Tuesday, December 18, 2012

First Day - Giovanis Table


Giovanis in Central Park

We have reservations tonight at Giovanis Table - the Italian restaurant.  We booked this restaurant as part of the dining package we purchased ahead of time.  Normal cost is $20 per person.

We are sat at a table for two along the back beside two other tables for two.  The place is busy, not many free tables.  We bring the champagne from our Romance Package and ask our server if they have a cold bottle for us to trade it out with.  She goes away and comes back and says sorry they can't do this but she will put it on ice.  We are kind of surprised and disappointed, but hope that things improve.  Since the champagne needs to chill more we order the first bottle from our wine package. 

We get a lovely Malbec from Argentina and the server pours glasses for us, oh but first she puts in an aerator that is engraved with RCI and she tells us we can buy it (first of many times we will be asked if we want to buy the aerator - oh and we don't buy it).  Now remember I purchased the wine package earlier today and was given a receipt and told to take to the dining room, but we are eating here tonight and I show them the receipt and they say oh we don't take that.  I insist that we bought it and we want to use the wine package, she comes back and says okay she can take it for us (sounds like she is doing us a favour) but that we should of gone to the dining room and gave it to the head waiter.  REALLY  I brush it off and try and ignore and enjoy the wine.
Bernie ordered the scallops, described as oven baked almond crusted scallops with red bell pepper pesto, and he loved them a 10 out of 10 - pictured to the right, not very nice presentation other than the shells.  I got the Mozzarella Prosciutto - described as warm mozzarella and prosciutto baked, crispy ciabatta bread served with mixed greens and Dijon mustard drizzle, and it was very very yummy. 

mozzarella prosciutto
Bernie got the crab ravioli, it was okay, very salty 6 out of 10 and didn't finish it.   I got the Risotto and it was a huge serving and again very salty and didn't finish it

For our main course Bernie got the Ragout, he thought it was the best part of the meal, a little dry but flavour was perfect.  I got the Veal, described as veal tenderloin parcels filled with porcini mushrooms provolone cheese and ham, and it was very very tender could cut it with a fork.  Again though it is very very salty.
While dining the service went downhill, waiter initially poured our wine, and then we had to ask for the champagne to be opened, she poured the first glass and we had to fill our glasses the rest of the time for both the champagne and the wine. 
The place is packed and it seems that they don't have enough waiters.  I see one assistant waiter but all they do is clean tables and reset from what I see.  Our waiter is the only one who deals with us, even if the other waiters are not busy they do not help out by clearing our plates or pouring champagne.  Nor do we see the head waiters assisting either. 
The biggest issue it is LOUD, very LOUD.  Certainly not romantic cause forget talking to each other.  Thankfully the wine/champagne are kicking in and we feel good. For dessert Bernie got the ice cream with espresso which was presently beautifully.  I had the Tiramisu and I will say here and now, it was the BEST I have ever had. 

But overall Giovanis was a disappointment and really not worth the cost in my opinion.   Restaurant was just so noisy, busy and service was very poor.  Food was good but not great.  It took a long time to get the final plates cleared.  And then poor Bernie he wanted hot tea, he got the pot of hot water, then had to wait for the tea bag, then he asked for milk for the tea and had to wait for that.  It took so long that the hot water was no longer hot.  He gave up. 

We normally tip extra at the specialty restaurants but tonight it doesn't warrant it.

We stand up and wohooooo we are feeling tipsy, that happens after a bottle of champagne and a bottle of wine.  We wander around the ship and stop at the guest services (purser's desk) to discuss the romance package and how do we get the rest of it.  We find out that a small folder with the coupons for the items should of been delivered to the cabin with the gift and they will arrange for us to get it as soon as possible.  (it is delivered shortly after we arrive back in the cabin)

We wander around up on deck and checking out the public areas.

Comments from today:

- things are disjointed with the wine package when you buy once you get on from the vendor set up in the promenade deck, I have to carry the paper receipt (which I later find out actually was not a real receipt just an order form)
- public washrooms throughout the ship are huge, and beautiful, never had to wait for an available washroom
- Cabin numbers throw us off, we are use to odd cabins on one side and even on the other side, here this is not so, can't find a rhyme or reason to the numbering of the cabins.
- no chocolate on the pillow tonight, nor was there any infamous towel animal (certainly not a make or break item, but since it is expected it is noticed when we don't get them)
- when we boarded we asked our cabin steward for the only request, please ensure that there are three towels in the cabin when cleaning (I need two towels, one for my hair and one for my body) We return to the cabin and there are only two towels, he took the three towels and replaced with two (note one of the towels was hung up and he left it but there was still only 2 towels in total).

Stay tuned for our first sea day on board the Oasis

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