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CHICAGOPAUL LIVE!!!!! 15 Night Bering Sea & Japan TRANSPACIFIC CRUISE - LIVE BLOG

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Thank you so much for doing this!  I’m very excited to follow along.  I have no plans for a Transpacific, or even a Transatlantic, cruise, but will greatly enjoy this virtual trip.

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9 hours ago, chicagopaul said:

 

I love my morning cocktail on vacation but even that is too early for me! 

 

 

Silly boy. 😉

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Paul, what deck are you on ? We have been on deck 11 and had noise problems with the roof top terrace movies. I guess I missed what cabin you are in. 

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1 hour ago, maggie.1008 said:

Paul, what deck are you on ? We have been on deck 11 and had noise problems with the roof top terrace movies. I guess I missed what cabin you are in. 

 

You know what I completely forgot to say I believe. We are on deck 9. Cabin 9042. So we are far enough away from noise from the TV. It’s a nice short walk to sunset bar! 

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I finally dug out my trip report from Sept 2017. In Otaru; "It took hours to go thru a face-to-face immigration inspection. When that was finished, we walked into town and checked our email. Went through the music box museum, saw the steam clock, which was a gift from Vancouver, and down Sakaimachidori shopping street. There were so many things to look at and it felt great to be on land again. Just as we were getting to the Otaru Canal it started to rain heavily, so we walked rapidly back to the ship. I could easily have spent more time there, but we were getting pretty tired." I still took several dozen photos.  In Hakodate:  "We were invited to watch the sail-in from the helipad on the front of the ship. We were greeted with champagne and music. A harbor boat was squirting colored water. We took the shuttle to the train station at about 10:30. First we went to the Morning Market and walked around looking at the crab, squid etc. There was a place where you could catch a squid then they would cut it up for you to eat. We bought some melon flavored chocolates. We got a tram pass and took it to the brick warehouse area, we walked around for a while and had lunch at the Hakodate beer brewery. The fried noodles with seafood was very good with a beer. Got back on the tram to the end of the line, walked up the hill to the Koryuji temple, we were wandering around taking photos when a monk invited us inside to see it, gorgeous! We took the tram back to the train station and the shuttle back to the ship. We were exhausted!"   I would definitely do this cruise again.

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Good Morning Everyone! It is 9:30am here as we gained an hour last night. With that extra hour help we made it to Blu for breakfast. Before I talk about breakfast today let’s review yesterday. 

 

Before muster drill we hit the martini bar and of course made friends with the staff, mainly Bagus and Tada. Met a few new friends and then went to Muster. Sail away went off off without an issue and we moved pretty quickly under Lions Gate bridge. We sat up on the top deck while we passed under the bridge. Listened to the band pool side for a few songs. 

 

Since we unpacked early we headed back to back to the room around 5pm for a short nap and started to get ready for pre dinner drinks around 6pm and made it to the martini bar just before 7pm. The martini bar was dead. We were the only ones! Around 7:20 some people started coming by and by 8pm it was pretty much full. We met a couple new people, saw some old friends we’ve cruises with before, had one martini and then headed to Blu around 8:20. 

 

Upon getting to Blu they had one table for two available which they pointed out to us and asked us if we wanted that one or wanted to wait for a better one. They said the wait would be 15/20 minutes. We opted to wait and appreciated the option. The wait ended up being only around 12 minutes and in the meantime we listened to a few songs in the lounge. 

 

We were seated at a window table in the section of Prosecco and Charllou who were mentioned above by a previous cruiser. They were fantastic. Dinner got off to a little slow start but once the craziness died down things were moving very smoothly. The wine list looked a bit boring to me. I asked the sommelier if he had the Hartford Zinfandel by the glass ($8 upcharge) and he said he could get it and he did so pretty quickly. 

 

Our food came out well times and cooked very well. Before I post food photos let me share with you the menu. 

 

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Let’s check out the food! So I started with the carpaccio which by the cut of it looked a little on thicker side in the photo but it was actually cut very well and was tender, not chewy at all. My only recommendation if you get this is just add a dash of salt and pepper. 

