Saturday, May 19, 2018

Trip Notes # 9: Corsica to Palamos, Spain

May 19, 2018
Seabourn  has been going all out to make this inaugural voyage unique and special.

We return to our stateroom each evening and find fresh flowers, restocking of fruit and - a surprise gift. At this part of the trip, besides chocolate candies and rose peddles on our bed, we have been gifted a nice backpack, wine coasters, nougats, high-end pens, a high-end (Blue Tooth) speaker system for our cell phone, note pads in leather binder, custom/universal power plug, personalized stationary and business cards.

Rose Peddles In Bathroom

Hi-end personalities have been either flown in to participate in the festivities or they came on board at the beginning of the cruise and will remain on the ship for (at least) one segment: Sir Tim Rice - Andrew Lloyd Weber's lyricist was one of the guests. There have been interesting anecdotes by Rice and, of course, the music that goes along with the stories: Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the AmazingTechnicolor Dreamcoat, Phantom, etc. 

Love The Shoes

Dr. Anthony Weil - an icon health specialist was also on board. Weil's lectures were insightful and worth the time attending his talks

Seabourn took special care in playing music relating to the menu or place that we were visiting. On a funny note, the music director made one (little) goof that probably no one (but Jerry) noticed. During the Indian food night, Chinese background music way played. Oh well...Seabourn is entitled to one goof on their first voyage!

A few blocks from the dock was a farmer's market. And, what a market it was as it relates to cheeses, meats, pastries and other goodies. 

Corsica (besides being Napoleon's birthplace) has a strong French culinary influence.

 Although consuming a large breakfast on the ship, 30 minutes later we were sampling local cheeses, sausages, olives as well as purchasing (and eating) an onion tart that was out of this world.

Nothing Like Old, Moldy and Crusty Cheese 

Once again, Seabourn did something special: Napoleon and some of his troops (along with a musical band) entertained the passengers. 

 A New Recruit For The French Army Band

After A Full Breakfast, Snacking At the Farmer's Market, It Was Time For A "French Lunch!" 

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Some quiet time (Team Time) at the ship's observation lounge. 

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Kitchen (Galley) Tour

Interesting statistics: 

     - Dirty dishes, washed, dried and stacked takes 90 seconds 

     - Monthly food budget is $1.4 million/month + liquor 
     - Average food cost per passenger and crew (combined) each day = 

Champagne And Caviar Served During Tour 

     -13% of the food is waste 

 Bread Baked 24 Hours/Day + 70,000 Bread Sticks/Day

 Trays And Carts Always Tied Down - Just In Case

 Railings Keep Large Pots Keep From Slipping Off Racks/Stoves 

 Policies, Procedures And Standards

Executive Chef  

From the time that we departed Corsica to nearing Marseilles (about ten hours), we experienced very rough seas. The waves were about 15 feet high. Winds were around 60 MPH. When the waves lifted the bow of the ship, the hull came crashing down onto the water causing a horrific sound. It was like one of those metal balls used to destroy buildings. Think of this ball banging against a metal plate - all night long. We are on deck 7 (out of 12 decks). Water spray from the waves reached our deck. The ship shuttered every time the hull hit the water. Besides the up and down motion, it also swayed laterally. All of the stateroom furniture as well as wall and ceiling panel creaked and groaned. No one slept - passengers and crew were a wee bit tired come morning.

Many passengers (and some crew) were quite sick. Other than losing some sleep, we were fine. It must be due to all of our rough sea fishing experience in Alaska!?!?!

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Most of the passengers signed up for tours to Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, etc. We chose a relatively new Marseilles museum which had wonderful exhibits and very informative guides. 

 New (Museum) Set Against Old (Cathedral Skyline)

Seabourn arranged to have the museum opened a couple of hours before the public could enter. Docents were brought in - just for us. Before the museum tour began, we were greeted by a string quartet, champagne and, of course, more food...

There was a central theme in part of the museum: Agricultural, commercial, historical and cultural influences in the Mediterranean. 

Interesting (and old) Farming Equipment 

We might have glanced at this painting and would have not given it its due if it wasn't for the the docent. The interpretation of what was going on at the artist's time, the cultural symbols in the painting and what we learned was well worth the time. 

Even Cannons Are - ART

"Gold" was another museum exhibit. As one might expect, there was a large variety of "gold art." 

Python Skin Covered In Gold and Modern Statue

Edith Piaf's Hands And A Broken Arm 


 Funeral Mask 


Minute, Gold Beads Cover Statues

Palamos, Spain

Salvador Dali lived in a castle that he purchased, renovated and decorated for Gala - his love of his life. The tour was excellent, learned more than we could have imagined 


Odd And Whimsical Things And Situations Everywhere We looked. Hole In Second Story Floor Allowed Us To See Horse On First Floor. 

Tour ended with a visit to a vineyard for some wine tasting.       

Vineyard Owners Believe In "Everything Natural." No Watering.Weeds Are Allowed To Grow. Owners Feel That Vineyard Plants Will be Fighting Harder To Survive Translating Into A Stronger, More Tasty Wine

More coming up...

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