Thursday, 8 November 2012

Food à la Celebrity Cruise Ship

Do not read if you are hungry.

I listened to our collective conversation at dinner last night.  We talk to each other about what we have ordered that night.  Does my maple braised salmon taste better or worse than Moiya’s chicken kiev or Dave’s pepper steak.  Wyona and Greg were sharing a Slow Cooked Braised Beef Lasagne and a taste of that went around the table to all.  Then we begin about how tonight’s meal compares to what we had the night before.  We can remember what everyone was eating 3 days ago, and how that compares to today. 

Since we had eaten lunch together as well, we talked about the relative merits of the noontime cherry cloufoise as opposed to the dessert in the evening called ‘Paris Meets New York’.  I wish I could say that is all, but our comparisons have to go through all four courses – the appetizers, the soups and salads, the entrees and then the desserts.

Wyona studied the menu, then ordered her meal one day, only to find she had been handed the menu from another day.  Only a few days later another of our party got the wrong menu, so it was slipped to Wyona so that she could repeat the experience.  “I don’t know how that keeps happening,” said the young Phillipiino waiter, grabbing it from her and rushing to correct his mistake.

Last night none of us knew about one  menu item.   Wyona turned to our waiter.  “Baby Mizuna.  That is my choice.  What is it?”, Wyona asked, after he had carefully described everything else on the menu.

“I am sorry to have to tell you we have had to remove it from the menu.  Mizuna is Japanese spinach, and we have to replace it with regular spinach.” 

“Oh no, I would never have a Baby Mizuna salad replaced with regular spinach, I will have to choose something else,” she said to him.  She is so crazy.

After every meal, he asks how the service was.  All of us say perfect.  Wyona always says bad to him.  This is what perfect looks like:  9 utensils to start every meal – 3 at each side of the plate and 3 above.  More utensils are then brought, depending on what one’s order is.  On this point, Wyona came back to me after trying to book a tour on another cruise ship, which the cruise agent on the boat told her, is a cut above this boat, and that she will never be happy travelling any other way again if she travels this other line.  One crew member to every two guests.  I told Wyona that the shock of that would be too great.  Going from being the life-time crew member who serves 8 others, to the other end of the spectrum where someone serves you and your husband?  That shock would give a person a heart attack.  Better to cruise on the cheaper lines and find eternal happiness on the ocean.

A few days previously we had lunch with an Australian couple who had visited fellow cruisers in Portland  -- their first time to America.  Among their top five events there was a trip to Costco. 

“Yes, you can buy a hot dog and unlimited pop”, for $1.50.  And did they have poutine there?” Wyona asked, continuing, “Why did I ask?  They probably only have poutine at Costco in Canada.  Do try that when you come to visit us, but don’t be disappointed in the size of our sundaes compared to theirs and then with her hands they demonstrated the magnificent height of that American delight.” 

Yes, food – elegant on the Celebrity Soltice, memorable at Costco.

As Moiya, Wyona and I were looking at a Special Jewellery Event -- beads and a charm bracelet.  We continued our chat about Costco, about how when one of us goes there, we can be sure the two others have been there the day before and bought exactly the same item.  At the same time Wyona and I were ragging on Moiya.  Margaret is the one who pointed out first that we do this to each other, often.  Margaret thought it was a little mean.  The 3 of us collectively thought about why it is seen by the 3 of us as an act of love about which we take no umbrance and which the one being poked at takes the defense of being aloof to what the other two are saying.  Unless of course we burst out laughing.  Wyona and I didn’t even know we were poking at Moiya, but since we were alone in the shop with only the clerk we mocked for a long time and chattered until the clerk finally said to Moiya, “You are taking the brunt of the conversation today.”

Wyona turned to the clerk.  “Where are you from?”

 “Canada,” she said.  “I know you are from Canada too, for I heard the three of you talk about Costco.  It was making me lonely for one of their large muffins.” 

Hard to believe that someone on a cruise ship with food always within an arms reach, could be lonely for a Costco Muffin.

It is morning now. “Going around the corner of Yeman at 21 knots per hour”, says David, as he is waiting for Moiya to go to breakfast with him and watching channel 5 that shows the front of the ship and then a map of where we are.

“Go to the Sky View Lounge and check out the Captain’s Club Lounge,” I said to her. “We have been on the ship for so many days.  There is an exclusive breakfast event there every morning and I can’t work going there into my busy schedule.  You are on your way there.  Check it out and tell me later what you think.”

“You can’t trick me,” said Moiya. “ That is so far out of my way. Two floors up and then I have to walk across the whole ship since we are in the back and that venue is in the front?  And then I could never report back to you the lounge as you would have seen. Nope. You check it out yourself.”

Guess I might miss ever seeing the Exclusive Breakfast. I wish I could care about it, but I can’t.  I would rather blog.   


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