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Everything posted by kjbacon

  1. Good morning from land! We had a pleasant drive home and have started the countdown for our next Regent cruise. It’s been a bit of a shock to learn that if we want to eat, we have to grocery shop and cook the food ourselves!! We are even expected to do the dishes. We had an absolutely fabulous trip and were very impressed with the Grandeur. This is a beautiful ship with a hard working, dedicated crew that manages to stay cheerful through thick and thin. The food and drink was the best that we have had on any ship of any brand. The themed breakfasts and lunches were always a treat. La Veranda made the best and most consistent poached eggs that we have ever had. The staff knew that I liked avocados and hot sauce (but not Tabasco) so both were always on hand for me. As I’ve already said, the included wines were outstanding. Be sure to go the Coffee Connection for amazing coffees and teas with some of the best staff on the ship. Do not miss the coffee créma, one of the best bites on board. There are a couple areas that would benefit from improvement and a couple areas that (we believe) are design flaws. We loved the back deck of La Veranda on the Splendor but the Grandeur doesn’t have those wonderful cubbies that broke up that huge space. Compass Rose is positively stunning but it’s one huge space and the acoustics suffer from that. It was also missing the curtains that help absorb noise. It felt loud and frantic to us. We loved compass rose for breakfast when it wasn’t crowded but not so much at dinner when crowded. The Grandeur has pocket doors in the cabins and they look really beautiful. But, and this is one big but, they can be quite noisy if the seas aren’t perfectly smooth. Chair hogs. Ok, I’ve said it, chair hogs. This is a real problem on board! You can tell that we are early risers and we were at the juice bar at 6:30an daily. By then, every chair in the shaded alcove area was taken, being held by books or hats or beach bags. The actual occupants often didn't show up for hours (yes, I said and meant hours). We felt that a crew member was needed to monitor that situation. Another area that needs attention is the smoking lounge on the pool deck. This lounge does not have self closing doors so the doors were frequently left open and the smell of smoke was often overpowering. We had a couple cigar smokers on board so that made it all the more unpleasant. All in all, a great ship with a great crew that could use a tweak or two. Our next trips are already booked on the Mariner and the Navigator. We are excited to try these ships for the first time!
  2. Here we are on disembarkation day with the usual sense of wondering how this day arrived so fast! We had another picture perfect day at sea yesterday . We had to leave the pool deck early to pack and to do our survey. Most everything was fantastic but once home, I will share areas that I feel would benefit from improvement. Dare I say, this leg of the trip had some passengers that were not as thoughtful of others as would have been preferred. Please take that one brief moment to smile and say please or thank you to this hard working crew who is here for you. We chose Sette Mari for our farewell dinner and we were glad we did. Sorry for my sentimental streak but it was a magical night of crimson streaked skies, dear friends, and great food and drink. This is as good as it gets. We love all the antipasto! For our pasta course we had spaghetti carbonara and spaghetti puttanesca. Both were so good that I could not say which one was better. And how fitting for my last meal entry but we dug into our main course and demolished it before I took the picture lol! We split the strip steak with taleggio cheese and mushrooms. It was even better than it sounds and darn, it was pretty. We had to have a sweet bite before our last good night and the profiterole was spot on. Safe and happy travels to all today.
  3. If you ask for a perfect sea day, you will get yesterday. Calm seas, clear skies, warm, and sunny. We relaxed by the pool all day and visited with friends, new and old. It really was as good as it gets. Last night was our last dinner in Pacific Rim and I’m so glad that they are back on their game. Delicious! We shared beef tataki rolls, sashimi, and vegetarian potstickers for apps. The vegetarian potstickers were amazing! And I have no idea why the sashimi is upside down lol! Our favorite sommelier on board, Grace, found 2 outstanding bottles of Bordeaux for us. She is on track to follow in Georgiana’s footsteps. We retried the Duck Confit and it was improved but still the dish needs some tweaking. Ribs were as great as ever. Today is our last full day and we are at sea. Right now, we are just north of Cuba. Hard to believe but we have to do our packing today! Great trips do go quickly.
