Warning: As this is the last post, it is on the long side. We hope that you have enjoyed our Blog.
The final evening of the cruise was wonderful.
Before dinner we went to a Variety Show that included The Crystal Ensemble of Singers and Dancers, Dancers Curtis Collins and Beverly Durand, Violin Showman Martin Lass and Ireland’s Ambassador of Comedy Adrian Walsh. They were all wonderful. The song titled “Time To Say Goodbye Was Also Sung”.
After the show we dined at Silk Road for our last dinner over this voyage. Friends Bob and Glo will joined us. Our waiter for the evening was Alberto who we have had on most evenings. Others had the same idea as us and Silk Road was quite busy. We enjoyed a variety of Sushi and Sashimi, one type of Lobster entrée for Keith and another type of Lobster Entrée for Anne Marie and steamed vegetables for Keith. A couple of specialty items which we did not order but were made especially for us by the chef were brought out to the four of us during various courses of the meal. For the first time this cruise Anne Marie had the Chocolate Soufflé which is her favorite and she ordered a different dessert for Keith instead of his normal fruit plate. We had a wonderful time and also toasted to the wonderful journey we have all enjoyed together. We gave our best to some other guests who were in Silk Road before it was time to go and we also gave our best to the wonderful staff including Alberto, Sonny, Anthony, Walter, Sheila Sigi, Oleg, all the Sushi Chefs and several other members of this team.
We got out of dinner later than desired so we made it to the tail end of the 2010 World Cruise Countdown, which was a wonderful close this journey. In addition to all of the balloons that were dropped from the ceiling there were tons of confetti. This was a spectacular ending to this World Cruise similar to the kickoff event on the evening of January 11. Before we left we hugged World Cruise Hostess Stacey Huston and Cruise Director Rick Spath. They were truly amazing each and everyday.
We slept quite well that last evening as we have since boarding the ship in Miami. We were up fairly early so we could get ready to disembark the ship in Southampton. The disembarkation was the best we have experienced of all World Cruises. They disembarked a few passengers at a time and we were in the first group with friends John and Linda and friends Bob and Glo disembarked the ship only a minute or two after we did. As we made it down the gangway Hotel Director Josef greeted us and we warmly said until we see you again. One of the crewmembers walked down with us assisting us with our carry on luggage. Our luggage was not only grouped by color code but all of our pieces were adjacent to each other so it made it a breeze to identify them for the porter. We walked with the porter through the immigration area and we were then met there by representatives from Luggage Concierge who took the bags as they will be sent home. We then walked a very short distance to the area where the cars and vans were waiting and our name was visible on the vehicle that we were assigned. Once in our vehicle we were taken to London Heathrow.
Once at the airport, we had breakfast at the Airline Club with friends John and Linda. We spoke for a while until it was time for John and Linda to catch their flight and we wished them all the best.
Both of our flights were on time. While we encountered a very long time going through immigration we had a very long layover so that was not a problem for us. When we arrived at our home airport we were greeted by the driver from the company that Crystal Cruises contracted with for our pickup and we were taken in a limousine to our home. Everything at home was great and we stayed up another hour getting some items taken care of. For a number of reasons we were very glad that we decided to ship our luggage home other than our carry on bags.
As we have mentioned, we have thoroughly enjoyed this World Cruise Adventure. In all ways, it has exceeded all of our expectations.
We thank Crystal Cruises for making this an outstanding adventure for us. This includes their personnel on land at their Los Angeles Headquarters, others in other land based location and the wonderful Crystal Cruises Crew. Everything was well planned out and thought out and executed to perfection
We are both humbled by all that we have seen and also we feel privileged to have seen so many interesting places that our parents could have only dreamed about seeing and many people will not have the opportunity to see. We are also pleased that we could see the countries that we visited through our own very eyes. We are so glad that the itinerary included the emphasis on the Middle East along with several ports we visited in other continents so that we could see those areas of the world.
As we traveled and saw other parts of the world we are also reminded how lucky and fortunate we are to have been born in our home country. All that we have seen and experienced is a reminder to us to focus on the half glass of water as being half full rather than half empty. We have seen and met many people whose day-to-day lives are quite different than our own and who have very little to hope for. All of this is truly a humbling experience and is another reminder to us to be appreciative for all that we have.
