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About MouseBerry

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Frankfurt Germany
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania Cruises
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Hi, the recipe is actually in Oceanias public blog (at least the one I can access in Germany) https://de.oceaniacruises.com/oceania-experience/post/recipes/red-ginger-recipe-watermelon-duck-confit-salad#blog-navigation If the link does not work then just go to the blog and scroll until 2016 Feb 2nd. And the recipe can be found in the iNet as well, but I didn't check if it is the right one. But the processing is a bit tricky. To deep fry the duck confit you need a resonable amount of oil to ensure the temp will not drop to much when you put in the duck legs. The temp has to be controlled to get this crispy duck skin. And for me in germany the sourcing of all the incredients is a bit of effort. And of course the taste, even if it is made perfect, can not really match the taste when you are on sea. Its all about context. cheers MBerry
  2. Hello, today i suffered severely from a "Missing Cruising" attac. What to do in such a bad situation? Well the sea is far away and travelling quite limited these days. But i remembered my first Oceania Cruise back in 2016 in late fall in Mediterranean Sea. It was a bargain because of end of October, but by big surprise the weather was just perfect from the first to the last minute. 26 deg celcius, dry and sunny. Perfect. I read a lot about Oceania in the iNet and this forum of course. Some people praised the specialty restaurants and the Watermelon Duck salad in particular. Strange combi was my first thought, but i had to try it. What a big surprise how all these tastes and fragrances matched. It gained immediately a front position on my alltime favourite list. Dear wife did choose different items from the menu, but when my salad was served and she tried she had to order one as well. All the dishes in Red Ginger matched pretty much our taste. Later that evening we went for an Illy coffee and visited the beautiful library on Riviera. What a nice place. A classic gem. Can hardly wait for our next booked trip on Sirena in April 2021. May be the library is even better. Anyway, while we were relaxing in the library i noticed a big cook book on the shelf. It was a book with all the favourite dishes served on Oceania restaurants. Not only the recipies, but even background info from Mr. Pepin himself. I immediately looked up the Watermelon Duck Salad recipe. It was just a perfect trip, a perfect day, a perfect moment. Did someone wise said "Travelling is for Memories"? Damn right it is. And no pandemic will ever take away my memories. Today i suffered very badly from not being on a cruise for now more than 18 month. I had to cook a Watermelon Duck Salad on my own. Wear a mask, respect distance, and travel as soon as possible. What's better than memories? More memories! cheers MBerry
  3. Yes, there are 3 phases defined. Phase 1 is 3 to 4 days cruises without any port of call except the emb/disemb one. The ships are not allowed for full pax. Phase 2 will include ports of call if permited by countries. Phase 3 should be cruises as we know it, well kind of. I‘m not aware of dates for the different phases. I guess this based on experience.
  4. Just in case you didn‘t notice: cruising will start in EU, Germany to be more precise, next week. It will be a quite lame kind of, but it will be cruising with big ships. A lot of restriction, but hey even baby steps are steps forward. I booked on Sirena for a med cruise next April. Hope cruising will be more normal by then.
  5. Hi whogo, exactly that‘s what Phoenix figured out. Pool at Lido deck is not used very often. They will try to use the place for general entertainment purposes. I used the lido pool deck on different HAL ships for sunbathing but never used the pool for swimming. The aft pool area on the Amera is very nice. I think the new concept looks quite good. I never sailed with the Prinsendam, but am very attracted by the Amera. The pricepoint for Amera is higher than what we usually payed for HAL cruises. But beverages are much much cheaper. So we have to drink a lot to make it par. I cannot understand why HAL let float this beauty away. regards MBerry
  6. Hi, just found a new video about Amera on youtube. It is German audio, but contains some nice info. In Germany there is a quite long lasting TV show about cruising. There are more than 200 show. This TV show will go on, and from now on will be produced on the Amera. If you see how beautiful the Amera is you could fully understand why this ship has been choosen. regards MBerry
  7. Hi, on our last cruise Rotterdam 4-18 of August there were 2 PMJ shows. We liked it. I never heard about PMJ until someone posted infos on CC. We looked up some youtube videos and we didn't like it. But the life shows during our cruise were quite nice. Just to give some context of our personal taste: On our cruise there were almost multiple shows at Lincoln Center Stage every day. We didn't attend to one of them. On another cruise on Koningsdam this year we really liked Billboard on Bord. regards MBerry
  8. Well, seems we have missed them. Took good memories from the cruise and this didn‘t put extra weight on our luggage:-) regards MBerry
  9. Hi, not that we are eager to get such tiles, but this August we were on a Rotterdam cruise and attended the Mariner lunch, but no tiles were provided. Well, we didn‘t get surf and turf on any of the 3 gala nights either. Cruise industry is changing rapidly;-) regards MBerry
  10. Hi, was on the Rotterdam this August. I liked the ship very much because of its style with lot of open space and promenade deck all around the ship. And most open space is real wood. But if you look at the details for sure it is a worn ship as it is 22 years old. Did this impact my overall experience? No. I just did not pay attention to this little things. But in some areas refurbishment is really overdue. The aft windows in the lower dining room are really not nice. Our OV cabin was very cosy and we liked it. I would recommend to give the Rotterdam a try. regards MBerry
