Friday, April 30, 2010

Our Final Thoughts - Day 109

(Pictures From The Final Countdown Of
The 2010 World Cruise)

(World Cruise Hostess And Cruise Director)

(Cruise Director On Left and Hotel Director On Right)

It Is Indeed A Wonderful World

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

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.


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

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

En Route To Southampton, United Kingdom - Day 108

Some Of The Decorations In The Crystal Cove
For This Evenings 2010 World Cruise Countdown

(Picture Above Is Anne Marie With Silk Road Head Waiter Sigi
Taken During Today's American Classic Buffet Luncheon)

Two Pictures With Waiter Costa From The Prego Italian Specialty Restaurant

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This will be our last entry for this World Cruise Adventure while on board the ship as we will depart the ship very early tomorrow morning. A few days after we arrive home we plan to post some final comments and thoughts on the cruise.

We enjoyed another wonderful evening on the ship last night.

Before dinner we sat with friends Linda and John at the Crystal Cove where complimentary cocktails and wines were being served. We enjoyed a wonderful conversation with them.

Afterwards, we enjoyed our final meal of this voyage at the Prego Italian Specialty Restaurant. We were served once again by Costa who has been outstanding throughout this voyage. He is very professional, personable, and so kind and thoughtful. Like Keith he also loves working out on the Elliptical machine. We have enjoyed getting to know him these last few months. We began our meal with the special appetizer from the Chef. We then had what has become our favorite salad. We then enjoyed the wonderful seafood entrée which was one of the two specials for the evening. We each had a fruit plate for our dessert. We were seated at a table for four by the Maitre d’ Antonio and then the Head Waiter Enzo came by our table to remove two of the four place settings. The ambience in Prego was wonderful.

After dinner, we attended the Captain’s Formal Farewell Reception. We have tremendous respect and admiration for Captain Glenn and have enjoyed sailing with him over these past few months. Our first sailing with Captain Glenn was in 2008. We look forward to sailing with him again. John and I spoke with the Captain and we each extended our thanks for all that Captain Glenn has done to make this a glorious cruise. We sat with John and Linda at the reception along with three other guests who we know quite well. We also walked around the room and gave our best to so many people who we have come to know during this adventure. We did not say good-bye to anyone as we hope to see each of him or her on a future cruise. It was an emotional evening as we spoke with many familiar guests and crew who we know from previous cruises and we also spoke with others who we met for the first time on this World Cruise. It was a very special evening.

When we returned to the room there was a nice gift for each of us from Crystal Cruises. We also enjoyed the pastry that we had bought for ourselves in La Rochelle, France.

We slept very well last evening and appreciated that we were able to set the clocks back one hour as we sail to a new time zone.

We awoke early this morning. Originally, Keith was going to take the day off from the Fitness Center but decided to workout.. He was the first person to the center and enjoyed a nice long workout on the Elliptical Machine. Brian and then John shortly followed him in the Center. A little while later Mary stopped by to wish all of us a nice trip home and after Keith finished his workout he spoke with Mary for a few minutes. He stopped by the Lido Café for some coffee. Anne Marie finished packing this morning instead of working out and instead worked out in the afternoon.

We enjoyed our final breakfast in our room and we also enjoyed watching the daily morning show for the last time of this World Cruise. Anne Marie called in and correctly answered one of the final trivia questions.

During Captain Glenn’s morning talk he shared his last Thought Of The Day for this journey which was “Don’t cry because it’s over; simply smile because it happened.”

Afterwards, we attended the final lecture given by Destination Lecturer Ken Rees. The topic of his presentation was “The Royals, the Media and the Curse of Celebrity.” Ken gave a wonderful talk as he always does and it has been a pleasure to attend his lectures and to get to know both Ken and his lovely wife.

We also attended the mandatory British Immigration Inspection. By doing this today rather than tomorrow morning it makes the overall clearance process go a lot faster.

After the inspection we went to the American Classic Buffet where we each had a salad entrée. We spoke with many of members of the crew.

We stopped by the Crystal Cove which is the main lobby area and spoke with some members of the crew to wish they the very best. We look forward to seeing them on our next cruise on the Crystal Serenity.

In the afternoon, Anne Marie worked out and we did more packing, read, wrote and spoke with fellow passengers.

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.

This evening we will dine at Silk Road for our last dinner over this voyage. Friends Bob and Glo will join us.

