Day 4…Greenland Cruise…Sea day…Unusual events on the ship…Cruise food photos

My dish from two nights ago consisted of various seafood on a bed of steamed cabbage.

This morning, the ship’s captain announced that an ill passenger was being airlifted off the ship by a helicopter. Since the helipad was located at the bow of the ship but from our cabin’s location, we couldn’t see it and take a photo. Sadly, a passenger would have to go through such a frightening ordeal.

It’s a terrifying thought to be lifted from a basket (Tom heard the basket was used in this case) onto the helicopter to be airlifted to a hospital somewhere in Iceland. Hopefully, such patients will have suitable travel insurance. Otherwise, the cost can be prohibitive, often hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Next story…a man aboard the ship stole another passenger’s “sea pass” card, which is linked to a credit card in every case. The thief used the woman’s card to make massive purchases in the jewelry shop aboard the ship. When the woman encountered the man she was told was the perpetrator, a fight ensued, and she slapped him.

Cobb salad was made for me on the Azamara cruise only days ago.

The thief and the woman who hit him were removed from the ship. We don’t know what happened after that. But what an odd thing to transpire on a cruise. It’s been interesting to hear the varying opinions on how this occurred and the subsequent results.

Last night, again, we dined at a “sharing” table by heading into the main dining room by 6:00 pm. That’s a bit early for us to eat, but we love sitting at a shared table with other passengers, some we may have met and others new to us. Invariably, In most cases, the conversation is entertaining and lively.

The food on this ship isn’t as spectacular as it was on Azamara, but it’s been fine, and we have no complaints. The menu is less comprehensive than Azamara, but the taste and presentation are good, and the restaurant manager pays special attention to ensure my food is prepared correctly.

The issues I often experience are too much butter on everything and not enough seasoning. For some odd reason, the cooks think seasoning is out of the question for my way of eating, which is hardly the case. Last night, I stressed the importance of reducing the amount of butter I don’t need or want and the addition of seasonings, as long as they don’t contain starch, fillers, or wheat. That simply means spices are in their natural state, not highly processed.

Tom’s chicken rigatoni pasta was reminiscent of his lockdown dinners in India of chicken penne pasta in 2020. He said this version wasn’t as creamy and good as he’d had then.

Today is a sea day. Seating around the ship is limited right now, but we got a good seat at Cafe al Bacio and enjoyed a few cups of their fantastic coffee drinks, sugar-free for me and regular for Tom. It’s a pleasure to sit there when passengers often join us at our table for four minutes to engage in lively chatter. It’s pretty enjoyable.

We are having a great time. We are undoubtedly enjoying this cruise as much as the Azamara. I asked Tom which one he preferred, and he said they are equal in the amount of fun we’re having and the amenities we’re experiencing. I agree. Life is good.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, August 21, 2013:

Three-legged lizard in the house. For more photos, please click here.

Day #270 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Replay of fabulous food photos from cruise…

This window box display was a part of the “Favorites” choice on the menu at Qsine on the Celebrity Infinity in 2017.

Today’s photos are from our post on this date in 2017 while sailing on the Celebrity Infinity along the coast of South America and dining in the fantastic specialty restaurant, Qsine. For more photos not shown here today, please click here.

Sharing these food photos for the second time, under our current situation, is certainly going to be a mouth-watering experience. To think, in less than a month, we’ll be preparing and dining our meals, one of the many highlights of getting out of here.

Tom dined on one of these “Lava Crab” dishes I avoided due to the flour content. He described it as outstanding.

As we are reminded of the exceptional dinner we had on that cruise in 2017, and how much fun specialty restaurants are on cruises, we wonder when we’ll ever be able to cruise again. The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine may be influential in re-starting cruises in some countries, but many developing countries won’t offer such a luxury.

If any of the cruise lines with whom we have five booked cruises into 2022 requires evidence of a vaccine, we may be out of luck. Africa will be one of the last continents to have access to the vaccine. We’ll see how that rolls out in time. If we were to fly to another continent at some point to receive the vaccine, we’d have to stay three weeks for the second dose.

Tom held his menu tablet while deciding what to order at the Qsine specialty restaurant while at sea on Celebrity Infinity. Nine Celebrity ships were offering this exceptional dining experience.

