Daily Archives: January 6, 2013

At Sea, Day Two

We had a great day!

After tea on our deck as the sun came up, I headed out to find out the details on the Pilates Reformer that was now listed as available on the ship in the morning newspaper “Reflections”. Yup found it!!!…add the Reformer to the list of activities on the Serenity this cruise! I’m not quite clear how often the Reformer classes will be held but there will be one this morning.

Ivars did his first spin class ever in the fitness centre and had a ball. His regular use of his cycle trainer at home made this tough class doable! A little push on the adventure button for Ivars!

I ran a couple of circuits around the deck of the ship. First thing…I don’t run. (I think I`m afraid your brain might get soft from hitting the top of your head every stride) Buuuutttt…It was sunny (on the starboard side) with gentle tropical breezes wafting about adding to the whole “Whooo Hoo…we`re in the Caribbean on a cruise ship” excitement. So off I went. It wasn`t too bad, I`ll keep you posted as to the mushy brain situation…


View from our deck yesterday.

We attended a lecture at 10am with PGA golf pro Joe Herbert. We like to golf but in the past couple of years, horses have taken up our golfing time. The lectures were super!!! A coach that understands coaching!! A coach’s coach!!!! We have some great handouts, some wonderful elementary drills and are looking forward to the next lectures today. They have new Taylor Mades aboard, a putting green and a driving platform (into a net with a target!). We should get some practice time with the clubs later this week. They are arranging some tee times in port later this week but I think we`ll stick to the original excursion plans and avail ourselves of the local colour.

We had lunch in the Main Dining Room (whew boy o boy, every time there is a lull around here….we`re eating!!!) Ivars is used to the regular 3 square meals a day, me not so much. I left the waiter at lunch scratching his head about the crazy Canadian request…”Roasted vegetable sandwich, no meat, no bread, extra vegetables please”. It was a wonderful light lunch! While waiting for our order, Ivars had a great chat with the Sommelier about the Crystal`s wine cellar. Lots of wonderful choices. I`m looking forward to the week`s wine plan. (punch the Adventure button again for Ivars!!!) The wine on board has been stellar. Other than the first Chardonnay at the first lunch (Crystal “C”), we’ve both loved the pre-selected wine list so far.

Then back to our stateroom, uploaded the blog (the internet is very similar to a busy RV park…oh how well I know that service!!!), did some laundry in the complimentary laundry room (easy peasy) and then headed back to the golf lecture…”The Backswing”. Once again a great hour of info!!

Okay, next on the schedule…Pilates mat class listed at 4pm in the Fitness Centre. Pilates instruction has a great variance depending on the certification of the instructor. I love Stott Pilates. It makes sense bio-mechanically and has a great structure. This class was not Stott. I miss Lindsey (our fabulous Stott Pilates instructor at home). But it was good to get on the mat after travel days and lots of sitting around. Today`s Reformer instructor is Stott certified. Yeah!!!

Last night was Formal Night for dinner. Craziness. We got all dressed up (though I did leave my top hat and tails at home in the horse trailer) and had a great dinner at the Italian restaurant, Prego. A great meal and very interesting Italian wine. Italian wine is not a palette we have developed at all, so it was very good to be walked through the selections by an experienced Italian sommelier.

Today is Pilates (can you tell…I`m excited about the class???!!!), more golf with Joe Herbert and since the sun is again wonderfully warm and sooo inviting…maybe running a couple more K`s around the Promenade deck. Oh dear, I don`t like running…really!

Sea day again today, in port in Tortola tomorrow.


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OMG…We’ve left the farm!!!

Our Very First Cruise Ever!


Crystal Serenity, Cruise the Caribbean, Miami to Miami



After much discussion with our Travel Agency (more about that later!), we did change our flights from the red eye time flight out of Edmonton (yuck) to a more civilized morning flight; Edmonton to Houston at 6:30am connecting to Miami, arriving at 5:20 pm.

Houston airport is the strangest airport we’ve ever encountered.  In all of the 3 separate terminals, we only saw United Airlines planes.  Oh…I did see a couple of US Airways planes but that was it, all United.  I guess it’s United or nothing else out of Houston?  And what’s with the noise????  That is, by far, the nosiest airport…lots of music and sales pitches from the stores and food courts.  Iit didn’t seem to have the muffling architecture found in other modern airports.  Very different, very interesting.

Arrival in Miami was so lovely; warm, humid (my hair instantly did the frizz thing).  We stayed at the InterContinental Hotel right on the harbour.  Our dinner at the hotel was very good.  Tapas, Mexican, interesting.  Our room overlooked the channel that all the cruise ships sailed into and docked.  We watched our ship, the Crystal Serenity sail in and dock right below our room.  As I sat in the bay window in our room and sipped tea, the sun came up over the horizon.  It’s a good thing we are early risers, as the am time change, Edmonton/Miami fit into our schedule perfectly.  Sun, ocean and tea makes me a happy, happy girl.


Our cruise ship the Crystal Serenity docked in Miami, out our hotel window early am.


As the morning started, I did a Pilates workout in the room and Ivars went for a run.  We then had breakfast, re packed and checked out.  Off to the “embarkation” centre for our cruise.  (I’m working on the lingo for this cruise dealio…)  The embarkation process was painless and we were on the ship in the afternoon.

To look at the big picture…Ivars and I don’t get much time together very often so we really try to maximise each the best experience we can get out of each excursion.  We have narrowed our travel criteria down to…

1. Adventure.  2. Really good food.  3. 1000 thread count sheets at night


So as we headed onto this ship, I was feeling “Oh dear, this 2 week cruise may not tick the adventure box”.  We were by far some of the youngest travellers waiting to board the ship.  So ok, we’re committed to this trip.  The food promises to be great and the sheets definitely were advertised to be comfy.  On board we go…

The ship is fancy…blah, blah, blah (google it, it is a fancy way to get around…check boxes 2 and 3)  Our lunch in the main dining room aboard ship was delicious!  And great champagne!!!  Everything is included on this cruise and they have an extensive wine cellar.  (very much a part of box 1 Adventure for Ivars!!)

Sounds like the evening meal time around here might be problematic for us as there are 1000 people on board and we are seated at the 8:30 meal seating in the main dining room.  As I mentioned, we are very early risers, so late dinner times are a bother.  There are not many other restaurant options available on ship, so room service on our balcony might be a regular occurrence!  As I write this, that option is sounding quite nice!  As we are on the starboard side of the ship (more lingo…the right side), we get a wonderful view of the sunset each evening on the first leg of the trip as we travel south.

We stopped by the fitness centre and were informed by the fitness director the advertised Pilates Reformer is no longer on board.  Darn!  This was to be my main defense to combat the increased pushing of button number 2….Good Food!!!  Off to buy more minutes online so I can access Pilates Anytime and a mat on the floor in our cabin….should work!!!

We sailed away from Miami at 9:00 pm.


Departing Miami, sailing south.

This morning, Saturday Jan 05, I am sitting here out on our stateroom deck.  The warm sea breezes are softly blowing all around me as I am listening to the sound of the waves breaking beneath me against the side of the ship.  We sail south for today and tomorrow and land in Tortola, BVI Monday, our first port on this trip.

Ivars has already ventured out for coffee and tea this morning.  (They have my favourite green tea aboard…Hoji-cha!!!!, pan fried green tea).

Well, my tea needs refilling and I think we need a run around the deck as the sun rises!!!

Off to the day’s adventures (and much good food…)!

V and I





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