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Posts posted by Tothesunset

  1. 1 minute ago, Fletcher said:

    The GI bug was with us on the Wind from Manaus to Lisbon, as noted on my blog, and we had the pool and hot tubs drained as a hygiene measure.  Learned later it was aboard on the BA-Manaus cruise as well.  It's on the ship.  Stay firm. 

    I remember you mentioned it. I hadn't realised it was still taking victims by Lisbon. The problem is trying to get all passengers to act in a sanitary fashion. There's always a few that feel the rules are for other people. 

  2. Food


    Here we go then, tin hat and body armour on. 



    Because of early excursions we've used Terrazza more than we would have liked. By choice we go to the MDR - not only is it much more civilized, the quality of the food is, imo, better. 


    The options at LT seem to have shrunk somewhat. I can't quantify that, it's just a feeling. Sadly, the hot items generally aren't, they're lukewarm at best. While the selection of cheeses and meats are fine they are not inspiring. This may seem like a small point but the jams and preserves are now in little individual jars and are not good. Not good at all. Nor is the butter - and that applies at all venues. Butter should be rich and creamy and not a tasteless yellow blob. It's a small thing but if you like good butter bring your own. 


    Finally, who wants a scrum at breakfast? I mean, really, it's not a six star (or 5,4 or 3 star) experience. Yet LT remains the most popular venue for breakfast. Go figure. 



    Twice in the school dinner hall, sorry Terrazza, the others in the MDR. I'm pleased to report that the quality of food has been very high. I approached the lunch meals with a jaundiced eye in view of recent reports from throughout the fleet by dissatisfied guests but I feel unable to echo those sentiments. The normal caveat re personal opinion ranks strongly throughout this topic. 


    On the one occasion we ate on the pool deck we had a rather tasty barbecue chicken wrap each. 



    OH was shocked to have a fish main course that was properly cooked. I know! SS's ability to reduce the finest fillets to leather-like tastelessness is unrivalled but they've lost that knack and are now cooking fish properly. It's a revolution. 


    I'm told we are fortunate to have Chef Pia in charge. We are certainly fortunate to have had the wisdom to choose quite excellent meals in both the MDR and LT. And much to our surprise had a complete meal at LT which we couldn't, in all conscience, criticise. 


    The one dinner so far at the grill comprised a very tender and succulent chateaubriand along with a veal chop that would have fed a small army. OH tells me her king prawns were excellent. Tick vg. 


    I'll end this on a bit of a downer:

    There have been cases aboard of GI illness and today each suite received a letter from the captain that explains the actions being taken to limit the risk of spread. Quarantine in suite for affected passengers, self-service discontinued, increased hand sanitation and so forth.


    Clearly, without microbiological analysis the causative organism remains unknown but passengers are using the n-word. However, we are off the coast of Brittany where many passengers have been on tastings of seafood including uncooked oysters. Anyway, whatever the cause it ain't fun for those affected and I wish them a speedy recovery (almost as much as I hope NOT to become affected!). 

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  3. 2 minutes ago, les37b said:


    In 4 days? That must be a record! 🤣


    Have to admit La Terrazza was always our favourite, but less so now the menu choices seemed to have been halved. 

    Yes, the menu choices have certainly been reduced but, I hope, that allows the kitchen to concentrate on the quality rather than quantity. 


    Certainly our meal last night was very good, better than we remember on previous sailings.

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  4. 32 minutes ago, turtlemichael said:

    Yes, sorry, I was assuming that is what you meant. If you are correct and if the market is as strong as we tend to believe on these boards, there might be some good opportunities for an enterprising business out there.


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  5. 3 minutes ago, jpalbny said:


    That's really good to hear! I have not ordered it in years - so thanks for the report. Maybe I'll try it again. Was the duck meat ground, or was it braised for hours so that it fell apart and was naturally tender?

    It was ground. Recently the ragu was more like soup but tonight's had just the right amount of sauce, plenty of duck, was nicely seasoned and the pasta cooked perfectly. It was like the duck ragu of 10 years ago. 

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  6. Just a quickie. 


    We must have had 30 or more dinners in terraza and each time been disappointed. Yet still we go back. 


    However, tonight's dinner was superb. Really. And, best of all, the pappardeli with duch ragu was outstanding. It really was. 


    I mention this only because some recent reports have been less than wholly fulsome. So we might have been lucky, on the other hand I've got to say it as I see it. 


    And the icing on the cake was that my Tokaji arrived precisely with the sweet. Kudos to Mike the sommelier for being on top of this. 

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  7. 5 hours ago, QueSeraSera said:

    Continuing my education here in the Cooler, I had to look up one of the words Jeff used.


    Copying from whatever search engine my PC currently defaults to:


    The term "noily" has two meanings:12
    1. It refers to a dry white vermouth drink from France, also known as Noilly Prat.
    2. It can also be an adverb, meaning in a way that makes a lot of noise.
    Learn more:

    It's also the term a Brooklynite uses for "nearly". 

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  8. Suite


    We are in 738, notionally a Vista suite, but 50% larger. My assertion earlier that it has had the 2 windows converted to Juliet balconies is erroneous. One of the windows is now floor-to-ceiling but doesn't open. 


