At the one-week-at-sea point on the Seabourn Food and Wine Cruise, we stopped at the lovely French island of Ajaccio for the day. I was looking forward to visiting again, having stopped here once before on a Costa Cruise when sailing Costa Luminosa not long ago. Ajaccio is a great place to wander around with a layout reminiscent of a number of European towns complete with city center, cafes and shopping. If it’s not raining. Today it was, in a number of ways.
When we visited on Seabourn Sojourn, it was indeed raining intermittently; so on the ship I stayed. About half way through the day I realized I had not been off the ship but once, for the surprise Welcome Home event Seabourn had planned for their guests in Livorno.
Sure, I had been busy on our food and wine-themed sailing, enjoying planned events as well as all the luxury cruise ship had to offer, but never before had I not gone ashore. Well, accept for a 6-day transatlantic sailing on the Queen Mary 2 with no stops along the way from New York to Southampton. (It’s not a really good idea to get off the ship on that sailing.)
The day’s first event began with a Culinary Demonstration with Celebrity Chef Alfio Longo, learning how to make Tortellini from scratch.
Going behind the scenes with Seabourn Sojourn’s Food and Beverage Manager Paul, we toured the ship’s galley covering every department in its operation. Continuing our unprecedented access to all things Seabourn, we toured areas normally only seen by crew members and officers.
A Tuscan Wine Lecture With Guest Sommelier Gabriele Pollio brought interesting wine information in the first of a series of lectures to be held on board.
Just before dinner time, we returned to the galley and stood in pre-service meetings in the galley, following along with Executive Chef Neal Breen.
Tasting every dish on the menu, Chef Breen provided feedback to the galley staff. “This needs salt,” Chef Breen noted about one, “perfect” about another.
Meanwhile in the dining room, another set of all menu items was being set up for Chef Breen to go over with the waiters, insuring they know what is in it, how it is prepared and more.
That night brought a popular Local Cheese And Wine Sail-Away event. Complete with Sommelier Sebastian pairing wines with what passengers had selected from a buffet of local offerings, Seabourn was ramping up the food and wine content, getting ready to drive the experience home. Normally held poolside, the event was brought in out of the rain and held in the ship’s Observation Lounge.
The day could have ended right there and been yet another huge gastronomic win. After all, we had learned how to make pasta, gone behind the scenes in areas not normally seen by passengers, sat in on pre-dinner briefings of both the galley and dining room staff and learned more about Tuscan wines from a different sommelier too. But then there was dinner and that’s when it really started raining.
At a private dinner held in the ship’s Restaurant 2, normally a small bites exploration of culinary delights, I was joined by a number of Seabourn guests, officers and the people who have been making the Food and Wine cruise work so very well.
On hand for the event, Sommelier Sebastian explained that “this evening is about sitting around a table, enjoying a meal together: something we just don’t take time for enough,” as he described the first wine of the evening.
One by one, amazing creation after amazing creation graced the table as we almost in unison asked “who made this one?” wondering which chef had created elements of the wonderful meal we were sharing.
At the end of that meal which could be aptly described as “flawless”, we found out who made what when Hotel Director Karl and Seabourn chefs Frank and Tony stopped by.
It was then that the events of today and all the previous days fell into place and it rained, in a very good way. It is not by accident that Seabourn delivers a quality cruise travel experience, but fueled by an undeniable passion for what they do.
In this space we have reported great experiences at sea on every cruise line readers might be interested in. On most of those glowing reports, we have overlooked a detail here or there because the overall experience was fabulous. Who cares if some little thing did not work out as anticipated? Those were great travel experiences that we have really enjoyed sharing with readers here, socially, in print and in casual conversations with other passengers, as cruise travelers do.
This is different.
This is perfect.
This is an undeniably passion-fueled effort, in all departments, that has resulted in a flawless cruise travel experience.
On the Seabourn Food and Wine cruise, it has been individuals empowered to do whatever it takes to make that happen that have put it over the top both as a themed sailing and as a cruise product in general.
This is the quality experience required to keep me on the ship, getting off just once in seven days at a time when such a huge focus is placed on and we have reported about the destinations visited. Here, they make it rain.
Come Along With Us On The Seabourn Food & Wine Cruise
Here At ChrisCruises. com– Look for a complete list of daily posts, including:
- Seabourn Food And Wine Cruise Sails Away
- Food and Wine Cruise Visits Marseilles, Meets The Neighbors
- Seabourn Food And Wine Cruise Builds On A Solid Foundation
- Food and Wine Cruise Bakes A Luxurious Cake
- Thoughtful Surprises A Big Part Of The Seabourn Experience
- Looking Deeper, We Find Gold On Seabourn
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