2019 World Cruise - Day 41

Tuesday 02.12.19 - Auckland, New Zealand




(11pm) Usual Temp = 62° - 76° *Have NZ Money

Details from the Princess Cruise Lines:

Day 23 - 12, February 2019

Dress Code: Smart Casual

Arrival: 9:00 AM

All Aboard: 10:30 PM

Auckland
Straddling a narrow isthmus created by 60 different volcanoes, New Zealand's former capital boasts scenic beauty, historical interest and a cosmopolitan collection of shops, restaurants, museums, galleries and gardens. Rangitoto, Auckland's largest and youngest volcano, sits in majestic splendor just offshore. Mt. Eden and One Tree Hill, once home to Maori earthworks, overlook the city. One of New Zealand's fine wine districts lies to the north of Auckland.


Auckland served as New Zealand's capital from 1841 until 1865, when the seat of government moved to Wellington.




We received a letter telling us that our planned excursion was cancelled, so we had to scramble & find a new one.



We managed to obtain tickets for another excursion thru the ship:

10am Princess Excursion
Devonport Village & Auckland's North Shore
Meeting Location: Meet In Cabaret Lounge Deck 5 @ 9:40am
Tour Time: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Tour Code: AKL215A
Moderate Activity Level

Board your comfortable motor coach for a short narrated drive through central Auckland. 

A photo opportunity at North Head, part of the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park, affords sweeping views of Auckland and its harbor. 


Keep your cameras out for Mt. Victoria, the highest volcano on Auckland's North Shore and once the site of a Maori settlement. 








Visit Devonport, one of the oldest settlements in New Zealand, and take a step back in time. Independent time to stroll the streets of Devonport and to visit the cafĂ©s, galleries and boutiques is provided. Lunch at Hemingway's Devonport


We both started off with the soup of the day. A pint of local beer for myself 😀 & an actual bowl of soup for Shelly. 

Hawkes Bay Independent Brewery

About her soup, she says, "Creamy with a hint of spice.  I love avocados and this certainly fit the bill!"

Soup of the Day
Chilled Avocado, Cucumber & mint with Thai Spice & Lime
creamy soup with a hint of spice.  I love avocados and this certainly fit the bill!

We shared three wonderful items: fried calamari, a pizza & a basket of fries.

First item: 
Crispy Calamari - this succulent squid was expertly fried & served with a tasty house made aioli.

Crispy Calamari
Crispy calamari served with homemade aioli and lemon

Second Item:
Banana Pizza - This straight up blew my mind. I have had pineapple & grapes on a pizza before but never bananas. 
The flavor combinations were out of this world good. The bacon, avocado, banana, red onion, & feta really paired well with each other. I also enjoyed how the crust bubbled up & was slightly charred in some areas. This was straight up a GREAT pie! The only way this could have been better would be by adding some hot sauce or red pepper flake. One of the things I enjoy most about traveling is trying the local cuisine. This was something that I have never seen back home in The States. Our waitress told us that another local treat is to wrap bacon around a banana & grill it. 
Rustic Pizza: La Famiglia
Bacon, avocado, banana, red onion, feta, mozzarella, parmigiano

OMG that charred dough looks so good!

Third item:
Basket of Fries - standard French fries here. One of my favorite side dishes for pizza since junior high school.
French fries

I also took this time to sample another local product. I'm a huge fan of tropical fruits & this bottle of juice from Naturally Organic was terrific. 


You may wish to savour famous Devonport chocolates at this family-run business where the treats are made on the premises or marvel at the work of renowned hot glass artist, Peter Raos, showcased at his exceptional gallery. 



sampler box


A delightful ferry boat ride brings you through the harbor back to Auckland.

We bought a shot glass at the gift shop while waiting to board the ferry


We bought a few local snacks before returning to the ship.



We took a short nap, Shelly woke up not feeling well but we decided to still head back out to dinner. She was certain that she did not want to miss our reservation.

