GENOA,ITALY - HOME OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
Before dinner we enjoyed a drink at the Crystal Cove. Anne Marie had a Chardonnay and Keith tried yet another new Gin Drink. This time it was a Tonic Delight. This included Sipsmith Gin, Rose Water, Grapefruit Bitters, Indian Tonic Water, Grapefruit Slice & Rosebuds. Keith enjoyed it.
We enjoyed the music of Richard Pucci on Piano and Irina Guskova on the Violin. They were kind enough to play to Beatles songs for Keith; Yesterday and Hey Jude.
The Cove was lively with lots of guests enjoying the music, conversation and beverages and canapés.
Last evening we got one of our final "tastes" at the Tastes dining venue. This was our first of two visits to Tastes for dinner. Following the upcoming dry dock, Tastes will be converted to Silk serving Asian cuisine.
This is not the first makeover for Tastes. Since the debut of Serenity Tastes has offered a late risers breakfast, lunch and dinner. From 2003 until a dry dock in late 2013 Tastes offered casual dining at dinner with a menu that included pizza, steak, chicken, salmon and a few other entrees.
Following the 2013 dry dock Tastes one through a major transformation. This included an entirely new look which included living walls, new furniture and other features giving it a feel of a dining venue on land at a luxury resort. The wait staff was augmented to include a Head Waiter, Waiters who previously worked in the Crystal Dining Room along with some members who used to work as Lido Deck Stewards and some members from the bar staff. The cuisine was changed to reflect items from around the world served as tapas for one person or to be shared by two people. It is served family style. The menu was updated every couple of months with some items replacing other items. Some replaced items would appear on future menus.
We will dine here one more time before we depart Serenity. This will be our final "fix" at Tastes.
We tried lots of the items on the menu. Salads, Tapas and Desserts. Many guests were dining in the Crystal Dining Room because of its special menu. Also some were bothered by the seas and since Tastes is located on Deck 12 some canceled their reservation. For us it was all great. The seas don't bother us and we loved the views from our table. We even saw a beautiful rainbow.
We slept well as we were sailing towards Genoa. The weather that we encountered before we left last evening didn't follow us and we thought the seas were relatively calm.
Keith was up early and back to the Fitness Center. After getting a good workout he took advantage of the time of day and did the laundry. He does the laundry each morning and does not have to worry about getting a machine. They are all there for his choosing. LOL.
We enjoyed breakfast in our room as we got ready to begin another wonderful day of this trip. Keith got a haircut at the salon shortly after breakfast. Normally he would have done this on a sea day but that is not an option for this trip. He picked this day for its timing, because the first shuttle into the city was not until 9:00 AM. We have been to Genoa before. At the same time Anne Marie walked for an hour.
As mentioned we have visited Genoa before and this was while we sailed on World Cruise 2008.
Genoa is a city with close to 600,000 residents. Christopher Columbus was born in the Republic of Genoa in 1451. This is a city that has a rich maritime history.
We took the complimentary shuttle for the one miles drive from the port to the drop off location. We revisited some of the places that we had seen ten years ago and enjoyed walking the city.
Major city highlights include:
Via Garibaldi Palazzo dei Rolli which is a group of palaces and mansions and is a UNESCO site.
Galata Museo del Mare. In recognition of this city being known for maritime history this is a museum dedicated to sailing in the Mediterranean.
Chiesa del Gesù which is a 16th century church.
Piazza Raffaele de Ferrari which is the main square of Genoa
Museo di Palazzo Reale which is the Royal Palace of Genoa first constructed in 1618.
Porto Anico which is a natural harbor and its history of being a port can be traced back to 1000 AD.
The port was one of those places that when you exit the ship you feel like you are walking for quite awhile just to get to outside the terminal area for the shuttle. Although the drop-off is one mile from the port because of the route of the road to exit the terminal, the volume of traffic near the port and inside the city the drive took thirty minutes.
As it turned out we were on a mission. A few days ago one of the lenses of Keith's sunglasses fell out and we never could find it. There were many tourist places all selling sun glasses for a very low cost of $10.00 Euros significantly less than Keith's Oakley's. We said sold. When putting the glasses on today Keith put them over his hat (glasses have a strap) at which point the lens popped out but the frame cracked. Ugh! We did find a place to purchase sunglasses for Keith downtown to use the rest of the trip until we get home and can find something more suitable. We will keep the ones that Keith purchased today as backup.
We did walk around for awhile before we decided to take the shuttle back to the ship. The return trip was twenty minutes.
After a nice walk around portions of the city we returned home to Serenity for the rest of the afternoon. We enjoyed another nice lunch at the Lido Cafe. After lunch Anne Marie walked, Keith played Paddle Tennis and we spoke with guests and members of the crew and read and wrote.
We are trying to find a nice balance between this being a port intensive cruise and enjoying the ship. We feel we are succeeding.
Anne Marie & Keith