Icon Number Two…Sabatini's

March 27, 2008 -

John Heald

It’s 8 am and I hereby make a promise to you all………….I am never eating anything ever again…………..nothing………….not even air. The reason for this extraordinary statement is that last night I had the most amazing meal and ate the equivalent weight of a baby Yak…………………..nope, I will never eat anything ever again.

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John blogging in the Piazza again!

Good morning from the Emerald Princess where as I look out from my balcony I see the sun is shining as we head for St.Thomas. The sea looks a little angry this morning as white horses are prancing around atop the waves and every now and then the mighty ship will have a little bounce and a wiggle as it ploughs through the ocean.

Yesterday I wrote about one of the Emerald Princess’s Icons ………… The Sanctuary ………….last night I discovered another ………………. Sabatini’s.

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Before last night the word Sabatini took me back to a crush I had on the female tennis player Gabriella Sabatini…………..why did I just write the word “female”…………….of course it was female…………….I didn’t need to write that word did I…….it’s not like I was going to write “I had a crush on Bjorn Borg” although he did have nice legs.

Anyway, I was in love with Gabriella Sabatini and I used to pray that during Wimbledon she would fall over or stop down to pick up a tennis ball. Anyway, I am in love with a Sabatini again only this time it’s a restaurant and the reason I will never eat anything ever again.

After a relaxing few hours at the Sanctuary Heidi and I dressed for our reservation at 7:30 pm. Heidi had been in the sun and her face glowed………..she deserves so much relaxation after taking care of me and Monsieur Bell.

Sabatini’s is located on deck 16 aft and the moment you walk through the door the magic of the place is instant and you automatically become Italian. Now I don’t mean you wear clothes where the colours don’t match or you put your thumb and two fingers together and move them up and down rapidly when speaking but what I do mean is that you instantly feel like you are in Italy and about to eat something Mama would have been proud to cook.

As is now standard here on the ship we were met with a smile by the hostess and then the restaurant manager Romeo…………..in fact he was so nice I was worried for a minute that he might want me to be to be his Juliet. Seriously though Romeo was superb and it’s the little things that make such a difference and in this case it was the personal greeting “good evening Mr and Mrs. Heald” and then a handshake………….that’s the Princess way and I love it.

Romeo led us to our table. If you can, ask for a table overlooking the fountain and the pool which at night is beautifully lit. They do have tables outside as well for Al Fresco dining……………I can only imagine how that experience is in the Med where the ship heads to in April.

Romeo seated us and then we met our waiter Ramil who explained the menu as I will to you and you will discover the reason I will never eat anything ever again.

Romeo explained that the only thing we had to choose from the menu was the main course………………everything else was served automatically………….how many different items………………have a guess…………….go on………………..nope…………..your way off…………the answer is 15…….yep 15…………………are you ready……………place thumb on top of your first and second finger……………move up and down and say “Mama Mia.”

Yep……………..15 incredible Italian masterpieces and that’s before the main course and desert complimented by five-star service. We sat and waited for battle to commence and just in case we were hungry Ramil brought us a huge selection of breads, forcatcio (spelt wrong) and bread sticks.

I am not a romantic man as my wife will tell you. Romance for me is remembering to put the toilet seat up but here in Sabatini’s with the soft lighting and the stirring voice of Pavarotti playing on the PA system I found my self clasping a hand and telling her I loved her so very much………….I was George Hamilton…………..I looked in her eyes and Sabatini’s magic took hold of me…………….I leaned over to kiss her and received a slap round the face…………….I guess the lady at the table next to me did not appreciate my romantic gesture and neither did Heidi.

So, here we go………………here then is photo evidence as to why I will never ever eat anything again.

COLD APPETIZERS:

PROSCIUTTO AND MELON

SMOKED BLESOLA

MARINATED SHRIMP

FRESH ARTICHOKES AND SPINACH

MATURE PARMESAN CHEESE

SORRENTO MUSHROOMS SAUTÉED IN WHITE WINE

SUN DRIED TUSCAN TOMATOES

MARINATED RED PEEPERS

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These were all so tasty and fresh and without a doubt my two favorites were the smoked Blesola and the red peppers………..the last time I had red peppers like this was in a restaurant in Capri…………………..the appetizers were outstanding.