5:45pm The Grove Restaurant 
We chose this place because it was listed as the #9 restaurant in the world according to TripAdvisor. It turned out to be an extremely interesting dining experience. The whole thing is centered around a "blind" tasting menu. We were told that there was no printed menu, as to not ruin the wonderment & surprise of each dish. We elected to do the 7 course "Degustation" dinner (5 savory & 2 sweet):
Seasonal Bellini:
Sucker Punch - Spiced Rum Aperol, Pineapple, Lime


It begins with a plate of Snacks
oysters, crackers, & croquettes
Waiheke Island oysters raspberry caviar lemon verbena

Carrot cracker with taramasalata, tobiko & radishes

Kau Piro cheese croquette with hazelnut mayo praline

Next, it's Bread & butter
sourdough with horopito and grapefruit butter

With the menu being a "secret" it became very difficult to keep track of every dish's components. (it took me awhile to jump back & forth from the receipt, the menu & wordpad to transcribe everything) Trust me when I tell you that the food was exceptional. I fully understand how these folks received their ranking as one of the top ten restaurants in the world. I can truly say that this is a "bucket list" type experience.  It was an honor to be able to eat here. 
Is that a tear in her eye, is she that happy about this meal?

Shelly humoring me with a photo op


I'm sure by now you're ready to finally see the damn pictures....
Kingfish & Salmon
Gravlax salmon & kingfish rolled in Nori, soft shell crab, pickled Daikon, salmon roe & anise hyssop

Kingfish & Salmon
Gravlax salmon & kingfish rolled in Nori, soft shell crab, pickled Daikon, salmon roe & anise hyssop

Heirloom tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes, buffalo curd with parsley snow, focaccia, fermented tomato chutney, compressed celery & tomato water

Heirloom tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes, buffalo curd with parsley snow, focaccia, fermented tomato chutney, compressed celery & tomato water

Heirloom tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes, buffalo curd with parsley snow, focaccia, fermented tomato chutney, compressed celery & tomato water

Heirloom tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes, buffalo curd with parsley snow, focaccia, fermented tomato chutney, compressed celery & tomato water

Heirloom tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes, buffalo curd with parsley snow, focaccia, fermented tomato chutney, compressed celery & tomato water

Heirloom tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes, buffalo curd with parsley snow, focaccia, fermented tomato chutney, compressed celery & tomato water

Heirloom tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes, buffalo curd with parsley snow, focaccia, fermented tomato chutney, compressed celery & tomato water

Heirloom tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes, buffalo curd with parsley snow, focaccia, fermented tomato chutney, compressed celery & tomato water

Fish
John dory with black garlic butter, sweetcorn purée, confit baby corn in cocoa butter, puffed amaranth and Cloudy Bay clams

Fish
John dory with black garlic butter, sweetcorn purée, confit baby corn in cocoa butter, puffed amaranth and Cloudy Bay clams

Quail
Quail ballotine, confit leg, burnt apricot purée, witlof marmalade & lemon thyme gel

Quail
Quail ballotine, confit leg, burnt apricot purée, witlof marmalade & lemon thyme gel

Quail
Quail ballotine, confit leg, burnt apricot purée, witlof marmalade & lemon thyme gel

Quail
Quail ballotine, confit leg, burnt apricot purée, witlof marmalade & lemon thyme gel

T-bone
Deconstructed T-bone, stuffed courgette flower, courgette gratin & salsa verde

T-bone
Deconstructed T-bone, stuffed courgette flower, courgette gratin & salsa verde

pre-dessert:
lemon bar, palate cleanser

Garage project
Garage Project beer ice cream, blueberries, blackberries & malt tuile

Garage project
Garage Project beer ice cream, blueberries, blackberries & malt tuile

Garage project
Garage Project beer ice cream, blueberries, blackberries & malt tuile

Black forest
Black Forest: red cherries, water ganache, Florentines, white chocolate mousse, Morello cherry sorbet & dehydrated chocolate

Black forest
Black Forest: red cherries, water ganache, Florentines, white chocolate mousse, Morello cherry sorbet & dehydrated chocolate

Black forest
Black Forest: red cherries, water ganache, Florentines, white chocolate mousse, Morello cherry sorbet & dehydrated chocolate

Black forest
Black Forest: red cherries, water ganache, Florentines, white chocolate mousse, Morello cherry sorbet & dehydrated chocolate

Black forest
Black Forest: red cherries, water ganache, Florentines, white chocolate mousse, Morello cherry sorbet & dehydrated chocolate

Petits-Fours
miso fudge petit four

When we finished eating, our waitress, Marion brought over the top secret menu. She was even kind enough to write down a few of the items that were not listed.

As we were finishing dinner, Shelly started feeling worse so we made a hasty return to the ship. Stay tuned, there's a HUGE story ahead.....


Photo Album:
2019 World Cruise - Day 41, Tuesday 02.12.19 - Auckland, NZ 

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