WELCOME TO CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
Catherine, we are happy to answer questions. We have not had to do anything special in terms of compressing the videos. The videos we are posting are mainly 10 to 15 seconds in duration and with our Internet connection along with the type of blog site we use, it takes a couple of minutes to add them to our blog.
Crystal Serenity arrived to Cape Town late yesterday afternoon. The arrival was spectacular. Whereas earlier in the day it was cloudy, windy and cool prior to our arrival it became sunny, warmer with very little wind.This allowed for magnificent views of the city and iconic sites including Table Mountain.
Prior to arrival we enjoyed a pre-dinner drink at the Crystal Cove while conversing with fellow guests and the bar team. It was busy at the bar and at the Cove. Richard Pucci played a Beatles Song and while Anne Marie was taking a photo of the two of the two of them Richard asked Keith if he would like to join him at the piano. Keith can't play but he can hum to the music of The Beatles. LOL.
Under the direction of Paster Ed and his lovely wife Ruth, we listened to the World Cruise Choir play three songs prior to dinner. Paster Ed was on the guitar and Pianist Richard played the Piano. The choir was short-handed with some guests on overlands but you would never have known this. They were terrific.
We went from the Crystal Plaza up two decks and outside on the Promenade Deck to enjoy the arrival to Cape Town and those magnificent views. The world is beautiful and arriving to Cape Town is one of several places around the world offering spectacular arrivals and departures by Cruise Ship. From there we had dinner.
These are the dinner menus from Waterside.
We dined at Umi Uma.
We enjoyed a great meal. Richie was our Waiter and Jay our Sommelier and the cuisine, service and the ambience of the dining venue was terrific. Anne Marie had the Chicken as an entree for the very first time. It was moist and delicious.
Clockwise starting from the left Lobster Tempura, Shrimp, A quintet of Nobu Sashimis Specials, Sashimi and Hot Soba Noodles. We didn't get a photo of the Chicken Entree.
As we left, we thanked Richie, Jay and other members of the Waitstaff along with Head Waiter Sigi and the Sushi Chefs for this wonderful meal. We spoke to Ross who several months ago was promoted to Sommelier. We see Ross every morning on our many walks inside the ship as often he is bringing food over to the Bistro for the morning breakfast. Ross is one of several crew members who will be going on a well-deserved Holiday when the third segment of the world cruise ends tomorrow. We will miss all of them.
The evening entertainment was Giovanni's "A Tribute to Soul Train & Motown.
Later in the evening we met with Mary Jean the Founder and CEO of the Travel Company that we book our cruises with along with some of our other related travel with. Our Travel Specialist Gerri joined us later. We haven't seen them since 2015 so it was great to catch up with them.
When we arrived back to our room there was a letter from World Cruise Hostess Stacey Huston about the fourth and final segment of World Cruise 2019. There was another charm for the women to add to the charm bracelet they received. Appropriately this was a charm of a giraffe to remember our visit to Africa.
We slept well last evening. There was no gentle rocking of the ship as we are docked at Cape Town. LOL
We began the day as we normally do. Keith was up early and at the Fitness Center for a workout followed by coffee and breakfast in our room. The only change was having breakfast earlier to get ready for a private tour that Keith arranged.
This is our fifth visit to Cape Town since 2007. Some consider Cape Town to be the San Francisco of Africa. It is a beautiful city and has unique physical characteristics that make it special. This includes Table Top Mountain, its beautiful shoreline including the Cape. While South Africa is facing many issues including the economy, the economy of Cape Town appears to be thriving with tourism being a major catalyst to growth.
The city continues to grow with a population of 3.8 million residents. In less than thirty years the population has nearly doubled.
Cape Town is a popular international tourist destination and a popular destination of Africans. Some of its natural sites include:
Table Mountain. Those clouds that rise above the mountain make one think that there is a table cloth on top of the flat part of the mountain.
Table Mountain National Park. The park includes both Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope.
Chapman's Peak Drive which is a narrow road which provides spectacular views of the ocean.
Cape Town's beaches. Several beaches provide different views and a unique atmosphere from one another.
Robben Island which is located a short distance from Cape Town and reached by boat service provided for a fee by the Robben Island Museum. The Island was used as a prison where many political prisoners were housed including Nelson Mandela. We took a tour of the Island a few years ago. Robben Island is a National Heritage Site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Other attractions include:
S.A. National Gallery founded in 1914 and includes British works between the 17th and 19th centuries.
District Six Museum which was founded din 1994 in memorial to the forced movement of 60,000 inhabitants during Apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s.
Bo-Kaap is an area formerly known as the Malay Quarter and is known for its brightly colored homes and steep cobble stoned streets.
Victoria & Albert Waterfront which is located on the oldest working harbor in South Africa on the Atlantic Shower and is home to over 450 retail outlets.
Castle of Good Hope which is a fort built in the 17th century and today houses the Castle Military Museum.
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art which opened in 2017.
The city also boasts many hotels, restaurants, museums and other sites. There is a beautiful botanical garden, and cable car that takes you up to Table Mountain. It also provides a gateway to the Wine Country and this is a good time to begin with a summary from our first day full-day in Cape Town of this adventure.
In 2015 we took a private tour to the Cape Winelands and we enjoyed it so much we decided to return. With many areas and hundreds and hundreds of wineries one could do many tours and enjoy many new experiences. The only difference is we used a different tour company. In fact, we used the tour company we wanted to use in 2015 but they were booked and they referred us to the one we used in 2015. Our tour guide is Clive who has been giving tours since 2002. He is a former high school teacher. He gives tours to individuals and to groups and he covers the Cape, the downtown area, the Wine Farms and takes some tours on Safaris. He was wonderful.
The Cape Winelands region is in the heart of the South African wine producing industry.
Our tour focused on the famous Stellenbosch region. This region produces 3% of the world's wines. Our first visit to this area was in 2007. On this visit we enjoyed a wine tasting and cellar tour two local estates and also a visit to an olive farm where we tasted a range of olive oil and walked a very special garden.
In addition to wine tasting we also love this region because of its natural beauty with beautiful vineyards with views of mountains and the surrounding landscape.
We enjoyed a wonderful lunch at another wine estate. We tasted wine at this estate in 2015. The restaurant was lovely and we enjoyed a delicious lunch of salad and sea bass and a glass of wine for me.
This was a fabulous day with a great tour guide, lots of discussion, tasting delicious wine and olive oil, a wonderful meal, and taking in breathtaking scenery.
Following is the daily Reflections Program from today.
Anne Marie & Keith