Aug 31, 2012





Concierge Level thieves


Today was another sea day. We were able to sleep in a little bit and only got up around 7.30. There was no need to be up and about as we had a brunch reservation at Palo at 11am. But once we were up, we were up and at 8.30 we decided that it might be okay if we squeeze in a little breakfast. So down to the Royal Palace we went again. We were quickly signed in and taken to a table.

Tom ordered some coffee, I only ordered some orange juice, and then we decided on what to have to eat. Tom went for his favourite, the Swiss Bircher Muesli, Muesli with raisins, shredded apples and yogurt and I ordered the Mornin' Tug Boat, a fresh blend of strawberries, bananas, almonds, raisin granola and low-fat yogurt, again. I just love this yoghurt, Tom didn’t hold back and ordered The Big Breakfast, a large filled omelet on savory toast with grilled tomatoes, bacon and baked beans topped with caramelized onions. I had decided against Eggs Benedict and just gotten the Express, Scrambled eggs, grilled ham, bacon, sausage. and hash browns. It was way past 9am when we finally finished our breakfast and headed back up to our stateroom. And guess who we came across. The little thieves. They ran when they saw us, but this time we did not give up and walked after them. And after going all across the ship they pulled out a key and headed into the concierge lounge. So we knew where the thieves were staying, but what to do. We decided to let it be for the moment and headed back to our stateroom. Needless to say the little thieves had emptied out the Fish Extender again, but at least the rest of our magnets was still on the door. And while we still talked about it, Oana came walking up to us with nearly all the missing magnets in hand. She had asked her fellow Cast Members to take a look out for them and had found them all over the ship. We thanked her and her friends and then put the magnets back on the door.

There was still some time left before we had to go to Palo and we decided on walking around the ship for a little while. We did not get far. Once we had reached the Cove Café we decided that instead of walking around, why not have a nice coffee creation. So we walked inside, I made it a point that we wanted our coffee in real glasses and both ordered a Frozen Cappuccino, 1/3 Espresso blended with vanilla ice cream. I got mine with whipped cream on top as well. We sat inside the air conditioned café and did some people watching. But soon enough it was time to get ready for our Palo brunch. We returned to our stateroom to find that again two of our magnets had gone missing. And before we got changed I went and took them all down. There is no reason to keep them up if those little Concierge level thieves were going to steal them anyway. Once dressed appropriately for Palo we walked up to the restaurant to sign in. We asked to have the same server as the cruise prior and were granted our wish. Then we were asked to wait at Meridian until our table was ready. It didn’t even take 2 minutes and we were taken to our table. Our server was right there to greet us, take our drinks order and when he returned he took us for a tour of the buffet.

Now, we have been to Palo brunch so often, that I have the feeling that we could do the spiel as well, but it was nice to see him trying so hard. We were then left at the buffet with a plate in hand to be filled. There are lots of yummy things on that buffet and we had no trouble filling our plates. After returning to our table and taking a few photos of our food we indulged in all the wonderful offerings and a complimentary glass of Mimosa.

And while we were still enjoying that first plate of food, our server came by to ask if we had liked what we had sampled so far and to ask if we had decided on any hot dishes. I was already pretty full, but the server more or less insisted on us trying at least something. So Tom ordered the Eggs Florentine. To our huge surprise, the server also brought us a pizza, it was half  Grape and Gorgonzola and half Goats cheese and Sundried tomato pizza. He was sure we would like it and told us how wonderful it was. Well, we had had it before and knew how good it was, so we stuffed ourselves even more. Once we had finished pizza and Eggs Julia there was still dessert to conquer.

No matter how full I am there is always room for dessert. So back to the buffet we went and we both loaded up a smaller plate to fill that sweet tooth. Totally stuffed we signed the receipt and left a nice tip for our server before we rolled back to our stateroom to get changed and rest for a while. And after we had recovered from the food overload we grabbed some drinks out of the fridge and sat on the veranda for a while. But not for too long as the smoker decided to smoke us all out again. So we headed back inside and after a while decided to just walk around the ship for a while again. And when we walked past the D-Lounge we saw that the “Anyone can cook” presentation was just about to begin, so we headed inside to sample a little more food.

The presentation was fun, they had a cook from Italy who was in the Remy team and now showed us all how to make Lobster Ravioli. At the end of the presentation we were served a small plate of the Ravioli and a glass of wine to go with it. Once the presentation was over we sat on the loungers on deck 4 for a while in a smoke free environment, then looked through the Art shop again, walked through the shops and picked up a few more things and then returned to our stateroom. I started packing as we would have to get off the ship in two days time and the next day was Castaway Cay day. It was pretty easy to fill about half of our luggage with things we no longer needed and by the time I was finished it was time to get all dressed up again. We had an early ADR at Remy again. Mathieu had promised us a different menu and that was, what had make us change our reservation. All dressed up again we headed up to Remy, where we were greeted with a smile and told that Mathieu would be our server. We were then again asked to take a seat at Meridian and it would not take long until we were called. It actually took less than two minutes, as we had just sat down and picked up the drinks menu when we were escorted into the dining room. We were seated at a table right by the window and a moment later Mathieu arrived to greet us and share some more jokes with us.