After that we will attend the 2010 World Cruise Countdown, which will include the annual Countdown and Balloon Drop and a “New Orleans-Style” Farwell Jam by the Galaxy Orchestra and Friends.

As this adventure comes to a conclusion we thought that this thought of the day would have great meaning.


“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over again in the quietist chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.”

Keith and Anne Marie

Monday, April 26, 2010

Welcome To La Rochelle, France - Day 107

Pictures From La Rochelle, France

Pictures From Last Evenings Serenity POPS Concert

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

We enjoyed another fabulous (and we mean fabulous) night on the ship last evening.

We dined in the Main Dining Room for the last time during this adventure. We have thoroughly enjoyed the Main Dining Room. We have had a wonderful team taking care of us each time we have dined there. We can’t say enough about the wonderful team including the two headwaiters we have had (Augusto for most of the voyage and then when he went on vacation Bojan), Pedja our Senior Waiter, Therese our Waiter and Irji our Somallier. We also are very appreciative of having the Maitre D’, Leo Assmair, in the Main Dining Room for this entire World Cruise Adventure. We have also enjoyed so many of the other staff that works in the Main Dining Room from the wait staff to all of the chefs and other personnel who all play a role in delivering such wonderfully prepared food with outstanding service. They have our respect and our admiration for all that they do and we feel blessed to have had the opportunity to see many familiar faces from previous voyages and to meet others for the very first time.

We had swordfish, which had been on the menu the night before and we had asked in advance if this could be prepared for us. It was wonderful and we also enjoyed our favorite salad. Yes, we ended the meal with berries and they were great.

After Dinner we were treated to a magical performance. It was a Gala Performance by the Serenity POPS. Maestro Bret Bullock, Vice President for Entertainment of Crystal Cruises, led the show. Twenty-four, yes twenty-four musicians, six vocalists, three dancers and one narrator accompanied him. They played a variety of musical pieces including classical music. At one point there was a battle of the pianists, which included six pianists. Several members of the crew carried a second piano onto the stage. Then one by one it started with one pianist on each piano. Before we knew it there were two pianists playing on each piano and all of a sudden yet another pianist joined them so we were listening to a piano performance by three pianists on each piano. After they finished two other musicians shared one of the pianos.

All of this was truly amazing and this is one of these performances that words can never come close to describing what a terrific concert this was. It combined wonderfully played music with some humor with some singing and dancing. It was unbelievable. We lost track but Bret Bullock played a wide variety of instruments last evening in between conducting the vast majority of the show.

The length of the show was close to 90 minutes and the performance was truly outstanding. We are not sure if we have ever seen a concert that was as good as this one. In addition to all of the performers from Crystal some outside performers were brought on-board the ship just for this concert. When we say the performance was outstanding we mean it. There were several standing ovations throughout the show and of course at the end of the show. The show capped off not only a wonderful evening but also a wonderful World Cruise. All of those involved with this production put their hearts into this and it clearly showed. Bravo, Bravo, Bravo.

We began our day as we normally do with a nice workout at the Fitness Center. Keith arrived there fairly early and worked out on the Elliptical Machine. As he has done on most days after his workout, Keith stopped by the Lido Café to bring back some coffee to the room. Anne Marie worked out a short while later and worked out on the Treadmill. Like Keith, after her workout she stopped by the Lido Café to bring some coffee back to the room.

We both enjoyed another nice breakfast in the room and then we got ready for our visit to La Rochelle.

This is our first visit to La Rochelle, France. The city population totals less than 100,000 inhabitants.

This town is known for its beautiful harbor and its elegant buildings and its waters that boast some of the world’s most impressive yachts. La Rochelle is the largest yachting hub on France’s Atlantic Coast.

The town has beautiful cobbled streets and many arcades and is a nice place to explore on foot. La Rochelle also has many museums including the Museum of Natural History along with the Museum of the New World.

Since we have taken many tours during the course of the World Cruise we did not take a tour today. A complimentary shuttle was provided between the pier and the City Center. It was a bit cooler than we first thought so before boarding the bus we went back to our room to get our fleece jackets to wear underneath our jackets. The sky was sunny though and once again we did not have any rain. Overall, we have had wonderful weather since we left Miami, Florida.

All visitors were asked to carry their passports with them. On the return back to the ship, local authorities boarded the bus and asked to see our Passport and the Ships Boarding Card and they also ensured that our respective names were on the passenger boarding list.

