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READY-TO-GO - LIVE  REPORTS FROM CRYSTAL SERENITY FOLLOWING A “MAGICAL FAMILY” GETAWAY


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Keith,

Thank you for all of your posting here and on your blog, it is so wonderful to see you and Anne Marie having a great time!

 

Question- Stickman1990 has indicated that he has no problem posting photos to Facebook, but if I understand correctly, the very same photos take a very long time to load on CC.  Have you found that to be the case as well, in that loading photos to your blog and FB is no problem, but loading to CC is?  If that is the case, it would appear that the problem is with CC as opposed to the slow ship internet that people have been complaining about lately on this forum, as well as on other cruise line forums.

 

Keep loving your time on this wonderful cruise!

 

Bob

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Bob, funny  you ask this  question.  Right  now  for one of only two times  photos are running slow to FB.  However,  Internet was down for several hours and came up about 30 minutes ago so that might be  the  reason.

 

In general my photos  post fast  to FB (including video) and photos post a little slower to CC and same for the  videos but it's  really been no  big  deal.   I  do  two different posts on  FB (my own page  and  the  Crystal Society Family Group page) and  CC  and  my Blog.  My Blog is the toughest  and that  is  because of all of the background that  is part of the Blog.

 

I can promise  you the problems we have  experienced are not CC. 

Keith

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GOOD MORNING FROM BORA BORA


Yesterday was another  fun sea day as we sailed to Bora Bora.

 

Mother Nature couldn't make up  her mind so we  went from rain to sun to rain to sun and back and forth a couple more times.

 

In between the rain I was able to run on the Promenade Deck a few times and saw one rainbow.

 

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For the first time of this World  Cruise we had Ocean  Views which is a panel discussion where questions are asked and the audience participates and  votes with Hand Held  Electronic Devices.

 

I liked the first question which  was to test out the voting.  They asked which ship you are sailing on.  Some answers  included  Serenity, Symphony and Titanic.  Titanic got several votes.  Do you  think that was to be funny or some truly don't remember where they are.  LOL.

 

The World Games Closing Ceremony was held.  Medals were given our for the  last few days.  They announced the winners by Country.   Team  USA had  the most medals.   The Crystal Ensemble of Dancers and Singers performed as the event came to a close.

 

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We are now  anchored off Bora Bora. As forecasted it is raining.  The good news is we have two days  so we'll play today by  ear.  We have been to this beautiful island three other times.

 

Keith

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As I mentioned in another thread food in Waterside has been better  than ever IMHO.

 

I wanted to give a shout out to Prego since we dined there last evening.

 

Loved the crab salad appetizer.

 

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The  additional entree was Sea Bass over pasta.  Delicious.

 

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Some grilled vegetables.

 

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All topped off with  Italian Wine.

 

Love it.

 

Keith

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BORA BORA - SECOND  TIME WAS  A CHARM - IT'S  ALL ABOUT TIMING

 

Yesterday, it was a rainy day but mother nature cooperated at times.

 

In the morning I planned to take the tender over to Bora Bora and Island we have been to on three previous visits.  Since we  have done tours the plan was just to walk around.  When I got down to Deck 4 we waited about ten minute to board the tender.  I had my shipboard card swiped and with raincoat that comes slightly  below my waste on I walked outside the ship and it was pouring cats and dogs.  In second my shorts were very wet and I turned around and returned to the ship.

 

After lunch I made a second  attempt and was successful.   I walked around on my own.  Wet was the norm for the day  with lots of puddles to navigate around.  I was fortunate.  A little while after I returned it poured and I mean it poured.   You couldn't even see the island from the ship.

 

As I was walking  around I  spotted this vehicle.  I think you could purchase it at a great price.  

 

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Last evening  we hosted a Vintage Room Dinner.  When you do it as your own group you can have up to fourteen people set.  The price is the same no matter how many people attend.  Less people does translate to less wine consumed  which can allow for more unique bottles of wine  to be served.

