I'll tell you, I am ready for three weeks of being spoiled. This fall has been a heavy lift, and I have two Bloom pieces to write and four KTR chapters to revise on board, but I am going to be indulged while I do it, and see sights the like of which I have never seen before. Plus, penguins! Happy me.
The ship is lovely. Same exact one we were on in the Mediterranean summer of 2013, two doors down from our previous suite. So far we haven't busted in on the neighbors by accident. It's Christmassy on board, but subtle. I could use a few more gaudy trees but I guess not everyone shares my tastes.
First night on board we did what I like best -- room service. Too cold for the balcony but cozy inside. Jer had shrimp ceviche and fish with asparagus and I had a divine potato and Gruyere tart. So, so good. And a long, hot bath. Bliss.
The next day was a sea day. Got up early and worked out and then sat on my butt self-righteously all the rest of the day. Checked out all the jewelry in the Collection. Not as interesting as the last trip and nothing I loved but some very blingy stuff.
There ARE some darling diamond penguin pendants. This ship is full of the kind of people who look like they'd buy a diamond penguin as a nice last minute stocking stuffer. I, on the other hand, went to the boutique and bought three giant bags of gummi bears (they ran out last time and I am not a risk taker when it comes to the important things.)
That night was a formal night and we were invited to sit at the table of the head of personnel training (a thankless task the onboard management endures to make the guests feel special) so we got all decked out and fortunately, the guy was a hoot and the food was superb.
Thomas Keller has signed on as executive chef of the Seabourn line which can and usually does mean nothing much but he seems to have taken it more seriously than most. In addition to various Kelleresque touches (a "haute dog" at the Patio Grill) there is an honest to God three course Keller menu offered in the Restaurant occasionally. The staff is clearly not wild about it because it takes longer to prepare and most of the passengers are oblivious to what it means but I insisted on the menu and Jerry and I both had it.
It was seriously Keller caliber. Started with a large spinach gnocchi in some kind of foam with shallot jam and a giant soft boiled egg on top and a slice of applewood smoked bacon. Rich and decadent and yet somehow all the good comfort of bacon and egg. Spectacular. Followed by swordfish on melted radicchio with nicoise crumble on top (see first pic.) I swooned. It took the chocolate fondant with passion fruit to revive me.
Since we were all dolled up I wanted to dance but by then the ship had commenced its own rock and roll and I could barely get to the room. Doped myself up good and fell asleep before all the kitchen's good work was for naught.
Next day we took a boat ride (different boat) to the Emerald Lake (Todos los Santos in Petrohue, Puerto Varas.). I imagine in the sun it must be stunning because in the rain it was pretty darn cool (and cold.) The water is full of copper runoff from the mines and it really is a lovely green, even in the rainy mist.
The damp chill got in my bones and when we got back I curled into a ball and fell asleep for a couple of hours. Woke up for room service spaghetti and tomato sauce and a bubble bath and crashed again. I am like a sleep deprived sponge -- can't soak up enough.
Today I got the photograph of a lifetime during breakfast outside on deck of a rainbow hanging in the hills over Castro, Chileo, and let Jerry go explore the town while I catch up on blogging and writing.
Lovely, indulgent day.