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RetiredMustang

Dave's Live from Eurodam Transatlantic 24 Aug - 10 Sep 2011

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Dave~ Love your posts! Can you tell me what time the gym opens in the morning? THANKS!

 

The gym is open from 6:a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. They have several classes available.

 

Dave

Edited by RetiredMustang

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One of several basic info posts I plan to make:

 

Wine packages

Here are the latest lists and prices of the wine packages:

NAVIGATOR'S CHOICE

3 bottles - $89

5 bottles - $149

7 bottles - $199

Mondavi Private Selection Riesling – California

Toasted Head Chardonnay – California

Caliterra Chardonnay – Chile

Danzante Pinot Grigio – Italy

Diseno Malbec – Argentina

Three Blind Moose Cabernet Sauvignon – California

Errazuriz Merlot – Chile

Ravenswood Zinfandel – California

Remole Fescobaldi – Italy

Laboure’ Cotes du Rhone – France

Alice White Shiraz – Australia

ADMIRAL'S CHOICE

3 bottles - $118

5 bottles - $199

7 bottles - $269

Clos du Bois Chardonnay – California

Hogue Gewurztraminer – Washington

Simi Sauvignon Blanc – California

Laboure'-Roi Macon Villages – France

Franciscan Chardonnay – California

Estancia Pinot Grigio – California

Spellbound Cabernet Sauvignon – California

Blackstone Merlot – California

Markwest Pinot Noir – California

Castiglioni Chianti Fresdobaldi – Italy

Wild Horse Cabernet Sauvignon – California

Red Guitar Tempranillo – Spain

More later,

Dave

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Some more photos of the ship. These are of the Neptune Lounge, the lounge for deluxe verandah suite passengers. Only attached snapshots, I'm afraid, as the connection is running slowly now. But, they still should give you an idea of what it is like. I'll post higher-resolution photos when I return home.

 

Dave

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Monday, Aug. 29, at sea

We woke to cloudy skies, with occasional breaks. While we ate breakfast, we watched the Mull of Kintyre, Scotland, passing to starboard. Off the other side, we could see the northeast part of Northern Ireland, as we went through the passage between en route to the northern Atlantic and the Faroes.

We got our debarkation questionnaire, and for the first time we have the option of self-debarkation in New York. Twice previously, we had to put out our baggage and claim it ashore. The requirements were as usual – you had registered a credit card of any charges, you could haul your own stuff without help, you did not need a wheelchair and could be ready to go at the time designated – for New York, it is 6:30 a.m. We are always up by then, so we checked the self-debarkation block and returned the questionnaire to the concierge.

We wandered a bit, had a coffee, and I took a few more photos of the ship. At 10:00, we attended a very good talk by Jon Sigurdsson, who talked about the Viking explorations and settlements of the north Atlantic, including the Faroes, Iceland, Greenland and, for a short time in the early 11th century, Labrador and Newfoundland.

Jon then spoke in more detail about Torshavn and the Faroes, which we visit tomorrow, and finished with the hit of the show -- a recording of a Faroes woman singing in her native language while a series of Jon’s fantastic photos of the Faroe islands were shown on the screen. Jon was with us on the 2009 trans-atlantic on Eurodam, and his talks were great then, and apparently are going to be this trip as well. The Mainstage was packed – it was SRO (squatting room only: a few people sat on the steps because all the seats were full.)

After lunch, we got lazy and just kind of rested, read and wandered about the ship for the afternoon. Dinner was the second formal night, and they had some wonderful dishes. We both had the osso buco, one of our HAL favorites.

Some information for those who may be interested.

Tonight’s show: “Piano Virtuoso Elena Ivanina, A performance not to be missed!” 8:00 and 10:00 p.m.

Music/Other:

- Rembrandt Dining Room deck 3: Cupcake Afternoon Tea, 3:00 p.m.

- Queen’s Lounge: Natalie & The HAL Cats, 9:00 p.m. – 12:00 mn; Motown Music Hour 9:100-10:00 p.m.

- Ocean Bar: The Neptunes, 6:30-11:30 p.m. Happy hour 4:00-5:00 p.m.

- Piano Bar: Piano Man Michael 9:00 p.m. – close; Stars of Las Vegas 10:00-11:00 p.m.

- Explorer’s Lounge: Adagio Strings, 6:00-11:00 p.m.

- Crow’s Nest: Solo guitarist Darlyne Cain, 5:00-9:00 p.m. Happy hour 7:00-8:00 p.m.

- Northern Lights: DJ Tyler, Music Mix, 9:00 p.m. – close.

-

Dinner menu in MDR (formal):

Appetizers: Caramelized Orange and Grapefruit Cocktail; Chlled Jumbo Shrimp with Almonds; Duck Pate’ Brioche; Warm Greek Sampler.

Soups and Salad: Chicken and Wild Rice Soup; Roasted Shallot and Butternut Squash Soup; Chilled Coconut Nutmeg Soup; Apple Pear and Cucumber Salad.

Entrees: Ribbon Zucchini Risotto; Blackened Chicken Caesar; Alaska King Crab Legs; Fillet of Beef Wellington; Osso Buco Milanese; Cornish Game Hen with Almond-Brown Rice Stuffing; Vegetable Tagine with Apricot Couscous.

