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'Twas the Cruise During Christmas - Zuiderdam 2018


POA1
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Thanks for another highly entertaining live thread! It brought back great memories from our Noordam Xmas cruise last year (I needed jolting after all those Xmas flavoured cocktails obviously short circuited some memory chips).

Your report also reminded me of the one area of HAL that drives me nuts - ordering wine in the MDR via the sbp... easily the worst system of any of the cruise lines. Next time I will try some of the techniques you employed, on my last cruise I often got up left the mdr and went to a bar to get our wine.

We just debarked our first ever Seabourn cruise which was fine but I can tell you the HAL bartenders destroy them when it comes to making great drinks.

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Thanks, @teamflames. Glad you enjoyed the thread. I have to sort through all the photos to figure out where all the Christmas cocktails are. I managed to get a look at the the recipe list when they first started making them. I'll try to show each drink along with the recipes.

 

The wine program is in flux right now. It merits its own discussion. We lucked put on the Eurodam in 2016, with our wine steward Joan. He (yes he) understood the way I order. Our guy this time, Mario was fine and he was eager to please, but I'm looking for synergy. :classic_biggrin:

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Holiday Cocktails

 

Upon arriving in the Crow's Nest on embarkation day, we saw a little poster for Holiday Cocktails. Naturally, this called for an impromptu research project. funding was secured and the experiments commenced forthwith.

 

IMG_1805_LUCiD.thumb.JPG.2ffc25d90c997e165042d8101f00e7b4.JPG

 

We're a few days past Christmas, but using the "12 Days of" rule, you can still serve these. Or, just pretend you're serving them for Greek, Ukrainian or Eastern Orthodox Christmas and you'll be fine in terms of deadlines.

 

#1 - The Candy Cane Martini

 

This one is Michelle's favorite. It's sweet, but not overly so - and provides you with minty fresh breath.

 

IMG_1817_LUCiD.thumb.JPG.eff570b6d51af105fe71df5cf6c4bc8f.JPG

 

Candy Cane Martini

 

  • 1.5 oz Absolut Vanilla
  • 1 oz White Creme de Cacao
  • 0.5 oz Peppermint Schnapps

 

Combine all ingredients in a shaker.  Shake well. Strain into martini glass that has been rimmed with crushed candy cane. Optional: Garnish with a small candy cane.

 

 

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It always seemed to me that the Northern Lights were well hidden and I had to search for it when they occasionally had Trivia there - other than that I did not go there (it must have been Westerdam we were on).  I don't remember it being so close to the Casino.  Was it very smoky?  It looks really nice as the Gallery Bar - or they could have made it into a small library....

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Just now, kazu said:

Thanks for sharing the recipes with us, Brian.

 

Looking forward to the rest.

 

Really enjoyed all your posts and LIVE thread.  Thank you so much 🙂 

 

As always, my pleasure. I don't know why it hasn't occurred to me that LIVE thread is better than typing out "Live From" all the time. When you type "Live From" on a computer keyboard, it's not that much work, but on a soft keyboard like you have on your phone, the shifted characters and quote marks are extra button presses. Had I only comprehended this earlier, my vacation would have been at least 0.8% more enjoyable. :classic_wink:

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Just now, Vict0riann said:

It always seemed to me that the Northern Lights were well hidden and I had to search for it when they occasionally had Trivia there - other than that I did not go there (it must have been Westerdam we were on).  I don't remember it being so close to the Casino.  Was it very smoky?  It looks really nice as the Gallery Bar - or they could have made it into a small library....

 

There is no smoking in the Zuiderdam's casino today.

 

Back in 2003, there were smoking sides to each bar and the casino was a smoking area. My DBIL and our friend Tom were both smokers, and excited about the fact that duty free cigarettes were, for all intents and purposes, free. (Michelle's brother has since quit.) I am not a smoker, nor were any of the girls (and I am allowed to call them that because they were 15 years younger and don't mind being called "girls.") I didn't really notice the smoke at the time and remember being impressed with the ventilation system. Our personal smoking ambassadors were courteous were enough to smoke upwind. I have allergies and asthma, but it never really bothered me. Red eyes perhaps, but there's a fair chance that alcohol and staying up late were to blame for that.

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9 minutes ago, Vict0riann said:

It always seemed to me that the Northern Lights were well hidden and I had to search for it when they occasionally had Trivia there - other than that I did not go there (it must have been Westerdam we were on).  I don't remember it being so close to the Casino.  Was it very smoky?  It looks really nice as the Gallery Bar - or they could have made it into a small library....

 

The Northern Lights was never smoky due to the semi-curved corridor that led into it from the casino which, as you said, was sorta/kinda hidden from view. The other entrance was a corridor that came from the Deck 2 gangway/elevator lobby and went "behind" the Queen's Lounge. It had lights on the bulkheads that "came on" and then dimmed as you walked by them. The only issue I had with the NL were the very uncomfortable (hard) seating arrangements in the five-six booths (the cow's nest pics that Brian posted) that surrounded the dance floor. Besides that, it was a cool place to dance to the hits and it had a nice adjoining bar; YMMV :classic_cool:

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Just now, Vict0riann said:

It always seemed to me that the Northern Lights were well hidden and I had to search for it when they occasionally had Trivia there - other than that I did not go there (it must have been Westerdam we were on).  I don't remember it being so close to the Casino.  Was it very smoky?  It looks really nice as the Gallery Bar - or they could have made it into a small library....

 

Forgot to add - The wall of the Gallery Bar that's open to the casino used to be a closed hallway. You went down a corridor into the disco. I don't have any pictures of that from 2003, because no one in their right minds was taking photos of random hallways when they had to pay for each shot.

