CNHI News Service

Features

December 19, 2012

TRAVEL: Alaskan cruise sails from fog into fjords

In mid-August, I boarded Holland America’s ms Oosterdam after spending two sunny, rainless days in Seattle where the temperatures hovered in the mid-80s. At 4 p.m. the  ship weighed anchor and set sail for Alaska. It would be a first time visit for me.

I spent a good three hours getting acquainted with the ship and skimmed one more time my seven-day, five-stop itinerary. Unfortunately, the good weather came to an abrupt halt when I woke the next morning to find that we were traveling through a rather dense mist, and I began making a list of things to keep me busy onboard on our "day at sea."

The late morning gallery tour proved interesting as a small group toured the compact area where 134 assorted chefs, cooks and service staff prepare the meals for as many as 1,850 passengers and another 800 crew members. The kitchen stats are staggering , starting with a dish washing area which can clean up to 5,000 plates an hour.

"The kitchen operates 24 hours a day," said the executive chef, leading us past four, 48 gallon soup kettles and up to the clam shell griddles, which can sear meat on both sides simultaneously with temperatures that can reach 500 degrees F.

At a follow-up session in the Culinary Arts Center, where food demos are given daily in a comfortable auditorium, I sat and watched a talented carver from Thailand create unbelievable figures out of things watermelon and eggplant.

In the Explorations Café, where I ordered a cappuccino and checked my email on a ship computer, passengers can check out a book, play chess, or simply sit in comfortable chairs and gaze out the window in search of whales and dolphins.

After dinner, I managed to catch the ship comedian’s rollicking show in Vista Lounge, then caught Miss Augie’s Sing-Along session in the Piano Bar and danced a bit to DJ Brett’s rock tunes in Northern Lights.

Text Only
Features
  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • Sparring justices find little disagreement at the opera

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg revealed a different view of U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday when she described about her passion for opera, one she shares with Justice Antonin Scalia.

    July 21, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 25 hidden secrets in "Weird Al's" "Word Crimes" video

    Yankovic's 14th album was released this week, and it warms my heart containers that he's kept up his geeky brand of humor for so long. While he has written so many incredible songs, none have spoken to my love of proper grammar.
    Until "Word Crimes."

    July 16, 2014

  • ent_taylorswift.jpg There's less good music now — here's why

    Taylor Swift, the seven-time Grammy winner, is known for her articulate lyrics, so there was nothing surprising about her writing a long column for The Wall Street Journal about the future of the music industry. Yet there's reason to doubt the optimism of what she had to say.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • wheat1.jpg Backlash has begun against gluten-free dieters

    The swelling ranks of Americans adopting gluten-free diets have given rise to another hot trend: people calling the whole thing a bunch of baloney.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 4.21.43 PM.png A messaging app that doesn't use words at all

    About 10,000 people have signed up for usernames for a chat app that isn't even out yet: Emoj.li. It's an instant messenger app that uses no words at all — not even "Yo" or "Hodor!" Instead, it employs only emoji icons.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • lawgrad.jpg Things looking up for law school grads

    This might sound weird, but here goes: Now might be a pretty good time to think about law school. For the sixth year running, the employment rate fell, as schools produced a record number of graduates for an industry without the room for them. There was, however, a nugget of good news buried in the data.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • breaking-up.jpg Thinking about breaking up? Flip a coin

    In their latest book, 'Think Like a Freak," Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner suggest that, contrary to what many people have told you in life, you should quit. That is, when things get tough, you shouldn't always tough them out and stick with it. Instead, you should quit and do so sooner rather than later.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • The Internet has changed how we curse

    Relatively recent technologies — cable television, satellite radio, and social media — provide us with a not-too-unrealistic picture of how often people swear in public and what they say when they do.

    June 24, 2014

News
Sports

Opinion