    The fixtures and furnishings have been substantially, and I think tastefully, updated since our last sailing in (I think) late 2018. The walk-in wardrobe (closet) is plenty big enough and there is a surfeit of cupboard space. 


    I like a shower, never use a bathtub and am happy to relate that this suite has no tub. Yay! Rainfall shower and conventional shower head on a snakey metal thing. Since just about all one can ask of a shower is to provide a good dose of warm water, it fills its remit. The Otium products we've abandoned in favour of Bulgari, the smell of Silversea. 


    Pleased to see power outlets that can cope with US, European and UK plugs plus USB sockets and USB C fast-charging sockets Lovely jubbly. No more mucking about with adaptors. 


    Afternoon tea time. See ya, later. 

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  9. If anyone can recall, I did say that this was our 1st SS since RCI and Covid but I wasn't aiming to compare. Yeah, well, ignore that. It's impossible not to compare largely because we have noticed little that has changed. 


    I'm not intending to do a travelogue because other contributors - Drron, Mysty, Fletcher and many more - do it so much better than I ever could. So what I'll do, if it's OK with everyone, is share some thoughts and observations as the days pass. These may (take that as will) be random and based solely on subjective rather than objective views. 


    However, I'm happy to have a go at answering any direct questions but reserve the right to be wrong. If you see what I mean. 

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  10. Back again. Since leaving you all a couple of days ago we now find ourselves in Vigo, Spain having successfully boarded in Lisbon. Yesterday was Porto. 


    Now, before going any further I'm going to make my pitch for the Crew Welfare Fund. I've always felt it unfair that while front of house staff benefit from direct tipping, those we rarely, if ever, see remain unrewarded. And where would we be without the laundry staff, deck crew, engineers etc etc?  So how can a passenger show some pecuniary gratitude to all the crew? By donating to the Crew Welfare Fund. 


    It's not advertised nor, I think, widely known but provides a fund for the benefit of the crew. We donated yesterday at reception and the amount donated is debited from the payment card presented on boarding:



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  11. 4 minutes ago, les37b said:



    BTW, I've had no joy with the issue we are aware about and its still not showing up as you board. I'll check again on Monday and have another go. Might be an idea to speak with the HD to advise your name needs to be on that list or you wont be coming in (and ask if they understand how it works!) Please post if you do get some feedback. My fingers and toes are crossed for you.

    I hope you're wrong! But being forewarned puts us in a good position. 


    (I know nobody understands what Les and I are talking about. But all will become clear in 2 weeks. Mysterious, eh?) 

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  12. 1 minute ago, les37b said:


    Enjoy. Was the last time in 738 on the rather rough seas to Tower Bridge from Fort Lauderdale? At least you can be sure you wont get those seas on this one! 

    Spot on. We were warned of 11 metre swells (36 ft) but it settled at a tame 9 metres (30 ft). Had the dining room pretty much to ourselves! 

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  13. Footsore now from pounding the streets of Lisbon. Such a good city for aimless rambling. Bit like this thread. 


    I know one should always try something different but tonight we are going for the tasting menu at Prado in the Alfama district:




    It really is such good food and something of a bargain at €80 each. Oh, I do like a bargain. 


    I might have mentioned that we are staying at the Avenida Palace Hotel. It's about as central as you can get and charmingly old-fashioned but with all modern amenities. Oddly, they don't have a proper restaurant, just a breakfast room. Not that Lisbon is short of eating places. The rooms are quite small, though. Comfortable but probably around 22 sq mtr (I think that's something like 200 sq ft) so there's no cat-swinging potential. 


    We noticed 2 cruise ships docked at the cruise terminal. One was a Costa something-or-other disgorging passengers onto the quayside in a human avalanche. It's a big ship. Yuk! The other ship was farther along and I didn't recognise the funnel insignia nor was I sufficiently interested to be bothered strolling any further to identify it. 


    24 hrs from now we should, with a fair wind, be in our favourite suite on our favourite ship. 


    Sometimes we just need to step back and remind ourselves how privileged we are. 

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  14. 2 hrs of sitting on the tarmac at Gatwick really didn't get the day going well. Our scheduled 10.35 departure became 12.45 getting into Lisbon at 15.10


    Sailed through immigration but OH had to endure the queue of the great unwashed who aren't EU citizens. Bless. 


    Both feeling lacking in vim and pep so wandered about 200 metres to the Hard Rock Cafe, which offered its now corporate, but still tasty, menu. Burgers and brownies later we waddled back to the hotel for a lie down. Until morning. 


    I feel sad for those who never got a chance to visit the 2 original HRCs in London and (of all places) Stockholm. In the late 70s/early 80s it was tremendous. The food was better for a start but the music was brilliant - bearing in mind that all good rock music happened between Woodstock and 1979.  I'd often stroll down Piccadilly after a meeting or whatever, still in suit and tie, and perch at the bar like Billy no mates. Then it was bought out, went all corporate and slightly lost sight of what made the place unique. 'Twas ever thus. 

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  15. 27 minutes ago, lincslady said:

    Lots of bons mots this morning, Tts. I wonder if you are in a lounge at Gatwick waiting to fly out and getting bored?

    Got it in one. It's a lounge that I get free with my bank account. So it's pretty grim but saves having to pay silly prices in the terminal for bad coffee and worse food. And you know me and spending unnecessary cash... 

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