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groryjm

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  1. Good morning Portugal. We were greeted by another beautiful sunrise and headed to Luminae for breakfast As we were leaving Luminae we spotted something out the window so headed quickly back to our room........ .........."There's Klingons off the starboard bow Jim"
  2. Cont… We awoke a little later and had breakfast on the terrace delivered by the wonderful Natalia after which we nipped down to Michael’s for the next round of trivia. Lots of fun but we really don’t stand much chance of winning. Hopefully we won’t come last though. After trivia we headed back to the suit to check up on emails….what a view from the office We aimed for lunch at 1 at the porch and were joined by Tim and had a good lunch, good conversation and rather a lot of wine. Paul joined us latter having been suffering from the night before and was soon put back on track with a Guinness. When the staff arrived to set for the evening at 6 we though we ought to head back down having completely missed our afternoon nap. A quick change and we were in the theatre for tonight’s show “Pearl”. This is one of the production shows we have seen a couple of times over the years but one I am glad to say I still enjoy. Despite a little rock and roll from the ship the cast were on top form as were the aerialists Dinner was taken at Luminae and there was a short wait for a table which as I have said before from past experience seems a little unusual. The service was good but the whole restaurant seemed to be under a bit of pressure. Agugn and Jezreel were brilliant as always. Amuse Bouche We both unusually chose the same starter which was a crab cake we had tried before but served on a slightly different sauce which lifted it to a whole new level Black Bass We arrived back at our cabin at around 10.30 to watch an episode of Bluestone 42 before bed to find and invite to the helipad for tomorrows sail in into Lisbon and a bridge tour for the next sea day. I do try to send in those little attention to detail cards (now called “we’d love to hear from you”) one can obtain from guest relations if we feel particular crew members are working particularly hard to make our experience better. Yesterday we received a detailed acknowledgement from Jamie Petts thanking us for our feedback which I have to say I really appreciated. To be cont….
  3. yes we did but not to huriedly so it was probably fifteen or twenty minuets.
  4. I checked last night an only wine and craft beer I'm afraid
  5. Cont… On arriving back at the ship my initial thought was for a quiet drink at the sunset bar but the top deck was very crowded. So we snuck back to the sanctuary of our balcony with a burger and a beer from the mast grill. I snuck in the OV bar to grab a Julio’s greyhound with a Campari float. We then spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the view from our balcony. After sail away we headed to the WCB or new favourite bar and I had an on book Cîroc Tropically Yours and Umit made my DW an “Umit’s special No 2” For Dinner in Luminae we were back on our preferred side and I really think the atmosphere and feel of the restaurant is better as well as being back under the excellent care of Jezreel and Agnun. I opted for the Ceviche and my DW the Char Siu lamb chops both delicious especially with the accompanying kick from a spicy passion To follow my DW opted for the English Pea risotto and I chose the lobster on a bed of “Al Nero di sepia”. Both where very good but the look of the black risotto on which my lobster resided. Oh and since when have fine green beans been "sea Beans"? Don’t get me wrong it tasted wonderful was just a little surprising in appearance. I even chose a wine for myself to accompany it, a Hungarian Tokay. Deserts were good but the worm like appearances of the lemon cream was a little odd in our minds. We went back to the WCB for a night cap and Umit made me a new experiment. I christened “Umits more Amoro” which I have now added to my database of cocktails. DW headed for bed and I went to grab her a Frangelico over ice and was happily surprised to find Tim and Paul back. Tim had been a little under the weather due to the motion and the had stayed in the room for the last couple of days. Now feeling much happier for a day tied up in dock they were back on top form and we planned to meet for lunch tomorrow (today) To be cont….
