BARBADOS FOOD AND RUM FESTIVAL 2019 CELEBRATES ITS 10TH ANNIVERSARY
This year Barbados celebrates a decade of the Barbados Food & Rum Festival with a new and exciting line-up of culinary greatness. The event kicks off on October 24th with the popular ‘Night out in Oistins’. The schedule of events runs until October 27th 2019.
This year, the theme of the festival is “The Story of Rum…from then to now”. It is sure to entice travellers from around the globe to experience the island’s famous rum and delicious Bajan cuisine.
What Visitors Can Expect at the Festival
Local and international chefs will be doing live food demonstrations. A whole host of food stations will be serving up food from Michelin star delights to street style bites.
Image Credit: Visit Barbados
Tasting bars will offer delicious cocktails, compliments of the Islands’ award winning mixologists. Soca music will fill the air with its tropical rhythm to create the perfect soundtrack for a week of indulgence.
Image Credit: Visit Barbados
Over the past 10 years, the festival has evolved. This has cemented its place as the ‘Culinary Capital of the Caribbean’. A source of pride for local culinary experts who give their time and knowledge to showcase exquisite cuisine to the festival-goers.
Barbados Food And Rum Festival 2019 – Schedule of Events
Thursday, October 24
The festival begins with the free open-air fish fry – Night Out in Oistins.
Savour the taste of the South as the Festival curtain opens at the historic Oistins fishing village. Be there to witness local chefs preparing fresh, grilled treats under the stars, and relish in one of the island’s most talked about experiences of cultural and culinary fusion.
Image Credit: Visit Barbados
Friday, October 25
On Friday night, those who look forward to the sit-down dining experiences will be thrilled to hear that the Gourmet Safari dinner series is back.
Following the success of last year, the festival is being opened to some local restaurants across the island. Guests can look out for Barbados Food and Rum menus at their favourite restaurants, which will offer dishes specially created just for the night.
Saturday, October 26
This year, the festival is introducing a new and exciting Food Truck Mash-Up.
Street food is equally as popular as restaurant dining. This event will be held at Pelican Craft Village and you are guaranteed to shock your taste buds as all the best street food will be in one location.
Image Credit: Visit Barbados
Sunday, October 27
The festival will climax on Sunday at the Ilaro Court. This is an elegant event not to be missed as the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) will marry class with refreshing speciality cocktails and food stations.
Have you ever fancied spending your Christmas break, feeling the sand between your toes on a beach in Thailand? Or sipping a Singapore Sling in the Long Bar at the famous Raffles Hotel? These are a few destinations you can visit on one of the Far East and Asia Cruises onboard Marella Discovery. Enter discount code ASIA100 at checkout. Offer ends Monday 15th April at Midnight GMT. Read on for more information on the ship and destinations. Otherwise you can go straight to the website and start browsing here.
The Long Bar at Raffles Hotel, Singapore – 2010
The ship offers plenty to do onboard, with a selection of great restaurants and bars; a casino; a giant poolside movie screen; fitness, sport and spa facilities and more. The three deck high atrium is the centrepiece of this magnificent ship, with glass elevators and floor to ceiling windows.
Image Credit: Marella Cruises – Grand Atrium, Marella Discovery
Dining and Bars
Guests can choose from seven dining options. The main restaurant is spread over two storeys with two speciality restaurants located on the top floor.
Image: Marella Cruises – Main Dining Room, Marella Discovery
Surf & Turf Steakhouse is a meat lover’s paradise. It’s also the place to enjoy lobster tails and other meaty dishes. If you are travelling with vegetarians, there is plenty on the menu for them too.
Image: Marella Cruises – Surf and Turf, Marella Discovery
The Glass House offers deli-style light snacks and freshly-squeezed juices. In the evening, the venue becomes a casual restaurant with a tapas-style menu. You can even try your hand at cooking your own steaks on hot stones.
Image: Marella Cruises – Al Fresco Dining, Marella Discovery
The onboard Sushi Bar serves everyones favourites. Spicy tuna rolls, salmon sashimi and seabass nigiri are on the menu. They also serve Asian beers such as Tiger, Cobra and Singha.
Image: Marella Cruises – Sushi Bar – Marella Discovery
There are two pools onboard. One outdoor pool with two large hot tubs, and an indoor one.
