Nov. 2, 2022

'Food That Messes with Your Head'

Join Chris Coleman as he and his wife head back into the world of cruising.
With The Ovation of the Seas now in French Polynesia, Chris takes a little detour to bring you more insights into the food available on board. This episode will leave you...

Join Chris Coleman as he and his wife head back into the world of cruising.
With The Ovation of the Seas now in French Polynesia, Chris takes a little detour to bring you more insights into the food available on board. This episode will leave you famished!
Travel First S02E10
‘Food That Messes with your Head’
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Travel First S02E10 AI Transcript

Alex: Hey. Welcome along. To travel first. Once more, Chris Coleman with some red things hanging from a ceiling because he's on a 19 day cruise on ovation of the seas. What is that behind you? Christopher?

Chris: Hang, uh, on. Let me do this. Let me just turn, um, the camera ever so slightly.

Alex: Right.

Chris: An artwork. And beyond that is actually Jamie's Italian restaurant.

Alex: Are we talking?

Chris: Jamie oliver. Yes, we'll talk about that in a second. But just you've asked about the artwork, and now I should have that framed up a little bit there. There we go. Um, you've asked about the artwork. This is one of many. There are hundreds of artworks dotted all the way around the, uh, ship. I should show you the butterfly one. If I get a chance, I will, but it's way out the other end.

Alex: This is stuff that's permanently on board the ship. Right. Got it.

Chris: This is part of the Royal Caribbean art collection scatter all over the ship.

Alex: Got it.

Chris: Funneled. Uh, just over that way is the art you can buy. And they have regular art off.

Alex: Good.

Chris: I, uh, love that as well. Not my scene. Although they do hand out free champagne there, I'm told. So maybe it should be my seat.

Alex: When you say not your scene, when you say not your scene, what style of art are we talking, huh?

Chris: Expensive.

Alex: All right, let's get on to Jamie Oliver. Now, Jamie Oliver, there'd be a lot of people who are familiar who've eaten at his restaurants, if not in Australia. Also wetland. So is this stock standard Jamie Oliver, or is there something a bit of a twist?

Chris: I have eaten at a Jamie Oliver restaurant. Uh, I have, uh, onshore, and I have now eaten at a Jamie Oliver restaurant on a ship. And let's bring it up, uh, so that we can show you a little bit of what I'm talking about. It is, to me, almost indistinguishable.

Alex: Okay. But that's good. Uh, people who like, dare I say it, if they want to eat at McDonald's, you eat at McDonald's, because you know what food's going to be like. And if you like Jamie Oliver's food, great. Fantastic. Okay, so I'm going to try and make this out. It's a lot of juice. There's a lot of meat. Um, there's a lot of meat. There's a hell of a lot of meat.

Chris: That's about two and a half feet long. That is a very long meat platter with many small goods and some cheeses and some olives and some chilies and some relishes and some bread in the foreground was magnificent.

Alex: They look like stones. What sort of bread is that?

Chris: Uh, it's a shabbatta. So it's a shabbatta life. Yeah.

Alex: I was going to say tomatoes. And is it shaved coconut? What is it?

Chris: Uh, that shaved parmesan.

Alex: Parmesan. Okay.

Chris: On brown bread on a dark riot. But then cheeses and relishes and olives. And that was the start of the thing, by the way. They brought that out. First up, for someone like me who loves his meat, that was good. But having said that, there's good quality pasta as well. Uh, so there's pasta and seafood, so calamari, uh, and prawns and bread. Um, it's good food. It's solid quality. The service absolutely outstanding. I cannot speak more highly of the service of Jamie Oliver's restaurant staff here on Ovation of the Seas.

Alex: Um, and is this part of your package, or you have to pay extra for this?

Chris: Now, you pay a little bit extra for Jamie Oliver, uh, as I said previously.

Alex: What would that cost?

Chris: Uh, you can get a dining package that will get you meals at three of the specialty restaurants for about 150 US. Uh, individually, they range from $40 to about 65. Jamie's, from memory, was about 45. On this trip, the prices will go up and down.

Alex: That's usage we're talking because the Aussie dollar is really bad against the US. At the moment. So you're talking probably about what is it, about 70 Australian dollars per person.

Chris: 65 at the moment is about $50. The US. Is about 75 Australian at the moment. That's the equation we're working on at about 50% at present. You never know. Do you think the dollar decides to go up after the budget? Things might change, but, um, it is what it is when you're on board a Royal Caribbean ship, that the currency used on board is the US. Dollar. So, uh, everything is in there. Shall we move to Wonderland, though? Because Wonderland Wonderland is stunning. Wonderland is where it's almost where art and theater and food and spectacle and even literature come together. Now, that may sound, uh, a little bit pretentious.

Alex: What's this picture? There's nothing on there.

Chris: Why? You can't read it.

Alex: Okay, good. It's a really impressive menu. It's a really impressive picture frame. That's great. Are you sure this is not framing the moana? Lisa and it's been per.

Chris: Lawrence, you are handed the menu when you start, and they say, um, you can only order what you can read off the menu.

Alex: That's great. I'm really impressed.

Chris: Initially. Yeah. I'm trying really hard here. This is going to be a difficult review because it's very hard to describe. Without giving too many things away, if I may, allow me to roll in one very short video, and it will be literally one very short video. Uh uh, to do that, I have to do some real technical stuff here. Just keep yourselves at the time for a minute.

Alex: Very cheesy grin. There's a gentleman holding this Wonderland menu without anything on it, and he's got this sort of smirk on his face. So that's where we're starting from. And hopefully you'll be able to get the video happening, and everything will be great.

Chris: Uh, I'm trying very hard to get.

