was friendly, welcoming and had a good sense of humor. This was the first time that I've ridden a horse since I was little, so I thought it would be a challenge. It wasn't that hard: pull the reins where you want the horse to go and kick to make it go faster. My horse's name was Tigre. First we rode through a trail, then we switched saddles to ride into the ocean. It was so much fun, I think everyone should do it, but look out for floaters!
On our way back, we ate at Mama Marley's and made friends with a sweet little pup that lived there. We called him Mellow Dog.
While in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, we went out on our own and rented two jet skis at the Royal Palms Beach Club on Seven Mile Beach. The sand was so soft and fine and the water was crystal clear; it was beautiful. It's a shame that we didn't bring our snorkeling gear. The jet skis were very exhilarating. I rode on one with my older brother Aaron. He was only supposed to drive, but he gave me a chance. I was doing doughnuts at top speed! Then we walked around the town for a while before heading back to the ship.
We went to a family friendly comedy show on the last night where Donnell Grey and Cee Jay Jones performed. Both of the comedians were really funny and clean, we all had a good time there.
I had the ultimate vacation on the Carnival Victory and I can't wait to go on another cruise! As a Wyatt Tastes Good special event, I give my Carnival cruise experience 10 sporks up!!!