Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kadhai Paneer & Kulcha

Hello everyone,

It feels like ages since I wrote a cooking post on my blog, but I am back with a recent recipe that I tried out from a friend.  It is none other than Kadhai Paneer and Kulcha recipe.  First and for most, I want to thank my friend, D, who shared her recipe with me and because of the mouth watering picture of kadhai paneer and kulcha, I decided to try it out.

Here is her site for you to check out her recipe:
http://fun4friends.net/indian-recipes/kadai-paneer-with-kulcha

Even though I am going to write down the full recipe with different variants and portions of the ingredients, the first credit goes to my friend!

Kadhai Paneer:
Ingredients
Vegetables:
Onions (1 small onion) 
Green/Red/Orange bell pepper (capsicum): think of a bell pepper having 4 sides.  I cut 2 sides of each color bell pepper into cubes
Green chillies (1 small)
Tomatoes (2 big or 4 small)
Cilantro

Spices:
Cloves (3-4), Cinnamon (2 sticks), Cumin seeds (Jeera), Coriander powder, Red chili powder, Garam masala

Other:
Tomato sauce (2 spoons), 1/2 pound paneer (cut in cubes), oil, ginger garlic paste

Preparation:
- Finely chop onions
- Finely chop tomatoes
- Chop bell peppers into small cube sizes
- Chop cilantro
- Finely chop green chillies
- Cut Paneer into cubs






Method:
1) Heat oil in a pan and once oil is little warm, add cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and stir them for a minute or so.
2) Add ginger garlic paste and chopped onions and mix it well for a minute or so
3) Add salt and chopped green chillies and stir until onions are little transparent
4) Add chopped bell peppers, mix it well and let it cook for couple of minutes
5) For adding the spices, just so that they don't burn as I add them to the pan, I made a paste.  For the paste, you add coriander power, red chilli powder, and garam masala all in one bowl and add little bit water (as needed) to make a paste out of it which is not too liquid but not too thick either.
6) I added the paste in the pan and mixed everything and let the spices cook
7) Add chopped tomatoes, and tomato sauce to this and let the tomatoes cook for about 3-4 minutes by mixing it well and stirring in between
8) Now add paneer cubes and mix it with everything else (make sure you don't stir it such that your paneer is squished)
9) Add chopped cilantro and turn off the heat
10) It's ready to be served hot :)


Kulcha:
Ingredients:
2 & 1/2 cup Maida (all purpose flour) & little bit more for rolling the dough balls
Baking powder (I didn't measure it according to my friend's instructions, but I think it was close to a teaspoon)
Baking soda (not that much, maybe just 2 pinch of it)
Salt
Sugar
3 tbsp oil
1/4 cup curd (plain yogurt)
1 cup milk (I had to use 1 cup milk to make the dough)
Sesame seeds (to mix it in dough balls)
Shredded garlic (to mix it in dough balls)
Chopped cilantro (to mix it in dough balls)

Preparation:
- Mix all the above ingredients and let the dough soak for about 3-4 hours (I kept it for 3 hours)

Process:
1) Once the dough is kept for 3 hours, just mix it one more time nicely and make medium size balls out of it
2) Use the extra maida (flour) to dust the balls and roll them into small tortilla shape
3) Sprinkle sesame seeds, shredded garlic, and chopped cilantro on it and make it into a ball again
4) Roll them again into big tortilla shape size
5) Place it on a flat pan
6) Switch the side once the other side is half cooked
7) Once both sides are half cooked, apply oil or butter (ghee) on both sides and cook them until they have light brown spots on them
8) Your Kulcha is ready to be served!


Well, here you have it, a delicious Kadhai Paneer and Kulcha :)

The reason I posted the recipe steps again is because it's little bit different than my friend's in some of the steps and some portions as well, so thought of sharing both the ways.

Hope you enjoy making and even more enjoy eating it!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Little late for happy new year....

