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


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The bartenders and half the waiters know to call me Robin. In Silk some call me Robin. Front desk about half do. On the phone I had my last name used but not correctly.i just say it is is Robin calling.  Umi I see at he sushi bar mostly so I really do not spend time with waiters. Had the same two in Silk most nights.



My dinner service tonight was prefect.  Lots of wine ,


funny i I talk to nice people  daily  it just seems here people  do not know me. Prefer not to either.



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When I was young I remember playing the board game Risk and the board had this enormous Island on it with the name Madagascar.  That stuck with me all these years continuing to the time we visited it in 2015.  At that time never dreamed we would have the opportunity to travel to places around the world.  For us going to Canada was international travel.  


Bob, as usual thank you so much for the details on TapaTalk and the related issues of posting to CC on the ios device.  It is very helpful to me and I will followup on your recommendations for TapaTalk.


Enjoyed a nice day on the ship.  Hot, Hot, Hot was the weather outside as the temperature was warm but it was very humid.  Played Paddle Tennis in the morning and the afternoon and at the conclusion of both times each shirt was sopping wet.  Yes, it was key to hydrate and I am glad a few people we know didn't play as I worry about them.  One did but thankfully let his partner do much of the work.


When I speak about Hydration I am not talking about the Hydrating with a drink like the one I had last evening which was the Grapefruit Gin & Tonic.  LOL.




Over the past two or so years we have enjoyed the diversity of the entertainers that perform at the different lounges and that they move some of them around.  Nice to have entertainment at Crystal Cove with different people performing and at Palm Court, Stardust, the Avenue Saloon and at Pulse with the DJ.  This is a short video from the Cove last evening of Irina Guskova performing on the Electric Violin.





It seemed that the guests spread our to various dining venues last evening.  We chose Waterside.  Food was terrific and enjoyed a lot of laughs with the waitstaff. This is the appetizer I had.  Yep, that was a piece of popcorn on top and a couple of smaller pieces on each side.




My fruit plate dessert.




We attended the 7:45 PM show.  By the way we like the time of the two evening shows.  With open dining it is hard to please everyone but I do appreciate that if we dine early we can go to the 7:45 PM show.  If you remember those days where they had a show at 7:00 PM which was for the people dining late to me there were two downsides.  One was that some dining late didn't want to go to a show first.  Another big downside was that some people dining early didn't want to wait for the later show so they would rush through their meals and push the waitstaff so they could run to the 7:00 PM show.  


Well back to the 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. 


I want to close with a couple of thoughts.


We are thrilled to be sailing on-board Serenity right now.  There are some things we can't do like we used to and that includes visiting some ports as we need to be careful  for my darling wife.  This does not impact our enjoyment of the cruise.  We find other things to replace something that we might have done a few years ago.  We are just happy to be here which is the phrase we often use around the ship.  


We take each voyage at a time.  We don't compare today's experience with an experience from a previous cruise.  Oh when we get home we might do that.  For example, some people ask what was the most memorable World Cruise or the most memorable place(s) we have visited.  For us we want to enjoy the moment.  I believe that each cruise is unique because of where one is sailing, the weather, and the people who are on board including members of the crew, the guests and those who are on board from enrichment to entertainment.  Often we think to ourselves not only What A Wonderful World this is but how fortunate we are to be able to see a lot of it first hand and do so sailing in such luxury.  I can tell you that as children neither Anne Marie or I could believe we would be in this situation and during our first several years of marriage we would never have believed we would have the opportunity to travel like this.  

These are some of the items that shape our outlook and perspective.  We do not take any of this for granted.  We appreciate each and every minute.  As I have said before life is like a book and no one knows when that last chapter will be written.  As such, we want each day to be very special and we do our best to make each day as positive as we can.  






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I saw both the first show and parts of the second show. The couple who was licked to go on stage choose not to. So the other couple who was picked held hands thru the song and a quick kiss at the end. Very touching.


I got to meet all four. Two are English and two American. Never did learn how they met or got together . I like to hear more of that story on Facebook.





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We are loving your posts, Keith, about the shows, food, ports, experiences, thoughts etc as we prepare and anxiously anticipate next years WC! Do you happen to know if golf is ever available in any of the ports??

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On 3/3/2019 at 6:42 PM, JBL919 said:

We are loving your posts, Keith, about the shows, food, ports, experiences, thoughts etc as we prepare and anxiously anticipate next years WC! Do you happen to know if golf is ever available in any of the ports??

I saw a group of golfers  several days ago. Not sure if they were arriving or leaving but it was mid cruise.  Several sets  of clubs.

