A Personal Review-My Night Aboard Adventure of the Seas

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I recently had the opportunity and invite from Royal Caribbean for One Bold Night onboard the reimagined Adventure of the Seas. The Adventure of the Seas just came out of refurbishments and is making Cape Liberty, in Bayonne, NJ, its new homeport. She will be offering summer getaways and fall foliage escapes. The cruise line invited a whole slew of agents from the area to get a taste and feel of her new look with a one night onboard experience.

What can you find on this reimagined ship from Royal Caribbean’s Explorer class? There is plenty, from the waves of the Perfect Storm Water Slides to the rustic flavors of Giovanni’s Table. We covered a lot of ground exploring and sampling the ships activities and food options during our overnight stay. Two of my travel friends even gave the slides a go despite our unseasonable spring temps. Their rating 2 thumbs up on the fun scale. My personal sleeping quarters were one of the ocean view cabins. I personally loved how the bed was aligned beneath the windows. For me it seem to make the cabin more spacious though I would rate the mattress on the firm side. I also, liked the curved design of the shower doors which gave a bit more room in the stall for washing up.


Once on board, we were given a sort of scavenger hunt that took has from Deck 15 on down and every where in between. It was actually a very fun way to explore and cover the ship versus an organized tour. I was able to linger at areas I wanted more information on or to even try and taste them out. The sushi rolls from Izumi were great! I got to see The Perfect Storm, the Two-Story mini-golf course, the Sky Bar, the Adults Only Solarium, Giovanni’s Table, Izumi Japanese Cuisine, Chops Grille, a variety of staterooms and more! There is so much to explore and do on the this ship.

One of my favorite areas besides the Sky Bar and hot tubs was the Promenade Deck. Very cool dining, drinking and of course shopping here. They also have cabins that overlook this area. But beware, there could be a party going on, so if you go to bed early this might not be the room category for you. Oh and speaking of entertainment the ship has it all. There are Broadway shows, comedy, dance parties, casino, games and more. For me I always take in the late night comedy. Nothing better than getting a good laugh on. Our entertainer for the evening was Kivi Rogers. Another late night favorite spot after comedy is to hit the Blue Moon on Deck 14. Beautiful panoramic views of your place at sea. Partake in the Silent Party where everyone has headphones and you get complete control over you listening experience. And the handy daily Cruise Compass let’s you know what’s going on when and where. It’s up to you to do as little or as much as you like.

Let’s not forget the kids. Royal Caribbean has gone the extra nautical mile. There is an interactive aqua park just for the kids. Then their own program, the Adventure Ocean Youth Program with day-to-night activities for kids ages 3 to 11. And they haven’t forgotten the older crowd with activities and hangouts just for the teens ages 12-17. So much for everyone!

This is not a just a cruise. It’s a vacation with all the thrills. Racing waterslides, FlowRider, Aqua park and Adult Only Solarium to recharge. Add in dazzling bars, entertainment, and culinary delights you have a vacation the whole family can enjoy or even just mom and dad. Adventure of the Seas will be sailing from Cape Liberty May-September 2018 with a 7-night Bahamas cruise and October 2018-April 2019 from Fort Lauderdale with 6 and 8 night Easter Caribbean itineraries. Be sure to inquire about group pricing and get a whole gang of your friends together or celebrate a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary.

If you are looking to see a variety of destinations while enjoying a variety of daily activities with only having to unpack once, then a cruise may be the ideal vacation experience for you. Discuss it with our planners to get the right match for your vacation.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslA Personal Review-My Night Aboard Adventure of the Seas
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My Celebrity Summit Ship Inspection

