WELCOME TO GEORGETOWN, ASCENSION ISLAND (WELL ALMOST - MORE IN A MOMENT)
Doris...Thank you very much for your very thoughtful comments.
Barb... Thank you so much for your comments including the celebration of your 50th wedding anniversary.
Sophie...Thank you for your comments. It was indeed a lovely dinner and so glad to hear you are enjoying the Blog.
Bette...Thank you for your thoughts and for sharing what makes Crystal Cruises so very special and unique for many of us.
Last evening was Black Tie (BTO) Optional on-board Crystal Serenity.
We wanted to begin by thanking those of you who have reached out to us with comments on the Blog (we love reading your comments and questions), comments via the contact form, along with comments we have received by e-mail and via Face Book. They touched each of us.
We attended the Crystal Society Party last evening. After you complete your first cruise you are part of the Crystal Society. If you enter the room on the left hand side Crystal Society Hostess Alissa, Captain Birger, Hotel Director Scott and Cruise Director Rick are on hand to greet each guest. Those choosing to bypass the greetings can enter from the right hand side. The party includes live music, and dancing. Ambassador Hosts are on hand to dance with those women traveling solo who wish to dance.
As part of the party some guests are recognized for reaching a certain milestone with respect to completed sailings.
Five people were honored.
A woman who achieved her 100th Crystal Society Milestone on this voyage. She began cruising Crystal Cruises with her late husband.
A couple who we first met on World Cruise 2007. They each have over 100 cruises and achieved the 100th milestone a few years ago. Along with some other guests we were invited to a cocktail reception they hosted at the midway point of the World Cruise where they announced that this would be their final cruise due to health issues. It was very nice that they were recognized last evening on the final segment of the World Cruise and their final cruise. This is another reminder to us how life goes by very quickly and that we should appreciate each and everyday and do our very best to not let the little hiccups bother us.
We were honored at the party for reaching our 100th Crystal Society Milestone. Crystal Society Hostess highlighted why we love to sail with Crystal Cruises (for us the major reason is our affection and appreciation for the entire crew on-board each vessel. This includes officers and the entire staff who comprise each and every department on the Crystal vessels we have sailed. We were presented with flowers (Anne Marie) and a boutonnière (Keith) by Alissa and Captain Birger.
Each month each ship recognizes an employee of the month and once a year an employee of the year. As part of the recognition they are recognized at the Crystal Society Party. This includes people that are visible to guests and also those who guests might not know as they work in areas behind the scenes on the ship. Last evening the person recognized is someone who is visible to many guests as he is the drummer in the Crystal Showband. Congratulations.
This has been a special three days for the two of us. It began Wednesday night when we hosted a special event, continued Thursday evening when Crystal Society hosted us for a special Vintage Room Dinner to celebrate our 100th Crystal Society Milestone and last evening when we were recognized at the Crystal Society Party.
These are the dining menus from Waterside.
We dined at Umi Uma with Cruise Director Rick.
Our waiter was Anthony who took great care of us whom we have known for many years. We enjoyed wonderful service, great conversation and delicious food.
We'll let the photos do the talking of much of the food we enjoyed with the exception of the Hot Soba Soup (Kieth) and Lobster (Anne Marie) along with a couple of other items we had.
We slept very well last evening. Having been up fairly late and up early the past two days it was easy to fall asleep. The sea swells were relatively calm.
We began our day as we often do with an early morning workout for Keith at the Fitness Center followed by coffee and breakfast in our room.
The scheduled port of call for today was Georgetown, Ascension Island which was a maiden port of call stop for Crystal Cruises.
The island has 800 permanent residents. The irony is that no one is considered as officially from this remote British territory. This is because the U.K. government Denis the "right to abode" here, and they allow people to reside only with written permission from Her Majesty's representative. Please not that the right to abode means you're allowed to live or work in the U.K. without any immigration restrictions. 200 of the 800 residents are U.S Air Force who operated the military base which was originally built to support the Space Shuttle Program. The remaining 600 people living on the island are Britons and citizens of St. Helena.
Ascension Island is a Volcanic Island. It is located 1,000 miles from the coast of Africa and 1,400 miles from the coast of Brazil. It is part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena.
The island is named for Ascension Day based on its recorded discovery on 1501 by the Portuguese. Because it was dry and barren it was not claimed by the Portuguese.
Over the years it had lots of strategic value. This included providing a safe location and coaling station for mariners and during World War II where it provided antisubmarine warfare based in the Battle Of The Atlantic.
Major attractions include:
Green Mountain National Park which was the country's first national park and is home to animals and plant species. It has hiking paths where hikers can see local wildlife such as turtles.
Fort Bedford & Jubilee View which was constructed between 1903 and 1906 and is the most modern of three naval forts. The forts were decommissioned after World War I. Shortly after the start of World War II, Fort Before was rearmed. The fort remained active until 1953.
Ascension Island Heritage Society Museum which was founded in 1966. Its purpose is to educate the visitors about the geography, history, natural history and architecture of the island.
Long Beach which is therein nesting ground for hundred of Green Turtles.
Fort Hayes which was commissioned in the 1860's.
St. Mary's Church which was built as the Naval Church in the mid-19th Century.
At around 8:30 AM, Captain Birger spoke with the guests from the Bridge. He noted that while today's weather was very nice the sea swells at the tender drop off made it unsafe for tender service to operate. They had attempted to land the first tender over ashore with Crystal personnel including the first officer and when the first officer got off the tender the water was up to his knees. While disappointed we know that the number one priority is for the safety of all guests and crew.
Keith took some video and photos of the island from the ship.
At 9:30 AM, Cruise Director Rick spoke to all guests and said that since we would now make today a sea day that an updated program was on the way to each guest room with activities added to the schedule. With lots of lecturers on-board Serenity two lectures were added to today's program. They also added a morning classic movie to the schedule which is Breakfast At Tiffany's.
We both walked inside the ship. Keith got in a morning round of singles Paddle Tennis and Anne Marie stopped by one of the on-board stores and caught up on some writing.
Today was Crystal at its finest. Received the update daily activities program as Cruise Director Rick said we would. Lots of activities added including: Yoga, Three Levels Of Bridge, Knitting, Golf Clinic, Breakfast At Tiffany’s movie, Lecture by Robert Caskie, Yamaha Music Class, Live music by Carlos, Lecture by Joshua Young about some famous comedians, Dance Class, Art Class, along with some additional Yamaha Piano, Bridge and Golf Classes. Kudos to the Entertainment team for creating a sea day within an hour of learning that we had missed the port.
We enjoyed lunch at Marketplace. After lunch Keith played Paddle Tennis while Anne Marie walked.
As we post this we are enjoying the rest of the day on-board Crystal Serenity.
A few of you have written to us asking about more information on the just announced World Cruise 2022. We are posting a copy of the brochure which we received yesterday. There are five choices for the World Cruise with opportunities to begin and end the cruise in the same city in the USA and opportunities to end in Europe. There are several unique stops and Crystal is returning to some areas it has not sailed for a few years.
Right below the brochure we have included todays Reflections Daily Program.