Crystal Serenity cruise
It was a beautiful hot day when we left for the airport, even leaving late didn't seem to put us in a panic until we hit the M25. Uhhhh! We are going to miss the plane.
The traffic crept along at a snail's pace, and if my husband wasn't already bald all his hair would have fallen out due to the stress. It seem the only sun we would be seeing would be on the M25 getting to the airport and the return journey straight back home.
Eventually we did get to the airport and in the mad rush checked in, and boarded the plane. We sat down and buckled up and we knew we were finally on our way. The Holiday had begun.
We arrived in Barcelona an hour and 35 minutes later, the sun was still shining and the transition from the plane to the taxi pick up was very simple. The Taxi driver was a total comedian; he spoke great English and made us laugh all the way to the hotel. He gave us tips on where to eat, and recommended places that we could visit on our short stay.
We had a great time in Barcelona, the people were friendly and helpful, but the day had finally come to board the cruise. Again the transition from the hotel to the Crystal Serenity was a simple affair. From the time we arrived at the ship, The Crystal Cruises staff began looking after us, and before we knew it we had boarded the ship and were sitting in the main lounge. Looking out of the window we could see that it had started to rain. But it didn't matter; we were finally on board and boy what a beautiful ship the Crystal Serenity was.
The visual luxury of the ship was greatly complimented by the staff on board. From the time we boarded, it seemed that they couldn't do enough for us. At first it was a little overwhelming, but believe me it didn't take us that long before we got use to it and allowed them to treat us like Royals.
We were spoilt for choice when it came to the food, not knowing what to choose or where to eat...simple solution eat it all! I am sure I put a stone in weight. The choice of the beautifully set menu meals in the restaurants, or having a more casual choice in the diner/ eating area on deck 12, and of course the ice cream was always on tap, I actually lost count of how much ice cream I had. If one eating area had closed there were always other places available and the staff was always waiting to serve. Which brings me quite nicely to when all the eating areas had finished and closed for the evening, you still had the option of "room service" ...just in case you had room for a little bit more, believe me it was possible.
You could always order room service at any time of the day; it was so easy to get into the swing of things. My daughter Jayda would always get the munchies around midnight, and ordering breakfast in the morning on the veranda was such a treat...yes we tried it all.
The entertainment was BRRRILIANT! Every evening there was a show in the Galaxy Lounge, which had a relaxed comfortable atmosphere. The dancers and singers were amazing and extremely entertaining. Great voices, fantastic costumes, all round excellence. The standard of the performers was very high and professional.
And the cruise co-ordinator - Gary Hunter, would introduce and close the performances and all the activities on board. He was a humorous friendly person. He was always happy to stop and talk, our conversations with him were always on the humorous side, he was a warm genuine character, and made us feel welcome whenever we met. He ran an excellent well organized entertainments programme on the ship.
There were many opportunities to go for a stroll on the deck, play tennis, table tennis, or to have a dip in the outdoor pool. Or if you had the energy to go and work off all that food in the gym, it was fully equipped with the latest equipment, just saying good bye to my husband as he went off to the gym was enough exercise for me. I preferred to sit with an ice cream in my hands.
Our room was a delight. The expectation was higher than we were hoping for. It was wonderful to have a veranda and sometimes have breakfast in the morning, and watch the sun rise, or to just let the sea breeze pass through your hair late in the evening, Oh life could not get any better.
The choice to do as you please, when you please, was something we really enjoyed. Just like popping to the library for a book or film to watch in our room at our leisure was such a luxury. Our lives back at home are so busy, that finding the time to read a book or watching a film was such a treat.
This Mediterranean Cruise was a wonderful journey, and we stopped and passed beautiful countries on our path. We now have living moments of Italy, memories in Greece, and Turkey. What beautiful countries and lovely experiences. Meeting helpful people within these places we visited. I enjoyed watching my husband and his bartering skills. He seems to be as good as haggling in Europe as he is back home in the UK. We walked away with some great deals and great smiles as he actually convinced them that they were the ones getting the bargain ...Yep he is a natural!
The relaxed atmosphere seemed to make the 2 weeks go by ever so slowly; it was perfect there was no rush. But alas all good things must come to an end, and the time had now come to say good bye and thanks to all those on board who made our time spent so perfect. It was quite a sad time leaving, and even the journey and connections back to England went smoothly with no trouble or fuss.
Back in England, and guess what? It's raining! And guess where we are stuck? Yes you are right - The M25, it took us 3 hours to get back home, but that did not matter, we had a fabulous time.
All in all we would like to thank you all at The Luxury Cruise Company for this wonderful opportunity, and for these precious memories and experiences we will never forget.
Thank you so much
Anne, Roger & Jayda.
Written by Anne