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


Keith1010
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Just now, ctjon said:

I find it interesting that of the several who produce great blogs there is very little talk about lunch venues.  With the changes in venues and some remodeling do people still tend to go to one place or vary depending upon menu and what they are feeling.  Is it still easy to use Marketplace?  With Silk there is it easy to find seating for Trident Grill. 

I know lunch isn't the most exciting part of the eating but just wondering what people are doing.

Jonathan,

Most (not all as I've seen Larry's post) are a creature of habit.

 

In general many people tend to dine at the same dining venues for breakfast and lunch.  Some only Waterside, while others it is Marketplace and others Silk and/or Trident Grill.  Now sometimes someone will get something from Marketplace and bring it over to the Tastes are or get something from the Trident Grill and bring it over to Marketplace.

 

Even where people sit or the area that people select for seating is often the same. 

 

No different than often at lectures at the Galaxy where some people have favorite seats or sections to sit at.

 

In our case we sit at Marketplace for the choice of food coupled with the fact that I can finish in a reasonable amount of time to play Paddle Tennis.  Before I played Paddle Tennis and also played Team Trivia often we would go to the former Tastes and former Crystal Dining Room for lunch.  These days it would be too slow for me at Waterside and Silk just like the former Tastes doesn't open until 12:30 PM. 

 

By the way in the early days of sailing Crystal we had all breakfasts and most lunches at the former Crystal Dining Room.  Back then I was working and appreciated just sitting back and let the waiters take care of everything.

 

Keith

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Keith, we are following your blog every day and loving it! Re: this last post of yours about bookings, we DID book both the 2020 World Cruise as well as the 2021 World Cruise (though we have never taken Crystal before, we are betting on it being wonderful per your experiences plus several of our friends' experiences)...my question is about the savings. We know we can get the 2.5% savings for paying early. We realize the Crystal Society savings is for having been on at least one Crystal cruise. We are HOPING we will get that for the 2021 cruise once we've taken the 2020 one? Plus we wanted to wait to sign up for the 2021 cruise until we were on board (for the other 2.5% savings) but found out that many of the rooms get booked up well over a year in advance (for the 2020 we are in a veranda room but signed up for a picture window for the 2021) ...so because we booked a room already, do you think we will NOT get the 2.5% savings for booking it on the cruise itself? Hope this makes sense. Thx!

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Just now, JBL919 said:

Keith, we are following your blog every day and loving it! Re: this last post of yours about bookings, we DID book both the 2020 World Cruise as well as the 2021 World Cruise (though we have never taken Crystal before, we are betting on it being wonderful per your experiences plus several of our friends' experiences)...my question is about the savings. We know we can get the 2.5% savings for paying early. We realize the Crystal Society savings is for having been on at least one Crystal cruise. We are HOPING we will get that for the 2021 cruise once we've taken the 2020 one? Plus we wanted to wait to sign up for the 2021 cruise until we were on board (for the other 2.5% savings) but found out that many of the rooms get booked up well over a year in advance (for the 2020 we are in a veranda room but signed up for a picture window for the 2021) ...so because we booked a room already, do you think we will NOT get the 2.5% savings for booking it on the cruise itself? Hope this makes sense. Thx!

JBL919, you will get both the 2.5% Crystal Society Savings and the 2.% On Board Booking Savings for the 2021 World Cruise.  The On-Board Booking Savings should be automatically applied either right before or once you are on board the 2020 World Cruise.  Once you are on board the 2020 World Cruise have your TA followup with Crystal reservations to be sure it has been applied to the 2021 booking and if it has not they can get it applied.  The Crystal Society savings will automatically be applied as well.

 

You did right booking the 2021 and not waiting.  It is a very popular cruise from what I have seen and heard. 

 

When we booked our first Crystal Cruise for 2002 we were so sure we would like it we booked one for 2003 before boarding the one in 2002 to be sure we would get our desired accommodation so I fully understand the logic of booking before you sail the first time.

 

If I can help you with any questions as you prepare for the World Cruise I am happy to assist.  You could post on CC or reach us through the contact page on our Blog.

 

Keith

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4 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Mickb:

 

Let me begin by saying that with lots of Crystal Cruises my wife and I are very comfortable sailing Crystal.

 

Also, we have sailed on just one Cunard Cruise.  That was a crossing in the QM2.

 

We were in a Queens Grill Suite.

 

It was not a World Cruise.

 

The Queen Grill Restaurant was lovely.  You had your own table for the evening and you could come at anytime.  The food was quite good and either the head waiter or Maitre d' could prepare food at the table if you requested this.   We ate all meals there; breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 

The reason is that we liked the restaurant and didn't care for the other dining venues.  While that is a plus for a short cruise if we were on an extended voyage dining at one restaurant could get boring.  Maybe on a long cruise we would have to try the other dining venues but I think we would miss the superb service in the Queens Grill and the overall food.  

 

So for me the dining would be a problem overtime.