Now, the last time we had dined at Remy, Mathieu had picked his favourite cheeses for us to sample and while he did, we had taken a photo of him doing so. Since we had had time to spare in the afternoon Tom had now photoshopped Remy into it. He had now brought his tablet with him, to show Mathieu. I am pretty sure the Maitre d’ was not happy about all the giggling going on at our table and Mathieu taking off with the tablet to show it to anyone who wanted to see it or not. He ever showed it to the Maitre d’ who then smiled and rolled his eyes. First fun being had, Mathieu wanted to know if we wanted some wine with our dinner and when we told him no, he told us that when we had chatted last time we had told him that we liked a special “Disney wine” and he had gone and organized it for us. Well, the special Disney wine we had been talking about had been the one from Diane Disney’s winery, Silverado, but what Mathieu had organized was the Fairytale Cuve. It is a nice sparkling wine and after a short deliberation we decided to just roll with it. So Mathieu went to get the Sommelier present it to us and then went to get his cart, to prepare their signature cocktail, “Colette”. It was as much fun sampling it, as it was watching him making it. And once we had our drink in hand, an assistant came over to serve the first Amuse-Bouche, the liquid filled little breaded bite of cheese. And she quickly returned offering us some brioche, baguette, butter and sea salt.

Then the real Amuse-Bouche arrived. It was a Cold melon soup, served with a spoonful of nicely diced melon. Now, I am not a huge fan of melon, but didn’t want to spoil it, so I spooned the melon bits into the soup and tried it. It was quite nice actually, nothing I would go out of my way to order again, but I was pleasantly surprised. Next was the Tuna “Nicoise” Salade, seared tuna, mixed leaves with a mild vinaigrette, caviar and a quail’s egg. Now, that was right up my street. I really really loved it. Next course that was brought out were the Gnocci, served with a white wine foam. I had a good laugh when the server asked me if we had had gnocci before. Well, we go to Italy a lot and these ARE Italian, and we last had had them at Remy for lunch.

We took our sweet time to finish the gnocci course and then it was time for the next little masterpiece, Seared Black Cod, served with Pea Foam. Now the cod was really nice and flaky and super moist. And everyone had told us about the pea foam, which seemed to be one of the chef’s favourites. If you have ever been to England and have tried “mushy” peas, there you have it. When Mathieu asked about the pea foam I could not help but tell him that it tasted like “runny mushy peas”. We had a good laugh about it. But then we moved on to the next course, Veal with Barbecue Sauce. The presentation of this was absolutely awesome. The veal was so tender and was served with a small breaded dumpling which was filled with sauce. It was really wonderful.

The next course was the same we had had during our first visit. Boeuf Kobe, which was Kobe beef, cooked to a perfect 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. We both didn’t mind at all that it was a repetition. We slowly finished our food and as soon as we had put the forks down, a server took our plates away and another server came over with the Plateau de Fromages. We really wanted the same cheeses we had had before, so we asked if we could wait for Mathieu, who was tending to another table.

Didn’t take very long and Mathieu picked his favourite cheeses again for us. We were so full already, so we really took some time to finish off the cheeses and soon our first dessert arrived. It actually was two desserts served in different styles. There were cornels of raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream sandwiched in between to squares of Meringue, served with fresh raspberries and raspberry coulis. And the same was served in a cocktail glass. Raspberry sorbet, vanilla ice-cream, raspberry coulis and little drops of Meringue. It was funny, as we had been told the different methods of presentation would influence the taste and we just didn’t believe that. But it was true, being served differently actually did change the taste. And next was the Chocolate Croustillant, the same dark chocolate dessert that we had had during Remy lunch. It was awesome, as this time they had put some raspberry coulis on it. When the Mignardises came out we knew we would not be able to eat it. So we again asked Mathieu to box it up for us. We paid our bill, left Mathieu a hefty tip and then said our goodbyes. Again, Mathieu and the Maitre d’ presented me with a long stem rose and we promised to come see Mathieu again before we left. We wobbled back to our stateroom, changed into far more comfortable clothes and grabbed a drink out of the fridge to sit out on the veranda with. It was nice and peaceful out there, and there was just a little breeze. So enjoyable for a while, until the smoker used his veranda again. Back inside we went, and after finishing our drinks we took the two long stemmed roses and the sweets and walked down to guest services. We didn’t see Bettina right away, but a Cast member got her from the staff room and we handed her the roses and sweets and chatted for a while.

She was so happy with her little gift and the little bag of Austrian sweets we still had for her. I guess we chatted for quite a while, until the line at Guest Services got a bit long and we did not want to keep her from her work. We said our goodbyes for the night and promised to be back the next day to finally say goodbye before we had to disembark. A short stroll through the shops again and then we slowly walked back up the stairs to our stateroom. When we walked back to our stateroom the Concierge Level thieves came towards us again, but they ran once they recognized us. Good for them. We returned to our stateroom and went straight to bed. We were done.