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


Keith1010
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38 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

One of my tablemates who is from Australia had little good to say about Mr. Parker.


Roy - his personal life and status is a basket case - he’s been in rehab often

 

Filthy rich with family money and high expectations from his now deceased father - it’s not all a bed of roses
 

Shades of that TV series Succession I think 

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Just now, brlight said:

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!

I am so glad you are enjoying the Blog and thank you for mentioning the Vanity Fair and for the congrats!  This is very kind of you.

 

We had no idea it was going into  the February edition until we went to the Library  a couple of days ago. I think it might be in two editions because Librarian LIezl said have you seen the Vanity Fair and  in that edition the ad was in one of  the first set of pages.

 

Keith

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For  the last couple of years I will  mention there are times Anne Marie and  I walk inside the ship if it is too hot or too cold/windy for us to walk outside on the Promenade Deck.  Anne Marie has done this for a few years and  I began to do likewise last year.  We walk inside on Deck 6 which is where three lounges are located along with the Shops, Casino and  the Bistro.  

 

Fortunately we have not worn out the carpet.  LOL.  

 

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Keith

 

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ON THE ROAD TO  RAROTONGA, COOK ISLANDS

 

In my state they often say the weather can turn on a dime.   

 

Well the same applies to the French Polynesia  Islands.

 

We have experience a rapid change in weather and I think in the  end this is part of what makes them very special and lush.

 

Yesterday  we knew a front was coming in.  We just weren't  sure at  what  time.

 

About an hour before I went up in the  afternoon  to play Paddle Tennis  it became windy with some light drizzle.  By lunch the conditions improved and I went up to play Paddle  Tennis.  All was  good until the front came closer.  All  of a  sudden  the winds picked up tremendously and  they howled.  I felt like we were surrounded by a hurricane.  However, they were close  but not right at  the ship and with the netting around us we could play but the howling continued and it was windy right near us.  A little while after it was time to  call it a day as the rain started.

 

We left the Island about 30 minute ahead of schedule and  are now sailing to Rarotonga.  Oh that is another Island where weather can be tricky.  I'll tell you about our experience in 2011 with respect to the tenders but let's wait till tomorrow.

 

I've been remarking about the food at Waterside and we once again enjoyed a spectacular meal.  

 

We each had sautéed  seafood appetizers.   It's not  all about the seafood but the items which accompanied it which when eaten with the seafood proved  a great taste and aroma.  Eating the appetizer was similar to enjoying a fine wine as we enjoyed each mouthful.

 

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We did have a salad from the menu  although I changed  mine  to remove the bacon and to add in mushrooms.  

 

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For the entree it was  broiled fresh swordfish for Anne Marie.

 

A nice portion not  too large and not too small with  a good presentation.

 

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I went with the local fish which was from the modern menu.  It  was fresh  ruby snapper.  It was not only delicious but y you have  to love the presentation with the table spoon and the items on top of it.

 

 

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The wine was terrific as well.

 

I've mentioned  a couple of new wines which have been added to the inclusive list and last  night I tried  a third one.  Many are familiar  with Vina Robles Cabernet which has  been on the inclusive wine menu for several years.  This one was VIna Robles Arborist.  Just let It open up and I thought it was a great  addition.

 

I will post these photos on the other thread I started about Waterside food being better than ever.

 

As I close I want to say Anne  Marie and I have been thinking of our friends on-board Symphony or those who have travel plans in the near future.  I know this has  been a challenging time for many  of you and for the crew and for the land based Crystal team.  Sending you all positive thoughts.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

 

 

 

 

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WELCOME TO RAROTONGA, COOK ISLANDS

 

We are expected to be anchored off Rarotonga in a few hours.  It's early Saturday morning  as I write this.  Unfortunately the Internet which was fine  yesterday is moving rather slowly  so I am not going to attempt posting photos.