 

As we have done in the past, we sat with the Head Sommelier (Jiri who is now the permanent Head Sommelier) and brainstormed about the dinner and decided on the food (we selected that with some input from Jiri) and the wine (Jiri mainly selects this with some input from us).  We do enjoy changing things up by having one or two wines with a twist to it.  

 

This time we decided to blind taste one of the wines.  On the menu there was no description and on the table the wine was in a bag marked number 1.    The idea was based on color,  smell and taste to determine not only the grapes but whether it was "old" or "new" world.  It wasn't an easy answer unless you  knew  it in advance  as Anne  Marie  and I did.   LOL.

 

Wine was  amazing.  Food was equally amazing.  A very special evening.

 

The first two  photo show each side of the  table.   Since  we had the blind tasting the wines bottles were on each side of the table.

 

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The menu.

 

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I've been closing with "Cheers" On my live posts and "Cheers's is appropriate for last evening as  well.

 

Cheers

 

Keith

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Just now, vistaman said:

Great to hear Jiri is now the permanent head sommelier -  and great wines as well - despite I no not know the Australian red and the dessert wine.

Really  enjoyed  both of them.

 

The  Australian Red was quite good.  

 

Some of the wines were fairly new to Crystal this  year but Jiri  had tasted them.

 

We  had one wine with only 10,000  bottles produced.

 

Such a wonderful experience as always.

 

Very happy for Jiri.  We had him is first year as a Sommelier and there he is very special.  For us it's  like watching our own children grow and we are so happy to see his progression.  

 

Keith

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Please pass Suzanne and my congratulations to Jiri.  We enjoyed watching him grow in both his knowledge and presentation of wines.  I brought three special zinfandels (Rombauer Fiddletown, Opolo Reserve and V. Sattui Black Sears (Howell Mountain) on board when Bart was the Head Sommelier --- and with his help did a tasting for him, Jiri and Oleg (now working in London).  Please pass him our best.  Hopefully we will see early next year.

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Keith—it looks like you’re all having a great time! I’ve been lurking for a few days. The world games sound fun and the food looks as good as ever.

 

Did anyone guess wine No. 1? What was it? The dinner looked great!

 

Thanks!

Edited by CruiserFromMaine
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41 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

Cybercsp, yes you gotta love the shoe.

 

CruiserFromMaine the wine was Verite Le Desir, Sonoma County 2008.  Its composition is 61% Cabernet Franc, 31% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Malbec.

 

Keith

Interesting..not sure if I had a blended wine with four wines. Could you taste the Malbec at all? Love good wines.

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8 minutes ago, ellbon said:

Interesting..not sure if I had a blended wine with four wines. Could you taste the Malbec at all? Love good wines.

Robin, can't say I picked up on the Malbec but ovreall it was a terrific wine.

 

Keith

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BORA BORA DAY 2 & SUPER BOWL SUNDAY
 
Weather was much improved yesterday as Serenity remained anchored off Bora Bora for a second day. I often say weather can have a big impact on ones experience of a place they visit and this was the case the first day. Bora Bora is a beautiful island and its attractiveness comes out on sunny days. However, it is the rain  that makes it beautiful.   I was happy for some friends whose earlier excursion was cancelled in the morning who were able to get onto the excursion in the afternoon as the weather turned absolutely beautiful.
 
Since we have been  to this beautiful island several previous times we made Serenity our destination.  Many we know did likewise while others explored the island.
 
Super Bowl Sunday  was alive and well on Serenity.  The game was televised 1:30 PM local ships time and the feed came on at 1:00 PM.   About 40% of the guests watched the game on the big screen in the Galaxy Lounge where food and drink was also served.  It was also available for viewing in each guests room.   As those of you know who have seen the Super Bowl before at sea, the special feed does not include the network commercials.  I realize for some that is the reason they  watch the game.  Of course with the internet many can watch the commercials when they return home.  Win or lose it was an exciting game to watch as it was close for much of the time.   
 