Perhaps in time, they’ll develop a single-dose vaccine that will make it easier for those in similar situations to ours. If we decide to continue on our world travels for considerably longer, we’ll have no choice but to return to the US to receive the vaccine. Maybe we can do so next time we visit family, which we’ll do once the virus settles down in the US.

This report, updated daily, the USA has 23% of the world’s cases and 19% deaths. Considering that statistics are being recorded in 220 countries and territories, this is an outrageous number. As we’ve mentioned many times in past posts, returning to the US at any time shortly is entirely out of the question.

From the “Sushi ” choice were these “lollipops.” Although we didn’t order this option, we loved this gorgeous presentation.

As for today’s photos, our topic returns to food. Yesterday, while I was working on the errors in past posts, of which I’m only one-third of the way through the over 3000 posts, I encountered comments I’d made about a reader commenting that they were sick and tired of my food comments and recipes. Hum, isn’t traveling in part about dining in one way or another?

When most of us travel, one of the first things on the agenda is checking out the local cuisine, booking reservations from highly rated TripAdvisor reviews, visiting local food trucks, cafes, and diners, and the possibility of the safety of eating street food? While dining out during a holiday/vacation, how many of us have entered a grocery store to check out the cultural differences in food, pricing, and at times, to purchase snacks, liquor, or treats?

Many items from the “Soup & Souffle” menu were served “tapas” style, small servings such as these two souffle chefs Chantal prepared for me.

That’s a big part of the enjoyment of traveling. And even with my limited options due to my way of eating, it’s still quite enjoyable to dine out, purchase groceries, and prepare our meals while living in holiday homes. Oh, well, that was only one reader, and I’m sure by now, they no longer read our posts at all, especially after our boring content over the past nine months.

If they thought “food” was boring, how about our frequent comments, whining, and observations about living under these most peculiar circumstances? As our long-term and new readers know, we strive to “tell it like it is” and not pander to those who may prefer a more “fluffy version” of our lives.

The “Taco Royale” presentation could easily have been a full meal for me with its make-your-own guacamole and beef taco salad.

Sure, this meal we’re sharing today in photos looks stupendous, and we’d love to be able to savor such a meal now. But we can’t. Instead, we focus on the fact that soon enough, we’ll be preparing big juicy rare/medium-rare steaks on the braai with a cocktail or glass of wine in hand, sweating up a storm on the veranda, batting off the flies and mozzies, and smiling from ear to ear. Hopefully, in a little over 25 days, when we depart India for South Africa.

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, December 18, 2019:

From this site: “The famous fountain in Fountain Hills, Arizona: Built-in 1970 by Robert McCulloch, the fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world! The fountain sprays water for 15 minutes every hour at the top of the hour. The fountain uses 7,000 gallons per minute, and at its full height, it can reach 560 feet in the air. The plume rises from a concrete water-lily sculpture in the center of a man-made lake. At its full height of 560 feet, the fountain in the center of Fountain Hills is higher than the Washington Monument. It is 10 feet taller than Notre Dame Cathedral, 110 feet higher than the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt, and three times as high as Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park. The white plume of the world-famous fountain is visible far beyond Fountain Hills. It can be seen from as far away as the Superstition Mountains, Carefree, and even from aircraft. The fountain is the focal point for community celebrations and the pride of its residents. If you happen to visit during the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, you’ll see the fountain transform to emerald green. The Fountain is extended to its full height on special occasions. For everyday viewing, the Fountain reaches a height of 330 feet! The World Famous Fountain runs every hour on the hour for 15 minutes from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. every day of the week! This fountain is a celebration of life and water where it is most appreciated – in the middle of the desert.” For more from the year-ago post, please click here.

Day 26…Cruise to South America…A night to remember…An exceptional dining experience aboard ship…

Tom dined on one of these “Lava Crab” dishes I avoided due to the flour content. He described it as outstanding.

Sightings from the Veranda while Cruising”

Stunning view of Ushuaia from the veranda.

As an avid and enthusiastic foodie from both the perspective of a passionate cook and hostess, I’ve had the opportunity to experience many types of cuisine, especially now as we travel the world.

Tom was holding his menu tablet while deciding what to order at the Qsine specialty restaurant while at sea on Celebrity Infinity. Nine Celebrity ships are offering this exceptional dining experience.

Although my restrictive way of eating keeps us from dining out as much as we’d like in our worldwide travels, it doesn’t diminish the desire to partake in exceptional dining opportunities along the way.

