CRYSTAL SERENITY - A DAY AT SEA DAY 2
Before dinner we attended the LifeBoat drill. Our muster station is in the Casino and unlike for some of the drills the life-board commander encouraged everyone to take a seat. We found this to keep everyone focused during the talk and also to keep things very orderly.
About twenty minutes after the drill we met our dear friends Larry and Anne outside the Crystal Dining Room for dinner. We have known them for 25 years and there is a funny story about how we first met. We will save this for another time. This is their first Crystal Cruise.
Just to backtrack Keith stopped by their room a few hours earlier and helped them with questions they had and was on hand when they met their stewardess. A little while later while Larry was freshening up Anne came by our room to chat with Anne Marie. It is really great that we can share this cruise together.
Dinner was fabulous. The wait staff took great care of us. The senior waiter came by right away to introduce himself. He worked on Crystal Symphony for several years and then Serenity. In 2013 he left Crystal to work on River Cruises and recently came back. A few minutes later he brought over our waiter Jorge from Chile. While we know the roles of the waiter relative to the Senior Waiters our friends do not and when our Senior Waiter introduced Jorge he went on to explain each of their roles and we think that is superb.
The two of us had three courses for our meal; starting with jumbo shrimp cocktail for Anne Marie and ahi sashimi for Keith; followed by salads and ironically each of us had the fresh salmon for our entree. The pace of the meal was perfect; not too fast and not too slow. With a sold out ship of over 1,000 people the dining room was not noisy nor chaotic as it can be on the first night.
Our Head Waiter is Senior Head Waiter Carmello. As a Senior Head Waiter he has the same responsibilities as the other Head Waiters plus he does all of the scheduling of the waiters and senior waiters as some work at the Lido Cafe for breafast and lunch and others work at the afternoon tea. He also has the section of the dining room closest to the entrance as he will assist at the Maitre d' station. We have known Carmello for many years but this is the first time we have him. Normally we sit in an area that is not in his section but this time we are not at a two person table and we are in a different section. Our Somellier is Ricardo who took wondrerful care of us on the recent Northwest Passage cruise.
We enjoyed the wine that was served. Often at the end of the meal the Sommelier asked if we wanted an after dinner drink. We always say no. However he mentioned a Limoncello and friend Anne said why not and Keith said sure so the both enjoyed that drink.
The photo to the right is Anne Marie with Sommelier Ricardo. The photo to the left includes our dear friends Anne and Larry. After dinner, we brought Anne & Larry over to the Galaxy Showroom so they could see the Welcome On-Board Show.
We thought we would give you a photos tour of the ship. We will add additonal photos during the course of this adventure. Most of these photos Keith took in August and September of 2016.
We slept well as we always do. For those of you who follow our blogs you know our routine. Keith was up first and worked out at the Fitness Center on the Elliptical Machine while watching the news. Afterwards he enjoyed coffee in our room. Shortly after Anne Marie woke we had breakfast in our room. We keep it simple as we do at home with the exception of having cereal rather then oatmeal and we had fruit.
At 4:00 PM yesterday Keith signed up for the first indoor cycling class of the cruise. The same two fitness directors from our last cruises are on board again. The sign up sheets are available at 4:00 PM the day before class. Keith was first to sign with a fellow guest he met while they were waiting. When he checked the sign up sheet this morning the class was full with a waitlist of eight people. Unfortunately Fitness Director Kyle told Keith that the computer he keeps his songs on crashed so he would have to revert to those CD's of songs that Keith knows by heart as they were repeated throughout the 2015 world cruise. He asked Keith if he had his music with him as Keith teached indoor cycling three days a week at the fitness center at home. He does but he wanted to be able to take the songs on a thumb drive and he couldn't do this with iTunes.
Since today was a sea day there was a very extensive enrichment and activity program. We had three interesting lectures. Since our itinerary includes stops at Mexican ports, Dr Jay Wolff spoke about the conquest of Mexico. Professor Roberto D'Alimonte spoke about Brexit and the future of the European Union a timely topic given the changes that Brexit is bringing. Finally, Bob Ray spoke about Motown and the music that changed America and the world. We found this one interesting given our enjoyment of music from motown and having seen the musical while we were in London last year.
Keith enjoyed his indoor cycle class in the morning and Anne Marie managed to get in her one hour morning walk. Kyle led a great class and everyone worked hard. There was a lot of banter back and forth.
We met up at the Crystal Cove and sat there and chatted with some of the members of the crew and fellow guests as they passed by.
Although we don't play the slot machines we wanted to mention something from today's program. Since we last sailed Serenity we see that the casino has now introduced what they call "Stay & Play 24 hour Program". It notes that slot machines will remain on and available for play during extended operating hours after the casino cage closes for the day and to see Reflections (daily program) each day for details. Obviously it depends whether or not the ship is at sea. Since we are at sea it will be open until 6:00 AM tomorrow morning.
We enjoyed lunch at the Lido Cafe and made our famous Salad Entrees. Right after lunch Keith played Paddle Tennis for a couple of hours. Having played very little Paddle Tennis during the Nortwest Passage Cruise and the one that preceded it he was happy to get in the tennis time. The weather was nice. Anne Marie walked with friend Anne showing her all around the ship.
This evening will include two receptions, dinner at the Crystal Dining Room and possibly a show.
TODAY’S THOUGHT FOR THE DAY……..
One of the nice things about cruising is the opportunity to renew acquaintances, and to meet people for the very first time. We also learn from each cruise and when you sail with guests and crew representing a diverse set of regions and counties from all around the world there is so much to learn. To us it is all part of discovery.
Keith & Anne Marie