Spirit of Adventure Dining
The Dining Room -- not very imaginative, but that's its name -- on Deck 4 is open daily for waiter-service breakfast, lunch and dinner, while the Veranda on Deck 6 is open for self-service breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In both, breakfast is from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. (from 7 a.m. on port days for those with early excursions), and lunch is from 12:30 p.m to 2 p.m., but with an earlier start if there is an afternoon tour. The Veranda has inside servers and an outside grill bar.
Dinner in both venues is from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Menus are very similar, and the Dining Room operates an open dining system, so passengers are free to eat when and with whom they want. They just have to choose whether they prefer to be served or help themselves.
The Veranda self-service is also open from 7 a.m. for coffee and tea (from 6:30 a.m. on port days) and from 3:15 p.m. to 4 p.m. for ice cream. The Dining Room serves afternoon tea from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. "Gourmet bites" -- usually pizza, sausages, rolls and canapes -- are handed around in the Yacht Club between 10:45 p.m. and 11:45 p.m.
The food generally was good and surprisingly adventurous, given that all the passengers were elderly Brits, who are notorious for their conservative tastes. I spotted braised, corn-fed chicken leg in sherry wine and roast herb and garlic crusted rack of lamb, alongside cruise ship favourites Dover sole and beef Wellington.
I had a particularly delicious Thai vegetable curry one evening and a rather tasty braised lamb shank in red wine another. I also enjoyed some more unusual lunchtime options, including satay chicken, German sausage and a mushroom crepe, as well as the best -- and most authentic -- hummus I've ever tasted on a cruise ship.
The chef later admitted he didn't make it, but had bought it in a favourite shop during one of the Greek port days. Sadly, he did not buy enough, and it ran out too quickly.
Menus are never repeated -- not even from one cruise to the next. So, although there are meat, fish and vegetarian dishes every night, they are always different, invariably using ingredients sourced in the various ports of call.