Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sea Faring Foodies: Part II, Washy Washy, Drinky Drinky

One thing I will remember always on my trip on a cruise is the phrase “washy washy.” Basically, it was a reminder for guests to regularly wash their hands, or use hand sanitizer before going into restaurants. The fact that we have to be reminded to do so is a bit sad; the last time I checked I learned this in kindergarten. Then again there was also a recent outbreak of norovirus on cruise ships, so I guess there’s that too.

So, all around the ship I’d hear “washy washy” and get sanitized or spritzed with rubbing alcohol. I was wondering if soon enough I’d turn into a germophobe and start wearing tissue boxes on my feet (I so wish I could find that image *shakes fist*).

The best part was at the end of the trip. Did I mention that I we went on our cruise starting on 
St. Patrick’s Day? Ever try crossing Midtown Manhattan and getting to the West Side just before the parade? The pre-parade shenanigans were epic, to say the least. 

And, did I mention that we went during Spring Break? Yeah. Lots of college kids aboard. I will say they behaved better than the kids I went to school with, but maybe they were afraid of getting tossed out to sea.

Anyway, as we’re disembarking, one of the “washy washy” ladies spritzes our hands with the alcohol solution, and a youngish guy in front of us shouts “washy washy WOO HOO.” Without missing a beat, she responds with “drinky drinky, right?” IMMD. 

Hence, washy washy, drinky drinky. And without further ado, some drinky drinkies.

First, if you are not a native New Yorker, keep in mind that to go out for drinks in NYC is not cheap. Not in Manhattan, for sure. The boroughs are less expensive, but it’s not unusual to look at $8 a drink, minimum. Beers are comparable I believe. Hence, The Fisherman and I don’t really go to bars in general, and we don’t as a dating activity when we could drink at home for waay less.

So, to go on a ship and be able to get a cocktail (probably more like two servings really), for $5-$6, and beer for the same, we were stoked. And, there was a beer special where you buy 5 beers and get one free for $30. Three beers each, hanging out and enjoying the scenery, very nice. For New Yorkers, drinking was very affordable (and for me helped with the sea sickness On the other hand alcohol has a tendency to make you feel good). Now, with all the storytelling done, onto the fun stuff we imbibed while on vaycay mode!

The first drink, which certainly helped settle my nerves, the Bahama Mama. It may just be my drink of Summer 2012, but maybe not. We shall see. I did research to find a good recipe to share, but they were including coffee liqueur whereas my drink was definitely in the tropicocofruitty camp. This looks right, heck I think I’d like it even without the rum. But if we’re talking the Caribbean, rum has to be had. Or does it? After one of these, I was ready to be a Bahama Mama!! (And no I didn't drink both, but I almost did). 

Then, after lunch buffet we wandered about, got a feel for the ship, and realized that, with it being St. Patrick’s Day, Guinness was in order. And Guinness was had. Six in a bucket for the price of five, with a nifty hat and a cute necklace (no removing of shirts required, classy). I love a good Guinness. Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

Next on the list (and after a day of exploring and eating and whatnot), is the lady and gentlemen’s choice, a Tropical Passion for me, and Sam Adams for The Fisherman. Now, I like (most) beer, and I like Sam Adams, but dammit I’m on vacation and I wanted something pretty!! Apparently my drink was a heavy hitter in the booze department, but I didn’t notice. Apparently The Fisherman drank all the kick out of it. Sure, sure.

The one cocktail I was so excited about and then sadly disappointed by was the Rebellious Fish. Click and see what’s in it, and what it looks like. It’s in an AWESOME FISH BOWL. Because we’re at SEA. And we’re a PISCES and a FISHERMAN. What did we get?

Boo. And the drink wasn’t even that cool. The blackberry looked like a poop.

Keeping in line with fun colorful drinks, we next have the Blue Lagoon. I was really excited about this one, because it looks gorgeous! I LOVE that color. Sadly, another doozy. I don’t hate citrus, but it wasn’t fantastic. Nice to look at, I could have had something else to drink…

…like this. Now, I decided I don’t like this frozen whipped up version. But I do love the flavor combo. Maybe because I practically live in Puebla tequila has grown on me. I don’t know why I haven’t sought it out sooner. This, along with my Bahama Mama may be my drinks of choice for 2012. I got the classic, and The Fisherman got the raspberry. Both were good, but his kept getting huge shots of salt which were a bit off-putting. I liked the clean simple flavors of lime, tequila, salt.

Speaking of lime, everyone loves Corona and lime, right? Well…

Next was our fun times on the fake island the cruise ship bought. Sadly there wasn’t any good beer, but we settled for Miller Draft and Corona, which I never had before. Basically, how bad can beer be when you’re sitting here?

