Before dinner last evening we had a pre-dinner drink at the Crystal Cove. For the first time of this short cruise we sat with Olga. Olga is one of three women who lives on the ship. We have sailed with her on numerous World Cruises and then on several other cruises since she moved onto the ship in 2014. It was fun to catch up with her.
We had dinner at Tastes. Tastes serves Tapas like cuisine family style. Although considered a casual restaurant enjoy the total package of very unique cuisine, great service and a the ambience of the dining venue. It has the look and feel of dining at a luxury land-based resort hotel.
We ordered several items and then the waiter breaks them down into courses serving two or even three dishes as one course. We had three courses of the Tapas. Every couple of months a couple of new items are added to the menu replacing other items. Overtime, some items that had been replaced make their return replacing other items. A couple of items that are the same are now prepared a little differently. This included the Smoked Salmon.
The Tastes wait staff team includes a Head Waiter, three Waiters, several assistant waiters and someone to take and serve the drink orders.
The Head Waiter, German, joined Serenity after several years from Symphony taking the position of one of the two former Head Waiters who has moved to Crystal Cruise Esprit Yacht. There are three waiters (our waiter was Anna from Poland) who explains how Tastes works, answer questions about each item on the menu, determine the sequence in which items will be served and follow up through the meal. These three waiters are all new since our last visit last August. They are assisted by several people all of whom we know from our previous Crystal Cruises. Each cruise a couple of people from the bar department who work in different lounges on the ship rotate into Tastes. The person who took our orders we know from last year.
Hotel Director Scott Peterson and Cruise Director Rick Spath joined us for dinner. We have known Rick for many years starting on the 2008 World Cruise but prior to this cruise had only met Scott one time and that was for a very short conversation while Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony were both together in Singapore. For many years Scott has been a Cruise Director and last year assumed responsibility as Hotel Director on Crystal Symphony and now has moved over to Crystal Serenity as Hotel Director. A cruise passenger ship has a technical area and the majority of the area is the hotel function including the staterooms, dining venues, lounges, fitness center and outdoor areas as well as the crew and officer mess and crew and officer bars. The Hotel Director is is responsible for all of the crew members who interface with guests as well as the entertainers and enrichment personnel.
We had an absolutely wonderful time at dinner between the outstanding service, ambience and cuisine and the equally enjoyable conversation.
We are including a copy of the Tastes Menu below along with photos of some of the items we enjoyed last evening. Cruise Director Rick is standing next to Anne Marie and Hotel Director Scott is standing next to Anne Marie.
fWe slept well last evening and began the morning with our regular routine. This included a workout for Keith and a stop at the Lido Cafe, breakfast in our room, a Spin Class that Keith attended along with a one hour walk by Anne Marie. The class that Keith attended was taught by the other Fitness Director Martin who did a fantastic job teaching the class. It was a great way to burn off calories from last evening's dinner.
We then got ready for our next port of call stop of this voyage.
Although Keith has been to Seattle many times on business, Anne Marie had not visited Seattle before today. In contrast to Astoria, Seattle is larger in both population and size. Its population is close to 700,000 residents and is closer to four million residents when including the entire metropolitan area, making it the fifteenth largest metropolitan area in all the United States of America.
Seattle's economy is fueled by both old and new enterprises. This includes well-known companies headquartered in Seattle include Amazon.Com, Starbucks, Department Store Nordstrom and freight forwarder Expeditors International of Washington. Other companies located near this city include Costco Warehouse, Microsoft, Nintendo of America, and Providence Health & Services. Although no longer headquartered in Seattle Boeing still has a large presence in the area with part of its manufacturing capacity located in Seattle as well as South Carolina.
Seattle is a very popular tourist destination and during the summer several Alaska cruises start and/or end in Seattle. The city has several professional sports teams associated with Men's professional sports including baseball, football, and soccer along with a professional women's basketball team.
As Seattle has grown in population a major challenge is their road system which can be very challenging for both locals and visitors alike.
Although many think of Seattle as having a lot of rainfall, its average is about 37 inches per year and that is below the national average within the United States. There are certainly other cities in the state of Washington with much higher rainfalls.
We were docked in a perfect place. We walked from the ship over to Pike Place Market. To get there you either take one of three elevators located in different areas or walk the stairs. We took the elevator going up but walked going down. This market is one of the nicest markets we have ever visited from around the world. It opened in 1907. The seafood, fruit, vegetables, and flowers all looked perfect. We had learned during the destination talk on the ship that there is a fish market where they throw the fish and we saw this. Yes, they call it flying fish.
If we lived here this would be a place to purchase seafood. Many of the merchandise sold is locally made. From there we walked to the original Starbucks which was established in 1971.
We walked for awhile over until we reached Pioneer Square Park. This square is where Henry Yesler's sawmill cut the giant trees that market Seattle's first industry. Today the plaza feature a bust of Chief Seattle, pergola and totem pole. During our walk we passed by the Aquarium and Omnidome Theatre and enjoyed beautiful views along the way.
We returned to the ship for some lunch and then afterwards went back out.
We walked towards the Space Needle which was built for the 1962 World Fair. The tower stands 605 feet at its highest point. We also walked by Myrtle Edwards Park and Olympic Sculpture Park and then over to the Queen Anne neighborhood. As we were walking a train passed by that had to be the longest train we have ever seen. It took about fifteen minutes before all the cars cleared.
Weather was absolutely terrific as was the walk.
Keith & Anne Marie