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Sunday at sea. Well, almost at sea. I got to spend it aboard Celebrity Summit tour her decks, cabins, and sampling her food and beverages.  I know it’s a rough life, but someone has to do it and it might as well be me.  Actually it can be quite grueling and I know my feet, legs, and a** are feeling the  3 hours of walking the ship.  But this is truly a great opportunity for me to get a feel of what Celebrity has to offer you, my clients, as a line as well as how does it compare to the other lines.
Sticking to the Summit she is part of the millennium class that was updated not too long ago with all the solstice class perks. Despite her latest dry dock being only in the last few years, this beauty is about to go back in dry dock Feb 2019 to be “edge-ified” before returning back to Cape Liberty in 2019 for her seasonal Bermuda itineraries and Canada/New England.  When she is not up here in the north she does loops out of San Juan. They only plan on having her docked for about a month, but she will be freshly made up with changes to rooms and the Edge Class additions. One of the cabin changes will include new larger showers with the rounded sliding doors.  Her cabins are include inside, ocean, balcony, concierge, Aqua class, and Suite class.  You will find as you climb the cabin levels you will find increased amenities and nicer quality amenities with difference even in the bathrobes and towels, but all rooms do include bathrobes for the guests.  Fun amenities I saw in the Aqua class cabins were  gift bags, raspberry tea, complimentary water bottles, binoculars, large umbrella, magnifying mirror (ladies this is awesome) and they get exclusive to Blue Restaurant on the ships that have it.


When boarding the Summit, you will be greeted with a glass of champagne. This is a Celebrity standard. Prepare to check out one of the main lounge or dining venues when you first get onboard as rooms are typically not ready until 1pm.  It’s a great opportunity to get into relax mode with a drink and lunch meal.  I have to say the food was of great quality as we enjoyed a hosted lunch in the main dining. My lunch consisted of white wine, Caesar salad, salmon filet atop a bed of mash potatoes and spinach and concluded with apple pie.  Yes, you may just put a few pounds on unless you plan on visiting deck 10 for the fitness center.  Here you will also find the spa, hot tubs in the solarium and the Spa Café.

As long as we are talking food, the Summit has two specialty restaurants that you can make reservations for before you arrive or once on board. You have the Tuscan Grill and Qzine.  Tuscan is Italian flavors and Qzine offers a tapes style selections of wide international cuisine flavors. Dinner plates run about $40-45 per person for a meal.  For regular dining you have the Ocean View Café which has the buffet for all 3 meals and the main dining restaurant on decks 3 and 4 for you timed seating. Guests staying in Suite class have Luminae as their main dining option. The suite guests also get to enjoy Michael’s Club exclusively which is great spot when waiting for your room to ready.

Let’s talk about family travel on the Summit. While Celebrity is not known drawing a huge kid crowd (last week’s sailing only had 12 kids on it) during summer months when school’s out you will find a good number.  You have the options of family suite that sleeps 5 and also the one-bedroom suites have adjoining rooms if you have the older kids you want to be separate from, yet still within reach. The Summit has areas designed for all ages aboard and these can be found on Deck 11. There is the Fun Factory for you 3-12 and the X-Club for your tweens and teens. The kids’ club is Autism friendly as well!

Lots of fun spots for adults to disappear to. A bar you would definitely find me at is the Martini Bar and right next to it Crush.  Ice bar with lots of vodka choices.  The Sunset Bar makes a great spot to be as the ship pulls from port and a travel agent favorite. Then I definitely recommend sneaking away to the Rooftop Terrace for a bit of relaxation. I suggest taking part in the Taste of Film they  offer for a price of $20. This is where they match food and drink to a movie of choice, say something like Under the Tuscan Sun for example where they pick tastes from the movie. Thinking of Italy and wine, make a stop at Cellar Masters with world wine tours with your sommelier.

Another entertainment venue to catch while on board is the theatre productions. Celebrity actually owns their own production company. This gives them the ability to create and produce their own shows. With this advantage their shows can be changed out, different on ships based on itineraries, and have a longer run life to keep things fresh. Currently 3 shows are running on the Summit and the theatre also houses the comedians that come on board. Plenty of entertainment to choose from each night and always different.

