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need2bespoiled

The Azamazing Journey from Barcelona to Miami (by way of Guyana) 2019

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Dee and I met Toni and Esther for a continuation of our city tour at Hotel Casa Fuster and went up to the roof top bar (open to the public) for an overview of Barcelona from another vantage point and more history of the city.

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We then strolled through Garcia.

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And into a local market. Part of this market has been converted to a super market but part remains part of the traditional style.

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Revellones mushrooms like the ones we had yesterday.

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We had a personal tasting of some local hams.

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From there we strolled to Casa Vicens‎, Gaudi's first commissioned house.

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Toni in front of what is left of the original fence that surrounded the garden.

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From there we wonder through Garcia, in and out of shops with the locals and ended up noontime in a square.

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This is the back of a shop where you can sit and relax with a coffee

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Sometimes I feel like all I do is EAT.  We've been known to eat our way through the places we visit. We had a very light lunch at a cafe in the square.  We knew we had an EPIC dinner coming.  More on that later. This is Dee's pumpkin quiche with a small salad.

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This is my tomato and mozzarella panini.  This was HALF.

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From there we wondered a bit more.
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Our next stop was Aire Barcelona Ancient Baths.  Cameras are not allowed and I have no pictures. This is basically a nice spa with may options for pools and hot tubs including very hot, very cold, bubbles, salt, luke warm, etc that we were able to use in an ancient bath setting, plus a nice 60 minute massage. Cost is about $100 Euro for a 2+ hour experience.  Massages are not totally private so bath suites were left partially on, the biggest drawback but it was a very nice way to spend the afternoon.  We made one more stop on the way back to the hotel to pick up something I tried to buy in Paris but the boutique in Barcelona had my size. From there it was back to the hotel and prep for our last dinner before boarding Journey, and it was an EPIC one.

As I get caught up, it is 2200 ships time and I can feel the engines working and the ship vibrating in our aft cabin we are getting ready to leave Málaga bound for Gibraltar tomorrow. I expect to be caught up by tomorrow and get back to mostly live.

Happy sailing,
Jenna

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7 hours ago, Covepointcruiser said:

Saw you in Prime C last night, hope you enjoyed your dinner.   We both had the fillet and it was wonderful, not European beef.   Hubby enjoyed the Pumpkin Soup but the onion soup was not as good as I have had, but maybe I am thinking of Seabourn or Cunard.

Sides also received mixed reviews as the spinach was great but hubby would not repeat the spaetzle.    We will try Prime C again after we dine again at Aqualina.    Dover sole has been requested tonight.

 

7 hours ago, Mrs Miggins said:

We enjoy Prime C too.  Where does the beef come from ?  Not sure what" not European Beef" means.

I would like Aberdeen Angus from Scotland.

  
Covepointcruiser, it was good, some hits and misses.  I hope you enjoyed yours.  The fillet tasted better than it looked, that's for sure.  Even without an open flame they can prepare it well, even in a pan. Not sure why they bother with those sear marks.  It looked like Golden Corral to me, thankfully it tasted good.  I have no idea what European Beef means.  Why oh, why would they deep fry a crab cake? I enjoyed my spinach, but the potato (just a baked) was kind of sad.  We didn't head up to Aqualina tonight which we would have if we alternated.  We did enjoy it the first night of the cruise.

Tomorrow we have our first chef's table. While the food has been good, we still have this feeling like it is prepared early, mass prepared and not being prepared a la minute as it should. Maybe we're spoiled given the meals we've been having, but even on Celebrity in Luminae we were able to get freshly prepared meals.  I think the trick will be to order off menu more than not to make them prepare and cook food fresh.

Happy sailing,
Jenna

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Back to Monday night, the evening before we board for a play by play description of an epic meal.  Some videos are included and this may take time to load, especially if you are on board a ship.  If you're a foodie, definitely read on.

 

Somewhere along the way of planning for this adventure, Jen received a recommendation for the restaurant Disfrutar (meaning, to enjoy). This is not your average restaurant in any way. At the time we booked, we didn't know they had a Michelin star, but by the time we arrived Toni had found out they had two. Booking is done online, and must be confirmed when they send you an email three days in advance.  A credit card is required.

