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Keith1010

LIVE - WORLD CRUISE 2019 & MORE - A NEW ADVENTURE UNFOLDS - 12/15/18 - 5/21/19

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WECLOME TO  LUDERITZ, NAMIBIA

 

We enjoyed the rest of the day on-board Serenity after I posted.

 

The weather turned out very nice.  The temperature was moderate for most of the day with even fog late morning into early afternoon before becoming sunny later in the day.

 

I caught up with one of the lecturers given in the morning in the late afternoon listening to the lectures on-demand.  It was about Africa  and while it hit with you with more facts than I can imagine there were plenty of take-aways which I will  cover in today's Blog.  In the USA we don't tend to focus a lot on Africa whereas my observation when I watch programs when we travel internationally on land and on the cruise ship from other countries that they spend more time on this continent.  The lecturer speaks about the sheer size of the continent which is something I had not thought about before along with its high growth by the end of the century in population, potentially jobs in manufacturing and also about the growth in the economy.  At the same time he discusses the investments that China has and is making throughout the continent.  

 

It was nice that we had a Captain's Reception last evening and the turnout was strong.  On most cruises these are no longer held.  Timing was good with Captain Birger having just returned to Serenity in Cape Town.  We also have returning the Hotel Director, and the Chief Engineer.  There is a new doctor on board and while he has sailed on other cruise lines this is his first time with Crystal Cruises.  

 

The captain mentioned as he did in his Noon talk about the wind situation in Cape Town which we were fortunate didn't delay us very long.  He also spoke about today's port of call and highlighted what is to come on this segment.

 

We were right behind Pat and Ray as we entered Palm Court to be greeted by the Crystal Society Hostess followed by a photo with Captain Birger and once inside we saw Robin.  We also spoke with several other people we  know who just boarded in Cape Town.  We also spoke with some of the senior staff and senior officers in attendance.  It's always a nice opportunity to socialize.  

 

This is a long segment of 26 days.

 

We dined at Waterside last evening.  It was not as crowded as BTO nights can be reflecting the additional choice for dining including the Supper Club.  We enjoyed the food including Caviar which I had, an eggplant appetizer which Anne Marie had (great taste and presentation), salads and Lobster.  The lobster was fresh and flown in from Maine as it usually has although once in awhile there are exceptions as in the past we have had Australian and South African Lobster.  The size of the lobster was on the larger side and it was tasty.

 

Two nights ago I tried one of two new wines that was brought on-board from South Africa (Chenin Blanc and a Cabernet) and last evening we tried a different Cabernet brought on-board from South Africa.  We were pleased with all of them.  The one from last evening definitely got lots better after it had a little time to breathe. 

 

 

 

The Eggplant Appetizer that Anne Marie had.

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Salad.

 

 

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I forgot to take a photo of the Lobster before I started to eat it.  

 

While we have been to Namibia before this is our first visit to Luderitz. We do not have a tour planned though for today nor tomorrow.  We plan to go ashore today.

 

Keith

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I am going out to the Ghost Town where the diamond miners had lived. 

 

I had one guest ask at the pool when it would warm up. It felt good but not pool weather.at least not for me. But I enjoyed sitting in the sun.

 

 

 

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Robin, that seems like a interesting excursion.

It sounds like such an amazing cruise . Keith, you are really savoring the experience and it comes through in your writing.Thanks for sharing the journey  with us.

2 hours ago, ellbon said:

I am going out to the Ghost Town where the diamond miners had lived. 

 

I had one guest ask at the pool when it would warm up. It felt good but not pool weather.at least not for me. But I enjoyed sitting in the sun.

 

 

 

 

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Thank you Cairn Mom.  We are having  an amazing time.

 

We went into port on our own today and had a nice time walking the local area.  

 

The geography is very unique.  Some of the views reminded us of one of the islands we saw on NWP.

 

You see the German influence in town from the name of the restaurants to the names of the streets.  The local food store had a European feel.

 

Weather was a delight.

 

Wore light jackets/vests in the morning.  The afternoon was sunny with a breeze.

