Albany Chaine Cruise to Nassau, Bahamas
Article and Photos by William Harris, bailli
On November 11, 2017, 12 intrepid voyageurs from the Albany Bailliage departed on a liquor laden luxury bus and headed south to Port Liberty, New Jersey to board Royal Caribbean’s leviathan Anthem of the Seas. Our destination was Nassau, Bahamas, with stops at Cape Canaveral and Coco Bay along the way, but as they say, getting there is half the fun. One advantage of a mega liner is the abundance of dining venues and, as Chaîne members, we felt it was our sacred duty to sample as many of these as possible. One night we were at Chops, an upscale steakhouse, on another at Wonderland, featuring fanciful and imaginative presentations, and on another at the Chef’s Table which offered a multi-course tasting menu replete with wine pairings. Our go-to venue was the Coastal Kitchen, a restaurant reserved exclusively for suite holders, where the food was quite good and we were treated like royalty.
Perhaps the highlight of the cruise took place on land, as Nassau Bailli Isabella Overend and Bailli Provincial Ron Overend had arranged a luncheon for our group at the venerable Graycliff in Nassau. This historic 260 year old structure now houses a hotel and restaurant and features a wine cellar containing an astounding 270,000 bottles, the third largest collection in the world. We toured the Graycliff chocolate factory and cigar factory before descending into the subterranean catacombs-like rooms housing wines from floor to ceiling. After our tours, we enjoyed a fabulous luncheon with wine pairings in a private dining room where we were joined by the hospitable and entertaining Officier Maître Rôtisseur Enrico Garzaroli who is the owner of Graycliff and the charming Nassau Vice Conseiller Culinaire Freddy Lightbourn.
On our bus trip back to Albany, we animatedly recounted our experiences and discussed where our next seagoing adventure might take us.