  4. The British Virgin Islands archipelago has to be the most beautiful spot in the Caribbean for sail away. We always look forward to sailing out of Tortola. We had the best dinner in Sette Mari last night and the ambience was just perfect. We started our meal with this delicious antipasto bar and our favorite Tuscan wine on board. One more time … the included wines are very good. For our pasta course, Jack repeated the basil cream gnocchi and I had the bucatini amatriciana. Both were amazing. Our main courses were also delicious. Jack had the grilled lamb chops with rosemary sauce and I had the veal Milanese. The only thing I can site as imperfect for this meal was that spring mix was subbed for the arugula but even still, it was delicious. Today, is the first of two sea days before we disembark in Miami.
  5. Finally! I’m happy to say that I have now been to Saint Barts! Yesterday was Mardi Gras so it was a very crowded and very charged day on this artsy little island. It was very hard to find an available table for lunch but we got lucky. The servers were quite into the Carnival spirit. The number one downside to St Barts is that it is the smoking capital of the universe. Everyone smokes and everyone smokes everywhere, inside, outside, in restaurants, with babies on their laps, next to you, in front of you, behind you, you get the idea!! Last night’s dinner was such a treat. Several days ago, we asked if we could have an Indian themed dinner served in the room and what a delicious spread we had! Today is our last port day in Road Town, Tortola, BVI.
  6. Yesterday was St. Lucia and our shorex was jeep safari and sail. The island is beautiful but the jeep ride really was terrifying with hairpin turns, steep hills, and some seriously crazy drivers! It was definitely not for the faint of heart! We pulled over for a photo op and we were offered a taste of the island’s fruits. After we passed the plate and had a sample, we were informed that we owed them $1.00 per person. We learned that St Lucia is the number one producer of bananas and we also learned first hand that a vine ripened banana is delicious. We preferred the catamaran sail over the jeep safari and had a good time but overall, I don’t think I’d recommend this tour. We had one last dinner in Prime 7 and enjoyed the fine food, ambience, and service. Apps were the goat cheese tart (thank you @boblerm for the recommendation) and the beef tartar. Jack preferred the tartar at Chartreuse but the goat cheese tart was delicious. We couldn’t resist ordering steaks again and yes, they are that good. We shared the ribeye steak and the roasted prime rib, comparing the same cut cooked two different ways. But the surprising star of the show was the potato gratin side dish that might not look like much but is a must try. Today, we are scheduled for St Barts and it will be my third or fourth try to get there. We are bouncing around enough that I’m starting to wonder if I’m about to miss it one more time. Fingers crossed to finally visit this elusive little French island. IMG_7724.mov
  7. Grenada is not our favorite island and we find it more beautiful from the ship. But the real excitement yesterday afternoon was when was of the the ship’s ropes snapped in the wind, and that is a sound that I will never forget (or the screams right after)! It made for a couple hours of very interesting watching! We had a fabulous spread in our room for our Super Bowl party with friends. We had such a good time and had very delicious treats. Our many thanks to this fantastic kitchen staff and to Rajib, an absolute gentleman in the truest sense of the word. Today is St Lucia and we are really looking forward to our tour this morning.
  8. The skies threatened as we sailed away from Bonaire. We relaxed on our balcony and when the rain got too windswept, we went inside. We ordered dinner in from Sette Mari and had some great dishes. They brought us some assorted antipasto. The fried zucchini and Parmesan chunks might not look like much, but they were sooo good. We got the gnocchi in basil cream sauce and it was so good that Jack ate some before I could snap a picture! Main courses were chicken rolls stuffed with peppers and spinach on polenta that was delicious and an eggplant parm that was disappointing. We did have some motion last night but not nearly as bad as we expected. Today is Grenada and a must nap day so that I can stay up to see the Super Bowl!
  9. Ordinarily, I concentrate on dinners and don’t say much about breakfast and lunch but today was no ordinary lunch in La Veranda. We both felt that it was one of the best lunches that we have ever had on a ship. The theme was Asian for Chinese new year. Highlights included a gorgeous spread of sushi and a carved Chinese roast pork (a flavor profile like ribs) but the star of the show was the Vietnamese soup, similar in style to Pho (the actual name escapes me). Just call it more! Farewell to beautiful Bonaire. Next stop, Grenada and Super Bowl Sunday. Captain Aris says we are in for another bumpy night. Get ready to rock n roll!