For you cruisers, for those wanting to see Bermuda, the Summit out of Cape Liberty is a great option. Or consider coming in fall to experience the foliage of New England and Canada.   To get more information or pricing, feel free to reach out to any of our planners at 1-844-386-3600 or email info@boomerangescapes.com


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslMy Celebrity Summit Ship Inspection
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Passport for Your Palate-Half Moon Punch

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Recently, I attended this year’s Cruise World in Fort Lauderdale, as an invitee of their STAR (Select Travel Advisor Recognition) program. The event is comprised of a 3 day learning conference with speakers at general sessions, breakout class sessions from tourism boards, suppliers, and agents top in their field, and trade day with one on one time with the hundred or so suppliers in attendance. There are options to extend with pre and post conference activities to do site inspections of various cruise ships. We learned the latest to come on the high seas and rivers which is all very exciting for you, but one of the best things for us as travel advisors is the trade day.

Trade day let’s us ask those individual questions, pick up materials, and build our relationships with our business development and sales managers for each of the companies in attendance. It is a fun day because travel is fun! It is part of the reason everyone takes a vacation, right? We look each year for places to escape and enjoy life. This year’s conference did not disappoint with appetizers, champagne, cocktails, contests, and more bringing a lively vibe to our one on one interactions.

The cruise lines in general really went over the top with the fun aspect. A favorite booth was Holland America where they were showcasing Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff’s Signature Cocktail the Half Moon Punch. This Punch and Half Moon Cay, the cruise line’s private island stop, is celebrating it’s 20th Anniversary and we were there to celebrate with Holland America glass in hand. Holland America was gracious enough to share with us the recipe of this celebratory cocktail. For those that drink, you know rum punch is always a favorite go to as you enjoy the sun, sand, and waters of the Caribbean. For your mixing pleasure, I share below both the alcoholic version and non-alcoholic versions of this delectable cocktail for your next Caribbean themed party or afternoon pool side gathering. As Holland America Line says, “Savor the Journey.”

HALF MOON PUNCH (Alcoholic Version)

Ingredients
1 oz. Dark Rum
1 oz. Light Rum
1/2 oz. Ferrand Dry Curacao
2 oz. Fresh Orange Juice
2 oz. Pineapple Juice
1/4 oz. Sweetened Passion Fruit Puree
(Sweeten with Agave Nectar, 2 parts Puree to 1 part Agave Nectar)
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Splash (1/8 oz.) Grenadine
Dash of Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters
Garnishes: Pineapple Leaf, half Orange Slice and a Purple Sonia Orchid

Individual Serving Preparation
Combine the two rums and the Dry Curacao in a cocktail shaker glass with five ounces of the juice mix, a dahs of the bitters and a splash (1/8 oz.) of the grenadine. Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into a tall serving glass. Garnish and serve with long straws.

HALF MOON PUNCH (Non-alcoholic Version)

Ingredients
3 oz. Fresh Orange Juice
3 oz. Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz. Sweetened Passion Fruit Puree
(Sweetened with Agave Nectar, 2 parts Puree to 1 part Agave Nectar)
1 oz. Simple Syrup
1/2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
2 splashes (1/4 oz.) Grenadine
Dash of Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters
Garnishes: Pineapple Leaf, half Orange Slice and Purple Sonia Orchid

Individual Serving Preparation
Combine seven ounces of the juice mix, a dash of the bitters and two splashes (1/4 oz. ) of the grenadine in a cocktail shaker glass with ice. Shake all ingredients well and strain into a tall serving glass. Garnish and serve with long straws.

ENJOY!


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslPassport for Your Palate-Half Moon Punch
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Lisa Rossmeissl Chosen for Special Recognition at Travel Event

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Old Bridge, NJ- Travel Weekly is proud to announce that professional travel advisor Lisa Rossmiessl was selected to participate in the STAR (Select Travel Advisor Recognition) Program during its annual CruiseWorld event. STAR participants must meet strict qualifying criteria and demonstrate what it means to be a qualified professional in the travel industry.

CruiseWorld brings together nearly 1,300 travel industry professionals to participate in certification programs, hear from c-level industry executives, and partake in immersive networking experiences.

The STAR Program works to curate a group of the industry’s most dedicated and professional travel advisors through an application and review process that involves reference checks and an evaluation of current business practices. Those chosen to participate receive complimentary conference registration and hotel nights, as well as a customized schedule of meetings with representatives from destinations, tour operators, airlines, cruise lines, and more, from all over the world.

