17 Jan 2020

Huatulco, Mexico

As you can see today's port was Huatulco, Mexico.
Enroute we were invited to the Captain's quarters for a cocktail party. As usual that was quite special.
Today we spent our morning in Huatulco river-rafting down the Copalita River. It was pleasant, peaceful, and easy as the rapids were only Class I to Class II.
Michael opted for a cooking class during his stay.
Allyn had a belated 32nd birthday party for daughter, Jessica. They felt terrible because it was the first time that they were not able to be together on her actual birthday.
It was highlight of our trip so far was with an elegant private meal in The Vintage Room. Here Crystal marries the food, wine, service, and ambiance competing well with any high-end restaurant.

11 Jan 2020

Cartagena, Colombia 2020

The thing to do in the Old Town of Cartagenis is to walk around and enjoy its color and flavor.

Jess loved her first time in South America.
 Barry and number 1 son, Michael.
One street is more interesting than the next.
Even the bicycle repair shop is colorful.
However, the absolute highlight of the day was meeting the brand new mayor William Dau. He ran a tough campaign on political reform (they really need it) and was just installed five days ago. We just walked up and asked for a quick photo and he engaged us for several minutes speaking about his country, city and plans. Very cool.
I even found a street poker game.
I have never met a flamingo who wasn't a beauty.


06 Jan 2020

Regal Princess New Year Cruise 2019

Nothing says fun like spending time with the fam.
 Happy New Year.
Mellow river raft trip in Jamaica.
Catamaran in Cozumel
Dinner off the ship in Cozumel.

09 Dec 2019

Las Vegas Wynn and Encore Hotels Dec, 2019

Allyn and I are fortunate to travel the world and have so much fun chronicling our experiences. Although we were home this week we had an occasion to stay at Wynn's Encore and it would be difficult for any hotel to outdo this one. Even though they have 4,750 rooms combined along with thousands of non-hotel guests daily, you will not find a more beautiful or immaculately clean hotel anywhere.
And somehow they manage to have service on a par with the physical elegance.
Every single common area is a treat for the eyes.
Even though we had the absolute lowest priced standard room, this 745 square foot beauty was perfect for our needs. It was cleaned perfectly every time. Imagine the suites.
One night when Allyn was busy, I had dinner with my son, Michael, at Wing Lei. WOW! Not your normal Chinese restaurant. It is gorgeous. The service was impeccable, and the food sensational. It is easy to see why this restaurant was the first Chinese restaurant in North America to earn a coveted Michelin Star let alone a Five Star Forbes rating.
As a truffle oil lover, I think the Peking Duck Salad is one of the best salads I ever had.
The outside is as well kept and lovely as the inside.
Treat yourself next time you visit Las Vegas to either Wynn or Encore. Additionally they have a whopping seven resturants that have Forbes Star Ratings. Amazing.

20 Nov 2019

Carbone Italian Restaurant - Las Vegas

I don't think I have ever devoted an entire blog to a restaurant, but if I had it certainly would not have been to say how bad it was. Tonight was a blast with our friends the Hellers from Knoxville, Tennessee, but the meal was horrific.

Since Carbone' is a fancy Italian restaurant at The Aria, one would expect it to be quite expensive so we will not hold that against them. However layer on top of that, that the food was very bad and the service worse and we find ourselves with a blog panning a restaurant, which is not my usual style.

We arrive for dinner to find our friends in the common area between two high end restaurants and Rob smiles to the hostesses at the other restaurant and says how lovely they look tonight. They both give him a dirty look. It was weird because this guy is the farthest thing from a letch. Allyn, always the peacemaker, then goes to the two ladies and suggests all is good and they should learn to take a complement. They just glare at her. Maybe this should have been a clue to service at Aria.

Rob brings a couple bottles of wine and points out one only has a couple glasses left. They say it will still be $50 per bottle corkage. OK. So be it.

We start out with a Caesar which would have been good if it were not so warm. For those prices the lettuce should be properly chilled. Not a huge deal, BUT he puts the entire bowl on the table instead of serving out the four salads. Allyn, gobsmacked, say to the waiter "would you please serve us" and he say "nope". Upon further investigation he says "If I serve you then others would expect the same service." Hello !>@@# 

Then comes the pasta course. The spicy penne may have been right out of a chef boyardee can except I remembered it having more flavor. The two only clams in the linguine and clams were fine but the linguine was so salty the even Allyn could not eat it and she used to have a salt lick in her office.

The veal parmesan was an absolute joke. It could have been from a cheap buffet. Sometimes any business, including great restaurants, have a bad night. They good ones want  (need) to hear legitimate feedback.

We asked for the manager and politely told her about the evening. She just shrugged her shoulders.

As we left I looked around and it didn't seem like there was a local person in the restaurant. Most occupied tables were fairly large with obvious businessmen on expense accounts. This is strictly a tourist trap. We certainly will not return. If you want great Italian in Las Vegas there are many better.

Our go to place is Pieros - way better food, service, and ambiance. And, although fairly pricey, you never feel ripped off.