  10. We had a quiet and relaxing day yesterday in curaçao, dodging the rain drops. Looks like more rain is expected today in Bonaire. Compass Rose dinner was a bit hit or miss last night. Apps were mulligatawny soup and orecchiette pasta with broccoli and anchovies. Main courses were Thai pork rack and the always available Dover sole. The outstanding dish by far was the orecchiette pasta, oh so good! @boblerm we saw the Broadway Unplugged show at a matinee on the first leg and we loved it. So creative and so well done!
  11. In Pacific Rim, by reservation only. Sign ups are usually done through the sommelier. There is a second one on this cruise at the end.
  12. Calmer seas and good weather gave us a very nice sea day yesterday. We had a very delicious day! The Connoisseur Wine lunch was absolutely fabulous. Here’s the menu with pairings. The dishes were as good as the wines. My fave was the ravioli and Jack’s was the veal. As you can see, each dish was beautifully plated. Service was top notch. Dinner in Compass Rose was excellent but service was as little slow. The staff was trying but I think they may have been short. From the always available list, we had the Iberico ham with artichokes and piquillos for an app. From the daily specials side, we had the seared scallops with pumpkin puree and pomegranate sauce. Both were so good and beautifully plated. We had the cheese tray for dessert and were surprised just how good it was. We weren’t sure that the cheeses were in the right order but that didn’t slow us down. Today, Aruba!
  13. @boblerm your pictures are fantastic! Makes me want that duck l’orange in the worst way. You are probably right about luck of the draw with noise. We are aft so maybe that has a bearing? So you didn’t like Barbie!! Jack will feel vindicated.
  14. Have I mentioned how much we are enjoying the raw juice bar? It’s a healthy and delicious way to counteract some of our misbehaving (or at least we hope so)!
  15. We have been rocking and rolling for most of the night! Sleeping was not easy. I have mentioned before that our cabin is noisy but it needs saying again, our cabin is way too noisy! Our sea day yesterday turned out to be a very nice day. We enjoyed some sun and sailing past Cuba. We enjoyed some very nice cocktails in the Meridian Lounge before dinner. Note that huge round ice cube in the drink on the left. Dinner in Chartreuse was delicious with excellent service. I tried the artichoke and black truffle tart, beautifully decorated with edible gold leaf, crispy and creamy goodness. We had several repeats and the lemon caper sole and the rack of lamb are worth your repeat. While maybe not exciting, I asked for plain, steamed haricots verts and was very impressed because they were perfect. Today is another sea day and the wine connoisseur lunch.
  16. I am glad that your first day was so good! And I’m happy that you tried the portobello tart and posted a glowing review. Great picture! I’ve considered it but have never tried it. Next time, it’s sure for me. I’m also going to try the duck confit in Pacific Rim again because they are back in tip top shape.
  17. It’s always sad to leave! It looks like you had a dreary Miami day too. Yesterday was cold (yes, cold), windy, and rainy. It was the first time that the ship felt crowded and our weather report is not much better for today. This is so not what anyone expected but at least there won’t be too many chair hogs!! Lessons learned, always bring warm clothes, even if going to Mexico and the Caribbean. It was so nice to be reunited with our friends and we had a great day of catching up, laughing, munching, and maybe just a little drinking!! Dinner in Pacific Rim is back to its usual great stride. One of us forgot our reading glasses and voila, how cool is this?! Every time you think Regent can’t do better, Regent does better. We had assorted sushi and sashimi for our apps and both were excellent. For mains, I had the miso glazed black cod and Jack had a repeat of the lamb chops, both were fantastic. We had our favorite Pinotage served by Grace, our favorite on board sommelier. She strikes us as having the potential to follow in Georgiana’s shoes. Today is the first of our two sea days en route to the ABC islands. It’s cold and windy with a good bit of bouncing around. We are just north of Cuba and it’s only 59 degrees 🥶
  18. After a stormy morning, yesterday afternoon cleared up enough that you could enjoy a lounger by the pool. Do you know that mid morning daily there is bone broth available and it’s delicious! There is a tapestry backdrop that you can see from the elevator and I’m sure each person has their own spin on it. There was the rare matinee show yesterday called Broadway Unplugged and it was fantastic! Please, add more matinee shows!! We had dinner in Prime 7 last night and it was a mix. Apps of crab cake and clam chowder were weak, especially the clam chowder. Main courses were delicious with a repeat on the lamb chops and the whole Maine lobster. Side of onion rings were perfect. We had a very nice Valpolicella wine that I would recommend that you request. Another plug for the included wines! Today is change over day in the port of Miami with not so great weather. Looking so forward to having our friends join us.
