This is a short bonus post for anyone who, like me, likes to cook. Vista has a culinary center on deck 14 forward that ranks with any facility that I have ever taken a cooking class in.
Prior to the cruise, I signed up for the only cooking class available in the online reservation section for our cruise. I had hoped to do a few classes, but the one I ended up taking was all that was available for pre-cruise booking. We later found out from the instructor that there are usually spaces left for some to book on board and that there are cancellations as well. So, if you aren’t able to reserve the class you want or as many classes as you want, check with the reservations desk on Deck 5 when you are on board. Happily, the one class I signed up for, Cathy, signed up for as well—so I had a cooking buddy.
The cost for the class was $79, and that included two hours of instruction by our amazing teacher, Noelle, cooking and having fun, as well as eating what we made. To say that this class was well organized, that the facility was impressive and that the instructor was excellent would all be a gross understatement. All those things were true.
Our class was called “Lovers Together” or something like that. Cathy and I kept teasing Mike and Kathleen that they better come up and keep an eye on us. But the “Lovers” the class description referenced were the wine pairings—when wine and food are “Lovers.” I know—stupid marketing speak. Just say Wine and Food pairings.
I would guess by now you get the fact that this class and facility were top-notch. Forget the fact that we are on a ship; I would take classes here (at a great price) at sea or on land—just an amazing experience. If you like to cook, take a class on an Oceania cruise. You won’t be disappointed. Another great thing about these classes is that Noelle had three assistants who would set us up with everything we needed for the next course and clear out our refuse from the previous course while Noelle would have us come forward for instruction.
Here are some photos I took (with my phone) of the culinary center, the food we made and the class itself. I put captions on these so you will know what you are seeing.
After photography, cooking is my second favorite hobby and I love experimenting and taking cooking classes. These were great. The instructor was super helpful and answered all our questions including helping us with possible substitutions. That’s a great teacher—willing to adapt.
Be back tomorrow or Wednesday with my final review.
I’m not a chef. But I’m passionate about food – the tradition of it, cooking it, and sharing it. —Zac Posen