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May 2, 2012

BOB BINDER REPORTS FROM RIVIERA: PANINIS AND PING PONG

Butler Umbrellas
We had a bit of rain in Genoa today, but luckily we have our superb team of butlers to keep everyone dry.

Meanwhile, final preparations onboard continue. Chef Kelly is now settled in at the Bon Appétit Culinary Center. She’s been working to get everything set up for our new classes, which include one-hour sessions on paninis and how to make friends with your pressure cooker. We now also offer a class called Beyond Brie that will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about cheese.

 Bob and Chef Kelly-2 Bob and Chef Kelly

She’s also been making final arrangements for our new Culinary Discovery Tours that will launch with Riviera. When she was onboard Marina, she recently did some exploring in Sicily looking for potential tour destinations. She took a small group on a treasure hunt through the farmers market in Catania; then they filled some cannolis in a bakery in Taormina; and then they were off to a winery on Mt. Etna. Finally they returned to the ship to hand-roll pasta using the ingredients from the farmers market. Phew!

Chef Kelly also told me about a new Culinary Discovery Tour she is planning for St. Petersburg called Cuisine of the Czars. You explore local shops and restaurants to learn what the czars and peasants have historically eaten in Russia during each season. Of course, back on board everyone eats like a czar.

Speaking of eating like a czar, the onboard restaurants are almost ready. New recipes are being finalized, and the staff is already providing their excellent service because after all, chefs have to eat too.

Chef Lunch
The olive oil from Riviera’s godmother, Chef Cat Cora, will be served in Toscana. Considering her Greek heritage, Chef Cora certainly knows her olive oil. Now I’ll have an even tougher time deciding which olive oil to order.

Olive OilAnd don’t worry, after indulging in the onboard restaurants, there will be plenty of activity on the decks to work off some calories. Today I played the inaugural game of ping pong on our new table.

New Ping Pong Table
I have the same table at home so I like to think I know how to play. I have a pocket full of Big O Points for anyone who can beat me.

We are also all setup for shuffleboard, bocce, croquet and miniature golf.

Riviera Miniature Golf
In fact, all the decks are coming to life, and we're putting the final polish on the indoor venues as well.

Riviera Pool Deck  Grand Dining Room Polish
As you can see, we’re nearly ready to welcome the first guests onboard! More photos to come soon.

Comments

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Please, more actual photos of the staterooms and suites. We were in an Oceania suite last fall on the Marina in the Med. and would like to see how they differ as to furniture and fixtures.

You really are teasing us! Has anyone decided to retire and just LIVE on board?

I can't wait for my cruise on Riviera on June 17! I second the request for photos of the staterooms.

I will work on getting some pictures of the suites and staterooms and share them on the blog soon. Thank you for your comments!

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