Day 64 - At Sea
|Tuesday, December 12, 2023: Berries! Debbie was very excited to see that the fresh berries loaded yesterday in Senegal were available for her muesli this morning.
|Our Africa map doesn't have Cape Verde on it, so Tom added it with a Post-it note. After 63 days of moving the LEGO ship magnet around, Tom was reluctant to stop even though we were almost off the map completely by now.
|Bundlings: 5, Crickets: 0.
|We were really going to miss this view when the cruise was over.
|Even though we were going to the the special rijsttafel dinner in the Pinnacle Grill tonight, we decided to go to the farewell rijsttafel lunch with the ship's officers. Can you have too much rijsttafel in one day? Stay tuned for the answer!
|The main dining room was decorated for the event, ...
|... and the menu looked amazing.
|Debbie brought the LEGO daily calendar with us and took a quick photo. LEGO Debbie and Tom were also enjoying rijsttafel. We had already put the display away when our officers Candice and Simon, joined our table. Candice told Debbie that the crew had heard about her LEGO displays, and that Alexa had told them about one of the meetings in the Crow's Nest. Candice and the crew had taken turns walking by Debbie in the Crow's Nest so that they could see the display, but did it in a way that we wouldn't notice them. We hadn't! It was so awesome to hear that word of the displays had spread and that the crew was enjoying them as well.
|Debbie asked the captain to pose with the display, which he did with great enthusiasm. Ian, the cruise director, and Glenn, the new hotel manager with the two adorable children, were both interested in the display as well. Glenn even said that he'd already heard about them.
|Assistant maître d'hôtel Tina looked fabulous in her Indonesian dress.
|Captain Friso gave a brief speech to start the lunch, and then he left to go back to the bridge. He had to do the ship's noon announcement in about twenty minutes.
|Lunch started with gado gado, a mixed vegetable salad with peanut sauce, ...
|... followed by soto ayam Madura, a chicken soup with rice noodles and fresh vegetables.
|The main course was five dishes arranged around a scoop of nasi goreng (fried rice). They were babi ketjap (pork), sambal goreng udang (fried shrimp), bakso ayam (chicken meatball), rendang Sumatra (beef stew), and sambal goreng kentang (potato). Everything was delicious and the portion sizes were perfect.
|At the head of our table was Simon, the Chief Security Officer. We'd seen him working very hard in port throughout the trip, and he was excited to be rotating off the ship when we reached Puerto Rico so that he could be home in Cornwall, England, in time for Christmas.
|The lunch finished with delicious rice pudding and carmelized banana.
|Ian had done his noon announcement too, and stopped by our table after lunch to tell Debbie that he was looking forward to seeing another of her LEGO displays.
|Alexa, our adorable Neptune Lounge Concierge, came by to collect one of our tablemates, Cindy, for a prior engagement.
|Cocky from having survised rijstaffle for lunch, we went to the Lido market for their Pavlovas! Pavlovas! Pavlovas! dessert special.
|There were so many to choose from, ...
|... but Debbie settled on three, ...
|... and Tom got four.
|Around 2:00 PM, we received a text from the director of Claire's group home, with voice messages from her and the staff thanking us for the Christmas gifts. One of the messages was from an aide named Anderson, who used to work with Claire when she was going to a day program. This made us very happy because he had been great with her and we were glad to learn that he was caring for her again. We made a note to include some pictures of Anderson and Claire together when we next update the photos in her room.
|See if you can tell where we went wrong. At 3:00 PM, we went to Indonesian Afternoon Tea in the main dining room.
|As always, we were treated to a tower of sandwiches, scones, and desserts.
|The first two plates were the usual afternoon tea fare of finger sandwiches and scones, ...
|... but the dessert plate was all Indonesian: rice pudding, bolu kukus (steamed sponge cake), dadar gulung (coconut rice crepes), and klepon (coconut rice ball).
|At 6:00 PM, we went to the Pinnacle Grill for the special rijstaffel dinner. We'd booked this weeks ago, before we knew that there would be a rijstaffel lunch and an Indonesian afternoon tea. Dinner included a selection of red and white wines. Beer might have been included as well, but we went with the wine.
|The napkins were folded to resemble roses, and the table was set beautifully.
|Dinner started with kroepoek (shrimp crackers) and a selection of relishes. At the top was a bowl of atjar mentah (pickled cucumber, pineapple, and carrots), and then there were three sauces, from left to right: sambal badjak (tomato and chili), sambal matah Bali (raw shallots and peppers mixed with lime), and a sweet chilli sauce.
|LEGO Debbie and Tom enjoyed this rijsttafel dinner as well. LEGO Tom is sporting a little bit of a pudge from all of the food he'd eaten today.
|Tina announced each dish and explained which part of Indonesia each dish was from.
|We were drinking Conundrum White from the Wagner Family Winery in California. Cheers!
|Our first official starter was bakwan udang, a shrimp and vegetable fritter served with a spicy sweet soy sauce. It was a very large portion and tasted absolutely amazing so we ate every bit of it.
|Tina was back to announce the next course, ...
|... which was gado gado, the salad we'd had at lunch. We got a photo of it before we started eating this time.
|That was followed by soto ayam Bogor, which was similar to the soup we had at lunch, but not the same. This variation was from West Java, and included more tempura vegetables than the previous one.
|The main course was delivered on a huge copper plate. In the center was nasi kuning (yellow rice), surrounded by sate lilit Bali (chicken on a lemongrass skewer), pepes ikan (steamed fish cooked in a banana leaf), orak-arik (mixed scrambled egg with asparagus and carrots), and rendang Sumatra (Sumatran beef stew).
|The wine had flowed freely, and we were feeling very happy but very stuffed. There was still one course left, ...
|... which was kolak pisang, a palm sugar and coconut-coated banana served with vanilla ice cream served and a ring of caramel. It was a fantastic finish to a great meal. Absolutely stuffed, we waddled back to our cabin certain that we would never be hungry again.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy