ABOARD CRYSTAL SERENITY_It’s here — the last day of 2019 — and Serenity is getting ready to PAR-TAY!
Balloons are massed all over the Crystal Cove atrium, along with a giant 2020 Countdown Clock. Celebrations are planned ship-wide, starting with a comedy show in the Galaxy Lounge featuring John Joseph, who opened for Julio Iglesias for 10 years. The Crystal Quartet and Showband are performing in the Crystal Plaza, alongside the clock, starting at 8:45 and then ringing in the new year.
At 15 minutes before midnight, ship Captain Egil Giske will join us as we countdown to a new decade, accompanied by champagne, confetti and hundreds of multi-colored balloons. Afterwards, the party shifts to the Stardust Supper Club and Pulse nightclub, where they’ll be music and dancing until the wee hours.
And did I mention the fireworks? At midnight, Serenity will be in viewing distance of the fireworks show from the posh Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados, which we can watch from Deck 12 poolside. Now the question becomes, how can we be in two places at once?
Today we remain docked at Bridgetown, Barbados, where three new ships have joined us. This is high season in the islands, and there can be as many as six ships here at one time.
Last night’s show at the Stardust was “Sabor Latino,” a dance show extraordinaire from the Crystal Dance Quartet. It was nonstop, uptempo Latin rhythms that provided an electric 25 minutes, followed by a dance set for those of us who only dream about having that kind of talent.
Rather than do another tour, today we’ll rest and regroup. It’s a black tie optional night, and we have to look our best to welcome in a new year. That probably means another trip to the laundry.
Onboard, we can catch a movie at the Hollywood Theatre, or I could try and learn to waltz at one of the dance classes. Pam would like that. Other options include an “Art at Sea” class on how to draw island features, such as palm trees and waterfalls, poolside music or Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court.
We have made one foray into the Crystal Casino on Deck 6, but no luck, I’m afraid. Still, props to Crystal for having a designated room for smoking. Guests may charge a casino advance of up to $300 a day to their shipboard account (up a maximum of $3,000).
If smoking is your thing, there’s the Connoisseur Club cigar lounge on Deck 6, a plush retreat where you can indulge yourself with cigars, port wines, cognacs or whiskeys. If smoking is not your thing, step quickly into the adjacent Avenue D bar when the doors open.
Ultimately, we enjoy a late lunch at Waterside with new-found friends Charlie and Beth from Florida, then decide to chill with an in-room, on-demand movie, one of the ship’s digital entertainment options. In a few hours, it’s time to celebrate.
Cover photo: The scene is set for the big party