We started our morning with our usual coffees and pastries from Cafe Al Bacio. Today, we have a Chef’s Market tour through Celebrity. Instead of a long sit down breakfast, we tried the buffet and each made an egg sandwich on an English muffin which was really quite tasty. Our tour had a meeting time of 9:15 in the lounge and we departed soon after that.
A small bus was waiting right near the ship for us and our intimate group of ten. We were also joined by a sous chef from the ship and a local guide. First stop was the market place which was not the largest of markets but was the most impressive seafood market I have ever seen. I think just about every type of seafood was available for purchase. Neither the chef nor the tour guide offered much information about the items for purchase. The tour also includes a dinner on the ship inspired by this market visit. I tried to get a hint about the dinner by asking the chef what looked the best to by but I didn’t get much from his response. He did say he cannot buy anything that it not pre-packaged so I think that is pretty limiting to what he will buy. He told us he was meeting another chef and they would take a cab back to the ship with items for our dinner.
Our lunch reservation was not until 12:15 so we did a walking tour of the city. We saw the new cathedral as well as the old cathedral which we did go inside since it was free. The old cathedral was very plain on the outside but beautiful on the inside. It seemed to be a very active Church for locals. Today, the statue of the reclining Christ was on display complete with an elegantly dressed guard. I saw many people offering flowers to various saints as well a one where people removed greenery from a pot to rub the statue then lay at the base. I would have liked to learn more about both things and I hoped I would find more out later but I have not figured out much.
There was still lots of time until lunch so we went to a plaza to get drinks and use restrooms at a cafe. At the market, we saw chocolate and churros so since we had time we shared one order at the cafe. The chocolate was so silky and thick with a hint of sweetness which paired perfectly with the fried churro. It was plenty for us to share and with two waters, it was only 6 euros! The town hall was right across from the cafe and we saw lots of wedding guests. Our tour guide told us that Fridays are very popular for civil weddings.
We continued our walk to the restaurant and we passed a marker indicating how high the flood waters reached on November 1, 1755 from a Tsunami as a result of the Lisbon earthquake. There was a small altar there as well because people believe the church at the end of the street stopped the flood waters from going any further. It wasn’t too bad of a walk for us but I could tell others in the group were getting tired and ready to reach our lunch destination.
Our lunch would be a El Faro de Cadiz and after seeing all the photographs on the walls of famous visitors, we knew we were at someplace special. Our guide told us the king of Spain dines here when he visits. She explained all the local delicacies that would be prepared for us. We started the meal with our choice of wine or beer along with fresh bread. Our first course was a potato salad with tuna that was light and vinegary with flaky tuna on top. I really enjoyed this and could have eaten just that for a lunch. Next, was a pate served with an aioli on the side. I thought it was some type of seafood but it was rather bland with not much flavor at all. Tortillitas de camarones, or fried shrimp fritters, were next. We had seen this prepared on television and knew it was a very typical Andalusian dish. It looks very light but it was actually much richer and we could not finish our serving. The shrimp are very small so you eat all the parts which was odd to eat shells and eyes to me. The main entree was pork cheek served with French fries. The pork cheek looked and tasted more like a beef dish. The gravy was excellent but the meat was too rich for me to finish. Dessert was another traditional dish of a flan like custard but made only from egg yolks. They served it with homemade rum raisin ice cream that paired perfectly with the custard. I don’t think many in our group finished all the courses as it was so much food!
It was a very short walk to the bus but Chris and I decided to walk back to the ship as it was only about a twenty minute walk. The weather was gorgeous and we wanted to walk off our meal. We followed the coast until we reached the New Cathedral and decided to visit inside. Much larger and more ornate than the old cathedral, we listened to the audio guide to learn about the many artworks inside. Inside the crypt below, you can feel the heaviness of the humidity as well as view the Roman martyr, Santa Victoria, whose face is covered by a wax mask. Around the main floor, there are sixteen chapels with different dedications. We were both glad to have decided to walk back to the ship and stop in to see this cathedral.
Back on Infinity, I suggested we grab two cocktails at the Martini Bar since we had yet to try this venue. Chris chose the lychee martini and I had a caramel apple one. We both really liked our cocktails and it was a fun change from our usuals. We were invited to adult coloring and tea time in the Retreat Lounge but we passed. The rest of the afternoon we relaxed and dressed for our special chef market dinner.
Our group met up at Cellar Masters at 6:45 and we were given a glass of sparkling wine to toast our evening. Our chef lead us on an amazing galley tour during prime service hours. It started off with two escalator rides ending on deck 3 where we saw the bakery, Luminae galley, and Blu galley. The tour ended in the Tuscan Grille kitchen and we exited into the restaurant to be seated at a large table for our dinner.
Shortly after being seated a huge charcuterie board was placed in the middle of the table with two smaller ones flanking the sides. It was very beautiful but I will note that the items were much more Italian than Spanish, if one was looking for items we viewed in the market. However, it was a very nice start to the meal but it was way too much. It was barely touched by the ten of us because very shortly after (3 minutes or so by my photos) our next course arrived, carpaccio de atun with local tomatoes. The tuna was fresh and had great flavors but the portion was so large with 8 generous slices. Next course, assorted fish fry board with aioli sauce. I was shocked by the amount of shrimp, squid and anchovies on this board meant for one person! The massive course was followed by a red snapper Rota style, a style popular in Cadiz. A very tasty preparation but once again way too large for a tasting style menu. Unbelievably, a giant ribeye with roasted potatoes appeared before me next. It was prepared perfectly but I struggled to eat much of it after so much food. Dessert was a caramel egg yolk custard with ice cream which is what we were served at lunch. I only managed a taste of this dessert but it was probably a miss to serve the same dessert since the restaurant’s was much better. The consensus at dinner was the food was great but the portions were way too large. Many commented on the waste and we hoped more than the fish would enjoy the charcuterie board that was barely touched!
The dinner lasted into the show and we felt to full to go sit anyway. Tonight was the first production show of the cruise, Broken Strings. We opted to head to Rendezvous and ask our bartenders for a much needed digestif. A new recommendation of a dry sherry and Bristol cream - so we each tried one and thought it was very nice on a full stomach. We did a few dances to burn some calories and were given high fives as we returned to the bar. Later, our fan came over to the bar to tell us how much she enjoyed our dancing. She was a delightful woman traveling from Australia with her daughter. We persuaded them to join us for the 80s game show and party in the Constellation.
Upon arriving in the lounge, we found some seats along the back. Mariana was asking for a team captain for our side that knows 80s music. Chris waved his hand and pointed to me. She came running over and pulled me up to the stage. The game was to name the song as well as the artist but we could go to our side of the room for help. The first round was New Wave, and I swept it. In between the rounds, Living on A Prayer is played with points given to the best side of the room. Of course, it was given to Gary, my opponent and the score was tied. The next round was pop and Gary just sat in his chair but tied once again due to the bonus points. I can’t say I blame him though because some songs I did get really quickly! At this time, I told him I think he’s the winner as he is just sitting with his cocktail and getting the same points! Last round, was heavy metal and I got them all except for one because a woman from our side entered the dance floor to help me which was against the rules. The final round though was a dance off so of course my team went crazy! In the end, my team prevailed! I was pulled onto the stage by Gigi to dance to Don’t Stop Believing. We stayed an danced a few songs and chatted with our new friends from Australia who declared me “f****** awesome.” I have to say it was a pretty f****** awesome day as well.
We love to travel and experience new places and cultures.