WELCOME TO MADAGASCAR
We began last evening with a pre-dinner drink at the Crystal Cove.
Keith enjoyed the a healthy Grapefruit Gin & Tonic. LOL but it hit the spot.
While we are at the Cove we listened to the beautiful music of Irina Guskova on the Violin. Bravo.
These are the menus from Waterside.
We dined by ourselves. The past week we have dined with other people and that will continue over the few days. This is one of the aspects of cruising we love which is the ability to dine by ourselves, with other guests, enrichment/entertainers and officers and senior members from Team Serenity.
We each had a Caesar salad. For our next course Anne Marie had chicken broth and Keith had an Olive Oil Poached Sablefish. We both had Salmon for our entree. We didn't get a photo of the Salmon.
We were in good hands with Head Waiter Augusto and Senior Waiter Claudia.
The featured entertainment for last evening was the Vocal Group Vox Fortura who performed two shows at the Galaxy Lounge at 7:45 and 9:30 PM. Lots of live music at the Crystal Cove, Palm Court, Avenue Saloon and Stardust Club with Irina Guskova (Violin), Richard Pucci (Piano), Vocalist Karin Kovacova with Richard Pucci, Ana & Humberto, Carlos Rayon (Guitar), Dan David (Piano and Vocalist) and The Crystal Quartet (band with vocalists). The Pulse featured DJ Emotion with Name That Tune from 10:00 to 11:00 PM followed by a Late Night Dance Party. For those who were interested in watching a full length movie there were two showings of the movie Puzzle at the Hollywood Theatre.
We attended the 7:45 PM show. This was the first time that Group Vox Fortuara performed on a Crystal Cruises Vessel. We had no idea what to expect.
They were semi-finalists on Britain’s Got Talent in 2016. They feature 4 male singers and combine a classical crossover operatic style. They were very entertaining and put on a nice show. They interacted well with the audience and at one point had the couple from the audience who is married for the longest time (69 years) on the stage.
We slept well as we sailed to Madagascar and began today as we do each morning on-board Serenity. This included an early morning workout for Keith, followed by coffee and breakfast in our room. We took in a breathtaking sun rise.
While Anne Marie had personal training with Fitness Director Charlotte Keith walked.
We arrived to Taolanaro, Madagascar at 7:00 AM. When we were young who would have dreamed that we would visit Madagascar in the first place and this visit represented the second time in four years we have visited Taolanaro. Keith remembers Madagascar as a youngster playing the boardgame "Risk" and this was a large Island on the boardgame.
Taolanaro is a relatively small city with a population of 15,000 residents. French is the official language and a large portion of the population speaks Reunion Creole.
This area was founded by the French East India Company in 1643. What was once a small French colony is now a gateway to Madagascar's famed semi-tropical landscapes, and its beautiful beaches.
Major Attractions Include:
Nahampoana Reserve which is a garden of 123. Acres offering good hiking trails and the opportunity to see every lemur species.
Lokaro Beach which is known for its kite surfing and snorkeling.
Berenty Reserve which is one of the. Oldest private nature reserves in Madagascar.
Andohahela National Park which covers 293 square miles of the Anosy mountain. Malagasy Highlands.
We didn't do a tour this time around since we had visited this area before and also because of Anne Marie. With the medication she is on and other related medical issues we are careful where we will visit on this adventure. While there are many places we will visit there are some places and/or activities we will take a pass on. We do have two tours planned for South Africa.
Keith went ashore and took the shuttle to the entrance of port entrance. There were several stalls set up with locals selling items including shirts, wooden crafts, sea shells, pepper, vanilla, scarves and a few other items. Keith went to each area and spoke with the locals about what they were selling. In lieu of a purchase, Keith made a donation to each stall. For us it is away to help locals and think of it as money spent that might have been spent if we took a tour. The people never pushed Keith to buy anything and are very friendly.
This is a video of the local band.
From time-to-time we would see these small vessels from the port side of the ship.
We enjoyed the rest of the day on-board Serenity. This included lunch at Marketplace. This included lunch at Marketplace. We forgot to mention that yesterday’s lunch was a themed lunch that you don’t see on the sip very often. The theme was Indian Cuisine.
After lunch Keith played Paddle Tennis while Anne Marie walked. It was hot but with a nice breeze Keith played non-stop Paddle Tennis for 90 minutes. Lots of fun and good laughs. We both enjoyed conversations with members of the crew and fellow guests as well as reading and writing and catching up on missed lectures. Anne Marie also went for a blood test and will send the results to her specialist at home. This was a test that if we were at home she would have taken.
This is the daily Reflections from today.
Anne Marie & Keith