 

Now that we are used to inclusive on Crystal when we sailed Cunard we had to pay for all drinks and we missed not having inclusive.  They did have a lounge for those in Princess and Queens Grill and I believe on the full World Cruise the World Cruisers have either that lounge or some dedicated area but others would know better such as Ricki who has done a full World Cruise with them.

 

I liked the lectures and on the QM2 the Planetarium and some of the enrichments.

 

The suite we were in was worn and I was surprised they let it go that much but I do know they renovated them.  The butler was not a butler as we know butlers on other lines such as Crystal and even Celebrity.  I am not a wine snob but the two bottles they provided with the Cunard name I could not drink.  We tried each one and got rid of the wine.

 

The service was good and there are a lot of nice traditions that Cunard follows but it is not Crystal Cruises even if I think back to sailing on each Crystal ship for the very first time when we did not know the crew.

 

I have not sailed the other two Cunard ships.  This might seem like a small thing but I was shocked at how few laundry rooms that they had on QM2 for guest use and can't see how we could get our laundry done.

 

The last time I checked the price point was quite a bit lower on Cunard than Crystal so I would not expect the quality to be the same.  

 

Although we have 50+ people on this full World Cruise who never cruised Crystal before my recommendation would be to try out Crystal and if you are thinking of Cunard to try them out.  If you try out Crystal you would get some discounts off the World Cruise if you booked it while on the cruise which would be a 2.5% Crystal Society savings and a 2.5% on board booking savings plus you would know whether or not you would want to do a World Cruise with Crystal.

 

We had sailed the former Crystal Harmony and the Crystal Symphony before sailing Crystal Serenity in 2005.  We wanted to do something special in 2007 such as a 30 to 45 day cruise and we were looking at Seabourn.  However, once on board Serenity we met a couple through mutual friends who had just completed the 2005 World Cruise earlier in the year and walked us through that.  We also fell in love with Serenity.  Things such as the wide wrap around Promenade Deck were big pluses for us as we felt we could not only get exercise out there but also we could get away from it all.  We felt the same way about the public rooms.  After we finished the first of two back to back cruises we felt at home on the ship and with the crew.  It was the first ship we sailed that after a few days I knew my way around as everything was laid out in a logical manner.  

 

I hope this helps.  I am very respectful of all cruise lines as they all have a following.  While on the QM2 crossing that followed the end of the World Cruises and we met people from not only QM2 but the other Cunard ships who sailed the full World Cruise and clearly they liked Cunard.

 

For us though we prefer Crystal.

 

Keith

Thank you Keith for this very thoughtful reply. I visited Serenity when she was in Southampton a few years ago and thought the public rooms lovely. The cabins were smaller that I had anticipated. Your comments about the all inclusiveness aboard Crystal is pertinent - a 90 day bar bill could be quite indigestible.

I agree that we should be a Short cruise to try the product and then make a choice.

i enjoy your blog enormously - thank you for making the effort to do it.

 

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WELCOME TO DAKAR, SENEGAL

 

We are on schedule to arrive to Dakar in less than two hours.

 

We received to our rooms last night information that Serenity will no longer bunker at Dakar so the time in which guests need to be back to the ship has been adjusted to 10:00 PM.   This is good news for those who would like to be out later in the evening.  This is not something I recommend but as they say choice is good.  :classic_biggrin:

 

We also received a landing type of card to carry with us at all times we are ashore.

 

The good news is that we move the clocks back one hour for the final time of this voyage.  Payback time will come as I believe we will move the clocks forward on three separate occasions before this voyage ends.

 

A special program which I wrote about is the Ocean Views.  On this World Cruise we had two Ocean Views earlier in the World Cruise and on this segment one yesterday and I believe one more before the voyage ends.

 

I greatly enjoy the program as there is one host, three to four panelists (this world cruise three) and using hand held devices the guests vote before and after each item is discussed.  I enjoy it when you have panelists who do have different viewpoints and when they discuss and not argue them.  In most cases they do just that as they did yesterday.  

 

I am providing a summary from yesterday.  My apologies if there are any typos.  And speaking of typos as I have mentioned I am writing a Blog, posting on another social site and trying to create new write-ups for the Cruise Critic live reports.  It is not possible for me to reread what I write and therefore there will be errors from time to time.  For those of you who write blogs and/or live reports or just send one e-mail home a week about the trip you will appreciate how time consuming this is.  

 

OK, back to yesterday and the summary.  Some of the results surprised me in terms of how many people thought the same.

 

OCEAN VIEWS

 

The panel consisted of Tony Leon, (Former Ambassador from South Africa to Argentina) Tom DeFrank (Presidential Writer) and Eugene Robinson (Pulitzer Prize Writer) with Moderator Ken Rees

 

Questions Posed to the Audience and they answer via hand held devices.

 

Where is the audience from?

 

193 from North America, 28 from Europe, 3 from Asia and 18 from Australia.

 

What station do you prefer to watch?

 

81 Fox, 30 CNN, 73 MSNBC and 74 BBC.

 

What are you Political Views?

