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Everything posted by markeb

  1. For probably 250 or more years European gentry and merchants, and their American descendants, wore knee length britches with long hose as business and formal wear. I'm not in the mood to look up men's historical fashion, but memory is that only the poor and working classes would have worn long pants. And military uniforms for foot soldiers and cavalry, but not necessarily senior officers (see paintings of George III, George Washington, Napoleon, etc.). If you were on a seagoing vessel wearing long pants, you were a sailor, not a passenger... Just saying 🤣
  2. They're four of the 50 top restaurants in the world. noma was frequently rated the best in the world. Central is in DC and was Michel Richard's flagship (he passed in 2016). Etc. I believe Osteria Francesca in Modena, Italy, is at the top of the list today. It has white table clothes, but all the photos on the internet are of very casually dressed diners.
  3. I do love a good absurd dress code thread. The second outfit is what I envisioned from the OP's post. I really don't care what Celebrity says; that's an appropriate outfit, and those aren't shorts. I've seen women wearing similar in Michelin 3-starred restaurants. In fact, just to highlight the misogyny of the restaurant business, most only refer to male dress (jacket or not), not women's attire. And please define "shorts" here? Folks have said a jumpsuit is fine. What about knee length? Gauchos? Again, I've seen outfits like the red jumper (that looks more like a short dress, frankly) in places like Le Bernardin. Le Bernardin is now business casual, and does prohibit shorts, t-shirts (as outer wear) and flip flops, but since I've seen women in rompers, they clearly don't define them as shorts. The Celebrity MDR is NOT Le Bernardin! And the first photo... Can we get real? It's 2021! We did have to find the most stereotypical photo of a woman of color to post, didn't we? Frankly (and I'm an old Irish American white guy), using that photo in this context is insulting and inappropriate. It reminds me of one of the best lines Dame Judy Olivia Dench delivered in her time as M. To the OP: Look up the quote from M. Memorize it. Deliver it with gusto (it does help to have a bourbon in hand) at anyone who says an outfit like that is "shorts". And dare them to stop her. News flash: They won't...
  4. I must be tired tonight… if Beyoncé can wear it to the Oscars, it should be OK on Celebrity. If it’s not, there are other issues. By the logic being exhibited on this thread, a micro mini (commando or not: as in Basic Instinct) is fine, but a romper style outfit with heels is wrong? The one that’s “wrong” actually covers. And can someone define “shorts” in this context of a romper style outfit? Most of them are longer than many skirts. Checking my calendar again. Yes, its 2021! If they say something, ignore them, and keep walking.
  5. I’ll just not mention the times I’ve watched people buy a bottle of Patron Anejo, Cointreau, Grand Mariner, and Mr T Margarita Mix…
  6. Although I've seen Grand Marnier used in margarita recipes. Usually with a reposada or even anejo tequila. As if you could taste either of them over the lime juice...
  7. Do you have the option to spend an extra night or two? I’d second the trip to Williamsburg. Colonial Williamsburg is pretty amazing. How many other places have a church with pews where Washington and Jefferson sat, or where Patrick Henry said “give me liberty, or give me death”? Or Jamestown, the first English settlement in what would become=the United States. . Or walk the fields of Yorktown where, as Len Manuel Miranda says so eloquently in Hamilton, the world turned upside down? There is so much American history in a 15 to 20 area. if you’re stuck on your flight, there are options in Norfolk. The MacArthur memorial is probably the most obvious.
  8. It's kind of funny. We've only cruised X in a suite once, but I distinctly remember Luminae being too "meat and potatoes" for my taste at that time. That was probably 2018, on Equinox. I remember a number of interesting dishes. Maybe it was heavier on seafood than I remember, but we really enjoyed it. And there was always a steak dish somewhere on the menu (at least I think so; I may be wrong on that, but I could be mistaken...). Our previous cruise had been in Aqua, and we both really loved the variety in Blu. And I recognize there are those who don't care for the Blu menu. Food is just so subjective!
