When travelers hear “cruise ship” they automatically think: buffet. I know I always have.
Our ship’s cuisine was so different than your run of the mill cruise food. Yes, PG does have a buffet. No, it’s not one of those stereotypical crusty meatloaf kind of events.
So last year, we were pleasantly surprised to find 2-star Michelin quality food on board the Paul Gauguin. Maybe it didn’t take much to impress us after years of cruise ship food on the budget friendly boats. And this year was seemingly even better.
Some of my favorites included the Asian/Thai food, everyday sorbet course, and local fresh fish, all of which were thoughtfully presented and tasty as hell.
A perfect example of the impeccable staff going above and beyond (see how much I love them here), as well as the delectable cuisine is our obsession with tuna sashimi. We saw on the menu the treat of fresh tuna, raw and unadulterated. I’m talking A+, sushi grade tuna.
After inhaling our appetizer portion, we promptly asked our server, Junar, if we could get another serving for breakfast. After a quick check with the head waiter, Cesar, Junar informed us that it would be awaiting our arrival the following morning.
As we sat on the patio of La Veranda the following morning, sipping champagne and watching the sunrise, the staff made quick work and produced a beautifully appointed plate of glorious tuna sashimi.
Feeling on top of the world, D and I scarfed down every piece while finishing our champagne. At one point we realized the Cousteau’s were sitting directly behind us and we felt incredibly fortunate to be in such a breathtaking setting, dining with diving royalty, while sipping champagne and eating the freshest fish the ocean has to offer.
This feeling was not lost on the Cousteau’s, who as they walked by stated, “You guys really know how to live the good life– champagne and sashimi for breakfast.” They took the words right out of my mouth.
And then we ordered it again, and again, only skipping the days when the chef wasn’t able to get the freshest fish available…
I’m pretty sure we became known as the crazy tuna people. Oh well.
Even more exciting was the chef purchasing the local caught mahi-mahi straight from the dock. It doesn’t get much fresher than that. And excuse my picture, I missed the camera op, but got a shot of the pics the on board photographer took.
So, here’s the run down:
– If you’re looking for any form of booze on the PG before 9:30 am when the pool bar opens, check the back of the boat for a build-your-own bloody mary/screw driver bar or order champagne via room service or one of the restaurants. The build-your-own bar was a wonderful addition to the ship, as last year the boat was seemingly dry at that hour of the morning.
– Our favorite breakfast was in Le Veranda, which gave you the option of a plated breakfast or a buffet. You can dine al fresco or in the climate controlled dining room, both having a panoramic view of your surroundings. Le Grille is also open and serves basically the same fare, but it a more casual setting.
– For dinner, I recommend the main dining room. While La Veranda and Le Grille have reservation only seatings available, I found the menu in the main dining room to be more pleasing and diverse. Also know, no matter where you end up, you will not be disappointed.
– If you are on the 10-day or more sailings, definitely make reservations at the two optional restaurants just to change things up. If these happened to be booked on the night you’re interested in dining there, just call the day of or show up and ask if there are any cancellations. Everything from too much sun to sea conditions can make vacationers change their reservations.
– If you’re interested in seeing some of the menu options, check them out here. A smart blogger took pictures of everything and uploaded them. Props buddy! Of course, not everything is the same as is listed on the link, however it will give you a broad idea of what to expect.
– Like wine? You’re in luck. Each course is paired with a complementary wine. Not too fond of the one their serving? Just say the word and the staff will reappear with something more to your liking.
– Just ask. Paul Gauguin is a top notch when it comes to making things happen for their guests. Like your dishes spicy? No problem. Hate green beans? They vanish. Prefer California sparkling wine to New Zealand? Mumm’s the word.
Overall, be prepared for a culinary affair that rivals any on the high seas.