Hi Everyone,

It's good to be back on the blog and post something.  I have been really busy for a while now and haven't had the chance to be back on the blog.  But now, I'm going to make a conscious effort to visit the blog and post something once or twice a month.  I can't believe that March of 2014 has already started and this year is already zooming by fast!  Hope to be back soon with more posts :)

Until next time, have a great day!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Krrish 3, Thor, Ram Leela, & Phata Poster Nikla Hero

I have seen quite few movies in the last 2 weeks and I realized I have not written any reviews on movies in a long time, so thought this might be a good time to update my blog and write something about each of the movies.

First up is the most hyped movie of Hrithik Roshan, Krrish 3 (I always forget that there is an additional "r" in the title). Just from looking at the trailers, I did not want to see the movie in theater, so waited until it was online.  With no expectations and thinking that the movie is going to be absolutely non-sense, I watched the entire movie and thought it was just what I had expected...!!  It's amazing how they have managed to take 3-4 Hollywood superhero films' scenes and combined it into one movie :-o.  Really!! That takes a lot of effort and hard work!  You don't believe me? Well, let me give you some comparisons.  First and for most, the villain character Kaal played by Vivek Oberoi who is in wheel chair, due to his paralyzed body (except his head and 2 fingers), can move things with his mind and in fact he can even manipulate the metals...sound familiar?? Yes, he is the combination of Professor X and Magneto from X-men.  If that's not enough, the character Kaya, Magneto's, I mean Kaal's mutant, is a copy of Mystique from X-men who can turn herself into anyone she wants.  Another mutant who has this long tongue is also seen in X-men's movie...just don't remember if that character had any importance in the X-men movie.  Ok, that's about the X-men movie characters copy.  The release of Antidote in the movie is similar to that of the Amazing Spider-man, the fighting scene at the end seems somewhat similar to the climax fighting scene of the Avengers, and quite a few more scenes taken right out of other superhero movies.  On top of this, once Kaal gets on his feet, he gets a terrible villain costume...I mean really...that was the worse helmet ever!!  Apart from the movie, I think the actors did good job of acting, especially Vivek Oberoi who was completely in his character and would definitely beg a nomination of best villain (don't know if he'll win it since I don't know who else is in the race).  Hrithik Roshan looked Amaaaaazing with his rigged body and Priyanka Chopra was normal in her role unlike in Krrish where it was hard to tolerate her acting.  The songs of the movie are not great at all.  They don't suit with the movie and seem outdated.  One of the songs that I did like was "Dil tu hi bata" but only until the point where Alisha was singing.  Ok, so there it is, my somewhat harsh review for the movie.  I think kids would love this movie since it's a super hero movie but I can't say about others...I am sure everyone loves this movie in India since it's said to have crossed 200 Crores in just 2 weeks!! Insane!!

Alright, after a Bollywood movie, I watched a Hollywood movie which was thankfully much better than Krrish 3.  It was Thor: The Dark World.  Let me tell you that I did not really like the 1st one so I wasn't sure what to expect from this one, but I sat back and enjoyed what the movie had to offer.  I loved how this movie had lighthearted comedy here and there which held the entertainment portion as well as had good action in it!!  I was fully enjoying the movie up until the climax when they showed a twist (can't tell you because then it'll just spoil the movie for you) which left me completely confused when I got out of the theater.  So, if you watch Thor, and happen to know what the hell, no, how the hell happened whatever happened in the climax of the movie, please let me know!!  But, overall, I think it was a good movie and my favorite scene of the movie was the funeral scene (not going to say whose).  It was picturized so beautifully!!