The reason I will never eat anything ever again ever continued after a 10-minute break.

Let’s take a break from food and talk about one of the activities I saw last night and something that I as Cruise Director could never ever do……….James does though and he is brilliant at it ………………….. dancing.

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James comes from a dance background and last night he taught the first of his Ballroom Blitz dance classes. The lesson was the Meringue (spelt wrongly probably) and about 30 couples were on the dance floor………….it was great to see. Also last night there were game shows, live music, movies under the stars on the open deck big screen and of course the Motown Show with the Princess singers and dancers.

Heidi and I saw the second performance and along with the other 798 people we enjoyed singing along to every Motown number. The dancers were excellent and the singers were dynamic and I must say the orchestra was absolutely super………………especially the trumpet player who was wailing the high notes.

I am a great supporter of live music and it’s nice to see that unlike the “no live music of the seas” that, like Carnival, Princess also is a supporter of live music and it’s evident all over the ship. There are piano players, a classical quartet, a crooner who sings in a lounge called “Crooners ” and other live bands all over the ship. I know I have said this before on my thingy but in the days of Eye Pods it’s great to hear music that’s played live and played by professionals.

Let’s get back to the reason I will never ever eat anything again as Ramil brings over the hot appetizers.

HOT APPETIZERS

CRAB CAKES

DEEP FRIED ZUCCHINI FLOWERS

RICOTTA CHEESE FLAN

CALAMARI

FRIED MOZZARELLA AND CHERRY TOMATO SALSA

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We then had a much-needed 15-minute break. During this time the Maitre d’ Generoso stopped by and presented us with a bottle of wine compliments of the senior management back in the Princess offices ……………….Heidi enjoyed the Pinot Grigio and we were both very grateful.

Break was over and Ramil arrived with more food and the continuing reason while I will never eat anything ever again ever………….this time the soup and the salad.

SOUPS AND SALADS

There was a choice of soups and salads and Heidi and I both had the following.

MIXED GREEN SALAD WITH AGED PARMAZANE CHEESE

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TOMATO AND SHRIMP SOUP WITH FRESH BASIL.

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then……………..came the Pasta ……………………….. help …………………. and two more reasons why I will never eat anything again ever.

I am not a big pasta fan………….probably because when I eat it most of it dribbles down my chins and ends up down my shirt which in turn ends up with me in the doghouse…………………..however this pasta was incredible.

PASTA

RAVIOLI WITH RICOTTA AND ZUCCHINI

FLAT PASTA WITH MUSHROOMS, CHERRY TOMATOES AND SPINACH

It should be noted that you get served both…………yep both ………….. but as full as you may be by now you must have the pasta. ……..it’s incomparable.

At this point you may experience the need to open a button on your trousers……….I didn’t need to as mine just popped of and flew across the room like an F16 plane nearly taking a waiter’s eye out ……………. and then came the main courses and the final reason why I will never eat anything ever again ever.

MAIN COURSES

Heidi had the scallops and I had lobster………………both were out of this world and as full as we both were we cleared our plates.

I was done, I waved my white napkin in surrender and as superb as Ramil our waiter was when he came over with the dessert menu I was tempted to insert a bread stick in him……………………however, much to my surprise Heidi found room for a desert and had a raspberry Frangipane.

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John’s dessert in a Niente Sauce

We arrived at 7:30 pm and by 9:30 pm we both had finished one of the best meals we have ever had but the best bit was still to come ……………… the check…………………..it was $40 …………….. yep………………………$20 each…………………that is unbelievable.

I have a great friend who last night ate at Harry’s Bar in Venice. The food would have been good…………..but right now he is considering selling his body for medical experiments to pay the bill. Here on the Emerald Princess I just paid $40 for an Italian feast I will never ever forget and the reason I will never eat anything again…..ever.

I mentioned that the Sanctuary was an Icon and a reason all on its own to sail here……………well………….I discovered another last night…………it’s called Sabatini’s………………eating there is a must…………….it truly is fantastic.

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Romeo and Juliet

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Heidi and Ramil

It’s now 9 am…………….my wife is awake and getting dressed and when she finally declares herself ready to be seen in public we will head up to breakfast…………………..I fancy bacon, eggs, sausage and lots of toast……….I’m starving.

Cheers

Your friends

John and Heidi

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.