Aug 27, 2012





A little bit of shopping, a French dinner and no fireworks …….


At 7am we were up again and peeked out of the veranda door to see that we were already close to Nassau. We got up and took showers and by 7.30 we passed the lighthouse and the were pulling into port. We stood out on the veranda while the captain turned the ship around and docked her pretty quickly today. We wanted to do a  little shopping in Nassau today, but we were in no hurry to get off the ship, so at around 8am we made our way down to the Royal Palace for breakfast.

There were a few families in line ahead of us, but we were soon seated and a cast member was at hand to take our order for drinks. We both ordered orange juice, Tom had some coffee and I had ordered some tea. Soon someone came around with the box of teas and again I had to sort through some teas to find what I wanted. When it came to ordering our first course was easy. Tom again got the Swiss Bircher Muesli, Muesli with raisins, shredded apples and yogurt, which he loves and I ordered my cruise staple, the Mornin' Tug Boat, fresh blend of strawberries, bananas, almonds, raisin granola and low-fat yogurt.

But that day we both wanted to order something different from the Eggs Benedict. Tom opted for the Big Breakfast and I ordered a sweet breakfast for a change. Our cold courses were served within two minutes and we sat and happily spooned up the yummy food. Soon after we had finished, the empty dishes were removed and the server brought over our hot courses. He placed my plate with the French Toast and Pineapple Stack, layers of French toast and grilled pineapple, topped with strawberry coulis, maple glaze and fruit salad in front of me, then put Tom’s plate in front of him.

But wait, that was not what we had ordered for Tom. The server had brought out the Buckwheat Crepe, a large buckwheat crepe filled with scrambled egg whites, spinach and silky tofu with herbed tomato relish. We pointed out the mistake to the server and he was VERY apologetic, but since he just didn’t grasp what we wanted to order he even brought over a menu, so we could point at the Big Breakfast, that Tom wanted. The Buckwheat Crepe was left on the table for us to try and off the server went. He returned two minutes later with the …….. Disney Cruise Line Breakfast Trio, French toast, Belgian waffle, and buttermilk pancakes served with cinnamon butter, syrup and whipped cream, accompanied with bacon. And when he sat it on the table we just could not help it, but burst into laughter. The server was very sorry he had got it wrong again, but by then Tom had decided to just stick with what had been placed in front of him. (Funny side note – when we were cruising in February of the following year, the same cast member still remembered us, commenting, that he remembered us from “breakfast last summer”.) We finished our breakfast, still bursting into laughter now and then, then handed the servers a little tip and off we went.

Our next stop was our stateroom to pick up our backpack, some cash and our IDs. On the way there we ran into Oana, our stateroom host and told her that there was a small surprise for her on the bed again. And then it was time to head off the ship. In no time we were signed off and walked along the pier to get to the customs house. There are only few things we usually look for when in Nassau and that day was no different. Once we had walked through the customs house we walked over to Starbucks to pick up a beverage and get some internet. We had a little wait to order our drinks as it seemed that a lot of people had had the same idea.

Once it was our turn we ordered two Caramel Frappuccinos and paid for an hour’s internet service, then walked upstairs, found a seat and connected to the internet. We quickly checked our email, and sipped some of our far too sweet coffee. Once the hour was up we binned the rest of the coffee and went on our way shopping. First stop was the Tortuga Rum Company. Tom was on a mission to buy some vanilla rum. So after having sampled some rum cake we had a good look around, but did not find the vanilla rum anywhere, so we asked. Well, they were out of it and were awaiting the next shipment any day.

Since we were coming back with the next cruise anyway we were not too worried and just bought some rum cakes for the crew. Next stop was the Bacardi store. Again, we took a good look around and Tom found a few smaller bottles of rum he wanted to sample. Then we walked through the straw market and up to the main shopping street.

 We did a lot of window shopping, then stopped at the DelSol store and picked up a few shirts for little George. On the way back to the ship we stopped at the grocery store, had another good look around and finally picked up a few spices and some chocolate bars for the crew members, before we made one more stop at an off licence to pick up a few bottles of Bahamian beer for Tom. We slowly strolled back to the ship, went through customs and finally walked along the pier back to the ship. And right before we were to get on, we ran into a mother – daughter team, who was part of our Fish Extender team and we stopped and chatted for some time.

