GOLDEN DAY DISCOVERY DAY FIVE SERENITY - CATALINA
We wanted to begin by mentioning that when we blogged about our Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony, we accidentally left Cruise Director Rick off the list of attendees. This is because as we prepared the list of who attended we worked off the invite list. Since the Cruise Director and the Captain are part of the ceremony they didn't get invites. Therefore their names were not on the invite list. So as they say, now you know the story.
We continue from where we left off yesterday. We took one more walk around the nearby area of the city We spotted a couple of shirts in the window of a store. Not for Keith to wear but funny shirts.
Once back on the ship, Keith played his first round of Paddle Tennis since we boarded the ship. He played with three other people the entire time and enjoyed the games.
The family went to some selected sites and also to a park about two miles from the ship. Once they returned, Anne Marie sat with them while they had lunch and some of them came up to the top deck of the ship while Keith was playing his last round of tennis.
Although the forecast for high winds beginning early morning did not occur, by afternoon the winds picked up before departing San Francisco and continued with the sail away and into the evening. The Captain spoke about the winds during his talk from the bridge shortly before we departed and mentioned that guests should hold handrails when walking around the ship.
There was a sail away party at 2:45. Keith also got together with son Eric. All in all a great afternoon in the city and back on-board Crystal Serenity.
Last evening the six adults dined at the Vintage Room for an exclusive Vintage Room Dinner that Keith had organized for us. You can have up to fourteen people attend and the price is the same whether there is one or fourteen people in your party. Less people means less wine consumed which means you can have better wines served although no matter what size of the group the wine is memorable. This is the first time that Jennifer, Gui, Eric & Kara have attended a Vintage Room. Since Kara is expecting she enjoyed the food and left the wine for us to enjoy.
You can select the dinner from several menus and mix and match items. There are three regular menus plus others such as a vegetarian menu. We selected items from each of these four menus. We never select the wine and leave that up to Head Sommelier Tilmar Pfefferkorn. We do discuss with him the number of wines to be served along with ideas that he may have. We went with an approach that we used last year of one or two less wines and serving two red wines of the same type from the same year and the same vineyard with the difference being that each of the two wines came from different wine barrels. The idea is to discuss the differences in the taste of the wine based on each barrel.
We arranged for two babysitters to take care of Emma, Andre & Jackson with the Concierge and dinner with Butler Jijo. We had a couple of DVD's for the children; Dumbo which Eric and Kara brought from home and Cars which was one of several DVD's in our room. There are plenty of DVD's at the on-board library including a large section of movies for children. They had dinner in the room. Their favorite part of the meal was likely the ice cream they had for dessert with some M&M's. Between the two baby sitters with some help from time to time everyone did well although Emma did cry for quite awhile. Emma is very attached to Mommy although she also does very well with her Nana (Anne Marie).
The Vintage Room was a success for the entire family. We had some very unique wines. This included a French and an American white wine that were paired with three different courses. This was followed by two red wines which came from the same vineyard and used the same grapes, and were made the same year. The only difference was one wine came from a French Oak Barrels and the other one from a USA Oak Barrel.
Biscotti Pumpkin Tortellini with Candied Pecans and Cassis Glaze.
Chilean Sea Bass with Confit Egg Yolk, Aioli & Saffron.
Cappuccino of Fresh Butternut Squash.
Passionfruit Sherbet to clean the pallet.
Surf and Turf with Baby Vegetables, Duchess Potatoes, Sauce Bernaise.
Selection of Artisanal Cheeses with Apricot Confit & Walnut Bread.
Chocolate & Berries with Chocolate Fondant, Dark Berry Mousse, Cassis Sorbet.
Homemade Vintage Room Chocolate Pralines.
As to the drink:
We began with Krug, Vintage Brut, Reims 2000 Champagne.
The two white wines which were poured at the same time were; Grgich Hills Estate, Chardonnay "40th Anniversary Commemorative" Napa Valley 2013 and Etienne Sauzet, Montrachet, Grand Cru, Burgundy, France 2006
Following the Passionfruit Sherbet the two similar red wines were poured;
Dell Dotto, Cabernet Sauvignon, Vineyard 887 South, Fouquet American Oak, Napa Valley 2013 and Dell Dotto, Cabernet Sauvignon, Vineyard 887 South, Fouquet French Oak, Napa Valley 2013
Last but not least the final wine was served starting with the cheese which is a dessert wine; Kracher Trockenbeerenauslese, Cuvee No. 1, Burgenland, Austria 2003.
