IT MIGHT BE WINTER IN NORTH AMERICA - BUT IT'S PARADISE ON-BOARD CRYSTAL SERENITY
Thank you for the kind words Theresa and Thelma.
We wanted to begin with a big shout-out to the night crew of Crystal Serenity. These folks work diligently every night on-board the ship during the late night hours of the evening. Many guests might not see them or a few might see some efforts just before they go to sleep or for a short while after they wake up.
They clean every area of the inside of the ship each night. Besides cleaning all doors, vacuuming all carpet, cleaning all public rooms, bathrooms dining venues etc. they clean every area imaginable. This includes all the art-work and signage and the walls. In the Fitness Center they clean the mirrors, the machine including every inch of them and the walls.
All of their effort keeps the ship looking clean and years younger than its actual age.
Keith is up early each morning and each time we sail has gotten to meet most if not all members of the night crew. Many members of the crew join Crystal in entry-level positions even though they might have already been in those positions on land before assuming higher-level positions already. This provides a good foundation to learning about Crystal and will serve them well in future positions. An example might be someone with butler experience on land who in most cases comes onto the ship as a waiter. In time, if they are performing to the high standards of Crystal they have a good chance of moving into a butler position. A butler at Crystal must know how the Food & Beverage Department works and a key area are the restaurants. By working in one or more of the dining venues this knowledge will serve the butlers well. Over the years we have seen people go from being a night crew member to moving into other areas such as a next step becoming a member of the Lido Deck Stewards or serving drinks in the bar.
We were speaking with Marvin who has been a bartender for some years on Serenity. He had a background in this area on land and when he came to Crystal; he began as a member of the night crew. He and Keith reminisced about times they would see on another in those early morning hours.
Like each team on the ship, the night crew works very hard and is professional, hardworking and kind. Thank you for all they do to make the ship look beautiful day and night.
There are the menus from Waterside from last evening.
Before dinner last evening we enjoyed a pre-dinner drink at Palm Court. Although it was overcast we enjoyed nice views of Honolulu. We were taken excellent care of by Bartenders Marvin and Afzal. We enjoyed listening to the Crystal Quartet.
We dined at Umi Uma (former Silk Road) for the first time since boarding Serenity.
This is the dinner menu.
While we were on-board Symphony when the menu was updated we realized all of the enhancements to the menu last evening. There are lots of new items. We tried some of them and over the coming weeks and months we will try additional new items.
We began with a trio of Nobu Sashimi Specials. The Tuna Nobu Special was prepared in a new sauce (green pesto) and a new topping of radish.
We also enjoyed sashimi and sushi and lobster tempura. The tempura is a new item to the menu as it used to require special ordering 24 hours before the meal.
Next course was the hot mushroom salad for Keith and Anne Marie tried one of the new salads. It was the Nobu Style Sashimi Salad which included mixed greens and tuna Sashimi.
For the main course Keith had the Hot Soba Noodles with Soup and with Scallops. Anne Marie had one of the new entrees which was Stir Fried Shrimp & Scallops.
It's been slightly over two months since we last ate the wonderful Nobu cuisine and we enjoyed every item. It was fresh and tasty. As we each put that first piece of Sashimi in our mouths and finished eating it we said, "wow/delcious/amazing."
On this cruise many are dining early and that was the case this evening. After 8:30 PM far less guests are dining.
With so many dining early it was a tremendous team effort by the waitstaff team who worked as one cohesive team to keep everything on track.
Special Restaurant Maitre d' Paolo and Head Waiter Sigi stopped by several times. Sommelier Dennis took care of the wine and beer. Albert was our waiter and Water Ruel helped out and Assistant Waiter Renato.
Everything was outstanding.
With a midnight departure from Honolulu, the evening entrainment included a local show which adds a nice touch the evening.
We slept well last evening and did not hear the ship when we left port at Midnight. Keith slept later than at anytime since our adventure began.
Keith walked the inside of the ship and also the outside pool deck. The outside temperature was nice and it was not windy.
We had breakfast in our room and got ready to begin the day.
Keith took the third indoor cycling class of the cruise.
The classes have felt like the Ten Little Indians. The first class was not full even though the signup sheet was full and the waitlist was full. Next class had a few people. With a port day Keith thought less people would attend. He was right with two people including Keith attending.
We arrived to the Island of Kauai at 8:00 AM. This was our second visit. Ironically our first visit was in 2006 less than a year after our daughter and son-in-law spent their honeymoon at a hotel near the cruise terminal.
Kauai is the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands. It is the fourth largest Hawaiian Island and twenty-first largest island within the United States.
Captain James Cook arrived here in 1778. It is believed he was the first European to arrive to the island.
Tourism is the driver of the local economy.
Major attractions include:
Waimea Canyon which has a depth of 3,000 feet located on the west coast of the island.
Na Pali Coast; a fifteen-mile area along the northwest shore of the island.
Kilohana Plantation build in 1935 as a sugar plantation. Today it is home to an agricultural park, planation, railway, restaurant, lounge and rum company.
Wailua Falls which provides a beautiful area for tourists to enjoy the water falls.
Po'ipu Beach which is ranked by some as the tenth best beach in the United States.
It was raining while Anne Marie was walking and Keith was Cycling. We decided that Anne Marie would stay on board the ship and Keith would walk. If it rained Keith would run back.
Fortunately, there was no rain during the walk. There were lots of puddle to navigate around. Keith did a combo walk/run. He walked to the Marriott Hotel where our daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Gui stayed for their honeymoon. Although the sun blocked the clouds Keith enjoyed the beauty of the landscape.
With the forecast calling for more rain we spent the rest of the afternoon on-board Serenity. We enjoyed lunch at Marketplace. Surprisingly the sun came out so Keith played a couple of hours of Paddle Tennis and Anne Marie walked for an hour and then read a novel she got from the Library.
This evening we are back at Waterside.
Anne Marie & Keith