 

We had more rain  yesterday starting late in the morning and when it rains it pours.  LOL.  We have had more rain (I know it is the rain season) the last week than I've ever experienced in this area before.  It has been interesting how it goes from sunny to cloudy to stormy  and so forth.  Anyway with lots to do inside the ship we kept busy.

 

Yesterday was the first sea day of this young segment.  Lots on the program including three lectures.

 

In the afternoon there was wine tasting with four different tastings of Sauvignon Blanc.

 

Black Tie Optional.

 

Waterside continued to be quiet during the first hour after opening for dinner.  In fact, it was the quietest BTO night we've experienced in along time.  

 

We went from Waterside to Captain Birger's Reception.  Yes our third welcome reception since boarding in Miami.  LOL.  Always a nice opportunity to meet fellow guests and to converse with members of Team Serenity.  Captain Birger updated everyone on Symphony and our arrival today.

 

When we visited Rarotonga last the seas were quite rough on the way back from the island to Serenity so we will see what they have in store for us today.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

 

 

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On 2/7/2020 at 11:48 PM, Keith1010 said:

 

 

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

 

 

 

 


Thank you Keith. This segment has certainly been an adventure. The Flying Dutchman 13 day cruise to nowhere. However, as virtually everyone on board has stated, what a great place to be for 2 weeks! It’s not the voyage we originally signed up for, but it certainly will be a cruise that all of us will remember and reminisce about forever. The adventure continues until we are actually tied up at the pier in Singapore, the gangway is down and the authorities have cleared the ship!

 

(I messed up the cut-and-paste. Sorry.  It’s late here and after a night of Mark Farris, the typing fingers aren’t that nimble. 🤪

 

Rob

 

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When I looked at the sea swells from our verandah this morning I said to Anne Marie if they are like this on the other side of the ship we won't be going to Rarotonga today.  As I made my way up to the Fitness Center to take an indoor cycling class I stopped at Marketplace to look at the starboard side of the ship and the swells looked the same.  This was an indictor to me we would not be able to tender safely.  At the Captains' Reception last evening Captain Birger said we would have to see what the weather was like today.  Sure enough  a little while later Captain Birger spoke from the bridge to say we would not stop.  Later he spoke again for the benefit of those who might not have heard is earlier announcement mentioning the other ship that arrived also made the decision not to stay.

 

I am reminded when we were here back on 2011 we took the tender over to Rarotonga.  The ride was OK but not he return it was choppy.  About an hour after we returned guests and crew were on a tender and it got bumped around as bad as it gets and it was so bad some people got sick.  Not a pleasant thought.

 

Now it is on to Nukalofa.

 

As seasoned Crystal Cruisers know when you miss a port Crystal Entertainment quickly turns it into a sea day and with the wealth of talent on-board  Cruise Director Rick quickly did this.  A new program is coming to our doors and Rick mentioned the lectures who will be speaking  and the times and locations when he made an announcement to all guests.

 

Sunrise this morning.

 

 

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When we were  here in 2011 Anne  Marie and I did a hike  in the rainforest.

 

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Keith

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On 2/6/2020 at 7:32 PM, brlight said:

The 2-page ad was in the "Hollywood 2020" edition of Vanity Fair.  It's a beautiful shot!

Pat

 

FYI, in the USA version of Vanity Fair, the ad is on pages 61 and 62.

 

There is a sub-set of posters who tend to get bent out of shape whenever Crystal brings “models” on-board to shoot an ad, and often cite that “these people do not look like us.”  Well, Keith and Anne Marie, you destroyed that myth because you both look amazing in the ad, better than any model!

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ON THE WAY TO NUKU'ALOFA, TONGA

 

Thank you Halfmoonfan for the posting including the two pages from Vanity Fair.

 

Yesterday's unplanned sea day turned out to be a great sea day.  I did feel bad for those who had plans yesterday as some told me they had things like snorkeling planned.  In the end, though safety  is number one for everyone so obviously an excellent call by Captain Birger to go onto our next port of call.

