Mariner first sea day

Yesterday I made a reservation for two at Signatures specialty restaurant. I asked for Thursday evening at 7PM. The maitre d’ asked which Thursday. Going across the International Dateline, we will have two Thursdays. The ship’s computers don’t quite get that, so information for the second Thursday had to be handwritten until the first Thursday was past. This makes me dizzy, but dizzy or not, I’m counting my Thursdays until Signatures welcomes us.

Signatures is the only restaurant at sea under the auspices of Le Cordon Bleu and staffed with chefs trained at France’s pre-eminent culinary academy. The second specialty restaurant is Asian influenced Latitudes. There is no extra charge for these venues, but reservations are required as are jackets for men.

Anticipation ahead, disappointment behind. Last night’s dinner with food and beverage manager Franck Galzy was full of pleasant conversation with Franck, and a couple from San Clemente; he an USC electrical engineering graduate, now retired, and Barbara his wife. Of course we talked about food and Barbara revealed that when she was a child they were required to eat the different foods on their plate in a circle. One bite of this, then that until the circle begins again. She taught her children to do the same thing. Dinner at our house would be a triangle.

Enough talk about it….let’s eat. Regrettably my dinner was not very good. Maybe my punishment for eating Foie Gras was a tasteless pea vichyssoise, and Lobster Thermidore almost too tough to chew. Crème Brulee seemed s bit off. Actually our waiter Romel had recommended the salmon or Beef Wellington. My son taught me it is best to listen to the waiter. OK, I get it now.

Showtime was “Broadway in Concert” and a pleasant surprise. The singers really sang, band really played; the dancers did not sing, they danced. There were no prerecorded tracks; it was all live as it happened. They opened with Chorus Line and then the cast of twelve moved on down Broadway.

Today is windy and chilly with a forecast of a low pressure area carrying thunder storms and some building swells. Nevertheless, we ate aft of La Veranda and again had great service.

Because it was chilly there were only seven or so pool people wrapped in blankets and enjoying, well, being wrapped in blankets. Three of them made the music which I hope could be heard through heavy wool.

Regent Mariner, when full, carries 750 passengers. We have 450 for this leg of the Grand Asian Pacific Voyage. Equality now! There is one crew member for each passenger, a ration seldom found at sea.

This segment is the Regent Festival and features a special group of jazz musicians who’ll perform solo along with the Regent Signature Orchestra. Late at night, there will be combos around the ship. Tonight at 6:30, the Christian Tamburr jazz quintet will give a salute to Lionel Hampton in the theater. Of course I’ll be there, but I wonder how any others. Last night’s Broadway show was less than 2/3 full, and only about half of those applauded. They either have impeccable taste or were to tired to move their hands.

After the concert, to the Compass Rose Restaurant and this time I’ll listen to the waiter.

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