F & B

Food & Beverage always helps to make a holiday.

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Dining in the Symphony Dining room – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Maureen and I started having our breakfast in the restaurant, but ended up on deck sixteen at World Fresh Marketplace – the choice was larger, but each evening we had our dinner in the Symphony restaurant.

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Breakfast in the World Fresh Marketplace, which was very good with a huge choice of food from around the world. On one side, we had a darker décor (see above pic) and on the other side of the ship we had a lighter décor. (see pic below)

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The darker area concentrated on hot dishes – roasts, curries, Chinese spicy dishes, and the lighter area on ‘cool’ dishes – salads, puddings, cakes etc. It was a joy to wander around and check all the dishes, which for me made choosing what to eat, without overeating, the decision of the day.

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A colourful spread of puddings, jellies and sweets, some sugar free, others gluten free, they did their best to satisfy as many people as possible.

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A wide choice of food from around the world – hot or cold.

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Smoked salmon for breakfast or lunch . . . just help yourself.

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I had read comments on the lack of bars for such a large vessel, and the difference in the western and Chinese culture of visiting bars. As soon as we had settled in we investigated which bar was going to be our favourite. The above picture shows Bellini’s, which concentrates on Champagne.

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Or was it the Fountain Pool Bar, near the pool area.

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Seaview Bar near the pool was popular, particularly on hot days.

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Sitting at the bar we could watch the passing desert as we moved gently along the Suez Canal.

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For those who are TT, a fruit and veg bar- drinks produced by blending / crushing various fruits & vegetables.
But, for us The Piazza Bar replaced the Crooner’s Bar on other ships.

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Maureen & our friends at the Piazza Bar for a pre-dinner drink.

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Same bar area of the Piazza bar

This bar was close to the main ‘entertaining’ area of the dance floor, which was also used as a centre of offbeat entertaining.

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Specialty acts

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Jazz band

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The female acrobat returned a few nights later with a double wheel.

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Plus of course we could dance or in my case crush Maureen’s feet.

Another popular bar was the Wake Bar

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This was a favourite place for many to have their breakfast – the World Fresh Market was just for’d of the Wake Bar, and the day could start with a Bloody Mary and fried eggs if this was to your liking.
There was a ‘day starter’ menu available at the bar if you wished for a breakfast cocktail. This menu changed to lunchtime cocktail menus around 11.00 am.

Additional bars were Crown Grill (part of a small restaurant) –

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and there was a bar inside the casino, which we didn’t use.

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I bet (excuse the pun) the casino will be popular with the Chinese during the Majestic Princess’ year long China contract.

 

Voyage of discovery

We spent most of the day of our first day at sea between Sydney and Melbourne navigating around the ship to find out where everything fitted – restaurants, bars, shopping areas etc
We had a cloudy morning, which brightened in to a blue sea and blue sky day with very good visibility. We were able to see the Bass Strait oil rigs in the distance. Unfortunately it was not warm enough to sit out on the balcony – too windy.
During our exploring we found the ‘Wake bar’ in the stern of the ship, which was closed at the time – too early, but we were able to get in and take some photographs of our wake through ‘portholes’.

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When I was at sea we had a helmsman (as against auto steering) to steer our ship, and being a first trip cadet I had to do a number of hours steering to gain my helmsman’s certificate – this was required before I could take my 2nd Mates ticket. I was required to keep the wake arrow straight. I remember my first effort, and the Captain saying to me that the war was over and it was no longer required for me to zig zag as the German submarines had been defeated . . . I did gain my helmsman’s certificate after the required number of hours of doing it correctly.

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Spiral staircase leading down to Wake bar.

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Bar area under the portholes – they look like windows, but close up they only allow light in through the ‘porthole’ area.

The Atrium was different again – and always popular.
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Last year we sailed in the Island Princess with 1960 passengers, this year on Diamond Princess there are 2,900 passengers and the difference is noticeably in many of the public areas, even though the Diamond is bigger than the Island – about 22,000 tons. Although the restaurants have not been crowded, just enough people, but the self service Horizon Restaurant always seems to be well attended.

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The British Captain, on the small Atrium balcony, giving the passengers a warm welcome.

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Once the speech was over the staff finished off the Champaign fountain.