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Just now, JBL919 said:

We are loving your posts, Keith, about the shows, food, ports, experiences, thoughts etc as we prepare and anxiously anticipate next years WC! Do you happen to know if golf is ever available in any of the ports??

So glad you are enjoying the posts.


Yes, on the World Cruise the Golf Pro (John Clark) organizes golfing at some of the ports.  So yes do count on golf.



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Love your approach to your cruise. As you say - you are so fortunate to be able to enjoy each day for what it is.

we still seem to be deep in winter here in the UK - it is great that we are able to share  your wonderful experience with you!

PS Not sure about the popcorn in the starter though!

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Thank you goblue and Mickb. Yes, that popcorn was a bit unique. 

As I noted on the Blog we didn’t do a tour yesterday in Madagascar.  We have been there previously and this is one of the stops that Anne Marie needed to stay on the ship.  Since we didn’t do a tour I made donations.  I went around to each of the tables that was set up with goods and rather than buying any I spoke with each person selling items and gave donations at each table.  The people were very nice as they were the last time we were here.  They had a local band on hand.  Photos and Video.





Overall, those who went ashore and did an excursion seemed to have a positive experience.  It was hot and humid so some guests were pretty tired by the time they arrived back to the ship.  Some went to the beach and/or a resort and/or restaurant.


I enjoyed another healthy drink last night that Bartender Carlos made for me.  It comes from the Gin & Tonic listing and this one has Cucumber and Roses in it.  I've had it before.  





One of the things we enjoy about cruising is the people we meet and the friendships that develop.  While sitting at the Crystal Cove last evening we spoke with two women who didn't know each other before the cruise.  They are hitting it off with one another and ironically live very close to one another in Vancouver.  When they return home they plan to get together for lunch and I suspect their friends will continue to blossom.


Had a great dinner last evening at Umi Uma.  Here's one item but will post lots more photos later today on the. Blog.  Dined with two other people and by the time we looked at our watches we had been there for two-and-on-half. hours.  At least in the USA at most restaurants they would be pushing hard to have turned that table over in a much shorter time frame.  Another aspect we enjoy about cruising.




We have two sea days as we travel to Maputo. Some safaris will begin there while others in ports such as Richard's Bay.



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Good morning from Crystal Serenity as we begin day two of sea days on our way to Maputo, Mozambique.  


Upon our arrival some guests will be getting off for the start of overland safaris either booked on their own or though Crystal Cruises.  This will continue upon arrival to Richards Bay, Durban, and Port Elizabeth for those who are continuing on with the next segment of the World Cruise.  For those getting off in Cape Town, some will be going on Safaris.  In 2014 and 2015 we took Crystal Safari Overlands getting off at Richards Bay in 2015 and Durban in 2014.  


Our first arrival  to South Africa  is in Richards Bay and we were notified quite sometime ago that our arrival has been delayed one hour.  At the same time for those of us who have gone through immigration at the first port of call in South Africa we know that this can be a long process.  We remember in 2014 when the process was delayed a few hours by the local authorities who could not clear two ships at once.


The weather continues to be hot and humid but no complaints from me since I know many places in the USA are experiencing cold weather and ice and snow.  I've been able to continue playing Paddle Tennis outside.  Some guests have skipped the tennis the last few days while a few people are playing in the morning.  Hydration is key.  There are a few people I worry about because they shouldn't be out there playing with the heat/humidity.


On a related note, the lectures given by Dr. Khalid on health from diet to living longer have been terrific. I know some of you will be boarding in Cape Town and if you have an interest in these topics you could watch the lectures in your rooms.  They are very informative.  We have enjoyed several good lectures on this segment and have learned a lot from them.


Last night was Black Tie Optional night with one additional one for this segment.  We dined at Prego.  


Along with 50 or more guests we attended one of two parties held last evening at the Captain's Quarters. 715154604_IMG_21373.thumb.jpg.f548fd67cf7f6d78e56814ba2dd8f619.jpg




Dinner at Prego was delicious.  


First item is the Caesar Salad.


Second photo is the Chilled Seafood Salad which is one of the recent new creations added to the Prego menu.


Third photo of the Roasted Rack Of Baby Lamb.  I go with the recommendation of having it cooked Medium.


Fourth photo is a half portion of the Veal Scallopini served Parmigiana Style.  





A favorite pianist of ours performed last evening; Filip Wojciechowski who first performed with Crystal Cruises on-board Serenity on one of the Segments of World Cruise 2010.  I will never forget the performance and the standing ovation he received.  Since that time we have seen him perform on Symphony and Serenity.  


This is the daily Reflections program for today.




