Day 8: Cruising the Outside Passage

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North America » United States » Alaska
October 4th 2018
Published: October 6th 2018
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Thursday, October 4

Sailing the Outside Passage

Had an early start to my day today. My “spa” treatment is set for 9:00am; a great way to start the day. New day with a fresh face – fully “oxygenated”!

After my appointment, I try to locate my other half – with no luck. Given that we are on a ship, or rather a “closed” environment one might assume I’d find Christopher with ease. No so much; because well…it’s bloody cold outside and no one in their right mind would be on a chaise in this cold. Right? Wrong. The only place I chose not to look due to the wind and cold. Whatever. So I had an espresso alone and sought out a place to read.

On deck four, near the grand staircase, I found the perfect location to settle down and read. UNTIL…the hotel manager and a disgruntled passenger chose to have their “discussion” on the sofa next to me. Well, what was I supposed to do….move? I. Think. Not. Like any red blooded American, I chose to say and eavesdrop. Basically, the passenger was upset because he missed his tour, and wanted a refund. Reasonable…UNTIL…the hotel manager reminds him that: he is responsible for double checking the scheduled times of the tour (written in bold on his ticket AND in his travel brochure) AND…this is the kicker…his tour was free! He chose the excursion package for his freebie (we always opt for the on board credits). SO…he wanted compensation for something he didn’t pay for and was HIS responsibility to follow up on in the first place. Imagine. Bet you think he was an American….NOPE! Aussie. The hotel manager handled it perfectly: had empathy, asked what the passenger wanted, listened without interruption, and offered a solution. The solution….an alternative excursion in Victoria or Astoria. Problem solved.

Back to my reading. Book finished. Back to the room.

It’s time to update the blog, so write and write. Christopher returns to the room, we catch up on our morning. He was not impressed with his facial. Oh well. Loved mine.

So…I haven’t mentioned this until now, but there has been a plague upon our group since day one. First Paula, then BE, then Perry and finally Lee. Scratchy throat, stuffy nose, cough…the basics a cold. The plague, when aboard ship. Thus far, Christopher, Stephen, Jeremy and I have avoided the plague. So far so good.

Lunch was a small salad as we are attending a wine tasting at 1:30 and there will be food. One doesn’t wish to over indulge, particularly on a cruise (yeah right)! Tine to head up to Toscana and taste some “Old World” wines. Jeremy, BE, Lee, Stephen, Christopher and I are ready to sip some great wine. YES! Our guide for the tasting was the same gentleman we had on board Riviera – but are tasting some different wines. We started with a Perrin & Fils 2007 Syrah & Grenache blend: nice – I got some coffee, spice and coco/vanilla notes; next a Gaja Ca’Marcanda, Promis 2015 a blend of Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese (a Barbaresco) – stronger tannins, lower acid, dark fruit, red cherry; next Chateau Frombrauge, Gran Cru Classe 2011, higher alcohol notes of plum, vanilla and clove; our 4th wine was Mas La Plana, Torres 2013 Spain a brilliant wine 100%!C(MISSING)abernet Sauvignon which will age beautifully – cherry, dark fruits, dried cranberries – a wine to watch (but DO drink it!); the last wine was a 2015 Antinori, Tignanello – a baby….yet so powerful in its youth. 80%!S(MISSING)angiovese, 15%!C(MISSING)abernet Sauvignon and 5%!C(MISSING)ab Franc – a delightful Super Tuscan worth its weight in gold. Can you tell I liked it?

Dinner tonight: Toscana. We’re going to try to get BE & Jeremy in at our table if possible. We hadn’t heard from them, so we thought they gave up. We are seated at a table for two and YAY…they show up. A little negotiation with our host and BAM…table for four. Tonight we just may finish our bottle of Amarone….even after all that wine in this afternoon…wasn’t really that much. Our sommelier chows up and guess who? Our host from this afternoon. We ask for our bottle, and BE selected the Mas La Plana, Torres 100%!C(MISSING)ab. We are all happy campers (diners? drinkers?....we don’t camp).

Dinner lasted well into the evening, as it should. Excellent conversation, great company and wonderful food and wine….doesn’t get much better. Our bellies and minds full – time to get back to our cabins and get some rest. Tomorrow….Tea at The Empress, in Victoria.


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