 

Last evening we saw the comedy show featuring Steve Cauette.  This was his first time performing on Serenity.   He performed on Symphony one-time.  Anne Marie and I thought he was very funny  and he kept  the comedy clean which is not easy to do.

 

There was some audience involvement with simple questions to a few members of the audience.  The entire audience had a role as well.  He asked everyone to stand up if someone came to the show late and for us to make noise, and applaud while at the same time music and song played and lights lasted from the stage.  Guess what to no one's surprise we did this several times.  And we didn't even do it every time and that included to the couple who came in five minutes before the show was over.  NOTE: Show over at 8:30 PM and next show not until 9:45 PM.  LOL.

 

I thought I would close with a few photos from Prego where we dined last evening.

 

Cheers,

 

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1 hour ago, late2cruisin said:

Keith,

What is that third photo (the entree)? Is it on the regular Prego menu or just on the special Serenity menu?

Sue

Late2cruusin... This one is Sea Bass.  They added it to the Prego menu on the last voyage to replace the previous fish entree.  It’s a very tasty entree. 
 

Keith

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6 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Late2cruusin... This one is Sea Bass.  They added it to the Prego menu on the last voyage to replace the previous fish entree.  It’s a very tasty entree. 
 

Keith

Thanks! It looks delicious. I'll look for it on Symphony if they have it (I think Serenity has more new menu items in Prego than Symphony does.)

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Just now, late2cruisin said:

Thanks! It looks delicious. I'll look for it on Symphony if they have it (I think Serenity has more new menu items in Prego than Symphony does.)

You are welcome.

 

Often during the World Cruise they make a couple of changes to the Prego menu during the cruise and several changes to Silk.  In Umi Umi they have been offering an additional item.  

 

At the same time from time-to-time they have made changes to the Prego menu  usually starting with one ship and moving to the next ship which are more permanent types of changes.

 

I think this one is probably due  to the World Cruise but not 100% sure. 

 

Keith

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Good morning from Crystal Serenity.

 

As they did on Crystal Symphony, they showed the Oscar's on the ship yesterday.  This included a showing at the Hollywood Theatre and in our rooms along with the Red Carpet prior to the actual show.

 

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Last night we turned the clocks back on hour which I always appreciate.  The big change happened earlier this morning when we went from February 9 to February 11 as we crossed the International Dateline.  Whereas we had been a few hours behind those of you in the Continental USA we are now ahead of you.  

 

Yesterday marked  the 56 anniversary of The Beatles performing on The Ed Sullivan Show as part of their debut in America and when we had pre-dinner drinks at the Crystal Cove Pianist  Richard Pucci played a medley of Beatles Songs along with a song by John Lennon.


Sorry the same video appears twice.  I am having trouble removing one of them.  

 

 

We enjoyed another delicious  dinner at Waterside.  This include an appetizer which was duo of Lobster.  We had Ahi Tuna as the Entree which had been on the menu the night before and we were able to request it for last evening.  Both were enhanced with the ingredients added making each one very tasty.   We continue to try new vintage wines which were added to the inclusive menu since we boarded on January 7.

 

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Cheers,

 

Keith

 

 

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About the Oscars. On the Tokyo to San Francisco cruise last May June there was the management group that runs the show from the Academy standpoint. It was great about how they organize and deal with stars and press. However, as several on that trip mentioned they were ruining parts of show because we now spend watching looking for those on cruise who talked with us. Was a great lecture, etc experience but we did spend a lot of time looking for those folks

 

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ON THE ROAD TO NUKU'ALOFA, TONGA & RAIN  RAIN GO AWAY COME BACK ANOTHER DAY.
 
We will are arriving to Nuku"Alofa in a few hours.  Nothing planned but looking forward to walking on land for a couple of hours.
 
As to the rain, it continued to rain until 11:00 AM yesterday morning when it stopped.  Thank you.  Thank you,  Thank you.  By Noon the open decks were getting dry which for some meant sitting or going in the pool, or lounging in other areas outside, or getting outside on the Promenade Deck and for me it meant getting back and playing Paddle Tennis.  I was happy.  😀
 
It was  another fun sea day.  A good day for us to catch up with friends over coffee (Anne Marie) and for me after Paddle Tennis.
 
