I have just returned from my 21st cruise on this ship and after taking cruises on many other much “posher" ships, I can tell you that whilst this ship is old and lacking in some of the recreational facilities of the much larger more modern ships she certainly makes up for this with the welcoming homely atmosphere which is all down to the wonderful crew which really are the best of any ship I have sailed on.
I was lucky enough whilst I was there to try the new Black Rock Restaurant. Still in its infancy this restaurant is currently very small and located just outside the Beachcomber Restaurant on Deck 10. However, I have it on very good authority that hopefully soon this restaurant will be taken outside for the summer. In addition there are plans to develop all this internal area to make an attractive new internal home for this new restaurant.
Having never heard of this form of dining before I was completely unaware of what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised how much I really enjoyed it. Starters are Tapas served with an amazing assortment of breads, this was really tasty and as bread is a personal favourite of mine I really had to control myself or I would have eaten the lot and not had room for anything else.
For main course you have a good choice of various steaks, salmon, prawns and even surf and turf with lobster. You also have a choice of various side dishes and sauces to accompany your main dish and unusually you may take as many of these as you wish.
Your chosen meat or fish is brought to your table already prepared for cooking along with a piece of black volcanic rock upon which you cook the food to your liking at your table. This is a really healthy way to eat as no oil is needed for cooking.
The side dishes are prepared by the chef and brought to your table ready for eating. The chef in this restaurant is really larger than life and this is a really fun way to dine. I choose salmon and prawns with a side dish of chips with truffle oil and cheese and butter sauce to accompany the fish and it was really wonderful, probably the best fish I have tasted.
Four small individual deserts finish the meal and these really were to die for, including Key Lime Pie, Eton Mess, and a chocolate one, I forget what the four one was called but although I struggled I managed to eat the lot.
I am going back on the ship in 10 weeks and I am really looking forward to seeing the changes for this new restaurant, and hopefully as it will be much warmer I will be able to eat outside. As I travel alone dining under the stars by candle light is not really relevant to me, but I am sure it will be a wonderful romantic experience for anybody celebrating a special birthday or anniversary with a loved one.