We took the first shuttle into town and we walked around for a while. Some of the buildings date back many years. We walked around for quite a while. We even bought ourselves French Pastries which we took back to the ship to have this evening.

We had lunch in the Main Dining Room with one of the officers of the ship and had a great time reflecting on this journey and talking about a variety of other items.

In the afternoon, we continued packing, and we read, wrote and also Anne Marie took a very nice walk on the Promenade Deck. We also spoke with some of our fellow passengers.

This evening we plan to dine by ourselves at the Prego Italian Specialty Restaurant. Afterwards we plan to attend the Captain’s Formal Farewell Reception. We will post about this tomorrow.


“You are never too old to set another goal or to draw a new dream.”

Keith and Anne Marie

Welcome To Balbao, Spain - Day 106

(Fifteen Pictures From Today's Visit To Bilbao, Spain)

(View Of Guggenheim Museum)

(The Spider Outside The Guggenheim Museum)

(Another View From Outside The Guggenheim Museum)

(One Of Many Beautiful Parks)

(One Of Several Pedestrian Bridges)

(Another Nice Bridge)

(A View Of The Guggenheim Museum)

(A Nice Pedestrian Pathway)

Anne Marie With The Guggenheim Museum In The Background)

Photo From The Other Entrance To The Guggenheim Museum
With This Sculptured Bush Which Was Also Filled With Attractive Flowers)

(The Main Entrance To The Guggenheim Museum)

(Another View Of This Sculptured Bush)

(The Crystal Serenity In Port Today)

(The Crew Is Always Keeping The Ship In Tip-Top Shape)

Monday, April 26, 2010

We enjoyed another nice evening on the ship last night.

Before dinner we sat at the Crystal Cove and listened to pianist John Mentis. We first met John in 2007 and then we enjoyed his music in 2008 and once again this year. After he finished, we spoke with him for a while and enjoyed a great conversation with him. In addition to playing the piano he also take a good deal

We decided to have dinner in the room and we enjoyed a quiet evening as we had dinner and talked about the extraordinary journey and adventure that we have experienced since we left Miami, Florida on January 4. There is no other way to see as many places as we have seen in this time frame and words cannot adequately describe how interesting this itinerary has been. As we have said from the start of this journey, we have been humbled by this opportunity to see so many places that our parents could only have dreamed about and to see them through our very own eyes. Many times, we feel that our parents are apart of this journey with us.

We had planned to have dinner in the room before we received the invitation to dine in Silk Road on Saturday evening so believe it or not the dinner we enjoyed was from Silk Road. We began our meal with sushi and sashimi, and then for our entrée we each enjoyed Hot Sobu Noodles with a delicious broth, which was accompanied by some scallops. Instead of our normal dessert of fruit we splurged and had a piece of cake. The entire meal was yummy. Before we depart the ship we have three more dinners and plan to eat in the dining room this evening, Prego tomorrow, and finally Silk Road the night before we depart the ship in Southampton.

The sun did not set until close to 9:30 PM last evening so it was light out for quite a while. It’s hard to believe it was so light outside this time of the year.

We slept well last evening as we cruised to Bilbao, Spain. The seas were much calmer than what we had anticipated and we have been very fortunate to enjoy such great weather throughout this voyage. It is hard to believe that the coolest temperatures we would have experienced was in Key West Florida and that most ports that we visited have been rain-free while we were there.

Keith woke up early this morning and as usual made his way over to the Fitness Center for a nice workout. He worked out on the Elliptical Machine and was the first one to arrive there. Fellow passenger and friend John arrived a little while after Keith began his workout and the two of them had a very nice conversation. This is our third sailing with John and his lovely wife Linda and we enjoy their friendship. This will be Keith’s next to last workout, as we will likely take the day off on April 28. Anne Marie also enjoyed a very nice workout in the Fitness Center as she worked out on the Treadmill.

We enjoyed breakfast in our room and then we got ready for our first visit to Bilbao, Spain. Billbao is the capital of the provinces of Vizcaya, which is situated in the western part of the Basque country. Bilbao is the home of the Guggenheim Museum. Bilbao is also the gateway to the Cantabrico Sea. The population of this city stands at around 375,000 residents.

We had originally planned to do a tour but we decided that for this last leg of the World Cruise we would try to visit most of the ports on our own.