As I mentioned the other day should you have any questions you can post them here or post them on our Blog and I will be happy to try to answer them for you.


We continue to have an amazing time on-board Serenity and I can't say enough about the crew.  They are a delight and absolutely amazing.  



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Haven't heard much from you or others about Churrascaria - a place whose name i can never remember and without copy and paste couldn't spell.  Is is a try once place and then not really go back to or?  Not that anyone would be lacking for good food but just curious.   Or does that really depend upon the type of food you like.


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We just booked our first Crystal cruise.  It will be in 2020 on Serenity.  Looking at the deck plans, I do not see an outdoor bar on the pool deck.  Is there one or am I missing something?


Thanks and as always enjoy following your adventures.

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Just now, nfcu said:



We just booked our first Crystal cruise.  It will be in 2020 on Serenity.  Looking at the deck plans, I do not see an outdoor bar on the pool deck.  Is there one or am I missing something?


Thanks and as always enjoy following your adventures.

Congratulations on booking your first Crystal Cruise. You are correct.  There is no bar at the pool. Staff is on hand to take your drink orders fans they will be made at the Trident Bar locates next to the Silk dining venue. 



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6 hours ago, ctjon said:

Haven't heard much from you or others about Churrascaria - a place whose name i can never remember and without copy and paste couldn't spell.  Is is a try once place and then not really go back to or?  Not that anyone would be lacking for good food but just curious.   Or does that really depend upon the type of food you like.



Like all food the opinions will vary based on personal tastes


Personally my wife and I like it (as opposed to loving it which is the term I’d use for Umi Uma and while it’s primarily meat based the range of salads and cold dishes are great too


There’s a 5 page thread on Churrascaria (both ships) @ 



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Jonathan, excellent question.  


We have visited Churrascaria two times; once last year on Symphony and once on the Holiday Cruise on Serenity.  


We enjoyed the restaurant with its casual dining and the variety of choices in salads, vegetables and meat/seafood/poultry and those rolls were too good.  


For us it is a dining venue we would go to once on an average length cruise.  If we were getting off after the first segment of the World Cruise we would likely have gone again but because we have remained on-board we will go again but haven't done it yet.  We likely will go after doing a long tour and wanting to be more casual.


The feedback I have heard from others is consistent to what we heard on Symphony.  Some people think they ate too much there and prefer to go to other dining venues where they can control what they consume, some thought it was good and will go from time to time and some people love it and go often.  Some have a full meal while others go for salads/veggies or more of the meat/poultry/shrimp.  


What I do know is they are busy on most nights so that means they are attracting guests to this venue.  When they get busy will vary night to night and things such as the timing of the shows is a factor in when people dine there.



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Good morning from Serenity.  We will arrive to Maputo in 90 minutes.


Please continue to keep the questions and/or comments coming on this thread and the Blog.   


We enjoyed another great day on-board Crystal Serenity sailing to Maputo, Mozambique.


The day was filled with lots of fun activities.  Some of these included our regular activities including walking, paddle tennis, watching lectures and of course dining.  


A couple of additional highlights included:


We attended  a cooking  demonstration with Celebrity Chef Jon Ashton.  It featured cooking English Muffins (also a bit about its history) and also making other items including Strawberry Jam and Hollandaise Sauce.  Jon is one of the most positive people we have ever met and is passionate about several areas including cooking and people.  He is a consummate professional and a genuine person and it has been wonderful sailing with him over the course of the first three of four segments of World Cruise 2019 and most recently in 2015 following the end of that World Cruise.  


At the end of the demonstration Jon played a short preview video introducing a show he has produced on-board Crystal Serenity over sixty days , announcing that it will be on the website and also broadcast on-board the ship with each new episode rolling out every two weeks.  As noted on another thread first video released as mentioned in the Crystal Insider.


Anne Marie and I were fortunate having the opportunity to share some time with Jon Ashton over the past couple of weeks.


Video and photos from the cooking demo.




 We enjoyed the Taco on January 19 which was mentioned in the Insider. It was very unique.


I am including a couple of photos that were in our Blog the following day.


It is a Deconstructed Hamachi Taco.    This meant that the Taco was not one whole piece.  It had a soft shell, and the fish was not cooked.   Loved it so much that Jon Ashton was kind enough to visit our table that evening. 




Another highlight was a special show performed twice last evening for everyone on the World Cruise.  The on-board entertainment team is very talented and it is amazing how they put together these types of shows during the world cruise and perform them as if they have been performed for months and/or years.  Kudos to the entertainment team.  The focus of the performance was Jazz.


I'll end with a few photos from Waterside.  