Alex: The video, and by your idea, we still got that sort of ready shoe artwork that comes down from the ceiling. It's great. Okay, that's fantastic. It's crossed.

Chris: Alright, so this is the kind of stuff you get. This is something that doesn't give away anything other than this dish is called the Bird's Nest. Um, that is a nest made of filipotery pastry with some eggs that they've done some things too that I won't describe. It's not entirely what you would expect. The foreground of that, by the way, is liquid lobster. That's what they call it, liquid lobster. Um, one of the most delicious dishes I've had on this ship. But when they present you the Bird's Nest, this is how it is presented. And the COVID comes off and the smoke trails away again. Shall I play that again? I'll play that again just one more time because it is only a very short video. And um, dry ice.

Alex: What is that.

Chris: Is smoke. Smoke. Proper smoky smoke.

Alex: Okay.

Chris: Um.

Alex: This is a separate again, you have to pay for Wonderland.

Chris: Yes.

Alex: Okay. Again, you're going to give me some idea. This would be dearer than Jamie Oliver.

Chris: Of course, about 60 US. Yes. 120 US. Yeah. Which again, given what you would pay for this on land, i, um, don't think it's unreasonable at all. I think that the price is actually quite reasonable. Uh, there are other people who perhaps may not necessarily agree with that, but I'm um, certainly don't have a problem with the price that was charged there. But like I said, when it starts, we'll bring back the, uh, menu again because yes, you are presented with, at the start of it all, mhm.

Alex: This. Okay. So do you get a joke?

Chris: There is a process wherever the menu is revealed, I'm not going to spoil that.

Alex: Okay, no worries. Uh, do you have any more photos to show us other than a blank item?

Chris: I can share some food. Now, these are some of the dishes here. Uh, now I need to get what's on the chair. There's a face. It's a bit Lewis Carroll.

Alex: Yes, it is. I was thinking the same thing. Okay.

Chris: Imagine if you got say, hestern Blumenthal and Louis Carroll, huh? And put them in the same room and said, okay, guys, come up with.

Alex: A restaurant with china for good measure. Yeah. Okay, nice.

Chris: I reckon this is where you'd end up.

Alex: Okay. And then hang on. Is there green ice cream in front of that?

Chris: Uh, those are cones with avocado, crab meat and wasabi inside. That's a very nice combination. Next to them, served in test tubes, is tomato water. Now that is tomato water. That is tomato juice that has been purified to the extent that it is clear like water, but still tastes like tomatoes with, uh, a red foam on top to steal it. And I thought, no, they're having a lend here, but it generally does. You also have, uh, the Bird's Nest dish in the background.

Alex: If you drink tomato sorry.

Chris: It's water. It's water. It looks and moves and has the capacity of water.

Alex: Wow.

Chris: And it tastes like and I think that probably illustrates what this is about. This is about food that misses me. The head.

Alex: Okay. Eating a blue knot that I, um, have a blue banana. Right. Bananas should be yellow. Okay, fair enough. Keep going. Give us another photo if you got a couple more.

Chris: Um, let's see what else we can show you. Let's show you the mains. Now, we, um, may have gone a little over the top and ordered an extra main here. So foreground is beef.

Alex: Yes.

Chris: The middle ground, uh, is pork. And I don't say this lightly. That is the best pork I have ever tasted.

Alex: Wow. Okay. Is there a token bit of vegetable there as well that I can see, or not really.

Chris: Uh, there is a mash next to the leaf. There is a celery, a slaw, uh, next to the pork and the chicken dish.

Alex: And what is that? Carrot.

Chris: That is carrot made to look like mushrooms.

Alex: Yeah, of course.

Chris: Uh, and there is an egg on the back. But the egg may not be all that it seems. Let's just leave that now.

Alex: Give us the last one. Give us the last photo.

Chris: The last one is this one here. Those are the desserts.

Alex: Okay, hang on. Let me try and figure. So that's the chocolate soccer ball at the front. Yes.

Chris: Uh, there's more to that one, but that is a chocolate sphere.

Alex: Right. Uh, hang on. Then you've got something that looks like a toad stool. Right.

Chris: They look like mushrooms.

Alex: Right.

Chris: It's a very interesting concept. When they come out for dessert, they look like mushrooms.

Alex: Mango ice cream. Is that it?

Chris: Looks like, uh, I think it was. I didn't have that one. My wife had this. I'm not sure if a red apple.

Alex: The Wicked Witch of the west. From there and there's some is that vanilla ice cream?

Chris: Yogurt. Uh, yogurt ice. Obviously, that was very nice. I may have had two desserts.

Alex: Yeah, I like that. Chocolate looks very appealing to me.

Chris: You'd love this. There's more to it, but like I said, all I want people to know is that this is the kind of place to, uh, go to where dishes, uh, are presented with flair. There's. Surprise.

Alex: So hungry. Christopher. Just like, enough. We're going to dispatch you at this point, and we're going to hear more from Chris Coleman on the next edition of Travel First.

Speaker C: You'll, uh, be listening to travel first available at Apple podcasts. Google Podcasts. Spotify. Ihave Radio or your favorite Podcast player. You can also stream on

Chris: This has been another quality podcast production from

Chris ColemanProfile Photo

Chris Coleman

Storyteller, sports fan, traveller, foodie!

Chris is a storyteller who spent more than 35 years on radio, and increasingly in the online world, with occasional excursions into TV and print. Outside of his family, Chris’s two biggest loves are sport and travel - and he can’t get enough of either of them.

After a few years away from travelogues, Chris will periodically join Alex First to share his travel adventures and experiences both within Australia and overseas.