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Everything posted by CGTNORMANDIE

  1. No confusion...Maitre means master in French. If I worked with Jacques in the kitchen “Maitre Jacques” is exactly how I would address him. Jacques Pepin is, indeed, a master chef.
  2. I adore Maitre Jacques. He is one of a kind who is just as happy making the classics as he is putting a twist on his own inventions. He has a PHD in nutrition and actually cooked hot dogs and hamburgers at Howard Johnson’s. I urge everyone to read his biography that recounts his incredible journey from the deprivation and poverty during WW II all the way to the White House...really good reading. I once worked, during my youth...for two years, for one of the greatest French Chefs in the world. If you cannot cook the classics...you cannot cook. It is true that French and American cuisine has moved on but don’t forget the classic cuisines of Julia Child, Craig Claiborne, James Beard et al are still great. The chefs of today are standing on their shoulders. Lighter cuisine with che-che names is not the be all end all. Give me a well executed Beef Wellington over a chicken in beurre blanc any day! Jacques Pepin is a living legend and should be revered for his incredible culinary expertise and encyclopedic knowledge of food and the variations of preparation. May his name live in the annals of grand cuisine forever!
  3. I know this is confusing. You are right...I meant to say luxury. I wonder though...is there really anything that is truly premium on the mass market lines? Are the Neptune Suites on Hal really premium when they don’t offer complimentary beverages outside the Neptune Lounge? Does the NCL Haven qualify as Premium when they do not offer a Haven Restaurant with a menu that changes daily nor a dedicated outside pool deck? JMO but the only mass market line that offers Premium is the MSC Yacht Club. The YC offers a dedicated outside pool deck with full meals and beverages, a dedicated restaurant with daily rotating menus and complimentary premium beverages as well as complimentary mini fridge stocked daily. And let’s not forget the expansive YC lounge with nightly entertainment and 20 hours of rotating snacks and beverages. That, to me, is Premium.
  4. Hi RKA, I forgot to mention. I had the best breakfast plate of smoked salmon I have ever had in the YC.
  5. Cunard can only be considered premium in the Grills. You need to decide if you want Premium cruise lines or mass cruise lines. Premiums lines would be Viking, Seabourn, Regent, Silver Sea, Sea Dream with Oceania and Azamara as slightly below Premium. You can check each one of these boards right here on CC.
  6. A humble-brag?? Are you kidding??? 6 times on the Italian Line is an achievement. My wife and I were only able to go once and we are still talking about it! The people who are cruising today will never know how great the Italian Line was. Truly, the Italian Line was the offering of a nation that excelled in art, food and service.
  7. I can’t think of anyplace better than the YC top deck pool area for lounging in the sun and eating shrimp etc. If you ask for it they will do their best to find it for you.
  8. Veal chops are never deep fried...they are pan fried which is the Italian style.
  9. Great to hear from you Andrew. You were probably on Leonardo earlier as we picked her up in New York and went to the Caribbean...in late May over Memorial Day. Those ten days were the best party I ever went to in my entire life! Ross
  10. Thank you so much Conte. I think I actually like the Raffaello more than Encore. Those chairs on Raffaello look so comfortable. The dining room on Raffaello looks so peaceful...a work of art.
  11. We were on RCI Jewel Of The Seas in 2007 coming back to US from England. They had a surplus of English sausage so they would offer a big pile of them every morning in the Cafe. I would have British bangers with eggs and hash browns with grilled English muffins...superb. Also freshly made brioche with butter every morning on Celebrity...sheer decadence.
  12. Hi Andrew and Hi RKA, Great to to see you back Andrew. Speaking of memorabilia...I have well over 1,000 pieces and just about every book ever published including all 12 volumes of Arnold Kludas. I intend to donate the collection to one of the marine history museums. My Normandie collection is well over 100 pieces and includes 37 First Class Menus. I have menus from ships dating back to the 1800’s with complete collections from all the major lines. Some of my favorites are my menus from Andrea Doria.
  13. Daisy-Mae and Host Jazzbeau have made good points. Smaller ships will take you to new ports of interest and there are some of us who don’t care where the ship goes. Some us have climbed all the mountains and have visited all the temples and cathedrals we will ever care to see. These mega ships have limitations getting in and out of ports...it is what it is. There are those who live for sea days and those who wish for a new port every day. Thank Heavens the choices of ships are expanding each year.
  14. Hi Tatka! Glad to see you are still going strong. With more than 40 cruises you are indeed blessed. I see you will be on Summit in September. Maybe you will be able to post some menus? All the best, R
  15. Hi Pam, You have come to the right place. You will need to read the threads here in order to give you a comprehensive answer to your question. If you love to cruise and do not expect a repeat of RCI, Carnival or NCL then you will probably enjoy MSC.
  16. Just a side note relating to those pax who are seeking a two room suite experience. If you book a Fantasia Class ship, and this includes Divina, you can book Suite 12001 or 12003 which are outside the YC on 12 deck. These suites have total access to the YC. They are around 750 sq. ft. Which is bigger than the Royal Suite. We prefer these over the Royal Suite. The bathrooms are the best...with a very large glass enclosed shower as well as a jacuzzi tub and a double vanity sink! There is no access to a balcony. These suites overlook the bow of the ship and feature floor to ceiling picture windows. The view alone is worth the price of admission. Ladies will love the spacious walk-in closet and vanity makeup area...also two safes. We loved the fact that these suites are hidden away on 12 deck. There is a fun feeling of anonymity. The other cabins in this area have no idea that you are actually in the YC. The service we received in 12001 was exceptional. Pick up the phone and call the Concierge and there would be someone knocking on the door before you could hang up the phone. Our butler was the best we ever had. Again...we would take 12001 or 12003 before we would take the Royal Suite.
  17. Where did you get this information? The baked goods on MSC are usually very good...and baked onboard...certainly not as you describe above. Granted the quality of the meat on Euro cruises can be disappointing but certainly not boiled in a bag.
  18. Sooo...your OBC is on your room card? You go to the casino put your card into a slot machine, punch in the amount of money you desire then collect your winnings on a paper receipt and cash it in at the cage? Then you tip with cash? Wouldn’t that be easier than trips to reception and filling out forms? Where am I going wrong here?
  19. Why are you responding to a post that is more than a year old???
  20. Hi Sea and Sea, If you are looking for a larger suite in the YC then you will be out of luck. They are all about the same. There is a little known solution on the Fantasia Class ships. Cabins 12001 and 12003 are down on 12 Deck but they are YC cabins. These are two room suites, living room and master bedroom at 750 sq. ft. they are bigger than the Royal Suites. These suites have the best bathrooms onboard...separate walk-in shower and tub and the biggest walk-in closets. They do not have a balcony but the floor to ceiling windows offer an incredible view over the bow. You will have complete access to the YC. We loved 12001 on Divina and would not trade it for a YC balcony.
  21. MSC is a work in progress. They are still working out the bugs but if you are up for a new experience you will enjoy. Check out he MSC Yacht Club...it is worth every penny...and you get all that great coffee. Even the room service coffee is good!
  22. Sorry...but MSC has the best coffees at sea. They really know how to brew a cup of Java. Most of their bars serve espresso and various coffees and they are all excellent. Their specialty coffee bars like Venci’s Chocolates are even better! Coffee in the Yacht Club is taken to a higher level...absolutely Heaven.
  23. Mixed orders are no problem for a competent kitchen crew. Many of the former NCL employees were handcuffed by NCL management. I believe the issue is with restrictive penny pinching management. Most cutbacks onboard ship originate with pencil pushing former airline accountants at corporate headquarters in Florida.
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