WELCOME TO MAURITIUS - WE SEE LAND
Thank you Gilly. It is indeed hard to believe that we have been on Serenity for 69 days. Time does go fast.
This was the second of the last two days that we ate in our room due to appointments that Anne Marie had before we normally dine and we had during and after we dine. We had small window to eat. We will share some details from our two day experience in the coming weeks.
We ordered two course to keep things simple. We had Caesar Salad from the room service menu and Broiled Fresh Ahi Tuna Steak from the Crystal Classic Waterside Menu.
The restaurant menus from Waterside are included below the photo.
Last Evening's Entertainment included a variety show with two performance from Comedian Jeff Stevenson and Vocalist Toni Warne. Live music was performed in the Crystal Cove, Palm Court, Avenue Saloon and Stardust Club. A special Crystal Chorus Concert was held in the Crystal Cove at 5:45 PM. It was led by Reverend Ed Voosen with Richard Pucci on the Piano.
We got to sleep later than usual as we have the past three nights. Thankfully we turned the clocks back one hour before going to sleep as we did the night before. We appreciated this.
We began the day as you all know so well. An early morning visit to the Fitness Center for Keith, including a workout on the Elliptical Machine along with using the step with weights, the kettle ball and some additional cargo and weight exercises.
We enjoyed coffee followed by breakfast in the room. Each guest was assigned a group number for the mandatory inspection which was held for our visit to Mauritius. The face to face inspection was not much of a face to face session. We entered the Palm Court and a member of the Crystal Team swiped our room card to verify that we had checked-in. We turned in our passports and completed paperwork to another Crystal Representative. At another table local authority personnel stamped the passports for those who had already had their passport collected.
We wanted to share some information about Port Louis, Mauritius.
This is our third visit to Port Louis having visited the area in 2014 and 2015. On our first visit we did a private Crystal Tour. Our tour included a visit to the Tamil Temple which is one of the oldest Temple’s on the Island. We visited Chinatown which is relatively small and La Citadelle which is a former British Fortress.
Port Louis is the Capital City of Mauritius.
Unemployment on the Island is relatively low at 5%. If you want to work you can. Much of the work centers around tourism. Major exports do include sugar and textiles. Labor is relatively cheap.
Tourism is very strong, although very few cruise ships sail to this location. The vast majority of tourism comes from tourists who visit here by airplane.
There are several Markets around town which locals frequent to purchase spices, fruits and vegetables. Plentiful fruits which are local include bananas, watermelon and dragon fruit (first time we ever had dragon fruit was on board Crystal Serenity in 2008) and many vegetables that are local can be found at the markets. In addition, they import fruit and vegetables from South Africa, Italy and Pakistan.
One of the photos below shows a vegetable which is called Pulkin.
Another site located around thirty minutes from town is the Eureka Colonial House, which is one of the most historic colonial houses found on this island. It was built in 1830.
Additional highlights of Port Louis include:
Caudan Waterfront is the first shopping mall on the island. The waterfront includes shops, banking facilities, casinos, cinemas, restaurants, a marina and luxury hotel.
Photography Museum which is located in a French Colonial Building constructed in the 18thcentury. The museum features a collection of cameras, projectors, scrips and photos which dates back as far as 1840.
Central Bazaar which has been in use since 1833. The bazaar has three main areas; fruits and vegetables, meats and crafts.
La Citadelle which was built between 1834 and 1840. When it was in use it accommodated officers, up to 200 men and provisions that could last up to three months.
When we arrived to port there was a beautiful Rainbow.
For those who were not on tour some people we know went to the beach and/or a hotel on the beach. The heat can be a bit too much for Anne Marie after awhile and given that we have toured the Island two times already we thought it made more sense for us to stay on board the ship other than a short visit we made ashore today. We were in the same "boat" with some other guests we know who decided to make today a sea day. We do have tours coming up in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town and our touring will increase in Europe.
We got in a long walk after returning to the ship this morning. There is a tribute to Rogers and Hammerstein this evening and we listened to part of the practice session. The songs are beautiful that we heard.
We enjoyed lunch at Marketplace and in the afternoon, We both enjoyed another long walk and are enjoying the rest of the day on-board Serenity.
While this segment of the World Cruise goes from Fremantle to Cape Town at some point it was subdivided into two segments. About 50 guests boarded today and will take the segment from Mauritius to Cape Town. As guest boarded they were offered flutes of Champagne and Violinist Irina Guskova was on-hand playing beautifully on the electric violin.
