A follower of the blog requested photos of the ocean. Just took these from Deck 2 during the first mile if what I hope will be a two mile. So thanks for the excuse to sit on the aft and write (and take the picture above) for a minute!
Weather today is beautiful but windy and a little cooler. The swells continue to rock the ship from side to side. It seemed to be worse overnight than we have had since just after leaving San Juan. We noticed that there weren’t many folks up this morning so perhaps they were making up for sleep lost overnight.
It is difficult to get a picture that shows the ocean as it really is -they all seem to look the same but that certainly isn’t the case. It is constantly changing and so wonderful to gaze at endlessly.
So if one nap is good two is better right?
We actually got up early enough this morning for breakfast despite another hour being lost. We are now four hours ahead of eastern standard. We ate at Mamsen’s this morning which is a small food counter in the Explorer’s Lounge named after Viking’s Founders mother. They serve relatively small plates of Norwegian specialties. I elected to bypass both types of smoked fish and had the waffle with sour cream, fruit and brown goat cheese shown above. It was tasty but I think I’ll stick with bacon and syrup next time with my waffle. Mike liked it because it wasn’t sweet.
We returned to the room with the intent of putting on our tenni-pumps and taking our walk. Alas, the weather has continued to cool so I found myself reading on the balcony enjoying the sound of the ocean while Mike did his Spanish lesson. Next thing I knew, I was laying on the bed reading and listening through the open door to the ocean and then it seems the ocean got to hear the sounds of me snoring.
I woke in time for lunch (see how I did that?) which we enjoyed outdoors. Salad and a few nibbles from the buffet …and a taste of the praline ice cream.
Afternoon somehow became a repeat of the morning. Except this time we both napped. All you silly people still working don’t know what you’re missing! 2 naps will be my new sign of a great day!
Anyway we awoke in time to get our walk in, take showers and make it to Manfredi’s for dinner with 10 other CruiseCritics in the restaurant’s Private dining room. It was fun to spend time with folks we had been “chatting” with online for several months.
The table in the room is incredible. It’s a single slice of a sequoia!
Below are some photos from dinner of dishes that weren’t in a previous post. The dinner was very good but the conversation as camaraderie even better.
Mussels in a saffron and crab cream sauce-delicious!
Pasta with mussels in a lobster stock
Seared sea bass
Chocolate bar dessert
We dined at Viking’s other alternative restaurant tonight. They have a menu that rotates every three days. Tonight was the French Bistro. It was very tasty in general and the service was a step above what we had last night. We were seated beside a couple from Florida and Maine who were enjoyable to talk with. Throughout Viking’s restaurants their tables for two are arranged “just” far enough away for privacy if you desire that, but “just” close enough together to allow for conversation also.
Below is today’s food porn, the second course was the winner IMHO especially with the delicious wine pairing. The only dish that was underwhelming was the amuse-a consume with mushrooms that needed salt-and if I say that you can imagine with Sir Michael thought. We were also a little disappointed by the granita palate cleanser. It was tasty but the wine in it lingered on the palate and certainly left my palate less than cleansed. The main-was very tasty soufflé of sole in a wonderful lobster sauce. The wine pairing for it was the least successful but still tasty enough that we both had two glasses. The dessert was delicious and the sweet wine with it was most enjoyable.
We are looking forward to our next visit to the Chef’s table on Sunday for their “Gastronomic Journey Through Time”. That’s quite a title, hope dinner lives up to it!
Wine List (didn’t cost us extra since we have the Silver Spirits package)
2nd course – mushrooms and cheese in pastry in a wonderful wine sauce
Granita (partially eaten-oops!)
Awoke this morning-yes it was still morning but only barely (this moving the clock ahead every night is tough!) to a change in weather. Still partly cloudy/mostly sunny and warm but a noticeable drop in humidity. And the wind is up a bit. We of course love it after all those days two levels above hell (as Mike described it) in the inferno that was Houston but suddenly there is an abundance of seating in the shade. Yea! And while I noticed some folks with sweaters, we are still in shorts! We also saw our first ship today (we should be halfway across the Atlantic sometime overnight tonight). A cargo ship in the distance.
The swells continue but seem to be spread out a bit more. It is what I expected the middle of the ocean to be like.
Several followers have asked about food, entertainment, drinks and room service.