 

After Anne Marie and I returned back to the ship we went on a long walk and ran into journalist and 2009 Pulitzer Prize Winner Eugene Robinson and his wife.  We spoke with them for quite a while.  This is their  first time on-board Crystal Cruises and he is on-board as part of the Enrichment Program.  They were very friendly,  approachable and engaging.  Over the years it has been enjoyable  to have the opportunity to talk with a wide range of enrichment and entertainers who we sail with.  This  is all part of discovery and one of several reasons we enjoy about our cruises with Crystal Cruises.

 

We have a very strong enrichment  team (also many wonderful entertainers) on this final segment of the World Cruise.  We look forward to the lectures that many of them  will  be giving along with  Ocean Views with the latter being one of our favorite program as it allows for a good discussion of issues while providing feedback on what the guests think before and after each topic is discussed.

 

Enjoying the rest of the day on-board Serenity.  Just returned from playing Paddle Tennis which is another opportunity to get exercise, have good laughs and get to know several of our fellow guests.

 

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The Blog which can be found at www.followourtrips.com (click on current blog tab) has been updated.

 

Todays daily Reflections Program.

 

Reflections.pdf

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

 

 

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Keith and I saw a lot of different Abdul the same things today.  My tour..which I think you could get a taxi guide..was to Kolmanskop. This was a diamond mining town from about 1908 until,WW 1. The Germem boys were sent home to fight.  Also with time they minded out the diamonds. So other places were torn mining towns. The town buildings were all,standing..with roofs. I saw everything from a house to,a bowling alley. We did not have enough time to see it all.

 

later I walked by several buildings that Keith posted pictures of. I also was inside two churches and a restaurant.

 

really an interesting day of history and sand.

 

as Keith goes to bed early I want to say the Cove as a different vibe with new guests coming in in Capetown. It was fun before but now more alive.

 

Sadly I am not enjoying the Ave  As I have in the past. I am now on piano player number three and I just do not connect with him. His after dinner sets  are very low key compared to others. When there is so much better music on board I just. Go find it.

 

looking forward to my Settlement tour even with the long drive and the sea days to do my emails.My friends look forward to my emails.

 

 

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Happy St. Patrick's Day.

 

We are about two hours from Walvis, Bay Namibia as I write this post.

 

Robin....Anne Marie and I enjoyed getting together with you yesterday at Palm Court.  

 

Last evening we enjoyed dinner at Prego.  It was pretty busy.

 

The menu was updated again with some items added to the menu for the fourth segment of the World Cruise replacing other items.

 

This is the current menu.

 

PregoMenuMarch.pdf

 

Between Anne  Marie & myself we tried three new items.

 

I tried the new appetizer of an assorted antipasti plate.  It is different from one that Anne Marie used to make (she is half Italian/also half Irish so today is her day as well) based on the recipe from her Nana but nevertheless it was tasty and a nice addition to the menu.

 

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Anne Marie had the new Butter Poached Lobster Appetizer and enjoyed it very much. It included Lobster and was surrounded by beans.

 

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Next course we went with the standard Caesar salad.  We do ask for it with very light dressing.

 

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For our entree we both went with the new seafood entree which is Grilled Kinglip served in a bowl with Minestrone.  A soup  spoon is provided for the Minestrone.  The fish arrives hot, was tasty and was moist from the Minestrone and the degree in which it was cooked.

 

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Kudos to Chef Alfred.  We have been on-board other times when the menu was been tweaked and I have found this time the items added are more creative than just making a few changes.  

 

Next time we'll see if we can try another couple of the new items.

 

Once again a great team effort by the Prego waitstaff with waiters helping each other as the venue became more crowded and kudos to the galley team.  

 

The featured show last night was My Life: The Music of Billy Joel.  The music brings back lots of good memories  for Anne Marie and  myself.  Also Billy Joel grew up on the same Island as I did and one of my cousins played in  his first band.  

 

We continue  to just  enjoy  each and every minute on-board Serenity.  