 

Service is attentive, from the time you arrive (we were the first to arrive, about 10 minutes before their 8pm opening, but were welcomed and provided a drink), provided a tour of the restaurant and introduced to the executive chef, you know this is going to be a different experience than what we've received elsewhere, even some of the best restaurants in the world, but in reality, it is the food that sets Disfrutar apart.

 

In a very short time the restaurant has become acclaimed.

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The front dining room

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Pastry kitchen

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The primary open kitchen just getting going for the evening service.

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The side prep line for "appetizers" (it is impossible to know what is an appetizers and a main course)

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The main dining room

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This IS molecular gastronomy, fully and completely.  You're given two choices for menus.  Classic is the recommendation for first time diners and seasonal for those who've returned, though the seasonal menu hasn't changed in 10 months.  You can choose 25 or 30 courses at 155 or 195 Euros 😮

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We all chose the classic menu, and 25 courses, with the only dietary restriction being Dee despising olives. We all added the wine pairings for another 65 Euro.

 

The first bite is a cross between a foam on a very thin wafer and needs to be carefully picked up and eaten in two bites.  It is described as a frozen passion fruit ladyfinger with rum.

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These rose pedals have three bites.  First you take one of the clear balls in one rose petal, than the one that LOOKS like a raspberry, then the other clear ball.  The raspberry was actually frozen ice and the balls were gin and it all tasted like a lychee.

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Next up are beats that come out of the "land".  This was basically frozen beat root.

(Video to be uploaded shortly)


This smoking pot of liquid is apple cider being boiled is instant smoked homeade cider.  they smoke some wood under a class and add it into the dish, all table side and the cider is made in just a few minutes in front of us, but it is served a course or two later.

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To be continued, as I am having a hard time posting this in one post.

Happy sailing,

Jenna

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This board is giving me FITS trying to post this well, even when I edit it down and remove the pics, they come back. I am in technology for a living and this is ridiculous!

All of the amazing pictures from above, should have the following captions.

 

The little triangle is yummy goodness eaten in one bit.  Otherwise you'll have a runny mess on your fingers.  It tastes like a cross between chocolate, fois and hazelnuts and the dish is finished off with the mango. Both bites are needed for the flavor.

 

The next dish may look and taste like cheese but it basically air.

 

Grilled cheese sandwich? Nope, the dish below is stick to the top of your mouth, gazpacho. You sniff a glass with vinegar and that is what gives it the flavor.  If you don't sniff, it won't taste as it should.

 

The next dish had olives, so D go the dish below.  Each of the little balls was different, some were iced, some not.  It was basically a watermelon and feta salad.

 

The next dish is what they call Distrufor's "Gilda" (a snack of olive, anchovy and pepper). The fish is mackerel and was our least favorite dish or component. 

 

This is a crispy egg.  We were instructed to take a bit of the first top piece, and then pour the contents into the egg, eat the outer layer and then the egg.  It has a warm mushroom gelatin.  It was very yummy.

 

The next beautiful plate is deconstructed ceviche.  I guess the foamy thing in the middle was supposed to look like fish, but not sure.

 

The tweezers were given to us to eat the following dish, razor clams that were instantly cured in salt and then set overnight. The razor clams, which I sent back after having hard time waiving down a server.  My first batch was too gritty to eat, tasted like sand.

 

The dish in the video is pasta carbonara but the pasta is not pasta but gelatin, there is no ham, yet it is creamy goodness with al dente pasta that melts in your mouth. The little red circles is tomato polvoron, and was very pasty

 

The glass of green liquid is was a liquid salad.

 

Langoustine in “Suquet” & “Suquet” Cappuccino (lobster and what tasted like a potato and bisque) came next.

 

Corns (but not really, it's something else that tastes and looks like corn) with fois and was very tasty.

 

Next up was squab and fois gras bon bons and were like heaven in your mouth. They also LOOKED like beautiful chocolate, and almost tasted as sweet.

 

Next was a I guess the main? It's squab ("pigeon")

 

Next is the panadan before the green liquid was poured in, and was very, very tasty.

