Oceania Cruises "Regatta", Entry #2; March/Apr '07

When I wrote the first installment, I wrote in a synopsis form rather than a daily journal.  Little did I realize that it would be harder to pick up where I left off w/o reverting to the journal format.  So, pardon me if there is no real rhyme or reason to my format….
Except for one lunch in the Grand Dining Room, I have continued to eat most meals in the Terrace Café.  Some of the goodies I have enjoyed have been grilled marinated scallops w/ pesto on garlic rounds; luscious shrimp casserole w/ mushrooms & garlic bread crumbs; the best crème brulee’ (nice & crispy on the top).  One day I just couldn’t get enough of eggplant & tomato caponata salad.  I’ve also enjoyed a salad w/ little balls of proscuitto & goat cheese; fabulous rigatoni w/ spinach, proscuitto  & garlic in a sage cream sauce; grilled scallops wrapped w/ proscuitto (can you tell how much I LOVE proscuitto) on skewers; carved rack of veal w/ rosemary.  I’m still quite enamored w/ their Med. grilled veggies.  Whatever it is they marinate them in is unbelievably good.

Their hot appetizers are always delicious.  Since it is offered just about every night on the buffet, I continue to have the tender fried calamari.  Others that have pleased my palate are baked oysters w/ fennel & veggies w/ apple cider glace’ (sounds weird I know but was very good); white bean & pepper salad; cream of potato & saffron soup w/ chorizo fritters & black bean & yellow corn salad w/ crispy tortilla strips.  The one occasion that I had lunch in the D.R., I was seated at a table with a woman who actually knew where Newbern/Dyersburg was.  She had worked for a rubber company that used to call on Colonial Rubber Works in D’burg.  She also had eaten at Mom’s Buffet in N’bern (imagine that).

Last night they had prime rib on the buffet.  It was so beautifully rare; I made a pig of myself.  I had them cut a slab that was at least 1” thick (had to be a min. of 1 lb. of beef).  Covered in Béarnaise sauce, I could just hear my arteries crying out.  The Cruise Director joined me after I had already started.  So glad he didn’t see that slab of beef; I would have been too embarrassed.  Also had some very good BBQ ribs yest. at lunch.  I’m still waiting for some of those flavors of sorbet from the last cruise.  But I have had pear several times & a pretty decent blackberry last night.
The seas have finally calmed down some (swells rather than waves).  They took down the barriers that prevented you from going on the Promenade deck on Tues.  Amazingly up until yest. we were still headed in basically an easterly direction w/ our latitude about even w/ Jacksonville, FL.  But today we’ve taken a slight northerly turn w/ the Canary Islands not far away to our NE.  I’ve now finished my 2nd book; & making my way through more movies.  I watched Babel (a little too strange for my taste); Casino Royale (the newest & one of the best Bond movies); The Last King of Scotland (more than I ever wanted to know about Idi Amin).  This morning I saw The Queen (LOVED it).
I had a delightful one hr. (Balinese Bliss) massage.  Finally someone who actually did a neck adjustment, if only by accident.  On Tues. (through a stupid mistake), we were knocked out of 1st place at Team Trivia (a loss we took hard).  Every other team on the ship is gunning for us; & our reputation is well known onboard.  We redeemed ourselves on Wed. when we won after a (4-way) tie breaker question.  They also had an evening version (10:30 pm) of trivia.  It was difficult for some of our team to stay awake & sober enough to participate; but we won again.

Thurs. (no aft. Trivia) I spent at the pool.  It’s getting cooler & quite windy; but not too cool (until the sun gets lower in the sky).  Late trivia again last night where we did ourselves proud again.  These questions were around a 50’s/60’s theme; & I unbelievably contributed a lot of answers.  Maybe it was the TN advantage on the Elvis related questions.  This morning they had Mad Gab again (a last min. replacement for a canceled cooking demo); & a few of our team didn’t hear the announcement.  We’ll blame it on them; but we came in 2nd.  You should have seen the winning team do their victory dance.  They love to see us fall!
I got a call from Housekeeping yesterday in reference to my comments on the “mid cruise comment card”.  I complained about the hard mattress & flimsy pillows. They are sending someone today w/ a pillowtop & different pillows.  At least they’re paying attention; & trying to make things right.  I’ve learned that the beds were replaced since my cruise last April.  And lastly, I got an e-mail from my (Crystal Cruises) friend, Leslie (from Boca) who tells me that one of her friends from TX was leaving on a cruise the same day we left MIA.  Since we were the only ship in MIA last Fri., that would narrow the choices down considerably.  I’ve checked at the desk; & they indeed are onboard.  I’ve left voicemail in their cabin; & hope that we can meet up soon.  Leslie says they’re fun people.  Can you believe I’ve used up ¾ of my 500 internet mins. already?  Sure you can.
More another time……

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