  9. Probably the same. Tall, attractive, very good at her job, and a joy to talk to. She would have done well at a Michelin starred restaurant in Europe. And hopefully that's where she is, making a lot more money!
  10. Let's start at the top... Rogue XS Old Crustacean--One I've never actually even seen. 10.75% ABV, 105 IBU. Intense, robust, malty and dark. The cognac of beers. This is based on the recipe for the beer that won John Maier Homebrewer of the Year back in 1988 and we're still making it today. "Oregon's strongest. This is an unforgettable beer, enough to set lupulin addicts' hearts pounding in a moment of joy," according to Fred Eckhart. It's a crazy stupid barley wine and essentially an IPA at 105 IBU. It sounds absolutely crazy, and I now need to track down a bottle. Rogue Chocolate Stout--Three Golds at the World Beer Championships, Gold at the Barcelona Beer Challenge, and the 2014 World's Best Sweet/Milk Stout at the World beer Awards. And Rogue is an amazing brewery. Chimay Grand Reserve Blue, Chimay Premiere Rouge, and Delirium Tremens--There are other Belgians on the list. These are just three of the best. Chimay Blue and Delirium Tremens are both amazing Trappist style ales (actually prefer Delirium Nocturnum, but Tremens is more common). They largely define the high alcohol dark Trappist Belgian Ales. Best served on tap in Brussels. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA--One of the best IPAs on the market, IMHO. 9 % ABV, 90 IBU. The 120 is beyond spectacular, but it's a limited release, $10+ per bottle (US retail; forget cruise ship pricing) and really has to be reserved for a special occasion. You can age the 120. Butt the 90 Minute is one of the best drinkable IPAs on the market (along with Rogue and Stone; Dogfish isn't overly East Coast and pretty easy to non-existent on the grapefruit). There are others on the list. And there's an entire separate list of rare beers that are off the charts crazy. Mostly Belgians, with one Italian. Things I've only dreamed of tasting. It's an amazing menu, if available. If none of that means anything to you, please enjoy your Hoegaarden or Stella...
  11. It's an interesting question, but I really think they'd have to offer wines above the premium package for it to work. "Maybe" a couple that are between classic and premium, but mostly over premium. But you can't offer Opus One by the glass (definitely without a dispenser, and they've taken those out) for instance, without risking significant product loss, and there's only so much Opus One in the world at any time. And it would almost have to be $150/glass! (If anyone's seen it by the glass, feel free to contradict me; I'm making some assumptions here and have never seen it by the glass!) Assuming that 90%+ have at least a classic package, there's no return to the cruise line for wines less than the classic package. And there's no real return for wines on the premium package. Between the packages you could potentially get some return for those on the classic package (which is the AI package, I believe), but your real return would be wines over the premium package, if you can attract more or less serious wine drinkers. Say $5-15 over the package price. Which from all indications Cellar Masters never really did. The wines in the dispensers were all full price (at least when we were on board), and the CM space really didn't have any other income streams to the Celebrity with a package. I'm curious as to how many of the beers at Craft Social are within the premium package. And I looked at the menu again and the good ones are by the bottle, not on tap. If Celebrity wants a return on investment, they've got to sell something over the package price, otherwise they've invested in a space where the return is revenue neutral. Which isn't good...
  12. We had an amazing sommelier in Blu on Reflection on our first Celebrity cruise. Russian or Ukrainian if I remember correctly. One of the few who had the knowledge and the service aspects you see in a true sommelier on land. The biggest trick for food pairings in a restaurant setting is knowing the menu, and hopefully having some influence on what wines are on the wine menu (that's hard on the cruise ship). And on shore, you have the same menu for 60-90 days (or more) and can match the wines to the food. On the ship, you have a 7-14 (or so) day rotating menu, but the same wines...
