WELCOME TO ST. HELENA
We began last evening attending a Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle Party. It was a well attended event with mostly people who boarded for this segment attending.
Anne Marie with Trudi who we have met for the first time on this cruise.
These are the menus from Waterside.
We dined at Prego with fellow World Cruisers Connie and Greg. We met the two of them early in the World Cruise and recently set up a date to have dinner with them. This is one of the nice aspects of cruising which is to meet people when sailing This is something that happens far less when traveling on-land unless it involves traveling with a group.
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner with lots of great conversation, delicious food, terrific service and the special ambience of the dining venue.
We each had appetizers followed by Caesar Salad and entrees of Veal for Anne Marie and Roasted Rack of Baby Lamb for Keith.
Once again, Kudos to the wonderful Prego team of Sommeliers, Waitstaff, Chefs and other personnel who work in the Galley area.
We were up much later than usual attending a function with people who are very special to us. We often talk about our Crystal extended family who are very dear to us. We arrived back to the room close to Midnight.
In spite of getting to sleep later than usual, Keith was up early and enjoyed a workout at the Fitness Center before we had coffee followed by breakfast in our room.
We arrived to St Helena by the scheduled time of before the schedule 7:00 AM arrival time. We are including two photos taken showing a portion of the island before the full sunrise.
This is a tender port.
St. Helena is a one of the most remote islands in the world. It is located approximately 1,500 miles northwest from Cape Town. We were fortunate to visit the island on our first World Cruise in 2007 and twelve years later having the opportunity to visit it a second time.
It was uninhabited when it was discovered by the Portuguese in 1502. It became a stopover island for ships traveling to Europe from Asia and South America. St. Helena became a British dependency in 1834.
Napoleon was imprisoned and exiled to this Island by the British on October 14, 1815 where he lived until his death on May 5, 1821. Originally, buried on the island his body was exhumed on October 15, 1840 and moved to its current resting place in Paris, France.
The island’s population is in decline and today about 4,500 people live there.
In terms of the economy the island relies on assistance and aid from the British Government. They benefit from some tourism and they highlight that this was the location where Napoleon spent his last years.
On our first visit the only way to visit the island was by sea vessel as no airport existed. In 2015 an airport was opened on the island allowing for air travel.
Major attractions include:
Jacob's Ladder is a staircase which was built in the 1800's leading from Jamestown and up the side of Ladder Hill to Ladder Hill Fort. It was designated a UNESCO site in 2007.
Plantation House was built between 1791 & 1792 and is the official residence of the Governor of Saint Helena.
Museum of St. Helen which opened in 2002 and hosts various exhibitions.
St. James Church which was founded in 1674 and the present building was constructed in 1774. It is the oldest Anglican Church in the Southern Hemisphere.
Castle Gardens which supposedly includes plants growing since before Napoleon's day.
Longwood House is a mansion in St. Helena and was the final residence of Napoleon Bonaparte between December 1815 and his death on May 5, 1821.
We took one of the early tenders over to St. Helena. We walked for close to two hours. When we got off the tender as we walked towards town we remembered the narrow street that took us to the arch where we entered the town.
We walked to Jacob's Ladder and Keith walked up part of the way. He could have walked all the way up from a physical standpoint with ease but held off due to its overall height. In 2007 he walked up part of the ladder with Dr. Art Ulene who some of you might remember from the Today Show as he was the Medical expert for that show and also for some of the other news programs on NBC.
We visited the Museum of St. Helena which contains two floors of exhibits. We walked inside of St. James Church. We strolled the Castle Gardens which was beautiful and as we walked the area we thought that this was the same area that Napoleon visited. There is a sense of history. Nearby is the Castle which we visited. We walked up and down the main streets and spoke with several locals who were very friendly to us.
There were more vehicles than we remembered from our first visit and lots of taxis and tour vehicles.
We also visited some markets and other stores to see the types of items that are sold.
It is fun to see new ports of call and return to others which we have visited before. This one was special as it is a charming and quaint area and allowed us to relive memories which we created on our first World Cruise.
On our way back to the tender we spoke with Alex who is the Manager of Shore Excursions. This is Alex's fifth World Cruise. We chatted with Nat who we have known for almost 25 years. Nat's first World Cruise was on-board Crystal Symphony in 1995.
Back on Serenity we enjoyed lunch at Marketplace.
After lunch Keith played singles Paddle Tennis with a fellow guest who boarded in Cape Town. This is his and his wife's second Crystal Cruise having sailed one time ima 2014. Keith met him on the cruise at the Paddle Tennis courts. It was hot, hot, hot and humid, humid, humid. LOL.
Anne Marie walked outside on the Promenade Deck.
As we post this we are enjoying the rest of the day on the ship.
This evening we are attending a very special dinner. More on that tomorrow.
Following is the daily Reflections Program.
Anne Marie & Keith