Ok, next up, I just saw the much awaited Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie Ram Leela last weekend.  It just so happens that the movie's title had to be changed just 2 days before the release due to the controversies surrounding the original movie name.  So, the name became Goliyon ki Ras Leela: Ram Leela...interesting, isn't it?  The movie was not the usual Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie since it was quite violent.  Other than that, it had the signature of Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie which includes beautiful sets, amazing costumes, very colorful theme overall, and great songs!! I think the movie was good with the 2nd half being dragged little bit by adding unnecessary characters.  Deepika Padukone looked great and acted brilliant.  Ranveer Singh was the surprise package who has acted equally great, especially in the emotional scenes, he was spot on!! Supriya Pathak as Deepika's mother dons a great villain.  Richa Chadda and Barkha Bisht Sengupta, where both play the bhabhi of Ram and Leela have acted very nicely too.  I felt the item song of Priyanka Chopra was completely unnecessary and I don't really like that song...but she looks GREAT!! Apart from that item song, I think all the songs are amazing, my favorite being the Garba number Nagada Sang Dhol has amazing beat that just makes you want to get up and dance!!

Last, but not least, I just saw Phata Poster Nikla Hero on DVD yesterday at home.  I think this will be the shortest review for me since I don't really have much to say for this movie.  I watched this movie only and only for Shahid Kapoor!! My favorite movie of Rajkumar Santoshi is Andaaz Apna Apna which is a classic example of a stupid comedy which is 100% entertainer with full on laughter, but I think he got it completely wrong with this one.  There were definitely some funny scenes in here that would tickle your funny bone, especially the scene where Shahid does a poll dance but apart from those few funny scenes, the movie is flat and doesn't have much scope to it.  The songs are good and my favorite one is Dhating Naach.  Watch that song for Shahid's crazy moves and funny expressions!!  Illena D'cruz is alright in her role but it's not her fault as she doesn't have much scope in the movie.

Alright friends, I come to a conclusion of the reviews for the night and hope you don't take it personal if these movies are your favorites.  It's just my opinion and I wrote what I felt.

Hope you all have a great week!!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Bahamas Cruise - Carnival Sensation - Day 4 & 5

Day 4: Day on the Sea
Today was the day when it was a "Day at Sea" which means we were going to be on the cruise all day while the cruise is taking us back to the Port Canaveral in Orlando.  This was a day to relax and do things that we didn't get a chance to do the other days!  That mainly meant to do Water Slides!!!! We woke up around 8:30/9 am and my brother and I headed to the dining area for breakfast.  We had a nice breakfast which included pineapple juice, hash browns, and bread & butter.  After the breakfast, we were just strolling through the cruise and came across the casino :). Ok yea...we weren't just strolling, we made an intention to go there ;).  We thought of trying our luck again at black jack and surely, luck was on our side....we actually won some money.  This time, we didn't take chance and instead cashed out our winnings instead of keep playing.  We got back to our rooms, and changed into our swimwear to head out to the water slides!!!

I was kind of scared to try the tube water slide which is kind of enclosed, but decided to give it a try and it was amazing!! It was so much fun that we kept going on it again and again!!  I think we spent couple of hours there until we finally realized how tanned/sun burned we were :P.  We got back to our rooms, took shower, got ready and got something to eat!!  We sat out on the deck and it was just very peaceful.  Right in the middle of the ocean, no one to be seen, just you and the blue water...

After we got something to eat, my brother and I went back to the casino.   I don't know what it is, but the casino just draws you towards it if you know how to play a game or two...and it becomes addicting!!  We didn't play much, just sat at a table for some time, and then headed back to our room.  Today was the last day on the cruise, so there was an entertainment show organized at 7 pm which was called "Far from over".  We went to the show and it was a nice musical piece put together with singers and dancers.  Most of the songs were really nice and I think from late 80s or 90s.  I think the male singer was good, but the female singer was loud and I felt she was doing little bit over the top!! If she toned it down, she would be much better and people wouldn't have to cover their ears when she sings that high note :(.  Overall, I think it was a good 1 hour show.

After the show, I went back to the room and changed for dinner.  We all went to dinner, and had last good chat with our server, Marko.  Very nice guy and warm person.  I am definitely going to miss him and his amazing service of dining room.  After dinner, one of my friends went back to the room to pack her bag while the rest of us hung around the photo studio to look at our pics from all 4 days and my brother and I decided on which elegant night portrait to buy (after much debate, of course!!).  After that, 2 of my friends went to see the magic show tricks, while my brother and I hung out in the casino, again!!  Long story short, I lost the winnings from the morning plus some of my personal money :P....you must be getting bored now by hearing about my casino saga!! Trust me, this is the last time you will hear about it because even I was tired of losing.  I called it a night and for last time, all of us hung out on the deck for few minutes and then went to bed since we had to check-out early next morning!!

