One of the things I enjoy the most about Celebrity cruises has always been the fellow passengers. Yesterday was no exception.
The morning began with Catholic mass. Celebrity is one of the few lines that offers mass on nearly all of its sailings – not just holiday sailings. I think it is a very nice touch and provides the opportunity for people to come together for worship even when they are far away from home. Following the Catholic service they also have a non-denominational service that is lead by the Catholic priest.
After mass we had our Cruise Critic meeting. Cruise Critic is one of the biggest and oldest websites for cruisers. They too have message boards where visitors can meet their fellow passengers, much like we have here at Cruise Talk, however, they have probably the most active members of any of the cruise web sites. Our â€œRoll Callâ€ thread had over 1000 posts and about 120 members on it. Yesterday morning we had our ship sponsored get together in the Revelations lounge. Our group had planned several activities during our year of online chatting. One of the activities was a â€œhome townâ€ gift exchange. We all brought a little something that represented our home town, state, or country to share with others. I brought a wine stopper with a saguaro cactus atop it to represent Arizona and the wine growing region where I live. Coincidentally, I received a wine cork from a lady from British Columbia. Her cork was decorated with a Native American totem like representation of a whale, a nice reminder of our visit to B. C. during our Alaskan cruise last year. I met many delightful people at the event and enjoyed talking with every one about their home towns.
After the get together I headed off to meet the family for lunch. My husband and the kids all enjoyed burgers on beautiful glazed sesame seed buns, while I kept it a bit lighter with two salads one mixed greens and the other tomato, basil and mozzarella. I also enjoyed a bit of chicken noodle soup.
After lunch I took part in one of my favorite cruise activities, a nap.
The nap left me refreshed and ready for one of my other favorite things about cruising, formal night. With four people in a room we worked out a schedule for the showers so that it was a bit easier for us to get ready. I was first so I could then help everyone else with their formal wear. My daughter was next so weâ€™d have plenty of time for her hair. She was followed by my son and husband. Once every one was ready, we headed up to the lounge for a cocktail, and some more nice conversations with some more friends from Cruise Critic.
Dinner service was again flawless with much attention to detail. The offerings were plentiful but not oversized. Thatâ€™s one of the things I like about the multi course dinners on Celebrity: the portions are reasonably sized. I had a crab cocktail, French Onion soup, Caesar salad and stuffed pork loin. Again for dessert, I had my bowl of mixed berries. The kids and my husband enjoyed a cream of chicken soup. My son had the steak which was cooked as he ordered it.
After dinner we attended the captainâ€™s toast in the theater and then enjoyed Jack Walkerâ€™s performance. Jack is an amazing singer who I think is right up there with Michael Ball, Russell Watson, or Michael Crawford. His show had a few Motown hits, but where he really stood out was on his Operatic pieces like â€œNella Fantasiaâ€ and â€œMusic of the Nightâ€. I had a chance to talk with him in one of the lounges and found that he has had no formal music training other than singing with his family as he grew up.
After the show we once again enjoyed wonderful conversation with a couple from England. They even got into a bit of conversation with my son about the battle of Trafalger and Lord Horatio Nelson. Weâ€™ll be visiting Tenerife in a few days which where he famously lost his arm and an unsuccessful attempt to take the island. We chatted with them, the cruise director, activities staff and entertainers until 3 am in one of the lounges.
A Few Random Observations:
This cruise only has 6 kids registered in the kids program. Two of them are my own and three of them are between the ages of 3 and 6. There is one other boy from Australia who is 12. However, my own kids are having a great time in the kids club despite the lack of other kids. The counselors have been playing monopoly and Wii with the kids and keeping them well entertained. The kids even enjoyed a night of free arcade games last night.
The passengers are mostly over 50, very friendly, and from all over the world.
I find the quality of the food to be consistent with my other Celebrity cruises.
The weather so far has been cold. As I type this note, we are docked in our first port, Malaga. It is pretty cold outside, but sunny and clear, so I am hoping it will warm up and weâ€™ll have chance to enjoy our balcony. We have a stunning view of the city from our Balcony.