– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
We dined at Silk Harvest, the Celebrity Equinox’s Asian specialty restaurant. I was quite pleased, though it hardly compares to Murano. The space is, frankly, elegant and the touches from the tables to the dinnerware is beautiful. The service, from waiter to wine, was very good as well.
The menu allows you to mix Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai dishes as you wish, in small plates and large. They adjust the size of the portions based upon what you order. Some of the dishes were excellent and others were just OK. Nothing was bad. Spring rolls had excellent flavor and ingredients but were a bit greasy. Various sushi rolls were excellent. Phad Thai was toned down, but good. A spicy curry duck was a bit tough, but with nice flavor. Wonton soup with a seafood wanton excellent. You get the idea. (One small miss: Disposable wooden chopsticks.)
What jumped to my mind was the old Lattitudes restaurant on Regent Seven Seas that was always a disappointment and a frustration. It is gone, so I will not dwell on it. However, it is of worthy note that Celebrity has truly executed in a premium brand that which Regent, which markets itself as luxury, simply could not hold a candle to. That is a compliment to Celebrity.
As another travel story, our pre-booked taxi for our trip from Kusadasi to Sirince, Turkey was a “no show”. Rather than being a frustration, the head taxi dispatcher called him (since he was not answering my calls) and let him have it. Then he “told” the other taxi drivers that one of them would be taking me and my family to Sirince at the price I was quoted. (I was quoted 46€, but the going rate at the pier was 150€…so negotiating down to that price was never going to happen.)
For those of you afraid of what Turkey is like or believe it to be a dangerous or unfriendly place for Americans, take note: The way this Turk stepped up, and protected me as an honored guest, is what Turkey and its people is really all about.
Our driver was a gem. He and my wife (who speaks Turkish) talked for the entire 30 minute ride there and the 30 minutes back. He was willing to take us anywhere for the same price. So if you need a driver in Kusadasi, I know the man!
In Sirince we walked, tasted some of the local wines, bought some hand embroidered linen and candy and then had pretty much a Turkish feast in a great restaurant near the top of the hill, Ocak Basi. In September while hosting my Seabourn Food & Wine Cruise we ate in another restaurant out of town after the owner/chef gave us some lessons in Turkish cooking. Here, we just ate and drank local wine. Kofte (like spicy hamburgers with yogurt), cicek (yogurt with garlic and dill), manti (Turkish mini-ravioli in a yogurt and tomato sauce), green peppers stuff with feta cheese and tomato), etc. OK, the wine wasn’t great, but it all just felt right…with incredible views of the farmed hills and mountain homes.
Back on the ship, the size and passenger mix came into play again…to my disappointment. Trying to get into a whirlpool with my daughter at 6 pm was a challenge (eventually accomplished in the Solarium area) and then my DW’s efforts to enjoy the sailaway sunset with a light dinner at the Sunset Bar on the stern of the ship was frustrated by an unruly and loud British group. While these sorts of things can happen on any cruise line, they do happen more often when on a ship with 2,800+ passengers vs. 208 guests.
We were to dine in the Tuscan Grille Steakhouse tonight. However, our plans have changed. We have been invited to dine with the Captain.
Goldring Travel LLC
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