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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While Keith enjoyed his paddle tennis I was on a township tour. There are no words.

happy children looking for candy, smiles, high fives, hugs and kisses.super 

poor homes with familes sharing toilets like the lower East side if the city over 100 years ago. Sunday church clothes, singers and more. My pictures still do not show all I saw.

 

now to dress again for the WC event. Wearing what I wore on tour. Thry keep saying it will cool off. Only time tells that.

 

the last two tours have been my ships highlight tours. Think the next two,are private.

 

 

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Will there be a home-grown St. Patricks Day show tonight?  The MacDonald Brothers just left the Prinsendam in Manaus a few days ago and I know their next stop is on the Serenity.  I can see them fitting very well into such a show.

 

Roy

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1 minute ago, rafinmd said:

Will there be a home-grown St. Patricks Day show tonight?  The MacDonald Brothers just left the Prinsendam in Manaus a few days ago and I know their next stop is on the Serenity.  I can see them fitting very well into such a show.

 

Roy

Roy the celebration will be tomorrow since tomorrow is a sea day and this evening is a World Cruise shore-side event.

 

Keith

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8 hours ago, rafinmd said:

Will there be a home-grown St. Patrick's Day show tonight?  The MacDonald Brothers just left the Prinsendam in Manaus a few days ago and I know their next stop is on the Serenity.  I can see them fitting very well into such a show.

 

Roy

Hi Roy.

 

For some reason they let Ian Cooper get away from them on St Patrick's Day. He even commented in his show on our FIRST segment that he was the AWOL Leprechaun for St. Patrick's Day. Even though we are home now, I have to say someone at Crystal dropped the ball on this one. Ian is amazing on St. Patrick's Day even if he isn't actually Irish!!

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ON THE ROAD TO ST. HELENA

 

Good early morning from  Serenity 


Today is the first of three consecutive sea days until we reach our next destination.

 

Although the program didn't have St. Patrick's as a theme yesterday the culinary team didn't forget about it at yesterday's lunch at Marketplace.

 

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Today the ship will do more celebrating.

 

This evening there will be a special show for all guests which will be a tribute with music and dance of Ireland.  It will be performed twice.  Later in the evening will be an Irish Pub Night in the Avenue Saloon.

 

And there a three drinks of the day in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

 

As a special treat we turn back the clocks by one hour this evening.  

 

We didn't make it to the World Cruise Shore-Side Event due to Anne Marie's situation.  A tough decision for us but the right one.  As we say each day when asked how we are doing we simply say "We are happy to be here".  That is the way we feel.

 

Today's program features  a couple of morning lectures.  For those of you who have seen Ambassador Tony Leon in the past he is on board for this voyage.  He was Ambassador from South Africa to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay and is a charismatic speaker.  We first saw him speak  on the 2010 World Cruise which I believe was his first with Crystal Cruises and have seen him speak on other voyages.  Most of his talks are fresh using new material which I think is very important for the lecturers and the guests.  He will certainly be one of the members of the Ocean Views Panel.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

 

 

 

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Now I am willing to say more on the event. We were told several times times it got cold in the evening.i would say the locals might I’d been colder than us.

 

 

My. bus was last getting there. Mainly due to:a crew member coming in late. We first went ..fir many..back to,Dune  7 fir a fast picture stop. We then rode on the sand roads in. Ye, there and easier way  called going back into the main road. When we arrived we waited in line with other buses to get closer  to the tents,food and toilets. We could if walked from that area faster.

 

we arrived to wine,beer, osyster nd other foods. There were caramels but I skipped them.

 

we had tables under a tent  with  different disheses being served ..Tapa size. You could get up..many did..to get pictures in the sunset. Some if us climb a small hill  for sunset pictures.

 

the music was great..some African dance music, choir and later a Star Wars theme inside and out. We also had three songs by the greatest opera singer.  She was so over whelming  that I sat right there in the sand. While I had my eyes closes hands raised over head two people asked me if I needed a chair. Really! If I needed a chair I would of found one. 

 

Many guests missed all that  as the left early. I was on the last bus back. 

 

What a great night.