  19. Thank you, yes she was amazing!! The stormy forecast turned our day in Key West into a sea day. Of course we were disappointed, but with a tornado watch posted in Key West, it was the right decision. We are very early risers so we are excited for an early show tonight before dinner. Tomorrow starts our journey south for leg two.
  20. Yesterday was a lovely sea day that started with a stunning sunrise. We enjoyed a leisurely and delicious breakfast in compass rose followed by relaxing poolside. Are people “saving” chairs? Yes, yes they are and no, no I don’t know why it’s not being monitored like it is on the Splendor. Krew Kapers was as wonderful of a show as ever and not to be missed. Forgive that I don’t remember her name, but there is a young lady on the housekeeping team that sings like a professional, wow! And it’s a special time for us to show the crew the appreciation that they deserve. This crew has been outstanding. To be fair, some of the new “kids” still need more training but they are trying! Thank you and you are in for a treat. May I recommend that you bring a white noise machine? There are definitely some noise challenges. Right?!?!? This might be the best food we’ve had in a Regent ship and that’s saying something. They are going to have to roll me off this thing in another couple weeks!! Guess who’s back? We had a delicious meal in Pacific Rim and the service in there may be the best on the ship. Their plating is beautiful too. We were lucky to catch the sunset by way of a reflection in the mirror at the start of our meal. And that is a very nice pinotage that they stock. We shared many plates including duck and watermelon salad (perhaps the best dish, so fresh and vibrant), lobster tempura, jumbo shrimp, fried rice, mie goreng, and massaman veggie curry (the only weak dish). They gave us several extra spicy dipping sauces. Desserts were very good. We had the Don Papa and the Coconut Tapioca Pudding. Today is our last full day of this leg. We are at Key West but with a very stormy forecast. Should be interesting!
  21. Yesterday was Roatan. Overall, an interesting port but we finally had our least favorite shorex. Last time we were here, we had a great day snorkeling and the horseback riding from @cruisevirgin24 looks like it was fantastic too. We went to Gumbalimba Park and for us, it was just an overly commercialized tourist trap. We are nearly at our midway point and we are having a wonderful time. As discussed in another thread, the ship does have some noise issues. We are very glad that we brought a white noise machine and would definitely recommend that you do the same. There are pros and cons when comparing the Grandeur to her sister ships. Our friends will be joining us on the next leg and wow, we are so excited!! This will be our third annual regent cruise together and it just doesn’t get better than this. We did a riff on the custom meals that many of us order an advance. Usually you hear about an Indian meal that you can request a couple days ahead but this time, we preordered a football snack spread that we picked. Last night, Chartreuse hit it out of the park and served us the best meal that we have had yet. Apps were a repeat on the mushroom soup and the blue cheese soufflé with soubise sauce. We were all about fish last night so our mains were the Dover Sole and the Halibut. Could not tell you which one was better since they were both essentially perfect. We each got a side of beautifully cooked asparagus. The dessert tray is unbelievable. We also ordered the Crème Brûlée and it was delicious. The food throughout has been very good and probably the best breakfasts and lunches we’ve ever had in La Veranda. Today is a sea day.