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15 hours ago, POA1 said:

wayback-orange.jpg

 

 

Back when you had to pay for both the film and the developing of the pictures, you took photos that were worth paying for - to you anyway. You certainly didn't blow your hard earned cash on photos of every single dish you at on vacation. There were six of us on the cruise in 2003. Between us, we had at least three or four cameras at any given time. If we shot every dish at dinner, we'd have used more than half of a typical 24 exposure roll of film.

 

This is the sum total of our "food p0rn" from our Zuiderdam cruise 15 years ago.

 

pg-food-2003.jpg

 

Granted, it's a nice photo and it's well-composed - but it's the single food picture from the whole trip. By the way, what ever happened to the awesome grill marks?  The potatoes are miniscule compared to the ones you get today. (We have no potato photo for some reason. I guess we'll have to take another cruise.)

 

 

 

 

Those "stand-up crackers" (my relatively small brain can't come up with a better name) with the "open sesame" seeds were good. Don't believe you see those anymore :classic_sad:
 

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6 minutes ago, POA1 said:

 

Forgot to add - The wall of the Gallery Bar that's open to the casino used to be a closed hallway. You went down a corridor into the disco. I don't have any pictures of that from 2003, because no one in their right minds was taking photos of random hallways when they had to pay for each shot.

 

I have pics of that corridor somewhere as a result of a physical altercation investigation that occurred in there (dude with "loose hands" vs ladies he did not know) on Noorda. See if I can locate them

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Next up on the Holiday Cocktail Hit Parade: The Christmas Cookie Cocktail

 

This one is served in a rocks glass, but can be done as a layered shooter. (I think you'd have to layer the ingredients in a different order, because they're not in specific-gravity-order and wouldn't float properly.)

 

This was my favorite of the holiday drinks and I am pretty sure that it would be dangerous, because you could suck back a triple in a pint glass and never even notice until you tried to stand up. Think chocolate, coffee, mint milkshake. If that flavor profile appeals to you, this is your drink.

 

Photo and recipe in next post...

 


 

 

 

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Just now, Copper10-8 said:

 

 

Those "stand-up crackers" (my relatively small brain can't come up with a better name) with the "open sesame" seeds were good. Don't believe you see those anymore :classic_sad:
 

 

We had them at dinner in the PG. They're simply called "sesame flatbread." I'd like to tell you that I knew that off the top of my head, but I looked it up. Here's a photo. Not a good photo, because we shoot our food without a flash and we were seated by the window. Excellent view of the full moon, but not good for ambient light food photos. I cleaned it up as best I could, but it still kinda sucks.

 

 

 

 

IMG_3700_LUCiD.thumb.JPG.74315eed30ee481faeadb41cec70272e.JPG

Edited by POA1
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Just now, Vict0riann said:

I have a feeling that on one cruise, and I can't remember which ship, they were doing passport stuff in that bar, and you had to enter at one end, and then marched out the other.  I was completely confused..

 

You're right as usual; the NL has been used for that purpose, as has the Queen's Lounge, Half Moon/Hudson Room, and main dining room (mandatory doc check by local authorities works better if there is a separate entrance and exit)

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2 minutes ago, POA1 said:

 

We had them at dinner in the PG. They're simply called "sesame flatbread." I'd like to tell you that I knew that off the top of my head, but I looked it up. Here's a photo. Not a good photo, because we shoot our food without a flash and we were seated by the window. Excellent view of the full moon, but not good for ambient light food photos. I cleaned it up as best I could, but it still kinda sucks.

 

 

 

IMG_3700_LUCiD.thumb.JPG.14b1e337fcdea3c1d039031a97c6ff3a.JPG

 

 

Thank you Sir! Just glad they are still being served - pic wouldn't open for me 

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Holday Cocktail #2: Christmas Cookie Cocktail

 

(Sorry. I was writing this and then I saw John's reply and I replied to it. Call it being distracted by shiny objects.)

 

IMG_20181223_134717_LUCiD.thumb.jpg.09c135d5b4b477af30a3b501bf608d08.jpg

 

This one is served in a rocks glass, but can also be done as a cordial. I've also had it in a martini glass in the holiday cocktail mixology class. The recipe calls for a crushed cookie rim, but it was never served that way. In fact, one of the bartenders told me that he'd rather not serve the drink improperly because he was out of cookies. While it's likely true that they were out of smashed oreos (outsides only) it's also possible that he knew that I was drinking bourbon on the rocks and was worried that the creamy drink would disrupt the delicate balance that is my innards.

 

This was also a mixology class drink.

 

Christmas Cookie Cocktail Recipe:

 

  • 1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz Bailey's Irish Cream

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well. Pour into a cookie rimmed rocks glass. Do not strain. The ice should go into the glass. You can use any pulverized chocolate cookie for the rim.

 

When making it as a cordial, dial back the spirits to 0.75 oz each.
 

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Just now, Copper10-8 said:

 

Thank you Sir! Just glad they are still being served - pic wouldn't open for me 

 

I think I fixed it. Try reloading the page. On behalf of Quality Control, thank you.

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16 minutes ago, POA1 said:

 

We had them at dinner in the PG. They're simply called "sesame flatbread." I'd like to tell you that I knew that off the top of my head, but I looked it up. Here's a photo. Not a good photo, because we shoot our food without a flash and we were seated by the window. Excellent view of the full moon, but not good for ambient light food photos. I cleaned it up as best I could, but it still kinda sucks.

 

 

 

IMG_3700_LUCiD.thumb.JPG.14b1e337fcdea3c1d039031a97c6ff3a.JPG

 

 

We have had them in the PG, too.  Never got a photo, as they are fought over immediately.

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Just now, Copper10-8 said:

 

Got it, Gracias! QC is going above and beyond the call of duty once again

 

You're welcome! Thanks for pointing it out. As we say here, "Quality is Job #2."

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