Towards the end of the meal, Executive Chef Franz Weiss came by with two members of his team who prepared the delicious food that we ate. We thanked them for this very special meal.
Three members of the Food & Beverage team served the meal.
Tilmar did a very nice job describing the Champagne, the White, Red and Dessert Wines and answering all of the questions that each of us had. We find this to be a wonderful opportunity to sample great wines/champagne and taste some very good cuisine but to increase our understanding of wine/champagne.
On a couple of occasions the ship swayed but thankfully none of the wine tipped over. There were some glasses in a cabinet that we heard tipping over and while Tilmar didn't open the cabinet door he was pretty certain six to eight glasses were broken. Tilmar mentioned that this was the roughest the seas had been since he returned to the ship and that says a lot given that the ship sailed places such as Cape Horn, The Drake Passage and around Cape Horn as part of World Cruise 2017.
The three hour timing we allotted for the babysitters to watch the grandchildren for three hours and this was perfect timing. Jennifer and Kara went to the room with five minutes to spare and Eric and Gui followed them a couple of minutes after that. After we thanked Tilmar and those who assisted him we made our way back to the room and the three grandchildren showed no signs of being tired. Maybe it was those M&M's that they enjoyed with the Ice Cream. LOL.
The babysitters were terrific and adept at taking care of children.
The entertainment for last evening included two showing of the production show Curtain Call. On top of this at 10:15 PM Cory Kahaney who our son was familiar wit performed. She is an award winning standup comic who was a grand finalist on Last Comic Standing and has been on various late night television shows including Stephen Colbert, David Letterman, and Craig Ferguson. She has also appeared on The View, Comedy Central and HBO. Other choices included listening to live music in the Crystal Cove Avenue Saloon and the Palm Court along with a DJ playing music starting at 10:00 PM at the Pulse Club and two showings of the Movie; The Founder. The movie tells the story of Ray Kroc who started his career in sales before turning two brothers' fast food eatery into a company that most know called McDonald's.
We began the morning as we normally do including a workout for Keith. We had breakfast in our room and then got ready for another day on-board Crystal Serenity.
After breakfast we stopped by the Lido Cafe knowing the family would likely be getting ready to have breakfast and that was the case. From there we took along walk together inside the ship. We met with the photo manager to select some photos from the wedding renewal vow ceremony and from the group photos with the red shirts. A short while later we met up with the family and we were met by Cruise Director Rick who escorted us up to the Bridge. Rickck toured us around the Bridge and then Captain Birger greeted each family member. Timing was terrific so we could enjoy the scenery as part of our arrival to Catalina Island where we would anchor. The family really enjoyed the opportunity to visit the bridge.
A short while later we made our way to the Lido Cafe to have lunch. The cafe opened at 11:30 AM instead of 12:00 Noon due to the timing of our arrival to Catalina Island. We anchored off the island. We ate with Jennifer, Andre and Emma. As it turned out Jackson needed to see the ships doctor. We know Dr Ralph very well having sailed with him on some World Cruises and other voyages. He treated Keith in 2014 when Keith fainted and we have both seen him a few times over the years when various upper respiratory viruses would spread around the ship. He told Eric and Kara that his ear hurt this morning and sure enough he does have an ear infection so was given antibiotics.
This is our first visit to Catalina Island. Most people we spoke with have not been here before and this is the first visit for Crystal Serenity but Crystal Symphony has been here before. Some photos from the ship.
The two of us took the over to the island and then walked the small town of Avalon. Since today is Sunday there were several tourists here for the weekend having arrived on express boats. We walked over to the casino and the yacht club and then walked around the surrounding area. Unfortunately there was a slight drizzle but we prepared for that with our rain jackets. The high was 59 degrees (F)
TODAY'S THOUGHT FOR THE DAY......
The Crystal Serenity Crew represents nationalities from all around the world and of different faiths of religion all working together. In business one of Keith's beliefs shared by many is that the sum of the team that works together is greater then the sum of the same number of individuals who do not work as a team. Wouldn't it be nice if countries from around the world could work like a cohesive team. If they did there is no telling how better and peaceful the world might be.
Anne Marie & Keith