  22. Yesterday was our first visit to Santo Tomas de Castillo and it was a port of contrasts. The actual port area was industrial and off putting with noise, fumes, and sirens. We traveled through possibly the very worst poverty that we have ever seen but certainly the most widespread poverty with seemingly no relief. This is not a port where we would feel safe heading out on our own. We arrived at Las Escobas Springs and the natural beauty was stunning. We enjoyed our tour and our guides but all in all, it’s not a port on our list to repeat. Now, some really good news. We had dinner in Pacific Rim and it was much improved. I’d now say that the food is very good and the service is fabulous. We did tell the staff that we enjoy bold and spicy flavors so was that why or are they just hitting their stride? For apps we had beef tataki rolls, pork and shrimp shu mai, and an Alaskan king crab summer roll. They also brought us several sides of hot sauces. Main courses were beef bulgogi strip steak and bbq pork ribs. Sides were stir fried greens (and actually greens this time) and a side dish size of pad Thai (not sure that the tomatoes worked in it but still good). Dessert was coconut tres leches. Why didn’t I ever try that creamy deliciousness before? Today is Roatan, Honduras and we are visiting Gumbalimba Park.
  23. If you’ve not been to Harvest Caye, Belize, put it on your bucket list! We were amazed at how much we liked the port and how much there was to do. We learned that Harvest Caye is a private island owned by NCL. There’s a small butterfly farm, all kinds of water sports, beautiful beaches, and a fabulous pool. We took a two person fun cat catamaran through the mangroves. Its also a perfect place to take a nice long walk and (hopefully) burn off some over indulgences!! Between having too much fun on the private island and being up way too early from the time change, we were just too tired to take the barrier reef snorkel tour. We heard that it was a fabulous tour but we really wanted to spend a couple of lazy hours at the pool. Since we are already booked in 2025 on a cruise that returns to Harvest Caye, we went with it. Getting back to our dinner in Pacific Rim, it was not bad but it was also not great as it always has been in our experience. The food was on the under seasoned side and usually, their dishes explode with flavor. We will definitely try it again and it’s true that it may have been just an off night for some reason. @Whinenowine the sauce around the tartar was a carrot ginger sauce. The real flaw in that dish was that the tuna was way too finely minced. @boblerm like you, that duck dish spoke right to my flavor profiles and I was really excited to try it. It was good but only good, but I expected some bold flavors. The aromatic duck predecessor was much more flavorful. I forgot to mention that we had a very nice Pinotage with our meal. We will be in the next leg too so it would be nice to meet you in person! Last night, we had a very classic and delicious meal in Prime 7. We made our own surf and turf by splitting a bone in ribeye steak and we each had a lobster tail. We drank a Paso Robles Syrah that was very nice. Again, the included wines have been very good. For sides, we split the creamed spinach and the onion rings. We preferred the onion rings to the spinach. And of course, we had to have the famous sundae! Crazy good! We would estimate the corridor to be between 3-4 feet. I had ankle issues recently and used a travel scooter. It looks like it would be extremely difficult to turn around. Today is our first visit to Santo Tomas, Guatemala and we plan to explore the rainforest!!
  24. @papaflamingo and @Whinenowine like you, we were amazed at the food pairings and sipping quality of tequila. We had no idea before that shorex. It was our first chef led shorex experience and we’ve learned that it will not be our last. It’s a great way to learn the local culture and each is unique in approach. And, indeed, we enjoyed another chef led shorex in Costa Maya yesterday and had a great day. We learned all about corn and Mayan customs in a remote jungle area by a cenote. For the first time ever on a Regent cruise, Pacific Rim is not our favorite restaurant!! The venue is beautiful and possibly an improvement over Splendor but we found the food to be good instead of great. The cherry blossom tree sculpture at the entrance is spectacular and my favorite of the 3 PR entrances. My husband is still partial to the prayer wheel on Explorer. The amuse bouche is the same as before but this time, the edamame was just a bit overcooked. Again, not bad but not the usual great. Our first courses were tuna tartar, chicken and foie gras gyoza, and duck spring roll. Presentation was very well done. Main courses were the Korean Lamb Chops and I tried the new Adobo Duck dish. We had sides of fried rice and stir fried Asian greens. The greens were more like mixed veggies. Best bite of the night was the side of Brussels sprouts with the lamb. Today is Harvest Caye, Belize where we are sailing this morning and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef this afternoon!
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