 

Cheesecake? It has to have a berry coulis, right? Looks like it is coming out of a pot.

 

These peppers aren't peppers, or at least i don't think so, they're filled with chocolate and melted in my mouth, with just a hint of pepper flavor to make them a tad savory.

 

This is tarta a la whiskey on leather.  The whisky is the clear gelatin ball on the right side.  The tarta is the ball on the left.

 

The last dish isn't cotton, well, some is, some is cotton candy with chocolate (and mint), and the best cotton candy I've every had. The menus and wine pairings finish off the images.  The wines were in general, VERY different but made complete sense when paired with the course they came with.  I think there were about 9 different wines.

 

Again, the meal is epic.  An amazing experience.  A few things that were tough.  While the portions are small, it is a LOT of food.  The room was hot.  They have to carefully control the temperature to keep the food from breaking.  It can be very delicate.  We had to go outside for air in the middle of the meal.  If I did it again, I would make a day of it and do it for lunch.  The meal at a relatively fast pace took well over 3 hours.  Starting at 1pm and doing this slowly, with breaks for lunch would be much better.  I'd go back and try the other menu, and while the wine pairings were additive to the experience, I probably wouldn't do them again.

 

My apologies again, not much I could do to fix the above post after cruise critic wouldn't let me edit it 😞

Happy sailing,


Jenna

Edited by need2bespoiled

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FINALLY! We're to boarding and the ACTUAL Cruise!

 

Some posting on our roll call questioned where we were supposed to check in. Since I am a boater, I had already looked at where Journey was with a marine tracking app.

After my fiasco I wrote about above, we were in our cab and on the way.  We got a very nice, new cab.  We asked our cabby to confirm where to go and were brought right to the correct terminal (E) to board.  There was barely anyone there, so we dumped our considerable luggage and carried our wine in (the wouldn’t check it).  Darlene being the trouper that she is carried it up the elevator and into the checkin hall which was HUGE for this ship.  While she started the checkin process with the pier staff I walked over to an officer and asked him to take the wine and send it to our stateroom, they wouldn’t check it with our luggage.  He looked at my funny a few times so I walked over to where Dee put it down and asked him again. I really didn’t feel like carrying it onboard. He thought about it again and looked over and saw someone from housekeeping across the hall, asked him to come over and then instructed him to take it to the someone else in housekeeping to take to our room.  Success.

I walked over to Dee, who was having some issue because they couldn’t find our booking, even though Dee could see it on the sheet. I pulled out the boarding paperwork and we were walking through the maze of the gangway within a few more minutes.  Once boarded we were greeted by the head of housekeeping who told us our stateroom was ready and he would show us the way as the butler had our wine and was delivering it.  He asked to take my carry on bag which I gladly handed to him.  He almost fell over with how heavy I was, I don’t travel light. It had both D and my computers plus a spare battery and other gadgets.  The other had some shoes in it, plus a few other things.

The suite is very nice, about the size of a royal suite on Celebrity M Class but missing a few of the amenities. No Jacuzzi, smaller table, no walk in closet, but the bedroom area is bigger and there is plenty of storage.  No night light? What's up with that?  We like the location aft, always, and the intimate size of the ship.

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it was a bit breezy out

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After getting to our cabin, I was on a mission to head back to customs to get my VAT forms stamped as instructed earlier in the morning (again, read back for that saga).  I met up with Jen for the walk to terminal A where I was told I could have the VAT forms validated.  After a 20 minute walk, and waiting for almost 30 minutes for a custom officer I was told he could not stamp them because we weren’t leaving the EU.  We were both very patient and I asked for his card very nicely so I could quote the instructions if I had any issues, but was almost detained so Jen and I bailed out of there quickly.

 

We met D up at the patio (it was now past 2:30p for a quick light lunch. I had a small salad and part of the lamb burger.  Jen had a salad and Dee had feta burger.

 

After lunch it was unpacking time up until muster at 5pm.  From muster it was back to the cabin, finish unpacking, go over a few things with our butler (Ronald) and then we had to get ready for dinner at 8p where Dee decided we would dine at Aqualina.