“Hearing you are being recognized for your level of talent for something you love to do, is gratifying and humbling.”

While attending CruiseWorld, Lisa Rossmeissl will hear keynote addresses on the state of the industry from Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation; Richard D. Fain, Chairman & CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; and Frank Del Rio, President & CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. STARs will also learn of cutting edge destinations and products, take part in VIP guided tours of a variety of the best cruise ships on the water, and form connections with high-level personnel from different travel companies.

All of these valuable experiences combine to keep STAR advisors up to date with the latest industry trends and best practices. This allows them to continue to provide unique itineraries to their clients and exceed client travel expectations.

STAR Program participants represent a group of extremely determined, forward-thinking and motivated travel advisors, said Alicia Evanko, Senior Vice President of Events, Northstar Travel Group. It is so important we have advisors who are serious about their careers and about giving their clients the best possible service at our event. All travel advisors should strive to achieve STAR status. This group of STARs demonstrate the utmost professionalism and we are honored to host them at CruiseWorld.

This year’s event will be held at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from November 15-17, 2017, with a one-day Exhibitor Showcase on November 16. For more information, visit cruiseworldshow.com.

ABOUT TRAVEL WEEKLY:
Travel Weekly, the national newspaper of the travel industry, is the most influential provider of news, research, opinion and analysis to the North American travel trade marketplace. In addition to a weekly print publication, TravelWeekly.com, updated several times daily, is the most-visited industry website. Travel Weekly is a division of Secaucus, New Jersey-based Northstar Travel Group, the largest travel business-to-business travel publisher in the world.

 


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslLisa Rossmeissl Chosen for Special Recognition at Travel Event
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Carnival Dream-A Personal Review

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Recently, I was able to experience the Carnival Dream as more of a guest than as a travel professional as I was on the trip as a guest of a fellow travel agent. She had her annual group going and invited me to tag along. The Cruise was the first week of October and departed out of New Orleans. As you know, 2017, has been quite the year for weather events particular hurricanes. And as luck would have it, we weren’t spared a taste either as our cruise was impacted by the arrival of Hurricane Nate. Weather event aside, my overall experience on the cruise was good. I had a fun, relaxing time while making new friends. I will give you my highs and lows of the ship experience in the following as well as an extra treat as I was able to get three of my new friends from Kentucky to write up their own account of how they felt the Dream was. An extra treat as their material is unscripted and uncut by moi.

First the Carnival Dream is one of the largest and newest ships in the Carnival sailing family. This cruise was to port at Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel, but as mentioned Hurricane Nate did cause some disruptions and we were unable to port at Belize and had an additional day of cruising at the end of the return to make our cruise 8 days instead of 7. I must say the captain and crew did an amazing job and if it weren’t for the announcements and some rain you would have never known anything was amiss.


I stayed in a balcony cabin. I always recommend ocean view or higher and took advantaged of having the balcony to go out on each morning. Thankfully for my roomie we had that as I am such an early riser. We had a fabulous cabin attendant and the room had plenty of storage though lacked sufficient outlets for charging phones. Some of the outlets in our cabin were European voltage and not US. Would recommend bringing an adapter set with you.

My take overall was there was plenty of food and drink available with a varied array of options. I would highly recommend splurging and trying the dining venues such as the steak house and Chef’s Table that have up charges to them. You can read my take on the Chef’s Table experience here. My favorite tanning location was either the 12th deck or down next to the pool on the lido deck where the day activities and music were going on. For you smokers, there were some designated deck areas. One was on the 11th on one side near the DJ.

In the evenings, we would stop at the Alchemy Bar before our late seating at 8:30pm. By fare the best bar on the ship with the best bartenders. After dinner, it was off to a show or the Punchliner Comedy Club. By far one of the best activities to enjoy and have a great laugh with friends.

The trip to me was of good value and I would cruise again with friends. Traveling is great when you go with a group!