Exactly. I didn’t hate the Miller Draft, but I certainly wouldn’t seek it. Good for a summer barbecue, or fishing on a boat, but not to enjoy it. It’s a good accessory beer, to me, but not a beer to enjoy as is. As for the Corona, which is HUGELY popular where I live (as is Tecate), I just don’t get it. To me, and this is just my opinion, tastes like skunk pee. The lime does make it taste barely palatable as opposed to taste like skunk pee, but beer, nothing should have to have something to make it not suck. That’s just me, Mizz Girly Drink McGee. Now that I’m finished with my Corona rant…

With each bucket we also get a tchotchkey bottle opener. So, I had to get creative. I had to get real! I think it's so bad it's good that it's bad again. I don't know, bottle opener earrings anyone?

And then, Kalik, the beer of the Bahamas. Not very impressive, super light. Made by Heineken apparently. Tastes about right I’d say. You can only get it in the Bahamas. Suits me just fine. I wouldn’t miss it.

These I’d miss if I could only get it on one place. Warsteiner and Franziskaner. Warsteiner is definitely not a hot weather, sitting by the pool kind of beer. Franziskaner was more of a favorite, easier to drink in the heat with lots of meat and potatoes during German Fest or whatnot. Pork, sausage, sauerkraut, beer. Good stuff.

Speaking of beer, let’s wrap things up with our tastings, which aside from getting a bit tipsy on four types of booze for $15/person, you actually learn something about your booze (a novel concept for some). As nerdish as I am, this was a dream.

At the beer tasting we tried Becks, Bottingtons Pub Ale, Bass, and Franziskaner, which we had here then we had at German Fest (seems they were really pushing that one, huh?) Not terrible stuff, not super fancy beers, but interesting. I think I liked the Bass the most, the Becks was a bit light for me. I like to keep trying stuff to see what I like, and compare it to other things I’ve had, be it beer, whiskey, coffee, etc. so I can make those connections. So, maybe next time we’re beer shopping we’ll check out Bass. Maybe Franziskaner.

Then we went to a whiskey tasting, as The Fisherman is fond of whiskey (sometimes I think he was an old fogey in a former life). We tried Cutty Sark, Single Malts of Scotland 16 Year Bladnoch, I think, Alberta Premium, and Old Potrero 18th Century Whiskey. Whereas he appreciate this far more than I do and picks up the nuances, I pretty much tasted burning throughout. Cutty was tough, Single Malts of Scotland was my favorite, it was the smoothest. Alberta reminded me of paint thinner, not good, and I don’t think anyone at the tasting could figure out Old Potrero, including a Scottish woman and avid whiskey drinker. 

Afterward, feeling inspired, The Fisherman tried a shot of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. He liked it enough, the price was good on the ship but would be way more pricey on land. I don’t think he’d be willing to switch to his beloved Chivas Regal. Thoroughly whiskeyed up, I was able to persuade The Fisherman to check out the hysterically named Asian restaurant, Chin Chin.

On our final night, we visited our favorite bartender, also named Raymond, and had ourselves a pint of Newcastle Brown Ale. Apparently it takes a bit of work to get out of the tap with its sputtering and foaming, but it was quite nice. We then went for a Murphys, the other beer being shilled during St. Patrick’s Day. It was good, dark, nice, but sadly the tap was giving our bartender a hard time so we shared this one. We sipped this as we listened to an older musician croon songs from our parents’ generation as we sailed back home.

All in all, drinking was fun on the ship, if that’s your thing, or if you need a little help with handling being on a ship. We got to experience a variety of cocktails, whiskeys, and beers for a steal to our fiscal sensibilities. We have yet to recreate a beer bucket, but we do have ice ready. And we may or may not have bought the accessories needed for a Bahama Mama.

Up next, bonus eats! Our attempt at “authentic” Bahamian cuisine, and the two dining options we paid extra for. Which ones were a steal, and which ones were a rip off? I’ll discuss this next time. Until then, mangia!


  1. This cruise was chock-full of deliciousness! And haha, the Rebellious Fish does look like it has a poop in it. I've had Warsteiner, and I really loved it, though I'm not always picky about what beers to drink in what weather. Also, those bahama mamas look really appetizing.

    Can't wait for more! :)

  2. The dinners were lovely, I didn't love the buffet stuff. I won't totally write off the cruise experience, but I do want to explore more places first. Like I totally want to visit some place like Jamaica or Trinidad. Beautiful scenery and amazing food. Soon, soon.

    Scatological humor galore on the webosphere! I just found Warsteiner was a bit intense to drink in the heat.

    We did just get some Malibu Coconut rum, so we may have to whip up some. Instant tropical vacation in a glass!