 

51 Left, 63 Right,  147 Center

 

Has President Trump’s Presidency Improved or Lowered America’s Standing in the World?

 

America’s Standing in the World Reduced - 172

 

America’s Standing in the World Remained The same -  54

 

America’s Standing in the World appears stronger and more resolute these days. – 32

 

After the discussion.

 

America’s Standing in the World Reduced - 185

 

America’s Standing in the World Remained The same -  47

 

America’s Standing in the World appears stronger and more resolute these days. – 20

 

What should the West do about Africa?  Background is that  China is  funding a great deal of African countries.

 

The West should move swiftly to engage more in Africa. – 173

 

The West should keep its distance from Africa. -  41

 

As Bolton from the USA says, it is Africa’s Call to  make and to choose the West over China/Russia. – 47

 

The West should move swiftly to engage more in Africa. – 210

 

The West should keep its distance from Africa. -  16

 

As Bolton from the USA says, it is Africa’s Call to  make and to choose the West over China/Russia. – 29

 

Will Democracy Survive Across The World

 

The Far Right is posting a risk against Democracy.  – 56

 

This is just a phase that Countries go Through.- 22

 

Government must act firmly against Hate & Extremism. – 175

 

The Far Right is posting a risk against Democracy.  – 15

 

This is just a phase that Countries go Through. - 18

 

Governments must act firmly against Hate & Extremism. – 184

 

Gun Control.

 

I support the Constitutional Right to bear Arms exactly as it stands now.    – 22

 

No something must be done and stronger Gun Control is Essential as New Zealand has Recognized -  207

 

Mental Heath is the issue- not the easy availability of Gun. – 28

 

I support the Constitutional Right to bear Arms exactly as it stands now.  – 18

 

No something must be done and stronger Gun Control is Essential as New Zealand has Recognized -  214

 

Mental Heath is the issue- not the easy availability of Gun. – 20

 

Ken concluded the talk on a light topic asking the panel what their advice for themselves back when they were 20.  Eugene Robinson said to pay more attention in class and to read more poetry.  Tony DeFrank said know your parents are not so stupid.  Tony Leon said that at 20 you know all the answers but when you are over 40 or 50 you need to know the questions better than the answers.  

 

Finally he asked the panelists for reasons to be more cheerful in a world that is sometimes more challenging.  Eugene Robinson said that in the past couple of decades that many have been lifted out of poverty so the long Ark is bending in the right direction. Tony DeFrank said that in his 50 years in Washington he has covered War, Assassination of a President, two attempted Presidential Assassinations and other challenges but that we are still here as a country and he thinks America is a country of survivors.  Tony Leon said that his job as an opposition leader was to be pessimistic but he has found a book called Fact Fullness and ten things are better than you think.  His point is that we tend to focus on negativity and while the world is bad it  is getting better.

 

Regardless of what one thinks about each item discussed we really enjoy the format of Ocean Views.  It allows for a discussion of each item in a calm manner and also an opportunity to see what our fellow guests think before and after the discussion.

 

I will  close now.  I'll  have Blog updated  later today.

 

This is the daily Reflections program from today.

 

Reflections.pdf

 

Keith

 

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13 hours ago, Mickb said:

Thank you Keith for this very thoughtful reply. I visited Serenity when she was in Southampton a few years ago and thought the public rooms lovely. The cabins were smaller that I had anticipated. Your comments about the all inclusiveness aboard Crystal is pertinent - a 90 day bar bill could be quite indigestible.

I agree that we should be a Short cruise to try the product and then make a choice.

i enjoy your blog enormously - thank you for making the effort to do it.

 

 

17 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

JBL919, you will get both the 2.5% Crystal Society Savings and the 2.% On Board Booking Savings for the 2021 World Cruise.  The On-Board Booking Savings should be automatically applied either right before or once you are on board the 2020 World Cruise.  Once you are on board the 2020 World Cruise have your TA followup with Crystal reservations to be sure it has been applied to the 2021 booking and if it has not they can get it applied.  The Crystal Society savings will automatically be applied as well.

 

You did right booking the 2021 and not waiting.  It is a very popular cruise from what I have seen and heard. 

 

When we booked our first Crystal Cruise for 2002 we were so sure we would like it we booked one for 2003 before boarding the one in 2002 to be sure we would get our desired accommodation so I fully understand the logic of booking before you sail the first time.

 

If I can help you with any questions as you prepare for the World Cruise I am happy to assist.  You could post on CC or reach us through the contact page on our Blog.

 

Keith

Keith we appreciate your reply and especially the information about the discounts we can get for the 2021 WC. Yes, we did this reservation early as that particular cruise has numerous places we are anxious to visit. I look forward to contacting you as our 2020 WC approaches as we are coming up with more and more questions! Will likely contact you through your contact page on your blog. Thank you for being so kind, accessible and informative!  Janie

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Keith, I have been enjoying your discussion group here and on your blog also.  As you said, it does take a lot of time and I wanted you to know that, along with the many others who mentioned it, I appreciate it.  Thank you so much for sharing your experience on this amazing world cruise.  My husband and I were on Serenity for the first two segments (LA to Perth), and your posts have helped me cope with my Crystal Withdrawal Syndrome.  And maybe prolonged it, too, but that's okay.  LOL

 

This is probably something that you have no control over, but whenever I have tried the links to the Reflections here in CC, it only gives me this message:

Sorry, there is a problem

This attachment is not available. It may have been removed or the person who shared it may not have permission to share it to this location.