Now as an extra treat, here are what me new friends had to say. I asked them if they wouldn’t give me a little blurb to include in my blog to you. I’d like to introduce you to Laura, Dustin, and Tammy of Kentucky.

Laura says….
Room: nice except not nearly enough outlets. That was not adequate.
Food: dinner was good. I️ would like to see a real salad bar everyday, got tired of burgers and pizza. Maybe there was salad and I️ didn’t know it.
Entertainment : loved the comedians!!! Feel like the night club needs to be more adult friendly… too much rap yuck. I️ think if the ship dancers or either of the cruise directors would open the dance floor, more people would go. They get the party started.
Movies on deck more for everyone . Play it one night and then pick another.
I️ felt like you better had selected all your options BEORE you ever travel or you are out of luck
It was an over all good experience though
Meeting you !

Tammy says…..
We went on a 7 day Carnival Cruise the first week in Oct.
We sailed out of New Orleans on The Carnival Dream.
This was one of many Carnival Cruises we have been on and one of the most unforgettable.
The Dream was supreme and had most anything you could ask for. The staff catered to my every need, all I had to do was ask.
They offer a vast list of things to do through the day and evenings. I saw some first- rate musicals, as well as comedy shows that left me hurting from laughter.
I adamantly suggest going to the dinner any night you can as they offer a large list of different foods. I ate so many things I had never had the chance to try and loved every bite.
Oh and the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake you will NEVER forget!
They offer so many shore excursions, at any of the ports of call; you almost can’t decide which one to go on! Our group decided and the ultimate dolphin encounter, which gave us all various reactions of happiness and feelings we will not soon forget.
Over all the vacation was more than I could have ever imagined and can’t wait for my next one!

Dustin says…..
So Carnival Cruise was my very first cruise and I am not mad about it. The Dream was a huge ship with plenty of room for everyone but it seems we saw the same people all the time, which gave you a chance to build comradery. Yes it was in the middle of Hurricane season, “lesson learned,” and we didn’t get to go to Belize and we were stuck on a ship out to sea, but I made friends, created a little family. Carnival did a great job keeping all of us entertained with amazing vocal performances, dances, comedy shows and many activities for children as well as adults that are too numerous to mention. The Flying Scotsman was our Cruise director and I can still hear his voice in my head when I think about our trip, and when I do I truly smile, because it was amazing. There were several food choices on the ship, and while some weren’t my favorite, there was always something for me to eat whenever I was hungry. My only real complaint would be getting to get into the actual places we visited instead of the touristy sites Carnival owns, but then again for our safety that is what is probably best. Overall I would give the cruise an 8 out of 10, and that is just because of some hiccups along the way that could have been handled better, and the fact we lost a port and was only refunded $15.80 in port fees per person, but I’ll get Belize on another day, and the memories I have from our shore excursions are enough greatness to mask anything that was not perfect, because I mean after you swim with dolphins and get to kiss and touch them, nothing else really matters, right?
As you can see, tastes vary, but in overall, the opinion was the cruise provided a delightful vacation experience. If you are looking to cruise Carnival or any other cruise line with a group of friends, please reach out to our office and let one of our skilled travel specialists walk you through making the right selection and taking care of all those pre-booking items Laura referenced.

Happy Sailing!


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslCarnival Dream-A Personal Review
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Passport for Your Palate-The Chef’s Table

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Do you consider yourself a food connoisseur? Do you like the idea of cruising the Caribbean seas or any seas? Did you know that today’s cruises have some of the most fantastic food experiences with chef backed restaurants, specialty restaurants, themed dining, and special limited experiences such as The Chef’s Table. You best loosen your belt and eat light before this event.

