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Old March 12th, 2009, 01:17 AM
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Default Portofino on the Explorer. What day is best on nine nighter?

I will be taking a nine night cruise out of New Jersey On the Explorer of the Seas on April 17th, I would like to make a reservation for Portofinos for one of those nights. I want to be in the main dinning room for the formal nights and any other special captains gala nights. I was thinking first day?/third day? What do you think? Thank You

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Old March 12th, 2009, 12:30 PM
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Have u checked with RCI about when formal nights will be? Check with others who have sailed the same 8 day itinerary and see when formal nights will be, then u can make a decision about portifinos.
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Old March 13th, 2009, 09:18 AM
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I would guess that your formal nights are going to be April 18 or 19, and April 24.

Any night is a great night at Portofino's!! I suggest trying to make reservations online ASAP! I'm sailing in May and made my reservations weeks ago and was amazed to find out that many of the dates/times I wanted to reserve were already gone.
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Old March 13th, 2009, 05:47 PM
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We hate to miss the first night as it's the best time to connect with your tablemates. Since we have second seating, we like to book Portofino for the last night as the menu in the dining room is usually poorest for some reason that night. We book for about 7 p.m. leaving us plenty of time to have coffee with our tablemates, say our goodbyes, hand out tip envelopes, etc. Have done this a few times and it always works out well.
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Old March 15th, 2009, 12:57 PM
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Thanks for bringing this up we leave on the 27th March on the same cruise and was wondering the same thing. Just got off the phone with RCL and the formal nights are the second and eighth nights. We will probably make reservations for the night we leave the port the earliest (the night we leave Puerto Rico) we usually are less tired and will not have eaten lunch as late in port that day. Will post a review after we get back to let you know how things went.
Future Cruises:
Oasis September 3, 2011
Adventure November 20, 2011
Mariner January 8, 2012

Past Cruises:
Radiance April 2, 2011
Mariner January 9, 2011
Oasis 9 October 2010
Majesty 20 August, 2010
Mariner January 31, 2010
Adventure September 27, 2009
Explorer March 27, 2009
Monarch January 9, 2009
Liberty September 2008
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Monarch June 2006
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Old March 17th, 2009, 08:58 PM
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OK...on the 9 nighter...go the 1st night to the MDR. the 2nd night is formal...and the second to last night is formal.

i would probably go the 3rd or 4th night.

i could post the 9 night menus but we did the thanksgiving cruise so they will be different..and they changed the order of a night or 2 due to a change of ports...i think.

caribbean night is pretty bad.....

HERE THEY ARE...remember....yours will differ due to turkey day...BUT this may help...and i have 'helpful' little culinary commentary too!

Smoked fish tapenade
Vidalia onion Tart (I live for this! And I make it at home too!)
Strawberry/Kiwi/Pineapple medley
Tortilla Soup (this was a tomato based soup, teeny bit spicy-very good)
Hot & Sour Shrimp Soup
Chilled Watermelon gazpacho
Cesar Salad
Spinach Salad

Shrimp Ravioli
Pan Fried Pork Medallions (tender)
Prime Rib
Grilled Mediterranean Quesadilla
Aloo Gobi Methi

Alternate entrees-available daily
Atlantic salmon
Atlantic Cod
Chicken breast with Seasonal herbs
Black Angus top sirloin
Linguini with Marinara Sauce

Strawberry Pavlova (excellent)
Chocolate Cherry Cake (sounds better than it was)
Low Fat Blueberry/Peach Cobbler
Sugar Free Chocolate Pot de Crème

NIGHT 2-Formal Night


Orange Carpaccio
Chilled Golden Pear Soup (love the chilled soups)
Oxtail Broth
Lobster Bisque
Caesar Salad
Shrimp Cocktail


Eggplant Mozzarella Tower
Sea Bass
Roast Duck
Wild Mushroom Linguini Alfredo
Filet of Beef (slices of tenderloin, nice dish)
Potato Curry


Double Strawberry Cheesecake
Grand Marnier Soufflé (best dessert ever)
Cherries Jubilee (second best-you must order both-it's in the "RULES" )
Low fat strawberry cheesecake
Sugar free coconut vanilla cake



Onion Focaccia with cream cheese spread
Shrimp Ceviche
Vegetable Samosa (little fried pillows with veggies, a little spicy)
Cream of Cauliflower Soup
Beef Consommé Royale
Chilled Blueberry/Yogurt Soup
Caesar salad
Boston lettuce salad


Pappardelle with fresh peas
Thai-style shrimp (very good)
Buttermilk fried chicken (on the bone) with chicken gravy
Black Angus Sirloin Oscar (topped with crabmeat and béarnaise sauce)
Vegetable Pad Thai
Vegetable Madras


Cappuccino Layer Cake
Passion fruit Meringue Tart (YUMM!-3rd best dessert ever!)
Coconut parfait
Low fat summer berry pudding with fresh berries
Sugar Free guava napoleon



