Sunday, February 5, 2017

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 – New Orleans, LA – Cloudy - 73F

Embarkation Day


The room was indeed quiet and we slept OK. 

Although the hotel is large and probably had a lot of guests, the breakfast area off the lobby was not too crowded.  The breakfast was good – waffles (pre-made but good), oatmeal, cold cereals, pastries, and good coffee.  Good deal for the price.

I had a little trouble with the app but I finally successfully scheduled an Uber ride to the pier.  She picked us up in front of the hotel and did help a little with the luggage.  The car was not super clean and she had scruffy blankets on her back seat.  The ride to Julia Street Pier was short and the bill was $6.95.

We checked in and waited for our color card to be called for boarding.  The process didn’t take very long and we boarded the ship.

Crystal Serenity seems to be a bit larger than its sister ship. 


New Orleans from the Ship

The welcome aboard Lunch was in the Trident Grill on Deck 12 (Tuna Melt sandwiches and onion rings). Terrific gazpacho (chunky) is available all the time.


The Soup Man Cometh

I also had my first mojito of the cruise –


very good but there was no lime wedge in this drink.  Ellen tried the banana daiquiri and relaxed on one of the couches on Deck 12.

We’re assigned to Stateroom 10018 (Deck 10 Forward).  A very nice room with a verandah, a bath tub, and huge king sized bed.  This is also a PURE room complete with hypoallergenic pillows and an air purification system.



Stateroom 10018

The Life Boat Drill was held at 5:15 PM – we are mustering in the Galaxy Lounge.  Note:  There are two theaters on this ship, the other being the Stardust Lounge (on Symphony, the Stardust Lounge was amidships and more of a lounge than theater).  The second speaker venue is the Hollywood Theater (202 seats), where they normally show movies.

We stayed in the Galaxy Lounge for the 5:45 PM meeting of the Entertainment Group.  Here’s the staff and rest of the cruise-specific entertainers.  Rick Spath – Cruise Director; Valentina Shtyrenko – Assistant Cruise Director (and member of dance troupe).  Other speakers:  Jay Wolff (Destination); Louis Rene Beres (World Affairs); Ken Walsh (Special Interest – Presidential Stuff); Barbara Udell (Health and Wellness); Dane Raushenberg (Extreme Athletics).  My first thought was a lot of speakers and only four sea days.  Found out from Valentina that I will only be giving two talks this cruise.  Could be the easiest gig in my speaking career – Valentina told me to just enjoy the cruise.  I plan to.

The ship is sailing with 700 passengers until we get to Curacao – we then disembark some folks and set sail again with new passengers now totaling 770 (capacity 1050).

We had dinner in the Crystal Dining Room – good soup – striped bass.  We asked for and got a table for two (No. 99).  The Maitre D’ on this ship does not seem to mind seating us at a table for two.  The table was in the back and pretty quiet.  A nice relaxing meal.

The Welcome Aboard show was in the Galaxy Lounge at 8:00 PM.  There are two lead vocalists, two other vocalists, and about four or five dancers.  As was the story on the Symphony, the show included numbers from “Chorus Line” and “Grand Hotel”.

The ship is staying overnight in New Orleans and a lot of people are off eating that Cajun food and checking out jazz clubs.

Our room is quiet and comfortable. 

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