 

oh one guest left her purse in the bathroom  and I waited a few minutes for her. Another guest knew where Stacy was and gave it to her. I am sure her passport and phone was in it. I never saw Stacy so I hope the guest got back on ok.

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Robin, glad you enjoyed the Shore Site event and thanks for sharing your experience.  We were sorry we didn't make and would have loved to go but we knew it best for us to stay back on the ship.  We  have lots of wonderful memories from the previous shore side events we have attended. A lot of planning goes in each event.

 

Today has been a terrific sea day with lots on the program including informative lectures.  This last segment has many strong lectures who are on board and lots of strong entertainers.

 

Outside weather is great this afternoon and enjoyed a couple of hours playing Paddle Tennis.  I've met so many nice people through the tennis.

 

The entertainment this evening looks to be great as part  of St. Patrick's Day.

 

Receive the invitation for the Meet and Mingle Party a couple of hours ago.  It is scheduled for the 20th.

 

Happy St. Patrick's Day (one day after the actual holiday)

 

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Keith

 

 

 

 

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Keith, like over half the crew and guests last night no one had a copy of the food and music menu. I now have one thanks to Jaisin the butler. Hoe it ended up in the butler pantry is beyond real. I was able to  email friends the food and post on Facebook the music. It was wonderful.i like the fact that officers wore street clothes..something I wanted to see  on. Another line for years. 

I understand why you did not go.. and strangely enough I took no food picture..yet the moon, me dancing, the band etc are on social media

 etween Robben Island and the township tour I really needed the TLC of last night..  anyone who is American knows I am remembering the past and I am not the same as pre Capetown.

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Good morning from Serenity as we benefited from moving the clocks back one hour.  We will do this again tomorrow evening but eventually there will be some payback as later in the cruise  we will move the clocks forward three different time.  :classic_ohmy:

 

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At a cocktail reception that was hosted by our TA  Anne Marie spoke with a friend of ours who has been to the shoreside events on other World Cruises and thought this one was not only wonderful but as she said "over the top".  We heard accolades from  other friends later in the evening.

 

Many people at the cocktail party and throughout the evening wore something green.  One couple was dressed to the tilt in costume and ready to party. :classic_biggrin:

 

Dinner was terrific in Waterside and one of those menus where two appetizers looked great and two entrees did as well.

 

For the Appetizers  Anne Marie and I tried different ones  and were each pleased.

 

Freshly Baked Lobster Strudel for Anne Marie

 

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Charred Cod for me.

 

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As we have been doing from time-to-time we had the salad entree as a salad starter without the meat.

 

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We both had the Halibut.  The sauce that accompanied it was tasty.  

 

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We sent down a wine for last night.  I have to say this one did not work for me but when it comes to wine we all have

different tastes, etc.

 

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We attended the show last night and made a short visit to the Avenue Saloon.  It was a fun  way to close out the day.

 

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Lots on the schedule for today as we have the second of three straight sea days to enjoy.

 

Keith

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Keith, I didn't realise Crystal had their own brand of wines on the Connoisseur list - do they have one of each variety? I've never noticed them on the list.

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I believe it is just in the Cabernet. Toward the end of the Auckland/Perth segment, when they started running out of things ahead of the major re-supply in Perth, our Butler brought us a bottle of this wine in place of the Cabernet we had been drinking. It is a very limited production, something like 300 bottles (though I can't remember the exact number) and while it may not have worked for Keith we really enjoyed it. Far superior to the C Reserve Cabernet in our humble opinion.:classic_smile:

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18 minutes ago, Roland4 said:

I believe it is just in the Cabernet. Toward the end of the Auckland/Perth segment, when they started running out of things ahead of the major re-supply in Perth, our Butler brought us a bottle of this wine in place of the Cabernet we had been drinking. It is a very limited production, something like 300 bottles (though I can't remember the exact number) and while it may not have worked for Keith we really enjoyed it. Far superior to the C Reserve Cabernet in our humble opinion.:classic_smile:

That's interesting and nice they provided a wine off the premium list for your suite - any idea what they were selling it for?

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