  13. The wine lover in me wants to agree, but I don't know how you do it. The successful higher end wine bars I've seen are either the bar of a high end restaurant and their wine selection reflects the by the glass selection of the restaurant, or they're crazy expensive in crazy expensive places. And one I can think of that's a little of both, but the wine bar's list (curated by the same sommelier) doesn't appear anywhere near as extensive as the restaurant's list. Sharing the wine list with the restaurant dramatically cuts the risk of product loss. Having a true wine bar, or an enhanced selection of higher end by the glass wines, means they've got to price the glasses at probably half the bottle price (ideally don't sell the same wine by the bottle), figuring a couple might order two glasses and you've covered your costs if no one else wants a glass of Chateau le pick a region to sip on not with a meal. The controlled dispensers they had in CM extend the life of an opened bottle, but not indefinitely, and unless they're going to a similar system, or a Coravin type system, they've got to turn the wine. Draft beer in a keg probably has a 90 day shelf life. Another reason to go to the Craft Social concept; good inventory isn't as perishable.
  14. I've never seen a pin. I'm pretty confident that they're not certified by either of the two major bodies. It's conceivable some of the staff are using the cruise ship to learn skills they hope to use in the hotel and restaurant industry ashore (and pursuing certification). The better ones were likely recruited because they had some talent and skill, possibly some experience, and were hired into the beverage service directly.
  15. Just to close the loop. We just got back to Virginia from the weekend. We did stay at the Michelangelo, which had just reopened the day we arrived (unknown to us until we arrived!). Lovely hotel, but the lounge, restaurant, etc., were all still closed. But a there's a a nice bodega across 7th Ave, and it took less than two minutes to get to Le Bernardin for dinner. Midtown felt strangely empty. A lot of empty store fronts on Madison. Just different. On the other hand, we were happy to see a lot of familiar faces at Le Bernardin. Don't know them by name, but I recognized the faces, even with the masks. The Moynihan Train Hall is incredible! Wow! A lot still isn't open (there's only a Starbucks, for instance), but it's so different from the old Penn Station. Have to get back to town to catch a show on Broadway.
  16. Did you look at the link that was posted? Dogfish 90 and Rogue 7 Hop, Chimay Red and Blue, Delirium Tremens. Plus an entire specialty list of mostly very high end and high ABV Belgians. There are some more pedestrian beers, but it’s a heck of a beer list. And beer definitely has a best by, so there’s a decent investment in getting it right if that’s representative of what’s onboard.
  17. I distinctly remember a thread a few years back where someone was turned away from the Captain's Club event for wearing open toed strapless heels with I think a sun dress. Which generated several pages of discussion of what is a sandal and what is a flip flop...
  18. Not Macallan, but this thread sent me to the basement. And a word of warning! The cork fell apart on this one, but I got it out clean… They don’t make this any more. Pretty much like I remember. Just surprised with the cork! Those little two prong cork pullers are wonderful!
  19. I got curious today and did a little research. With some surprising (to me) results. There are a number of Michelin 3-Star restaurants in New York. There's an interesting divergence in some ways on dress code. Per Se apparently still requires men to wear a jacket. Le Bernardin has now dropped its jacket requirement (more on that in a minute). 11 Madison Park apparently never had a dress code. Dinner for two at Per Se or 11 Madison Park, not including drinks but with tips, will set you back about $1000; Le Bernardin will run around $450 for dinner and tip, plus drinks. There are other 3-stars in NYC, but those were the easy ones to look up. Part of the dress code change directly deals with "loaner jackets" during the pandemic. Most of your high end restaurants keep a stash of jackets for "gentlemen" who show up without a jacket. But there's a whole sanitary issue involved over the last couple of years. So many of them have dropped the jacket requirement. What's interesting, according to a Robb Report article I found, was that most men still show up wearing jackets. There seems to be a general feeling that the food and ambience of the restaurant calls for a jacket. I honestly was a little surprised, but we are talking NYC, and all three of those are in Manhattan. I've only been to Le Bernardin, and always wore (and will wear) a jacket, and the general ambiance conveys a formality. I suspect a misbehaving party would be politely moved on; if they were filthy rich enough, they'd be convinced that a private room was better for them... I will be honest that I've never felt that way on a cruise ship. Maybe early on in the Pinnacle Grill on HAL, but at that point I'd never dined at a Michelin starred restaurant. It could just be me, and on Celebrity we've sailed in Aqua and in a Sky Suite, so I don't know the MDR ambiance, but on Holland and Royal, I never got the concept of the MDR staff parading around waving napkins on "formal night"... (And, for the record, I'd wear a suit or jacket if called for. We don't wear shorts or flip flops to dinner on a ship, or anywhere other than a truly casual restaurant.)
