HAPPY NEW YEAR - MAY 2019 BE THE BEST YET
We hope that everyone is having a Happy New Year.
Thelma...Thank you for your comments. Happy New Year.
Doris...Thank you for your kind comments. We will be sure to pass along your greetings to the Rabbi and Geri. Happy New Year.
The Crystal Plaza was decorated for the festivities.
These are the dinner menus from Waterside which included a New Year's Eve Dinner Menu.
We have also included menus from Prego.
We left Hilo ten minutes before the scheduled departure time of 4:00 PM as we set sail towards California.
We enjoyed a pre-dinner drink at the Avenue Saloon. With the movement of the ship due to the sea swells we chose this venue over Palm Court since it is located on a lower deck and we would feel less movement of the ship. There were more bar staff coming and going than guests. Bartender Glenn took excellent care of us and we exchanged Happy New Year wishes with crew members including Nat who we adore.
With dinner later than usual we listened to pianist Justin Abrams perform.
This is the third time we have rung in the new year on-board Crystal Serenity. While we miss celebrating the New Year with our family, the next best thing is to celebrate with our Crystal Family on-board Serenity.
We enjoyed dinner with friends Rocky and David at Prego. This is our first dinner at Prego since boarding Serenity in Los Angeles. We have sailed with Rocky and David on other voyages, most recently on a British Isles Cruise.
One of the benefits of dining on the ship rather than on land on a holiday such as New Years is no worry about driving, parking the vehicle or finding another mode of transport. You can just let your feet do the walking.
Everything about dinner was lovely. We were seated at the table by Specialty Restaurant Manager Paolo who checked up on us throughout the meal. We were in great hands with the Prego Waiter and with Sommelier Kremena. Kremena took excellent care of us in the former Crystal Dining Room when we sailed with our family in 2017.
We began the meal with a champagne toast.
Each of us had three courses. The two of us had the Creamy King Crab Meat Salad, followed by Caesar Salad. Anne Marie had the Veal Scaloppini. There was one additional entree on the menu featuring a local Hawaiian Fish which Keith had. It was accompanied with vegetables and a side dish of couscous lightly flavored with lemon. Keith also had a side order of grilled vegetables.
The number of guests dining was consistent throughout the meal allowing the waiters to serve the meal at a nice leisurely pace. We had lots to catch up with and enjoyed terrific conversation with David and Rocky and look forward to another dinner with them on the next voyage.
There was lots of entertainment on the schedule for the final evening of 2018.
Two performances of The Crystal on Broadway- The Show which recently rolled out on Serenity.
One comedy cabaret performance by Comedy and Musical Entertainer Steve Stevens.
Entertainment at the Crystal Cove, Palm Court and Avenue Saloon including piano, guitarist and a live band. At 10:30 PM the Avenue Saloon featured an Irish New Year's Eve Party with Jo and Liv. Pulse featured a New Year's Eve Dance Party with DJ Justin Abrams. The Casino was open and there was a Slot Tournament. Later in the evening the Crystal Quartet performed at the Crystal Plaza followed by live music by The Crystal Showband. Two showings of the movie Crazy Rich Asians were available for viewing at the Hollywood Theatre.
At 11:45 PM the Countdown to the New Year began and at Noon Crystal Serenity ran in the new year with Captain Birger and Cruise Director Rick on hand along with Crystal's Entertainment Team.
We slept well and began the first day of 2019 as we have since boarding Serenity on December 21. Keith enjoyed a workout at the Fitness Center. We had coffee shortly before Butler Jaison brought us breakfast in our room.
After breakfast we took a one hour walk inside the ship. With a late evening for many people very few people were out and about. We wished many of the crew a Happy New Year.
Since leaving Hilo the ride has been choppy. This is expected when sailing the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the Continental USA. It is a reminder that we are on a cruise ship. LOL.
Before arriving back to the United States we will have four full days at sea, followed by a mandatory stop in Mexico to comply with the law that requires one International stop.
Today was the first of four sea days and there was lots on the program. It was wise not to have a 10:00 AM lecturer since guests slept in. The first talk was at 11:00 AM and was give by World Affairs Lectures Robert Schire about our changing world.
The afternoon lecture was given by Michel Bishay about Courtroom Drama.
In case people were still hungry (LOL) from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM a New Year's Jazz Brunch Buffet was featured in the Crystal Plaza. The Jazz Brunch is similar with the Grand Gala Buffet featuring tables of delicious food items. The difference is that the menu includes breakfast (brunch) items. Below is a copy of the New Year's Brunch Menu.
TEAMWORK AT ITS FINEST
It takes tremendous team effort and lots of had work in the planning, preparation and execution to make these brunches a success by the extraordinary Food & Beverage Team with help from other areas including housekeeping. Within Food & Beverage you have those in the galley preparing and overseeing the preparation of the food, plus all the work to set it up with a lot of involvement from the Executive Chef, Franz Weiss who we've included in a couple of photos, the Assistant Executive Chef and the Pastry Chef. The Waterside Waitstaff team sets up tables and power and all of the plates and then assists guests carrying plates to the dining venue, seating the guests and clearing tables.
The Sommeliers serve wine and other drinks and the Bar Team prepares drinks. The entertainment team plays live music and Housekeeping assists in cleanup of the Crystal Plaza and Waterside.
This is all done in addition to being up late last night with all of the New Year's Eve Festivities before, during and after dinner.
Congratulations Team Crystal Serenity. You are truly amazing.
Some photos from of the brunch.
We had lunch at Marketplace. With many guests enjoying the Brunch at Waterside, it was quiet where we dined. We enjoyed another entree salad. We dined with one of the Senior Officers.
We spent the rest of the day enjoying Serenity. It was very windy outside so Anne Marie walked inside the ship. Keith was able to play Paddle Tennis with the wind. As he walked over to the court a wind gust hit and he felt like he was going to fly over the railing. When he sat out he had to hold his hat. It was a lot of fun though.
Yesterday we had a video call with our family in Australia on New Year's Day for them. Today we had a video call with our son and his family including the two grandsons.
Grandson Jackson was showing us his motorized car and grandson Preston was playing with his lawnmower. He has been walking for a couple of months.
Following is a copy of today's daily Reflections Program.
Happy New Year!!
Anne Marie & Keith