While Yorktown's menus strive for greatness, the execution was often lackluster. Buffets had a limited selection, and almost everything could have benefited from more seasoning. Perhaps because our cruise was the last Central America sailing before the ship repositioned to the U.S., there was often a feeling of "scarcity" with food items that we haven't experienced before. (The cheerful American waitstaff made the best of things.)
All meals are served in the dining room, at tables set in open-seating configurations of six, with four-tops scattered throughout. The dining room is simple yet spacious, with upholstered chairs and granite-finish tables. A few servers stood out from the rest, personality-wise, and diners fought to sit on their side of the room.
On our trip, excursions left as early as 7:30 a.m. and as late as 11 a.m., so the time of the breakfast buffet was adjusted accordingly. A limited amount of fruit and bread were available, as well as chafing dishes with scrambled eggs, sausages and pancakes or French toast. An omelet station provided the only made-to-order choice.
The one-hour lunch window varies, depending on the day's activities. The meal is a buffet, with a pasta choice, pre-made sandwiches, salad and several hot entrees. During one brunch seating, a carving station was offered. Boxed lunches are provided on days with longer excursions; both times we got takeaway meals, the menu was exactly the same (a burrito-style wrap, corn chips, fruit and a coconut tart). Wine, beer and soft drinks are available at lunch for no extra charge.
Dinner starts after the afternoon lecture and daily port talk, at times that ranged from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. It's a four-course, two-hour, set-seating meal that begins with an appetizer, followed by a soup and/or salad. There's a choice of four entrees, including a vegetarian option. Two desserts are provided, and everything can be ordered a la mode. Waiters refill glasses liberally with house wine. (Bottles are available for an upgraded charge.) While you're free to bring your own wine or beer onboard, you can only drink it in your cabin.
An afternoon tea with crustless sandwiches and cookies takes place in the Observation Lounge at 4 p.m. Hungry snorkelers be warned: Get there early, as trays go quickly on active days. Heartier snacks -- hummus and pita bread, or sausages and mustard -- are served during Happy Hour, just before the port talk. Coffee, ice water and iced tea are available in the lounge from 6 a.m. until the bar closes (as late as 1 a.m.), and bottled water is supplied in the cabins. Room service is not available, and there are no mini-bars or refrigerators.
Yorktown Ship Stats
- Crew: 45
- Launched: 1988
- Decks: 5
- Passengers: 138
- Registry: New York, USA