GOLDEN DAY DISCOVERY DAY TWO SERENITY - SANTA BARBARA
After we posted yesterday we finished unpacking. We met our Penthouse Attendant Jasmina and her assistant Lucy. Butler Jijo stopped by a few times and he took us on a tour of the room and showed us how to work some of the electronics.
At 5:15 PM we attended the muster drill. The location for our drill was in the Casino. As it turned out the entire family went to the Casino for the Muster Station. Shortly after Jennifer told Andre that we would be taking everyone on this getaway he showed an inquisitive mind of a child his age and began to ask us many questions about "the boat" we would be on and overtime some of that turned to safety so he seemed to enjoy wearing the lifeboat vest and learning more about the lifeboat.
After the drill we went back to our room to remove our lifejackets and then we met the family outside the Crystal Dining Room. The queu might have been the longest we have seen. With so many first time Crystal cruisers they formed one very long line not realizing you could enter the dining room on both sides of the single entranceway. Rather then stand on line, we just sat and talked and waited until the line had shortened.
Our wait staff team includes a couple of people very familiar to us. Our Head Waiter is Augusto who has taken care of us for many years and that included when Kara and Eric were on board in 2014. Head Waiter Lylian took care of us throughout our time on Serenity last August and September and we have known her for the last few years. Waiter Mirsad is new for us and very friendly, professional and efficient. We met Sommelier Kremena when we had lunch earlier in the day.
We are at one large table in one of the corners of the dining room. It's a good location and being next to a long wall the children can get out of their seats without disrupting anyone. We have Emma and Jackson in highchairs. Jackson kept occupied between courses playing a game on an iPad, Andre read some books and Emma, well, Emma was a delight sitting next to Nana and Jennifer.
Maitre d' Leo and Head Sommelier Tilmar stopped by the table to make sure everything was going well and we introduced our family members to everyone. Leo remembered Eric and Kara from 2014.
Augusto made Tuna Tartare for Keith and Eric the "Italian" way. What you ask? Answer a ver large portion. Most everyone had salads and for the entree we each had salmon, Kara a steak, Eric Veal Chops and Gui and Jennifer had another entree. For Miss Emma it was macaroni and cheese, a hamburger for Maser Andre and Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches for Master Jackson.
We had Krystal Champagne which we sent down from our room and Vin Robles Sauvignon Blanc a relatively new included wine and a mixed Red wine for Eric.
Most everyone had some type of ice cream and the rest of us had fruit.
After dinner we all got together outside for a Family Meeting. LOL but it was sort of a recap about the day and a discussion about today's plans. We will all do Santa Barbara on our own so that the families can get off the ship at a time that works best for them. We have a celebration planned for this afternoon which we will post about tomorrow.
The two of us went over to the Galaxy Showroom to see the variety show and to say hello to Cruise Director Rick. Rick mentioned in his talk that half the people on board this voyage are first time Crystal Cruisers. Once back in the room we relaxed and took care of getting remaining items organized.
We stayed with our regular routine that many of you know very well. Keith worked out on the Elliptical Machine. Anne Marie did our laundry yesterday as we know the rooms are quiet on embarkation day and Keith did one load of laundry today. The machines are all new and provide more choices for the length of the wash and use digital displays. Thank goodness for the instructions on the front of the machines. We both made use of the coffee machine in the room and had breakfast in the room before getting ready for our visit to Santa Barbara.
Keith and a few of our family members are going to do indoor cycling on our own which Keith will lead so he stopped by the computer room to print out a few of the playlists he recently taught at home where he teaches indoor cycling three times each week.
This was the first time we have returned to Santa Barbara since we lived in Northern California and stopped there in 1989 as part of a land based California Coastal trip. We remember renting bicycles and also staying at the Fess Parker Hotel. Believe at the time it was a Marriott Property. Just to digress for a moment as part of that first trip the following day we stayed over in San Luis Obispo at a place called Madonna Inn. It was a spontaneous decision to spend the night there. Each room was unique having its own identity in the way it was decorated and it size. It was family run and at check-in we learned that they didn't take Credit Cards but only cash or check. We didn't have our check book with us and they were kind enough to allow us to stay there and for us to mail them a check when we got home.
Shortly after the ship was cleared we took a tender over to the tender pier in Santa Barbara. The sea swells were rough when getting into the tender and it was very foggy that shortly after leaving the area we could no longer see Serenity nor the shore. In very short order the sea swells calmed.
Once ashore we walked along the beach and made our way to State Street. This is one of two streets that would allow us to walk under the freeway. As we walked up Market Street the area was so so with businesses such as a tattoo parlor. However that all changed as we arrived to an upscale shopping area and then to the historic district and then over to the Presidio State Historic Park, the Historical Museum, to various Churches and over to the Court House. The fog began clearing and the temperature began to rise from the mid 50's (F) into the high 60's before it would rise into the 70's
We then walked back on the opposite side of the street. All of a sudden who do you think we saw? Yes, our family with everyone on bicycles. They stopped and we spoke with them and then they were heading over to a park. After we chatted we walked towards the beach area and this time we walked over to the Wharf Area.
If not for our plans for this afternoon we would have stayed out for a couple more hours. Santa Barbara is indeed very charming and it is very nice that this was a stop on today's voyage. Keith asked one of the local officials at the tender pier about ships calling on this port and she indicated they receive around one ship every three weeks this time of year.
We are going to post this now since we have a busy afternoon and evening and we will post about that tomorrow.
TODAY'S THOUGHT FOR THE DAY.....
While it is always nice to visit places for the very first time, we also enjoy returning to places we have visited in the past. After so many years, it was nice to return to Santa Barbara.
Keith & Anne Marie