Food so far has been great. The buffet is a step above other cruise lines but it is still a buffet. The main dining room has been well above most cruise lines specialty restaurants in quality and comparable in service. We have only eaten in one alternative restaurant, Manfredi’s and enjoyed our meal throughly (see previous post) but we both noted that there wasn’t the difference between it and the main dining room that one sees on other cruise lines. We mentioned that to the Dining manager when he stopped by our table and he stated that wasn’t “the Owner’s” vision and why they call them alternative rather than specialty restaurants. He wants all the restaurants on board to be of a similar high quality. Our only complaint at Manfredi’s which didn’t affect us l, was watching a table of eight have to wait and wait and wait and wait for everyone to be served their dishes. Rather than the servers assisting each other to deliver dishes or using a tray, their waiter brought out two patron’s plates at a time and once they were all delivered (four trips) he then had to make two or three more trips to bring them their sides. Very strange.
We have the drinks package and have (well except so far today) been making good use of it. If we hadn’t Ilhad the OBC to use, we probably wouldn’t have bothered as the included wine at lunch and dinner is fine and cocktails so cheap ($6-8). The bartenders and servers are all outstanding. Somehow not only do they remember our names and room numbers but most remember our drink of choice. This is after four days aboard! Yesterday I was meeting Mike in the Explorer’s lounge and didn’t see him and server Stefani said, “Mr John, if your are looking for Sir Mike he is upstairs, I just took him a martini would you like a G&T?” Now that is full service!
Neither of us typically attend the shows on a cruise regularly. So I am not the best judge as I find almost all the shows a bit cheesy. We did go to Viking’s Rat Pack show last evening as during the welcome aboard we had been impressed with all three guys voices. They did not disappoint though the show could have been a few minutes shorter for my taste. The visiting Va Gentlemen have been great and their youthful vigor (as well as the eye candy) has been a welcome addition to this cruise where the average age has to be in the upper 60s. The piano player, string trio and the guitar player who appear around the ship are all enjoyable.
Since some fool decided to keep the roof on the pool closed despite the beautiful weather we are on our balcony listening to the bow wave breaking, reading and waiting for the timer to go off indicating its time to retrieve (and fold😢) our clothes from the launderette down the hall…does that qualify as second world problem?
Thought the title of today’s post was gonna be “2nd Verse Same as the 1st” since we slept in (missed breakfast even…Horrors!) and did our walk (1.5 miles for me and 2 for Mike!) and figured we would end up at the spa but we were thrilled when we went up to the pool to find that they had finally opened the roof on the mid ship larger pool and filled it with cool water (the infinity pool on the stern has been like a bathtub). So we spent the rest of the morning there, had burgers from the pool grill for lunch-mighty tasty and generally were enjoying ourselves. Viking brings around cool towels, water and even sorbet!
All was going well until someone decided they had to do maintenance on the movable roof. So with a hundred folks enjoying the beautiful day, they suddenly closed the roof creating the world’s largest sauna at sea. Needless to say, we and most everyone else left. We spent the rest of the afternoon on our balcony reading.
The Virginia Gentlemen (UVA choral group) did a set pre dinner in the atrium and then We had dinner at Manfredi’s one of two alternate restaurants aboard. This one is geared towards Italian. We had a great meal-the steak Florentine was the big winner and I suspect when we eat there again with the CruiseCritic group on Friday, we will both have it rather than half and halfing our entrees. And Mike liked the wine!
Hopefully they will have the roof open again tomorrow so we can go back to being problemless no matter what world!
Appetizers -Fritto Misto & Carpaccio
Pasta Course-Ravioli with smoked mozzarella & Parpadelle with mushrooms
Mains-Pancetta wrapped Osso Bucco with risotto & Steak Florentine
Dessert-Lemon Delice (moosey-very tart) with basil sorbet & Pistachio Torte (tasty but dry).
While less intense and less frequent than on Sunday and Monday, we continue to roll with the large trough waves. If you watch the top of the handrail in the video you can see what I mean. Previously we were regularly seeing 5 degree changes in each direction, according to the app on my phone the max is now about 3 degrees.
No one seems to be ill from it, but most of us walk around holding the handrails and trying to be low and wide as recommended by the Captain. I’ve got the wide part down….but hard for me to be low!
Not much to report other than we got closer (but not much) to Spain.
Due to the time change ( we are now 2 hours ahead of EST) we were awakened at 9 by the room steward, that will teach us to not to forget to leave the “do not disturb out”. After breakfast and our walk we enjoyed the thermal spa followed by lunch.
Afterwards I intended to read but a nap overcame me. Mike did “tea” while I napped and then we met up for the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle where we got to put faces to online profiles.
Afterwards we had sushi, shrimps and crab claws at the World Cafe followed by salads and ice cream. Delicious mango!
We then played a few video games of blackjack-closest thing Viking has to a casino. I won with over $12,000! Unfortunately there is no where to cash out. 😢
Hmm, 10pm. Isn’t that bedtime for old people?