Day 5: Back to the Port Canaveral
We had decided to do self-assist debarkation which means that you carry all your luggage yourself and you get priority in getting off the ship.  Our debarkation time for the main deck was from 7:50 am to 8am.  That means we had to get up early, get ready, have breakfast and be out of our room by 8 am.  We all got ready one by one and finished our breakfast and came back to the room for our bags, and scanned for any last minute items in the room.  We probably got in the line by 8:05 am and since I was timing the total time, it took us about 45 minutes to 1 hour to get out of the ship.  We must have gotten out by 8:55 or 9 am.  In the meantime, you just follow the line until you get to the final customs check where they check your passports.  What surprised me is that my friend who is on H1 visa just had to show her Indian passport, and she was good to go without showing any of her other documents she had brought.  She neither had to show her I94 nor work documents which was great!! We got out of the cruise terminal and bid my friend, C, good bye since she had to take shuttle to go back to Tampa while we were taking our flights back from Orlando.  We got to the parking lot of the terminal and waited for our friend, K, to pick us up and go for lunch.  It turns out that K didn't show up until 3 and half hours :(.  But no worries, we made sure we made that time worth while.  We found a good shaded area on the road, yes...on the road, close to the walk way and sat down to play Indian cards game of Do, Teen, Paanch!! That was hell of a fun and time passed by quickly :)

Once K came to pick us up, we headed to an Indian all vegetarian restaurant in Orlando called Woodlands.  It had amazing food and we were starving, so that made for a good combination :)....haha!! We left from there straight to the airport since it was already time for us to leave :(.  We all said good byes and got on the flight to head back home!!

This was one amazing trip with good company of friends (and my brother as well...I can't leave him out)!!  It'll definitely be in my memory and hope we can see each other soon :).  With that, I come to a conclusion for my Bahamas cruise posts and hope you all had good time reading it and it gave you some insight into the trip that it can help you in the future for your trip to Bahamas!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bahamas Cruise - Carnival Sensation - Nassau - Day 3

Nassau was the 2nd stop on Day 3 of our cruise.  Due to a lot of walking in Freeport, we were really tired and everyone kind of got up late.  I was first one to get up and go for breakfast.  The first thing at the port of Nassau, when you go out on the deck, your attention is drawn to the beautiful view of the Atlantis Resort.
View from the ship at the port of Nassau
We all got ready and headed out of the ship around 11 am.  Important: Make sure you take an ID card with you when you go out of the ship to see the town.  It can be even driver's license!! When we were coming back from town, Nassau officials were checking everyone's cruise sail-and-sign card and an another identity card at the security check!! Once you walk out of the ship, there is a little shaded walkway that you go through.  Right there, there are quite few people standing waiting for tourists and trying to get them to come with them for city tour if you are interested.  Since we did adventurous excursion in Freeport, we wanted to take the city tour in Nassau.  As soon as I got hold of guide, Bernard, he offered the city tour of 2 to 2 and half hours for $25/person.  We bargained a little bit and asked for $20/person since there were 4 of us.  He agreed and got some more people for his van.  We all followed him to his van and off we go to the city tour.

