Diamant serves up three squares and a hearty snack daily from its tiny galley kitchen. A native of Grenada, Chef Philbert was one of the more personable crewmembers aboard the ship. He worked as an assistant chef with Windjammer Barefoot Cruises and developed most of his recipes with his brother-in-law, who works as a chef at La Source, a popular all-inclusive resort on Grenada.
La Source bills its meals as healthy, which may explain why the food served up by Philbert tasted a little lighter than the traditional cruise fare that you find on the big ships. Portions weren't as large as most Americans are used to, but everything was delicious and filling, served up with a flourish.
Breakfasts are hot entrees, such as French toast or omelets, although cereal was available, and some special requests were taken. (One passenger asked for oatmeal every day, and she got what she wanted.) Lunch was simple: Think cheeseburgers, grilled chicken wraps and sandwiches with macaroni salad. Passengers looked forward to "Snacks and Swizzles," where plates of shrimp on crackers, hummus, flatbread pizzas, cheese and pate were usually demolished. There was always plenty of local fruit. Island Windjammers has continued the tradition of a Captain's Dinner on the last night (although our captain was so busy that he didn't eat with us). Lobster is served in season; more typical meals include pork tenderloin, shrimp in sauce, grilled fish over pasta, and ribs.
If there is one issue with the meals on Diamant, it's that they are clearly designed for an American palate. On a ship experience this intimate, it would have been great to see more Caribbean fare, such as roti or peas and rice. (At disembarkation, Philbert was cooking up some of this in a coconut sauce for the crew, and it smelled divine!) Representatives from the line say that they are adjusting the menus to allow for more local dishes.
The ship offers juice in the morning (along with coffee and tea), Kool Aid or lemonade at lunch, and red and white wines with dinner. Rum punch was served every afternoon at "Swizzles and Snacks," and passengers could grab soda and beer from the cooler whenever they felt like it. The informality of the boat is such that passengers were grabbing cans of Pringles and boxes of cookies from the storage bins when they wanted a quick nosh.
Beer, wine and soft drinks are provided in the cruise cost. Unlike other cruise lines, Diamant encourages passengers to bring their own liquor (mixers are provided). Just don't be surprised if you're expected to share -- the boat's intimate size makes it a little hard to "do your own thing."
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