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
  • The Simpsons still going strong

    The groundbreaking animation first hit the air Dec. 17, 1989, but the family first appeared on television in "The Tracey Ullman Show" short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987.

    August 21, 2014

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Freshman.jpg 8 crucial tips for college freshmen

    With school starting back up around the country, no one has a bigger deer-in-the-headlights look than college freshmen.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • weightloss.jpg The scales of injustice: Weight loss differs between men, women

    You're not imagining it: There really are differences between the way men and women diet, lose weight and respond to exercise.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 3.09.32 PM.png VIDEO: Stars react to Robin Williams' death

    Prior to the premiere of “The Expendables 3” in Los Angeles, several movie stars shared their thoughts on the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • In Japan, ramen aficionados worry their favorite dish is coming off the boil

    "The ramen boom has ended," said Ivan Orkin, a New Yorker who first traveled to Japan in the 1980s and now owns two noodle-soup restaurants in Tokyo. "A boom implies that there are new avenues and new growth to pursue, and that's not the case in Japan anymore."

    August 11, 2014

  • AdelleWaldman.jpg The joy of being a single male

    Here's a truism that also happens to be true: Single men are seen as happy-go-lucky bachelors having too much fun to settle down, while single women are often seen as sad and bereft creatures desperate to snag a man.

    August 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dartmouth.jpg Break the college cartel

    Ask liberals why college is getting so expensive, and they'll probably tell you it's a case of government neglect. Ask conservatives the same question, and they'll tell you the opposite.

    August 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 3.43.11 PM.png Your brain helps you judge a face before you even see it

    In a new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, researchers report that the amygdala — a part of the brain associated with decision making, memory and emotion — plays a part in telling us who to trust almost instantly.

    August 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140805-AMX-PORK5.jpg 'Baconholics' undeterred by 30-year high pork prices

    With images of pigs and barbecued meats tattooed on his left calf, Brian Polak is doing what he can to cope with the highest price of bacon in three decades. The 41-year-old self-proclaimed "baconholic" now often cures his own at home to help reduce costs.

    August 5, 2014 1 Photo

News
Sports

Opinion