As we've mentioned from time to time given the length of this sailing the cruise ship has become a small village with passengers and crew sharing a good portion of this adventure together. What we find so very interesting is that between passengers and crew that over fifty different nationalities are represented and a strong bond has developed between so many of us. Wouldn't it be nice if such a bond could take place around the world? In the end, we all have much more in common with one another than we do that is different. We should focus on those areas that we agree and then work to resolve those areas where we differ. We realize this is easier said than done.
As we think through some of the ports of calls that we visited where poverty was rampant we are reminded that many parts of the world live in very poor conditions that differ significantly from where we live. In some of the poorer countries the focus of its citizens is on basic necessities such as how are they going to put food on the table for themselves and for their families each day of the year, and where the family will sleep that evening. Some of them don’t have what many of us take for granted such as stoves/ovens to cook their food, or a bed to sleep on, or even a roof over their heads. Some might give their right arm for a chance to come on board this wonderful cruise ship just for one day.
From time to time the program that we receive daily at our stateroom has included some information that we wanted to share with each of you. While we realize these statistics might not be 100% accurate, we believe that they still give some perspective to our world. We hope that you enjoy them as much as we do.
Earth’s Village “If we could shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following. There would be: 57 Asians 21 Europeans 14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south 8 Africans 52 would be female 48 would be male 70 would be People of Color 30 would be Caucasian 70 would be non-Christian 30 would be Christian 89 would be heterosexual 11 would be homosexual 6 people would possess 59% of the entire world’s wealth and all would be from the United States. 80 would be in substandard housing 70 would be unable to read 50 would suffer from malnutrition1 would be near death; 1 would be near birth1 (yes only 1) would have a college education 1 would own a computer. When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent. The following is also something to ponder…If you woke up this morning with more health than illness…you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pans of starvation…you are ahead of 500 million people in the world. If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death…you are more blessed than three billion people in the world. If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep…you are richer than 75% of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace…you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If your parents are still alive and still married…you are very rare, even in the United States and Canada .If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing; there are two billion people in the world that cannot read at all. ”
Each time the Crystal Serenity or the Crystal Symphony leaves port to continue its voyage to the next Port-Of-Call the song "It's A Wonderful World" is played. The tradition of playing this song at each sail away is a very nice tradition that most passengers enjoy as they sail the high seas with Crystal Cruises.
There is no question that we do live in a wonderful world and during this world cruise adventure we had the opportunity to visit many interesting places that help to make this world so wonderful.
It’s A Wonderful World was written by Bob Thiele, and George David Weiss. Louis Armstrong recorded the song and it was first released as a single in 1968. Armstrong's recording was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
When the song was first released in the United States it sold very few copies but overtime its popularity increased. However, it was an immediate success in the United Kingdom where it reached number one on the United Kingdom singles-chart and was the biggest selling single in the UK in 1968. Louis Armstrong became the oldest male to make it to the top of the charts with this song, at sixty-six years and ten months old. This record held until this year.
There are many interpretations of this song. We like to think of this song is the appreciation of all of the beauty that surrounds this planet that we live on.
Here are the lyrics.
I see trees of green, red roses too,
I see them blue, for me and you.
And I think to myself... what a wonderful world.
I see skies of blue, and clouds of white,
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night.
And I think to myself... what a wonderful world.
The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky,
Also the faces of people going by.
I see friends shaking hands, say how do you do?
They're really saying, I love you.
I hear babies crying, I watch them grow,
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know.
And I think to myself... what a wonderful world.
Yes I think to myself... what a wonderful world.
This post marks the conclusion of our World Cruise. It is hard to believe that after 115days on board this wonderful ship (first the seven day Miami round trip journey with Eric, Kara, Jennifer and Gui and the 108 day World Cruise Adventure) that we are now back at home.
This has been a wonderful experience that we will treasure and remember for the rest of our lives. We hope that you have enjoyed traveling on this journey with us.
Since this is our last post from this journey we thought we would end with two thoughts of the day to share with each of you.
TODAY’S THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY…..
No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." -- Lin Yutang
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventure we can have if only we seek them without our eyes open. That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.”
Keith and Anne Marie
Keith and Anne Marie