The Last Supper

April 4, 2022 • 10:00 am

I show below the final dinner on the MS Roald Amundsen on Saturday evening. It was the final meal before a hurried breakfast the next day. expected a fancier feed than usual.  It was a bit fancy, though I missed my burgers and milkshake in “The People’s Restaurant,” the Fredheim.

I hied myself to the Aune restaurant a bit after six, when it would be less crowded and one could see the sunset. Here’s a panorama, although there’s a smaller dining space (with equally good views) to the left:

And the courses, described (and spelled) as on the menu:

“Potato waffel, lemon cream, semi dried tomato and crispy onion.”

It sounds like a weird mixture, and it was (they didn’t mention the asparagus). A dry “waffel” didn’t meld well with an only slightly cooked onion and the “lemon cream.”

The waiter asked me what I thought of it, and I said, “It wasn’t very good.” So he brought me a half-bowl of another appetizer on tap: also a mixture of strange things.

“Apple, parsnip & potato soup, diced green apple, goat cheese, walnuts.” This dish was okay, even though unusual. I couldn’t detect the walnuts.

The main course, one that’s often offered on “special nights.”

“Beef Wellington, asparagus, mushroom, onions, mashed sweet potato and madeira sauce.”

This was pretty decent, but the pastry had gotten soggy and there really wasn’t any need for all those mushrooms around the beef. The beef was cooked properly—medium rare—but didn’t taste very beefy.

Finally, dessert: “Omelette Norvégienne”, which the waiter called “Baked Alaska”. It wasn’t really a baked Alaska for the meringue was cold, though the ice cream was. It was still good and the mango sauce was a definite plus. As usual, desserts in the Aune are the best courses.

And so back to Chicago after a decent breakfast buffet at the Holiday Inn.

Soon I’ll be kicked out of my room and will have to cool my heels for several house in the “crew room” downstairs until I head over to the airport (a 10-15 minute walk) to catch an 8:30 flight to Houston.

In the meantime I’m anxiously awaiting an email with the results of my mandatory PCR test for covid, which I took at 9:30 this morning. A negative result is required to board the plane to the US, and the test must be taken no more than 24 hours before the first flight on the way home.

If things go awry—and one can’t be assured that they won’t—I won’t be allowed on the plane. I’m sure I don’t have covid, but not so sure that the testing company (two people with swabs, test tubes, and ice buckets) will get the results to me in time. They said they would, but hey. . . .

Wish me luck!

23 thoughts on “The Last Supper

  1. Since you asked, Good Luck
    Not sure why you had to get a PCR test, lateral flows are acceptable to the US Govt, per their website. That’s what we had coming back from the UK at Thanksgiving, and things haven’t changed.

    1. Our ship arranged for us to get PCR tests despite that. Rapid tests (are those lateral flows?) are also acceptable and you can get those in ten minutes. I can’t control who comes to my hotel to test me with what equipment.

      1. Fair enough, yes the lateral flows are the rapid tests, essentially a pregnancy test but for covid. Good luck – again

  2. A restaurant I worked at in my youth used to serve Baked Alaska flambéed tableside — which, technically, I guess, made it a bombe Alaska.

  3. Good luck! Not to be picky, but the PCR or rapid antigen test must be taken within 1 day, not 24 hours. We are probably the last Western country requiring pre-arrival (by air) testing, which is ridiculous when all passengers have to be vaccinated. Canada, the UK and the EU no longer require air passengers to be tested given vaccination requirements. It makes no sense given US domestic air travelers don’t have to be vaccinated or tested. The incompetence of the Federal Government under Democrats and Republics knows no bounds. Rant over.

    Safe travels home!

    1. “…which is ridiculous when all passengers have to be vaccinated.”

      But the vaccine does not prevent infection, just reduces the severity of the symptoms.

      1. I agree, but it makes no sense to require passengers flying into the US to be vaxxed and tested, when domestic passengers don’t have to be. Domestic passengers far out number international passengers. Canada, the UK snd the EU got comfortable without testing. But i guess the US knows better. Just my opinion.

      2. Let’s try to keep our facts straight.

        The vaccines do reduce transmission, by about 50 (Utah public health) to 65% (CDC if your third dose was in the past few months.) Each person who thus avoids infection during a particular period of observation is one less person who can transmit to someone else, because you have to be infected in order to transmit (duh.) So the vaccines do slow the spread of infection through a population. (This may be useful for health system planners who would prefer that not everyone get sick all at once. Remember flattening the curve?) But for a highly contagious virus, this efficacy is too low to arrest transmission, even if everyone is vaccinated. If 35% of the population remain susceptible to infection, the virus has no trouble finding them. This may be where the confusion comes from: the demonstrable fact that a vaccine with 65% efficacy for preventing transmission cannot eradicate the virus from the population is misinterpreted to mean that for the individual person, there is no transmission prevention at all. That’s just not so.