 

B7AB7124-130A-4B23-B22C-914867FD4041.thumb.jpeg.0e536c5966a019167e19793df2bcba3a.jpeg

 

Prosecco reminded us we could order any of our favorite appetizers from MDR and named them out. When he said escargot I instantly had a taste for it. So for my second appetizer I ordered that and it did not disappoint. It wasn’t as good as the escargot in the le grand bistro on Edge but it was pretty damn tasty. 

 

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Edward opted for the caprese salad on the Blu menu. The portion size looked good. Tomatoes looked perfect but the balsamic sauce that was drizzled on top was a bit too sweet for him. 

 

For our entree we both went with the filet mignon cooked medium rare. It came out absolutely perfect cook temp and went very well with our Hartford Zin. 

 

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Next it was time for dessert...

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Here is the dessert menu in Blu last night. 

 

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We opted for the first two options, the Dulce de Leche Crema Catalana and Chocolate Cherry Trifle. Both were very good. Edward dug into the chocolate before we could take a photo and I sort of did the same with mine. In addition to the above we also both had a double espresso. 

 

8BE097AD-9663-43A4-9F9B-6718BB93FBF7.thumb.jpeg.ea71b584717e911c1c4efcd229d8a5ab.jpeg

 

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After dinner we walked by the martini bar and it was dead again! Not a soul in sight! We walked up to sky lounge and it wasn’t too crowded so we made our way to the Casino bar and had a drink. I opted for Courvoisier VSOP and Edward has a McCallan. We sipped that and ran into some people who were stopping by for a quick drink before hitting the tables or slots. 

 

CCB3672F-D31F-4914-8968-45410DA23BD7.thumb.jpeg.385ccaeb8aa0685e448ca2c96dbd9655.jpeg

 

The bartender is named Amitava (I believe I’m spelling that correct or close to). He was quiet but very nice and once we started discussing whiskey with him we found out he really knows his stuff!  

 

There was a drunk gentleman at the bar who meant well but he’s the exact type of person you’d expect to see drunk at a casino bar but more so at a casino where the table minimums are $1 haha. 

 

I found out at the casino bar they will smoke whiskey for you with the same smoker that is at World Class on the S Class ships. Amitava was very excited to talk about which whiskeys and specific bourbons he thinks smoke the best. We will be trying a few with him during the cruise. 

 

After our drink we grabbed a bottle of water and planned to head back to the room but ran into some friends and ended up watching karaoke in the Sky Lounge and then listening to the DJ. We stopped drinking and just stuck with water. Chatted with people for a while then headed to bed around 12:45 I think. But since we gained an hour it was really 11:45 and made all the difference in the world. Plus my body is still on Chicago time so waking up this morning was a breeze. 

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Paul,

Topping the escargot at Le Grand Bistro on Edge is tough. Definitely following along.  I love reading your blogs and the timing of this one makes a great distraction from the craziness of our two part move. 

 

Shari

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1 hour ago, silkismom said:

I finally dug out my trip report from Sept 2017. In Otaru; "It took hours to go thru a face-to-face immigration inspection. When that was finished, we walked into town and checked our email. Went through the music box museum, saw the steam clock, which was a gift from Vancouver, and down Sakaimachidori shopping street. There were so many things to look at and it felt great to be on land again. Just as we were getting to the Otaru Canal it started to rain heavily, so we walked rapidly back to the ship. I could easily have spent more time there, but we were getting pretty tired." I still took several dozen photos.  In Hakodate:  "We were invited to watch the sail-in from the helipad on the front of the ship. We were greeted with champagne and music. A harbor boat was squirting colored water. We took the shuttle to the train station at about 10:30. First we went to the Morning Market and walked around looking at the crab, squid etc. There was a place where you could catch a squid then they would cut it up for you to eat. We bought some melon flavored chocolates. We got a tram pass and took it to the brick warehouse area, we walked around for a while and had lunch at the Hakodate beer brewery. The fried noodles with seafood was very good with a beer. Got back on the tram to the end of the line, walked up the hill to the Koryuji temple, we were wandering around taking photos when a monk invited us inside to see it, gorgeous! We took the tram back to the train station and the shuttle back to the ship. We were exhausted!"   I would definitely do this cruise again.