Error code: 2C171/1

 

The message from CC was there even when other readers said the link was working, which I find very strange.  

 

The links from you blog worked fine until yesterday.  Now they still allow me to view the Reflections, but not to save (or print)  the downloaded copy.  The menus are doing the same thing, but I don't know if they worked before because I had not tried to save them before.  At the top of the page, there is a red band with this message:

An error occurred please try again
I don't know if you have any control over these issues, but I wanted to let you know.  I wonder if Crystal is blocking the information?  If any other readers have gotten the same messages and figured out a way to resolve it, please post any suggestions.  Thank you!

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36 minutes ago, SusieQft said:

Keith, I have been enjoying your discussion group here and on your blog also.  As you said, it does take a lot of time and I wanted you to know that, along with the many others who mentioned it, I appreciate it.  Thank you so much for sharing your experience on this amazing world cruise.  My husband and I were on Serenity for the first two segments (LA to Perth), and your posts have helped me cope with my Crystal Withdrawal Syndrome.  And maybe prolonged it, too, but that's okay.  LOL

 

This is probably something that you have no control over, but whenever I have tried the links to the Reflections here in CC, it only gives me this message:

Sorry, there is a problem

This attachment is not available. It may have been removed or the person who shared it may not have permission to share it to this location.

Error code: 2C171/1

 

The message from CC was there even when other readers said the link was working, which I find very strange.  

 

The links from you blog worked fine until yesterday.  Now they still allow me to view the Reflections, but not to save (or print)  the downloaded copy.  The menus are doing the same thing, but I don't know if they worked before because I had not tried to save them before.  At the top of the page, there is a red band with this message:

An error occurred please try again
I don't know if you have any control over these issues, but I wanted to let you know.  I wonder if Crystal is blocking the information?  If any other readers have gotten the same messages and figured out a way to resolve it, please post any suggestions.  Thank you!

Close notification

I think that you may be getting that message because you are not logged in.

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20 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

 

 

OCEAN VIEWS

 

The panel consisted of Tony Leon, (Former Ambassador from South Africa to Argentina) Tom DeFrank (Presidential Writer) and Eugene Robinson (Pulitzer Prize Writer) with Moderator Ken Rees

 

Questions Posed to the Audience and they answer via hand held devices.

 

Where is the audience from?

 

193 from North America, 28 from Europe, 3 from Asia and 18 from Australia.

 

What station do you prefer to watch?

 

81 Fox, 30 CNN, 73 MSNBC and 74 BBC.

 

What are you Political Views?

 

51 Left, 63 Right,  147 Center

 

Has President Trump’s Presidency Improved or Lowered America’s Standing in the World?

 

America’s Standing in the World Reduced - 172

 

America’s Standing in the World Remained The same -  54

 

America’s Standing in the World appears stronger and more resolute these days. – 32

 

After the discussion.

 

America’s Standing in the World Reduced - 185

 

America’s Standing in the World Remained The same -  47

 

America’s Standing in the World appears stronger and more resolute these days. – 20

 

What should the West do about Africa?  Background is that  China is  funding a great deal of African countries.

 

The West should move swiftly to engage more in Africa. – 173

 

The West should keep its distance from Africa. -  41

 

As Bolton from the USA says, it is Africa’s Call to  make and to choose the West over China/Russia. – 47

 

The West should move swiftly to engage more in Africa. – 210

 

The West should keep its distance from Africa. -  16

 

As Bolton from the USA says, it is Africa’s Call to  make and to choose the West over China/Russia. – 29

 

Will Democracy Survive Across The World

 

The Far Right is posting a risk against Democracy.  – 56

 

This is just a phase that Countries go Through.- 22

 

Government must act firmly against Hate & Extremism. – 175

 

The Far Right is posting a risk against Democracy.  – 15

 

This is just a phase that Countries go Through. - 18

 

Governments must act firmly against Hate & Extremism. – 184

 

Gun Control.

 

I support the Constitutional Right to bear Arms exactly as it stands now.    – 22

 

No something must be done and stronger Gun Control is Essential as New Zealand has Recognized -  207

 

Mental Heath is the issue- not the easy availability of Gun. – 28

 

I support the Constitutional Right to bear Arms exactly as it stands now.  – 18

 

No something must be done and stronger Gun Control is Essential as New Zealand has Recognized -  214

 

Mental Heath is the issue- not the easy availability of Gun. – 20

 

 

 

 

Hi Keith,

 

Thanks for the information about the Ocean View panel.  The statistics were very interesting.  