Desserts: Double Chocolate Tortchen; Crème Brulee; Tiramisu; Cheesecake no sugar added; Vanilla ice cream; Strawberry ice cream; Passion Fruit sorbet; Raspberry Frozen Yogurt; No sugar added Triple Chocolate Ice Cream; No sugar added Vanilla ice cream; Hot Fudge Sundae.

More later,

Dave

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... wish I could find all of your "Live From" threads. ...

 

Thank you for your kind comments about my “live from”. If as you say you are interested in reading my previous blogs, I have done four before this one, and they are still in the CC board earlier pages. They are dated, but you will find descriptions, and on a couple of them photos, of the ships and port calls:

A 7-day Western Caribbean cruise on Westerdam in March 2009: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=943874

A 16-day northern trans-atlantic on Eurodam in August 2009: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1039651

A 21-day Collector’s cruise of Southern and Eastern Carribbean on Noordam in February-March 2010: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1143462

And, a 14-day Collector’s cruise of Western Caribbean on Ryndam in February 2011: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1353835

Dave

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Another general info post:

 

Eurodam regular wine list

Wines by the glass

Champagne and Sparkling:

- Pierre Larousse, France, $6

- G.H. Mimm Courdon Rouge, $12

- Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, $14.50

White wines

- Woodbridge White Zinfandel, $5.50

- Chateau Ste. Michelle Reisling, $6

- Blackstone Sauvignon Blanc, $7

- Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc, $9.50

- Ruffino Pinot Grigio, $8

- Alice White Chardonnay, $6

- Rosemont Estate Chardonnay, $7

- Beringer Chardonnay, $9.50

Red wines

- Meridian Pinot Noir, $7.50

- Alice White Shiraz, $6

- Rosemont Estate Shiraz, $8

- Woodbridge Twin Oaks Carbernet Sauvignon, $6

- Wolf Blass Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia, $9

- Beringer Founder’s Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, $8

- Guenoc Cabernet Sauvignon, $7

- Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot, $9.50

-

Wines by the bottle

White and Rose’ wines

- Rose’ Spatburgunder, Germany, $39

- Rose’ Chateau D’Angles, France, $39

- Kreusch Piierporter Reisling Spaetlese, Germany, $25

- Beringer Pinot Grigio, California, $25

- Schloss Vollrads Reisling, Germany, $49

- Sander Reisling, Germany, $39

- Ruffino Pinot Grigio, Italy, $39

- Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc, California, $37

- Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, $45

- Michel Redde Pouille Fume’, France, $59

- Hedges CMS White, Washington State, $49

- Macon Village Joseph Drouhin, France, $49

- Chateau Ste. Michelle Reisling, Washington State, $39

- Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc, California, $35

- Caliterra Saugivnon Blanc, Chile, $25

- Laboure’-Roi Pouilly Fuisee’, France, $54

- Alice White Chardonnay, Australia, $27

- Louis Latour Bourgogne Chardonnay, France, $49

- Georges Debeouf Macon-Villages, France, $35

- Footprint Chardonnay, South Africa, $29

- Rosemont Estate Chardonnay, Australia, $29

- Caliterra Chardonnay, Chile, $29

- Domaine Larouche Chablis Premier Cru, France, $49

- Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet, France, $89

- Beringer Chardonnay, California, $45

- Horse Heaven Chardonnay Blanc, Washington State, $55

- Franciscan Chardonnay, California, $47

- Merryvale Starmont Chardonnay, California, $59

- Lanzerac Chardonnay, South Africa, $65

- Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay, California, $69

- Canoe Ridge Estate Chardonnay, Washington State, $69

- Apex Chardonnay, Washington State, $75

- Conuncrum, California, $39

Red wines

- Castle Rock Cuvee’ Pinot Noir, California, $37

- Meridian Pinot Noir, California, $37

- Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir, Oregon, $69

- Laboure’-Roi Pommard, France, $69

- Georges Debeouf Beaujolais Villages, France, $25

- Villa Fiorita Barbera D’Asti Superiore, Italy, $54

- Antinori Santa Cristina Sangiovese, Italy, $29

- Sangre De Toro, Spain, $39

- Perrin Reserve Cotes-Du-Rhone, France, $39

- Les Closiers Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, France, $59

- Marques De CaceresRioja, Spain, $29

- Arboleda Carmenere, Chile, $49

- Francis-Coppola Claret, California, $49

- Rosemont Estate Shiraz, Australia, $39

- Footprint Shiraz, South Africa, $29

- Alice White Shiraz, Australia, $27

- Cline Cellars Zinfandel, California, $35

- Trentadue Old Patch Red, California, $49

- Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot, Washington State, $45

- Beringer Stone Cellars Merlot, California, $27

- Robert Mondavi Merlot, California, $37

- Hedges Red Mountain Three Vinyards, Washington State, $69

- Columbia Crest Two Vines Merlot, Washington State, $45

- Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, Wash. St., $45

- Twin Oaks Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon, California, $27

- Spellbound Petite Sirah, California, $45

- Beringer Founder’s Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, California, $39

