At long last we reached the highlight of the week – Christmas Dinner. It was obviously going to be a longer meal than normal – first sitting was brought forward to 6:15 and second sitting scheduled for 20:45. The arrangements for Freedom dining were changed as well – there was no freedom for Christmas night, instead freedom diners also had to opt for an early or late sitting, at the same times as for Club dining.
We were a full table again – on the previous two evenings one or more couples had dined elsewhere on the ship. (We received excellent reports from them of meals in East, btw.)
So onto Christmas dinner itself. There was an extra formal course, a lemon sorbet, in addition to the regular starter – soup – main course – dessert – cheese – coffee choices. There was in fact a good selection for each of the regular courses, but lurking in the choices for main course and dessert were the ones we wanted – roast turkey and plum pudding – and these were our choices for those courses. Then at the end, when everyone was already full of turkey and plum pudding, they started bringing out more food – a plate of mince pies; little slivers of Christmas cake; and a strange looking bread with what looked like bits of fruit and/or chocolate in it. Gentle readers, I have to report that these final offerings were too much for almost everyone at the table, but in the interests of journalistic enquiry I forced myself to try a mince pie with brandy cream and a bit of Christmas cake; and jolly good they were too. I didn’t see anyone else try them – not even Val, and it takes a lot to dissuade her from a mince pie.
So it was a good meal, and the conversation flowed well (as did a bottle of Vouvray). As we were leaving at the end of dinner we saw some of the waiters popping the various balloons that had been put up as Christmas decorations, so we walked out accompanied by a series of pop – pop – pop sounds; and the waiters were smiling and enjoying themselves.
After the meal we spent a short time in the theatre watching a singer and after that, around midnight, we went up to the cabin and retired.