The taste and presentation of the starter salad was terrific.  We asked for the entree salad as a starter salad without the meat.





Appetizer for me was the Cod Brandade.  Another very tasty and creative appetizer.



 We both enjoyed the Swordfish for our entree.  




I'll close now.




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On 3/5/2019 at 10:25 AM, Keith1010 said:

You are correct.  There is no bar at the pool. Staff is on hand to take your drink orders fans they will be made at the Trident Bar locates next to the Silk dining venue. 


Is this a change since drydock?

Or is this (yet another) example of my memory fading?:classic_ohmy:

I seem to remember there being a bar at the pool pre -drydock??


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On 3/5/2019 at 4:40 PM, nfcu said:



We just booked our first Crystal cruise.  It will be in 2020 on Serenity.  Looking at the deck plans, I do not see an outdoor bar on the pool deck.  Is there one or am I missing something?


Thanks and as always enjoy following your adventures.

As great as our pool wIters are I miss the outdoor bar. Several people come late afternoon for a swim or hot tub.l find it easier to run indoors grab a drink or order it for the pool. They will bring it at 5 and later but these men also collect all the pool towels etc for clean up.


firstnof many cruise lines no outside bar.at least when inside you can stop and get food to go with the drink and it all shows up outside.

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Good early morning from Serenity as we are moving at 19+ knots per hour on our way to Richard's Bay.


Julie I am glad you are enjoying the posts.  There are very few children on-board the World Cruise so there have not been any Junior Activity Director’s on -board.


Bob, no change pre or post dry-dock.  The bar that supports the pool is indoors and not outdoors and is in the precise place it was when you were on-board.


As mentioned no bar has been removed and I can't see where anyone said that.  Am I missing something about that?


Serenity was in Maputo, Mozambique yesterday.  About 50 people left the ship for overland Safaris.  Some people will leave today from Richard's Bay for overlands as we did in 2015.  Some went out on their own in Maputo as I did in 2015 while others took tours.  We stayed on the ship as we had been there twice in 2007 and 2015 and with no tour of interest to us we made it a sea day and had a lot of fun.  


Enjoyed dinner last evening with a very nice couple who we met early on during the World Cruise.  The live in two different countries during the year and this is one of the aspects we enjoy about cruising which is meeting people and also meeting people from around the world providing an opportunity to learn about other cultures and to see things from other perspectives.  


One beer photo from the Crystal Cove and three food photos.  This was one of the beers they brought on while we were in Australia.  I had it shortly after it arrived and again last night.  I like it.1117159999_IMG_4135(1).thumb.jpg.dd9a4ca66e1d97a0bcb3e3f7bcb67c6c.jpg



This is an asparagus appetizer that everyone had but me called Fresh Green Asparagus En Fete. 




I had Sautéed Seafood .




I enjoyed my choice and everyone else their choice.


My only salad that I didn't care for I tired last evening.  The greens were too stringy for me.  I will survive given how much salad I had for lunch.  LOL.


We both had salmon and benefited from open dining as it came out moist, hot and was delicious.




Anne Marie had part of a sugar free dessert.  




I had some cheese that the Head Waiter selected for me.  


We should arrive to Richard's Bay by 8:00 AM.  Upon  arrival we will go though a face-to-face immigration session as this is our first port in South Africa and that is something we have gone thorough before.  In 2014 there was a big delay in Durban as the immigration personnel didn't come to Serenity until they cleared another ship.  In 2015 our first South African port was Richard Bay and that was an orderly process.


Something that I don’t remember from our last visit to Richards Bay (although we got off right away in 2015 for a Safari) is that while we are there only non-alcoholic beverages are available in the bars.  Exception is Silk  Bar, the Bistro and the Crystal Cove only during meal hours.  Sort of reminds me when we were in some Middle East Countries during one of the World Cruise 2010 segments but in those cases no alcohol could be served and they had to remove all of it from our rooms.


The other change since we last visited in South African in 2015 is that we will be required to carry our Passport in all ports.  I wish that wasn't the case but it is so we will be careful.


I will close now.  Please keep the questions and comments coming either on this thread and/or on our Blog.






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I forgot to post the Reflections Daily program for today.


Here goes:




I hadn't thought about it until speaking with an officer the other day but I believe our visit to Africa is the first since 2015.  I know that Symphony was here as part of their last year.  


With several members of Team Serenity who come from South Africa some will have family visit them over the coming days which will be very nice while some will be going on a well deserved holiday.  


We will have lots of time in Cape Town which will be very nice. The last time we were here there was a lot of construction near the terminal making it challenging to walk from the terminal to Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. I understand all of that has been completed which will be nice.






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