 

If you think of it, tell Richard Puccini and his wife that Pam & Bob from LA said Hi.

 

Pam

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SusieQFT I am glad that you are enjoying the updates since you both departed Serenity.  Neilridd thank you for resoliving SusieQFT's issues seeing Reflections.  Well done.

 

Pam you are very welcome.  I found the statistics interesting as well as I did from the previous Ocean Views.  That's part of what I enjoy about the program plus all of the discussion and various points of views being shared.  I will be sure to give your best to Richard and to his lovely wife for you and Bob.

 

Keith

 

 

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN TO PORTO NOVO, CAPE VERDE

 

We are sailing towards our last port-of-call in Africa before we head over to Europe.

 

Since we did a private tour with Crystal Cruises in 2014 of Dakar we didn't do a tour yesterday.   These are a few photos from that tour of Goree Island.  We took the ferry over there and walked the Island.  Island is very small.  It was where the Slaves were held before being sold.  

 

First two photos of  Slave Cell and  Statue outside the House Of Slaves.

 

IMG_3028.thumb.jpg.c1b659fba7acadb265dfd36af7fe5d48.jpgIMG_3011.thumb.jpg.0e79a86f4f0fd73f5fb6c28ea1dfb57e.jpg

 

 

The next photo gives you a feel for much of the Architecture.

 

IMG_3012.thumb.jpg.c947800eeda539bb3a430b17d487da03.jpg

 

 

This is a monument from the USA that was given to the Country during President Clinton's time in office.

 

IMG_3017.thumb.jpg.fb045ffbd19a1b9ce42352986733cc18.jpg

 

I ended up walking around the pier where there were many locals selling items.  I made some donations without purchasing anything.  I asked the people I chatted with if I could take their photos/video  and that question was asked before I made a donation to each of them.    

 

I am having trouble starting a new paragraph below the video so I will post this now and come back in a few minutes with a new post.

 

Keith

 

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ON THE ROAD TO PORTO NOVO, CAPE VERDE

 

We made yesterday a sea day other than my short visit to the pier where many items were being sold.

 

While some people stayed on the ship many people were off touring as this was their first visit to this location as we did in 2014.

 

Outside weather was pleasant with a breeze and highs in the 70's (Fahrenheit).

 

Last evening we dined at Prego and overall they had less guests than normal reflecting many who were likely on long day tours and dined at another venue or in their rooms.  In fact, some of the Prego waiters assisted at Waterside until additional guests arrived at Prego about mid-way through our meal.    

 

I had one of the new items which was added to the menu served without the soup which is the Pistachio Crusted Grilled Kingklip.

 

IMG_4811.thumb.jpg.37503849dc212a88f7ef760a19880bfa.jpg

 

I believe another new item is the Butter Poached Lobster which Anne Marie had as her appetizer.  I think I will try it the next time around.

 

IMG_4808.thumb.jpg.10a8199e72bc726f9c8e6e3fb69cf25b.jpg

 

I had the Tuna Crudo for my appetizer.

 

IMG_4807.thumb.jpg.ffc26e5861c31d49e0f8e8225a5b9948.jpg

 

Anne Marie had a half portion of Veal Scaloppine as her entree.

 

IMG_4813.thumb.jpg.bc0b77e8a07c7c40b8d76e27074f50fe.jpg


We both had Caesar salad which we ask for just a little amount of dressing.

 

IMG_4810.thumb.jpg.8194888e5c981732700c65b82fc1a0e6.jpg

 

Our waiter for the evening was Azem who is from Turkey.  We were saying to him that it is nice that Crystal is returning to Istanbul on  the 2022 World Cruise and how much we have enjoyed our visits to Istanbul.  Without hesitation he said yes on April 16, 2022.   

 

Last night was White Night Extravaganza so we wore something white.

 

IMG_4805.thumb.jpg.ccfab5ff926d1e55731f70d91ca9dd83.jpgIMG_4801.thumb.jpg.2dab9d1d56279419203d15586dcaf843.jpg 

 

Several entertainers and lecturers came on-board yesterday in Dakar.  We saw Mark Merchant briefly last  evening and look forward to seeing organist Hector and his lovely wife who are now on-board.  Two former Ambassadors boarded along with another seasoned lecturer and the other lecturers remain on-board so there is a lot of talent.   In fact, the two Ambassadors speak today.

 

Ambassador Adam Ereli served as Ambassador to Bahrain from 2007 to  2011 and served 24 years as  a Foreign Service  Officer for the USA.  He speaks at  10:00  AM.  After his lecture Ambassador Marc  Ginsberg speaks.  He was United States Ambassador to Morocco between 1994 and 1998.