We took the shuttle from the Cruise Ship Terminal over to Bilbao, which is located about 12 miles from the Port. We enjoyed the drive. The town right by the port was quite charming with many homes, apartments, cafes and other stores. The architecture was quite nice. Once downtown we went on a very long walk.

The city was beautiful. We liked the architecture of all of the buildings. The weather was perfect. We walked through a number of pretty parks with nicely cut grass, flowers, fountains and/or other statues and various trees and plants. Many of the roads were lined with beautiful trees. There were lots of bridges which included bridges for motor vehicles but several pedestrian bridges.

We walked over to the Guggenheim Museum and all around it. We took in the beautiful sites. We then walked all around many other areas of Bilbao. The streets are lined with cafes, restaurants, shops, office buildings, governmental buildings, and residences. Many of the buildings date back many years.

There is no question that Spain has several beautiful cities. Bilbao is one of them. Unlike Barcelona which is very nice but has a good deal of crime, Bilbao seemed much safer to us.

Bilbao is also surrounded by beautiful rolling hills that were quite green with lush bushes. In many ways it reminded us of the beauty that one finds in Northern California during the rainy season.

We truly enjoyed the time we spend in this beautiful city.

Once we returned to the ship we went over to the Lido Café to enjoy a very nice salad entrée. We spoke with some of our fellow passengers along with some of the crew who work in the Lido Café.

In the afternoon we read, wrote and Keith played paddle tennis while Anne Marie took an hour walk on the Promenade Deck and we also enjoyed some nice conversations with fellow guests and fellow members of the crew.

This evening we will be dining back in the Crystal Main Dining Room and afterwards we will be attending a very special concert. We will post about both of these experiences tomorrow.


“Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.”

Keith and Anne Marie

Saturday, April 24, 2010

En Route To Bilbao, Spain -Day 105

First Four Pictures Taken After The World Cruise Video Was Show

(Our Wonderful World Cruise Hostess and Cruise Director)

At The Conclusion Of The Event Each Of The Departments Were Represented And We
ALL Gave Them A Standing Ovation As They Paraded Onto The Stage)
(Three Of The Butlers Were There Including Alexander On The Left)

(From Left-To-Right Cruise Director Rick Spath and Captain Glenn Edvardsen)
(They are both Outstanding)

(The Four Sounds Of Serenity Singers)

Following Are Some Photos From Todays
2oth Anniversary Gala Buffet

(The Staff Were Wearing New Uniform Tops)

(Forth From Left Is Executive Chef Franz Weiss)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

We had another nice time on the ship last evening. We dined at the Silk Road Specialty Restaurant with our wonderful World Cruise Hostess Stacey Huston, her parents who came on for this final leg of the World Cruise, another World Cruise couple and one World Cruise Female Guest who is traveling solo. We had a wonderful time and it was terrific to meet and to get to know Stacey’s parents. One of the nice aspects of the World Cruise which we have mentioned from time to time are the strong bonds that develop between guests, and the crew and last evening was one example of that. In addition to the wonderful conversation we all enjoyed, we also enjoyed a wonderful meal at Silk Road. We enjoyed a wonderful plate of sushi and sashimi. We then each enjoyed a wonderful soup and we each ordered the lobster for our entrée. We ended the meal with a fruit plate and coffee for Anne Marie and green tea for Keith. It was a delightful dinner.

Last evening was payback time from the night before when we turned the clocks back one hour. This time we had to forward the clocks by one hour. We still have one hour to go when we will be moving them backward by one hour.

This made it a bit more challenging for Keith to wake up this morning. He was the second guest to arrive to the Fitness Center and did his normal workout on the Elliptical Machine. After his workout he stopped by the Lido Café to bring back some coffee to the room. He spoke for a few minutes with one of the members of the Night Crew who he sees all the time and then spoke with a couple of the wonderful Lido Deck Stewards; Lebert and Demi. Around the time Keith returned to the room it was Anne Marie’s turn and she enjoyed a nice workout on the Treadmill. Like Keith, after her workout she stopped by the Lido Café for some coffee.

We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast in our room as we got ready for our second to last day at sea. We watched the Crystal Cruise Morning Show while we ate our breakfast. Rick had two special guests on the show including the Vice President of Crystal Cruises Entertainment and Enrichment Program, Brett Bullock, and Bandleader for The Galaxy Orchestra, Raphael Derkson. One of the items they discussed is tomorrow evening’s special entertainment, which is the Serenity POPS, which will feature the fabulous Crystal Entertainment Team along with some special musicians who have recently boarded the ship for tomorrow evening’s performance.