This evening we return to Waterside for dinner where we will dine with two friends. After dining in our room for two nights we look forward to our dinner at Waterside.
Todays' daily Reflections Program follows.
Anne Marie & Keith
DAY SEVEN OF SEVEN SEA DAYS - ON THE ROAD TO MAURITIUS
These are the Waterside Menus from last evening. It was a Black Tie Optional Night.
Yesterday we had some appointments late afternoon and into the early evening. Because of this we decided to have dinner in our room.
We made it an Umi Uma night enjoying several items from the Japanese Specialty Restaurant.
This included sushi and sashimi, tacos, lobster tempura and Hot Soba Noodles for Keith and Lobster for Anne Marie.
This photo shows the sushi, sashimi and appetizers. We didn't take a photo of the entrees.
The evening featured two showings of the Production Show Curtain Call and later in the evening the Crystal Showband performed at the Crystal Plaza. There was live music earlier in the evening at the Crystal Cove, Avenue Saloon and the Palm Court.
The Movie Mama Mia! Here we go again was shown two times at the Hollywood Theatre.
The good news is we set the clocks back an hour as we continue to sail into a new time zone. We appreciate getting another hour as we went to sleep late on Monday evening and we were up early on Tuesday morning.
We began the day as we normally do and you have come to know very well. Keith was up early and back to the Fitness Center for his first workout of the day. Our son Eric got a little confused on the time zone we are sailing and called Keith early while he was on the Elliptical Machine. Since no one was in the Fitness Center at the time he was able to speak to him and catch up with how everyone is doing.
After having coffee and breakfast Anne Marie walked inside the ship while Keith took another indoor cycling class. The class was taught by Melanie who is also the Fitness Instructor that Keith takes personal training with.
All bikes were in use which really adds to the class and it was a challenging one. After class Keith picked up our passports at the reception desk for a mandatory face-to-face immigration inspection tomorrow morning before we can get off the ship in Mauritius. Inserted into our passports were the two forms that we filled out a few weeks ago for those countries requiring immigration forms.
There were two sessions for those on the Full World Cruise. We attended the 10:30 AM session. We passed on the Waffles and enjoyed the opportunity to visit the Bridge. We have been on the Bridge other times and enjoy the visit each time. We spoke briefly with the Captain, a couple of Senior Officers and members from the Food & Beverage team. Kudos to Crystal for organizing this including the Food & Beverage team for the food and beverages.
Photo of Anne Marie with Captain Giske. When we visited the bridge with a large group in the past guests could walk near the equipment. We think it was very wise that the areas was roped off to keep the area secure and also to keep food and beverages away from the equipment.
There were three excellent lectures given today.
Ken Rees spoke about the French Connection between Mauritius and Reunion Island which are our two upcoming port stops. Ken has an outstanding way of delivering his talks. He provides insight into the history of the Islands, discussed things to do, shares lots of beautiful photos and keeps everyone interested with good humor and excellent delivery of the material.
On a more serious note Dr. Robert Freedman spoke about Putin and Russia and how his leadership has contrasted greatly from that of Boris Yeltsin who preceded him in office. He covered areas that those in the USA and several countries in Europe should be concerned about. His delivery is more on a college level lecture with lots of information to absorb.
When one cruises food is certainly something that most people enjoy including the two of us. On this cruise we have benefited from talks given from Dr. Khalid Sheik about health. Today's talk continued along these lines as he spoke about the challenges when attempting to lose weight by eating less and moving more. His discussion reaffirmed what we have learned which is that getting to and maintaining the weight that one desires can be a challenge and that a good approach to this is a lifestyle change rather than going on a strict diet which can lead to feeling deprived.
We appreciate the diversity of topics presented which is part of an extensive enrichment program that is offered on each voyage but expands on World Cruises and on Crystal Cruises with lots of sea days. This segment certainly has this combination.
We enjoyed lunch back at Marketplace having our usual salad entrees. The buffet had a Latin theme. Photos below.
After lunch we enjoyed our usual routine of Paddle Tennis for Keith and a walk for Anne Marie. It was "hot, hot, hot" outside.
Anne Marie will be busy with a few appointments the rest of the day so I plan to read, write and enjoy conversations with some friends.
Today's Reflections follows at the end of our post.
AnneMarie & Keith