April 15th - 16th, 2014
We had two much needed sea days, first sailing the Andaman Sea then onto the Indian Ocean towards Sri Lanka. There is nothing more relaxing than a leisurely breakfast, a couple of lectures, wine tasting, a long lunch (with wine, of course) and an afternoon of watching movies in our cabin. The sea was like glass with a bit of rolling motion but no seasickness so far.
The ship also prepared for the risk of piracy in this area. We had a security detail with high-powered binoculars patrolling the high decks 24 hours a day. We also had fire hoses hitched to the railings. If any vessel approaches the ship, it gets hit with an onslaught of water to dissuade the pirates from boarding.
The food on the ship was great. I took a galley tour and the Executive Chef went into great detail about training, consistency, and food preparation practices onboard.
Corporate headquarters provides menus, recipes, and presentation pictures for the proper execution of the food. I understand the need but isn't this like putting a straight jacket on the chef? Of course, I asked the question. The Executive Chef answered that he gets to decide on "destination dishes" that reflect the region we are sailing. These dishes were, by far, the most interesting and I tended to order them most of the time. G., on the other hand, must have ordered rack of lamb ten nights in a row - always perfectly cooked (medium rare) which I think is somewhat of a miracle given the number of meals that are exiting the kitchen. Even the fish was undercooked to my specifications! An example of a typical dinner menu:
We were surprised to be invited to dine with the General Manager, Frank Galzy, who is from Angers, France. We're not exactly high rollers - perhaps it was the French connection. There were two other couples at the table with us. We had the best time with GREAT wine (Pouilly Fuisse and Chateauneuf du Pape), good conversation about the ship, past bad voyages, and some of the more colorful characters on the ship. Bottom line, unless you've booked the top suites, you DON'T want the staff to know your name! That means you are trouble and your picture is posted behind the scenes!
Oddly, we gained more time while cruising towards India....1/2 hour. Have you ever heard of a 1/2 hour time zone?
Georges enjoying champagne on the veranda
Sunset last night: