Farm to table on the open seas...
Here is how the nice people at Holland America describe the Culinary Arts Center.
"On ms Koningsdam, the Culinary Arts Center transforms into a new dinner concept, an immersive farm-to-table experience where the chefs prepare simple, artisanal dishes in the show kitchen and guests enjoy each course as it's freshly prepared. Every meal will emphasize fresh, thoughtfully sourced selections while incorporating select ingredients harvested from a glass-enclosed growing area just off the kitchen."
We describe it as an amazing experience in dining. Our chef, from Toronto, and his team from the Philippines created a unque dining experience, cooking in front of us, entertaining us, and delivering outstanding food chock full of flavour. We even had an experience of trying a Szechuan Button, a micro green that when consumed leaves your mouth feeling like you just got your teeth frozen by a dentist. So cool! This Wikipedia entry about sums it up:
"The flower bud has a grassy taste followed by a strong tingling or numbing sensation and often excessive salivation."
Someone could have pulled my tooth out and I would have been fine.
Cordoba is not a car...
Remember Richardo Montalban and the Chrysler Cordoba and its rich Carinthian leather? Cordoba Spain does not look like it. And it is not pronounced "core-dow-bah" as Richardo suggests. It is core-da-bah.
Below is a quick video about our trip from the port of Malaga to Cordoba, and the incredible history thast awaits all visitors. Read all about Cordoba on Mellissa's blog.
Sel De Mer translates to "salt of the sea", so you guessed it, it is a seafood restaurant. And yes, a French one. The Holland America folks call it "French seafood in a traditional brasserie setting."
It is quite different than other speciality restaurants on Holland America. There is not a base price for a meal at Sel De Mer. It is a la carte so if you're not careful things can really add up, especially if you want starters like their seafood platter!
As you'll see in this brief review, they deliver a few touches along the way that make the dining experience memorable, including showing you your fish before it turns into just the insides. Happily the fish is not still alive when they show it the first time. It was pre-dead.
Twas the night before leaving...
It's Friday night, tomorrow we leave on another journey, this time literally into the wild blue yonder. We've done this before as you can witness in a different Transatlantic cruise. We are hopeful we get the same weather—perfect—from the last voayge from Florida to Rome, with stops in Portugal and Spain.
This time we are back on the MS Koningsdam, a ship we had the luxury of being on for its maiden voyage.
As a personal refresher I watched a video. There is nothing better than being on the newest, most beautiful, ship of the fleet on a slow float across the ocean.
Which brings me to a discovery. When you go searching for a cruise quote it ends up being about Tom Cruise. Like this insight from Tom: "I love kids. I was a kid myself once." Um...yeah...
I did however find this one:
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore." Trust me when I say we lose sight of the shore, and everything else for that matter. I love it.
See you at sea.
Here we go again
A month ago we were complaining to ourselves that we had no real trip planned. Usually we have a spring cruise set up, and happily I have had a few birthdays in really interesting places. For instance Shanghai. But this year? Nothing. Until now...
Now we have three. The first is a Transatlantic cruise aboard the Holland America ship the Koningsdam, a brand new ship we were on for her first tour of duty. That happens April 2. No real time to plan which is fine. And we will be in Rome for Easter Sunday, near the Vatican actually. So we may send a note to the Pope and ask if he'd like to join us for a glass of wine. He does like his wine.
Next we are going to Hawaii in August. I have never been, and I have to admit it has never been on my radar since I've been obsessed with Europe.
Then an Asian cruise at Christmas with the extended family which will be great. I will finally see Hong Kong, and perhaps King Kong. So from nothing to the busiest year we have on record.
So stay tuned for our trip blog in the not so distant future.