- Guenoc Cabernet Sauvignon, California, $35

- Wolf Blass Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia, $42

- Meritage Franciscan Magnificat, California, $79

- Silverado Cabernet Sauvignon, California, $79

- Northstar Merlot, Washington State, $89

- Barbi Brunello Di Montalcino 2006, Italy, $89

- Castello Banfi Brunello Di Montalcino 2006, Italy, $108

Champagne and Sparkling wines

- Domaine Chandon, California, $47

- Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut, Washington State, $39

- G.H. Mumm Cordon Rouge, France, $59

- Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial, France, $89

- Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label N.V., France, $89

- Taittinger Cuvee Prestige Rose, France, $99

- Dom Perignon Moet & Chandon, France, $199

More later,

Dave

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Thank you for your kind comments about my “live from”. If as you say you are interested in reading my previous blogs, I have done four before this one, and they are still in the CC board earlier pages. They are dated, but you will find descriptions, and on a couple of them photos, of the ships and port calls:

 

A 7-day Western Caribbean cruise on Westerdam in March 2009: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=943874

 

A 16-day northern trans-atlantic on Eurodam in August 2009: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1039651

 

A 21-day Collector’s cruise of Southern and Eastern Carribbean on Noordam in February-March 2010: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1143462

 

And, a 14-day Collector’s cruise of Western Caribbean on Ryndam in February 2011: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1353835

 

 

Dave

 

Thank you Dave - so kind of you to provide links! I am very anxious to read all of these, but especially the Westerdam and Southern Caribbean cruises -- we're booked on the Westerdam Southern Caribbean in November.

 

Love your descriptions, photos, menus and entertainment schedules. What fun this is!!

 

Nancy

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Tuesday, Aug. 30, Torshavn, Faroe Islands

We arrived just before 8 a.m. at Torshavn (Thor’s Harbor), the capital of the Faroe Islands, an archipelago of 18 islands (17 inhabited) in the north Atlantic, part of the Kingdom of Denmark.

We took the excursion to the Vestmanna sea cliffs. We boarded buses and drove to the town of Vestmanna, on the same island as Torshavn . There, we boarded a boat and headed around the coast of the next island over.

It was in a heavy mist that we left Vestmanna, but after a while, we rounded a point and broke into direct sunlight. The sea cliffs are famous for the flocks of birds that teem there in summer. Unfortunately, the huge numbers puffins and guillemots had already departed for the year when we arrived, but it was still an impressive sail around the sheer cliffs, and once into a cave, where we could see the bottom reflected up in an eerie pale blue light, similar to the Blue Grotto in Capri in Italy. Attached are some photos of the excursion, including one of a rainbow on a little town.

We then returned to Torshavn and the ship by way of the mountain road, and stopped for a Kodak moment of the ship in the harbor (photo attached, of course).

It has been gray pretty much all day, except for the full sun on our trip to the sea clifrs. The islands are treeless (except for a few protected spots), but are greener than I had imagined – they get lots of rain, and there are creeks, rivers and rills everywhere, and the grass grows wherever it can take hold. Then, the sheep eat it. There are lots of sheep, everywhere, including on the roads so the bus driver had to take care. The islands probably were cleared of trees by the Vikings to build houses and boats and things, but the sheep keep it treeless by eating saplings or chewing the bark off any tree that manages to grow, unless they are kept out by fences.

There are also lots of circular and rectangular pens in the protected sea areas; we can see six of them just across the pier from Eurodam (photo attached). We saw that there was a central nozzle thing in each of those round penss that was circling when we pulled in, and there were tons of fish leaping about. Our tour guide pointed out others on the way to Vestmanna, and told us they were for raising salmon, which is one of the Faroes’ primary exports, mostly to the U.S. So, if you buy farmed salmon in the U.S., you might be enjoying a bit of the Faroes. Who knew? Apparently, not the birds, because we did not see any trying to raid the salmon pens, although the guide said the salmon are raised to commercial size of 5 kilos or more each, so probably only an eagle could take one away, and I did not see any bird that size.

It’s an interesting place, and I’m glad we came. I’m sorry we did not see the cliffs teeming with birds, but they were impressive in their own right.

A note in today’s daily planner said that as we sail more and more north, internet service may be interrupted due to limited satellite coverage, and possibly due to the storms from Irene. So, I may have patchy posting for a while. Two years ago, I enjoyed quite good connectivity even in the Greenland fjords, but it remains to be seen what will happen this time. I will keep up my blog on Word and post when I can.

Some information for those who may be interested.

Tonight’s show: “World Class Juggling, Parisian comedy with feats of strength and balance with the unique Jaz Danion” 8:00 and 10:00 p.m.

Music/Other:

- Queen’s Lounge: Sing with The HAL Cats, 9:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.; All Request Hour with Natalie and The HAL Cats, 11:00 p.m. - 12:00 mn

- Ocean Bar: The Neptunes, 6:30-11:30 p.m. Happy hour 4:00-5:00 p.m.

- Piano Bar: Piano Man Michael 9:00 p.m. – close; Billy Joel Hour 10:00 p.m.

- Explorer’s Lounge: Adagio Strings, 6:00-11:00 p.m.

