Oceania Riviera: At sea: Friday 20 March 2015

26 03 2015

We had strong winds last night (~35 mph), so the boat rocked a little more than previously. But as we’d had so much heat, humidity, sun, and wind yesterday, I slept like a baby.

It was a relaxing day at sea today, cruising from Belize City late yesterday afternoon, to somewhere west of Cuba (I could see it in the distance!) by mid-afternoon. We are due into Key West, Florida tomorrow morning, where we will be processed by US Customs and Border Protection on board. As I’m not a US citizen, I have to get processed separately from the others, but Reception has said there aren’t too many non-US citizens on board so hopefully it will be quick.

We had a late breakfast in the Terrace Café, then I had a culinary class (Asian cuisine from the Red Ginger restaurant on board) from 10 am to almost noon. According to reports, this is the only cruise ship line with a culinary center on board its various ships.

The chef who took the class was Noelle Barille. She demonstrated some basic knife skills, talked about various Asian ingredients and sauces, and showed us how to make five different dishes. We created three of those dishes (two were for demo purposes only, but we got to try them)—Pomelo Banh Trang Rolls (rice paper rolls made with grapefruit instead of pomelo), Watermelon and Duck Confit Salad, and Lobster Pad Thai. All dishes tasted great, but as I’m not a big fan of grapefruit, duck, or lobster, I’d probably substitute other ingredients for each. We also tasted Tom Kha Gai (chicken and coconut soup), Chilean Sea Bass in Miso Plum Sauce, and some sort of yummy lemongrass and something else ice cream.

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After the cooking class, we hung out by the pool for a while (me in the shade, Sue in the sun) until the sun crept over to me, and I went back to the stateroom to start packing away all the stuff I know I don’t intend using/wearing before I get to Miami or Pittsburgh.

Tonight dinner  was at Jacques, the Jacques Pepin specialty French restaurant on this ship. Mine was absolutely delicious — duck foie gras with black cherries, onion soup with gruyere cheese, which was so rich and unctuous I didn’t eat it all as I wouldn’t have had room for the main course, which was the house special that night–a filet with foie gras and a truffle sauce (I think!).

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Tomorrow we have to be admitted back into the US, then we will disembark to spend the day kayaking and cycling in Key West. All bags have to be packed and outside our rooms by 10:30 tomorrow night, so I’m glad I spent some time packing today—and sorting out what to wear for the various activities tomorrow!

More photos from today:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157649381862263/


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