Toni, Jen Dee and I were promptly seated, maybe a few minutes early.  The restaurant is rather small.  Some tables down the port side and a few across the back until halfway across where Prime C starts.  I fail in my first meal report onboard as we have NO pictures The food was very good.  I am surprised how much everyone chose to try.  I had the tuna tartar which was good, a nightly special salad which I didn't enjoy, too much radicchio lettuce which was not in the description, and then I had the lobster and squid ink pasta.  All were very good to my taste.  From there we were pretty tired and called it a night, but Jen headed to the dance club up on deck 10 forward and reported it was quite busy.

 

Next up is a boring sea day report, followed by my report of Malaga, and our trip to Ronda.


Happy sailing,

Jenna

 

 

Edited by need2bespoiled

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What do you think of your cabin?   It’s an exact match to our suite (different deck).   It has been too cold to use the nice balcony and there are no steamship blankets available.  We find the tile in the bathroom is too busy for our eyes and miss the storage space available in the bathroom of suites on other ships.   Do you also have only one full length mirror?    

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30 minutes ago, Covepointcruiser said:

What do you think of your cabin?   It’s an exact match to our suite (different deck).   It has been too cold to use the nice balcony and there are no steamship blankets available.  We find the tile in the bathroom is too busy for our eyes and miss the storage space available in the bathroom of suites on other ships.   Do you also have only one full length mirror?    


We’re obviously very fortunate. So far the cruise is very nice but the cabin while it has plenty of storage is not overly functional. Challenges like lack of 120v outlets by the bed. 1 full length mirror, metal balcony enclosure as oppose to glass, no storage in the bathroom, very deep sofa, lots of plumping into each other with narrow paths around the bed, make our preference remain deck 6 aft on M-Class Celebrity ships. 
 

See you tonight 🙂
 

Happy sailing,

Jenna

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3 hours ago, Covepointcruiser said:

What do you think of your cabin?   It’s an exact match to our suite (different deck).   It has been too cold to use the nice balcony and there are no steamship blankets available.  We find the tile in the bathroom is too busy for our eyes and miss the storage space available in the bathroom of suites on other ships.   Do you also have only one full length mirror?    

Ask your butler about blankets - they have them on board and use them on cool White Nights.

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15 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

Ask your butler about blankets - they have them on board and use them on cool White Nights.


Thanks for the tip! I think I saw some on a lounge chair somewhere.
Happy sailing,

Jenna

 

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I am definitely behind.  We are 5 days into the cruise but given that I try and post pictures and the speed of the internet to get them posted, it has been a real challenge. I was able to get some photos transferred and prepped to upload while at stop for lunch yesterday in Funchal.  I am going to try and get caught up over the next sea day or two but I still have some pics from Funchal stuck on my phone.

 

Our first full day of the cruise was a much-needed sea day.  We had coffee delivered in the morning. D prefers decaf latte and I drink full test cappuccino.  We had both delivered in a full carafe before we woke with a few pastries.  Since most of the morning was gone by the time we enjoyed this luxury, we didn’t really have much else.  My first stop after catching up with a few work needs was up to trivia at 12:15.  I joined Toni and Jen on the Transatlantix.  After day 1 we we’re currently sitting in the middle of the pack in 6th place our of 12.  Given the point structure and our expertise in convincing ourselves the correct answer is in fact, wrong, we figured we'd happily end up right there laughing all the way with our team mates.

Dee showed up as we finished scoring trivia, trying to remember the 4 houses of Harry Potter and then it was off to lunch at the Patio.  Dee has a thing about buffets in general and the patio has been quite nice for its location, variety and ability for Jen and I to grab a salad from the salad bar their or in at the buffet, add soup or try other items while we can also order the reasonably sized offerings of the patio if we choose.

 

I left lunch for a much-needed nail appointment, which was quite good. With all the moving around, packing and unpacking and luggage duties, I had done plenty of damage to the manicure I had before we left for Guyana almost 2 weeks ago. Prices in general are what would be expected.  It’s not the same as your typical land-based nail salon but very comparable to your typical land based spa and I though quite reasonable and a good way to chip away at our extensive on board credit.

