Our Crazy Dinner Table (or, what we ate on vacation)

Doctor's Cove Beach in Jamaica

Idaho can be pretty gloomy in the winter, especially once the excitement of the holidays is over. So this year my husband and I decided to try something different: we booked a Caribbean cruise for the last week in January so that we could get some much needed Vitamin D, have something to look forward to, and take our first tropical vacation since our honeymoon.

Lounging aboard the Carnival Magic

We just returned and I can tell you that we had a fabulous time! We spent our days lounging on the Serenity deck, napping in the sunshine, visiting the spa, and of course taking in some of the sites while we were at port (snorkeling on the barrier reef in Cayman Islands was by far my favorite!).

Southern Dining Room Wait Staff

One of my favorite parts about cruising is all the fun people you meet- the amazing staff and crew from all over the world, the friendly southerners in the elevators, and of course your table mates at dinner. We were paired with three great young couples and MANY laughs were had around the dinner table. While I could tell some pretty amusing stories about them, instead I will focus on the food 🙂

Our Crazy Dinner Table on the Carnival Magic

I was asked by a few readers before I left if I would blog about what I ate while on vacation. I was a little nervous to do so, because, well–I was on vacation! Anyone who has ever been on a cruise knows that eating is one of the main events. I went into it knowing that I would not adhere to my strict diet, and I was just hoping that it wouldn’t ruin my trip. My body has a weird way of knowing that I am on vacation, because I can be perfectly fine eating things that normally would cause me great distress at home. Whether it’s the extra Vitamin D, the relaxation, or just the change of scenery—my body loves it, and I am not complaining!

With that said, here is a breakdown of what I ate:

Things that I avoid at home and tried to avoid on the cruise:

  • Gluten (although I will admit that I ate gluten 3 times—once when I ordered escargot, not knowing it came in a pastry shell. I ate a bite and then swapped for my husband’s mahi mahi. Once in Mexico—the fajitas were marinated in beer, and once on accident when I ate some unmarked chips that I thought were made from corn but later found out were flour. Despite being “glutened”, I was fine! Which leads me to believe that my gut is finally healing!).

Things I normally avoid at home but enjoyed in moderation on the cruise:

  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Gluten Free Grains
  • Nightshades
  • Refined Oils (I couldn’t resist the French Fries)

Things I normally avoid at home but feasted on:

  • Dairy
  • Sugar (I ate A LOT of soft serve ice cream. Interestingly enough, the fro-yo option gave me a bad stomach ache.)

Unusual things I tried:

  • Frog Legs
  • Salmon/Tuna tar-tar
  • Escargot
  • Turtle Soup
  • Lobster
  • Salmon Lox
  • Calamari
  • Muscles

(Those last few aren’t that unusual, just not things I prepare at home)

We ate and ate and ate for 7 days straight!  Our typical routine was breakfast in the dining room (because that’s where the gluten free French toast was), before hitting the breakfast buffet on our way back to the room. Lunch was at Tandor, the Indian eatery, nearly every day—even on port days—because it was SO delicious! We hit the dinner buffet around 5:30 for “1st dinner”, followed by dinner in the formal dining room at 8:15 each night. (Apologies for not having any food pictures–I enjoyed my gloriously unplugged vacation!)

Needless to say, it’s been a little hard to come back home to the snow, the cooking, and the to-do lists. I guess we’ll have to start planning our next adventure!

Have you ever been on a cruise? What do you like to eat on vacation?

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