Our 5th day on the MS Veendam found us docking in Charlottetown, PEI. We had booked a car so we could drive out to do the most touristy thing on the island - visit Anne of Green Gables. Heck, I never even read the book! Well, it was quaint and I guess it was on our bucket list. After that, we headed over to Cavendish Beach to catch a glimpse of the red clay. From there we hightailed it back to the ship. We could definitely do a return visit to PEI for an entire week! But for now, we prepared ourselves for dinner #4 at the main dining room
As an homage to where we were, we all started with the PEI Mussels. Well, the kitchen didn't pay any homage to PEI as all of mussels were underdone. Many were barely open or not open at all, not because they were not fresh, but they were just not cooked. Hence, I only got 3 open to eat. The positive was that they were buttery and briny tasting, the negative was that I had not much of an appy. I thought the cream broth was too thick for the dish while it was mildly flavoured. My daughter decided to try the Double Baked Potato Soup with bacon. Well this was a rich and somewhat salty concoction. It was thick and cheesy where one could only have a few spoonfuls.
For our entree, almost everyone had the Angry Striped Bass which featured a fairly crispy skin and flaky meat. It was a bit more done that I would’ve liked, but it wasn’t overly so. The fish had a fresh taste and texture while highlighted by the sweet chili sauce that had a kick. The garlicky clams added an appealing brininess while the seemingly plain Jane macaroni was actually quite tasty and al dente. My daughter had the Turkey Roast and it was a classic dish that was prepared right. With brined meat, it was tender and succulent. Of course it was well-seasoned as well where the rich meaty giblet gravy added even more flavour. I wish there was more of it though. Served on the side was a sweet apple pecan stuffing which was nicely textured with a bite.
Costanza’s son had the Ziti Pesto with green onion, garlic, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, olive oil and Parmesan cheese. The dish was visually appealing and was ultimately pretty good with firmly al dente pasta tossed in an aromatic and well-seasoned pesto. It was herby with a good amount of salt and cheese. My son had the Tri-Tip with roasted shallot vinaigrette that featured tender slices of medium rare beef in a flavourful, yet subtle sauce. It wasn't too acidic, which didn't detract from the savoriness of the dish. The polenta underneath was soft, yet not mushy at the same time.
Since a plate of angry bass wouldn't satisfy us, Costanza and I split the Broiled New York Striploin as well. Sure, this was on the everyday Holland America Line Signatures menu, but we didn't need anything wild, just something predictable (which is why they have this menu). It was prepared medium-rare as requested and was tender and well-rested. The green peppercorn sauce was mild, yet flavorful enough to season the steak. The adults decided to try the Creme Brulee with Grand Marnier-scented custard. This was pretty textbook as the custard was creamy and sweet while the sugar topping was torched enough to be crunchy, but a bit more color would've been better.
For dessert, my daughter had the Chocolate Avalanche Cake that was moist and richly chocolatey. As much as it appeared to be super sweet, it really wasn't. Rather, it had dark chocolate undertones. We especially loved the berry sauce that came with it as it provided a sweet and tangy counterbalance. The other kiddies had the sugar free Chocoloate Mousse, which was a bit surprising. I guess they didn't see the sugar free part... Since it was missing the sugar, the mousse itself was more stiff and less fluffy. Naturally, the natural sweetness wasn't really apparent. No matter, they ate it anyways. Like the previous night, this meal was okay, but wasn't particularly memorable either.