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The moment of Truth for Azamara or "How I take dessert way too seriosuly."


Lowyfer
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I have booked my third cruise of my life for next year and it will be with Azamara. My hunneh is terrified that the entire cruise will be ruined in just a single moment of time. I need you to tell me it will be okay. I need you to help me learn to trust the MDR. Then slowly I can learn to love again.

 

Help my Azamara Club cruising mentors - you are my only hope.

 

My first cruise was Celebrity to Alaska and I am thankful to all the help cruise critic users gave me in preparing as a newbie for that cruise. You helped me out of my comfort zone and into something new and exciting. You also cursed me.

 

I enjoyed over many nights the creme brulee for dessert in the MDR. I would strike that sugar shell with the spoon and hear the mighty crack of success.

 

In that moment I learned what true luxury was. Cruising was no longer something other people did... I was now walking amongst the gods as a cruiser!

 

The bar was set high indeed.

 

Cruise number #2 was to the Med with Royal and for months before that cruise all I could think about was that beautiful moment when like the mighty Thor wielding Mjollnir I would break through all resistance and find that vitalizing velvety vanilla cream beyond once more.

 

The first night in the MDR I did bring the hammer down and was rewarded with a:  "splurch."

 

I was beside myself. The build up to this moment and I hear a splurch!? An entire year forsaking all other creme brulee (because it is really really not good for you) so that when once again I was cruising I could sate my desires for strong and fearsome burnt sugar hiding soft and pillowy vanilla. This was the result!? SPLURCH!?

 

In my desperation I turned to my waiter... surely he could see the problem, would be aghast at this turn of fortune which had rendered me once more mortal!

 

He would not hesitate to make this right and I awaited his sage wisdom on the matter.

 

"They will all be like that sir." I was told.

 

Had the pastry chef been killed? Just replaced by a vile trickster with insipid plans on ruining the cruise with sub standard creme brulee? Perhaps the first cruise was a fluke and creme brulee is simply so difficult to prepare that I was demanding ambrosia from Olympus to be served like bread and not the miracle that it truly is!

 

A dark shadow hung over the rest of the cruise making me see all the other flaws including minor things that would have been ignored in a proper sugar coma. I was not pleasant company and to this day I am not sure how my dearest hunneh put up with me bemoaning the unfairness of the universe and the suffering that was my life.

 

It followed us home. I could not rest until I could understand. For months I learned the ways of the brulee. I went through recipe after recipe preparing myself to cook well beyond my comfort and skill level. I was buying vanilla beans, actual vanilla beans in order to bury them in sugar for weeks in preparation of my attempt at the brulee. I was buying a torch to use on food! I had strayed far from the light and entered the veil of obsession. I had just one shot to make it work, to prove it either was simply beyond the reach of mortal man to make creme brulee properly or something had gone terribly wrong on that accursed ship.

 

I would like to say no lives were lost that fateful night when I picked up torch and sift. I will because there were no lives lost, it was only making dessert it is not that serious.

 

While the burning of the sugar top with the torch was much trickier than I anticipated... moving around like it was a living thing..... when I struck that surface with my spoon. I heard it again... I heard that long forgotten sound.... it went: CRACK!

 

Now humble readers... now that you know my tortured soul... I ask you... those who have gone ahead of me on the Azamara Quest.

 

When the moment of Truth comes. When I bring down that spoon....

 

What will I hear?

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Posted (edited)

You’ll hear what you want to hear. If you tell your server you want to hear a splurch, that’s what you will hear. If you tell your server you want to hear a crack, that’s what you will hear. That’s my experience with the service from the wait staff and kitchen staff.

Edited by Rabo
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On White Night the crêpes suzette will redeem any issues you have with the MDR crème brûlée.  But for what it's worth, I am also a crème brûlée afficionado and I had no problems with the crème brûlée on Azamara.  My dinner notes for one evening even refer to it as 'ever reliable.'

