Review of Dining Onboard Costa Victoria Cruise (Ala Carte and Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and even Supper Options)27 December, 2014
A cruise review is not complete without talking about its huge variety of dining options. Onboard Costa Victoria, there are 7 places to have breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper, of which there are 3 restaurants (1 paid – Club ‘II Magnifico’ and 2 complimentary – Sinfonia and Fantasia).
Breakfast onboard Costa Victoria (Ala carte dining at Fantasia Restaurant or Buffet dining at Bolero Buffet)
For breakfast itself, you can choose to have it ala carte (dishes served to you) at the Fantasia restaurant (on deck 5) or have it buffet-style at Sinfonia restaurant (on deck 5) or Bolero Buffet (on deck 11).
If you are not in a rush, I strongly suggest you take it easy with the ala carte dining options at Fantasia restaurant. Ala carte dining onboard Costa Victoria does not mean limited servings – you can order as many times as you want (even of the same dishes), you just have to wait for the waiters to bring your orders from the kitchen.
You can order chilled juices (orange, pineapple, apple, grapefruit) and coffee, tea and hot chocolate (there are additional charges for espresso [US$1.60] and cappuccino [US$2.60] with additional 15% service charge) to go with your breakfast. The breakfast menu at Fantasia Restaurant is the same everyday.
Do note that there is an item on the menu – Marinated cold fish served with onion rings and lemon – this is not a typo. It is cold fish not cod fish (although the Chinese menu is written as 鳕鱼 [cod fish]) – as you can see from the picture below, it is smoked salmon.
Dishes that are served with hash brown potatoes/bacon typically comes with 1-2 pieces of small hash brown or 1 strip of bacon so if you want your dish to be served with more hash browns/bacon strips, be very clear with your orders e.g. we specifically requested for 8 pieces of hash browns with our omelette order (see picture below).
There is no dress code requirement for breakfast at Fantasia restaurant – you can come in bermudas/shorts etc.
If you are in a rush e.g. catching your tender boat for your day trip to Phuket, you might want to consider dining at Bolero Buffet (on deck 11). The buffet dining area on deck 11 is huge – there are 4 buffet lines (same items) laid out as seen in the picture below. There is a wider variety of food at the Bolero Buffet. You can enjoy Western breakfast (full English breakfast) at Fantasia restaurant but here at Bolero Buffet, you can Asian breakfast (like fried bee hoon, fried rice) as well as Indian food.
There are other breakfast dining options at Deck 12 Buffet Line and Sinfonia Restaurant. I suggest skipping those and just decide between ala carte breakfast at Fantasia Restaurant or Bolero Buffet or even both (yes you can have multiple breakfasts!). There is no omelette station at Sinfonia Restaurant so that is a huge minus for us. There are lots of seats at Bolero Buffet (see picture below for an overview of the Bolero Buffet interior).
Lunch onboard Costa Victoria (Ala Carte Dining at Fantasia Restaurant)
For lunch, we opted for ala carte dining again at Fantasia restaurant – Fantasia restaurant is convenient located at Deck 5 (when i say deck 5, it means level 5 of the cruise ship) – the main lobby of Costa Victoria cruise ship. No need to make reservations – just turn up for your lunch at the restaurant.
You should manage your expectations with regards to food onboard cruises since these are mass produced in the kitchen for thousands of guests so don’t expect Michelin star restaurants standard (although the ala carte dining atmosphere at Fantasia restaurant feels that way :-)). We tried the chicken adobo with garlic fried rice and vegetables (fried chicken from the Philippines) and pan fried fish fillet, it was just ok. Skip the Phad Thai Rice Noodles (if it is in the menu) – it is just fried bee hoon. If all else fails, you can go with the hot dog or hamburger served with French fries.
Pasta dishes onboard Costa Victoria are worth a mention – I like the rigatoni pasta served with ricotta, eggplant and tomato sauce (it is cooked al dente and very tasty). After all, this is an Italian cruise ship so I expect them to do well at least for their pasta dishes. 🙂
The lunch menu at Fantasia restaurant changes daily so you get to try different dishes during your trip. Again, there is no dress code requirement for lunch at Fantasia restaurant – you can come in bermudas/shorts etc.
