After breakfast I spent the morning criusing the ship, as I want to profile a few of AmaDolce's crew; the Captain, Cruise Director, Hotel Manager. (everyone who works on board deserve a strong applause for their professionalism, commitment and dedication to detail and our every need). While there are 5 members of the crew (1st Captain, 2nd Captain, Engineer and 2 sailors) there are 35 hotel staff looking after all the guest's needs from reception to dining and bar services and of course the group that everyone takes for granted, the housekeeping staff (all under the expert direction of the Hotel Manager Trin Simmer).
As guest we get to know our chefs de rang quite well during the 7 days on board. And they get to know us quite well too. There are two that I got to know quite well and deserve special recognition: Head Waiter Susu Catalin and Chef de Rang Alexandra Cioca. They certainly exceeded my expectations.
In the afternoon we visited the beautiful town of St. Emilion, arguably the most pictoresque town of the entire region of Bordeaux. It is not an easy town to walk so our cruise director had setup 2 walking courses (normal vs. easy). I opted for the esay as my foot/heel was still giving me trouble. Over the next 4 hours we drove to St. Emilion, walked the streets, stopped to take pictures, had some wine in a nice wine shop, took a pretty little open train like bus through the vineyards of some of the great wineries of St. Emilion to finally stop at Chateau Soutard for a brief tour and tasting. At Soutard we tasted 3 wines: 2013 Les Jardins de Soutard (their 2nd label wine), the 2013 Chateau Soutard and the 2003 Chateau Soutard. While the first 2 offered an rather elegant portrayal of fruit and round complexity, the 2003 failed miserably as it portrayed all the faults of the vintage itself. 2003 was a very hot year. I remember being here during Vinexpo (June) and the temperature easily reached in the mid 40's. The 2003 showed off pruny, raisinny character with too high alcohol and green, vegetal araomas from the % of cabernet franc.
Upon returning to AmaDolce we got ready for our Captain's Gala Dinner where we were encoraged to dress up or at least get into the best clothes that we brought on borad. For me that meant Tommy Bahama. Our dinner was excellent and memorable