Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Point Steakhouse Embarkation Day

Hope You Are Hungry

Continuing our exploration of Carnival Conquest shortly after embarkation, we discovered that we could make our dinner reservations for the specialty restaurant, "The Point" Steakhouse without leaving Lido Deck.   Initially we checked availability for Thursday, the second formal night of the cruise.   

Embarkation Day Special
We made the reservation and then were told that if we wanted to dine Sunday evening, we would be given a complimentary bottle of wine.   Didn't have to twist our arm too hard to decide we'd skip the main dining room that evening - especially when they told us the dress code that evening was casual and we were fine as dressed.

Point soups
More images: The Point Steakhouse 
Specialty Dining

In the early 2000's specialty dining was introduced to the cruise community.   Norwegian Cruise Line introduced it in the form of "Freestyle dining" while others went with the term "specialty dining".   In both cases, the passenger selects the venue, usually an upscale restaurant, and pays an additional gratuity for special attention and better quality food.   Presentation is a large part of the experience with food often prepared table side or made to order at the very least.   Also, plan on spending several hours enjoying your meal.

"The Point" Experience

As with meals in the main dining room, you are presented with a menu to select your starters, entree, and dessert.   Since we were taking advantage of the free bottle of wine, we needed to select from white or red.   Instead of simply reading the menu to determine our entree selection, we were shown a selection of meats and other choices by our waiter.

Starters for us included bread, salad, and soups shown above which were all excellent.  The chef prepares a special treat for you following your starters.  We were presented with a small hamburger and a tomato based appetizer.

The Main Feast

There were so many choices to select from ranging from prime cuts of beef, lobster, lamb, and even chicken if red meat wasn't your preference.   Filet Mignon is a typical high-end steak option so that was one of our choices and an 18 oz. Grilled Prime Cowboy Steak was the other.   Back home if we ordered such a large steak, we'd be bringing part of it home.   Here, there aren't carry out boxes, so we just had to finish the entire meal at the steakhouse.   That is why we suggest going there hungry and planning on spending about four hours savoring every bite of your meal.

Think about what just this portion of the meal would cost you at home and we haven't even gotten to the side items or dessert yet.   Do you think it's worth the $35 surcharge?   We certainly do, although we hear from many of our clients that they don't want to pay anything extra for their meals and that is certainly their right.  We do however think they are missing out on a fabulous dining experience that they would most certainly repeat cruise after cruise.

Here are some of the menu options you can pick:

Point starters menu
Point entree menu
Point dessert menu
Click on image to enlarge

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Do take advantage of the Embarkation Day special if you like wine.  For a house bottle of wine we found the white (Chardonnay) selection to be very good.   Red wine was a Merlot, but only one of us likes reds.   Make reservations when you get onboard to be sure you get the day / time desired.   It wasn't crowded the first evening, which would be another reason to select embarkation day even without the special offer.

Next we'll look at the Embarkation Day entertainment.  It was Super Bowl the day we boarded for our cruise.

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