ABOARD THE CRYSTAL SERENITY – We have now had at least three days at sea on this trip and I am only beginning to fully comprehend the wide range of activities offered on this ship. Free of charge, mind you.
Now, Crystal does know the demographic of its passengers: 50+, and even leaning to an older group on this repositioning itinerary. The activities reflect that.
So far we have been in cold climes and so, with the exception of a few golf and tennis clinics, all of been conducted inside.
Here is a run-down. I know I will miss a few and what I have already noticed is that they tend to conflict. For example, tomorrow I had a computer class, golf clinic and a massage in the spa all scheduled within the same hour-and-a-half. So I do have to keep a calendar handy, something I hadn’t planned on for a luxury cruise. (Plus, I need to keep track of when we are eating in the three specialty restaurants but more on that later.)
Lectures: There are three lecturers on board, one talking on history of this region, one about politics and political figures (he is talking on the midterm elections tomorrow, should be interesting!) and one is a memory expert. (Tip No. 1: When you first meet someone, write their name (invisibly) on their forehead….)
Computer Lessons: There are a wide range of sessions offered, both in PC and MAC formats. A lot of them focus on either using an IPad (everyone on board seems to be carrying one) or editing and organizing photos.
Bridge Lessons and Organized Play: They are many passionate bridge players on board and both duplicate and social sessions appear to be packed. However, there are some sessions for beginners.
Needlepoint and Knitting: For the so inclined. One needlepoint kit is provided per passenger.
Berlitz Language Classes: Spanish is being featured on this cruise.
Cooking demonstrations: This cruise has a theme, “The Wine & Food Microbrews Festival.” Guest chef Jon Ashford is giving demonstrations and preparing special meals. There are also two beer experts and a master mixologist doing tastings and presentations.
Movies: Shown daily in the Hollywood Theatre in the afternoon and evening.
Golf Clinics: PGA Teaching Professional Shannon Kneisler gives clinics twice a day when we are at sea. Her sessions are popular, often drawing 20-25 participants.
TaylorMade provides equipment for practicing (there are two driving nets and a putting surface) and full sets may be rented for those who wish to play ashore. (On some itineraries, the PGA Pro organizes golf excursions.)
Tennis clinics: Paddle tennis sessions and talks on tennis are also offered by an onboard pro.
USC Digital Filmmaking: In this five-session class, in which I am participating, we are learning to make and edit movies using IMovie on an IPad.
Dance Instruction: The featured dancers also give group and private lessons.
Art Classes: A watercolorist offers a number of workshops
Fitness: There is a wide range of programs, including yoga, pilates and stretching in the gym and Nordic walking with poles on deck. Personal training is also available.
…then there is Mah-Jangg, table tennis, paddle tennis. All for free.
Bingo: Of course there is bingo. But, alas, it is not free.
November 9, 2014