- Crow’s Nest: Solo guitarist Darlyne Cain, 5:00-7:00 p.m., 7:00-10:00 p.m. Happy hour 7:00-8:00 p.m.

- Northern Lights: DJ Tyler, Music Mix, 9:00 p.m. – close.

-

Dinner menu in MDR (smart casual):

Appetizers: Summer Fruit Salad with Sambuca; Salmon Ceviche with Orange Zest and Capers; Bruschetta di Parma; Greek Meatballs with Metaxa Sauce.

Soups and Salad: Chicken and Corn Soup; Mulligatawny Soup; Chilled Apricot Soup with Snow Egg; Roasted Baby Beet and Oak Leaf Salad.

Entrees: Rustic Home-Made Lasagna; Seafood Cobb Salad; Basa (a fish) Fillet with Fennel and Tomato; Master Chef’s Favorite Braised Short Ribs; Lamb Souvlaki; Coq au Vin; Spicy Vegetarian Chow Mein.

Desserts: Chocolate Seduction (cake); Cherry Pavlova; Warm Date and Toffee pudding; Raspberry Mousse Trte no sugar added; Vanilla ice cream; Peach ice cream; Mango sorbet; Heath Bar Crunch Frozen Yogurt; No sugar added Butter Pecan Ice Cream; No sugar added Vanilla ice cream; Butterscotch Sundae.

More later,

Dave

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Dave, just an item of curiosity.....what is the name of the Eurodam Internet Cafe manager?...He was very helpful with us...and to everyone..particularly during the hurricane Earl escape that the Captain masterfully performed. Whew

Edited by patriota

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Wednesday, Aug. 31, at sea

The internet has been spotty this morning; I try every once in a while to see if I can get on.

This morning started partly cloudy, but we sailed into bands of rain. The captain said we were experiencing the edges of what’s left of Irene, and would probably be rained on in Iceland on Thursday, although the main part of the storm would be south of us. But, he said, the storm should clear and we look to have fine weather for sailing in Prince Christian Sound on Saturday. It has been raining, but the seas have been unusually calm, without much swell or waves.

We attended another lecture by Jon Sigurdsson at 10 a.m. This was about Iceland and its people, and was packed as usual. He again had some wonderful photographs to illustrate his talk.

Afterwards, at 11:00 a.m., we attended a Mariner’s award ceremony, wherein about 20 bronze medallions were handed out to those achieving 100+ actual sailing days on HAL. A few silver and two gold were also awarded.

The Mariners Brunch was served afterwards in the MDR deck 2, but we decided to eat in the Lido instead. Here is the menu they were serving:

Appetizers:

- Warm Salmon and Arugula Salad

- Apple and Pear Gazpacho with Passion Fruit Sorbet

Entrees:

- Top Sirloin Center-Cut Steak Garnished with Grilled Shrimp

- Butter Basted Lemon Sole with Leeks

- Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche

Dessert:

- Key Lime and White Chocolate Tart

Some information for those who may be interested.

Tonight’s show: “Variety Showtime with Paul Brogan, Jaz Danion & Elena Ivanina” 8:00 and 10:00 p.m.

Music/Other:

- Pinnacle: Le Cirque, 5:30-9:00 p.m.

- Queen’s Lounge: Join Travel Guide Ian for Travel Trivia, 7:00 p.m. Tonight’s Game Show Best Joke, Worst Joke, 9:00 p.m.

- Ocean Bar: The Neptunes, 6:30-11:30 p.m. Happy hour 7:00-8:00 p.m.

- Piano Bar: Piano Man Michael 9:00 p.m. – close; Beatles & More 10:00 p.m.

- Explorer’s Lounge: Adagio Strings, 6:00-10:00 p.m.

- Crow’s Nest: Solo guitarist Darlyne Cain, 5:00-9:00 p.m

- Northern Lights: DJ Tyler, Music Mix, 9:00 p.m. – close; Disco Fever 10:30 p.m.

Dinner menu in MDR (smart casual):

Appetizers: Citrus Compote with Honey and Raisins; Fruit de Mer on Vegetable Confit; Ham with Celeriac and Apple Salad; Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart.

Soups and Salad: Famous Italian Wedding Soup; Cream of Five Onions Soup; Chilled Strawberry Bisque; Belgian Endive and Baby Spinach.

Entrees: Fettucine Frutti Di Mare; Avacado Citrus Salad; Seared Pacific Cod; London Broil with Whiskey Peppercorn Sauce; Apple-Cider Brined Pork Chop with Cherry-Raisin Chutney; Roasted Duck Breast with Fig Balsamic Reduction; Oven-Baked Eggplant Parmigiana.

Desserts: Sacher Torte; Baklava Sampler; Raspberry Terrine; Tiramisu no sugar added; Vanilla ice cream; Chocolate ice cream; Lemon sorbet; Vanilla Frozen Yogurt; No sugar added Triple Chocolate Ice Cream; No sugar added Vanilla ice cream; Strawberry Sundae.