Through his guide, we found out that the island of Nassau is very small.  It is just 21 miles long and 7 miles wide.  This is the reason the it has everything so close including the police station, the post office, the library, etc.  The place also feels little congested since the roads are very narrow.  It has population of about quarter of a million people.  The guide pointed out some major local spots as he was driving through them.  Our first stop on the tour was Fort Fincastle.  It is not that big, but you can still go in to check it out and see a 360 degrees view of the island from top.  The admission to the fort is not free, it's $1/person if you want to go in.  I think it was worth going in there since you are already there!!
Fort Fincastle @ Nassau, Bahamas
View from top of Fort Fincastle
After the visit to the fort, our next stop was visit to the Queen's staircase which was just a short walk from the fort.  If you have knee problem and can't walk a lot, you might not be able to walk down the stairs.  The guide gave option to those people to just sit in the van and drive down where the queen's staircase ended.  My friends and I decided to walk down the staircase.  I think it was gorgeous view from the staircase because the trees are covered on both sides which kind of looks like a passage in the woods :P.
Queen's Staircase @ Nassau, Bahamas
Waterfall at the Queen's Staircase
After what felt like a nice encounter with nature, we continued our city tour.  On the way, we found out that a lot of Hollywood actors own houses on this island which are quite pricey.  Some of the famous names include Anna Nicole Smith, Michel Jordan, Leonardo De Caprio, Oprah, and many more I am sure!!  The tour also had the Nassau hospital on the route where apparently Anna Nicole Smith's son was treated who later died there.  The next stop on the tour was Atlantis resort.  Now, for those who think that Atlantis is on Nassau, it is not!! Atlantis is on a separate island (I think it's known as Paradise Island) which you can go to through a bridge from Nassau.  There is a $2 toll right when you enter the perimeter at the entrance.  Also, if you are going to Atlantis to just visit it (and not staying in the hotel), you are only able to access some areas of it including the Casino.  The casino is also worth going because it includes some amazing art pieces/sculptures which are worth checking out!! The inside of Atlantis seriously feels like the Forum Shops of Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas and the Venetian shops with high-end brand shops and all.
Atlantis @ Paradise Island
After half an hour or so, we were picked up from the Atlantis and we finished our tour by seeing some local spots of Nassau from the Van itself.  After we were dropped off back at the ship, we went to the Straw Market.  Now, if you want to shop, this is the place for you!! It's packed with stalls of bags, jewellery, hand crafted items, etc.  And you can try to bargain as well.  There is also a public beach just 10 minutes walk from the cruise ship port which our server, Marko, had told us about, but we didn't have time to go there.  We headed back on the ship after another fun day, grabbed hot chocolate and sat out on the deck.  It was a nice view and good weather!

The rest of the day, there wasn't anything planned except dinner, my brother and I decided to be in the casino and try out Black Jack.  We met one of the casino crew member, Richard, who was from South Africa.  He showed us how to play Black Jack and we played couple of rounds with him.  He was very nice and welcoming guy...he asked us where we were from and upon finding out that we were from India, he shared his story with us.  He said that he met Shah Rukh Khan and Shilpa Shetty in South Africa when they had gone for their Cricket teams' match!!  I was so jealous :P...haha!!  Anyways, throughout the night, we pretty much lost all that we had played (after winning some and then losing the winning money as well)...so decided to call it a night.

The next day was going to be very relaxing since it was going to be on the sea :).  With that, I conclude my 3rd day of the cruise and hope you guys had fun reading it!!  I will be back with my 4th day adventures later....until then, have a great time!!

Bahamas Cruise - Carnival Sensation - Freeport, Bahamas - Day 2

For the 2nd day on cruise, I woke up in the Bahamas!! The cruise ship had already docked at Freeport, Bahamas.  One by one, we all got ready, had breakfast, and then started heading off the ship around 10:35/40 am.  Let me tell you that for this cruise, I did not get any excursions through Carnival.  Instead, I had researched a little bit before the cruise and asked my uncle who had taken this cruise before on what we could do at the port.  From my research, I found out that there is a resort called The Grand Lucayan Resort which has a beach and there is a 3rd party company Ocean Motion who have water activities on that beach which we can buy for much cheaper price than what we would pay at the cruise excursions.  With that in mind, when we got out of the ship, there were already local taxi drivers there ready to take you to Port Lucaya Marketplace which is just across from the The Grand Lucayan Resort.  The round trip ride was just $10/person, so we got on to one of their 10-passengers van.  We had a female driver, Geneva, who was very nice lady.  She dropped us off at the gate of Tennessee Bay Casino (which is next to the resort), we paid the round trip fare to Geneva and in return, they give you a pass which you present back to the agent at the gate whenever you want to head back to the ship.  That simple!