 

From there it was back to our cabin and getting ready to head up to the LGBT gathering to meet some others on board.  We were definitely surprised when more than 30 people showed up, plus a couple of officers to host the party. Definitely a fun and friendly group.  Hi guys!

From there it was off to Prime C to meet Toni and Jen.  Service at the restaurants has generally been good, reasonably paced though not overly refined. There are nice touches like offering dark napkins for those dressed in dark colors.  We’ve enjoyed some bottles of wines both chosen by us and the somelier though the list is not extensive.  Even with an upgraded package, we are disappointed by the variety and quality of wines on board.  We don't drink expensive wines at home but it is a nice splurge on vacation and Celebrity beats Azamara by a long shot in the wine department.

I started with the onion soup, which has a tasty broth, a few “mini muffins” (my description) and no cheese.  I then tried the wedge and chop chop salad. This is two different salads on one plate.  The chop chop side is a small preformed salad though not mostly lettuce.  Neither Jen or I liked their special dressing on the wedge and would just ask for a traditional preparation next time.  Jen enjoyed the chop chop salad, it wasn’t really to my liking.  For my main I had the 5oz filet (also offered in 7oz), while not overly appetizing in its visual appeal tasted very good. A small baked potato and tasty creamed spinach finished off my main course.  I definitely won’t go hungry.  For dessert I had the donuts with dipping sauces.  I really only tried the chocolate.  They were good but given they were fried would have preferred them to be lighter. I believe the up charge for Aqualina and Prime C is $30 but our cabin came with unlimited specialty dining.

 

I only have a few pics and fail in my early days on board in the food picture department.  I do (will) get better!

 

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From Prime C we headed off to the guest performer show which was billed as “Piano Man”.  For some reason we expected a Billy Joel performance.  I am not sure where we went astray but the show is mostly classical music.  After enjoying a set in the Cabaret Lounge we headed up to the living room which is the name for the forward high up lounge where late night takes place, for the Motown dance party.  While it took a few songs to get the crowd on the dance floor, once it got going there were quite a few dancers and the night was quite fun though we didn’t stay out too late as the next morning we would be docking in Malaga and heading to Ronda.

Happy sailing,

Jenna

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Hi need2bespoiled,

I'm enjoying your live cruise review. Glad you two are having fun! 

I enjoy your foodie fotos though some aren't opening for me...and I'm on land using wifi and a Mac laptop? But those that I can see look scrumptious! Thank you for taking the time out of your vacation to post!

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23 hours ago, need2bespoiled said:

 We don't drink expensive wines at home but it is a nice splurge on vacation and Celebrity beats Azamara by a long shot in the wine department.

"Celebrity beats Azamara by a long shot in the wine department."

Miami, what's wrong with this picture??

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If you believe the Celebrity wine list is better you should certainly stick with them!

We went to book another voyage in a suite and our first five were sold out!!   Folks that better appreciate Celebrity should stick with them and leave Azamara to us.    If you really enjoy a good wine list look at the one n QM2.    I believe it’s 35 pages or more long and all that is available is not in the list.    There is a copy on the Cunard Board so read and weep.    Wines included in the fare are not the best but are not much worse than Seabourn.    You do have to pay extra for the better wines and we pay for what we enjoy.

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3 hours ago, Covepointcruiser said:

If you believe the Celebrity wine list is better you should certainly stick with them!

We went to book another voyage in a suite and our first five were sold out!!   Folks that better appreciate Celebrity should stick with them and leave Azamara to us.    If you really enjoy a good wine list look at the one n QM2.    I believe it’s 35 pages or more long and all that is available is not in the list.    There is a copy on the Cunard Board so read and weep.    Wines included in the fare are not the best but are not much worse than Seabourn.    You do have to pay extra for the better wines and we pay for what we enjoy.


Wow. A little defensive?

 

We've been buying bottles and have no problem with that but selection is limited. Wines by the glass for purchase or with the ultimate package max out are about a $12 bottle of wine at home. They’re fine but; bleh. 
 

We’d love to try Cunard and will when the schedule and itinerary match up. We just expected more and are happy to pay for it. Our feeling is they don’t have room onboard for a lot of wine when they’re pouring 120 bottles of the daily. 
 

