If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that when a cruise line changes the menus, it’ll lead to a lot of discussion. Good or bad, folks are unlikely to be indifferent! As we speak, Norwegian Cruise Line continues rolling out new menus across its fleet, with Epic slated to be upgraded on March 6, Pride of America on March 15, Gem on April 1, and Dawn on June 17 (although it should be noted that we’re hearing reports that some of the new menus are showing up in some of the venues aboard these ships already). Having taken a gander at the new menus – in both the specialty restaurants and main dining rooms – here’s our takeaway.
1) New menus, new names
One of the first things you’ll notice looking at the new menus in the main dining rooms is that while most of the categories remain the same, they’ve got new names. “Starters” are now “Appetizers.” What were once “Main Courses” are now “Classic Entrees.” And then there is the new section, called “Plated To Perfection.” More on that in a moment…
2) No pizza at La Cuchina
While some lines have become known for their fresh pizza (with the tasty offerings offered by Princess Cruise Line’s Alfredo’s often topping ‘Best Of’ lists in this category), Norwegian has removed pies from the menu at their Italian-themed specialty restaurants. This isn’t necessarily a huge loss, given that several varieties are usually available on the buffet. But parents of fussy eaters who knew they could satisfy their wee ones with pizza while the adults enjoyed La Cuchina’s fantastic selection of higher-end options might be disappointed.
3) O’Sheehan’s switches things up
In place of the chicken pot pie previously offered in the popular pub, shepherd’s pie is now on the menu. The late-night menu has been expanded a bit, although mozzarella sticks were dropped during the transition. Never fear, however: The wings many passengers have become addicted to over the years are still there, popular as ever, as is the delicious fish and chips plate.
4) Prime rib hits Cagney’s
There have been some tweaks to the for-charge steakhouse’s menu, including lobster bisque replacing split pea soup. (Although honestly, if you’re not eating the baked potato soup while at Cagney’s, you’re definitely missing out!) But the biggest change might be the addition of both a queen cut (16 ounces, boneless) or king cut (32 ounces, with a bone) prime rib!
5) A la Carte items on the Main Dining Room menu
This is the change that will have the nickel-and-dime crowd lighting up the comments section: The Main Dining Room menus now featured, as we mentioned at the beginning, have a new section called “Plated To Perfection.” Featured here are three options, each available at an upcharge. For $19.99, diners can choose between a whole lobster or bone-in ribeye. Those wanting surf and turf can order the combo for $24.99. While a whole lot of people will no doubt complain about this, it does allow parties in which half want to go to a specialty restaurant, while the other half aren’t in the mood to shell out money for dinner, to eat together while satisfying everyone.
What’s your take on the changes Norwegian is making to their menus? Hit the comments section and let us know your thoughts!
Featured photo: Flickr/Mike Louagie