Nov 30, 2018

Part Two: Havana daydreamin’ on the Majesty of the Seas

A day at sea and Key West

Following a fun-filled first day and night aboard the Majesty of the Seas, Punky and I were prepared to slow things down with a relaxing day at sea before our first port of call in Key West.  

We began the day, as well as every subsequent morning, with the breakfast buffet at the Windjammer Cafe on Deck 11.  The Windjammer also served as our usual lunch spot for other days we spent on the ship. 

The Windjammer Café always provided plenty of viewpoints – whether forward-facing, port or starboard, of the sea.  Unfortunately, empty seats seemed to be few and far between.  Perhaps it was the lack of other dining options, or maybe our timing just wasn’t that good.  The food was serviceable overall, albeit mostly on the bland side.  I guess you have to cater to the masses.  I was also surprised by the lack of more daring menu items offered, the Caribbean-themed final night being a notable exception. (Bring on the oxtail stew, Jamaican escovitch fish and jerk chicken!)  Still, I was always happy to get my share of smoked salmon and corned beef at breakfast. 

Nov 28, 2018

Havana daydreamin’ on the Majesty of the Seas

Part One:  All aboard from Ft. Lauderdale

Most of my travels as a commoner have been, well, fairly common in nature – a little off the beaten path, perhaps, but rarely anything even remotely exotic or extravagant.  But once in a while, I think every commoner needs to take a leap forward with a more uncommon journey.  After all, few people ever become world travelers in just one trip. 

So, in an effort to cross multiple items off our collective bucket lists, last summer I booked a cruise over the week of Thanksgiving for Punky and me.  The ship was Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas.  The itinerary was Key West, Fla., and, more importantly, Havana, Cuba (the top destination on Punky’s list of places to visit).

We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., a day early of our departure date of Nov. 19.  It would definitely be an understatement to say the view from our room on the top floor of the Renaissance Hotel nearby put us in the right frame of mind.  

Nov 6, 2018

Tracking Sheboygan’s food scene –first stop: Gosse’s at the Northwestern House

If you travel enough, you begin to associate certain foods and drinks with certain parts of the country.  For instance, eating and drinking in Wisconsin probably brings visions of cheese curds, beer, butter burgers, bratwursts and supper clubs serving fried fish on the weekends. 

Perhaps no greater representation of Wisconsin’s food traditions can be found in the town of Sheboygan, located roughly halfway between Milwaukee and Green Bay along Lake Michigan.  As fate would have it, my work obligations took me to Sheboygan for several months, so I decided to make the most of it and try every food I could find that I felt defined Sheboygan. 

And so, we begin what I am dubbing the “Sheboygan Series” of blog posts with the very first place I tried – Gosse’s at the Northwestern House.

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...