More later,

Dave

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Dave, thanks so much for posting so faithfully - I do hope you don't suffer any effects from Irene. We lost power here for two days:(

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Wednesday, Aug. 31, at sea (continued)

 

After lunch, we wandered the ship a bit more, looking at the art, and the photos of earlier cruising that are along the passageways; these are from about the 1950s and 1960s I would say. Many of the feature the old Rotterdam, the one that is now a museum. They are quite fun to look at, and imagine what cruising was like then. There are also many beautiful floral arrangements.

 

At 2 p.m., we attended another fine talk by Jon Sigurdsson, this time specifically about Reykjavik. This one was shorter than the previous ones, but featured lots of photos of the city, as well as of a few outside where the excursions will go, such as Thingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss Falls. We are booked on the Golden Circle tour this time, and should see all of those (even if it’s in the rain from Irene).

 

Attached are some photos of the art and one of an interior lounge on one of the older cruise ships. The forward stairwell features mostly drawings and paintings of Captain Stephen J. Card. The center stairwell has reproductions of Rembrandt and other paintings. The aft staircase has reproductions, mostly of depictions of old seaports around the world.

 

More later,

Dave

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Edited by RetiredMustang

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Thursday, Sept. 1, Reykjavik

All,

Sorry for not posting last night, but we were gone all day on a shore excursion and did not get back to the ship until a few minutes after he all-aboard time of 4:30 p.m.

We were on the Golden Circle tour that took us to Thingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir. Ours was the first tour called, and the shore excursions rep said there were 317 of us on the tour; it took six buses to carry us all. I know that many from the roll call made arrangements together for smaller groups, and we saw several buses/vans that held about a dozen waiting on the pier, and later at the sights.

We first drove north out of the port and city of Reykjavik. There were maps available, one per two-seat section. I could see where we were going (and what areas the trolls and the ghosts inhabited). At one point, DW remarked that every time our guide mentioned that we were coming up on a sight, a new town or road turning, all the women would look out the window, and the men would all look at the maps. I couldn’t really tell what she meant, because I was busy seeing on my map that we were turning onto a new road that would take us the Thingvellir.

We had sailed into Reykjavik harbor under rainy or misty conditions, under overcast skies. But, as we drove to Thingvellir, the rain stopped and we could see breaks in the clouds. As we parked at the top of the National Park, the sun broke out. It stayed with us for the hour or so we stayed there, so we enjoyed our visit much more than we had anticipated – we had ponchos and umbrellas but did not need them.

Thingvellir is in a rift valley where the North American and Eurasain tectonic plates are pulling apart. There are dramatic rock wall formations on the west side, near meadows bordering on a lake. It was here that the Iceland parliament, Althing, first met in 930 A.D., and for centuries afterwards. It was where clan chiefs and other district representatives met for a couple of weeks each summer. Our guide explained that they would set up tents on permanent platforms, and many others besides the representatives would come. From the explanatory signs, it appeared it was also a time of fairs, markets, demonstrations, etc. DW said it was also probably where the clans would bring their young but near marriage age sons and daughters to meet eachother -- someone besides the ones on the next farm over; the guide said that indeed was part of the Althing gathering.

The valley is well watered, and the ground has subsided over the years. A river flows over the rock wall from the North American plate, and down to the rift valley and into the lake. (Connections are good right now, so photos attached and at:

http://pictures.cruisecritic.com/data/510/Thingvellir1.JPG

http://pictures.cruisecritic.com/data/510/River_at_Thingvellir.JPG

http://pictures.cruisecritic.com/data/510/Church_in_Thingvellir_meadows.JPG

More in the next post,

Dave

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Thursday, Sept. 1, Reykjavik (continued)

We made a short snack, restroom break at the parks welcome center, and then drove inland, past a smaller lake fringed with summer homes and rich farm land, to the Gullfoss (Gold Waterfall), the largest in Iceland. The weather closed in a bit on the drive, but when we arrived, it was not raining, and a sunny patch appeared. We hiked from the top parking area to a lower one, and many of the group hiked out to the rocky overlook nearer the upper falls. It was pretty impressive and beautiful, and sent up spray that watered the surrounding grounds (and us). Photos attached and at:

http://pictures.cruisecritic.com/data/510/Gullfoss_from_upper_area.JPG

http://pictures.cruisecritic.com/data/510/Gullfoss.JPG

We then went back a short ways along the highway to the Geysir Hotel, alongside the Geysir park, and had lunch (cream of carrot/vegetable soup, roasted salmon, boiled potatoes, slaw and a leek compote – very good). After lunch, we crossed the road and walked among the geysers and hot spots. Our guide said the original one discovered was called Geysir, and it gave its name to all others. The original no longer erupts, due to earthquakes and tectonic shifting, but another one does so regularly. It probably erupted 10 times while we were eating lunch and walking about. I stood and held my camera up a couple of times, and actually caught it at the moment of eruption. I also took a photo of the water rushing back into the hole after the eruptions. Both photos attached and at:

http://pictures.cruisecritic.com/data/510/Iceland_geyser_erupting.JPG

http://pictures.cruisecritic.com/data/510/Iceland_geyser_hole.JPG

Again, the weather held and we did not get rained on while walking among the Geysir area. We then re-boarded the bus and drove on different roads back toward Reykjavik. Near Geysir, we could see a mountain range and the edges of the glacier it held. We also drove about another hour before stopping again, this time at a new power plant that harnesses the geothermal energy, by boring holes and tapping the hot steam and water to turn turbines to make electricity, and heat other water that is piped into the city to heat the houses.

