As Relief Steward, I’m allowed the great opportunity to live on each of the ISD boats for two weeks at a time. While their Head Steward has time off the Relief Steward steps in to support the Hotel Manager to deliver exceptional service to our guests.
Each vessel has a unique culture built around their itinerary and the talents of the crew. All crew are highly competent in their assigned role. They also bring their flair for music, singing, storytelling, poetry, nautical knots, movie plots and favorite lines, and other distinctive talents.
During the evening an Expedition Guide may share lore on Apex Predators (know what they are?) and delve deeper into the background, history, and geology, of where we’ll be traveling the following day. There may be a musical and poetry/reading fest where guests and crew perform; we listen and sometimes join in to sing a refrain. Other evening entertainments guests have enjoyed include Alaskan trivia with swell prizes and movie nights with buckets of popcorn. Regardless of other activities there are always scouts on the lookout for whales and other wildlife. Everything comes to a halt while we take in the spectacular show Alaska offers watching whales spouting, fluking, and bubble feeding (all terms you become familiar with after a day or two into your Uncruise.) Sea lions, sea otters, bears, and other creatures doing their thing while we observe.
Every day the guests rave about the meals served. Galley tours leave guests stymied as to how delicious food can be prepared daily to satisfy all our guests in such a tight space. The galley crew does it every day on each vessel. On every cruise there are often vegetarians, vegans, people with specific food allergies, and other dietary concerns. The chef ably manages to satisfy each guest with meals that delight and satisfy.
The Meal Theme
This week aboard the Wilderness Explorer we had a Mediterranean themed lunch with Gyros, all the condiments, and Avgolemono (Soup with rice, egg, and a hint of lemon). A hit with guests was the Tzatziki; a yogurt and cucumber sauce to accompany the Gyro.
The Secret Recipe
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 cucumbers – peeled and seeded (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup fresh mint – minced
2 tablespoons fresh garlic – minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Puree cucumbers, pour pulp into a strainer and let liquid drip through; push on solids to expel juice. Sweat garlic in olive oil until soft, 3-4 minutes. Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse to combine. Enjoy!