Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cuba – Day 8

After yesterday’s disappointing BBQ, we’re hoping the dining experience will move up a few notches and we can try out some of the themed restaurants.

But first, it was breakfast and we followed the hoards as they meerkatted their way to the communal trough, aka the Gran Terraza. In terms of seating, there were two choices - sit outside and cope with the flies and possible mosquitos, or sit inside where the background music was turned up to 11! We chose to sit inside and once we’d got our table and adjusted our ear-drums accordingly. With time on our side, we invented a new game called ‘Find the Teaspoon’ – it’s a similar game to another here called  ‘Has Anyone Got a Lid for a Teapot?’. After some persistence, we managed to seek the help of a member of staff who located a single teaspoon, but the lid proved a request-too-far. We smuggled out the cutlery, in preparation for tomorrow.


Wot?! No teaspoons!!

The range of food on offer for breakfast was massive! Every conceivable brekky-variation from pancakes to spicy sausages, except, bizarrely, fresh tomatoes or baked-beans. We each concocted our own breakfast variation from the buffet and munched-on. Afterwards, we headed back to the room, hid the teaspoon and got ready for some serious sunbathing. Boy, it was hot – it must have been up in the 30s and it was only 10am! Still, we found ourselves a nice area away from the crowds that offered the essential ingredients of sun and shade.
Open-mouthed smile


Perfect for Sun and Shade

A couple of hours (and two free beers) later, we decided to grab some lunch at the eatery where we ate our first meal  yesterday. Just one problem – the ovens weren’t working!
Sad smile


Wot?! No Ovens!!

So, we headed back to the Gran Terraza. Once again, it was an open trough open buffet, with virtually everything you could hope for, but with no signage, and no logic to where stuff was, it took longer to find the food than to eat it! Still, at least the beer and wine was free!



Scenes around the Resort

After a slightly lack-lustre lunch, we decided to book the next three nights’ evening meals at the themed restaurants on-site. There was quite a choice: French, Cuban, Japanese, Oriental and Italian. The process here is that you have to book a table at a separate booking-point at the resort. When we got there, naturally, there was a queue, and based on the body-language,  the couple at the front looked liked they’d met an old friend behind the desk, and were catching-up on old news – they were taking ages and so we stood for ages! And, as it turned out, the Canadian/Brazilian couple in front of us were even more impatient than us four, and ‘implied’ to the front couple (and the staff member) they should hurry up – that’s when we learned that they WERE old friends of the person making the bookings, and they WERE catching-up on old news!
Baring teeth smile

Thirty very long minutes later, we’d made our three bookings: French tonight, Italian tomorrow night and Oriental on our last night here. As I was walking back to the room, the Brazilian couple we’d met in the queue caught up with me, as they’d just spoken to a German couple who had eaten at all the themed-restaurants over the past few days – and had commented ‘they’re all crap!’
Sad smile

With the expectation-ometer set to zero we headed for our 6.30 slot and a slice of France – Marseille Restaurant. The first obstacle was actually getting through the front door – literally - as it creaked and shrieked in equal measure through lack of maintenance (something that later, was going to plague us all evening, as each repeated visitor entering and exiting the Restaurant, reminded us of a pig being murdered!)


Wot?! No WD40

Once seated, we were presented with the menu. Ann tried speaking French to our waiter (naturally, as we were in a French restaurant), but that took the idea of a themed restaurant a step too far! - and we fell back on English and the international language of ‘pointing and smiling’. The food, as it turned out wasn’t too bad – certainly NOT ‘crap’, but the paté recipe must have got lost in translation, as it resembled and tasted more like meatloaf. The beer and wine flowed smoothly (unlike the door!), and two-and-a-half hours later, we were all done. The staff had been very attentive, and the menu pretty good (paté excluded!) and so, all-in-all, a pretty good experience all round. And, perhaps that’s the secret over here – set expectations to a big fat zero, and everything will be fine!
Smile

Afterwards, it was back to Karen & Ralph’s room to help them empty their free bottle of sparkling wine. It’s tough out here, but as the saying goes: ‘someone’s gotta do it’.

And tomorrow is another lazy day - some of us are trying out the gym, whilst others are definitely not! Then, it’s more sunbathing punctuated with free beer!
Winking smile