Friday, September 23, 2011

Goldring Travel's 2011 Food & Wine Cruise on the Seabourn Sojourn - Part III


We awoke to cloudy, and then rainy, skies.  As we anchored in Saguenay, Canada the Holland America Eurodam arrived blocking our view of the tiny seaside town.  Honestly, it took about 15 minutes to see the port area.  The local people were very nice and they had some quality craft booths set up, but that was about it.

So we took the local Red Tour (there is also a Blue Tour) for $10.00 CAD.  Note:  The red bus is for the blue tour and the white bus with blue trim is for the red tour.  Go figure.  I am sure it is much prettier in the sunshine, but truth be told the magic of the area to me was not on the land.  It is on the water. (BTW, the complimentary Goldring Travel Food & Foliage Cruise jackets were well tested and are thankfully, as advertised, water-resistant.)  

Sailing away in early afternoon, we saw the clouds lift a bit and the fjords with the leaves just turning were very pretty.  Taking up my position in the forward hot tub, we began to spot fin back whales and seals and lots of bird life.  After about 2.5 hours, our pruned bodies said it was time to dry out.

I did take some time to meet with the Hotel Manager, Joerg Grossman, who assisted me on a prior Food & Wine Cruise, Chef Rajat and Chef Marcus where we finalized some of the events we will be having on our cruise:

-          Friday – Ensemble Travel Group Cocktail Party
-          Monday – Ensemble Travel Group Complimentary Tour in Halifax
-          Monday – Private Indian Cooking Demonstration with Chef Rajat (in the Colonnade Show Galley) and Private Galley Tour
-          Tuesday – Private Shopping with Chef Rajat in Bar Harbor, Maine
-          Wednesday – Goldring Travel Special Event at the New England Aquarium
-          Thursday – Goldring Travel Food & Wine Tasting in Restaurant 2

But, first, this evening I was invited to dine with Captain Hamish Elliott.  While we had a really fun time discussing “my” New York Jets and “his” Miami Dolphins, as well as his impressive half marathon run just the week earlier, it wasn’t exactly the warmest group of guests I have ever sat with.  I sort of felt like a Seabourn representative explaining everything from the froth on the water was not from the ship’s laundry (it was from the winds whipping up the proteins in the water around the ship) to why there is not softer toilet paper.

The food was excellent (twice baked goat cheese soufflé, truffled roasted chicken and gran manier soufflé) and the addition of a really decadent chocolate birthday cake for one of the table guests put it over the top.  To be honest, as I am, the service was a bit uneven with dished not being presented with the timing I have been used to.  Formal night on a cold evening really had The Restaurant pressed, but we shall see how things go over the next few nights.

Today has been spent cruising the St. Lawrence River on a cool, gray, day.  It has been a great day to catch up on some work and to have a bit of a respite from the rich and seemingly never-ending food of the past few days. I was able to spot some seals from my suite, but some others spotted a large pod of dolphins.

Oh, I did have my soak in the forward hot tub!