Themed Dinners onboard Costa Victoria (Ala Carte Dining at Fantasia Restaurant)
Our first dinner onboard Costa Victoria was Gala Dinner night so everyone dressed up for it. Dress code is formal (but they are quite relaxed about the definition of formal – they did not turn away anyone dressed in Tshirt and jeans – I did not see anyone attending the Gala Dinner in shorts/bermudas though). It was a romantic candlelight dinner for us by the window with atas-feeling table settings. 🙂
Do note that for dinner at Fantasia and Sinfonia restaurants, you will be assigned seating – your seating arrangements will be conveyed to you via a dining card placed in your cabin on Day 2 of the cruise (around 10am). There are two seatings – the first seating is at 5.45pm and the second seating is at 8pm. Both Fantasia and Sinfonia restaurants will be serving ala carte dinners. You can request for changes to your first/second seating and table seatings with the maître d’ (head waiter) directly – do so as soon as you receive your dining card.
Do note that you will need to produce your dining card (as shown below) at the door during dinner and you will be ushered to your table. The seatings are timed so that you will be in time to catch the evening performances i.e. Guests with 1st sitting dinner can catch the 8.45pm show and guests with 2nd sitting dinner can catch the earlier 7.15pm show.
Our Gala Dinner spread was quite good – Italian risotto with seafood sauce Marinara style (very well cooked and tasty!) and Oven baked lobster with crustacean sauce, pumpkin flan and broccoli served with spaghetti in pesto sauce. The chicken cordon bleu stuffed with cheese was unfortunately quite dry but still ok. For dessert, we had the yummy hazelnut cake.
I do have to commend the Costa Victoria kitchen on the effort they put into plating of the food to make it look very appetising – just see the hazelnut cake plating in the picture below. 🙂
As shared in my Costa Victoria cruise review blog post earlier, we were also treated to a Venetian Dinner feast on Day 3 of our cruise. There wasn’t assigned seating for Day 3 dinner because of the stopover at Phuket (and the ship departed for Langkawi at 7pm).
Day 4 Dinner was themed Tropical Dinner but it was more Italian night – it is a celebration of epic proportions for a dinner – totally unexpected but in a pleasant way – there were sparkles and…
… dancing and singing by the waiters of Fantasia restaurant – even Gangnam style on a table!
And everyone joined in the fun with napkin waving! All in the name of celebrating the last dinner onboard Costa Victoria and appreciating the cooks and waiters who make this cruise an enjoyable experience for guests.
I have to say the waiters at Fantasia restaurant were just excellent – very efficient in serving the dishes and accommodating to our requests for more fries, chili sauce etc.
Supper at Rustico & Salad Bar
If you crave for some late night snacks, you can check out Rustico & Salad Bar on Deck 12 Pizzeria Bella Napoli. There is an ala carte service from 8pm to 1am. You can order pizzas and noodle soups (complimentary) – there are different pizzas for different days. Don’t expect too much of the pizza and noodle soup in terms of taste – so-so only.
Costa Victoria cruise journeys vary from three to five nights travelling from Singapore to popular destinations such as Phuket in Thailand as well as Malacca, Penang and Langkawi in Malaysia.
Cruise fares of these voyages start at SGD 259 per person. There are sometimes early bird discounts, including free upgrades from Inside cabins to Oceanview cabins starting at SGD 338 per person e.g. a 4-to-go special offer for booking Inside cabins on 3-night sailings starting SGD 259 per person; and a 50 per cent off offer for booking Balcony cabins on selected 3-night sailings starting at SGD 429 per person. Kids under 13 years old will also be able to enjoy a “kids cruise free” offer.
Bookings can be made through Costa Cruises Preferred Sales Agents in Singapore – Citystate Cruises, Chan Brothers Travel, Commonwealth Travel, HongThai Travel Services, JP International Travel, SingExpress Travel and Stamford Discovery Cruise Center. For more information on Costa Cruises, see: http://www.costacruisesasia.com/