We then returned to the ship a few minutes late, came aboard, cleaned up and had dinner. We found out that it had rained most of the day in the city. After dinner, I tested the theory a few of us on the tour had – either we had used up all our luck with the weather and should not try to gamble, or we were on a hot streak, and should go cash in at the casino. Well, as for as me, I confirmed the first one, as I could barely hit anything on the slots, so I gave it up shortly, and turned in.

Some information for those who may be interested.

Tonight’s show: “Avalon, featuring the Singers & Dancers of the Eurodam” 8:00 and 10:00 p.m.

Music/Other:

- Queen’s Lounge: Tonight’s Game Show – But I’m A Celebrity, 9:00 p.m.

- Ocean Bar: The Neptunes, 6:30-11:30 p.m. Happy hour 4:00-5:00 p.m.

- Piano Bar: Piano Man Michael 9:00 p.m. – close; Rat Pack Tribute 10:00 p.m.

- Explorer’s Lounge: Adagio Strings, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

- Crow’s Nest: Solo guitarist Darlyne Cain, 5:30-6:30 p.m., 8:30-10:30 p.m

- Northern Lights: DJ Tyler, Music Mix, 9:00 p.m. – close

Dinner menu in MDR (smart casual):

Appetizers: Marinated Pineapple Spears; Vodka Gravlax; Sweet Tomato and Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella; Grilled Chicken Tikka Kebab.

Soups and Salad: French Vegetable Pot “Petite Marmite”; White Bean Soup Piemontese; Chilled Beet Soup, Assorted Garden Greens.

Entrees: Tagliatelle Verdi Alla Conti; Grilled Lamb Brochette and Marinated Vegetable Salad; Grilled Salmon with Tomato Broth; Beef Roulade in Red Wine Sauce; Braised Lamb Shank; Chicken Cordon Bleu; Cantonese-Style Tofu Satay.

Desserts: Chocolate Cake with Blueberry Cream; Bee Sting (pastry filled with vanilla cream); Raspberry Gream Cheese Gateay; Delicate Pastry Swans no sugar added; Vanilla ice cream; Pralines and Cream ice cream; Strawberry sorbet; Chocolate Frozen Yogurt; No sugar added Fudge Track Ice Cream; No sugar added Vanilla ice cream; Bananas Foster Sundae.

More later,

Dave

2139220174_Gullfossfromupperarea.jpg.321075b29e8b49009ae372d2d63ccc34.jpg

Gullfoss.jpg.f7f01e1611f25b24b4564a7d8b6c87c1.jpg

673321715_Icelandgeysererupting.jpg.0dee3bc2a23ec2951dca938b20742ee9.jpg

1367119980_Icelandgeyserhole.jpg.c2417a92dc661668d0d09a3b37fab5d6.jpg

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Another info post:

 

Pinnacle Breakfast Menu (only for PS-SA-SB-SC cabins): free

Something Simple

- Cold Cereals – Corn Flakes, Cheerios, Special K, Raisin Bran, Shredded Wheat, Rice Crispies, Frosted Flakes, Fruit Loops, Granola, All Bran, Bran Flakes. Served with your choice of milk. Add sliced banana on request.

- Breakfast Parfait – Layers of creamy Greek yogurt, fresh berries and granola.

- Hot Cereals – Old-Fashioned Oatmeal, Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, Creamy Grits. Served with sliced banana, raisins, brown sugar, maple syrup, milk or half & half on request.

- Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

- Bagel and Lox

Greenhouse Spa Selections

- Cottage Cheese and Fresh Fruit

- Swiss-Style Meusli

- Frittata Italiana

International Classics

- All American Breakfast – Two eggs cooked to order, hash browns, hickory-smoked bacon or sausage, and toast.

- Eggs Benedict

- Eggs Royale

- Eggs Florentine

- Corned Beef Hash and Eggs

- Kippered Herring

- Dutch Breakfast – The Uitsmaejter, a classic open-face sandwich with thick white bread, Sliced ham, Gouda, and two eggs sunny side up.

- Japanese Breakfast – Hot miso soup, steamed white rice, tamagoyaki and broiled salmon served with a cup of hot green tea.

- The Full English Breakfast – Two eggs scrambled, English banger sausage, English back bacon, baked beans, hash browns, and a grilled half tomato.

- Scandinavian Breakfast – Smoked salmon and pickled herring, served with hard-boiled egg and slices of dark rye bread.

Three Egg Omelets (all omelets are served with hash browns and toast. Egg whites or egg substitute available on request)

- Denver Omelet – Green bell pepper, onion, ham and a mixture of Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Swiss cheese.

- Garden Vegetable Omelet – Tender asparagus, sautéed spinach, diced tomato and sliced button mushrooms with creamy goat cheese.

- Southwest Omelet – Diced sweet roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, green onions, and Monterey Jack cheese, topped with avocado, sour cream and fresh salsa.