Image: Marella Cruises – The Pool Deck, Marella Discovery
Image: Marella Cruises – The all-weather pool, Marella Discovery
The Ocean Spa and Beauty Salon offer a wide range of treatments and services.
Image: Marella Cruises – Ocean Spa and Beauty Centre, Marella Discovery
Enjoy high energy entertainment in the 800-plus capacity Broadway Show Lounge. With 11 different shows, you can see something different every night.
This weekend, Marella Cruises are offering £100 Discount for Asia and Far East Cruises on Marella Discovery departing between 1st November 2019 and 30th April 2020. Simply enter the discount code ASIA100 at checkout, or let your travel agent know at time of booking. You will have to be quick though, this offer expires on Monday. Search the deals here
These culturally rich, adult only cruises are the perfect way to tick off your bucket list. Here are some of the amazing places you can visit.
One of the world’s largest mosques, the Grand Mosque can be found in Muscat. Pay a visit to Barkha Fish Market, where locals haggle for the catch of the day. Take one of the shore excursions to Al Thowarah hot springs and the Nakhl Fort, an enormous castle that sits on a rocky outcrop surrounded by palm trees.
Ornate temples and delicious Thai cuisine are the order of the day in the city of Bangkok. Head to Chinatown for an abundance of both. A huge reclining statue of Buddha is a must see at the Wat Pho Temple as well as the vibrant colours and fragrances at the flower market.
Anchored off the west coast of Malaysia, in the Andaman Sea, this laidback town has an element of paradise.
Stunning views Langkawi’s most popular attraction is the mountain-top cable car. This is accessed at the entertainment and shopping complex, Oriental Village which has been themed like a local settlement. For those who prefer to keep to stay grounded, there is the Rice Garden Museum which gives an interesting look at the history and tools used for rice farming.
The busy streets of Colombo are a fusion of classic architecture and modern skyscrapers. The city is home to many Colonial buildings such as the Town Hall and the Old Parliament, as well as tranquil temples and gardens.
Koh Samui is most famous for it’s picture perfect beaches, and has the most beaches out of all the Islands in Thailand. Relax on Chaweng Beach, the island’s longest belt of sand lined with coconut trees. A real tropical paradise.
The explorer types will have plenty to discover with Koh Samui’s abundance of temples. The Big Buddha Temple has its own island and is connected to Koh Samui via a causeway. For far reaching seaviews, climb the hundreds of steps where the huge, golden Buddha statue sits.
Image: Marella Cruises – Koh Samui
Image: Marella Cruises – The Big Buddha Temple, Koh Samui
Whether it’s sightseeing, shopping or culture, you will find an abundance of it in Dubai. Visit the iconic Burj Khalifa, which stands at 828 metres tall. From the observation deck of the World’s tallest tower, the sights are breathtaking. If it’s shopping you like then try haggling for gold at one of the traditional Souk’s, or take a trip to the Dubai Mall.
£100 off per booking: Offer valid on Marella Discovery sailings from 1st November 2019 – 30th April 2020. No minimum spend applies. Use discount code ASIA100 on the booking page of our website or tell your holiday travel advisor if booking in a TUI holiday store. For bookings made via your local travel agent, save £100 off per booking using discount code ASIA100. Offer is not valid on cabin only bookings. Offer must be selected at time of booking and applies to new bookings only, is subject to availability and may be withdrawn without prior notice. The code is not combinable with any other offer. Please see www.tui.co.uk/cruise or the relevant brochure for full booking terms and conditions that apply. Some of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services. Our website and/or brochure will provide you with information on the protection that applies in the case of each holiday and travel service offered before you make your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.caa.co.uk. Marella Cruises is a trading name of TUI UK Limited, a member of TUI Group. Registered Office: Wigmore House, Wigmore Lane, Luton, LU2 9TN. Registered in England No: 2830117. ATOL No: 2524. ABTA No: V5126.
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Despite the forecast of rain, it was still warm and balmy as I stepped out onto my balcony onboard Viking Sea, to take a look at St Kitts.
I will forgive you for thinking I was crazy not getting off the ship in St Kitts. However, I really wanted to get to know the Viking Sea a little better and this was the only port I hadn’t booked an excursion for.
As there was no rush to be anywhere, I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in bed.