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4 hours ago, curmudgeon98 said:

You need to go to Aqualina (specialty restaurant) and order the chocolate souffle.  It will make you forget any creme brulee, even the best.

Or any of the dessert soufflés!

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10 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

On White Night the crêpes suzette will redeem any issues you have with the MDR crème brûlée.  But for what it's worth, I am also a crème brûlée afficionado and I had no problems with the crème brûlée on Azamara.  My dinner notes for one evening even refer to it as 'ever reliable.'

I'm addicted to crêpes suzette flambé!!!  Can still remember the first taste on the Leonardo da Vinci 50 years ago, on old Italian Line.  I make them on special occasions.

Blanch and Vern crepes flame.jpg

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To the point, I have never had a bad, or even poor, creme brulee on Azamara. There have been times when I actually needed a Mjolnir to get through the sugar crust. However, I do concur with Curmudgeon regarding the chocolate soufflé, and I'm a guy who can't stand eggs. Word of caution, the soufflé when available must be ordered at the beginning of your meal.  The only thing better for dessert in the specialty restaurants are the doughnuts with 3 sauces. They alone are fully worth the surcharge. In my book, if I knew the ship would hit an iceberg tomorrow, I would order the doughnuts first, the chocolate souffle second, the creme brulee third. Third place would be tied with the crepe suzettes, which are lovely, but my wife makes great crepes to begin with. Then again, if the ship is going down tomorrow, I'd have the crepes for breakfast, and a poolside hamburger for lunch. And I'm not a hamburger person, Azamara's are that good. As long as Azamara can keep its standards up following this hiatus, I would worry more about what you are going to pack, rather than what you are going to eat. Have a wonderful time planning. Where are you going? David

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Oh, Kevin the Irish: I just spotted that you were on the Leonardo! I was a poor, starving student living in Italy, and grabbed a $199. one way (steerage) student fare from Genoa to New York City on the Leonardo back in 1973. My first ever cruise. Met some amazing people, some of whom we are still close friends with. Did you know that Leonardo was designed to be a nuclear powered ship? The only one of its kind, it never got its reactor, but I did get a cheap, two week vacation home, stopping in Barcelona and Lisbon. We were a day late out of Genoa, we miss the stop in Nova Scotia. Many moons have passed...

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1 hour ago, Dr H said:

Oh, Kevin the Irish: I just spotted that you were on the Leonardo! I was a poor, starving student living in Italy, and grabbed a $199. one way (steerage) student fare from Genoa to New York City on the Leonardo back in 1973. My first ever cruise. Met some amazing people, some of whom we are still close friends with. Did you know that Leonardo was designed to be a nuclear powered ship? The only one of its kind, it never got its reactor, but I did get a cheap, two week vacation home, stopping in Barcelona and Lisbon. We were a day late out of Genoa, we miss the stop in Nova Scotia. Many moons have passed...

I was heartsick when she caught fire and capsized.

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3 hours ago, Dr H said:

Where are you going? David

 

Thank you for confirming the sugar will crack!

 

We are going to do the Northern Europe / Baltic Capitals cruise next year on the Quest. We have always been about the itinerary and so Azamara seems like the next line to try for that reason.

 

We sometimes worry about our complete lack of loyalty but it really is about the places to add to our list more than the boat or line specifically.

 

Also pretty hyped for the chocolate buffet / night / event. Heard stories about them but never been to one. It is next summer so hopefully things will calm back down and white nights and all the other fun can return.

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, curmudgeon98 said:

You need to go to Aqualina (specialty restaurant) and order the chocolate souffle.  It will make you forget any creme brulee, even the best.

 

I find that hard to believe... but I will play your game, rogue!

 

Will certainly try it out!

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15 minutes ago, takemewithyou said:

I am recalling a limoncello soufflé from AQualina that was to die for!

is that still on the menu?

That was something very unique….never had it anywhere else!

That sounds amazing!