 

Thank you so much for this! I’ll share this with Edward and will save this for when we stop! 

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Hi Paul! Can you post a photo of a menu of wine by the glass ( mostly interested in the reds)  just curious what wine they are offering at what price per glass... I'm  trying to make a decision regarding the beverage packages. 

Thanks! 

 

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1 minute ago, tml said:

Hi Paul! Can you post a photo of a menu of wine by the glass ( mostly interested in the reds)  just curious what wine they are offering at what price per glass... I'm  trying to make a decision regarding the beverage packages. 

Thanks! 

 

 

Of course! I’ll be collecting all the wine menus and will definitely post. 

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2 minutes ago, chicagopaul said:

 

Of course! I’ll be collecting all the wine menus and will definitely post. 

 

Can you also post the bottom of the dessert wines from last night, that was cut off 🙂

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Thanks Paul. I also asked on a earlier post if you can let me know if they offer drink coupons. I think others said they saw  a flyer on the 3rd day of the cruise. We have one cruise next year without the drink package. 

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25 minutes ago, maggie.1008 said:

Thanks Paul. I also asked on a earlier post if you can let me know if they offer drink coupons. I think others said they saw  a flyer on the 3rd day of the cruise. We have one cruise next year without the drink package. 

 

Ill keep an eye out for them. From all the flyers we’ve gotten so far I haven’t seen it yet. I’ll let you know if I see any happy hours as well since sometimes they randomly will run those too. 

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41 minutes ago, pmarrsouth said:

 

Can you also post the bottom of the dessert wines from last night, that was cut off 🙂

 

Unfortunately it wasn’t cut off. There are only 3 on the Blu menu! I’ll check the full wine list menu tonight in Blu to see what else they have. Surprised they don’t have a Tawny on the standard dessert cordials list. 

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As I mentioned this morning we woke up and made it to Blu for breakfast. In all of our 18 past cruises we’ve never done this. 

 

We arrived at 8:30 and the dining room was decently busy. We were quickly seated and coffee was poured right away. We probably had our coffee topped off every couple minutes and this is not an exaggeration. 

 

We were offered pastries about a minute after we received our coffee and then our order was taken a few minutes after that. 

 

We both ordered omelets with a side of bacon and toast. I had cheddar (which tasted like American), ham, and spinach. With the omelet came a few breakfast potatoes, asparagus and mushrooms all on the side. The food took around 18 minutes to come out. It was hot when it was served! 

 

I prefer my omelets a little fluffier but it was very tasty and stayed hot as I ate it. The bacon was crispy but still with the right amount of grease; exactly how bacon should be served in my opinion. The toast was cooked well and there was the typical

sides of packaged jelly. 

 

Overall i I was very pleased with breakfast in Blu and the service. Just like last night the manager made his rounds and touched each table at least once which I always appreciate and think is very important. If service continues like this for us in Blu we will be very happy. We hope it does. 

 

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3 minutes ago, chicagopaul said:

 

 

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Mmmmmmm! Asparagus! 
I'm looking forward to my first Blu experience even more, now!

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1 hour ago, chicagopaul said:

 

 

We both ordered omelets with a side of bacon and toast. I had cheddar (which tasted like American), ham, and spinach. With the omelet came a few breakfast potatoes, asparagus and mushrooms all on the side. The food took around 18 minutes to come out. It was hot when it was served! 

 

 

The asparagus has me LOL'ng.  My wife and I have only sailed in AQ on X( 3 x, soon to be 4) and every single year, there has been a few potatoes, 2 or 3 spears and a few mushrooms with egg dishes.  I wonder if there is a "special" on asparagus.  I'm a huge proponent of eating seasonally and asparagus is NOT a summer vegetable.  My wife is not a fan of omelettes.  She loves the pancakes in Blu.  

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Loved that breakfast photo....Looks great,..

I highly rec the breakfast parfaits in BLU...and the asparagus frittata and of course the smoked salmon plate..with a  toasted bagel!

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