We are slowly making our way up the Red Sea and as the waters are quite wide here we do not see that many ships. We have also left the piracy waters behind us and our extra security friends have been stood down by the Staff Captain and are enjoying a well-deserved rest. Our guests were trying to do the same but their morning tranquility was interrupted by a full safety drill. We try to do the drills nowadays in port so it does not affect the guests and also because we can then involve all the crew in the drill. Now larger groups had to be excused as the guests still needed to be served. The crew that missed this drill will attend the next one in a week’s time. Legally each crewmember has to participate in one fire and one abandon ship drill each month. Plus they need to attend trainings drills and thus most ships have now gone to Full Drills each week so it can all be done in one go and nobody falls by the way side. (And crew is often very good in trying to fall by the wayside………) This system works very well, except on sea days when Hotel Operations continue in full swing. Also we have to conduct a Fire Drill (Or First Stage Response Drill) every seven days and thus there is no way around it and we had to impede on the guests restfulness a little bit this morning. So I pulled one of my specials today for the fire teams and they responded very well.

A main part of the enjoyment of a cruise is food. And thus this is also the case with Seabourn which has a very high ratio of Cooks & Waiters to Guests.  As they are only so many ways that you can cook a potato, the focus has to be on the presentation and the service.

The Layout of the aft part of the ship. As explained a few days ago, nearly all the public rooms are at the back of the ship stocked one above the other to keep the cabins in the most quiet part of the ship.

Food is being served in:

Deck 09 Colonnade Restaurant. Breakfast & Lunch is self-service or Ala carte. Evening is Ala Carte only.

Deck 09 The Patio = outside round the amidships pool, self-service for lunch, Ala Carte in the evening.

Deck 07 The Grill by Thomas Keller. Specialty Restaurant with evening Ala Carte service only. This is so popular that you normally only get one chance to dine here during a normal 7 to 10 day cruise.

Deck 07 Sushi. The place is called Sushi and that is what it delivers. Open for lunch and dinner.

Deck 05 Grand Plaza. Here is a coffee counter with snacks and an ice cream or gelato stand. Open until 22.00 hrs.

Deck 04 The Restaurant. Breakfast, Lunch and dinner Ala Carte.

Deck 11 Observation Bar. There is a stand with Tapas and other nibbles in the evening during Cocktail hours and you could easily get a full meal out of it, if you were concerned about your waist line.

My favorite part of the Colonnade Restaurant, the Ice Cream stand. Luckily it is in the aft end of the Restaurant so I do manage to avoid it on most days.

Apart from Thomas Keller, which is an event in itself, the menus and themes change daily to keep a variety in the food cycle.  I have my breakfast lunch and dinner in the Colonnade as it is the only place where you can speed things up a little bit as I do not have the time to sit back and watch the world go by for hours.  The menu in the Patio does not change but it is quite unusual in the way the dishes are prepared, the word quirky would cover it, and thus it has every evening a near full house without having to reserve and during the cause of a cruise most guests will have rotated through it for one or more nights.

Sushi. To stay in line with the Japanese idea that all focus should be on the food, it is laid out in quite a minimalist way.

Guests tend to spread themselves evenly over all the Restaurants except on formal nights when you see a split between dressers and non dressers. Which is about the same as with every other cruise company. Only the Dining room has a formal setting the rest of the ship is and remains elegantly casual.

Tomorrow is our final sea day of this stretch between Salalah and Al Aqabah and again I am expecting no change to the weather. It remains very warm, and lightly overcast with a reddish hue in the air from all the sand.

The Coffee Bar for coffee’s and cakes. Although if you want a beer, they will get you one as well. On the far side another ice cream bar with about 12 flavors.