While next week’s Blake Shelton Cruise will feature exciting performances by Blake Shelton plus shows by Trace Adkins and over 20 other country music entertainers, the cruise experience itself is also a huge draw. The cruise is being held on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Pearl, a gem of a ship that features a wide range of dining and entertainment options. While it might be hard for country music fans to break away from the all-star entertainment to go bowling at sea, try rock climbing or play on the Wii interactive gaming system in the atrium, the Pearl’s dining line-up will likely hit the top of the charts with Blake Shelton Cruise guests.
Dining on the Norwegian Pearl is freestyle, which means that you don’t have to eat in the same place at a set time every day. You are free to dine … wherever! The Pearl has large flatscreen TV displays in high traffic areas around the ship showing the current waiting times for each dining area, so you can easily head to the venues without a wait. If you would prefer to wait for a specific dining option, the restaurant’s hostess will quote you an expected wait time and give you a pager that works around the ship.
Sure, there are standard main dining rooms on the Norwegian Pearl. The large Summer Palace dining room features aft windows, perfect for those who fancy a water view. Indigo, a smaller standard dining room, is located mid-ships. Dining here is included as part of your cruise. Guests can dine freestyle as they wish or at the same time. If you’d like to keep things predictable every night, talk with the maitre d’ on the first day of the cruise to set up.
While the food in the main dining room is delicious, Norwegian Cruise Line is also known for its extensive choice of specialty restaurants. It would be hard to cruise on the Norwegian Pearl for seven nights and not try at least one. Reservations for alternative restaurant dining can be made in advance of your cruise or once you’re on the ship. If you have your heart set on a specific dates, times and dining experiences – make your reservations early.
Here are a few of the dining experiences that guests on the Blake Shelton Cruise can enjoy while sailing on the Norwegian Pearl:
* Cagney’s Steakhouse: This restaurant serves up mouthwatering steaks such as a 16-ounce T-Bone, 12-ounce Rib Eye or a 10-ounce New York Strip or Filet Mignon along with all your favorite sides. Don’t miss Cagney’s Fries made with white truffle oil and parmesan cheese. Salmon Oscar, Double Cut Lamb Chops and Vegetarian Saffron Casserole are also on the menu, as are yummy appetizers and desserts. A $25 per person cover charge applies.
* Le Bistro French Restaurant: From the decor to the menu, Le Bistro is all French through and through. Start your meal off with French Onion Soup or Escargot and then move on to such classics as Coq au Vin, Bouillabaisse, and Filet de Porc. Naturally, the profiteroles, chocolate napoleon and vanilla creme brulee are delectable. A $20 per person cover charge applies.
* Moderno Churrascaria: Barbecued meats are the specialty at this Brazilian-style meat-fest restaurant. Diners control how much they’re served with green and red chips. Green means “keep bringing it on” while red tells servers “stop – I’ve had enough!” There’s a huge salad bar here to accompany the ten different cuts of beef, lamb, pork and chicken served. A $20 per person cover charge applies.
* Teppanyaki: This Japanese grill-style restaurant is sort of like “Benihana at Sea.” Each evening, chefs put on a show while cooking meats, fish, poultry and vegetables on an iron “Teppan” grill. This is one of the most popular restaurants on the ship and seating is very limited, so it sells out quickly. A $25 per person cover charge applies.
* Lotus Garden Asian Restaurant: Step into a world of Pan Asian delights in this restaurant, serving Japanese, Chinese and Thai dishes including Peking Duck Crepes, Kung Pao Chicken, Cantonese Scallops, Orange Peel Beef and more. A $15 per person cover charge applies.
* La Cucina Italian Restaurant: Traditional Italian dishes take center stage here, including pastas with seven sauce choices, specialty pizzas, and entrees such as Chicken Parmesan, Seared Salmon, Ribeye Steak Florentina, Ossobuco, and Vegetable Lasagna. The tiramisu, ricotta cheesecake and flourless chocolate torte offer a perfect Italian ending for your meal. A $10 per person cover charge applies.
* 24/7 Pizza: Want pizza delivered fresh to your table, your favorite bar or even to your stateroom – any time of day or night? This Norwegian Pearl restaurant has it covered. Just ask your server or call room service for delivery. A $5 per guest charge applies.
* Sushi and Sashimi Bar: Located in the Lotus Garden Asian Restaurant, this little restaurant serves up a variety of sushi and sashimi including yellow fin tuna, big eye tuna, salmon, yellowtail and octopus. Prices are a la carte.
* Blue Lagoon 24-Hour Food Court: This is the place to go if you want a quick bite, any time of the day or night. The Blue Lagoon serves up burgers, stir-fry items and light fare – all free of charge.
Norwegian Cruise Line recently rolled out a new dining package called the Signature Trio, offering savings at three of the Norwegian Pearl’s alternative dining restaurants. The package includes dinner at Cagney’s Steakhouse, Le Bistro French Restaurant and La Cucina Italian Restaurant for $47 per person, a savings of $8 per person. Reservations are made in advance, making dining at these specialty restaurants even more convenient. Blake Shelton Cruise guests take note: the Signature Trio must be purchased before sailing and will not be available once onboard the ship.
For casual dining, including breakfast and lunch, there’s the Garden Cafe and the Great Outdoors Cafe on the aft deck. Those lounging by the pool will want to check out the nearby grill serving hamburgers, hot dogs, salads and desserts. And, of course, every guest needs to try the free room service at some time during their cruise.
For more information on the Blake Shelton & Friends Cruise, visit https://www.blakesheltoncruise.com.
Nancy Schretter is the Managing Editor of the Family Travel Network.
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