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Travel Diary: Oceania

Thursday March 7., 2019

A really nice sea day with almost too much going on. We found ourselves rushing from activity to activity. I continue to visit a lot at breakfast while BGM works in the cabin. We exercise for over an hour each day. On sea days, we have found the best time to be just before lunch at about 11 when the people who exercise early are done, but lots of people who got on at the beginning of this segment in Sydney exercise and there was not a machine available.

We both attended a very educational lecture on The Great Barrier Reef where we will be going at our next port which is Cairns, Australia. Many of the passengers have been there before but we have not.

We did not stay, but following this lecture was a cooking class by Christian Delouvrier, one of the most famous chefs in the world.

As previously mentioned, there is a great head sommelier on the ship with whom we have become quite friendly. Many times he has invited us to his wine tastings but they are always at 1:30. BGM has yoga at 3 and I play poker, but we decided to go to wine tasting today because the wines from Bordeaux which are our favorite wines. We had been to wine tastings on previous cruises but none even approached being as good as this one. Both the wines and the food tastings were outstanding, and we learned a great deal from Lugo. One very interesting aspect of the tasting was learning about the various aromas in wines. For each of the five wines tasted, an assistant sommelier passed around five little bottles of the aromas in each wine in concentrated form. For example, we could sniff the coffee, chocolate, cassis etc)

The wines we tasted were 2014 Fombrauge, 2011 Dassault, 2012 Nenin, 2008 Figeac, and 2007 Clerc Milon. All but the last wine was from the right bank. Although both BGM and I would have bet the Figeac, a great wine, would be best, BGM, who has quite a sophisticated palette liked it the least. Surprisingly, we both liked the Clerc Milon the best. The entire experience was so good, we signed up for a very high end wine tasting tomorrow—all very expensive wines so the wine tasting will cost $195 per person. The one today cost $95 per person.

BGM did attend yoga class and said she did all right despite the wine. My poker game was cancelled because the casino was closed due to the rules of Australian immigration. Not sure why it was all right to have a bingo tournament, which they did, but not a poker tournament.

Oceania then had another very well attended cocktail party in honor of all the new passengers that got on the ship in Sydney. We have been to several of these parties and they are very nice. The ship’s band plays, a couple of the entertainer’s sing a song, and everyone is introduced to the officers and other key personnel on the ship. It is always very enjoyable.

We had to leave the cocktail party to go to a surprise 50th birthday party for one of our friends. This woman is truly amazing because she was never supposed to live as long as she has due to cystic fibrosis. She is a very pretty woman who has to have a large oxygen tank with her at all time. She handles this very serious medical issue as about as well as anyone could, and enjoys life and all the events on this cruise to the fullest. The crew really loves her and they made this party very special for her including, perhaps, one of the prettiest birthday cakes I have ever seen. All of the senior staff was there to greet her when she came in, and then she and her Husband renewed their wedding vows with the General Manager performing the wedding ceremony. It was a very heart warming evening other than for the fact that our friend with the alcohol problem made the mistake of coming to the cocktail party and never could make it to the birthday party. His Wife came by herself which does not bode well for them.

Tomorrow is another sea day. Think that except for wine tasting, will not see BGM at any place for food is served.

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