Food & wine pairings and coffee tasting on the way to Naples

Day 7 of our cruise...and the second of two days at sea - a day to relax. We slept in some today, waking at about 9:00am. We had a leisurely breakfast at the Ocean Cafe, we weren’t in any hurry - our first “event” for the day was at 11:15am.

That event was food & wine pairing in the Metropolitan Restaurant with the Head Sommelier (he was also called the Cellar Master). It was very interesting, and some of the pairings were quite surprising. The pairings consisted of 2 red wines and 2 white wines plus samples of plain chicken, spicy chicken, chicken with lemon, parmesan cheese, olives, tomato and a chocolate brownie. We enjoyed the experience of trying each of the wines by themselves first and then with the different foods. Some wines that neither of us liked by themselves created a wonderful flavour when combined with the right food choice. It was a good group of people taking part, too.

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    We had a light lunch back in the Ocean Cafe, took in a bit of the shopping at the Emporium and then went to a coffee tasting at the Cova Cafe Milano. It wasn’t quite what we were expecting, but it was good anyway - we tasted 4 speciality coffees.

    Later in the afternoon we went to see Bob Arno once again in the Celebrity Theater, but this was not the same sort of “show” as we had seen previously. This was a presentation called “The Serious Side of Stealing” and was far more serious in nature than the theatrical pickpocketing of the Monday night show. He showed video footage of pickpockets in action, also some interviews of pickpockets. Arno works with many law enforcement agencies around the world to help combat theft, and sets himself up to be a “victim” to meet thieves - he has a wallet filled with nothing but paper that he said had been stolen over one hundred times, but he always gets it back. He uses the wallet to start a dialogue with pickpockets - they steal it, he notices and steals something from them and once he has their trust he invites them for coffee to discuss their “trade”. He uses a variety of small hidden cameras to record the thefts and ensuing discussions. Some of the videos we saw were those. He also touched on the trends now in credit card and internet fraud. The presentation was eye-opening. The purpose was, of course, to help us protect ourselves from thieves - good timing, we were heading to Naples - pickpocketing capital of the world.

    After the presentation it was back to the Emporium; Gary needed to pick up a cheap watch - the TAG was staying in the stateroom safe when we were on shore excursions from this point on!

    The late afternoon was an opportunity for Linda to take a nap while Gary went to the internet cafe to download, view and sort some of our photographs. The ship provided 1.5 GB of network server space for each guest onboard. It was a great way to back up our photographs with 3 GB of space available to us.

    Tonight was a formal night for dinner and we went to have some portrait photographs taken before dinner - our choice for backdrop was the Grand Foyer staircase on Deck 3 midship. Dinner was wonderful and the formal nights had one extra bonus of musical entertainment in the restaurant - The Martini Quartet (two pianos and two violins). They were a very pleasant addition to the dinner experience.

    After dinner we went to the Celebrity Theater to see what was billed as “Hollywood Legend Pianist” Pearl Kaufman. Neither of us had heard of her before - but we soon found out we had heard much of her music in many movies. She is credited with playing the piano on more than 200 movies - including The Godfather, Dr. Zhivago (remember Lara’s Theme? - that’s Pearl Kaufman), Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Lawrence of Arabia, Summer of 42, The Magnificent Seven and Five Easy Pieces. A movie such as Five Easy Pieces was an example of her teaching a non-piano playing actor how to look like they could play in front of the camera - in this case, Jack Nicholson. Pearl was backed for the evening by the always excellent Celebrity Orchestra - it was a very enjoyable show. One more bonus for this day at sea - setting our clocks back one hour as we made our way to Naples, Italy.

About WHITEonline

WHITEonline is the digital home of Gary & Linda White. We’ve been married since 1980 and live just outside Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Linda was born and raised in Toronto while Gary was born in London, England and moved to Canada at the age of 11. We enjoy travelling and taking photos while we travel. WHITEonline provides the opportunity to share some of our photos & experiences.

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