Mintra asked if buffets are operate during COVID09 and what vaccines are acceptable. Yes buffets do operate but with protocols including assistance from the food & beverage team, distancing from the food, and entrances and exits to keep traffic flow moving in one direction. Guest must complete their vaccine protocol 14 days or more before boarding. Vaccines must be accepted by the country which guests enter. Guests who have received mixed vaccine dosages of AstraZeneca and one dose of an MRNA vaccine (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna) will not be considered fully vaccinated.
Many thanks to Gill, Dave & Rocky, Patricia (so sorry you had to cancel your cruise) and Carol. We very much appreciate your thoughtful comments.
We wanted to begin with a big thank you and shout out to our Travel Specialist Gerri and her Assistant Gabby for all their efforts in preparation for our third adventure of the year. Also many thanks to the many people at Crystal Cruises at sea and on land for their assistance.
Some people ask why another cruise of the Bahamas and why now? These are two good questions.
The answer is simple. We believe in the saying not to put off until tomorrow those things you can do today. COVID-19 reenforced this view.
We have no idea how things will be later this year or next year given all of the curves and bumps on the road which this virus has thrown our way. We also are making up for lost time. We hope things get a lot better but we don't want to wait to find out. We also believe life is like a book and no one knows when that last chapter will be written. With this in mind, we booked this cruise shortly after booking the July 3 and July 10 Bahama Cruises. At first it was a back to back cruise. While on Serenity we were having such as good time we added the third cruise. They changed the original suite we booked to an adjacent one in order to get the same room for all three cruises. Shortly after arriving home with the announcement of Miami as the third option for embarking and debarking Serenity we had Gerri and Gabby revise our reservation to Miami.
We were up early to take advantage of a direct flight to Miami which left before 6:00 AM. Our driver arrived to the house early and we enjoyed a nice conversation on the way to the airport. Our goal was to make sure he didn't fall asleep driving. LOL. We arrived to the airport minutes before the airline desk opened and in short order checked in for the flight and went through TSA Pre Check. After our drive by the private vehicle service we use regularly for trips we were dropped off at our regional airport. Check-in was quick and with TSA Pre Check we went through security quickly. The airline lounge opens early so we made a stop at the lounge before boarding our flight.
We each wore a shield which is worn over our glasses to provide a little more protection from COVID-19.
The good news is the aircraft for the flight arrived last evening from Miami and we boarded and took-off early. Flight arrived early. Then we walked from Gate 2 to the luggage carrousel and it felt like we walked forever. As it turned out a one-half mile walk. No big deal for us but I am sure might be a challenge for some. We were met at the luggage carrousel by the driver who would drive us to the hotel. We stayed at our go-to hotel in Miami; Four Seasons Hotel. Our first stay at this property was in 2007 before the start of the World Cruise which was used by Crystal Cruises as the pre-cruise hotel and where the World Cruise Gala was held.
Since 2007, we have stayed at the Four Seasons many times including a pre-cruise stay prior to boarding Crystal Serenity in January of 2020.
We originally booked the hotel for two nights but we know from experience the room would not be ready until 3:00 PM With COVID-19 on our mind we didn't want to sit in the lobby for hours. We had Gabby add an extra night as if we were checking in last night so the room would be ready upon our arrival. The good news is they had a special stay two nights get the third night free. This promotion had a slightly higher per diem cost but overall it didn't add too much to the overall cost and our room was ready when we checked in.
Keith went to a Publix Grocery store we have gone to many a time near Brickell Village to pick up some items including salad entrees for lunch and after lunch went to the other Publix.
We are happy to have today's journey behind us and we are thankful the flight was not only on-time but early. This was a much easier travel day than the long 30+ hours when we flew to Iceland last month.
We wanted to close with a special song about sailing. It's a beautiful song.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Anne Marie & Keith