Keith dialed into the show to express our appreciation and our gratification for the extraordinary level of entertainment that has been performed throughout this voyage. Keith also mentioned that each succeeding year that the entertainment surpasses the prior year. He also mentioned how talented the Crystal Galaxy Orchestra is and the tremendous job that our Cruise Director and World Cruise Hostess have done along with all of the other members of the Crystal Entertainment Team.

Today is our second to last sea day as our wonderful and exciting voyage is winding down. We are scheduled to arrive to our next port of call in Bilbao, Spain. Since today was a sea day there were lots of activities offered on the shop throughout the day.

We attended a lecture given by Destination Lecturer Ken Rees who we have thoroughly enjoyed during this adventure. This morning he spoke about our final port of call on this adventure before we reach Southampton which is La Rochelle, France. He talked about why La Rochell is one of the most historically rich cities in France and has beautifully maintained its architectural heritage. This included a discussion of the old town where the visitor can step back to the days of the Templars, the Huguenots and the Three Musketeers.

Later in the morning we attended the World Cruise Video Showing. During the course of the World Cruise video has been taken and we got a chance to see the video this morning. About eight weeks after we arrive home a copy of the video will be sent to each of us. Seeing the video reminded us of all of the extraordinary places we have visited during this World Cruise Adventure along with many of the special events we have participated on and off the ship along with all of the entertainers and destination lecturers and others from the enrichment program who have been a part of this journey. Each of our eyes swelled with some tears as we thought about what a wonderful adventure this has been. There was applause during portions of the Video and a standing room applause for our Cruise Director, World Cruise Hostess and Captain and the guest remained standing as personnel who represented all of the ships departments came into the room and marched ont the stage.

At Noontime there was the Ocean 20 Gala Buffet. While this buffet has been available on the sister ship the Symphony, this was the first time this gala was offered on the Serenity. This buffet featured culinary highlights from the last 20 years of Crystal Cruises and is all part of the 20 year celebration for Crystal Cruises. In addition to the special foods, the staff wore new outfits and there were some new serving items.

Some of the items on the buffet included;

An array of Baked Breads and Rolls including Ciabatta, Focacia, Mini Panini, Parmesan & Pesto Ears, Puffy Pastry Sticks; Salt Sticks; Kornspitz; Croissant, and Danish Pastries.

Salads such as Cherry tomato and Baby Buffalo Mozzerella, Prosciutto and Melon Balls, Egg “Penguins”, Marinated Beet Salad with Raspberry Balsamic; Marinate White and Green Asparagus Salad; Marinated Greek Salad; and Traditional Cobb Salad.

Chilled Savories such as a Selection of Sushi and Cut Sushi Rolls; Chilled Alaskan King Crab Legs with Cocktail Sauce; Norwegian Gravlax with Honey Dill Mustard Sauce; Chilled Lobster Tail Half and Jumbo Prawn Tower with Creole Remoulade Sauce.

Hot Dishes included; Jade-Style “Mongolian” Grilled Lamb Chips; Baked Salmon Coulibiac; Poached Eggs – “Benedict”, with Truffle Hollandaise or Sauce Choron, Creamy Spinach; Pink Roasted Prime Rib, Creamy Horseradish, Sauce Bordelaise; Spaghetti “Prince of Naples” Tossed with Tomato, Bolognese and Creamy Porcini Sauce; Eggplan Parmigiana.

Desserts included; Tiramisu, Mini Crème Brulee, Imperial Slice, Chocolate Delight, Cream Swan, Homeade Vanilla Ice Cream, Fresh Berries, Chocolate Fountain and Condiments, Selection of Vintage Cheeses, Grapes, Pecan Nuts, Caramelized Walnuts, Pear Chutney, Ice Wine Jelly, Truffle Honey, Assorted Mustard and a Splendid Presentation of Fresh Fruits.

We viewed the buffet and the introduction of the various chefs. Afterwards, we went to the Lido Café for lunch where we each enjoyed a nice salad entrée.

This afternoon we read, wrote, did some additional packing (L), and we spoke with fellow passengers. Anne Marie also worked out on the treadmill for another hour.

This evening we plan to have dinner in our room. We thought it would be nice to do this before the cruise ends and will post more about this tomorrow.


“The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, but that they know so many things that ain’t so.”

Keith and Anne Marie