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1 hour ago, takemewithyou said:

I am recalling a limoncello soufflé from AQualina that was to die for!

is that still on the menu?

That was something very unique….never had it anywhere else!

I have a feeling it's not, but if you ask early on in the cruise they might be able to do one for you. I know Chef Fabio did for us once. 

 

Phil 

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Posted (edited)

You can always request the limoncello souffle. It is very good, but it is NOT the chocolate souffle. Let's say it is an excellent substitute. RE the chocolate buffet: It's very good, and has been a major gross out for my wife and me. Too much waste, too much smooshing of the delicacies, buffet behaviors that you would expect from an undisciplined child. We've complained in the past that it should NOT be self service, and a I strongly suspect that post Covid, the crew will have no choice but to clean up the act. 

Edited by Dr H
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50 minutes ago, takemewithyou said:

Thanks Phil.  I just may do that!  I would love to have that again!

I can’t wait till cruising starts again to get a look at the menus for the specialties.

Just to tide you over! 

 

https://www.azamara.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/aqualina_2019_april_2.0.pdf

 

They were also in the process of rolling out the new Prime C menu when I was on Journey just before the pandemic and it was due to be rolled out on the other ships shortly after, but then of course that didn't happen. I wrote about it here :

 

 

Phil 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dr H said:

You can always request the limoncello souffle. It is very good, but it is NOT the chocolate souffle. Let's say it is an excellent substitute. RE the chocolate buffet: It's very good, and has been a major gross out for my wife and me. Too much waste, too much smooshing of the delicacies, buffet behaviors that you would expect from an undisciplined child. We've complained in the past that it should NOT be self service, and a I strongly suspect that post Covid, the crew will have no choice but to clean up the act. 

You gotta be quick. This reminds me of the last chocolate buffet I went to. 😄

 

Phil 

 

 

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I don't remember ever seeing swordfish on the menu, our last cruises were to Japan in August/Sept '19

The lobster salad is my wife's favorite, and she isn't a lobster person. We got the recipe ages ago, but have never made it. We have upset the waiters (and ourselves) in the past, but the 16oz bone in ribeye is to die for, and if you do eat one by yourself, it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy. We've gone into Prime C and informed the staff that we want the rib eye and 2 plates. No arguments, we refuse to waste that fantastic meat. Our bargain chip has always been that we can order a second, god forbid we are still hungry. Not wanting to date my/ourselves, I know that the 2 for 1 dinner special is a sport in some states, and while we are no longer in our 20s, we ain't that old either. Almost the same with the chateaubriand. Menu says it's for two, we've done it for 3 and not gone hungry. I'm surprised they kept the cheese and onion soup. The onion soup in the MDR is so much better! And they did away with a fantastic cream of mushroom soup many years ago. Wonder if it can be special ordered? Oh, and Takeme: I too have a substance abuse problem. Two actually, and no, I have no interest in therapy or rehab. Chocolate, the single proof of the existence of God if ever you needed one. And potato chips/crisps. Give me a bag of the latter, and I am a true addict who cannot stop. Then there is my alcohol issue. I enjoy drinking it, a good glass of wine, a single malt scotch, G&T in hot weather. Consuming it is never an issue, but buying the damn stuff is. I can't go into a store for a bottle of wine, knowing that I get a 10-15% discount if I buy a case. The termite inspector outed me to my wife about 20 years ago. It was an ugly, brutal scene. Especially when she suddenly came to realize bottles of wine don't normally. just materialize out of a basement. 

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10 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

Just to tide you over! 

 

https://www.azamara.com/sites/default/files/pdfs/aqualina_2019_april_2.0.pdf

 

They were also in the process of rolling out the new Prime C menu when I was on Journey just before the pandemic and it was due to be rolled out on the other ships shortly after, but then of course that didn't happen. I wrote about it here :

 

 

Phil 

 

 

 

Wait... wait just a minute here. Does this new menu mean I can not try lobster thermodore like I planned to?

 

 

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