After getting our pass, it was just a short walk to the resort next door.  The resort has an all-day pass for non-guests for $15 which allows you the access to the beach and all their facilities such as pools, cafes, etc.  Make sure you bring the beach towels from the cruise since the resort does not provide them for free (you have to pay for them).  The resort has a free wi-fi!!  My brother and I wanted to do parasailing, so we started looking for the Ocean Motion guys where we could get that going.  We headed to the right side of the beach and found an agent of Ocean Motion.  He told us that their website shows $70/person for parasailing but he would give us a deal for $60/person.  In either case, it was going to be a good deal for us.  He also said if we wanted to do jet skiing, it was $60/30 minutes/2 people which is not bad deal.  We signed up for parasailing and headed on a boat to get to the dock where they had parasailing gear (just little bit away from the beach).  There was an option for 1 person/2 people/3 people parasailing and we just opted for all 1 person, that way each of us get to go alone!! This was the best experience we all had.  I didn't time it but we were up in the air for quite some time (maybe 7 minutes) and it was so beautiful and peaceful up there!! You can see the ocean clearly and even the surface underneath the water you can see clearly!! I was high enough to see a good view of the island!! Beautiful indeed!! We got back to the shore and wanted to relax a bit, so decided not to do jet skiing.  We relaxed a bit under the shade and then wanted to check out the resort's infinity pool that I had read about in the reviews online.
The Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport, Bahamas
Relaxing under the shade, and still beautiful view!!
The beach, the white sand, the crystal clear blue water

After relaxing for a bit, we headed to the far left end of the beach where there was the infinity pool.  We reached there and it was worth walking that extra distance because the pool was nice!! It wasn't that deep and you have a good view of the beach from the pool.  We chilled in the pool until it was time for us to head back.
The Infinity Pool @ The Grand Lucayan Resort
The taxi driver had told us to be back by 4 pm and we wanted to stroll in the marketplace little bit, so we headed out from the resort around 3:15 pm and went to the marketplace across the street.  I personally felt that everything was kind of expensive in the shops, so just looked around and then finally we caught the taxi to get back to the ship.

This was really a tiring day since we walked a lot on the beach.  It was also a tanning day since it was crazy hot and the sun was upon us the entire time!!  But the day was not over yet.  This day also happened to be the elegant night on the cruise which means we all dress up and take bunch of fancy photo shoots around the cruise where they have different/elegant backgrounds set up for us.  We got on the ship, took shower, and got ready with our formal dinner outfits!! Headed out to take pics and then off to the dining room.  We were starving and attacked the bread and butter like crazy :P...haha.  We had to wait until our main dinner came, so we just fed ourselves to the readily available food which was bread & butter!! Don't worry, we finished our main course meal as well :).

Today, for entertainment, we had magic show which was going to feature at 10:30 pm, so before that we had some time on hand, so my brother and I tried our luck in the casino.  I can't remember right now, but I think we lost while playing Roulette. The magic show was  interesting and entertaining.  With that, I called it a night and went to bed.  This was a great fun and adventurous day and I will always remember it!!  The next stop is Nassau, Bahamas, so stay tuned for more stories!!

See ya!!

Bahamas Cruise - Carnival Sensation - Day 1

After a long day on Saturday, we all woke up around 7:30/8 am and started getting ready.  My initial plan was to leave house by 10 am and reach the rental company by 12 pm and be on the boat by 1 pm....but of course, when you plan something that precise, it never works out :P...haha!  Well, we were running little bit late and got out of the apartment by 10:45 am, loaded everyone's bags, and were on the road by 11 am.  This was the beginning of a 2 hour drive from Tampa to Cape Canaveral (to Enterprise's drop off location).  We had a good weather and no traffic on the road.  Also a good dose of Antakshari (Indian game of singing songs) in the car made it fun and time passed by quickly.  We got to the Cape Canaveral within 2 hours and at the location of Enterprise rental company in time.  We met up with one of their agents in the parking lots and I just had to take the receipt inside to get it processed and that was it!! I handed the keys to the agent and they had another shuttle pull in the parking lot when we were unloading our bags, ready to take us to Port Canaveral to our cruise!!  It was maybe 5-10 minute drive to the cruise ship and we started heading inside for the check-in.