I’m simply sharing our experience. To each their own. 
 

Happy sailing,

Jenna

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42 minutes ago, need2bespoiled said:


Wow. A little defensive?

 

We've been buying bottles and have no problem with that but selection is limited. Wines by the glass for purchase or with the ultimate package max out are about a $12 bottle of wine at home. They’re fine but; bleh. 
 

We’d love to try Cunard and will when the schedule and itinerary match up. We just expected more and are happy to pay for it. Our feeling is they don’t have room onboard for a lot of wine when they’re pouring 120 bottles of the daily. 
 

I’m simply sharing our experience. To each their own. 
 

Happy sailing,

Jenna

I agree about the $12 a bottle with the Ultimate....I had thought about getting the Ultimate for my DW but may just but bottles...Thanks for your postings.

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Where do you folks live so that you can get Whispering Angel ($27) a bottle in D.C. for

$12?   I have also liked the New Zealand white wines that are over $30 per bottle at home are they also cheaper where you live?    I have priced the Whispering Angel in Clearwater and it is over $30 and not in a tourist spot.   We will be in Florida in January so please give me the names of the shops so we can stock up.

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11 minutes ago, Covepointcruiser said:

Where do you folks live so that you can get Whispering Angel ($27) a bottle in D.C. for

$12?   I have also liked the New Zealand white wines that are over $30 per bottle at home are they also cheaper where you live?    I have priced the Whispering Angel in Clearwater and it is over $30 and not in a tourist spot.   We will be in Florida in January so please give me the names of the shops so we can stock up.

This is one wine only that was on that was on the Ultimate list for Pursuit in June..

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On 11/11/2019 at 1:42 PM, BBMacLaird said:

Hi need2bespoiled,

I'm enjoying your live cruise review. Glad you two are having fun! 

I enjoy your foodie fotos though some aren't opening for me...and I'm on land using wifi and a Mac laptop? But those that I can see look scrumptious! Thank you for taking the time out of your vacation to post!

Thanks!  I am having a hard time doing this efficiently.  We are in tech, develop our own code and websites but find between the internet speed and Cruise Critic, the interface is unforgiving. I am sorry some pics aren't loading.  I can't go back and edit or I would be happy to.  Maybe I can get special permission to fix some of the previous posts?

As far as wines go, I will try and get a picture of the list.  It is the same list, bottles and glasses all over the ship.  The nicest chardonnay for Dee is Kendall Jackson.  Regularly $12 a bottle at Sam's Club.  I'll look at the Cabs for me, but nothing was too interesting so we've been drinking bottles of Cabs and Pinot Noirs.  At the Italian Chef's table we had one wine we liked that we'll switch over too that was very good, but nothing even close for sale by the glass or comparable to the nicer wines we can get onboard Celebrity.
 

I do have a pic of every Insider.  Here was the first day, sea day I forgot to post above.

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We arrived in Malaga to a beautiful sunrise.

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This is a port that Darlene and I had never been to before but Toni and Jen had.  Toni didn’t join us on our tour, she had recently made contact with a friend she hadn’t seen in years that happened to be in Malaga so she went off with her friend.  Dee, Jen and I met our guide, David who Dee found on Tours by Locals, just outside the port doors at 9am and boarded our mini-bus for a ride to Ronda about 115 KM or so from Malaga.  He was in a hurry to get to the first few stops before the afternoon showers started but he prepared us by contacting Dee in advance and had us bring warmer clothes / layers and umbrellas. Jen and I really didn’t know what to expect, as is usually the case, Darlene completely planned this one, and it's not worth questioning the job she does on tours and this one like all didn't disappoint.

David was very interested in sharing information and history on the hour and fifteen minute drive to Ronda and knew the area very well.  Maybe a tad on the talkative side.

Our first stop was down an narrow winding road to a viewpoint below the city, just above the river overlooking the “new” bridge which is one of three that connect the city.

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From there it was back into the van and up into one of the main squares, in a quiet part of town, outside of the touristy area. 
 

