WELCOME TO ATHENS, GREECE - DAY 2 (TURN AROUND DAY)
We want to mention how much we enjoy your comments and questions.
We posted this on another site earlier today and thought we would share this with each of you.
We always say that when we sail on Crystal Cruises we create memories which will last a lifetime.
With this in-mind we waned to share a trip down "memory lane".
We began dating while at University shortly before the start of the 1976 Olympics. One of the Gold Medal winners was Dorothy Hamill. In addition to helping to make figure skating popular, Dorothy Hamill had an impact on the hairstyle worn by several women following the olympics. For many years Anne Marie wore that hairstyle as did several friends.
Fast forward to the 2007 World Cruise and Dorothy Hamill was one of two former Olympians who was on-board when the World Games was played. The kick-off ceremony was held on the outside deck and I will never forget that evening. We happened to speak with her business manager saying how much we admired her and a couple of minutes later he brought her over to say hello and he took the photo of the two of us with her. This was our first World Cruise and we entered several of the World Games. She was on-hand with the other Olympian to present the medals at the ceremonies held every couple of days.
We remember arriving to the Galaxy Lounge before she was scheduled to give a talk to the guests. She was practicing her talk with a video playing behind her on the screen of her winning the Gold at the 1986 Olympics. She looked nervous as she was practicing her talk. Keith said to her if you could win a Gold in Figure Skating you will give a great talk. She did.
Fast forward to the 2011 World Cruise and Dorothy Hamill returned to Serenity. Her husband was on-board as well. Dorothy was on-hand for the World Games. This time we had the opportunity to have dinner with the two of them. We not only enjoyed a wonderful dinner and conversation with her but she thanked us multiple times during and in the days following the dinner about having them to dinner. We kept saying it is us who thank you.
With each passing Crystal Cruises voyage, we have created wonderful memories which will last a life-time and this is an example of one of them.
Last evening we enjoyed a pre-dinner drink in our room. Afterwards we went to Waterside.
These are the dinner menus from Waterside.
This was the final dinner menu for this voyage. There were several items which appealed to us from the appetizer and entree choices.
Anne Marie had three courses and Keith had four.
We started with appetizers; Barbecue Tiger Shrimp for Anne Marie and Roasted Vegetable Terrine for Keith. Anne Marie thought her appetizer was very tasty. Keith's appetizer was one of the few times since we boarded in December where the appetizer was not one he would have again..
Our next was course was a dinner size red & green Caesar salad. Anne Marie had it the way it was prepared and Keith had it without the red salad. On a related note on most evening's we have dressing on the side. We each have a different dressing from one another but we go with that dressing each time we dine at Waterside.
We both had Salmon for our entree. The salmon was very tasty and enhanced by the spinach it sat atop.
We enjoyed some nice wine.
Sommelier Ricardo who we have had several times over the years stopped by our table to say hello and until next time. Ricardo is going on a well deserved holiday today.
Speaking of changeover shortly after being seated Cruise Directors Rick and Gary arrived to Waterside and stopped by our table to say hello. Gary just arrived to Serenity yesterday afternoon as Rick goes home today. When one has been on-board as long as we have we have gotten to welcome members back to Serenity who were on with us earlier in the cruise and are returning later on. Gary was on board starting with the seven day California Coastal cruise before going on holiday when we arrived to Perth.
Keith had a fourth course which was some cheese from the cheese cart. There is a menu for the cheese and each evening the selections are changed. Keith lets Head Waiter Augusto choose the cheese as Augusto knows the type of cheese that Keith enjoys. Augusto cut three small slices of three different cheeses; two of which are Italian and one French cheese. One of the two Italian Cheese was made from three types of milk; goat, sheep, and cows milk.
Waterside was very quiet when we were there. Shortly before we finished our meal several guests arrived.
As we were leaving our table we spoke with friends Rob and Jim who have been sitting at a nearby table with another couple. Jim and Rob are leaving today so we shared good wished for one another. Keith tried to find them after his workout this morning as they were leaving the ship at 5:00 AM but didn't locate them. With early flights from Athens and this being an overnight some guests were leaving as early as 3:00 AM this morning.
We slept well as Serenity remained docked in port.
This time Keith made it up to the Fitness Center for an early morning workout before we enjoyed coffee and breakfast in our room.
Today is turn-around day with the Venice to Athens Cruise ending and the start of our final voyage before we depart Serenity on May4. This is a round-trip Athens sailing with stops at mainly ports in Greece.
This is the itinerary for the seven day round trip Athens cruise.
We walked off the ship after breakfast to take a walk over to the town of Piraeus This was the first time we have done this. On all previous visits we have visited Athens.
This town is located seven miles from the Athens City Centre. With traffic figure on a thirty minute drive.
It is a port city, having a population of 175,000 residents. It does date back to the 5th Century BC and is part of Ancient Greece. It was the place for all import and export trade for Athens. It does contain the largest harbour in all of Greece. It serves 20 million cruise ship passengers annually.
The city did host some games in 1896 and 2004 which were part of the Olympics held in Athens. Our first visit to Athens was in 1998 on-board the Grand Princess with our family. We returned in 2005 as our second of the two back-to-back cruises on Serenity ended here. Since this time we have visited several times.
Although it doesn't features several major sites which are located in Athens it does have sites to see.
Portions of the ancient Themistoclean Walls and Eetioneia.
Four Bronze Statues discovered near the Tinaneios Gardens in 1959 and are featured at the Piraeus Museum. It is believed that the statues were buried between the 1st century BC and the 3rd century AD for fear of being stolen or destroyed during war.
Our walk took us past several churches, stores, cafes, restaurants and places selling baked goods.
We went into one of the baked food places which had many items for sale including several cakes and other goodies for Easter.
We also visited an outdoor market. The weather was perfect with sunny skies and moderate temperature.
On the way back to the ship there was a dog sleeping as we passed it and went to security. A minute later we could hear it barking and running over to security. It looked friendly sleeping but not when it was running and barking. We didn't want to be its meal. LOL.
This is the luncheon menu (embarkation day lunch) from Waterside.
We enjoyed lunch in our room rather than dining at Marketplace.
This is another fairly full cruise. Very few if any guests who sailed the full World Cruise are still on-board. Friends of ours departed this morning.
Guests began embarking Serenity close to Noon today. One of the aspects we enjoy on embarkation day is the music that is performed live at the Crystal Cove near where the check-in tables are located. Members from the bar staff are on-hand near the check in table with flutes of champagne and sparkling wine for the guests. The music changes every hour. At noon today pianist Richard Pucci and Violinist Tamara Sivtsova performed. At 2:00 PM guitarist Arturo Castillo performed. At 3:00 PM pianist Ged Scott from the Avenue Saloon will be on-hand to perform. Pianist Richard Pucci will take over again at 4:00 PM.
We are enjoying the rest of the afternoon on-board Crystal Serenity as we post this.
Following is today's daily Reflections Program.
Anne Marie & Keith