Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Top Chef at Sea - our first Demo!

The first of the no charge Top Chef events was Sunday afternoon. It was a cooking demo done by Tiffany. Keith, myself and the kids all were looking forward to attending. Keith and I have watched every season of Top Chef so we were pretty familiar with all of the chefs, but as we soon found out, some of the passengers on board were true Top Chef groupies! Yet at the same time, some of the passengers honestly weren't aware that there were even any Top Chef activities going on at all. And I think that's really as it should be. This wasn't a specially chartered cruise, so there was nothing overly intrusive for those who just wanted nothing to do with anything "chefy". Everything was totally by choice and there were no disruptions in the daily activities, at least that I was aware of!

So, as we were waiting for our first demo, up on the big screen was the loop of the Top Chef Season 14 that was playing on the TVs in our stateroom. So, just in case we had missed anything....here we go! 

The stage was set and we were ready for some cooking!

Right on time, our Cruise Director, Josh (I hope that's the right name) came out and introduced Tiffany. 

Tiffany came out and was incredibly personable. As the week went by and we watched each demo, each of the chefs had their own style of doing the demo - which was nice. Tiffany cooked and sort of narrated her cooking as she went. She told us what she was doing as she made her dish. Very much like a cooking show. She made a fish dish.

And then as her dish was finishing up, and plated, she fielded quite a few questions from the audience. Everything ranging from cooking tips, to questions about her time on Top Chef to what she's doing now, her favorite foods to eat and to cook. You name it. She was really great. 

At the end several audience members were able to go up and taste her food. 

I thought the whole demo was done very well. There were some great tips shared on cooking and the Q & A at the end was really great! 

So far, the Top Chef experience was a hit with our family! 

I'm not really sure what we did the rest of the afternoon. I think the kids went back to the cabin and Keith and I sat out on the deck and read. It was formal night and we decided to "go formal" and eat in the Main Dining Room again.

So we went back to the cabin to get ready and immediately noticed that the slamming and crashing noise continued. This again prompted the debate of what was causing the noise. We had really been all over the ship during the day and didn't hear any noises, the ship wasn't really rocking too much, although for the first time in 5 cruises Alex was feeling somewhat sea sick and that was unusual for him. Keith and Megan continued with their theories that it was noise from above or below and Alex and I were sure it was the ship itself making noise because we were sailing fast and the waves were a bit high. 

In any event, it was Formal Night and we all had to get ready! 

A little help with his tie

When the constant noise finally wouldn't let up, and more so, the constant, discussion of what it was kept going...I finally called guest services. I honestly wasn't calling to complain so much as to settle the argument of what the noise was! While I was somewhat annoyed at the fact that it was LOUD and going on for more than 12 hours now and given that we weren't in our cabin for most of the day it didn't matter, I was now starting to wonder if it would continue all night long! So - I called and spoke to a very nice rep who's name escapes me at this moment. She was very apologetic, and told me she was going to get to the bottom of this and call me right back. She called back about 10 minutes later and told me she spoke to someone - I can't remember who, and was told that yes, in fact it was definitely the noise the ship makes when the seas are a bit rough and the ship is moving a bit fast - for example, when they are traveling to the destinations. It is the ship hitting the waves. They offered to move us to another cabin, and I declined because where could they move us? We didn't want a standard cabin. And my hope was that once we got to San Juan, we'd slow down going to the other islands and the noise would stop. She said she would check back in and she did more than once to see how the noise level was. She wanted to make note of it to "make improvements for future guests". Which I thought was a bit odd - had no one else ever noticed this before??

Anyway - we left for dinner, which was very good...

We really enjoy the Select Dining and though the service in the dining room was great. 

After dinner, Megan and I went to the Captain's Gala Toast & Center Stage Show. Alex went to the teen club, and Keith went back to the cabin. 

Sorry for the blurry pictures! I really liked the Captain's overall personality. Not that I met him in person, but the image he presented was great! He was seen about the ship and there was just something in his voice when he made his daily announcements that I really liked!

A little bit from the show -

Another great day on the Reflection! Tomorrow we head to San Juan!

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