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Archive for 'Princess Cruises'

The Chef’s Table

Thursday Thirteen

During our recent cruise we were lucky enough to dine at the Chef’s Table. My husband has always wanted to attend a chef’s table and was really excited when we were able to book our places.

Our dining experience started when we met the rest of the guests and donned white coats for our trip the ship’s galley. After washing our hands (they take hygiene very seriously) we were introduced to the Head chef and given glasses of French Champagne, which went nicely with our canapés.

After a quick galley visit we were escorted to our dining table and enjoyed lots of delicious food and wine.

Chefs Table_Chef

This is the chef and a shot of our table and fellow diners.

Thirteen Things on Our Chef’s Table Menu

1. Canapés: Ceviche of Chilean Sea Bass and Ginger

2. Foie Gras Terrine on Brioche, Stone Fruit Jam

3. Bistro Mini Quiche Provencale

4. Steamed New Potatoes with Sour Cream and Caviar

5. Entree: Porcini Mushroom Risotto

6. Strawberry and Cracked Pepper Sorbet

7. Main course: “Double Impact” Surf and Turf

8. Lobster Tail, Diver Scallops, Beef Filet Mignon and Lamb Rib Chops

Chefs Table_Main

Chefs Table_Shelleys Meal

This is my dinner since I don’t eat meat. I had this huge fish steak. Very yummy!

9. Rosemary Juice, Lemon Butter Fondue, Mustard Hollandaise Sauce

10. Market Fresh Vegetables, Roasted Chateau Potato

11. Cheese: Potted Stilton with Port Wine and Walnut Bread

12. Dessert: White Chocolate Mousse with Mix Berries

Chefs Table_Dessert

13. Coffee or Tea with Homemade Amaretti and Biscotti

The dinner was delicious and hubby and I went for a walk afterwards!

Have you ever been to a chef’s table or a degustation dinner?

A Visit to Akaroa, New Zealand

In February hubby and I took a cruise from Auckland to Sydney on the Diamond Princess. I love New Zealand. Even though I live here, I’ve done a lot of travel, and my country of birth compares well with most countries.

One of the stops was Akaroa, which these days—since the earthquake at Christchurch—is the main port of call for cruise ships. The previous port of Lyttelton sustained extensive damage.

Akaroa is surrounded by hills and used to be a volcano. One of the walls broke, letting sea water rush in to create the existing harbor.

Akaroa Harbor

This photo shows the entrance to the harbor where the sea breached the volcano.

The area was settled by French and many of the streets have French names. It’s a small town—a very charming one. Each summer the population swells since it’s the perfect place for a summer holiday.

While we were there, hubby and I went dolphin watching to see the rare Hector dolphins. They’re a small dolphin and their fins look like Mickey Mouse’s ears.

Akaroa Dolphins

This is me on board the dolphin boat before leaving the wharf. If anyone visits Akaroa, I totally recommend this company. The owner and his family have been in the area for generations—five, I think he said from memory. He’s very knowledgeable about the area and the fauna.

Murphy Akaroa Dolphins

This little cutie is Murphy who works onboard the Akaroa Dolphin boat. His task is to look for dolphins and he does an excellent job. If you see him run to the side of the boat, follow because there will be dolphins!

Hector Dolphin

Hector’s dolphins are extremely rare and are only found in New Zealand. The dolphins were a bit shy on the day we went out, but we did see a small pod.

Akaroa Township

This is the main part of the township. There are a few shops, some very nice cafes and restaurants plus the usual amenities such as supermarket, butcher, and church. On the day we visited there was a market at the church and I purchases a really pretty cameo-type pendant.

Fish and Chips

There is also an excellent fish and chip shop. Guess what we had for lunch?

Akaroa from Ship

This is the view from the ship after our day ashore. As you can see, it was beautiful weather and our day was memorable. If you’re ever down this end of the world, do put Akaroa on your must-visit list.