They were heading into Nassau to do some shopping and we went back on board. It didn’t take long and we were back in our stateroom, emptied out the Fish Extender, took a drink out of the fridge and rested for a few minutes. We had not had lunch yet, but Royal Palace was close to closing time, so we decided to just head up on deck and get something from the counter service. There were lots of people in the pool area, but thankfully we found a table after we had picked up some food. Tom had ordered a piece of Peperoni Pizza and a piece of Chicken barbeque pizza, while I stuck with the Pizza Margarita. Tom went to get some drinks and we were all set to dig in. We must have been really hungry because we both went back for more food. I picked up a plate with different Wraps, a Chicken Caesar one, a Tuna salad one and a Greek salad one, while Tom ordered his favourite counter service food on board, a Hot Dog with fries. He loaded it up with mustard, ketchup and some pickles and was in Hot Dog heaven. After we had finished our rather big meal we wobbled back to our stateroom to plop onto the chairs on the veranda and enjoy the wonderful day with another drink. But our time on the veranda was short as they power washed the outside of the ship and the cast members working there were moving towards us.

So we sorted out our Fish Extender gifts and headed off to hand them out again. We took our sweet time and stopped ever so often to enjoy the enchanted art. Then we turned a corner and while walking past an open stateroom we peeked in and saw Narciso, our stateroom host from the year before. And even before we could even say a word he came running out to hug us and tell us how happy he was to see us too. We stood in the hallway and talked for quite some time. And when after some time he had to go back to working he told us that he had brought gifts back from the Philippines for us. He was a bit busy the next few days, but since we were going to stay on board anyway he promised to visit us in our stateroom during the next few days.

We both could not believe that for the second time we had met him just by accident. Once we were done handing out gifts, we walked back to our stateroom and after removing the gifts out of our Fish Extender we sat on the veranda enjoying some more drinks and wondering what a small world and ship it was. We watched a little TV, but all too soon it was time to get ready again for our dinner at Remy. This time we knew that Mathieu would be there, so we packed a little gift bag full of chocolate right away. Then we changed into our Remy clothes and climbed the two flights of stairs to the restaurant. We signed in and the cast member at the desk was a bit surprised, as she had two servers noted.

We told her that we had been there for lunch and had had a very nice young server, but that we knew Mathieu and his wife and would really love to have him as our server. She made a note of it and asked us to have a seat in Meridien. There were several other guests, some of them were then led into Palo and a few of them into Remy and finally it was our turn. We were led to a lovely table by the window and Mathieu was right there to greet us. He handed us the menu and explained it a bit, before the sommelier came over to ask if we wanted the wine tasting with it. We had had it the last time and it was just too much in too short a time for me, so we politely declined. And then it was time for Mathieu to prepare their signature champagne cocktail, Colette. They do it with a lot of finesse and it was fun to watch. Once we had received our cocktails we only had a few moments and their first little treat was served. A small fried cube which they tell you to put in your mouth in one piece as the inside is liquid. They are not lying when they say this.

It explodes in your mouth, but it tastes really nice. Next they came round with a small plate with different breads. We both chose the Truffle brioche and it was served with a small portion of Butter and some coarse sea salt. We sat, enjoyed the buttered brioche and the cocktail and the view of the sea outside our window. Then it was time for the Amuse-Bouche, the Foie Gras Siphon, served with Macadamia nut espuma. It was pretty nice. There is not much time to sit and enjoy, like we do in Europe, the food is served at a very steady pace and once we had finished the Amuse-Bouche we were quickly served the next course, the Tomate, Jus et Croustillante, finely diced tomatoes, topped with a cream cheese mouse, served with “Tomato Water”.

And while the Jus was nice and cold it definitely was too much for me. The rest of the dish was pretty nice and refreshing. And when we had finished it, we were offered some more bread, so Tom chose a small Baguette type roll, while I took a slice of the whole grain baguette. I was SO not prepared for the next course, Langoustine Tartare. Thinking of tartare, I had the impression that there should be some kind of texture, while this was very finely minced langoustine, thinly spreaded all over the plate. I was much happier with the next course, Hailbut Bouillon Dashi.