  6. Cont… Breakfast arrived as the sun rose and we sat on the balcony to watch the sail in to Tenerife. Once docked we headed to Michael’s and Lara escorted us past the lines to the gangway. We opted to take the shuttle through to the port gate. A free shuttle too , which saved about 10 minutes of walking. The plan for today was the African market and we slowly made our way in about 20 minutes. The crowds hadn’t quite made it yet and it wasn’t too crowded. There was also a Costa ship in port that had arrived before us which could have made the city quite busy, that combined with a beer festival and marathon I was pleasantly surprised how comparatively quiet it was. We enjoyed our wander around the market and noticed many of the stalls in the fish section had little seating areas so at about 12 we stopped for fresh cooked shellfish and a glass of cava for lunch. I would highly recommend this as a way to try some of the fresh produce. On the return wander we skipped the shuttle and walked back through the port so as to take in the little tourist stalls before boarding. I bought a bottle of Banana liquor,as one does and we returned to the ship
  7. cont....... The queue for the cable car was growing but we stuck with it and were ascending in twenty five minutes. Once at the top we soon found a little café offering views and a Maderian drink on its board consisting of Wine, Ginger ale, mint, lime and soda…….deliciously refreshing in the heat. We had intended to visit the gardens but the ever increasing numbers of German tourists did put us off a bit so we rode the cable car back down and walked leisurely back to the ship shopping as we went. We lunched in Ocean view whist watching the clouds come down the Mont so we were happy with our decision. Oh and we saw a pirate ship😎 Again we hung out in the World Class Bar and tried a few off menu delights from Umit. It never ceases to amaze me how many people walk past on their way to or from asking for a GnT or a beer and seem affronted when politely told the bar only has cocktails made from the bottles on display. After a cocktail or three we headed back to Luminae and were unfortunately placed round the back in the second half. The service from was fine as was the food with the exception of desert. Carlos was again on good form keeping me supplied with cocktails and my DWs glass toped up with Summer Somewhere. I even braved a Riesling with my fish. It always surprises me to not have a fish knife but it took me back a bit to have a steak knife. The veggies were a bit al dente but the knife was a bit excessive for fish. The deserts. ….. both were pleasant enough but my DWs described as “Orange” had more in common with the Terry’s variety than the citrus fruit. Mine was described as Dulce de Leche but seemed more like a version of the chocolate pave I had a day or two befor but with milk chocolate filling rather than dark . The Fernet Branc ice cream was as described. The evening was nicely rounded off in Michaels with a Fernet Branca for me while we played back gammon at the bar. This brings one of the very few criticism’s I have of Luminae to mind. Fairly consistently across the board the menu descriptions are either very vague or totally fail to accurately describe the dishes. The dishes themselves are usually fine but descriptions can fail to impress or even put people off. I tend to be quite adventurous but I think some people miss items they would have like due to the lack of detail in the descriptions. OK. Rant over….
  8. Cont… Today we opted for breakfast on our balcony as the weather is warming up and we watch sail in to Funchal Maderia while we sipped our coffee. Magic. Once docked we embarked a took a leisurely stroll through the town to the fish market. We both love markets despite being able to bring much back. My DW sought out a stand we had visited two years previously and bought some spices while I bought a few bottles of Medria for gifts for friends (and me) We then took a slight detour along the street of doors before taking the cable car up to Mont.
  9. Had lunch on a sea day there on Wednesday. Excelent food and oly $20. Actually only paid $17 including 15% E+ discount😎. I asked and it is seemingly always $20 for lunch.
  10. We dressed early and headed down to Michael's where Lara had managed to secure Charlie to perform. Great private show but at 5.30 a little early . We headed for the production show at 7pm which was to be Cosmopolitan, another show we have not seen. The show was a fun musical journey around the world with a couple of good aerial numbers which we enjoyed. to complete the evening we headed to the Porch for their curry night..... For each course the the whole of the menu was served and it was delicious. The only tiny criticism I had is that for my taste it could have been a tiny bit hotter, as in chilli. We did over hear a neighbouring couple say that on a previous cruise they had tried the curry night in Sushi on 5 and this one was far better .. The sushi on 5 offering for sunday night. We nipped up to the deserted passport bar for a last drink and enjoyed the moon rise.
  11. Cont..... We woke to the sun rising over flat calm blue seas. I did step up to the top before breakfast and was horified at the number bof people already steaking their claim at 8.30am 😮 A light breakfast at Luminae the some serious email catch up on the balcony watching the sea. Why can't my desk at home have such wonderfull views. Having done the mid cruise office catch up we headed to trivia in Michaels again hosted by Lara and accompanied by Gabriela. We faired better but still only half way up the ranking. Another excelent lunch at Luminae, this time with out starter or desert! I think I need to ease off a bit or I may not fit any of my suits😉. Just a lobster roll then Next of was the CC rollcall slot pull. Great fun (thanks Bill for organising) and we won a bit 😀🍾 allthough not quite enough to quite cover all our costs 🙃 to be cont.....