- My Choice Omelet – Build your own omelet with any of the following: ham, bacon, sausage, smoked salmon, mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, asparagus, Cheddar, Swiss, Jack, goat or Gruyere cheese.

Hot Off the Griddle

- Belgian Waffle

- Cinnamon-Sugar French Toast

- Stack of Pancakes

From the Bakery

- Toast

- English Muffin

- Bagel

- Roll

- Baked Fresh Daily: Butter Croissant; Chocolate Croissant, Cheese Danish, Fruit Danish, Danish of the Day, Blueberry Muffin, Muffin of the Day, Coffee Cake. Served with butter, margarine, jam, jelly, Nutella or cream cheese on request. Freshly-baked sugar-free pastries available upon request.

On the Side

- Hickory-smoked bacon

- English Bangers

- Pork sausage links or patty

- Carved honey-glazed ham

- Corned beef hash

- Turkey bacon

- Turkey sausage links

- Morningstar Farms Vegi Links

- Has browns

- Fruits and Yogurt: Fresh fruit plate; half grapefruit, sliced banana, stewed prunes, apricots or Kadota figs, assorted yogurts.

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And another:

 

Pinnacle Lunch: $10 per person

Starters

- Grilled Prawn Bruschetta with a Primavera Salsa

- Mediterranean Antipasto Plate

- Scallops Crème Brulee

- Northwest Five Onion Soup

- Chilled Carrot and Ginger Soup

- Chiffonade of Greens and Tomato Tower Salad

Entrees

- Pacific Rim Beef Salad

- Alaska Halibut Fillet Sandwich

- Crab and Shrimp Cake

- The Pinnacle Burger

- Sterling Silver Beef Tenderloin with Oregon Blue Cheese Crust

- Penne with Grilled Chicken Breast

- Vegetarian Couscous

Desserts

- Fresh Strawberries with Raspberry Sorbet

- Chocolate Brownie Decadence

- Orange and Lime Panna Cotta

- Ice Creams and Sorbets

- Fruit Plate

Dave

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Another:

 

Pinnacle Dinner: $25 per person

The Beginning

- French Onion Soup King Louis XIV

- Spicy Chicken Coconut Soup

- Lobster Bisque

- Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail

- Vine Ripened Beefsteak Tomato Salad

- Baby Arugula Salad

- Caesar Salad

- Dungeness Crab Cakes

- Pinnacle Ocean Platter (salmon, shrimp, sea scallops, wasabi cream)

The Intrigue

- “Land and Sea” (fillet mignon and jumbo prawns)

- Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

- Roasted Vegetable Tower

The Grill

- Steaks: Fillet Mignon, New York Strip, Bone-in Ribeye, Porterhouse, Ribeye

- Sauces: sun-dried tomato, green peppercorn, bernaise, horseradish-mustard, hollandaise, garlic butter

- Colorado Lamb Chops

- Grille Veal Chop

- Grilled Chicken Breast

- Fillet Steak Diane

- Fillet Mignon Burger

Seafood

- Broiled King Salmon

- Broiled Lobster Tail

- Cedar-Planked Black Cod with Shrimp Scampi

Pinnacle Signature Skewers

- Beef Delight

- Tantalizing Lamb

- Chicken and Turkey Temptation

- Delectable Seafood

- Vegetable Zen

Side Dishes

- Vegetables: creamed spinach, sauteed button mushrooms, sautéed onions, asparagus, basmati rice

- Potatoes: scallop, whipped, jumbo baked Idaho, shoestring

Cocktails and Sips

- Glacier Blue Martini

- Very Berry Cosmo

- Martini Bellini

- Harvest White Sangria

Wine Flights

- Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery Welcome ($12): Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut; Johannesburg Reisling; Chardonnay; Cabernet Sauvignon.

- Columbia Valley Welcome ($15): Chateau Ste. Michelle Horse Heaven Sauvignon Blanc; Columbia Crest Grand Estate Chardonnay; Columbia Crest Grand Estate Merlot; L’Ecole Cabernet Sauvignon.

- Premium Pairings of the Pacific NW ($29): Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Chardonnay; Sokul Blosser Pinot Noir; Apex Cabernet Sauvignon; McRea Syrah.

Champagnes and Sparkling Wines

- Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut, $59

- Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial, $89

- Dom Perignon Cuvee, $199

- Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, $89

- Domaine Chateau Ste. Michelle Cuvee Brut, $39

- Domaine Chandon, $47

Dave

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And, to finish the Pinnacle menus:

 

 

Pinnacle Le Cirque Dinner, $39 per person

Appetizer: Lobster Salad “Le Cirque” – poached lobster with haricot vert and citrus.

Soup: Sweet Corn Soup – conr fritters, wood ear mushrooms and basil

Main Courses

- Wild Halibut: leek fondue, Rocca Di Frasinello sauce

- Rack of Lamb: goat cheese panisse, artichokes, and arugula

- Cote de Beouf (aged prime rib strip steak): horseradish flan, sweet and sour baby beets for two

Side Dishes

- Seasonal vegetables

- Pommes Dauphine

Dessert

- Chocolate soufflé

- Crème Brulee Le Cirque

- Assortment of sorbets

Wines Le Cirque

- Ruffino Pinot Grigio, Italy, Glass $8, bottle $39

- Villa Fiorita Barbera D’Asti Superiore, Italy, Glass $10, bottle $54

- Enjoy a glass of sparkling wine and two glasses of our Wines from Le Cirque collection for a surcharge of only $20.