When I was ready I headed out to explore the ship. Unlike other cruises I have been on, I found myself meeting and talking to other passengers. Maybe it was because we had met on the shore excursions, and the fact I didn’t have my son in tow. I think it was partly to do with me wanting to explain to people why I had a GoPro strapped to my head! I was also surprised to meet so many British passengers onboard.
Who Were The Vikings?
In keeping with the authentic experience Viking Cruises pride themselves on, there is a Viking Heritage Museum on deck two.
The impressive display of antiquities feeds the imagination of times gone by.
The people we now call “Vikings” were not a unified group or culture. Rather, they were the Norse peoples of Scandinavia – modern-day Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Principally they existed as farmers, but they also were settlers, traders, crafters, explorers and raiders.
Making my way outside, I walked through the Aquavit Terrace, which feels fresh with it’s nordic chic decor.
This leads you out to Viking’s signature infinity pool at the aft of the ship. I wasn’t the only one wanting to enjoy the onboard luxury. There were a few people in the pool and the hot tub.
Making my way upstairs to wander around the top deck, the view of the St Kitts mountains was stunning.
Lunch by the pool
Having missed lunch the last two days while off exploring, I didn’t want to miss it today. I had heard great reports about the Pool Grill which serves food until 2.30. It was getting close to that time already so I went to the main pool to get a closer look.
There was a lovely salad bar which included a gluten free Artesian Salad with Potato and Eggplant, a Marinated Fennel and Tomato and Prawns which was also gluten free. Although the food selection changes daily, I could have eaten the Eggplant salad every day. Burgers, hot dogs and fish are cooked to order at the grill and are served with coleslaw, red onion jam and a selection of toppings.
After lunch I found a great spot to top up my tan and relax for a while.
Athough I was still full from lunch, my travelling companions were meeting in the Wintergarden for afternoon tea at 4.00pm. I popped by as I knew I would be off the ship the following afternoon.
It was a good job they had saved me a seat. Afternoon tea is hugely popular with the guests and I can see why. A classical trio created the perfect quintessential atmosphere for enjoying the delicate sandwiches and cakes. Fresh scones were served by hand and complimented by an extensive drinks menu including a wide range of teas. I opted for the mango tea, which was very refreshing.
A Perfect Moment
As we departed St Kitts, I jumped into the infinity pool to enjoy the view. I remember when I first saw an image of the Viking Cruise ships, and thought how much I would love to be in that infinity pool. I never imagined it would actually come true.
The Beauty of Cruising
From one stunning view to another. I returned to my room to get changed and enjoyed the sunset from my balcony. It never ceases to amaze me the constant beauty you experience when you look out over the ocean from a cruise ship.
Feeling all tanned and refreshed, I took a walk to the atrium to see what was going on. A very handsome guitarist sat playing classical guitar. The sound was beautiful and he smiled at me. (Ok I was pointing a camera at him, but just let me have this).
The World Cafe
I went to take a look at the seafood and sushi in the buffet, as I had been advised not to miss it and I wasn’t disappointed.
I started with the seafood and a nice chilled glass of chardonnay. Wine and beer is complimentary with lunch and dinner, although I had the silver spirits beverage package which allows you drinks throughout the day for an additional $19.95 per guest per night.
This was the best sushi I have ever had.
After dinner, I took another stroll around the ship. As the Viking Sea was now sailing, the shops were open. There are not many shops onboard Viking Cruise ships, but the ones they do have are worth a visit. If you are looking for a jumper for extreme cold, this is the place to get one.
As you can imagine, everything is Nordic themed including the jewellery, ornaments, books and these cute but slightly scary viking head stuffed toys.
Why not take one of these little chaps home with you?
Movie Under The Stars
The main pool on the Viking Sea has a retractable roof so people can use the pool in the evenings. They also have a movie screen which is not used during the day, but some evenings they transform the space into a movie theatre.
Before people started to arrive for the movie “A Dog’s Purpose”, I took this short video of the room set up. What a lovely place to relax and enjoy a film, whilst you are sailing to your next destination?
I stayed to watch some of the movie. It featured a dog, so I knew whatever happened in the end it would have me in tears. I left early to avoid the inevitable blubbing, and went to bed. St Lucia tomorrow!!
Thinking of booking your own Viking Cruise? Click My Viking Cruise to visit their website.
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