Often we speak and write about our Crystal extended family and we learned that one of the family members, Walter Pietschnig has died while on land back home.
Words cannot describe how saddened we are. We are blessed to have known Walter for many years. He was not only a consummate professional but a wonderful family man. A few times over the years we had the opportunity to meet his darling daughter and darling wife while they sailed on-board Crystal Serenity for a family visit. When we would see Walter we would always ask about his family and you could see a big smile appear on his face and how much he adored and loved them.
Walter had a long and successful career with Crystal Cruises in Food & Beverage. He was Food & Beverage Manager for the years we knew him was either on Crystal Serenity or swung between Serenity and Symphony but had been on Crystal Harmony and among his other assignments had been with Royal Viking. He enjoyed sports including biking and auto racing. He was very organized and focused on the details and was a loving husband and father.
From time to time we talk about how life is very short and to enjoy each and everyday. We are all human and sometimes all of us lets those little things get to us but we must cherish each day and live life to its fullest. Our lives are like a book and none of us knows when that last chapter will be written.
May Walter Rest In Peace.
We included a couple of photos. One was a dinner we had with Walter and the late Herbert Doppler at Silk Road on Crystal Serenity in 2010. We remember that dinner very well including some of the topics we discussed and even some of the food we ate. It was that night that Walter introduced Keith to the Hot Soba Noodle soup as an entree at and Hubert introduced us to the Whiskey Cappuccino dessert including how to eat it.
We are also including a photo from 2015 from a Vintage Room dinner on-board Crystal Serenity.
Last night we did have Walter on our mind as many people did. Knowing Walter he would want everyone to move forward and that is what those who knew of him tried to do.
Before dinner we attended a reception at the Captain's Quarters. Each guest was welcomed by Captain Giske and Crystal Society Hostess Alissa. Captain Giske noted that this is the last cruise before the changeover to open dining and the addition of another new dining venue.
We are posting a photo from three nights ago when we were recognized at the Crystal Society Party.
We enjoyed dinner at the Crystal Dining Room. Crew Officer Leroy joined us for dinner. We have known Leroy since 2011. He joined Crystal Serenity as a waiter and after a short time he was assigned to the reception desk, moved to shore excursions where he eventually moved up to the swing assistant short excursion manager until he was promoted to Crew Officer.
Dinner was wonderful. We had Jumbo Shrimp (Anne Marie), Tuna Tartare (Keith), salads for the two of us and an amazing entree of pasta with lobster. Yummy. Head Waiter Augusto took excellent care of us along with our wonderful Senior Waiter and Sommelier.
Many people must have been dining at other venues and/or arriving to dinner later in the evening because given this is a full cruise the dining room was not very busy.
We slept well as we sailed to Cadiz. We began the morning as we always do. Workouts followed by breakfast.
Our only visit to Cadiz was in 2007. It was substituted in liue of Casablanca because of security concerns. A few months earlier there was a terrorist attack on tourists.
Cadiz is considered to be the oldest inhabited cities of the Western World and is estimated to be 3,000 years old. It has a long history of being ruled by various forces. The Phoenicians ruled this area in 1100 BC and by 500 BC the Carthaginians ruled until the Romans occupied the city. Eventually this city became part of Spain. Many years later Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World from Cadiz.
Cadiz has a population of 120,000 residents. Major highlights include:
Catedral Nueva built between 1722 and 1832 and is a Roman Catholic Church.
Plaza Topete is a triangular plaza located close to the Catedral and is popular with the locals.
Museu de Cadiz is resident to Spanish, Italian and Flemish paintings from the 16th century.
Museo de las Cortes Cadiz was opened in 1912 and is a local history museum.
Torre Tavira was built in 1717 and was the official watchtower of Cadiz given its proximity to the city centre.
We arrived to Cadiz at 8:00 AM.
Today is a annual national public holiday in Spain called Fista Nacional de Espana commemorating when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas in 1492.
What a change a day makes. The weather this morning was a delight. Absolutely wonderful. Clear skies. Sunny. Moderate temperature.
Shortly after Serenity was cleared we made our way off the ship and within one minute we were in Cadiz.
For those of you who remember former Food & Beverage Manager Victor Conceicao, this is a photo of Anne Marie with his daughter Ana who is on-board Serenity in the photo studio. She reminded us so much of Victor. Today is her birthday so here is wishing Ana a very Happy Birthday.
We revisited areas that we saw back in 2007 and walked to other areas. We stopped at two Cathedrals including one we were able to walk into which is Santiago Church built in 1635. We admired the Clock Tower and the beautiful Plaza, Topete, where a television station was filming and conducting an interview. We walked over to a Covent, walked up and down many of the charming side streets that are not very wide and have shops, bakeries/pastry shops, restaurants, cafes and walked other areas. We saw the ancient city wall.
Shortly after getting back to the ship we could hear announcements coming from the nearby P&O Ventura Hamilton Cruise Ship and when we looked outside they were conducting a lifeboat drill for the crew
After lunch at the Lido Cafe, Keith played Paddle Tennis and Anne Marie enjoyed a long walk on the outdoor Promenade Deck. We also had conversations with fellow guests and the amazing Serenity crew and read and wrote.
Tonight we will enjoy the cuisine of Silk Road.
Anne Marie & Keith