Costa Victoria Dining
Overall, the food was good -- especially the pasta.
Costa Victoria has two dining rooms: Sinfonia, aft of Deck 5, and Fantasia, in the middle of the same deck. Both offer traditional, two-top dining in the evening at 7 and 9:15 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. Evening meals in the dining room always have six courses -- appetizers, soups, a choice of two pasta dishes, a main course, salad and cheese -- and dessert.
The appetizers and pasta were, invariably, the best meals. I had a delicious antipasto plate with Parma ham, chicken pate and apple salad one evening. On another, I chose smoked ham with artichoke hearts. But, for mains, I had a very acceptable lamb curry and a tasty vegetarian lentil dish.
I passed on the desserts, but my daughter reports critically on the chocolate souffle, but much more positively on the "yummy" chocolate mille feuille.
Fantasia is also open for breakfast and lunch. Hours varied, but, generally, breakfast was from 7:30 to 9:15 a.m., and lunch ran from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
The Bolero Buffet, on Deck 11, is open for breakfast from 7 (6:30 on some port days) to 11:30 a.m. and for lunch from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. (3 p.m. on some port days). Afternoon tea is served there from 4 to 5 p.m. It is closed for dinner. My one complaint was that I could never get any hot food at the lunch buffet. It was always veering toward cold, which suggests it was lukewarm to start.
Breakfasts were the usual selection of scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and other fried food, plus rolls, fruit, cheese and a big selection of cold meats. You can get freshly cooked eggs and omelettes at a separate station.
At lunchtime, the egg station became the freshly-heated pasta station -- but the food was still never hot. (And, they didn't understand me when I asked them to heat the food a bit longer.) There were also salads, cold meats and a selection of hot dishes.
The Pool Grill and Terrazza Grill, the former by the pool, the latter at the Cafe Terrazza at the aft of the ship, serve burgers, hotdogs, fries, pizzas, fruit and more and keep the same lunchtime hours as the Bolero.
The Pizzaria serves pizza by the slice from 3 to 7 p.m. and made-to-order pizzas from 7 p.m. until midnight. There is also a speciality restaurant, Il Magnifico, set up in the La Tavernetta bar each evening from 7 to 9 p.m. You're supposed to reserve a table, but it was never busy. Dishes are priced a la carte. The menu was certainly impressive. I had my eye on the cold duck platter, priced at €7.50; the half-chicken, cooked with pepperoni and beans (€7.50); and the baked shoulder of lamb with olives (€9). I wasn't so sure about the lukewarm tomato soup with croutons of spicy pork cheek (€6). I suspect it lost something in translation.
Just in case anyone is still hungry, sandwiches, snacks and pizza are served in the bars from 11:45 p.m. on, and there is 24-hour room service. Speaking of which, room service breakfast is served free between 7 and 10 a.m. The rest of the time, there is a €2 service free (waived for passengers in suites).