Although we  do not sit by a window from where we were seated we could see one of the most beautiful sunsets over the Ocean we have seen on this voyage a few minutes after we arrived to Waterside for dinner.  Speaking of Waterside I've included some food photos.
 
 
 
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Also a few photos from Market Place with some buffet foods at lunch time where we go on most days for lunch.
 
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Today is Moorea. We will be anchored off this beautiful island until later in the afternoon at which time we will go the short distance to Papeete where we will dock by 7:00 PM. We've been to this beautiful island several times in the past where we did Crystal shore excursions which is why we do not have a tour planned for today.  We do have one for tomorrow.  
 
Tomorrow is the end of the current voyage.  We have some friends who after they get off will take the ferry over to Moorea and stay there for a few days prior to returning to home from Papeete.  
 
Cheers,
 
Keith
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PARADISE - BORA BORA , MOOREA &  PAPEETE

 

After Bora  Bora,  yesterday  a day  in Moorea  and last evening  we arrived to Papeete for two fully days on the island of Tahiti.

 

Yesterday  was a  beautiful day in Moorea between its beauty and the weather.  Sunny  all day brining out the colors of the landscape and the water which surrounds this beautiful island.

 

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Dinner at Prego last evening at a table by the window where we could enjoy the arrival to Papeete.   Food was delicious.  Not an Italian  wine  but very recently Conundrum Mixed White was brought on-board  and added to the inclusive wine list so we tried some of it.   

 

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Before I close a shout-out for the Odyssey At Sea Art Program and for the guests who participated it on this sailing.  Their work was on display  in the Crystal Plaza.  This is a portion of it.

 

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We have a tour planned for today.  

 

Cheers,  

 

Keith

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PAPEETE, TAHITI

 

weresiamese and Mwgw thank you for your nice comments and sppunk...thank you for the information on the Yacht.

 

Between yesterday and today we have two full days in Papeete, Tahiti.  This is our fourth time visiting there. On some visits we have done tours and others on our own.  Yesterday we did a private tour we arranged with Crystal Cruises.  The tour was incredible and we learned so much about the history of the island and its people and went all around the largest portion of the island with many stops including some special ones we will remember for the rest of our lives.  For lots of detail please visit our blog.

 

I am including a few photos from the first half of our tour and tomorrow I'l include a few for the second half.  The same is being done with the blog but many more photos on the blog for both parts of the tour.

 

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Warm Papaya Pie.  (Wow)

 

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For the two of us the tour tied in so much we have learned from schooling, on our own, from prior visits and from many lectures we have seen on prior voyages when we  sailed Tahiti.  The tour was an  example of why in addition  to visiting  new  places we also learn a  great deal  by  revising places knowing you can't do it all on one visit.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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8 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

For the two of us the tour tied in so much we have learned from schooling, on our own, from prior visits and from many lectures we have seen on prior voyages when we  sailed Tahiti.  The tour was an  example of why in addition  to visiting  new  places we also learn a  great deal  by  revising places knowing you can't do it all on one visit.

 

It’s always a great conversation for us—go back to some place we love, or explore some place new? We mix it up and do some of both. 

 

Your photos are great!

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Great pictures. We loved Papeete and Moorea when we were there about ten years ago. For your private tour through Crystal, did you tell them where you wanted to go or did they have a plan for you. I am thinking about doing the private car tours on some of the islands in Australia. 

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On 2/4/2020 at 6:19 PM, sppunk said:

Keith, that yacht you’re docked next to is brand new. Aussie James Parker launched it this past July.

I was watching things at sailaway yesterday and the yacht crew must have had a tight departure Tuesday.  There's a huge pier where Serenity's bow lines were tied and the space between that pier and the shore did not look a lot wider than the yacht.  One of my tablemates who is from Australia had little good to say about Mr. Parker.

 

Roy

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Keith, I'm really enjoying the blog and the photos.  Yesterday, I opened the new Vanity Fair magazine and there on pages 60-61 were you and Anne Marie in a beautiful ad for Crystal.  Congrats!  You've made the big time!

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