Cruising on Crystal Serenity Dec 12th, 2008 - Jan 6th, 2009

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


You know something ? If you came cruising into the Caribbean in your gleaming 80 ft motor yacht you’d be feeling very much like “I’ve made it !” That is unless you cruise into the waters of St. Barts where you would instantly be transformed into a nuisance little tugboat operated by the minions that own it.

Sunday we dropped anchor right off the starboard side of Phil Allen’s famous yacht “Octopus”. It didn’t matter how big any of the other mega yachts were in the harbor…they were instantly insignificant by the mere presence of the Octopus. (and there were some fantastic yachts here…the Russian owned “Pelorus” clocks in at almost $500 million *poof* Insignificant !)

We were close enough to easily make out the activity on board. Having seen this yacht in several harbors on previous cruises, we’ve never actually seen it with passengers on board. So the hustle on her decks in the early morning was indicative, we thought, of “pending arrival”. Ooooh ahhhh. As we had coffee on the verandah, the helicopter crew fired up the little dragonfly copter on the aft deck, took it up, hovered for a moment and then landed it on the fore deck. Oh well, so much for thinking that the owner was onboard. But it was fun to watch.

What we weren’t aware of until later, was that they were making way for the HUGE helicopters that would shuttle guests to the yacht later in the afternoon. It took 2 trips to load her up with party guests. What an unbelievable amount of wealth…it’s difficult to comprehend. We were a little miffed that we didn’t receive an invite.

Again I digress…

On Saturday night we went up to Brian & Joe’s for another lavish cocktail affair. Last cruise it was an easy trek across the corridor from port to starboard. This cruise, the journey from the “hood” was a little more involved. We had to leave early, take the subway, 2 buses, and a transfer before we found ourselves back up on deck 11. (okay…so it wasn’t THAT bad…but it was farther than last week !)

We were late getting to dinner in the dining room (here’s where my details get fuzzy…this was 2 days ago now, and it’s all a blur) and following dinner we played some blackjack while awaiting the “witching hour” of midnight to go up to deck 12 for a swim….we thought it would be nice to swim while we sailed out of St. Maarten.

The crew was just finishing up a game of pool volleyball when we arrived. Into the pool we went and as the ship picked up speed…so did the water in the pool. It wasn’t long before security came by to usher us out to “safety”. Hrmph.

We sat poolside and chatted while we finished up a bottle of wine, then headed to bed.

In St. Barts our ‘tradition’ is to sit at the corner table in this perfectly French Café. We arrived at 11 and foo-foo’d the view until after 2:00. It was fabulous. We scurried back to the ship in time for Lynda’s 3:00 Spa appointment. (incidentally...the tenders were a treacherous affair !)Once again, due to the Christmas Winds, the Captain announced that we would be delaying sailing until 9:00. We’ve never been on a cruise with so many schedule adjustments. The people in St. Barts were telling us that the wind has severely impacted the movement of the Mega Yachts…so they’re worried about their New Years Eve revenues. No yachts…no income.

Sunday night was yet another Friends of Dorothy party in the Palm Court. It was the most widely attended that we’ve been to on this ship, and finally we weren’t the only girls present ! YAY !! kind of. One of the bartenders working the party, Jagen just loves Lynda and I (he was working the casino on the last cruise…so he knows us pretty well) When I asked him for a Goose on the Rocks, he brought me a gargantuan tumbler with a big grin ! (I think I hear my dad calling !) It was only a sipper, and turned out to be a tragic waste of Grey Goose !

We stumbled off to dinner at Prego after that and finished the evening sipping cocktails with the Cruise Director.

This morning we arrived in Antigua under bright blue skies. Looked like a beach day to me ! We thought that this would be the day that we finally would swim in the ocean (sheesh…17 days in and we haven’t swam in the sea !) By the time we were ready to go ashore, the skies clouded over with a thick veil of dark grey clouds. It poured off and on all day.

Sooooo…we went to the movies on board and had a blast watching Meryl Streep belt her way through Mama Mia ! It was a lot of fun.

This evening after another 1 hour delay to sailing, we went to the Crystal Society cocktail reception before dinner. We’ve had a marathon string of cocktail parties on this trip. We thought that this was going to be our last one prior to New Years Eve…however, due to our late arrivals and late departures, the Captain has decided that tomorrow evening, between 5 and 9, all the bars on the ship will be OPEN. Ut oh ! I better spin through my Rolodex and see if Betty Ford will still take my calls !

It’s coming up on 1:00 am…so I better call this a post.





Janette and Doug said...

I'm sooooo upset I missed your call. I was having a meeting in my office when the phone rang!!! I usually glance to the phone (just in case) but didn't :( :( . Weather sounds typical for 2008 - very weird. Btw, your log summary on the right says December 200"9" on the 1st line (top one) - you may want to correct because, as we all know, in 2009 you "will" be back aboard in December!!

Do you think the rich do exactly what you're doing - go from one social function to another? It sounds like fun, I think I need to be rich. Ok, that's what I'll do, get rich!! ha ha ha - oh, I'm funny today....

Well New Years eve (my most hated obligatory holiday other than Valentines) is upon us and I'm sure YOU TWO are going to have a fantastic time. We are probably having wild passionate sex (am I allowed to say that on the blog??) - well at least I'm hoping that's how the evening turns out. It's not that we couldn't go out; Sofi and Travis are having a party in a hall to celebrate their wedding which would be nice to go to but.........and, any other dance invites don't interest me this year, and I'd rather be on a cruise :(. <--- that's not a mole, it's a period at the end of a sentence (see? I am silly today - hii dee hoo!!! <- I'll explain that little phrase to you later).

I can't wait to see you two when you're home. I'm off for a month between February and March (3 weeks work and 1 week pleasure tacked on to the end so I'm NOT paying my air....excellent. I have enough points for Doug to fly first class so that should be ok for him when he's traveling on his own one way, we both have 1st going home!!. That means, we have to get all our visiting in before I go. Ginger misses you toooo! She got a furry lamb in her stocking and the water fountain of which she has absolutely NO interest! hmmph.

Ok, now I'm really going. Sorry for the long wind on the blog but...when you look back at it, you'll know what I was up to while you were away and this is barely any news compared to a 2 hour phone call...........and, of course, I'm saving the juiciest for when you come home.

Happy New Year to you both. Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy TONIGHT!!!

Janette and Doug said...

PS: Minus 20 tonight for New Years Eve. Now, I ask you... who wants to get all gussied up for that???


In case you're wondering.....

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We're just 2 girls who absolutely adore cruising with Crystal. We became "Crystallized" in 2003 while we were part of a *gasp* "Group Cruise" through our work. The nature of our business limits us to winter itineraries, but one day....ONE DAY....we're going to embark on a World Cruise. Is that a lofty goal, or what ?
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