Episode 165 – Tomahawking the “See-food” Diet

#myvikingstory

We’re into our first span of 3 sea days before returning to Cabo on the 16th. We’ll have several longer sailing stretches as we continue south around the tip of South America and cross the Atlantic.

There are lots of things to do on sea days: lectures, movies, musical entertainment, laundry, spa and gym time, socializing, and of course eating and drinking.

The old joke goes: “I’m on a seafood diet. If I see food, I eat it.” That could too easily be true on the Star, where there is tempting, beautifully presented, tantalizing fragrant food everywhere. Thank goodness that plated portions are right-sized to prevent “accidental” overeating.

My blog/diary entry for these 3 days is mostly food and the evening entertainment (plus a wee bit of venting – sorry). Skip it if you’re looking for lots of scenery, wildlife, or history. Those will all be back soon.

January 13, 2022. 65°F/18°C

Dinner at The Restaurant.
Top L: Heirloom tomato salad with arugula, goat cheese, and balsamic dressing.
Top R: Roasted squash taco with chili peanut salsa and fresh lime. Ted described it as a “refreshing” appetizer.
Centre L: We both enjoyed some of the best beer-battered cod we’ve ever tasted, with fresh-cut shoestring fries, tartar sauce, and wasabi peas.
Centre R: Ted’s Belgian stout. Beer is the perfect accompaniment to fish & chips, so I had one too – a Warsteiner (no dark beer for me!)
Bottom L: We each enjoyed the crispy, gooey, sweet and tangy strawberry pavlova with passion fruit curd, strawberry coulis, and just a touch of whipped cream.
Bottom R: In the Living Room bar before the evening show I had a second dessert: a perfectly mixed Grasshopper – like drinking melted mint ice cream!!

We were treated to a guest performer, cellist Wendy Law, who in addition to her many worldwide performing credits is a Teaching Artist at the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and founder and Artistic Director of Classical Jam. Her show was called “Cello In Love”, featuring iconic love songs of every genre. She wowed the audience with her final piece: a Gershwin medley bookended by the intro and finale to Rhapsody in Blue. Her self-described “princess dress” was pretty wow too!

January 14, 2022. 80°F/27°C

There were some logistics to be dealt with today as every passenger needed to complete the process for a Chilean vaccine verification card. We don’t reach Santiago until February 1st, but processing can take up to 15 days, so there was some urgency involved. Each person needed to set up an account, verify their email address, upload passport and vaccine documentation, and also take their photograph holding their passport under their chin. Ship’s staff were assigned to help everyone through the steps, and staggered the process into 3 sessions so that all 500 of us could complete it on time.

VENT ALERT: Unfortunately, walking through an online process with a group of 150 or so seniors on a variety of phones, tablets, and laptops was the definition of herding cats. Ted kept telling me to “just sit down” as I flitted between folks trying to help them navigate the process; the number of hands in the air looking for help far outnumbered the officers present to provide support.

Having spent much of my career training people to use new unfamiliar software, much of which they really didn’t want to learn, I admit to wanting to grab our Financial Officer’s microphone and take over. (Plus, he often left it “on” when helping individuals, causing everyone else to second guess their own screens). To start with, in a room full of old folks sitting in theatre seats trying to see a projection screen, giving them a URL to type in instead of needing to photograph a QR code over people’s heads would – to me – have been the logical starting point. So would demonstrating each individual step on the big screen. S-L-O-W-L-Y. Some older folks with android or Windows Surface tablets had never even taken a photo with them before! Our session was the first one, at 10:30, with the next group scheduled for 11:15. At 11:15, our group was only about 50% of the way through the process, with the next session’s participants trying to find seats, so I came back to our cabin to complete mine. By that time the number of extra officers recruited to help out in the theater had tripled from the initial allocation. I was frustrated because I wanted to make the process better, smoother, friendlier … RIGHT NOW. Ted was frustrated because I can’t mind my own business and go to a place of Zen.

11:30 a.m. and I needed a Bloody Mary. Thank God for Yoyo and the staff in the Pool Grille.

Our new Executive Chef Thomas Noack is making his mark already. Yesterday’s lunch theme was “Pastrami”, with all kinds of inventive takes on the iconic deli sandwich (of course, as well as all the myriad other foods offered daily). Today’s lunch theme was “Tropical”, but I just needed some saucy, spicy chicken wings with my drink. There’s nothing like getting your hands messy to relieve frustration.

