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Gourmet Gal

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  1. Thanks for the further explanation…No the Seabourn TK has no stars but I do agree with your comments about truly fine restaurants that open branches that always seem to be diminished somewhat. Also, I think I get your dissatisfaction with certain high end establishments and master chefs. I feel the same way about Atelier Crenn…Dominique Crenn seems to be trying way too hard there - I really disliked the experience and having to slog through poetry and her life story to somehow have a deeper understanding of her over-wrought food…but apparently the Michelin folks disagree! I do think Thomas Keller is the real deal - I have all his cookbooks and have learned so much. Anyway, aren’t we lucky to be such food critics!
  2. MK? Do you mean Thomas Keller? When was the last time you dined at French Laundry or Per Se? I can assure you, those restaurants are not tired. I am not familiar with his Seabourn endeavour but he has had an incredible impact on American fine dining and has trained many, many chefs who have gone on to open amazing restaurants. He currently holds 7 Michelin stars and whether you are impressed by the Michelin guides or not you can appreciate that they don’t hand them out to chef’s with tired concepts.
  3. Agree completely with your Crystal comments.
  4. Gee, and I thought this was a great itinerary. Sorry you’re stuck on the ship for all time.
  5. I think SS and Seabourn could be a good fit, especially SS which is all inclusive and includes a steward and butler in every stateroom. The ships are smaller, quiet and very relaxing. Crystal would be the next tier down, ships are somewhat larger, there’s more entertainment, food is just okay. I really disliked the photographers trying to drum up business. All three are all inclusive onboard. Avoid school holidays if you want some peace and quiet. Have you ever considered just chartering a yacht? If you really want a relaxing time that could be the way to go.
  6. You have wisely excluded SS no doubt because of their antiquated dress code but try as I might to avoid SS I end up sailing with them because of the great itineraries. I grin and bear the dress code and I find the line will meet or exceed your other criteria. Despite the dress code the staff and most fellow pax are not stuffy and tend to enjoy socializing. Every cabin has a steward and butler, food is very good. Standard cabins tend to be the biggest in the lux category. Seabourn would be the closest experience to SS but with a more relaxed dress code. Considered one notch below in the semi luxury category is Crystal which attracts a more diverse crowd and I have experienced the most snobbery on that line and unfortunately, the food is just not anything special but the entertainment is very good. I will add that Crystal’s river category is far better than ocean. All three lines are all-inclusive onboard with variations when it comes to shore ex.. Azamara and Oceana are not in the same category as the others but you should also consider Regent which is more in line with Crystal but without the snobbery. You should also consider what size ship you prefer and of course itinerary. You have a fun first world decision to make!
  7. I was just commenting that the video was informative and with respect to that does it really matter if it’s independent or not?
  8. It was certainly an informative video and there was full disclosure right up front. What does it matter if it’s independent or not? I enjoyed it though could have done without the speculation as to what Anthony Bourdain would have thought….actually, he probably would have hated any cruise!
  9. Hi Lois, just wondering how many sea days on this cruise?
  10. I actually fell asleep during a day 1 dinner in Rome and when I got up to leave almost fell down! But we still try to keep moving until a reasonable bedtime when traveling eastward. I like to book flights that leave the US as late as possible arriving in the afternoon in Europe. You can check into your hotel right away, tour the nearby area and make it through an early dinner. Then you can hit the road running the next day.
  11. How many days is the crossing? Fear of boredom prevents me from booking a world cruise or even a crossing. 2 days max of the activities ronrick describes and I can’t take it anymore.
  12. A little article from Culinary Backstreets about food finds in Lisbon. https://us6.campaign-archive.com/?u=a0ae56aa748a1aa09bedbfa2f&id=1e8aa76c79&e=1c4c6b6d21
  13. Sounds like a good start to another well-planned trip. Thank you for keeping us in the loop! Bon Voyage!
  14. Yes, that’s what I meant, old school fine dining.
  15. Have a great cruise. Sounds like a good itinerary. As I recommended on another thread you cannot go wrong with Culinary Backstreets. They have multiple tours in Lisbon and major foodie cities worldwide. I live they way they weave together history, culture even politics and cuisine.
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