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A return to cruising! Serenity 7/24-7/31


Cybercsp
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Here is our view from the beach of the British Colonial Hilton.  It is so exciting to see a Crystal ship again!  We left our home at 2 AM yesterday, and had a very easy time at the airport. We cannot stress enough how important Verifly can be in expediting your processing. We had a great ride from the airport to the Hilton, using Cheryl’s taxi service. We had a large van all to ourselves and started the journey with a delicious Bahama Mama. Our request for early check-in was honored (full disclosure: we have Hilton diamond status), and we were in the room by 12:30. We took a walk to Junkanoo beach, and enjoyed yummy rum drinks and fabulous seafood at Crabs & Tings. Sue, the owner, was a most gracious hostess. So far, so good. We will be using Cheryl’s taxi service  to take us to Baha Mar in about 10 minutes.  

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Hi Nancy,

 

so excited for you and Charley.  Glad things have been going smoothly.

 

Thanks for starting the thread and I wish you a wonderful cruise.  Can’t wait to see you next year!


Bon voyage,

 

Nancy

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Thanks, Nancy!  We are equally looking forward to seeing you and Larry again!  
Hoping to provide some occasional posts in thanks for the “pioneers” who have provided me with so much good information for this cruise. Currently awaiting our test results (tick-tock).  

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Hi Nancy, have a great time there. Enjoy your stay and make sure to enjoy every single miinute of your stay on board. These days its hard to imagine going on such a wonderful trip. I hope you enjoyed it very much. Have a great time 

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I understand that there are fewer than 450 passengers onboard. At times, the ship feels quite empty.  Service is terrific, as usual. Vlada is at Waterside, Denis is preparing drinks at the bar in the Avenue Saloon, and all seems well with the world. 
The Bistro buffet offered a pleasant surprise this morning!  (Which, I now realize, would have been better photographed on a less busy plate.). We decided to stay onboard at Bimini and enjoy a quiet day.  Here is the view from our balcony.  



 

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Posted (edited)

So what was the pleasant surprise that you took the picture of? Good to hear that  Crabs & Tings is open. There hasn't been any activity on their FB page since 2020, although I see that there have been recent reviews on TA. You didn't happen to take a picture of their menu, did you?

Edited by MisterBill99
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MisterBill99 said:

So what was the pleasant surprise that you took the picture of? Good to hear that  Crabs & Tings is open. There hasn't been any activity on their FB page since 2020, although I see that there have been recent reviews on TA. You didn't happen to take a picture of their menu, did you?

The pleasant surprise would be Portuguese Tarts.  They are an elusive delight.  The only “menu” at Crabs & Tings were some photos on the wall, and I did not take a photo.  We shared a whole snapper, conch balls, crab balls, and fried shrimp.  Great little place!

Edited by Cybercsp
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4 hours ago, Cybercsp said:

I understand that there are fewer than 450 passengers onboard. At times, the ship feels quite empty.  Service is terrific, as usual. Vlada is at Waterside, Denis is preparing drinks at the bar in the Avenue Saloon, and all seems well with the world. 
The Bistro buffet offered a pleasant surprise this morning!  (Which, I now realize, would have been better photographed on a less busy plate.). We decided to stay onboard at Bimini and enjoy a quiet day.  Here is the view from our balcony.  



 

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Its funny, looking at that picture, I almost miss the Guy Buffet plates more than the custard tarts!  Symphony’s Bistro hasn’t had any version of them for years and years.  😞 

 

Vince

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Cybercsp said:

The pleasant surprise would be Portuguese Tarts.  They are an elusive delight. 

 

Thanks. Trader Joe's actually sells those. I have some in my freezer that I haven't tried yet, but bought after reading a post on a food board.

 

Trader Joe's New Portuguese Custard Tarts Are Turning Heads (mashed.com)

 

We are staying at the Nassau Holiday Inn & Suites, which I believe is right across from Junkanoo beach where Crabs & Tings is located.

