The buffet venue showcased good variety and excelled with desserts.
Encompassing a series of rooms wrapping around the buffet on Deck 14, Horizon Court was the ship’s efficient buffet restaurant. The selection of foods was easy to navigate, in part because the number of choices wasn’t very extensive. But the variety was good, and most of the menu changed daily. Despite the ship’s size, and Horizon Court’s popularity at breakfast, we never had a problem locating an empty table, especially in the rear sections.
The breakfast selection was somewhat more varied than the menu at the Portofino Dining Room and included the expected scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, trays of Belgian waffles, pancakes and French toast. Omelets cooked to order offered ingredients such as asparagus, smoked salmon, fresh spinach and jalapeño—Egg Beaters or egg whites on request. There was a station for breakfast parfaits with yogurt and compote (peach with bran one day, raspberry with almonds and oats another), along with plain yogurt and stewed fruits. Fresh fruit was okay, but could have been better. There was a daily quiche, salmon with fixings, and trays of cold cuts and cheeses, and an Asian soup of the day was available at breakfast. As we’ve found on other Princess Cruises, the breads, pastries and muffins were very good.
Lunches were somewhat uneven, but we usually found tasty items to enjoy. The spread included a daily carving station, ribs, fried chicken, mashed potato and other hot items. There were two soups daily, such as Philadelphia pepper pot, consommé with profiteroles and a bortsch style soup—we found the latter thinner than mom used to make, without much beet flavor, but it was a nice change of pace nonetheless. Another station offered cold cuts, cheeses and a modest salad bar (a little more variety here would be nice), plus a rotating selection of prepared and pasta salads. Less pleasing offerings were the lasagna (a puddle of mush laden overloaded with cheese) and pre-made sandwiches in plastic wrap—these deserved something better than white bread and more imagination than ham and cheese and its cousins.
Again, desserts were a highlight, a rotating selection of fruit tartlets, mousse, short cake, cheesecake, and a hot dessert such as baked apple in puff pastry with vanilla sauce. After a couple days we found we couldn’t pass up the daily cupcake.
“Light snacks” were offered late afternoon—this included baked potatoes with all the trimmings one afternoon, and a very tasty guacamole with chips and salsa on another.
Horizon Court was much less busy at night, but hearty meals came out, including such fare as pork chops with herbs, turkey with giblet gravy, baked sweet potatoes, green bean salad, meat and vegetable capricciosa salad and fruit stuffing, along with the usual spread of desserts.
Coffee, tea and iced tea were provided from dispensers, made from a concentrate. Juice flavors available at breakfast included orange drink, grapefruit, tomato, cranberry and apple. Fresh-squeezed orange juice was available at the nearby Calypso Bar for $2.75. The ship’s standard wine list was available, and cocktails from the standard drink menu could be ordered from servers.
Continental breakfast was served at Horizon Court each morning from 5 to 6 a.m. followed by full breakfast from 6 to 11:30 a.m. The lunch menu was available between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., with light snacks available till 5:30 p.m. The dinner selection was offered from 5:30 till 11 p.m., with light snacks available till midnight.
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