There was the usual set of activities.  
 
I enjoyed attending the Rap With The Rabbi session and the topics were certainly diverse between Jewish History back to Moses and a discussion about the ability for pretty much anyone who can get approval to conduct  a wedding in the State  of California.  
 
Another fun evening on-board Serenity starting with a per-dinner drink, continuing with dinner and followed by two different shows each performed twice.  This included Comedian Steve Caoutte who made his debut on Serenity two nights earlier and Production Show Icons in Concert.
 
All in all another fun day on Serenity.
 
Three  photos from dinner at Waterside.
 
Tuna Tartare and Pompano Fish.  I went with the fish on the recommendation of our Senior Waiter and Head Waiter and their recommendation was spot-on.  It was turkey for Anne Marie.  Another good choice.
 
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Please visit our Blog for more details at:
 
 
Cheers,
 
Keith
 
 
 
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Nuku'Alofa, Tonga - A Stop Which Didn't Happen
 
As mentioned on  Roy's thread we were turned away from this port by the local authorities.  All cruise lines were.  No advance warning to the ship.  Oh well.  The good news  is with rain in the forecast weather might have impacted the experience.  

The good news is later in the  morning  we learned when Captain  Birger spoke from the bridge that the local authorities of Fiji granted permission for us to visit one day early so we now have two days in port rather than one and we will be docking when we arrive in a few hours versus the original plan to tender tomorrow.  
 
Cruise Director Rick  and  the rest of the entertainment and enrichment team worked like bunnies to make yesterday a sea day for us.  By getting away as quickly as we did the weather turned very nice so a good day for those who like to be outside and for me plenty of Paddle Tennis.  😀
 
We had a great time last evening.  I won't go into it all.
 
It did begin in the  Avenue Saloon where World Cruise Hostess Stacey Huston and Pianist Richard Pucci were hosting Music Trivia. It was the most well-attended Music Trivia session we have ever seen. The place was lit up. Anne Marie and I didn't officially play on a team but between the two of us tried to answer the questions. It was a lot of fun.
 
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Afterwards we enjoyed an amazing dinner at Umi Uma 😀. First visit of this leg of the World Cruise for us. I brought my appetite.. 🙂
 
As much as we like Umi Uma we try not to go very often so when we go it is very special.
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We arrive to Lautoka less than six hours from now.
 
Cheers
 

 

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We're in  a little holding pattern.

 

While Anne Marie and I were walking we  heard the  sound that an announcement  was  coming.  Captain Birger spoke from t he  bridge  at  8:00  AM  noting  that when the  pilot  came on board  members  of  the Health  Ministry were  with them.  They are  doing their  review and we  will stay where we are  until  the  OK is  given.  No estimated  time.  Once  the go  ahead is given we are about one and  half hours from the pier.

 

Keith

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And some breaking news from me.

 

We have a new addition to our family with the arrival of our fifth grandchild and third child of our son and daughter-in-law about 13 hours ago.

 

Thanks to the  internet I did  a video call with them about six hours after she was born  and Anne  Marie and I just did one a  few  minutes ago.

 

Mother and daughter are doing great.

 

We  welcome Savanah  Ruth to our growing family.

 

Keith

 

 

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37 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

And some breaking news from me.

 

We have a new addition to our family with the arrival of our fifth grandchild and third child of our son and daughter-in-law about 13 hours ago.

 

Thanks to the  internet I did  a video call with them about six hours after she was born  and Anne  Marie and I just did one a  few  minutes ago.

 

Mother and daughter are doing great.

 

We  welcome Savanah  Ruth to our growing family.

 

Keith

 

 

What wonderful news, congratulations!

Jeannie and I are so happy for you and your children.

Welcome to the world, Savanah Ruth!

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