Happy Mother's Day for those of you celebrating Mother's Day.
We began last evening with a pre-dinner drink. We went to the Avenue Saloon instead of the Crystal Cove to change things up and because Lido Deck Steward Nat said he was working this venue on this voyage and while Keith had seen him earlier in the day, Anne Marie had not yet seen him. Like many members of the Crystal Crew we have known Nat for over 10 years.
We arrived to the Crystal Cove about ten minutes before the start of dinner. Lots of guests were already there either just enjoying light conversation and/or a drink and several were having photographs taken by one or both of the ship's on-board photographers. Originally, the attire for the evening was to be Black Tie Optional but when we boarded Serenity we learned that it would be Crystal Casual. We didn't plan on formal attire just for one evening with Keith going with a sports jacket, dress pants and collared shirt and tie and Anne Marie in a dress. We keep with this attire last night and the vast majority of the guests did the same.
We then dined at the Crystal Dining Room. We were seated at a table that we have had for the past several cruises. We prefer a table for just the two of us. Formal nights can be quite busy and that was the case last night.
Evidently the Senior Waiter was under the weather so a Waiter took care of us and then another Waiter supported her. This was our first time meeting both of them. The Sommelier has been on board for several years so it was nice to catch up with him. Our Head Waiter was Augusto who we have had as our Head Waiter when he is on board for the past several years.
We began the meal with Caviar for Keith and Anne Marie had Shrimp Cocktail. We each had one of the salads on the menu. Anne Marie loves Lobster so that is what she had. Keith ended up going with the Lobster after considering the Alaskan Halibut. As they say decisions, decisions.....
For dessert, it was a low-fat yogurt for Anne Marie and mixed berries for Keith.
After dinner, we attended the Captain's welcome reception. We were greeted by Crystal Society Hostess Alissa, Captain Giske, Hotel Directors Josef Matt and Scott Peterson and Cruise Director Rick Spath. We walked around the entire time so we could socialize wit those in attendance.
The show that followed the reception was the wonderful Billy Joel Show. We think it is a very uplifting show and very entertaining.
We both slept well and Keith worked out at the Fitness Center before breakfast. We had an early morning breakfast so that Keith could attend the 7:30 AM Spin Class. This class was earlier than usual with our early morning arrival to Astoria, Oregon. In fact, Fitness Instructor Leanne said this was the earliest class she has taught since returning to Serenity last December. There were seven guests participating, and it was a challenging class which is the way Keith likes it.
While we were waiting for Serenity to arrive to port, we spoke with our son and daughter in-law so they could wish Anne Marie a Happy Mother's Day and we could do the same for Kara. We will be at their house a week after we return so we will also celebrate with them. Likewise we will celebrate with our daughter and son-in law shortly after we return home. We also spoke with our daughter. Anne Marie opened a card and gift from Keith. Speaking of Mother's Day, there was a nice display of Roses outside of the Crystal Dining Room as part of Mother's Day on-board Crystal Serenity.
Although Keith has been to Portland, Oregon on business, today marked our first visit to Astoria. Astoria is located almost one hundred miles from Portland. It is a relatively small town with a population of less than 10,000 residents and about ten square miles in size.
The main economic drivers of this town are tourism, including visits by passenger cruise ships, light manufacturing and its growing film industry. This year 24 cruise ships will call on this port. They will get several now marking the start of the Alaska Cruising season and several in August/September as the Alaska Cruising season comes to an end. They had two ships in port the other day which were the same two ships we saw on the day we arrived to San Francisco.
We took the shuttle over to the town which is a two mile drive. We would have just walked it but it was windy, overcast with temperature around 55 degrees fahrenheit. We understand that it was much warmer yesterday and is forecasted to be nice starting tomorrow.
The shuttle had three drop off stops and we got off at the first. At each stop and at the pier there were several people who support the shuttle who live in the town. Each one we spoke with was very nice and helpful and none of them get paid. It's all volunteer work.
We were impressed that at each intersection automobiles stopped for us and later learned it is the state law. In one of the newspapers that we were given it showed marijuana for sale which is not something we often see.
The town and its very friendly people reminded us of how life was in many part of the United States in the 1960's when we as children could go out on our own.
We walked for quite a while. The Sunday market which is held weekly just started again this season so we walked the many parts of it and we also made our way over to the maritime museum. We thought the writeup in the second photo was cute.
It's coincidental but when we arrived to the pier in San Francisco we ran into one of the former Japanese Hostesses Mari. Today when we arrived to the ship all of a sudden in the Crystal Cove we heard our names called and we looked up and we saw former Japanese Hostess Keiko and her husband Rex. Rex gave talks on both the 2009 and 2010 World Cruises and we got to know him then. He had a unique style of lecturing and would use maps to talk about explorers such as Captain Cook and would utilize yellow post-it notes to mark the route. They live close-by to this town.
We enjoyed lunch back on the ship at the Lido Cafe. After lunch we each exercised with Keith doing another workout on the Elliptical Machine and Anne Marie walking for an hour. Keith was hoping to play Paddle Ball but it was not meant to be as no one was around to play. We also read and wrote and walked around the ship.
This evening we will go for a pre-dinner drink, and then we have dinner at Tastes. We will also try to get to the evening show.
Keith & Anne Marie