We are onboard as part of an international sales symposium at sea. There are about 50 agents and general sales agents from all over the world here on Marina, and this morning we had business sessions in the Horizon Lounge. No time to get off and see Delos – will have to leave that for another time! After the morning session, the ships management had opened up the Red Ginger restaurant for lunch, especially for us (its usually only open in the evening)
Red Ginger is one of the most popular alternate specialty restaurants onboard Oceania Marina and focuses on Asian cuisine. In the centre of the room are three, multi-coloured Buddha heads, each carved from a single piece of glass and brightly lit from within. The décor is predominantly red with ebony woods, bronze and hand blown glass light fixtures and modern Asian artwork. The chairs here were sourced by one of the cruise lines owners seeing similar chairs in a restaurant called the Slanted Door in San Francisco, and then getting them re-produced and covered with a Ferrari-red leather that shimmers in the light.
Red Ginger's chefs have created a menu featuring interpretations of Asian classics. You might begin with a Salad of Roast Duck and Watermelon with Cashews, Mint and Thai Basil. Savour a Nutty Braised Beef Malay Curry with Coconut Rice and Paratha Roti. Or Asian-spiced Rack Of Lamb with Kohl Robi, Cream Spinach and Truffle Oil. For dessert, Green Tea Banana Cake with Toffee and Hazelnut Sauce Served with Coconut Ice Cream is the perfect ending.
I started with the Tuna encrusted with a sesame coating followed by the famous Miso Glazed Sea Bass – both dishes were delicious, I think my favourite was the raw Tuna – really very good. After the meal they presented us with a Tea menu featuring half a dozen different teas – I had the Gunpowder as I needed a jolt of caffeine to keep me going for the afternoon sessions!
Back to Horizons for our last session of the day. Here we discovered that Oceania Cruises are really focusing on their International guests and in January 2012 they are introducing a new foreign language programme that will include the following items to be made available in Spanish, French, Portuguese, and German:-
They will also hold an International cocktail party and have an onboard international concierge and translators along with tour escorts.
After our final session of the day we managed to jump in a tender for a quick look around the beautiful port of Mykonos. I had been here before so the cobblestone streets and whitewashed buildings were familiar to me, and we soon got lost in the maze of twisty paths and lanes. After taking a few photos (OK, quite a few photos – its very picturesque!) we headed back on the tender in order to get ready fro the Captains Cocktail party. This event is situated in three lounges, and coincides with a happy hour open bar. The ships excellent waiters and staff soon came round to us in the Horizon Lounge with wine, cocktails and champagne.
After the party we headed down to La Reserve for our evening meal.
La Reserve by Wine Spectator is the union of La Reserve, Marina's exclusive domain for foodies, with Wine Spectator, the magazine for wine connoisseurs. The resulting La Reserve by Wine Spectator is an industry-first onboard wine-tasting centre that offers gourmands the opportunity to enjoy a series of seminars and tastings that will enhance your appreciation of fine wine and perfectly paired cuisine.
During the day, you can sample a flight of regional wines that the head sommelier has hand-selected from Marina's wine cellar. Evenings are a more exclusive affair - for a maximum of 24 guests - allowing for an intimate, epicurean experience. We enjoyed a seven-course gourmet dinner, where each course was paired with an appropriate premium wine. My favourite course was the Porcini Soup with Foie Gras. La Reserve dinners are $75 per guest plus 18% gratuity. The food was delicious, each course was not massive, so the smaller portions were welcome, and the wine served was spectacular. Before each course the waiter explains the dish and then the sommelier describes the wine and why it was selected for the course.
A quick visit to the casino then off to bed!