I did succumb to the luscious fruit display though, enjoying diced mango, passionfruit, and pineapple with a splash pf Malibu coconut rum and the addition of a couple of slices of prickly pear.
…and then Aliaksandr in the Explorer’s Lounge made my day by crafting me the most beautiful decadent creamy latté.

Dinner tonight was a tomahawk steak special served on the pool deck. Pool deck food events tend to be big, splashy shows, complete with multiple chefs, signature drinks, and extra attractive food displays. We originally had reservations at Manfredi’s, but….. tomahawk steak!

Preparation for the evening event included rearranging the entire pool deck into cabaret style table seating, and prepping the pool grille for full table service. It takes a lot of staff – even the ship’s Shore Excursion Director acted as a waiter!
The 28 oz. tomahawk steak was presented to us uncooked, and then returned grilled to a perfect medium rare, accompanied by shoestring fries, mac & cheese, creamed spinach, steak and béarnaise sauces, grilled zucchini and peppers, and an old vine Zinfandel.
Ted, channelling Fred Flintstone and his brontosaurus steak!
Our appetizer was a deconstructed caesar salad accompanied by an unoaked chardonnay, and dessert was a passion fruit and guava cream “cheesecake” over a sweet crumble, garnished with fresh papaya and chocolate.

Dinner was stunning and mouthwateringly delicious. Music by resident guitarist King during dinner was a prelude to dancing under the stars to the Viking Band. I really can’t say enough about how great these 4 musicians (Enrico on piano, London on drums, Henji on lead guitar, and Jerome on bass guitar) are. On their own or fronted by their 2 vocalists they create an absolutely dynamite show. In addition, there were “surprise” vocal performances by our Cruise Director Aaron, and our two new Assistant Cruise Directors Damian and Sarah-Leanne. It made for a really fun evening!

The roof was open, adding romantic starlight to the event.

We twisted, samba-ed and generally rocked to the music. I added 2000 “steps” on my Garmin doing Flashdance steps to “Johnny B Goode” !

Pinch me. Who knew retirement could feel like this?

21 comments

  1. I cant tell you how hard I laughed at the computer disaster. I could feel your frustration but I obviously am not laughing WITH you If you get Instagram see if you can get Jeff’s . He has a Charlie Brown thing that fits perfectly.(I’m one of those people who doesn’t know how to send it to you) Carolyn loves your food descriptions as well. Love to see how knowledgeable and appreciative you are with the entertainment. Love you

    >

    Like

  2. Oh, Rose, we’ve never even met but I know already that I’d love to cruise with you! I was laughing so hard during your “VENT ALERT” that my husband was trying to hurry me up while reading it so he could get on the laptop to read it himself to find out what I was laughing about. I could feel your pain through your words while reading them. The food looks so divine and in typical Viking fashion. Cannot thank you (and Ted) enough to sharing your journey. We truly appreciate it.

    Like

  3. I’m sorry you had to sit through that visa session. I feel your pain,my husband and I (ages 75 and 65) are former systems analysts. I firmly believe that any computer instruction should be developed by people our age who both know what to do but can understand the audience as well. Knowing the material isn’t enough.

    Like

  4. Rose, I just want to tell you how much I’m enjoying your posts. It gives me a bit of joy each day to read them and almost feel like I’m there with you! Please keep them going including the vent parts. I could see you just itching to get in there and run the whole process. I guess Ted forgot you were a Type A and that it is sometimes hard to relax when you see things could go much smoother with your guidance. Take care and keep writing!!

    Like

  5. I know you’ve said just now (and before) that portion sizes are controlled, but I would weigh 300 pounds more than I currently do after that cruise….I would be shopping in every port for larger clothes.

    Like

  6. Johann earned many “stars in his crown” yesterday for his cheerful, patient assistance. (My husband thinks it is all a plot to force him to buy a cell phone! He turned in his government cell at retirement and just relies on me for texts and anything he can’t do on his laptop or reader.)

    Like

  7. Am following along on your voyage. We have never cruised with Viking, but all your comments, photos, etc make me think we should. Viking could use you for advertising! We are booked with HAL for World Cruise 2023. Thank You.

    Like

  8. Hi Rose, I wish I could have been a fly on the wall in the theatre room ! Love you vent 🙂
    What a beautiful evening and that steak just wonderful.
    😊😎

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s