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IT’S LIVE: RETURN TO CRUISING – JULY 3 - JULY 17 BAHAMA BACK-TO-BACK VOYAGES ON-BOARD CRYSTAL SERENITY


Keith1010
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Well hello again.

 

It was a great day and evening on board Serenity yesterday.

 

For me lots of paddle tennis which I love and have missed for 16+ months and for the two of us some nice walks on the Promenade Deck together and for Anne Marie on here own.

 

Last night we had some fabulous food in our room.   Seafood appetizers, Pigs n' A Blanket, veggies, and with Champagne followed by  Salad and Beef Wellington.  We don't eat red meat very  often but I had thought  about Beef Wellington for months.  Thought about making it ourselves and just looked too complicated although I am sure we could have done it.  Well patience is a virtue so we really enjoyed it and Crystal does an excellent job of preparing and serving it.  

 

They don't do this very often over the past few years but last night at 10:00 PM there was a Bahama Deck Party on the outdoor deck.


Be  sure to check out my daily blogs for photos and for menus and Reflections.

 

Keith

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Today is the final full day of the voyage.

 

It is a sea day but we have one stop  which is a call to Freeport.

 

Serenity will bunker (take fuel) and this is the purpose of the stop so it is not possible for guests to leave the ship.

 

Keith

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14 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

Today is the final full day of the voyage.

 

It is a sea day but we have one stop  which is a call to Freeport.

 

Serenity will bunker (take fuel) and this is the purpose of the stop so it is not possible for guests to leave the ship.

 

Keith


Before I first saw the Freeport call listed I’d wondered where the ship was going to get bunkered, considering that wasn’t feasible with the setup in Nassau.  This works out pretty well for a sea day, considering Freeport is the Bahamas primary fuel terminal.  Shouldn’t be too disruptive to guests.

 

 Vince

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1 hour ago, Keith1010 said:

Today is the final full day of the voyage.

 

It is a sea day but we have one stop  which is a call to Freeport.

 

Serenity will bunker (take fuel) and this is the purpose of the stop so it is not possible for guests to leave the ship.

 

Keith

Thank you for the great week of information . Waiting on your blog for the upload.

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1 hour ago, Keith1010 said:

Well hello again.

 

It was a great day and evening on board Serenity yesterday.

 

For me lots of paddle tennis which I love and have missed for 16+ months and for the two of us some nice walks on the Promenade Deck together and for Anne Marie on here own.

 

Last night we had some fabulous food in our room.   Seafood appetizers, Pigs n' A Blanket, veggies, and with Champagne followed by  Salad and Beef Wellington.  We don't eat red meat very  often but I had thought  about Beef Wellington for months.  Thought about making it ourselves and just looked too complicated although I am sure we could have done it.  Well patience is a virtue so we really enjoyed it and Crystal does an excellent job of preparing and serving it.  

 

They don't do this very often over the past few years but last night at 10:00 PM there was a Bahama Deck Party on the outdoor deck.


Be  sure to check out my daily blogs for photos and for menus and Reflections.

 

Keith

Beef Wellington is something extremely special.  You are right, very difficult to do and expensive if not done correctly.  Glad you enjoyed it and telling us about it.  Enjoy your final days of this first of two weeks.  I hope you both had time to de-stress, relax and take it all in.  Cruise well.

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The Beef Wellington is funny for me…. I think @BEAV was a firsthand witness to this decision-tree-trainwreck-in-motion in 2019.  I always say I’m going to try something else that night, but at least 3/4 of the time I ultimately order it because it brings back nostalgic memories as a kid/teenager.  When it’s up against the crab legs on the menu, I’ll often order the crab legs as a side instead of pulling the trigger and switching.  😳  Compromise, what’s that?!

 

Vince

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7 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

Beef Wellington is something extremely special.  You are right, very difficult to do and expensive if not done correctly.  Glad you enjoyed it and telling us about it.  Enjoy your final days of this first of two weeks.  I hope you both had time to de-stress, relax and take it all in.  Cruise well.

Beef Wellington is not that hard to do if you are willing to compromise, a little.  There are several great recipes on the NY Times website.  I used to make it a lot when my kids were at home, but recently I made it for my husband's birthday since it is his favorite.  First, use good quality frozen puff pastry, no need to make it from scratch.  Two, no need to add liver pate, most people don't like it anyway.  Get a good quality beef tenderloin at Costco and cut it into individual Wellingtons one big one.  Finally, the mushroom duxelles are just mushrooms, wine, and butter cooked together until it is somewhat paste-like.  Otherwise, follow the recipe about precooking the tenderloin and all of the other instructions, and enjoy.

