– 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 boarded the Seabourn Spirit and it was, as it should be in our dreams, like coming home. Everything was as it was when we left months ago: Consistently exceptional.
As we boarded so late, after our walking wine tour, we had just enough time to go to our suite, see the incredible flower display Pam Conover had placed in our suite (when I die they should be so nice!), unpack (an unusual treat for us!) and head up for the muster drill. This was quickly followed by the sailaway – with champagne flowing…and there is no better sailaway than Venice.
We were invited to dine with the Rachael, Assistant Cruise Director, from South Wales, the first night. At that point I didn’t know if she could sing or dance, but what I did quickly learn was that she was absolutely charming. During dinner the chef, Bjoern Wassmuth, stopped by and let me know that he had arranged “Shopping With The Chef” in Split, Croatia and that we were already on the list. I figured that would be better than the Taste of Split tour I had signed up for, so my plans for a guided trip changed a bit.
Dinner was flawless, both in cuisine and conversation. After a nice tawny port with my favorite, the cheese platter, it was up to the Sky Bar for an evening whiskey, a nice cigar and some good conversation. It was as if I was…no I was…at home.
The next morning, in Optaija, Croatia, I was “blessed” with my tour of Krk Island and Nada Winery starting out at 8:15 a.m. I have Island. It was nice to see the Croatian countryside, and the excellent roads, but it wasn’t really what I was looking for as the ride was long. We stopped at the lovely little town of Omisalj which was very much asleep on the early Sunday morning. From there it was another 45 minutes to Vrbnik, a really charming town which towers over the sea complete with wonderful stone buildings, narrow streets and interesting architectural details.
We were let off at the Nada Winery…and I immediately knew that the winery was not what I thought it would be. We were served original, herb and fig grappa (komovica) before we were escorted into the building’s basement for a promotional video…all before our wine tasting. If you are even marginally interested in understanding a wine, drinking grappa beforehand pretty much assures it will not happen. So I soldiered on…I mean unless it is really bad wine I’ll drink it. Eventually we were seated in a very attractive restaurant where bottles of a white wine (Zlahtina), a red wine (forgot the name) and a dessert wine (Prosek) were set on the table with one glass per person with small plates of a cured ham and cheese. The wines were really nothing to speak of.and no one actually spoke of them. Not much of a wine tasting. It was a wander around town before heading back to the ship after another long drive.
It was, surprisingly,already formal night and we were invited to dine with the Captain, Magnus Bengtsson, which was enjoyable and a good bit of fun. We had a bit of a chat about his time as staff captain o f the Seabourn Odyssey during and after its construction as well as some of the plans for the Seabourn Sojourn.
A nightcap at the Sky Bar and looking forward to Split in the morning.