It was perfectly cooked halibut on top of a lovely kind of luke warmish broth which had Julienne vegetables and herb ravioli in it, very nice. The portion size was really good, not too much and not to small either. We had just finished the fish course when the first one of the two meat courses was served, Herb crusted lamb, lamb loin encrusted in herbs, perfectly cooked to medium, with a baby carrot and some fresh peas and some micro herbs. There was only a garnish of carrot puree and pea puree. The meat just melted in your mouth and was really good. And while we ate Mathieu would drop by now and then to share some tidbits of his wedding and life on board. We all had a blast.

There were still several courses to go and the next one came out right after they had taken away our plates from the previous course. It was the main meat course, the Boeuf Kobe, which was Kobe beef, cooked medium, accompanied by perfectly cooked baby veg, some really concentrated beef jus and the best mashed potatoes ever. They had a very light hint of garlic and were so creamy and fluffy light. They were topped with a cornel of pulled Kobe beef which was to die for. Such a wonderful combination and so well cooked. We were pretty full after we had finished our main course and Mathieu left us a few minutes until he returned with the Plateau de Fromages, the Cheese trolley.

We were a bit unsure of what to try, so we asked him to select for us. He did, and put all of his favourite cheeses on the plate, then told us what to eat with which cheese and which ones to compare. He was so right about them all, and they were just heavenly. We knew there were still two more courses to come, so we kept on “fighting”. At least we had made it to the desserts. The first one to be served was the Pina Colada, Pina Colada mousse, topped with a cornel of Pineapple sorbet and some dried, candied pineapple. It was light and creamy and very tasty. I was pleased to see the last course, Chocolate! It was the same dessert we had had for lunch, just without the hot chocolate poured around it.

It was a wonderful and thankfully pretty small chocolaty treat. But there are still the Mignardises, a tasting of sweets from the kitchen. And it was quite a large tasting.  There were homemade marshmallows, small baked pancake dough cakes,  house made dark and milk chocolates and two small bitesize biscuits, topped with vanilla mousse. But wait, that’s not all, there were leaves, made from puff pastry sprinkled with caster sugar, and light and dark toffees with nuts. We asked Mathieu if he would be able to package those for us and he pointed out the ones we needed to eat right away, but he was glad to package up the rest for us. Time had flown by and we had been at the restaurant for more than two and half hours and when Mathieu returned, we signed the bill, left Mathieu a large tip and his chocolate goodie bag. When he learned that we would be on board for the next cruise as well, he was determined to talk us into another meal at Remy. He even brought over the Maitre d’, who was sure he “would be able to fit us in” again and the chef would prepare a different menu for us. Now, that definitely won us over and we agreed that if he could fit us in we would be back on the next cruise as well. Then I was handed two roses, one from the Maitre d’ and one from Mathieu.

Then we headed out to the check-in desk, where our reservation was confirmed and the previous one we had had for Palo was cancelled. We were in a very good mood when we returned to our stateroom, emptied the Fish Extender and walked inside to see another greeting from Remy. A small box with 4 handmade chocolates. There was also someone else in our stateroom, a monkey, made from towels. We got changed into some much more comfortable clothes and sat on the bed for a while, before it was time to head to deck 12 for the pirate party and the fireworks. Then we headed out to the check-in desk, where our reservation was confirmed and the previous one we had had for Palo was cancelled.

We were in a very good mood when we returned to our stateroom, emptied the Fish Extender and walked inside to see another greeting from Remy. A small box with 4 handmade chocolates. There was also someone else in our stateroom, a monkey, made from towels. We got changed into some much more comfortable clothes and sat on the bed for a while, before it was time to head to deck 12 for the pirate party and the fireworks. There were lots of people up on that deck but we were able to find a good spot from where we could watch the fireworks. We waited, it got past the time the fireworks had been to blast off, but the party was still going on. We heard people talk that they were running behind, but the later it got, the more we started to wonder. There were far more people working up on the funnels where they fire the fireworks from than usual. And finally after nearly half an hours wait there was the announcement everyone had been dreading, the fireworks were cancelled again. Their crew was working hard to get them working again, but they would need much more time and they would try again the next day. Most of the people stayed and still enjoyed the pirate party, but Tom and I were too tired. 

We fought our way to an exit, then walked inside and back to our stateroom. We quickly got ready for bed and were fast asleep about 20 minutes later.