White wine

- Michel Redde Pouilly Fume, France, $59

- Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, $78

- Marques de Caceres, Spain, $29

- Laboure’-Roi Pouilly Fuisse, France, $54

- Franciscan Chardonnay, California, $47

- Conundrum, California, $39

Red Wine

- Meridian Pinot Noir, Italy, $37

- Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Merlot, Washington, $69

- Perrin Reserve Cote du Rhone, France, $39

- Breinger Founders Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, California, $39

- Arboleda Carmenere, Chile, $49

- Castello Banfi Brunello Di Montalcino, Italy, $108

 

 

More later,

Dave

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Friday, Sept. 2, At sea

We did some rolling and tossing coming away from Iceland last night, but the seas calmed as we got into deeper waters. The weather cleared as the day progressed, and the remnants of Irene pulled off to the east, en route to drenching Britain.

We are watching Katie and a depression off the coast, but the Captain sais he doesn’t expect either to cause us problems.

This morning, we attended another great lecture by Jon Sigurdsson, this one about Greenland, a bit of its history, and its people. Jon has been playing to packed houses, and this lecture was also highlighted by his fabulous photographs.

For lunch, we were invited to the Tamarind for a suite luncheon. It was buffet style, with sushi/sashimi, rice, tempura shrimp and squid, beef tenderloin and other good things. They also had a dessert station with chocolate-dipped starwberres, truffles, cakes and other fine things.

Shortly after lunch, we attended Jon Sigurdsson’s last lecture, this one about what to expect on tomorrow’s scenic cruising in Prince Christian Sound, and the following day in Nanortalik. We did both on our cruise two years ago, and are very much looking forward to repeating the experiences. Jon got most of the audience anticipating the sailing and port visit through his wonderful photos.

The Captain announced that we should be entering the Sound at around 6:30 a.m. From first light at about 5:15 until then, we will have our best shot at seeing whales. In 2009, we did see some, and hope to do so again tomorrow. Jon will be narrating the passage, and the Captain said he would open the bow for us to see the transit and the scenery. The Lido breakfast buffet opens at 5:00 a.m. for continental and 5:30 for full service; I guess they expect a lot us will want to grab some calories before watching for whales.

Setting the clocks back an hour tonight will help. We have gained three hours since Amsterdam, and by tomorrow will have gained four, and will be only two hours ahead of U.S. East Coast time. (I wonder how we will handle the time in St. John’s, which I believe is offset a half hour from other time zones.)

In any case, I hope to get a good night’s sleep and get up early (which is no big sacrifice, as we usually do get up early), so I can possibly spot whales, or at least snarf a good breakfast. I will post as we go in the Sound, internet connections and weather permitting.

Some information for those who may be interested.

Tonight’s show: “Flutist Clare Langan” 8:00 and 10:00 p.m.

Music/Other:

- Queen’s Lounge: Tonight’s Game Show – Liar’s Club, 9:00 p.m.

- Ocean Bar: The Neptunes, 6:30-11:30 p.m. Happy hour 4:00-5:00 p.m.

- Piano Bar: Piano Man Michael 9:00 p.m. – close; The Hits of the ‘60s 10:00-11:00 p.m.

- Explorer’s Lounge: Adagio Strings, 6:00-11:00 p.m.

- Crow’s Nest: Solo guitarist Darlyne Cain, 5:30-9:00 p.m. Happy hour 7:00-8:00 p.m.

- Northern Lights: DJ Tyler, Music Mix, 9:00 p.m. – close

Dinner menu in MDR (formal):

Appetizers: Supreme of Fruit Galliano; Orange Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail; Carpaccio of Beef Tenderloin; Crab and Artichoke Vol au Vent.

Soups and Salad: Italian Minestrone Soup; Smoked Seafood Chowder; Chilled Mixed Berry Soup; Mixed Greens Salad with Fresh Pear.

Entrees: Fettucine all’Arrabbiata; Cobb Salad; Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Roasted Corn Salsa; Surf and Turf; Grilled French Cut Pork Chop; Foie Gras and Mushroom Duxelles Stuffed Chicken Breast; Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage.

Desserts: “DAM” Devil Chocolate Cake; Golden Pear Purse; Strawberry Cream Cheese Tortchen; Black Forest Cake Swans no sugar added; Vanilla ice cream; Rum Raisin ice cream; Watermelon sorbet; Raspberry Frozen Yogurt; No sugar added Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream; No sugar added Vanilla ice cream; Boerenjongens Sundae (vanilla ice cream with a citrus-scented brandy sauce, sprinkled with Dutch gin-marinated raisins).

More later,

Dave

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okay....is it just ME????

or

does anyone else read the Menu Dave posts and start picking out items you would order??

 

of course, I always pick two desserts to have :D

 

I'm always hungry after I read this thread......

.

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