        Arguments for mandatory vaccination were predicated on the notion that if everyone were vaccinated, transmission would stop and we’d all be better off, even the unvaccinated, from the “herd immunity” argument. That’s not so, either. Jerry’s experience on his first cruise illustrates that even 100% vaccine coverage can fail to prevent infection from being brought on board and spreading among passengers in contact. But there ought to be only one-third to one-half as many cases as if none were vaccinated and this would be a useful outcome for a ship at sea in an environment difficult to rescue.

        And of course it remains true that at least for reasonably healthy people, vaccination does markedly reduce the risk of severe disease, provided they aren’t too old.

        1. “..provided they aren’t too old”

          Do you know of trustworthy evidence of vaccines making little or no difference to their likelihood of severe illness (and death also surely)? My impression is that simply comparing before and after vaccine availability in a given state or country, or comparing two countries with noticeably different vaccination rates, would at least make it likely that an experienced team of scientists could provide a more scientifically convincing ‘proof’ of that, or of its falsehood.

          For example, I’ll avoid U.S. versus Canada here and instead compare Serbia’s to Norway’s experience with respect to one of these, namely death. Over the Covid period, the former has statistically expected mortality excess of 839 per 100,000 versus the latter’s 42 per 100,000. The vaccination rates at present are 47% versus 75% respectively. The latter come from NYTimes’ “fully vaccinated” column. The former is done with statistical excess in a recent Economist, rather than the dubious ‘reported deaths from Covid’ which are all over the map and seriously suspect for all sorts of honest and dishonest reasons. So it is for me: ‘# of deaths which would not have occurred if Covid hadn’t’.

          As an aside on the latter in U.S., they have about 200,000 more deaths than most seem to think, roughly 1.2 million versus the million many seem quite blasé about. Of course death is usually euphemized as “passing away”, so “blasé” is to be expected.

          To get back on track, I’m not separating out by age here, but surely the vastly greater likelihood of death for “old people” plays a huge role in the enormous numerical differences.

          And I do realize that social attitudes (and other things) have an effect as well as vaccines. For example it seems that christian Eastern orthodox seems to engender an attitude more favourable than other brands of christian superstition to the approval of partaking in mass murder, at least since 1945 (e.g. Srebrenica for Serbians, and much more recently in Ukraine for Russians) and likely similarly less favourable to vaccination—not merely because of slavish imitation of your tennis celebrity in the case of Serbia.

          As to the overall aspect here, surely probability of death is of somewhat more importance (being a bit sarcastic here) than is merely transmissibility of the virus. I get a bit tired of hearing about nothing but # of new cases on TV news, as though they’ve been of any help at all in fighting this scourge. But
          I am a paid up member of the loyal legion of “old people”!

          1. > Do you know of trustworthy evidence of vaccines making little or no difference to their likelihood of severe illness (and death also surely)?

            I don’t understand what you mean by this question. The evidence is, as I said, that vaccines do make a big difference in the likelihood of severe illness, and death. Unfortunately if you are really old, death rate is still high if you get Covid even with vaccination. (Many of those vaccinations were given nearly a year ago, as the over 85s got vaccinated first.)

            Otherwise, I’m going to pass on this as off-topic, not ignoring you. Lou Jost’s comment was that the vaccines didn’t prevent infection. All I wanted to do was correct the misunderstanding tied up in that assertion.

            1. Clearly I did not understand, and still don’t, your remark at the very end:
              “..vaccination does markedly reduce the risk of severe disease, provided they aren’t too old.”

              In my apparently mistaken understanding, that could discourage an old guy like me, had I not got triple vaccinated already, to not bother to do so even now.

  4. … I must also say that even if some menu items don’t fly, I dig that they make an effort to do something special.

    My guess : the beef had too little salt.

  5. Good luck that all the pieces and parts fit together so that you may board this morning. The soup sounded good to me. I shall miss my morning ration of bergs and rugged, snowy mountains.

  6. Safe journey home.

    Looks like the galley were using up the bits and pieces left at the back of the fridge.

  7. Sometimes weird dishes can be great, I’m very fond (eg) of peanut butter with mango achar.
    As your examples show, these experiments don’t always work well.

  8. Looking at your Wellington: It looks like they didn’t properly sear the outside of the meat before wrapping it. It’s also odd because it looks like there are two separate pieces of meat in it (both improperly seared independently before wrapping) when it’s supposed to be a wrapped tenderloin

    I also dislike Beef Wellington because of the mushrooms, there are some alternate duxelles recipes out there that substitute out the mushrooms for random veggies.

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