One of my friends was on H1 visa and she did not get a Bahamas visa, so she was bit worried that Carnival might deny her boarding.  She was extremely nervous, but it all worked out as she wasn't really asked for visa at the check-in.  The agent checked all of our passports, boarding passes, and took our picture.  She quickly processed our sail-and-sign cards, and we were off to an exciting journey!!  My friend with H1 visa was relieved big time after she was good to go with check-in!! I was really surprised with the speed of check-in since it might have just taken 10-15 minutes and good thing was that there wasn't that big of a crowd at that time.

We started heading for the cruise entrance and then off to our stateroom.  We had an interior room (in the back of the ship) with 4 people.  It was different from last time but still not bad.  It was small and cozy :).  Here is a snap if you want to know what it looks like.

Interior room for 4 people
Once we got to our room, we freshened up, arranged our bags, and then headed out to the deck and to explore the cruise!!  We went up to the deck first to see the view, the pools, the restaurants and food stations that were going to be opened throughout the ship.  Food is important part of the cruise, so we wanted to make sure where exactly to go when we found ourselves starving :P....haha.    My brother and I also checked out the casino where we were planning to spend some quality time during the next 4 days ;).  I had recently learned how to play Black Jack, so I was curious to try my luck with that game!!  After a good hour or so, we just decided to chill out on the top deck.  While on the deck, I witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets ever!!  I will just give you a glimpse of it since you have to be there to witness the true beauty but it's enough to give you an idea.


After the sunset, it was already time for our dinner.  We had late dining option at 8:15 pm, which I felt was kind of late for us but we didn't have an option since the earlier dining time was already full for 6 pm.  We got to the dining room and met our server, Marko, who was from Serbia.  Marko seemed very nice and warm person from the first impression.  We got our menus and we were happy to see that Indian Vegetarian Meal was one of the options on everyday menu :).  We did have special dietary needs for 2 of my friends who needed Jain meals (food which is vegetarian, and doesn't include root vegetables like potatoes, garlic, onions, etc.).  We let Marko know of the requirement and he consulted with the dining room host.  The host got the details from us and the Chef prepared fresh Jain meals for both of my friends!! This was amazing that they honored the meal option and prepared it on the spot for them.  The server took note of the meals and said that for the next 3 days, they wouldn't have to worry about the dining option as it'll be prepared properly according to Jain standards.  I was happy, my friends were happy, everyone was happy :)  My brother and I got the Indian vegetarian meal which was equally delicious.  Here is an example of what we had:
Corn chips and Guacamole

Rajma, Aloo & Capsicum vegetables with Rice & Papad
Apart from the delicious dinner, there was entertainment provided by the dining room staff as well.  To welcome all the guests, the dining room waiters/servers had prepared a small dance number.  They all danced to the song "Low" from the movie Step Up.  It was fun and entertaining!!  After the dinner, the day was not over yet.  There was a 10 pm welcome show from the cruise director Jimmy (he called himself "Weeeeee Jimmy").  It started with dancing and singing from their musical crew and after that Jimmy introduced himself with a fun game that involved the audience participation.  It was hillarious!! Also, there was a planned proposal on stage which ended with a "yes" from the girl being proposed :).  There was also a comedy show after that, but it wasn't that funny, so we called it a night around midnight and went to bed.  For the first day, I felt the boat moving quite a bit but once we went to bed, we didn't remember anything and were looking forward to a nice day in Freeport, Bahamas.

With that, I conclude our 1st day on the cruise!! Hope you all enjoyed reading.  I will be back with the most adventurous day details in the next post for Freeport, Bahamas!!

Enjoy!! Have a great day :)