At sea, May 1, 2006

Finally, a day at sea. It's perfectly sunny, probably upper 60's w/ a very strong chilly wind. Katie had 2 exercise classes starting at 8 am. At 11:15, Executive Chef, Paul Leseure, held a gourmet cooking demo. He's done an impressive job for someone only 34 yrs. old. We got to sample the dishes he prepared (sauteed duck w/ foie gras & hibiscus tea sauce, seared scallops on a bed of ratatouille salad & mango carpaccio). He finished just after noon; & we proceeded to the Grand D.R. for a special brunch.

An interesting concept I've never seen done before. They had everything from eggs benedict & belgium waffles to carved ham, steak & veggies. Of course, I had to have another chocolate croissant. How I wish you could get them hot. At least in the D.R. the bit of chocolate that's in there is softer. We both loved the cream of potato soup w/ julienned leek. I had a pretty good grilled pastrami, sauerkraut & Swiss cheese sandwich. Katie had grilled salmon w/ hollandaise, rice & veggies. Katie took a gamble on the the coffee; & thought it was great. She had it w/ her dessert which was called "Trio of Gourmet Delights". It consisted of bite size portions of NY cheesecake, fruit tartlet & opera cake (which was thin layers of yellow cake & butter cream covered w/ chocolate ganache). She said they were fabulous. We went up to the upstairs buffet to get a look at this evening's menu; & decided to try to make a reservation at Toscana (the alternative Italian Restaurant). Of course, it's a sea day; & they're booked solid w/ a long waiting list. Out of curiosity we checked out the lunch buffet up there; & right away spotted a few things we had to "taste". Katie homed in on the cream of asparagus soup; & I had to have a BBQ short rib from the carving board. I had only one; & it was divine (small bone, meaty & delicious sauce). The waiter asked us why we were eating such a little bit. We didn't dare tell him we'd just finished eating in the D.R.

Katie had an appointment to get her nails done at 1:45. So I went up to the pool. It was packed. Not an empty chair in sight (at least not one w/o someone's "stuff" in it). I went 2 decks up & found a place; but the wind was so cold, I only lasted 45 mins. Finally found a place to park by the pool for another hour. Got under the bed covers to warm up when I came in. Next thing I know, I'm asleep. Katie finished getting ready for dinner before me; so she went to the Martini Bar. I joined her & chatted w/ more new friends for a while. We went in to dinner about 8:30. We again requested a table in Jose' & Mihaela's section.

We had a very good appetizer of bow tie pasta w/ ricotta & grilled chicken. She had a fabulous hot appetizer of crispy fried monkfish w/ applewood bacon w/ roasted garlic aioli. My other appetizer was a small mound of garlic mashed potatoes topped w/ corn & onion relish w/ roasted shitake mushrooms & grilled asparagus. Yummy! We both had the cream of potato soup w/ saffron & chorizo. And we both had the same entree, broiled jumbo black tiger prawn marinated w/ garlic & fresh ginger served over stir fried Chinese noodles & veggies. It was good; but not great. We had a scoop of kiwi sorbet, which did not disappoint. Before retiring we went through the pictures on TV that Katie took during her tour of Athens yesterday.


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