Food on River Adagio is far better than you'd expect for the cruise's price (and among the best that we've had on a ship or group tour). Even during its buffets, hot items are kept piping, while fruit, vegetables and dairy remain crisp and cool. Although you don't have the multi-restaurant experience that the oceangoing lines offer, you won't suffer for choice.
All meals are served in the dining room at white-tablecloth open-seating configurations of six, with a few four- and eight-tops scattered throughout. To get there, you pass through a hallway of cabins on the third floor, a somewhat unusual layout. Served from approximately 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., breakfast consists of an extensive buffet, anchored by an omelet station, although daily specials like pancakes, French toast or eggs Benedict can be ordered from the waiters.
The two-hour lunch window varies, depending on the day's activities. The meal is a buffet/made-to-order hybrid, with a daily soup and ethnic specialties from the kitchen complementing a pasta station, a salad bar and sandwiches. Hamburgers, hot dogs and French fries are available anytime. Sweet-lovers will make a beeline for a dessert buffet that occasionally includes an ice cream bar.
Dinner starts at 7 p.m., after the daily port talk. It's a four-course, two-hour set-seating that begins with a cold appetizer, followed by a hot appetizer or soup. There's a choice of three entrees, with meat, fish or vegetarian options available. (A sample menu might have beef tenderloin, grilled halibut and mushroom risotto.) Dieters can order half-portions, as well as grilled chicken or salmon served with a baked potato. Two choices are given for dessert daily, and two glasses of wine or beer are included. While you're free to bring your own wine or beer onboard, you can only drink it in your cabin; there's a $10 corkage fee to have your own bottle at dinner.
If you eat each meal on the ship, you won't be hungry. But if you do get the munchies, cookies are usually served in the lounge in the afternoon, and a salty bar mix of peanuts and crackers can be had during Happy Hour. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate are available 24/7 from a machine in the lobby. Room service is not available, and there are no mini-bars.