I just returned from the Carnival Dream where my friend and I were accepted at The Chef’s Table the Wednesday night of our cruise. They do a chef’s seating all but the first night of the cruise and it can be requested or ordered prior to your travel, which I highly recommend as it only seats 12-14 guests per night. The cost is about $95 per adult plus taxes and will be billed to your sail & sign account on board. If you can’t keep your appointment you want to be sure to cancel prior to 24hours in order not to be charged a missed seating fee. But, I guarantee you, if you are a foodie, you are not going to want to miss this opportunity to see behind the scenes and eat as the chef’s special guests. On this sailing we actually had a special table and section right in the working galley. (Note: seating areas and menu can vary by ship and sailing. )

What can your taste buds and gastronomy expect? The event begins with an assortment of amuse-bouches. Amuse-bouches are different from appetizers as they are not ordered from the menu and are served gratis according to the chef’s selection. We stood as the four single bite hors d’oeuvre were served along with our glass of bubbles. They were almost to pretty to eat and melted on the tongue with each bite. After tantalizing our tongues with these quick burst of flavors, we were seated at our table. Once seated we were presented and informed of the wine pairings and choices for our menu selection. I was excited to see one of my favorite New Zealand white wines, Oyster Bay as a selection. Wine poured, we began with appetizers not even listed on our course menu for the evening. The breads with the tapenade were delightful served with fresh handmade butter. Really is there anything better than butter?

The main event began with five courses including pork, lamb, seabass, quail and veal. I truly loved every bite, but particularly loved the lamb, quail, and veal courses. I warn you, that you may want to pace yourself you and not clean each plate clear as you go. I managed to sneak a picture of the veal plate. We were able to see the food being prepped behind us and several times during the evening they introduced us to different techniques they use on board such as smoking. The sous chef in charge of smoking the meats certainly loved his job. After a few courses, we took a break to have a short tour of the galley operations. Then we proceeded into the dessert kitchen where we saw how to prepare the recipe of Carnival’s famed chocolate melting cake. This cake will become a regular request at your dining time, trust me. One lucky person is selected to be the guest chef and do the mixing for this chocolate delight. Then it was back to our seats to continue the tasting experience. The mains were topped off with two delightful desserts, but before we were serve dessert, we had a little magic entertainment from the magician onboard. He was quite good and had us stumped at his tricks. Finally dessert arrived, this time the Chef let us take a picture of the beautiful Citrus Cream which included lime snow and elderflower caviar. And no dinner would be complete without the last serving being a chocolate lovers fantasy.

I’ve included a copy of my particular menu from the evening’s event above and below is the recipe for the Chocolate Melting Cake that we got took part in preparing. You can substitute different chocolates such as dark vs. semi-sweet but, not white. Another option is to consider adding a liqueur to liven it up.

Enjoy!


Warm Chocolate Melting Cake
(Yield 4 servings)

Ingredients:
Chocolate semi-sweet 3 oz
Sweet Chocolate 3 oz
Unsalted Butter 6 oz
Fresh Eggs 4 ea
Flour 2 oz
Sugar 1.5 oz

Method:
-Melt chocolate and butter.
-Mix the eggs and sugar and whisk for few minutes, add flour.
-Add the egg mix to the melted chocolate mix.
-Pour the mix in a greased mould.
-Bake directly in the oven at 320F for 14 minutes.

Note:
Make sure that the eggs are at room temperature and chocolate is warm enough while making he mixture.

Serve with ice cream and fruit garnish.

Are your taste buds watering? Would you like to know more about The Chef’s Table or how to add culinary pleasures to your escape? Than contact us!


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Lisa RossmeisslPassport for Your Palate-The Chef’s Table
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Whatever Floats Your Boat-River Cruising vs. Ocean Cruising

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While most people have taken a cruise vacation, they are mostly familiar with the traditional and very popular mass market ocean cruises. However, river cruising is quickly gaining popularity and is becoming a hot trend in vacation travel. If you think you do not like cruising – or you’re ready for a different kind of cruise experience- read on and learn some of the basic differences between river and ocean cruising. See which one floats your boat!

SIZE/ PASSENGERS/CABINS
Ocean:
Mass market cruise lines carry anywhere from 2000 passengers to over 6,000 passengers. Multiple cabin categories and cabin sizes from small interior cabins (no window) to 2-story loft suites.
River: Luxury lines carry 90 to 140 passengers. Fairly small cabins – 140 square feet cabins with porthole windows to 200 square feet suites with full sit-out balconies.

