WELCOME TO RHODES, GREECE
Last evening we attended the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle Party. This was one of the smaller parties in terms of attendance with eight people attending out of thirteen who signed up. Including us three of the four couples attended the party from the previous cruise. The other couple came on-board for this voyage and this is their second Crystal Cruise. Hotel Director Hubert, Cruise Director Scott, Executive Housekeeper Mara, Concierge Anella were on-hand as was Bar Manager Florent to check on things at the start of the party. We enjoyed a nice conversation and appreciate how much Crystal supports these parties in terms of dedicating a lounge and having several members of the food and beverage team on hand serving drinks and canapes and having senior officers and senior staff at these parties.
We had friend Barbara to our room last evening for dinner. We have known Barbara for several years and have sailed with her from time-to-time. Barbara sails with Crystal Cruises often and was recognized at the Sunday evening Crystal Society Party for her 81st Crystal Society Milestone. Congratulations Barbara.
Before dinner we enjoyed some appetizers.
This is the dinner menu from Waterside.
We enjoyed dinner from two venues. We decided to go with two courses instead of three.
From Prego we each began with Caesar salad.
Anne Marie had Veal from Prego while Keith had the Whole Roasted (white and dark meat) Turkey from Waterside.
Keith and Barbara also had a fruit plate.
We enjoyed another nice sleep as we sailed to our next port of call stop at Rhodes, Greece. We kept to our same routine of an early morning workout for Keith and coffee and breakfast in our room. We then got ready to visit Rhodes.
Our first and only visit to Rhodes was on World Cruise 2017. We remember this city very well.
Rhodes has a population of 120,000 residents.
Rhodes was famous for the Colossus of Rhodes, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The old town city is a World Heritage Site. It is one of the most popular destinations in Rhodes.
When we walked the old town we visited the Jewish Synagogue. The Jewish Community goes back to the first century AD. At its high point the Jewish population represented one-third of the town’s population. During the holocaust, the Nazis deported and killed most of the community.
Major attractions include:
Palace of the Ground Masters which was built during the 14th century. It was damaged and demolished in 1856 by an explosion of gunpowder and restored in 1939 during the Italian occupation.
Archaeology Museum which is hosted in the Hospital of the Kings ands a rich collection of statues, sarcophagus, vases, mosaics, vessels, ceramics and other artifacts.
Suleyman Mosque which is the largest mosque on the island.
Jewish Quarter which was establishes in 1557 and is the oldest synagogue in Greece.
St. Nicholas Fort which is the fortification which is built around the medieval town.
We had to revise some of our plans for today:
Anne Marie woke up with severe pain on her side. We thought it most likely was a muscle strain. However, a few years ago she had pain which turned out to be pneumonia and with her illnesses we didn't want to take any chances.
Our original plan was for the two of us to walk the walled city and revisit places such as the Jewish Quarter and Kahal Shalom.
We also had lunch plans to take two members of the crew to lunch; Natasha who works at the Reception Desk and Dennis who is a bartender. They are married and a delightful couple. We had planned to go to lunch at Kotor where Natasha is from but they needed to reschedule when Dennis needed to see the dentist.
We decided it would be best to have Anne Marie see the ship's doctor so we tabled the plans for lunch as we didn't want to have to cancel at the last minute. We will take them for lunch another time.
Keith went out by himself as soon as the ship was cleared and walked the walled city and got back in time so that when Anne Marie saw Doctor Soto that he was there. The good news is that an x-ray confirmed her lungs were clear and it is likely she strained her ribs/muscles. As they say better to be safe than sorry. Other than blood tests that Anne Marie had to take for her blood disorder this was the first time she had to go to the medical center and see the doctor.
Back to the walled city.
Keith covered a lot of ground since it was very early in the morning when he went out and he can move quickly from the ship and to and from the walled city. Once inside the city he did take the time to "smell" the roses. In other words he stopped to take in the sites.
He had forgotten how narrow the streets were and didn't remember vehicles inside. The vehicles were primarily delivering items for the restaurants and the stores. He tried to focus more about the walls and the various structures in the city and not on the commercial side although we did include a few photos of restaurants and shops. As we saw in Kotor, there were many cats walking around the city.