 

As an example of the entertainment, this evening The MacDonald Brothers perform two shows.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith 

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WELCOME TO PORTO NOVO, CAPE VERDE  

 

I mentioned this the other day but just wanted to repeat myself.  As many of you know I am writing a Blog and also posting on one other social media site.  At the same time I try to create new posts on this thread rather than copying and pasting from the Blog to keep this thread fresh.  Unfortunately the day  has 24 hours and there is not enough time in the day to proofread what I have written and still enjoy all aspects of the cruise and have time to sleep.  As such, you will find typos, grammar issues and from time-to-time some humorous narrative where my computer has changed what I have written.  If I had another three hours in the day I could make my writings pretty close to error free but that isn't going to happen.  LOL  :classic_laugh:😎

 

We are scheduled to anchor off this port-of-call in an hour or so.  

 

This is a new port for us and I suspect for most people on this sailing.  During his talk from the bridge Captain Birger mentioned this would be a first visit for him.

 

It is our last African port before we sail to Europe.  

 

This is a small area and we have not planned a tour.  We do have tours coming up for Europe starting when we return to Monte Carlo going outside the area to see additional areas that we have not seen before.  Last Fall we took a tour to the village of Eze and explored the city of Nice.

 

I enjoyed yesterdays' enrichment program and watched the lectures given in the morning by two Ambassadors.  I especially enjoyed the talk given by Marc Ginsberg.  Although a lecturer who will give talks on a couple of Crystal Cruises a year I especially enjoy that he makes the talks current and avoids as much as possible repeating previous lectures.  

 

I am very much appreciating the ability to watch the talks on-demand so we can start them whenever we want and also should we need to we can fast forward them or move onto another lecture.

 

We had lunch at Marketplace yesterday as we always do.  We've only experienced this a couple of times previously and that was the theme of the buffet which was  Filipino specialties.  Several members of the Serenity team showed Anne Marie with pride the various special dishes which were prepared for lunch.  This includes entrees and even desserts.  Unfortunately neither one of us brought our iPhones with us so I didn't take photos.  

 

Before dinner we sat at the Crystal Plaza (Plaza not Cove) and arrived mid-way through the Jewelry Fashion Show hosted by Hubert and Karen.  We saw at least one person from CC in the show and several other people who we know.  These shows are very well attended.  While we were sitting at the Plaza we continued to see fellow guests making stops over to the Future Cruise Sales Consultant Desk and I don't think those chairs ever cooled down until sometime beyond the official office hours published.  Several people had in their hands the World Cruise 2022 brochure.  

 

We enjoyed another lovely dinner at Waterside.  Anne Marie and I were speaking with another couple the other day and talking about the dining experience.  In the USA especially the focus at most dining venues is to get you in and out so they can turn the tables over several times.  I understand  it from a profitability point of view but when we go out for dinner we do enjoy it served at a leisurely pace.  In the USA when we are seated we often tell the waitstaff that we would like to take our time.  In other words, "SLOW IT DOWN".  LOL. 

 

One of the aspects of dining with Crystal is not being rushed at dinner.     Last night the two of us enjoyed a leisurely meal at Waterside with lots of conversation and a wonderful dining experience.  These are a few food photos.

 

These photos are from my dinner which was:

 

Baked Onion Tart.

 

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Salad

 

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Grouper Fillet

 

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I am including the Reflections Daily Program from today.

 

Reflections.pdf

 

One piece of "sad" news in the program.  As I had mentioned in prior posts payback day is coming and it comes this evening when we forward the clocks by one hour.  This is the first of three times we will forward the clock before this segment comes to an end.  😂  I so very much enjoy turning the clock back.  LOL. :classic_biggrin:

 

Well being of the belief that one should never close on something sad I will close with some positive thoughts.  In general, I have found most people who have been on one or more segments of the World Cruise or the entire World Cruise to be very positive.  That is not to say that everything is perfect 100% of the time because that is not going to happen anywhere.  However, if I compare the overall views on this World Cruise to previous ones I hear very little complaining and most what I hear is positive.  

 

I will close now.  If anyone has questions or comments please do post them here or on our Blog.  

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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14 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

As many of you know I am writing a Blog and also posting on one other social media site.  At the same time I try to create new posts on this thread rather than copying and pasting from the Blog to keep this thread fresh.  Unfortunately the day  has 24 hours and there is not enough time in the day to proofread what I have written and still enjoy all aspects of the cruise and have time to sleep.  As such, you will find typos, grammar issues and from time-to-time some humorous narrative where my computer has changed what I have written.  If I had another three hours in the day I could make my writings pretty close to error free but that isn't going to happen.  LOL  :classic_laugh:😎

Keith, I find it absolutely mind boggling that you manage to post such comprehensive reports on all of these platforms.  I always just assumed that you figured out a way of stretching a day by 4 hours or so.🤣

I know I speak for many of us when I say that your efforts are greatly appreciated!

Bob

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Keith - I agree that restaurants these days are always trying to push people out as quickly as possible, the same goes here in Australia. We love that we are able to slow it down on Crystal.

 

I noticed that you two eat at the same four top table each night at Waterside - quick question...with open dining are the staff usually ameanable to two people sitting at a four top? With the two tops so close together in the new setup this may be a good option for us.