Edited by MisterBill99
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Good morning!  The Crystal staff continues to amaze.  Last night’s entertainment was great, with a lovely musical show in the Palm Court, the comedy of John Joseph, and the best of the White Night extravaganzas that I have attended.  The singer was excellent and the song choices perfect for the event. 
Just a brief rant that has nothing to do with Crystal. What would make anyone think that loudly FaceTiming family members while sitting AT THE BAR in the Avenue Saloon is appropriate?  (We left.) And our enjoyment of our fabulous meal in Prego was disturbed by a man who had no grasp of the concept of an “inside voice” as he engaged in colorful conversation.  OK…  Rant over.  Enjoying cappuccino in the Bistro.  

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Sounds like you are having a (mostly) wonderful time - that's great!

I'm still slightly ocd'ing about getting off the ship & to Alice Town in Bimini. Thought I saw a comment that walking off the ship & along the pier is not allowed; that is, one must wait for a tram to shuttle folks along the pier, is that correct? Did you notice if taxis were waiting for passengers at the end? Thanks for your help & the fun pictures!

Karen

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19 minutes ago, behrsmom said:

Sounds like you are having a (mostly) wonderful time - that's great!

I'm still slightly ocd'ing about getting off the ship & to Alice Town in Bimini. Thought I saw a comment that walking off the ship & along the pier is not allowed; that is, one must wait for a tram to shuttle folks along the pier, is that correct? Did you notice if taxis were waiting for passengers at the end? Thanks for your help & the fun pictures!

Karen

Although we did not get off the ship in Bimini, our understanding was that

you must take the tram.  We talked to a few people who enjoyed the beach and pool at Bimini (no crowds, plenty of chairs), but left earlier than they

might have due to very loud music. 

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22 hours ago, BWIVince said:


Its funny, looking at that picture, I almost miss the Guy Buffet plates more than the custard tarts!  Symphony’s Bistro hasn’t had any version of them for years and years.  😞 

 

Vince

Yes -- but the cups and saucers are gone -- plain white coffee/cappuccino cup and espresso cups.

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Has anyone on board gotten an explanation of why sitting at the Cove bar isn't permitted but sitting at the Palm Court and Avenue Saloon bars is okay?  It doesn't make sense to me. 

🤔

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30 minutes ago, oakridger said:

Has anyone on board gotten an explanation of why sitting at the Cove bar isn't permitted but sitting at the Palm Court and Avenue Saloon bars is okay?  It doesn't make sense to me. 

🤔

I asked (specifying that I was not complaining, just curious) and was told that it was because there is plenty of room in the Cove without the bar seating, but that it is not the case in the Avenue Saloon.  

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OOOkaaayyy......thanks but that doesn't really make sense to me either.  If the idea is to not get guests too close to the bartenders than sitting at the Avenue bar doesn't accomplish that.  Oh well.

 

Thanks,

Nancy

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Just wanted to conclude this post by saying that while we always have high expectations on our Crystal cruises, this one exceeded them all!  One of the highlights for us was our time on the magnificent Bahama beaches. Crystal put an infrastructure in place in every port stop (besides Bimini, where the resort exists), and the ability to purchase lounge and umbrella access on such quiet and magnificent stretches of beach was an utter delight.  
Our second area of pleasant surprise was entertainment.  The cast members for the production shows were so high- energy and outstanding!  Kudos to Raphael Derkson and the show band, who brought cabaret-style entertainment into the Palm Court and Stardust Club.  

We were so happy to “be back” and can’t wait for our next adventure.  
and a special shout out to everyone who has ever done a live thread because I realized after starting this venture that I was not going to be good at consistency!  
if there are any questions that I can answer, fire away.
 

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35 minutes ago, smlnd said:

Did they try to charge you to go to the Bimini Beach Club as another cruise critic poster mentioned?

I just got back and no they do not. You can use any pool or beach chair/umbrellas.

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