This was the cruise’s second sea day. I spent a good portion of the day doing things that will become the subjects of a few individual posts to come in the next couple of weeks. These post will include the art collection on the ship, the ship’s venues, a conversation I had with the ship’s Hotel Director, Niyazi Korkmaz and Event Coordinator, Zsofia Bak, and a recap of the specialty dining restaurant Qsine, which I ate at on the last night of the cruise compliments of Celebrity and the Hotel Director.
At dinner last night after visiting Labadee, our waiter Roberto let us know about the International Brunch that would be served in the Oceanview Cafe. The buffet opens at noon for the brunch, but Roberto and Andrea recommended we show up 15 minutes early to see the presentation of all the stations before service begins. I’m glad I did. The chefs put on a special meal that I’m glad I got to see and then eat. The standouts for me were the lamb and beef at the carving station. The carving station also served pork, chicken, and turkey. A cook bringing out a whole roast turkey and preparing it for carving was a fun thing to watch. Of the desserts, I would enjoy having the mango mousse again the most. The texture was the right creaminess without any gelatin texture. This is my preference when it comes to a mousse. I also enjoyed the tiramisu.
I was happy to see Food and Beverage Director Clint, and Head Chef Singh on the floor inspecting the stations and coordinating the last-minute details. I’ve been pleased across the board about the visibility and availability of the directors. It seems like at every event I’ve gone to, and twice at the shows, Cruise Director Maarten is present to welcome the guests and to thank the cast and crew.
While taking a tour of the ship to take some pictures for the upcoming blog posts, I stopped by the Concierge desk to visit with the ship’s Concierge, Hjördis Pahl. I wanted to clarify which of the amenities provided in my cabin were gifts from Celebrity and which amenities remain with the cabin when I checkout. The robes and umbrellas stay. The logo bag or bags and card case are gifts. Hjördis and I laughed about misunderstandings when cultures come together and things I learned about the German culture when I lived there after high school. We also discussed her future travel plans and I’m looking forward to following her adventures. I’ve got the date for the debut of her site in my calendar, and I’ll make an announcement when we get closer.
At 6pm, I met with the ship’s Hotel Director, Niyazi Korkmaz and Event Coordinator, Sophia in Cellar Masters on Deck 4. That will be the subject of an upcoming post. After our interview, the friend I’m sharing my cabin with and I went to Qsine courtesy of Celebrity. This will also be an upcoming blog post. I don’t believe in creating suspense, so I’ll tell you that I really enjoyed it and it gets a strong recommendation. There’s no way to describe the experience there in a brief sentence, so I encourage you to check back when we post the dining recap in the next week or so.
After dinner, I walked around the ship to check out what was going on in the venues. Earlier in the week, I caught a set by AfroSoul Duo in the Ensemble Lounge that included “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse. I was hoping to hear those guys again before the end of the cruise. Not only were they back in the Ensemble Lounge, but they were performing “Valerie” again, and they were joined by the lead singer of a different act performing on the ship. Great rendition of the song, and a reminder of singing with friends of mine in high school chorus and jazz choir. If AfroSoul Duo were on a ship I’m on, I’d be happy to see them again.
I passed back by the Martini Bar to thank Boon and Putu for all the great service they’ve provided throughout the week. Those two were attentive bartenders, who made delicious drinks and enjoyed the showmanship of bartending. That’s what expected to see at the Martini Bar and they delivered. Over the week, we enjoyed a few Cosmopolitans and the ship’s Elderflower Blush at that bar. When my friend wanted to try something new, Putu asked him a few questions and then came up with something strawberry that my friend really enjoyed.
While I was at the Martini Bar getting one last Cosmopolitan, I ran into the couple from Denmark who I had met there the first night of the cruise. They were chatting with a couple from Hamburg — both couples were repeat sailors on Celebrity. Hamburg is where I lived in Germany, but that was in 1994, so a lot has changed. The couple from Hamburg said that on the last night, they wanted to take a “last walk around the ship” to say goodbye and they departed. I finished my drink and decided to make their tradition my tradition and set out for a “top deck to bottom deck” tour of the ship. While up on the top aft deck, I spotted the family from England we had dinner with the first night of the cruise. We were delighted to see each other and caught up on what had been the highlights of the trip. The mom used the phrase “trip of a lifetime” more than one during our conversation, so I know this experience meant a lot to her.
Thank you for following along. I’ll still have a post about Disembarkation Day and a few other posts about the art collection, the venues, an interview with the Hotel Director and Event Coordinator, and a recap of specialty restaurant Qsine.
Reflection Live Blog Day 0 - Preamble
Reflection Live Blog Day 1 - Embarkation Day
Reflection Live Blog Day 2 - Sea Day
Reflection Live Blog Day 3 - Cozumel, Mexico
Reflection Live Blog Day 4 - George Town, Grand Cayman, CI
Reflection Live Blog Day 5 - Falmouth, Jamaica
Reflection Live Blog Day 6 - Labadee, Haiti
Reflection Live Blog Day 7 - Sea Day