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From there we would walk the town, meeting up with our car later in the day.  Dee had subbed her toe very badly on a door stop that was just in front of the toilet in our bathroom at the Cotton House and her foot was still swollen and sore so she asked to find café after the first part of the walk and encouraged us to continue on and catch up later.  We made plans to meet up for lunch. David was often concerned about Dee, but when I called her later to ask to see if she wanted to join us, she was off shopping and wanted to walk town at her own pace.  Transatlantics provide an easy way to shop and get holiday gifts home, without dealing with airlines for those that live in the U.S.

As we walked town, Jen found a cat and was in her happy place when she coaxed it into her arms, it was fairly friendly.
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We continued to walk town and were rewarded with previews of the cliffscapes (my word I guess).

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Town is interesting with lots of options from caves and tunnels to shops.
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Every town needs a water fountain
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While the town has a touristy shopping center area with a mix of local shops, inexpensive souvenir shops it also has some galleries and local craftsman to supplement the amazing cliffscapes of this city built on the hill.  It was quite crowded with a number of Gate 1 travel groups you can see in some of the pics, among others walking through town. While it is quite a drive from Malaga, I thought it was well worth it and a good opportunity to see something different.

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About 12:30p the rain that we knew may be coming started to pick up so David, Jen and I did one more walk of another part of town and by the still in use bull fighting ring on our way to meet Dee for lunch.

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David suggested Albacara,

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The restaurant sits precariously overlooking the cliffs just a block away from the new bridge.  Lunch was excellent on their enclosed patio with heat lamps as it was cold and rainy.  We took our time with lunch as the rain was coming down hard.

We started with Fois (a theme here?) and artichoke starter than had ham and an lightly cooked egg.  Both we very good.

 

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We asked if the traditionally cooked lamb was a stew and if it had olives because of the numerous olive trees in the area and were told yes, so Dee ordered the seared lamb. It was ok but she thought it was dry.

 

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It turned out the traditional lamb dish was not a stew, had no olives and was excellent.  This was my choice.

 

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Jennifer had the suckling pig traditionally prepared which she also loved.

 

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We departed lunch as the rain stopped at 2:45p for a few stops in shops and agreed to meetup at 3:15p to head back to Malaga. On our way back we made one stop at a hill overlooking town and the large bull fighting ring in Malaga.  We could also spy on Journey down in the port.

We arrived back to the ship about 5pm to relax.  Lunch was large but Eric, the cruise director made an announcement that the chef brought fresh tomatoes, burrata and fish onboard which was being served in Windows (the buffet) with a live pasta station.  Dee was into this as she could have her meal prepared freshly as she wished.  On the way up, we could smell the garlic and onions in the stairway. The antipasti was EXCELLENT, as was the burrata.  We didn’t try the fish, we just weren’t that hungry but I did try a small plate of pasta. No pics from this relaxed dinner.

Happy sailing,

Jenna

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Here is the daily schedule for Malaga.  I forgot to post.

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Here is the daily schedule for today, Gibraltar.

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Gibraltar is a small island with not so much to do. Jen and Toni had been there multiple times so we knew we could get a cab / tour on walking off the ship.  We walked past the first few guides soliciting tours in the terminal and picked one outside the terminal. We negotiated for both a private tour with our guide Lester, so we didn't have to wait and to see the only runway in the world with an active road that crosses through the runway.  The cost was 45 Euro per person and the tour would last about 2 hours.

 

Seeing Gibraltar by a smaller car (van vs bus or taking the cable car) has some advantages in that you aren’t pushed to the edges of the rock faces by the cars as you go up and down on foot and it speeds things up a bit.  Our first stop was the runway (mostly to humor me).  

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Next up we headed to the Pillars of Hercules and the viewpoint overlooking that harbor.  From this spot you can see three countries (Spain, Gibraltar and Tangiers Africa).

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We also got our first glimpse of the famous monkeys.

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Jen and I having a little fun.

 

 

From here it was up to the St Michael’s Caves and more monkeys.

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From there, it was up to where the monkeys were fed.

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A great shot of Journey and Reflection for size comparison.

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Then up again to the great siege tunnels.

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A plane waiting to take off.