From the “Sushi ” choice were these “lollipops.”  Although we didn’t order this option, we reveled in the gorgeous presentation.

Last night’s foray into an outstanding international hours-long epicurean adventure resulted from a night at Celebrity Infinity’s Qsine specialty restaurant neatly tucked away on deck 11 in a fashionable orange, black, and white themed venue wouldn’t imagine from such a color scheme. 

Many items from the “Soup & Souffle” menu were served “tapas” style, small servings such as these two souffles Chef Chantal prepared for me.

Nothing was spared in presenting a divine dining encounter at Qsine; from Chef Chantal’s dedication in ensuring the many food offerings would meticulously adhere to my dietary restrictions; to the dramatic presentation of each of the many unique and varied options; to the service befitting royalty by our attentive and gracious server, Tabby and; Alson who coordinated our reservation with expert ease.

This delicious seafood ceviche from the “Trescviche” option was atop sparkling lighted ice cubes.

Our entire experience was overseen by the restaurant manager, Jowett, who quietly and unobtrusively stopped by on a few suitable occasions adding one more layer of attention to perfection and detail one rarely finds in even the most upscale of dining establishments.

Tom was impressed with the “Lobster Escargot” exquisitely presented with two baked-in-parchment rolls.  Tom wasn’t able to finish his garlic olive oil pull-apart loaf as shown, but he kept it close at hand until the end of the meal, hoping he’d have room to no avail.

Chef Chantal stopped by toward the end of our meal, hoping for the good news she most undoubtedly expected by the finite adjustments she’d made to my varied items.  Her confidence and evident joy in serving her clients with expertise and devotion, from her years of accumulated skills, were readily evidenced by the warm smile on her face.

The “Taco Royale” presentation could easily have been a full meal for me with its make-your-own guacamole and beef taco salad.

Please see this link for Qsine’s world-inspired menu.

As for the food? I find myself at a loss for words describing the degree of creativity required in the expansive and fascinating menu offered on an iPad-type device where one only needs to click to choose their preferred plethora of courses.

This window box type display was a part of the “M Favorites” choice on the menu.

Course after course of exceptionally prepared items was presented at a perfectly timed pace leaving us curious and excited as we anticipated what was next to arrive. As the evening progressed and our satiety level was gradually waning merely from being complete, we had little will to resist the next course, especially when our eyes beheld the next in the sequence.

Although Tom was able to dine on items forbidden in my diet, including starch, sugars, and grains, I never felt denied as I stared in awe of what lies before me; presentation and flavor one can only dream possible. 

Tom’s taste buds were soaring when he began to sample the elaborate “Chinese Martini” option on the menu.

Tom found it irresistible to resist as each course was served.  His picky taste buds partook in many foods he’d previously refused to try finding the flavors and seasonings much to his liking. 

Tom’s delicious basket of “Beignets, Doughnuts, and Fritters.”

We entered the restaurant by 7:10 pm and didn’t leave until 9:30 pm. Dining at Qsine was as much of an entertaining event as it was a dining event. Watching the delighted faces of other diners as they were served the high quality and picturesque cuisine was another source of pleasure during our own experience. 

Tom’s “Surprise Dessert” consisted of a puff pastry wrapped baked apple was equally enticing.

I must admit that next time we book a Celebrity cruise, most certainly, we’ll be checking to see if a Qsine specialty restaurant is “on board,” which, without question, will add another layer of pleasure to our dining prospects while at sea.

With heartfelt consideration, we offer our sincere thanks to all of the staff who made this memorable evening a part of our repertoire of extraordinary experiences in our worldwide travels.

This Rubix cube-type dessert menu was presented at the end of our meal, from which Tom selected “Beignets – Doughnuts – Fritters,” a basket filled with fluffy baked goods. 

Today, our ship is docked in the city of Puerto Madryn, Argentina. After uploading today’s post, we’ll head out for the shuttle bus ride into the town, returning tomorrow with photos of yet another city in our journey.

Happy dining to all of our readers, and thank you for staying in touch with us as we wind down this enriching 30-night South America cruise. 

Photo from one year ago today, December 18, 2016:
Our fabulous vacation home in Penguin, Tasmania. (House with reddish roof). Click here for the link to the rental listing.  For more details, please click here.