Papaya, Lychee and Water Chestnut Salad with Kaffir lime syrup
Smoked Salmon Carpaccio
Breaded Mushrooms (would have been great if they were hot)
Mulligatawny Soup
Shellfish Saffron Consommé
Chilled Orange and Banana Soup (very tasty)
Caesar Salad
Tomato Salad


Baked Cheese Cannelloni
Pan Seared Tilapia with potato leek gratin, corn niblets, snow peas and saffron beurre blanc (mom liked)
Asian Duck with orange hoisin sauce, stir fried Chinese cabbage and rice
Pan fried pork medallions with sour cream mashed and caramelized shallots (excellent-different than the pork served earlier)
Wild mushroom and goat cheese pizza
Moglai Cauliflower


Pear Tart Bourdalou-rich almond crust with pears
Chocolate banana strudel (not very good-the cake is very dry and the banana was very hard-most people who ordered this didn’t actually finish it-this was REALLY good on the 12 nighter in Feb-weird)
White chocolate cheesecake
Low fat mango mousse
Sugar free orange yogurt pudding



Exotic fruits with mojito jelly (nice fruit plate)
Crab & Shrimp Salad
Beef & Veal tortellacci
Jalapeno and potato soup
Chicken consommé (VERY salty!)
Chilled cranberry/mango soup
Caesar Salad
Seasonal Salad


Penne tarantina-with shrimp, mussels & scallops
Cornmeal dusted tilapia (mom loved this)
Parmesan crusted turkey tenderloin
Slow roasted beef shoulder filet (delicious)
Asparagus & Brie tart
Gobi Ki Sabzi


Choca-Chino Trilogy (grand Marnier white chocolate mousse, chocolate/kahlua cheesecake and mud cake)
BBB Brulee-banana/Bailey’s crème brulee (excellent one time, lousy the 2nd time-something weird happened to it)
Magic mango parfait
Low fat pineapple coconut cake (tasty, comes with ice cream too!)
Sugar free steamed vanilla berry custard



Caprese Salad
Scallop risotto
Garlic Soup (always tasty)
Strawberry bisque (very good-like a smoothie)
Caesar salad
Insalata mista


Rigatoni with Chorizo, bell peppers, olive oil and basil
Garlic tiger shrimp (great)
Chicken Marsala (also tasty)
Lamb shank
Vegetarian Chili
Kaju paneer dhansak


Warm chocolate cake (wonderful)
Raspberry panna cotta
Tiramisu (pretty good!)
Low fat angel food cake
Sugar free chocolate mint cake

NIGHT 7 – Special Thanksgiving menu
Cream of roasted butternut squash and apple soup (somehow, we forgot to order this, darn!)
Roast turkey with all the trimmings (stuffing, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, cranberry sauce-very nice!)
Warm pumpkin pecan pudding (YUM! 4th best dessert ever, but not really pudding….kind of like bread pudding)

Other Items:
Pineapple cocktail (fruit salad)
Green peppercorn pate
Seafood pot pie
Chicken consommé (REALLY salty)
Chilled cherry and banana soup (good-had this on my 12 nighter!)
Forest Mushroom farfalle
Southern honey glazed ham (very tasty)
Autumn vegetable turnover
Apple pie ala mode
Sugar free berry melba

NIGHT 8 – second formal


Sun ripened pineapple
Citrus cured salmon
Creamed wild mushrooms in puff pastry (tasty!)
Cream of asparagus soup
Double Duck consommé
Roasted peach soup (what’s not to love!)
Caesar salad
House salad

Fisherman’s plate (lobster tail and shrimp-yes I was offered seconds!)
Thai BBQ chicken (not very good this time!)
New England Bay scallops and ziti
Prime Rib
Asian fried tofu
Kabuli Chana


Dessert sampler-three mini desserts: savarin, warm chocolate cake & cheesecake
Low fat berry mousse
Sugar free berry tart

NIGHT 9-Final Dinner

Fresh Fruits
House Terrine
Crab Cake (WAY too much filler, fishy taste, not very not)
New England clam chowder
Asian Style Chicken Soup
Chilled Golden Delicious Apple Soup (like thin apple sauce, but good!)
Caesar Salad
Focaccia and tomato salad

Cheese Tortelloni
Panko crusted catch of the day
Slow roasted double cut pork loin steak (like an inch thick, center cut boneless pork chop. Excellent, one of the best entrees!)
Lamb t-bone osso buco style
Pan Fried Cauliflower cake
Vegetable vindaloo

Ivory chocolate fondue (more like white chocolate mousse….can’t figure this out!)
Apple pie ala mode
Dulce de leche cheesecake (NOT very good-not a cheesecake consistency)
Low fat caramelized pina colada tart (this was very good!)
Sugar free fruit pillow
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