Every morning as I go downstairs to have my morning breakfast and coffee, I get to wander by some art work, which always reminds me of our honeymoon. We both had never gone on an ocean cruise, so that is what we opted to do. We thought of Caribbean sunsets, romance, dancing, fine food and fine wine.
After getting situated on board our ship, we decided to check out a Champagne Art Auction that was to be held that afternoon. We went thinking that perhaps we could find a piece or two for our new home, and to start the trip off right with some champagne. We went to the auction and enjoyed some house champagne and looked at the art work that was available, and we also found out that an auction would be held each day of the trip, so we knew that we would have a stop to make daily, if time permitted. We eventually ended up with three pieces that we won during the week, and on the last auction, there was one piece that we had fallen in love with, but the price was very dear. When it did not sell, I approached them with a private treaty offer for the piece and it was accepted, we were elated and much poorer from the experience.
Another memory I had was that when we had booked our trip, we were assured that we could have a table for two, since; after all we were on our honeymoon. The first night when we went for our table, we found out that not only did we not have our private table, but we were not seated with other honeymooners, because of our age, we were to be seated at a table where the other diners were the ages of our parents. I then recalled that they had discussed during our orientation of a private dining room at the top of the ship, that was more for intimate dining, and the only proviso, was that there was a mandatory three dollar per person gratuity required, which did not sound so outrageous, so we made a bee line there. The room was more like a fine restaurant instead of the large cavern that dinners were held in, and that instead of an hour and half that was allotted one could spend as long as they desired having dinner. We had found our location; we figured that we could spend about three hours for dinner and still make it to the shows and events for each evening.
Our waiter, from the outset, informed us that he was going to spread out our dinner, because he claimed that “Americans” ate much too quickly, so he made each evening last for at least three hours. While our dinners were not the event styles that one hears about on a cruise, they were excellent dinners, and we ended up trying almost every dish on the menu by the week’s end. There were hot and cold appetizers, with some of the best escargot that I have had to this day. The Caesar Salad was so impressive and it was made table side, that my Bride, tried to make copious notes of each step, but our waiter said that it was not necessary and brought us out a card with the recipe that he used, and we still use that recipe, and my Bride always gets rave reviews for her salad. The entrées that were served were varied, some pasta dishes, veal, steak, chicken and of course sea food and fish. I kept one of the menus as a souvenir and I am glad that I did. There were also several desserts offered each night and served with some wonderful coffee.
We enjoyed a different bottle of wine each night with our dinner, but alas this was when the “new” glues were just started to be implemented by the wineries, both domestic and foreign. Each night we asked to have the label soaked off of the bottles and only one bottle of wine was successful and we were not going to try to carry seven empty bottles back with us, along with all of the duty free purchases we made and were bringing home as well. The only label that I have to show for the trip was a Laboure-Roi Pommard 1993. This is one of the famed villages of the Cote de Beaune in the Burgundy area of France, and a fine bottle of wine it was made from the Pinot Noir grape varietal which is the grape for the area.