Saturday, June 10, 2017

Crystal Serenity – LA to Vancouver – Day 1 – Friday, June 9, 2017 (Arrive in LA and Boarding the Ship)

On a normal workday, we get up at 4:30.  Today we got up a bit earlier at 4:00am to make sure that we got everything ready for our departure.  We were so thrilled to return to Crystal, as it’s been about a year since we were on a cruise.  The trip started off amazingly well, as we were upgraded to first class for the short flight between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles.  As we were riding in our Uber from LAX to the port, we spied the Crystal Serenity off in the distance.  The vacation was about to truly begin.

Keeping the upgrade train going, we also had our cabin upgraded from an ocean view window to a balcony.  Now that is AMAZING!!!  After embarkation, registration (which, on Crystal is handled once onboard), we checked our hand luggage and headed for our traditional first lunch on board in the dining room.  Before we entered the dining room we were given an excellent glass of champagne.  

Now that is how to start a vacation.  We landed at a table for 2 in Alexsander’s section (Julie mentioned that many Cruise Critic folks have talked about how he is a great head waiter and they were correct).  We started the meal off by sharing a seafood appetizer plate and then we each had a Cobb Salad for the entrée.  They were both terrific.  We especially like how you aren’t overloaded with too much food as is often the case when you get a salad entrée.  The portion size was perfect.  After a few more glasses of champagne we concluded with a shared scoop of triple caramel ice cream.  Yummy.

Our room was ready early, so we wandered there (of course, all of our luggage was there, even the pieces that we hand checked) and proceeded with the obligatory unpacking ceremony.  

We then had a major planning issue: the lifeboat safety drill was at 5:15, dinner is supposed to start at 6pm, and sail-away was scheduled for 6pm.  Of course, we needed to have cocktail hour in there some place, so it was a scheduling nightmare.  Our solution was to dress for dinner early and head to the cove for a Baccaraz (Raspberry) Martini at 4:45 (well, it was 5:45 in Utah, time, well past the 5:00 drinking start time).  Just before 5:15, Bob went back and collected the life jackets and we met at the entrance to the Galaxy lounge (our muster station).  

When the drill was over, Bob took the jackets back and Julie went back to the Cove to order a couple of glasses of wine.  We rendezvoused there and then headed up to deck 7 for sail-away.   We managed to only be about 12 minutes late for dinner – it worked out perfectly.

Our standard table is a 2 seater at a window, making for a wonderful view.  Another big WOW.  Our head waiter is Olmas and Fernando is the waiter.  For dinner, Julie had a shrimp cocktail, king crab soup, and salmon with a Chardonnay sauce.  She thought that the shrimp and salmon were excellent, but the soup was only ok.  

Bob loved his lamb meatballs in curry sauce appetizer, that was followed by a nice Caesar salad and sirloin steak with béarnaise.  We concluded dinner with our favorite desert Crème Brulee. 

After dinner, we headed to the room and basically collapsed into bed.

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