He also made it to the Jewish Quarter. It was too early to go inside so we are including some photos from inside the Synagogue from 2007. He took a moment to think of all of the Jewish people who were removed from the city during Nazi terror as were so many Jews from across Europe. He thought about the six million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust. To put this into perspective there were around 9.5 million Jews living in Europe before the Holocaust and only 3.5 million following the atrocities committed on them. He said a prayer before leaving the Jewish Quarter for those who perished in the Holocaust and for the brave men and women who fought on the side of the Allies. As Tom Brokaw wrote, they were part of the Greatest Generation who sacrificed of themselves to make the World a much safer place.
As he returned to Serenity he was reminded that in spite of the challenges of today they pale in comparison to those of our parent's generation who dealt with both the economic depression and a world at war in both the Atlantic and Pacific Regions.
Back on the ship he met Anne Marie at the medical center.
We enjoyed the rest of the day on the ship. We had lunch at Marketplace. Keith played Paddle Tennis for two hours while Anne Marie did more packing.
This is today's daily Reflections Program.
Anne Marie & Keith
WELCOME TO PAPHOS CYPRUS
We wanted to begin by saying when you sail for along time it is not unusual for members of Team Serenity to go home and return while you are still sailing. For example, on this cruise Hotel Director Hubert, Doctor Soto and Cruise Director Gary who we sailed with earlier in the cruise returned from their well deserved holidays. We will kid around that we have a longer contract than some of them. LOL.
These are the dinner menus from Waterside for last evening.
Although on cruises of seven days or less Crystal does not have a Black Tie Optional evening the dinner menu is one that you would find on this type of evening.
We enjoyed four courses for dinner. We ate in our room.
Keith had the Caviar and Anne Marie had Matzah Ball Soup for an appetizer. The soups was not on the menu but you can order it any evening.
Our next course was Baby Spinach Salad served with Chopped Eggs.
The main course is a favorite of Anne Marie's which is Fresh Cold Water Lobster.
Anne Marie had ice cream for dessert. Keith had cheese.
The evening included a Crystal Society Reception and the featured entertainment included two performances by comedian and musician Jon Courtenay at 8:30 and 10:30 PM.
We slept well last evening as we sailed to Paphos, Cyprus. The seas remained relatively calm.
We began the day as everyone who follows our posts is accustomed with. This included an early morning workout for Keith followed by coffee and breakfast in our room.
This is our first visit to Paphos, Cyprus and to Cyprus. Paphos is a coastal city in the southwestern region of Cyprus. Its population is 35,000 residents. The city is steeped in mythological history and has an abundance of architectural wonders. In fact, the entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Major attractions include:
Kato Pafos Archacologist Park which contains the major part of the Ancient Greek and Roman City. It continues to be under excavation.
Tombs of the Kings which is underground tombs that date back to the 4th century BCE.
Lighthouse Beach Promenade which due to its expansion now stretches 3.5 miles.
Ayia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa which is a church that was built around 1500.
Byzantine Museum which is home to many unique collections including the oldest icon of Cyprus the Agia Marina.
We took a tender over to the city. As soon as we walked from the tender platform down to the tender we knew the weather would be nice. There was very little to no wind and as we tendered toward town the water looked like glass.
We wore light jackets which came off as we were walking. Timing is everything. For example, return in July or August and it will be hot and humid.
The downtown area is a short walk from the tender pier. There are lots of hotels, stores, restaurants and cafes in town and along the promenade with a beach. Several people were swimming. It is clearly a big tourist destination.
We visited one church and and saw an ancient building. In hindsight we should have planned a tour so we could get to more archeological sites and to the older town. Options for touring included a Crystal shared or private tour, a private tour with another company, hop on hop off bus tour or the city tours. We will plan to do a tour the next time we are here. Lesson learned.
We still enjoyed our very long walk with gorgeous weather and a town that was not busy today allowing for a leisurely walk.
We realize this is an ancient area but had no idea the Flintstones were here. LOL.
Although this was a port day since there are no additional sea days there were two lectures in the afternoon.
We enjoyed the rest of the day on the ship.
We had lunch at Marketplace.
Keith played Paddle Tennis. Unlike yesterday he was played in shorts and shortsleeve shirt and there was no wind. When you hit the ball in the air you knew where it was going.
Anne Marie took along walk.
We also did some additional packing.
Since this is not a sea day they scheduled enrichment speakers for later in the afternoon.
Destination Lecturer Graham White wil speak about our next port of call which is Rhodes, Greece and World Affairs Lecturer Dr. Samuel Edelman will speak about the growth of the far right in Europe.
As we post, we are enjoying the rest of the day on-board the wonderful Crystal Serenity.
This is the daily Reflections Program from today.
Anne Marie & Keith