Day 2 of my Asian Odyssey was a sea day as we transited from Tokyo to Osaka. This is the way all cruises should start, a nice relaxing day at sea after what can be a chaotic day of embarkation. For me today was purely familiarising myself with Azamara Quest and dinner in Windows Cafe, the ship’s buffet restaurant.
Package Issues – the saga continues
My package issues had still not been resolved. One of the pool deck bar staff, Mark, rang Guest Relations to help sort things out. He must have been on the phone for 30 mins. At least it meant I could use the Ultimate Booze Package benefits. In my opinion this is worth the extra cash if you like a couple of cocktails and / or better beer and wine options.
If you purchase one of the various upgrade packages it could include the Ultimate Beverage Package. The package I purchased was the Experience More for Solo Travellers, this is only available for cruises of 8 nights or more and cost USD799, apparently worth USD1,114. It includes:
— $350 Shore Excursions Onboard Credit
— Unlimited WiFi for one device
— Ultimate Beverage Package for one
— $150 Onboard Spa credit
— Three bags of laundry during the voyage
— Chef’s Table or Three Table Tour
The only benefit I did not use was the Spa Credit. Apparently my hair is not long enough to be considered for signature hair treatment. What ever that is.
Ultimate Beverage Package
The Ultimate Beverage Package adds more options to the standard and premium drinks packages, basically one shelf below the top shelf.
|Vodka||Belvedere, Chopin, Ciroc, Grey Goose, Hangar One, Tito’s|
|Gin||Aviation, Hendrick’s, Tanqueray No. Ten, Plymouth|
|Rum||Atlantico Reserve, Bacardi 8, Bacardi Black, Kraken Black Spiced, Miami Club, Pyrat XO|
|Tequila||Don Julio Blanco, Patron Silver, Avión Silver, Patron Reposado, Avión Reposado|
|Blended Scotch Whisky||Chivas Regal 12 Years, Johnnie Walker Black Label|
|Single Malt Scotch Whisky||Glenfiddich Select Cask, The Glenlivet The Master, Destiller’s Reserve, Highland Park Aged 12 Years, The Balvenie Triple Cask 12 Years, Laphroaig 10 Years, The Macallan Select Oak|
|Bourbon||Bulleit, Maker’s Mark|
|Tennessee Whiskey||Jack, Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack|
|Rye Whiskey||Rittenhouse Rye 100 Proof, Bulleit Rye|
|Irish Whiskey||Jameson Irish Whiskey|
|Canadian Whisky||Crown Royal|
|Cognac||Hennessy VS, Courvoisier VSOP|
|Pisco||Inca Gold, Porton Mosto Verde, Acholado|
|Liqueurs||B & B, Baileys Irish Cream, Bénédictine, Chambord, Cointreau, Drambuie, Fernet Branca, Galliano, Godiva, Grand Marnier, St-Germain, Pama Pomegranate, Kahlúa, Linie Aquavit|
|Wine by the Glass|
|Champagne & Sparkling||Nicolas Feuilatte, Brut, Chouilly (France), Santa Elvira, Prosecco, Extra Dy, Treviso (Italy), Domaine Chandon, Brut, Classic (California)|
|White Wine||Wairau River, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough (New Zealand), The Seeker, Chardonnay (California), Bertani Velante, Pinot Grigio, Venezie Giulia (Italy), Selbach “Fish Label”, Riesling Kabinett, Mosel (Germany), Gérard Bertrand Réserve Spéciale, Viognier, Pays d’Oc (France)|
|Rosé Wine||Beringer, White Zinfandel (California), Caves D’Esclans “Whispering Angel”, Rosé, Côtes de Provence (France)|
|Red Wine||Penley Estate “Phoenix”, Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra (Australia), Matanzas Creek Winery, Merlot, Sonoma County (California), Sokol Blosser, Delinea 300, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley (Oregon), Callia Alta, Malbec, San Juan (Argentina), Poggio Tempesta, Chianti DOCG, Toscana (Italy)|
|Porto||Fonseca, Late Bottled Vintage, Sandeman, Ruby|
|Bottled||Evian 11oz., Perrier 11oz.|
Tonight I decided to try Windows Cafe on Deck 9. This restaurant has a very similar layout Sette Mari onboard Regent Ships, what is better is the Sunset Bar which is on the open deck that over looks the stern. Unfortunately, whilst the food is good, it is not as good a quality as what is served on a Regent Ship.
Tonight was Asian Night
Windows Cafe is a buffet restaurant, which is also different to Sette Mari at dinner time.
Starter (for me)
Sushi and Sashimi, it good, not great. I did like the Dragon
Did not really plate this for a photo… I had Rendang, Kung Pao Chicken, Peking Duck and dumplings they well all good, the Chili paste was nice and spicy.
Time to get more value out of my Ultimate Beverage Package, I hope
2021 Weingut Gruber Röschitz – Grüner Veltliner, Weinviertel, Niederösterreich, Austria
|Nose:||A pleasant array of lime, lychee and herb aromas|
|Palate:||Refreshing with a slight spritz and lychee flavours|
|Finish:||Medium in length.|
|Oz’s Rating:||3 out of 5|
A good choice for dishes with a bit of spice.
2018 Azamara wine by Zonin, Italy, 100% Merlot
|Nose:||Subtle combination of pepper, blackberry with a hint mocha and spice aromas|
|Palate:||Light to medium body, with soft tannins|
|Finish:||Medium length with a residual sweetness|
|Oz’s Rating:||3 out of 5|
Not bad for a house wine
2018 The Burn, Borne of Fire, Columbia Valley, Washington, USA. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
|Appearance:||Medium deep crimson|
|Nose:||Mixture of capsicum, blackberry and subtle cherry aromas|
|Palate:||Medium bodied with dry firm tannins|
|Finish:||Short to medium with a hint of heat|
|Oz’s Rating:||2.5 out 5|
Had hoped for more from this, hopefully it was just a bad bottle
The first full day at sea was a relaxing one. Tomorrow we arrive in Osaka where I am going to catch the train to Kyoto to go on a private tour of Kyoto that I arranged prior to sailing.