Crystal Easter Getaway
A Crystal Getaway over Easter was the perfect post- surgery pick me up, and a big incentive to do the physio and get fit! We arrived at Sothampton City terminal by lunchtime , and were on board Serenity within minutes, the formalities speedily accomplished, our luggage whisked away, and soon enjoying a delicious , grilled to order , lunch, accompanied by nicely chilled champagne. A lovely sunny day drew us to relax by the pool on the comfy circular sun lounges, regularly offered waters, juices or cocktails by cheerful waiters. By the time cabins were ready, our luggage was delivered, the charming Thai stewardess had brought fresh fruit and refilled the fridge, and asked our pillow preference. After quickly unpacking, we decided it was time to stretch our legs and walk round the decks, stopping when my husband couldn't resist practising a few swings at the golf nets, then later we changed for a quick swim in the comfortably warm pool. This agreeable routine provided a perfect start to a relaxing few days. Finally the ship filled with the buzz of late arriving passengers, and Serenity quietly slipped down the Solent on a calm evening, to the strains of Satcmo gently singing "What a Wonderful World" As evening drew on, we changed into the smart casual clothing requested for the evening, and joined fellow guests in the Crystal Cove bar, as a pianist played and we sipped pre- dinner drinks before going to the lovely Palm Court to watch the sunset and dance to gently playing music from the talented house band. Dinner, as always a delightful event was in the Main Dining room, and we were delighted to find that a new Modern menu had been introduced, alongside the more traditional dishes. The new menu was fantastic, delicious, light, stylish, a true gourmet dining experience. On a later day we dined in the lovely Prego speciality restaurant, with delicious more traditional Italian dishes and very attentive service, but we cancelled a reservation for the popular Silk Road, preferring to explore the modern menu more in th the MDR. One evening was reserved for sampling the lovely Tastes menu in the newly renovated Tastes casual restaurant. This was a delightful experience, sitting under olive trees and sharing the selection of tapas dishes, all cooked to order. Crystal really provide superb evening dining options, with plenty of variety to suit every taste and appetite. A daily routine is soon established, with quality lectures to listen to, enriching programmes to learn new skills and plenty of opportunities to socialise with fellow guests all sharing new experiences or learning something new. Equally rewarding is the chance to do simply nothing but relax by the pool, snooze on the balcony or just get lost in a book from the extensive library. Evenings offered excellent entertainment choices , slick shows in the Lounge, cheerful songs played in the Avenue Saloon, dancing to a live band in the Stardust lounge, and for night owls an intimate night club, or just relaxing with a drink as a charming string quartet plays gentle melodies. Now there is a new Bridge across the river, Serenity had to berth at Bassens, just outside Bordeaux , instead of sailing right into the heart of the city, but a fleet of buses was there to ferry passengers into the centre, running every 15 minutes, so nobody minded, and many guests took the oppostunity to take tours visiting the famous vineyards of the Medoc. As it was EasterSunday, much of the city was closed, but the delightful Sunday food and wine market on the quays was open for business and very busy. When we finally sailed into rainy Lisbon, we were sad to leave, but glad we had chosen to take a shorter cruise on the lovely ship, perfect for a quick break.
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