Midst the snow and the cold of late winter, the upper decks of cruise ships provide a welcome escape, even if only in pictures. Today’s selection is the pool decks of some ships we’ve been on, to see if you think a deck is a deck is a deck…so, do you?
Tag-Archive for » Oceania «
Mention the word “cruise” and the word “food” is usually not far behind. Today, we’re giving you a “taste” of some of the dishes we’ve enjoyed on a variety of cruises and a variety of ships…
Now before you dismiss spending $40,000 on a cruise, at least give it a little thought. That’s the tab for the new Oceania around-the-world cruise on the Insignia, leaving in January 2017 and returning that July.
Come to think of it, has anybody seen a cruise longer than six months, anywhere? It seems that 180 days is the threshold that must not be broken. Perhaps after that passengers start making plans to do more than exchange Christmas cards. Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice — that sort of thing.
Oh yes, about the 40 grand…
If you’re a couple, that’s 80 grand. And for that price, you get an inside stateroom — the cheapest balcony is $53,000. Included are all taxes, round-trip first-class air fare from North American gateway cities to Miami and unlimited Internet. It doesn’t say gratuities are included but it wouldn’t be a surprise if they are. In visiting 98 cities in 36 countries, you have to figure there will be some additional costs, so maybe a more realistic tab is $45,000 to $50,000.
But about selling the concept to your better half…
From $80,000 for both of you, deduct all your car expenses for six months. If you can arrange to be between homes at the time (Baby Boomers can sometimes do that), or sublet your residence, deduct six months of rent or mortgage payments. Deduct ALL your meals, and wine, for 180 days. Reduce your entertainment budget drastically because there will be more than enough ship entertainment to fit into your busy schedule.
And did we mention that it includes "free medical" (that's what the fine print says)? Obamacare at sea?
You’ll go to six continents. By the time it’s over, there will be far less of the world for you to see, and maybe none that you want to see. it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You do need to make certain that 180 days living our of a cabin without getting cabin fever — we were worried about 19 straight days on a ship but were sorry when we had to disembark.
Even with all of the “savings” from our daily lives, there’s still one more thing most of us should probably do…
Win the lotto.
Do that and you can upgrade. To the owner’s suite. It’s only $125,000 — per person.
And guess what?
There’s already a waiting list.
— Insignia photo by Bahnfrend (Wikimedia Commons)
In the news…
• Norwegian, Princess both leaving Houston by 2016-17 after four-year stay
• American Cruise Lines launches new river cruiser three weeks early
• Breaking Benjamin headlining Carnival Victory cruise in February
Today at portsandbows.com: Norwegian's Asian deployment
It has been more than three years since we had the pleasure of meeting Kathryn Kelly. Pleasure, because she is a fascinating woman who doesn’t think she is. Pleasure, because she knows more about cooking than both of us combined…a piece of cake compared to one of us (male), a formidable chore compared to the family chef (female).
At the time, on board the Oceania Riviera where she was conducting classes at the ship’s Culinary Center, she told us that two years earlier she’d agree to this assignment for two months, maximum. She also told us about the most popular shore excursions she was conducting, taking passengers to a market to buy ingredients, to a restaurant to taste local cuisine and back to the ship for a cooking class.
“On our new tours, guests spend time in the kitchen with local culinary experts and renowned chefs learning about regional ingredients and cooking customs that have influenced European cuisine for centuries," Kelly said in a statement. “Our goal is for guests to walk away with new culinary skills, satisfied taste buds, and a deeper appreciation for the vibrant culinary traditions found in Europe.”
The Culinary Discovery Tours are not in all ports, not on all Oceania ships (also the Marina), and not always with her as the host (i.e., the program is growing). For example, when the Riviera’s in Barcelona there is sometimes a Chef’s Gastronomy Tour and Tapas Lunch. In France, there’s an Aix-en-Provence Market Tour. Greece and Italy are also on the menu.
All have at least the touch of Chef Kelly.
“Guests love it,” she says. “They're on vacation. A lot of them are experienced travelers and they've been to some of these places four or five times, so for them it's 'show me something new.' They see the world through a culinary lens. They go to a market for local produce, a favorite place to eat, come back for cooking class. There's no corollary to that."
Nor is there for a Kathryn Kelly.
In the news…
• Royal Caribbean keeps Majesty of the Seas, which was headed to Pullmantur
• Oceania launches free shore excursion incentive for booking early
• Carnival Vista floats out at Monfalcone Shipyard to prep for May 1 arrival
Today at portsandbows.com: Silver Muse new flagship for Silversea
Food is such a focal point of cruising, for at least two reasons. One is that the quality and/or amount of food consumed justifies the cost of the cruise. The other is that cruise lines traditionally have special events for food lovers — sometimes at an extra cost (specialty restaurants) and sometimes free. The photos today give you a taste (ahem) of a little of both those options from our cruises…
Staff often gets personally involved — as Celebrity Hotel Director Andrew Harris did here on the Millennium,
Kids love all things Seuss, including the most unusual ice sculpture we’ve seen, on Carnival Freedom's Seuss at Sea.
Cookin’ with Chef Kathryn Kelly on Oceania ships is an experience worth the modest cost.
Radishes never looked so appetizing as during this Chef’s Table experience on the Crown Princess.
At Teppanyaki on the Norwegian Epic, Michael from the Philippines was so quick his hands were a blur.
What’s ‘elegant tea at sea?’ This is what it looks like on the Celebrity Eclipse — and it tastes better.
In the news…
• Carnival's 'fathom' designed for cruisers who wish to participate in 'social impact travel'
• Celebrity Infinity returns to Nanaino (Vancouver Island) for first time in four years
• Vietnam's six-day 'cruise of a lifetime' to visit disputed reefs and islands