A Travellerspoint blog

December 2012

SERENITY FOUR

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Ed and Ruth (not Bernard and Bianca, who are in the photo!) are all set to travel! We have created a Travel Blog for the Crystal Serenity Grand Voyage on which Ed is the Protestant Chaplain. The cruise starts on January 16, 2013 and ends on Easter Sunday, (March 31). However, we will also be on board for the Christmas cruise in the Caribbean (Dec. 21-Jan. 4) and possibly the following Caribbean cruise which goes from Jan. 4- Jan. 16.
We may post some pictures from those first sailings, but the blog is all set for us to start in Miami on the 16th and, virtually, bring you with us through the Panama Canal, around Cape Horn and into the Amazon River, to the cities and ports that will be the most exciting to see!

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In the Bush Inn, St. Hilary, Wales Sept 2011 – lunch with friends, photo by Ken.

Posted by Swenigale 13:31

CRUISE READY


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We have arrived in sunny Florida and are seriously unwinding! We have two nights in La Quinta Inn in Hollywood and tomorrow, the 21st, we will board Crystal Serenity in Miami, setting sail at 9pm.

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Too deep, Hästa!

Posted by Swenigale 17:36 Archived in USA

THE ADVENTURE BEGINS WITH CHRISTMAS

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The tree lighting in the Crystal Cove on the first night onboard was beautiful.

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.complete with snow!

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Our first morning on the Serenity. The wide walking deck and the fresh sea air make early morning laps a great way to start the day.

Posted by Swenigale 07:16 Archived in USA

CHRISTMAS EVE IN TORTOLA, BVI


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The Serenity has company at the dock in Tortola. The ship on the left is the AIDA LUNA from Germany.

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Our first Christmas Eve Service was going to be at 5:15pm, with a second Christmas Eve Service at Midnight. Our Christmas morning service was to be at 9am Christmas Day. We decided to stay close to the ship with a long walk through the streets of Road Town.

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Posted by Swenigale 07:41 Archived in British Virgin Islands

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ONE AND ALL

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Posted by Swenigale 08:01

CASTRIES, ST. LUCIA


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This port-intensive cruise is a good way to see a lot of islands. The weather is St. Lucia was perfect.

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Palm trees and flowers in December - easy on the eyes!

Posted by Swenigale 10:36 Archived in Saint Lucia

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS


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We are collecting awesome sunrise photos!

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A tug guides us into Bridgetown Harbor, as the Fred Olsen Black Watch awaits her turn.

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The Seabourn Quest was also in port.

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Here's a good look at the Serenity's beautiful teak walking deck.

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Posted by Swenigale 11:01 Archived in Barbados

POINTE-A-PITRE, GUADELOUPE

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The beautiful full moon was still visible at sunrise on the day of our 43rd wedding anniversary.

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Sailing into Pointe-A-Pitre, the capital of Guadeloupe

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We took a taxi (not cheap on this island!) to the town of St. Anne, a destination recommended to us by the French-speaking, very little English-speaking tourism guide. Dropped off in this alley we joined many French-speaking families as we all headed to the beach.

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Lots of wind and windsurfers and an iron gate to pass through - turns out we would be sharing the beach with Club Med Caravale.

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A dark sky looked ominous, but we enjoyed three wonderful hours snorkeling and people watching.

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How crazy awesome is that?!

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What a fabulous anniversary day!

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We are so blessed.

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While we waited for our taxi (that's another story!) this little guy caught our eye. He has "high hopes".

Posted by Swenigale 11:16 Archived in Guadeloupe

PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN


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We've tied up with some interesting ships. This morning we are sharing the dock with thousands of our best friends. The Windstar's Wind Surf and P. & O.'s Aurora are pictured here

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The Star Clipper is on our starboard side -

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- And the Carnival Victory and the Queen Mary 2 (that's the lady with the black hull) were here, as well!

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Now that's a big screen!

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A water taxi took us into town

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In town, we visited St. Martin of Tours RC Church and - what a treat - the youth group was practicing "The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy"!

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One of the Steeg, or small streets that connect Front Street and Back Street (the town IS narrow!)

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The Great Salt Pond, a bit beyond Back Street

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St. Maarten, "The Friendly Island

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That's me - enjoying a late afternoon dip before heading back to the ship - where have all the people gone?!

Posted by Swenigale 16:01 Archived in Saint Martin

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, ST. THOMAS


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First Sunday of Christmas dawned in a clear sky as we arrived in St. Thomas. The sun rising from behind the hills of Charlotte Amalie cast a slow progression of light across the bay.

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Work never ends for the crew.

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A zoomed-in shot from the ship of the Frederick Lutheran Church, our personal destination for the day.

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It was a nice walk from the pier into the town.

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We arrived at the church after the service has started, but we were warmly greeted and ushered into a box pew in this sanctuary that had been completed in 1793 (G. Washington had just begun his 2nd term) but was gutted by fire in 1826 and then rebuilt.

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Founded by the Danes in 1666, Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church is the third oldest Lutheran church in the Western hemisphere.

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The music and congregational singing was inspirational! The pastor added his talent with the soprano saxophone to the music offerings.

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After the service we were invited to join the congregation in their Christmas Dinner, which was held in the Bethania "Mission" Hall. The celebration included musical entertainment. We were invited to perform as well!

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Great food - I know, I know - more food when we are on a cruise ship? But this was local and yummy!

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It was a pleasure to meet and visit with the pastor and his wife.

Posted by Swenigale 11:21 Archived in US Virgin Islands

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