GOLDEN STATE DISCOVERY - DAY 3 CRYSTAL SERENITY - SAN FRANCISCO
We will begin with yesterday afternoon but want to provide some background.
When we sail Crystal Serenity we mainly stay in what is called a Penthouse with Verandah. It's the smallest of the three types of Penthouse categories. We actually like the layout over the next category which is a Penthouse Suite even though it is smaller then the suite. On the Symphony we do prefer the Penthouse Suite over the Penthouse Category.
Since we have the family with us, we originally booked the Penthouse Suite to have more space when we would get together with everyone as the living room area is larger.
In January, we decided that it would be nice to have additional space for the family and our Travel Specialist Gerri was able to secure the last of the Crystal Penthouses for us. It's not a suite we ever considered for other cruises given its cost and because we really have no need for its overall space.
We made an exception for this cruise for several reasons:
We want to be able to meet the family before dinner for canapés and given the ages of the grandchildren thought this would work much better for everyone (including our fellow guests) in lieu of meeting in a lounge.
We thought it would be nice to have a couple of dinners in the room. That way it will be more relaxing for the grandchildren and they could even watch a movie before the adults are finished with dinner.
We also thought it would be a wonderful location to renew our wedding vows.
All of our assumptions were confirmed yesterday. Here a a few photos of some of the rooms.
This leads us to yesterday afternoon. We celebrated 40 years of marriage by renewing our wedding vows. Captain Birger led the ceremony. In addition to our family in attendance we also some members of our extended Crystal family who we extended an invite to share this moment with us. This included: Hotel Director Hubert; Cruise Director Rick; Food & Beverage Manager Svein; Shore Excursion Manager Daniel; Shore Excursion Assistant Manager and Swing Manager Storme, Crystal Society Hostess Alissa; Chief Housekeeper Maria; Dining Room Maitre d' Leo; Head Waiter Augusto; Cruises Sales Consultant Paula Jean; Chief Concierge Ervin; Concierge Haley; Vice President of Land Programs John and former Captain Glenn and his lovely wife. Coincidentally Captain Glenn and his had booked this cruise to celebrate a couple of milestones of their own.
The vows that the Captain read were powerful and meaningful and you can't help but to tear up listening to the words.
It was enjoyable to celebrate with our family and our Crystal family. We thank on board guest services and the food & beverage team including the bar team, the butler team and others that are part of the Hotel Director's team, You all are amazing. We also are appreciative that everyone stayed as long as they did as we realize they have many other duties to attend to.
Following the vow renewal ceremony we enjoyed champagne, wine and soft drinks and canapés. We also had the ships manager of the photo studio take some photos of the ceremony and of our family before, during and after the ceremony. We will also do another photo shoot with them tomorrow in more relaxed attire. You remember those red shirts. They will be making a return for those photos.
We thought this would be a perfect night to have a family dinner in our room. Everyone changed to casual attire and returned about ninety minutes later. We ordered dinner from the Crystal Dining Room and from Silk Road. Before dinner we enjoyed some champagne and canapés and watched a portion of the movie Sting which our son had brought from home. The grandchildren ate before the adults and shortly after we put the movie back on for them while we ate.
We sometimes use the word "team Crystal" or "team Serenity" and yesterday that was very evident. Some members of the bar team and butler team got everything set for the reception and for the meal Jijo had assistance from one of the head butlers Engin whom we have known for years. They all help out one another and they way they do this represents the true meaning of teamwork in our opinion.
At the end of an absolutely wonderful day we slept well. There is no question that the gentle rocking of the ship makes it easier to fall asleep. The wine and champagne help too. LOL.
We began today as we normally do. A workout for Keith at the Fitness Center followed by breakfast a few hours later for the two of us. Anne Marie took one of her long walks while Keith went to find the family at the Lido Cafe. While at the Cafe, Keith and the family saw several whale near the ship. Keith walked about a half hour with Anne Marie and then met Jennifer and Eric. He led them in an indoor cycling class using a playlist from a recent class he taught at home.
We are posting early today as we will be having some family photos taken. We will be putting those red shirts we last wore at Disneyland to good use. Afterwards we will have lunch and then we will be in San Francisco.
San Francisco is one of our favorite cities around the world. To us it is similar to Venice in that its topology is out of a story book. We consider ourselves fortunate to have lived nearby the city in the East Bay for four years. We enjoyed when friends and family would visit so we could play tourist. Since we moved away in 1991 we have returned numerous times on business trips (Keith), on trips with our family and by ourselves. We love walking around the city as there is so much to see and do.
TODAY'S THOUGHT FOR THE DAY.....
We thought we would share something we read at the end of our Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony. Anne Marie read the first verse and we alternated the reading of each verse.
We were married 40 years ago.
And our love for each other continues to grow.
We remember our ceremony as if it was yesterday.
It took place at noon on a Sunday.
The justice of the peace said our rings were round and our marriage would last a lifetime.
Our wedding ceremony was held outside and we enjoyed lots of sunshine.
We have experienced many wonderful events since that special day.
This includes the births of Jennifer and Eric, and the births of grand children Emma, Jackson and Andre.
We are thrilled to renew our wedding vows on Crystal Serenity.
And be together with friends and family.
Keith I love you with all my heart.
Anne Marie from the moment we met I knew we would never be apart.
If you noticed we ended each verse with a rhyme.
This is because we know our love for each other will last a lifetime.
Anne Marie & Keith