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I've updated  the blog.  Sorry no reflections but I have it and will post it when internet is working.  Right now I am gong through the local service in Freeport.

 

Played Paddle Tennis for six  hours.  A lot of fun.  I will miss the group I have been playing  with.   More later.

 

Keith

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52 minutes ago, Ladys Mom said:

Beef Wellington is not that hard to do if you are willing to compromise, a little.  There are several great recipes on the NY Times website.  I used to make it a lot when my kids were at home, but recently I made it for my husband's birthday since it is his favorite.  First, use good quality frozen puff pastry, no need to make it from scratch.  Two, no need to add liver pate, most people don't like it anyway.  Get a good quality beef tenderloin at Costco and cut it into individual Wellingtons one big one.  Finally, the mushroom duxelles are just mushrooms, wine, and butter cooked together until it is somewhat paste-like.  Otherwise, follow the recipe about precooking the tenderloin and all of the other instructions, and enjoy.

Here is our New Year's Eve 2020 Beef Wellington (I used Gordon Ramsey's recipe).  It's one big tenderloin (about 1 lb. total) for the 2 of us.  

20201231_174721.jpg

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40 minutes ago, JusttheTwoofUs said:

Here is our New Year's Eve 2020 Beef Wellington (I used Gordon Ramsey's recipe).  It's one big tenderloin (about 1 lb. total) for the 2 of us.  

20201231_174721.jpg

Come on, NOT FAIR. Really uncalled for. I am SO hungry. Wife has me on 1200 cal a day until cruise.  Show mercy. 

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I read Keith's blog very carefully but with the masks I only was able to recognize the 3 headwaiters . 

I hope all the bartenders came back and I was afraid for Afzal as he is from India .

And so far i did not see Jiri the head sommelier - i hope he did not resign

Now , the beef Wellington  - despite living in a country with great gastronomy my very first was on a not so great P&O ship in the mid 80s  -  and i tried it again on ms Vistafjord after a cooking demonstration by the higly estimated chef Winkler. 

some people are crazy of it  - I find it a very anachronistic entree  and usually I am not ordering it. 

Lucky there is ample choice ... and different tastes . 

 

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1 hour ago, JusttheTwoofUs said:

Here is our New Year's Eve 2020 Beef Wellington (I used Gordon Ramsey's recipe).  It's one big tenderloin (about 1 lb. total) for the 2 of us.  

20201231_174721.jpg


 

well done my friend!!!
 

Nancy

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JusttheTwoofUs said:

Here is our New Year's Eve 2020 Beef Wellington (I used Gordon Ramsey's recipe).  It's one big tenderloin (about 1 lb. total) for the 2 of us.  

 

 

Where's the inside picture? It might have been overdone and Gordon would throw it away.

Edited by MisterBill99
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57 minutes ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

Where's the inside picture? It might have been overdone and Gordon would throw it away.

Here it is  Didn't do too good a job  cutting it, but it was Delicious!20201231_180227.thumb.jpg.4b3b004441cc053067bcffb887cc0da6.jpg

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2 hours ago, nancygp said:


 

well done my friend!!!
 

Nancy

 

I would’ve figured you for a medium rare kind of gal.....🤔

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4 hours ago, vistaman said:

I read Keith's blog very carefully but with the masks I only was able to recognize the 3 headwaiters . 

I hope all the bartenders came back and I was afraid for Afzal as he is from India .

And so far i did not see Jiri the head sommelier - i hope he did not resign

Now , the beef Wellington  - despite living in a country with great gastronomy my very first was on a not so great P&O ship in the mid 80s  -  and i tried it again on ms Vistafjord after a cooking demonstration by the higly estimated chef Winkler. 

some people are crazy of it  - I find it a very anachronistic entree  and usually I am not ordering it. 

Lucky there is ample choice ... and different tastes . 

 

Jiri wil be returning but is not on right now.

 

Keith

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I have been away from following this thread for a couple days and just caught up.  It has been good to hear that things ran smoothly!

 

Right before the cruise there was also another big thread about it by a woman getting ready, forgot her username ( there was a funny digression about mascara), from Texas, so I tried to find that too to catch up, but can't find it.  Could someone point me in the right direction? Thanks.

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2 hours ago, Catlover54 said:

I have been away from following this thread for a couple days and just caught up.  It has been good to hear that things ran smoothly!