DESTINATIONS
Ocean: Caribbean islands, Hawaiian islands, Alaska, the Mediterranean, Australia, South Pacific, Asia, South America, Antarctica…. just about anywhere in the world!
River: Mostly Europe – Inland cities and towns along rivers such as the Rhine and Danube – big cities such as Amsterdam, Vienna, Budapest to small villages such as Bergerac and St. Emillion in France; Southeast Asia, China, and India itineraries are also offered by several river cruise lines.

EXCURSIONS
Ocean: Wide range of excursions from dolphin swims, zip lining, snorkeling in the Caribbean to whale watching and salmon bakes and train rides in Alaska.
River: Small-scale walking tours with individual headsets that allow everyone to hear the local guides. Excursions focus on sightseeing, history, and culture of the area.

DINING
Ocean: Multiple dining venues; many types of cuisine; multiple seating times. You may or may not get to know your waitstaff depending on your dining preferences. Relaxed dress code. Room service.
River: One main dining room and one or two smaller venues. One seating time period for each meal. No room service. Seating is open seating. Table sizes vary, so you can sit with your own traveling companion at a table for two or with a group at a table for 10. Dress code is relaxed. Most people dress casual-dressy dinner attire. Wait staff is very attentive. Service is personable and genuine.

ENTERTAINMENT
Ocean: Night clubs, Broadway shows, variety shows, comedians, concerts, casinos, pubs.
River: pianist in lounge, local talent such including singers and classical musicians

AMENITIES
Ocean: Water slides, cigar bars, ice rinks, 4-D cinemas, rock climbing, zip-lining, bowling, full service spas.
River: Libraries, sundecks, small fitness centers, 24-hour coffee bars, free Wi-Fi. And not a kids’ play area in sight.

PRICE INCLUSIONS
Ocean: Cabin, meals in main dining areas and cafes and a few other venues, tap water, coffee, tea…and on-board entertainment.
River: All meals, beer, wine, soda, specialty coffees and teas, bottled water. Some lines include liquor, transfers, and gratuities. Also included on all river cruises are the daily sightseeing excursions in each port. AmaWaterways even has their own bicycles for guests to use in port.

SO, WHO MIGHT LIKE TO RIVER CRUISE?
Those who enjoy sightseeing, culture, art, history and unique experiences.

Those who been there, done that on ocean cruises and want a different type of experience.

Those who prefer a slower pace and calmer experience without the glitz, non-stop action found on many ocean cruises.

Those who enjoy a luxury, cultural experience without having to pack and unpack every couple of days as on an escorted bus tour.
Those who like phenomenal service and attention. With small group sizes, the river cruise staff are able to completely cater to the guests and truly aim to please. The staff become friends!

Those who enjoy meeting others and making friends. You can certainly keep to yourself, but when there are only 100 or so passengers on board, it is very easy to meet others and make new friends – should you want to! River cruising is especially wonderful for solo travelers!

WHAT ABOUT KIDS?
Generally river cruising appeals to an older clientele. There are no organized kids programs or night life for teens on most ships. However, starting in 206, Disney has partnered with Ama Waterways cruise line and is European river cruising vacations. This may be just the ticket for your family. With the Disney touch, the river cruising experience will be much more family friendly.

JUST REMEMBER:
Don’t wait till the last minute! With ocean cruising you may find a great deal if you wait till the last minute. That won’t be the case for river cruises. These ships are small and fill up very quickly! If you want to take a cruise next summer, put down a deposit now…or at least by January. If you wait too long, you may find your desired itinerary and ship already booked up.


Anjana Duff is the owner of Travel Connection, a boutique travel agency specializing in tropical escapes and worldly adventures.

She creates customized vacation packages for individuals and groups. With her expertise, clients can relax before the vacation even begins. They are able to focus on what is truly important – connecting with their favorite people in their favorite places.


Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI. 

She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds.  Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind.  She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember.  With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.

Anjana DuffWhatever Floats Your Boat-River Cruising vs. Ocean Cruising
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