  20. I think that's the problem when someone asks this sort of question. It's like asking about a Mondavi tasting. A lot of it depends on your previous experience and interest. But if your experience level is no more than medium, then these type events are probably worth the time. And they can be fun regardless. But if it's a wine tasting onboard, for instance, I can pretty much guarantee I'll go insane and head straight for the nearest bar with a good Pinot Noir (oops, the good ones are only by the bottle...)! Oh, and 18 year old Glenmorangie is really nice on a Monday evening...
  21. Obviously you're not getting a distillery rep or even a distributor's rep doing the tastings. Hopefully you get someone with some taste for whisky. The size and honestly interest/experience of the group will effect your tasting, but those are pretty much out of your control on a ship. It sounds like Bo had a smallish group that was into whisky; I'm pretty sure my group was larger, and some had never really done a whisky tasting. I think they did all the usual tricks (coffee beans, chocolate, etc.) to get people to look for aroma and flavor notes. So they did try. If you were going to a serious whisky tasting on land, odds are that everyone (or 90%+) in attendance would be a serious whisky fan. And you'd steer your tasting in that direction. And you can do that even if you're doing a single distillery, like Macallan, or a conglomerate like Diageo. But the ship is largely all things to all people, and the product is the product they normally carry. I don't remember what it cost, and I did enjoy it, but if there are 3-5 whiskies, you're paying $35-40 for the event, and 3 of the whiskies are available in your premium package, then you're counting on the event itself being worth the cost. And I think there's some variability in the event. If you're into whisky, but don't have a lot of experience with Macallan, it could still be nice as it's something of a vertical tasting with small enough pours that you can still taste the last whisky. Which you really couldn't do with an ounce of each at the bar!
  22. We've had this discussion before, Bo. My experience (now three years removed 🤕) on Equinox was the opposite of yours. I think we had three, I believe they were all NAS whiskies, and the tasting leader was not well informed. And I've become OK with NAS whisky, as long as the distiller has picked good barrels for the mix.
  23. That is crazy. May make some sense without essentially everyone on a package. But as good as X is at separating you from your money, I can’t believe they’d muck this one up!
  24. You’re actually going from Honolulu (a US port) to Seattle (a US port), so no, it’s not legal under the PVSA. Honolulu to Vancouver is fine. Vancouver to Seattle is fine. But putting them together becomes Honolulu to Seattle, which isn’t allowed. You’re not breaking travel at all in Vancouver? The only bill that has a real chance is limited to Alaska cruises, and I have no idea if it will address the type of cruise you’re describing. There were several other bills introduced earlier this year that have apparently all failed in committee. Bill introduced does not equal bill about to pass.
  25. I think you can do any of those, depending on your personal sense of formality, and the lady's preferences... If she's going with a long gown, do the tux. If she's doing something short(er) and fun, do the festive sport coat. And if she's somewhere in between, do the suit. I'd key off her (but today actually was my 30th anniversary...). I think any of the above is fine. I probably wouldn't go excessively "business"; it's New Year's and if you're wearing a suit, make it fun. That's just me and my $0.02 opinion! Quick Edit: If you have a well cut, well fitted suit, and a so-so tux, like most people who wear suits and not tuxes, wear the suit!
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