 

Glen

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12 minutes ago, Fly Fast Cruise Slow said:

Keith - I agree that restaurants these days are always trying to push people out as quickly as possible, the same goes here in Australia. We love that we are able to slow it down on Crystal.

 

I noticed that you two eat at the same four top table each night at Waterside - quick question...with open dining are the staff usually ameanable to two people sitting at a four top? With the two tops so close together in the new setup this may be a good option for us.

 

Glen

 

Hi, Glen, not Keith, but I think the reason Keith and Anne Marie get the 4 top is that they eat right after Waterside opens at 6 PM, so they are often finished before things get busy. 

 

Patty

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Keith, please add me to the list of people who appreciate how much time and effort you put into your posts and blogs.  I haven't had time to read your blog as we were too busy in NZ and Australia.  (We loved the Shangri-La in Sydney.)  Now we are home, it's back to work, and I love that I have been able to catch up on some of the highlights of your cruise on CC.  I will definitely read your blog once things slow down.  As well, whenever we travel, I always read your blog(s) to see what you have written as it helps me plan our trips/cruises.  Thank you for keeping your old blogs as well as updating your blog on whatever current cruise you are sailing.  

All the best.

Caroline

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2 hours ago, Texas Tillie said:

 

Hi, Glen, not Keith, but I think the reason Keith and Anne Marie get the 4 top is that they eat right after Waterside opens at 6 PM, so they are often finished before things get busy. 

 

Patty

 

Hi Patty.

 

Not necessarily so. While it is true that Keith and Anne Marie are in Waterside almost BEFORE it opens each night (:classic_tongue:😁), on our two segments we generally arrived around 7:15 - 7:30 each night and Leo seated at one of three four-top tables on the port side of the upper circle. We didn't ask for those tables, that's just where he seated us. Even the night we had Monica's cousins onboard for dinner, we were in the same area, but at a different four-top. Actually, the only night we didn't sit in that area Leo seated us at "Keith and Anne Marie's table"!! And we all had a good laugh at that!! Our take on this is that with all of the other options available, open seating has allowed people to "spread out" for dinner. In the five weeks we were on Serenity I can only think of two nights Waterside was "crowded", but even then there were empty tables, just not as many.

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Bob, thank you very much for your very nice comments.  They are most  appreciated.  Best to you both.

 

Caroline, thank you so much for your nice comments which  are  also very much appreciated.  I am  glad to hear  that you enjoyed the Shangri La in Sydney which we also enjoy very much.  I hope you  had a  wonderful time on  your trip. We love New Zealand and Australia. 

 

Glen, thank  you for sharing your  experience  in Australian when it comes to dining.  We found the waitstaff team on  both ships to be terrific when it came to dining and where they seated us.   We are pretty easy since  we arrive at 6:00 PM or shortly after that time on a regular  basis, with a handful of exceptions.   I would say that for two people the tables by the windows tend to be most popular compared to those in the middle.  

 

On the topic of how full Waterside is, that clearly varies by voyage. How full the voyage is, the mix of port and sea days, if there are groups that are on board as well as the demographics are all factors.  I am reminded that on this year’s Holiday Cruise I think it is fair to say that we had a group that was at a higher age than the typical holiday group and on some nights at 6:00 PM the queue was all the way out to the shore excursion desk on some nights and I am not exaggerating this.  On the World Cruise with the overall age being lower than this year’s World Cruise, people who tend to spread out to more dining venues and also many who were already used to not arriving at 6:00 PM, on most nights at 6:00 PM the queue has been relatively short most of the time but again this can vary by voyage.

 

Keith

 

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ON THE ROAD TO SANTA CRUZ de la PALMA, CANARY ISLANDS

 

Good morning from Serenity.  It feels earlier than the actual time since we forwarded the clocks one hour as part of what I refer to payback time for setting the clock backwards. LOL.  We will be forwarding the clocks two more hours forward on two separate occasions before the World Cruise ends in Monte Carlo.  Ugh!!   LOL. Even for me, it was challenging to make my early morning visit to the Fitness Center.  Somehow I did though.

 

Let me begin with yesterday.   About two-thirds of the ship were out on tours yesterday at Porto Novo which is the  last port of Africa for the World Cruise.  We are now sailing  towards Europe.  I do believe to get the most out of this Island a tour was the way to go.  Guests went with either half day tour or a tour close to 8/9 hours.  In general guests we spoke with were happy to have taken the tour other than some being tired.  

 

I just went off on my own and knew this would limit what I could see. This was a tender port and at the drop off dock it moved as did the bridge so it was important that everyone be careful.  There were times that the tenders were rocking quite a bit and other times when they were not.  You would look at the water and could see this as there were time with heavy sways and the white caps and other times when things were calm.  It changed often.  

 

In my case once ashore I walked mainly on cobblestone like roads with just a short amount of sidewalk.  I walked over to town and also in the opposite direction.  I did see a lot of toursists.  