  12. Cont…. After dressing for dinner I made my way to Michaels to await my DW. Now this is our first experience of a female butler, Natalia. Unbeknownst to me, while I sipped my Campari soda, my DW was struggling to get her hair sorted. Natalia knocked on the door to check whether our canapés had been ok, though probably making a subtle check to see if the room was clear for turn down. Seeing my DW struggling with her hair she offered and help her to fix her hair clip in place behind her, and did so with great skill and most certainly better than I would have been able to if I had still been there. This is definitely a service offered by a butler I had not anticipated but my DW was extremely grateful and it goes to show the best butlers will always find ways to make ones cruise better in ways you might never expect. We arrived at Luminae at 7.30 having had another great cocktail each from Umit at the WCB. The service and food were back to the excellent standard we have come to expect and Carlos produced a bottle of wine that Ingrid the head sommelier had suggested to my DW but was unsure were on the ship might be found . It was a rosé very much to her taste and one she very much enjoyed , I can’t recall the name right now but will post it in the morning. We had a lovely chat with Claire Outing the Maître d’ and all in all together with Angun and Jezreel the service was outstanding. The food from the Amuse bouche to the petit fours including a delicious orchid was also very good. Beef Tartar Halibut to be cont....
  13. Cont…. We woke this morning once more to lovely calm seas but too late for Luminae so headed to the OV café for breakfast. I spotted something I had not seen before, a ham and cheese breakfast lasagne. Perhaps worth trying once but I don’t intend to go for a rematch. Next up was “progressive officer trivia” in Michaels. This round was hosted by Gabriela of Event Organiser fame and Lara and surprisingly I enjoyed it. We didn’t quite come last but not far off. For lunch we hit the Porch and had an excellent meal. The place was a little empty but no worse for that. The tuna tartar exceed the one from luminae last night, the lobster roll delicious and the trio of deserts great. If you want a good lunch somewhere other than the buffet I would highly recommend it. For my post prandial snooze I opted for the film in the main theatre, Yesterday, which I had missed in the cinema at home as DW was not keen. It was nice to see a brand new film on the ship and I was unable to snooze form enjoying the film To be cont….
  14. Cont… Jim I too was a bit disappointed to miss the Azores but after a glance at www.windy.com this morning I am now very actually glad we didn’t head straight into what looks to be some very rough seas. We enjoy lovely calm seas while the storm rages over the Azores.... I managed to find a Tio Pepe for my DW at the mast bar so took it back to the room and we dressed before heading to the show. It was the production show LIFE last night and we both very much enjoyed it. I know there is often much criticism on the quality of Celebrity’s in house productions but I personally feel that the casts do a very good job. What I’ll think after seeing the same show 5 or 6 times is another question but as this was our first time (I think ) to see LIFE I was impressed. On Thursday we have Pearl which we have seen a few times so it will be interesting to see if we still enjoy it or repeated shows change one’s perspective. After the show we headed for Luminae and again there was a bit of a wait. Obviously after the first show is not the quietest time but I was surprised how busy it was. We were eventually seated in the second half of the restaurant and away from or usual and excellent team of Agnun and Jazreel. The service was again slow but the food was also not quite all up to par. The amuse bouche was a bit odd being watermelon and goats cheese. As such this is extra course is a bit of an experiment in taste and often interesting. The odd miss is not a problem but a chance to try combinations one might normally reject. I would love to know how these dishes are chosen and who designs them. The first course arrived and my DWs soup was excellent and my Tuna tartar was equally good. The chunk of stale French bread my Tuna sat upon was however a big miss. It was not until after the second course had arrived that we realise we had not been offered any bread and likewise our neighbours also. For us it was too late as bread would have been good with my DWs soup but by the second course the time for bread has, I feel, elapsed. I had the trout which was excellent and my DW had the Cornish hen in which the breast was over cooked and dry but the legs would have benefitted from longer slower cooking. The chocolate bomb was as always ….amazing. I must highly recommend accompanying it with an XO café. On the other hand the Sommelier service was very much improved and Carlos was on good form. I even had my cocktails delivered at one point by Ingrid the head sommelier. For the remainder of the evening we settled into the World class bar with my DW going for an on menu Zapcca Old Fashioned to start and Umit making me one of his own invention. Round one to Umit. The next set was the drink Umit made last Aug for my DW and a new invention of Umits to suit my taste for me. We each very much enjoyed our own drinks but as they were Umit’s creation Round two to Umit. Vs The next drink was one in which I directed ingredients and proportion using World class bar ingredients. A negroni variant with equal parts Campari, Tanquery ten, Martini roso (as they had run out of Carpano Antica) and St Germain elderflower liquer. I have to say that round was most definitely won by myself. DW head back to the room while I had One last negroni (straight) in Michaels before bring her up a bed time camomile citron tea. Despite having a kettle in the room I still find it easier to grab a tea to go from Café al Bacio or Michaels.
  15. Oh and in Vigo we lunch in the street of Oysters.... on tapas 😁
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