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ONSITE: Sailing with Azamara, Day Two

July 31, 2007 By: David Eisen Travel Agent

If this were a themed music cruise, Credence Clearwater Revival's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" would be the anthem. Steady rain and gusty winds forced the ship to scrap its scheduled visit to St. George and head straight on to Bermuda's capital city of Hamilton. Looking down from the deck, I am excited to see that the ship is docked right alongside the town, rendering a taxi unnecessary. Always a big plus in my book. One item I failed to mention yesterday is Azamara's butler service, which is new to the fleet. Each stateroom has a dedicated butler and mine is a nice fellow named Lyric, who, without fail, makes sure I am taken care of. The butler's job is to take care of all guests' needs, whether it is in-room dining, or making shore excursion reservations. The butler will even unpack your suitcase, which, for the older set, I think has great value. All the butlers are nattily dressed, sporting snazzy tuxedos. One of the neater things is afternoon teatime, where the butler wheels a tea cart through the hallway, knock on your door and serve your tea of choice along with cookies. I went with the chamomile and a peanut butter cookie. As I wrote yesterday, there are two specialty restaurants on board. After dining at Aqualina, it was now my chance to check out the offerings at Prime C. Let me get this out of the way before I divulge the details of my meal: Prime C is one of the best restaurants I've eaten at either at sea or on land. The décor is spectacular: Think rich wood paneling and spotless glass accents. One way I rate the performance of a restaurant is by how well it does a mundane dish. Let's take the iceberg wedge and tomato salad I had to start. Instead of giving me just a hunk of lettuce with a side of tomato like many steakhouses do, the restaurant cuts the wedge in thirds, dresses them up with bacon and tomato, then drizzles the dressing ever so slightly over the dish (one of my pet peeves is over dressing). Instead of the bleu cheese, I opted for the lemon oil dressing, which was light and perfectly blended: The olive oil didn't mask the lemon and vice versa. For my entrée, I went with the Kobe flatiron steak, which commands an $8 surcharge. If you order it, be sure to have it prepared medium rare (any temperature over that defeats the purpose). A beautiful Sauternes accompanied my chocolate lava cake, which dissuaded me from ordering a tall glass of milk. After dinner I took in the "That's Hollywood" show at the Celebrity Cabaret, which featured a compilation of movie show tunes sung by a young group of performers (two guys, three girls, backed by a band).A quick jaunt through the casino after and I was off to bed. I'll spare you the details of my dreams.

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