 

Once back on the ship we made it a sea day.  For only the second time we watched a movie from the on-demand movie selection.  This is one that I believe came out in 2018 about Neil Armstrong who is the first human to walk on the moon.  I also played a lot of Paddle Tennis with three other guests who did what I did and just went over to the port without a tour.  It was a lot of fun and even on the ship the weather changed often from a breeze to no breeze.  

 

We dined at Prego last evening.  For those of you who remember the Limoncello Soufflé it was the additional item.  I used to have a running joke with one of the waiters when it was on the menu and before he took the order he would mention that if you wanted this dessert to please let him know when ordering the meal.  Each time I would say “next time”.  One of the people dining with us last evening did have it.  Since the additional item usually not a dessert when it is explained they always say the entrée can be ordered as an entrée or a small appetizer.   After Petar mentioned the Limoncello I asked if it could be ordered a small appetizer or as the entree.   LOL.  

 

As usual, the food was wonderful last evening.  I view dining at Prego as dining at an old world restaurant in a small town/village.  Kudos to the waitstaff team and to those in the galley.  They do an amazing job.

 

The evening entertainment featured Mark Merchant.

 

I think that most people who have been on-board since the start of the World Cruise are looking forward to Europe.  This is no different than our experience on other World Cruises which include Europe.  While most people including ourselves love visiting areas around the world there are times that we are ready to go back to a more orderly area.  


I am including some photos and video and today’s Daily Reflection Program.  One of the videos shows guests as they are making their way from the tender so you could see the tender area.  Crystal personnel did a wonderful job assisting guests off and on the tenders.

 

As usual I welcome comments and questions.  

 

Cheers,


Keith

 

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ON THE ROAD TO Santa Cruz de la PALMA, CANARY ISLANDS

 

Today marks the 100 day mark since we boarded Crystal Serenity in December.  Time goes by quickly when you are having fun.  We do enjoy each and every minute of this adventure.  

 

Yesterday we enjoyed our first of two sea days with plenty on the scheduled.  There were two very interesting lectures given by two Ambassadors; Tony Leon and Marc Ginsberg.  They are both charismatic speakers.  We listened to both of them and learned a great deal.  The timing of Marc Ginsberg's topic was perfect as he spoke about the Golan Heights.  While I don't always agree with 100% of his views, one of the things I enjoy is that he does not repeat lectures from one year to the next and we have been on cruises with him when a major event occurred and he created a new presentation to cover the issue.  My pet peeve when it comes to lecturers who return year after year is that they should recognize that some in the audience may have seen their previous talks so it is important that they keep them fresh and up-to-date and by this I mean creating new presentations.  

 

Yesterday's weather was nice.  It began with slightly cooler weather and it was breezy outside but by late morning the weather began to warm and it became a little less breezy.  We realize that the morning's will bring cooler weather this time of year  in Europe.  The Paddle Tennis courts reflected the nice weather as we had a big turnout with both courts in use while others waited to play.  Several people were sitting outside by the pool or under the shade and enjoying a relaxing sea day.  

 

Last evening was the third of four Black Tie Optional (BTO) nights on the ship.  I believe Waterside and Prego were the more popular dining venues.  I saw a couple of waiters from Umi Uma assisting at Waterside.  It is terrific how they move waitstaff around during the day, afternoon and evening.  As I've mentioned waitstaff now serve canapés before dinner at the Crystal Cove/Plaza, Palm Court and Avenue Saloon which is a difference from years past.  Sommeliers rotate more between Prego/Umi Umi to Silk and the Brazilian Restaurant.  The same goes for other positions in Food and Beverage.  

 

These are some photos from last evening at the Crystal Plaza and  Waterside.  

 

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Food was delicious.  I had caviar and Anne Marie had matzah ball soup.  We both enjoyed green salads.  Entree was dover sole for myself which was perfectly deboned by our Head Waiter and Beef Wellington for Anne Marie.  I didn't  get a photo

of the soup nor the Beef Wellington.

 

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Wine was terrific as well.  We had Chablis and I had a Cabernet.

 

Lots of entertainment with a highlight being the concern performance featuring the iconic performers of yesterday.  We didn't see the  Ana and Humberto take part in the Latin Dance Hour but knowing their talent I am sure it was a special treat for those in attendance.

 

We close out the end of March with a fabulous program on  Serenity. for today.

 

This includes three lectures including one by Eugene Robinson about the news and the future of the industry along with one by Ken Rees about our next two ports of calls.

 

Adding to today is a Sunday Jazz Bruch Buffet with a start time of 11:30 AM.

 

Tomorrow we arrive to Santa Cruz de la Palma of the Canary Islands as we begin the start of April.  The World Cruise is winding down but there is lots planned for the next week including the POPs concert.

 

Several guests will continue on one or more of the next sailings including 50+  on the full World Cruise and others who are on -board for one or more segments. 

 

Our Blog is updated through yesterday afternoon.  It can be found a www.followourtrips.com and click on the current blog tab found at the top of the page.

 

As I post today's Reflections program has not added to the on-board website.  When it is added I will post it.

 

Keith

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