Day 17, Wednesday, March 12, At Sea, Crystal Serenity, Black Tie Optional

The MS Amsterdam is at sea from Phuket to Colombo, Sri Lanka. Crystal Symphony’s second day in Singapore is her turnaround day. Safe travels to my former shipmates and bon voyage to the newcomers.

I was actually up today about 4:45 and started a load of laundry by 5AM. My five mile walk has gone from 19 laps on the Symphony to 17 on Serenity. My walk got extended when towards the last lap I encountered Cruise Critic members Keith, Anne Marie, and Sea Lover and walked a few more laps.

New this year Crystal has implemented a feature on their login page to notify management about onboard problems. I used that facility about 10 this morning to express my disappointment in the way the computer classes were set up. I had a message from the computer center waiting when I returned from afternoon tea. The response so far has not been satisfactory and may not be but it is good that they at least took the issue seriously.

In the morning show Rick Spath mentioned that we have a full dozen Crystal Visions enrichment speakers. On this sea day there were 2 presentations. Crystal regular Ken Rees started things out at 10:15 with a talk on the history of Indonesia with emphasis on the period since independence. Before Ken’s talk I visited Tastes for late risers breakfast. They did not have my beloved apricot french toast and I probably won’t return to late risers breakfast but will certainly find some new favorites. I’m sure Cruise Critic member RuthC would appreciate the chocolate chip pancakes but it wasn’t a combination I enjoyed. An Equator Crossing Ceremony was held in Palm Court at 11:15, (we actually crossed at 5AM) with a number of polliwogs coming before King Neptune to kiss the fish. It was not as much fun as the Symphony’s ceremony, but I’m sure people appreciated not creating a mess in the pool in this equatorial heat.

I snacked my way through lunch getting soup in the dining room and later ice cream from Scoops and a snack at afternoon tea (accompanied by the Astoria Strings). Between soup and ice cream special interest lecturer Rick Senat, former Warner Brothers Vice President, spoke on the development of Warner Brothers from Nickelodeon to Rin Tin Tin.

I met fellow bloggers Ellie and Art on the way into the dining room this evening. All eight of us were present today at table 102. The newcomer is a woman from Houston, also just on the Singapore to Cape Town segment. Augusto made Grande Marnier Souffle for the table today. The Captain’s Welcome was held between seatings at Palm Court. I don’t think I have sailed with Captain Birger Vorland before but may have in 2004 on the Harmony. The evening entertainment was Broadway singer Christine Andreas. She was good but I don’t think as good as the Symphony’s Colleen Williamson.

My parting shots come from many sources, some based on current events and some planned in advance. Today’s is a hybrid. I had written this before leaving home, planning to use it late in this voyage, but have embellished it and moved it to the present. It started this afternoon before Rick Senat’s lecture. As I entered the Hollywood Theater Cruise Director Rick Spath was standing with Senat, preparing to introduce him to the audience. I think I mentioned last night that I sailed with Spath only once before, on the SS Rotterdam in 1997 and I don’t think we ever met. As I passed them, Rick called to me by name, welcoming me back to the Serenity and to sailing with him again. He was a little off on the details but had the basics of our prior voyage right and mentioned our Captain Pieter Bos by name. Mr. Spath couldn’t possibly have remembered me and was clearly tipped off by somebody (I suspect colleague Scott Peterson), but he made the effort to do his homework and learn to recognize me in a crowd and give me that welcome. In the “Mighty Ships” episode on the Crystal Serenity retired Captain Glenn Edvarson’s final comments included “People may not remember what we said, and they may not remember what we did, but they will never forget the way we make them feel”. I had planned to use that quote in my final comments on this voyage, but I think it’s more appropriate now. I am still not a fan of Rick’s style behind the mike, but I saw him in a new light today. Rick, you have brought Captain Edvarson’s comments to life. Thank you.


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