  11. Hi, we have been on Koningsdam this June and the shows in the Main-Stage were quite boring. The show „Humanity“ by a dance-group was special because of the well integration to all the Main-stage facilities like videowalls and lasers. On the Koningsdam the music-walk was the main entertainment and we liked it very much. In August we were on the Rotterdam, which doesn‘t have the music-walk (Lincoln center stage only) for 14 nights. Thus we didn‘t expect much entertainment at all. But this was not true. We had in the Main-Stage - 2 shows Postmodern-Jukebox which were quite good and we liked it - 2 shows of the dance group „Humanity“ and „Stages“ to our taste it was a bit boring and „Humanity“ had no support by modern equipment and was a bit lame - One comedian from Scotland. To our surprise we understood his language and humor although we are Germans. - One show of a piano player supported by a band, was not bad - One show by an magican, which we did not attend to - One show with a guy which sounded and behaved like Tom Jones, quite good - One show with Scottish traditional music, made by a local group on board - One show organised by the Filipino crew and one from the Indonesian crew, both far from being perfect but very charming Yes, no real big production show. But we got more than we expected. It was a quite good fit to the relaxed overall mood on this old lady. In the Mix bar almost every night there was a show by an Piano Entertainer called Stryker. This was very special. We liked some shows, but some were not our taste. There was a kind of a jazz band playing every night in the Ocean bar and almost daily classical music in Lincoln Center stage. If we want razzmatazz very likely we would not choose HAL. regards MBerry
  12. Hi, well usually we took bottled water every evening. We missed this on the last evening and expected to get one in the MDR during breakfast. This was possible on our first cruise ob the Koningsdam and we assumed this to be HAL standard. The regular coffee in MDR on MS Rotterdam was ok. Again, no big problem at all. Just wanted to mention that one should not expect HAL rules are the same on each HAL ship. The HAL ships seems to be little kingdoms! By the way: How do you know when bars/lounges will close? On our last cruise the when&where indicated „open until late“. Maybe this means until the last guest has left the bar. regards MBerry
  13. Hi, had disembarkation from MS Rotterdam this morning and discovered an inconsistency between our two cruises regarding availability of coffee specialties and water and usage of our beverage package: Koningsdam this June during breakfast on morning of disembarkation day we could order coffee specialities and bottled water and use our QBP as it was possible every day. Rotterdam August we could not get coffee specialities and bottled water as we were told the bar has already been closed. We would understand that it is not possible to buy extras as the onboard account is already closed, but the beverage package should be usable. We have to mention that we were in the latest disembarkation group and had breakfast quite late. But this was the same situation on both cruises. Not a big deal, but we were surprised as we planned to get bottled water for our way home. Note: We liked the Rotterdam more than the Koningsdam. And the possibility to use the cabin until moment of disembarkation is a very nice touch. We feel a little less „rushed“ off the boat. Just a question to the experienced HAL cruisers: if one books a B2B cruise, would he suffer from same limitations (e.g. breakfast at MDR until 8am only, bars closed etc.) at the end if the first leg? regards MBerry
  14. Hi, we are just on our 2nd HAL cruise. First was on Koningsdam in June. Now we are on the Rotterdam on a cruise around Great-Britain. We booked this cruise because of the itinerary which we like very much. So far (9 cruises with different cruise lines) we always booked balcony cabins on quite new ships (1 to 5 years in service). The Rotterdam is quite old with 22 years of service and does not provide standard balcony cabins, but rather suites which are more expensive. So we booked for the first time an OV cabin on an old ship. Yes, the ship is old and this is visible at different areas. But this was never a real problem. Entertainment was limited on the Rotterdam, but not that much as it was reported by some people. We liked the shows in the main show room and music in the different bars. Food and service was good. While we didn‘t feel the premium touch on the Koningsdam we felt it on the Rotterdam. But what do you get for all the „inconvenience“ which might come with an older ship? Well you get a true ocean liner. The ones which we dreamed of when we were young (and couldn‘t afford cruising). A wide teak promenade deck around the whole ship. Large amount of open deck space. A lot of elevators with only 9 decks, which means quick service all the time. No long distances. Not too much bling bling. The modern cruise ships are more floating entertainment resort. The Rotterdam is a beauty. A very relaxed ocean liner. Of course this type of cruise ships attract more old people than a Koningsdam or like ship ever will. The OV cabin is very cosy. We didn‘t miss a balcony at all. We booked the cruise 4 weeks before embarcation. One could call it a last minute booking. It was 100€ pp per day taxes and port fees included. To us this was best value for money ever. We read on some other threads that HAL wants to go the big entertainment cruise ship massmarket road. Well , not sure they can be competitive there. They have a unique selling point with the older smaller ships. If HAL is selling old ships to other cruise lines, very likely we will sail with them rather than the newer HAL ships. If we want more entertainment and younger co-cruisers, very likely we would use MSC or RCCL. As a summary: one should try an older ship. Respect the old ship and your fellow old cruisers and you will get a total different cruise experience. Much closer to the good old style. regards MBerry
  15. Hi, Captain just informed us that we will not call at Ilfracombe on Friday due to bad weather and unsafe tender conditions. MS Rotterdam will go straight to Liverpool and stay there from Friday 8pm overnight and leave Liverpool as planned Saturday evening. So most of Friday we will cruising at the North Sea and try to survive;-) regards MBerry
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