 

Right before the cruise there was also another big thread about it by a woman getting ready, forgot her username ( there was a funny digression about mascara), from Texas, so I tried to find that too to catch up, but can't find it.  Could someone point me in the right direction? Thanks.


Was it the one by @SuitCaseBears?  
 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2785862-july-3-bahamas-cruise-blog-boldly-going-where-none-have-gone-recently/

 

Vince

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Good morning  from Serenity.  Well, the Beef Wellington has certainly  been a "meaty" topic.

 

Maybe we will have to have  it again and guess what Anne Marie and I were discussing that as we were walking around the ship yesterday.

 

Speaking of food we had a wonderful meal at Waterside last evening.

 

With 600  or so people on the ship, open dining, four other dining venues, plus room service and this being a 7  day  cruise  people are spreading out a  lot and this allows Waterside to have less guests dining concurrently and has been a pleasure. This provides more time for the waitstaff to mingle with  guests and  to check on  them  to be sure everything is right and is a benefit for those preparing the meals in the galley.

 

So +++++ for service at Waterside this cruise and +++++  for the  overall  ambience  and +++++  for  the  cuisine.

 

Appetizers continued  to be tasty particularly those on the modern  menu with a  creative  look to them.  For example, the seafood with asparagus appetizer served with white asparagus.  Both our salads were fresh and Anne Marie's Greek Salad a success.  We each had the sword fish which was on the menu.  First time for me in about 17 months.  Earlier in the day after looking at the menu I had asked if  I could have mine prepared butterfly style.  I loved mine and Anne Marie who had it prepared as is  thought the same and bottom line flavorful and delicious.  

 

Once again we were in the dining venue for 2+ hours enjoying  a nice leisurely  meal.  

 

And we each had a real dessert last night.  Ice Cream for Anne  Marie and I had crackers along with three different types of cheese I selected from the cheese menu with input from the Senior Waiter.  

 

The internet was very bad yesterday including slow and down at different times.

 

We were in Freeport for quite longer than planned to bunker as  they weren't ready for us when we arrived.  The benefit is I used my iPhone to get internet service for my computer which over the years I have done from time-to-time.

 

I had trouble loading things such as additional photos and Reflections to the blog.

 

Anyway, first cruise coming to an end this morning as we return to Nassau.  It's been wonderful.  

 

Kudos to Crystal because restarting a ship is not easy.  In some cases such as food you start with nothing and that presents its own set of challenges.  Having such a professional, experienced and outstanding crew mainly  those who returned has been keen to overcoming obstacles and getting things off to a wonderful start.

 

Keith

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A few more  items.

 

I've figured  out a work around so I will have e some photos and even one short video on today's blog.  Thee order of the photos is not  to my liking but  it is what it is.  LOL.

 

Although  we were longer  in Freeport than planned we arrived  here early.  I  was  in thee Fitness Center so could view the  arrival.  From a  distance I saw the Royal Caribbean Ship and when we docked we are right next to her.  I  looked out the window around 6:30  AM  to  see many of their guests leaving the ship.  

 

In  our early days  of  cruising I remember in  some of those  cruise travel  magazines along with these books with advertisments which were in  our rooms on Celebrity ships seeing ads for Freeport.  I thought it was some type of destination with hotels, restaurants and shopping.   I was surprised to learn from one of the members of the  group that I was playing tennis with that it is an industrial island and I believe she said there had been one hotel which either  began or ended up run by the government and went out of business.  I could see  a Señor Frogs from the Paddle Tennis Court and it looked permanently closed.  Now I  realize  someone might google the island  and tell me  there are hotels but either way the story I was told  sounded good.

 

Well more later.

 

Keith 

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1 hour ago, Keith1010 said:

In  our early days  of  cruising I remember in  some of those  cruise travel  magazines along with these books with advertisments which were in  our rooms on Celebrity ships seeing ads for Freeport.  I thought it was some type of destination with hotels, restaurants and shopping.   I was surprised to learn from one of the members of the  group that I was playing tennis with that it is an industrial island and I believe she said there had been one hotel which either  began or ended up run by the government and went out of business.  I could see  a Señor Frogs from the Paddle Tennis Court and it looked permanently closed.  Now I  realize  someone might google the island  and tell me  there are hotels but either way the story I was told  sounded good.

There are a number of hotels on Grand Bahama Island mostly near the town of Freeport, which is about 10 miles from the cruise port.

 

Roy

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