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Hopefully this loads for everyone. I got a great clip of a plane taking off, and the sharp bank to the left it has to make to avoid Spanish airspace as well as the stopped traffic at the runway.


Another shot of the difference between Reflection and Journey.

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From there we had Lester drop us off in town, so we could walk through town, do some shopping and then we strolled back to the ship.

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A great day in Gibraltar.


The day didn’t end there, as we had a busy afternoon with the Discover + / Platinum cocktail that afternoon and the stateside chef’s tablet that night.  It was a low-key event, nice food and drinks and live background music.

 

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We purchased the Stateside Chef’s table as part of a package with all three Chef’s tablets.  Overall, we were disappointed in the food and wine offered.  Some dishes were ok, but one was totally inedible, and cold.

 

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Here are the dishes.

Great northern seafood salad.  It was nicely plated and served with the Cline Viognier which is an ok wine.  The dish is solved cold.

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Next up was the Southern Style Consume.  The broth was good, though not served hot.  Tepid would be the word to describe it.
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The Caribbean lobster dish was ok.  Not a lot of lobster and over powered by the pineapple. 

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Darlene enjoyed the Granite, I prefer mine smoother, which has been a them of all of them on board.  Tastes of course vary. I can't seem to find a picture.

Darlene has the poached Sole and Shrimp.  The sole was ok, though cold, the shrimp was so overcooked as to be completely inedible.  I tried it and actually spit it out it was so bad.

 

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My veal was fine.  I didn’t need the sauce (not shown, was served on the side as I requested it that way) as I thought it was too strong and hid the flavor of the meat, which again was not served hot.

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Jen really enjoyed the goat cheese ravioli. I thought it was unique.

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The Dessert was beautiful.  I enjoyed the chocolate and other elements, though wish the “mouse” was lighter.  It was dense.

Our traveling crew.

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Next up, sea day number 2. But first, since I am way behind, I want to add that we are enjoying our cruise.  We're meeting many great people and think there are a number of standouts among the staff.  There are also some misses which are unfortunate.  A few examples I'll highlight in future days include finding a bird on our balcony, no big deal, he left a little mess, but when we came back after a day ashore he was still there, but dead.  The mess he left or his body wasn't cleaned up or removed.  No guest phones are working and haven't been for almost 2 day and the earliest will be two more days.  It makes asking questions, using a butler or getting something like room service when you're in the cabin challenging.  We have quite a big swell currently, the ship is pitching and while it is fine for me it effects Dee who likes to have chicken soup delivered. Without a phone this simple task means me running to the guest relations desk or maybe finding someone in a hallway.  They stated they are putting more staff in the hallways but I have not found this to be the case.


Happy sailing,
Jenna

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Thank You...Great pictures; love the shot of the difference between Reflection and Journey.

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I know you are having trouble posting your photos but I seem to have lots of repeats, which I guess only adds to the difficulty in getting them online.

Actually really enjoy the written critique.  Thank you.

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I am not sure what floor you are on but our stateroom attendant has been in our corridor all afternoon and has just been relieved by her assistant. It’s hard for them they are losing well deserved downtime with extra shifts. 
Not sure what else they can do, they are flying experts to come onboard in Bermuda. 
Id ask to speak with Clifford or Heike re your balcony issue. 

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1 hour ago, uktog said:

I am not sure what floor you are on but our stateroom attendant has been in our corridor all afternoon and has just been relieved by her assistant. It’s hard for them they are losing well deserved downtime with extra shifts. 
Not sure what else they can do, they are flying experts to come onboard in Bermuda. 
Id ask to speak with Clifford or Heike re your balcony issue. 


I spoke with Heiki and the bird was removed and balcony cleaned.

 

When our furniture was set up that morning, how did they miss it? Why do we need to ask the hotel director or guest relations or a striped officier for this? 
 

Our friends on other floors have told me there are people in the hallways. This is from mid-day today and except morning when rooms are being cleaned and evening when turn down is done, this is what our hallway looked like. I “called” down the hallway and nothing. An Officier did cone to our door a bit later as they most of noticed on cameras but I already walked to Guest Relations and ordered room service. 
 

It’s frustrating, I understand it’s out of their control.

 

Happy sailing,

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