Sailaway and 1st Full Sea Day

Good afternoon and greetings from somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

We sailed from Lisbon late yesterday afternoon following our boat muster. Our departure was delayed for about an hour, as the ship needed some “spare parts” – don’t even know what that means, but OK.

AAC, CPA and I decided to have our own sailaway party on our balcony.

sailaway-01
Sailaway beverage of choice, courtesy of our butler, Sebastian.

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And AAC, CPA enjoying a bit of the bubbly as we depart Lisbon.

As we headed out to sea, there were a couple of notable sights along the way:

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The iconic Christo Rei statue on the southern banks of the River Tagus

bridge-and-statue
The 25 de Abril Bridge which, to me, is so reminiscent of the SF Golden Gate Bridge

And, finally, before we head out to the open sea:

lighthouse
The lighthouse.

After a little snooze – good Champagne can make one drowsy, you know – we got cleaned up and dressed for dinner. Here are a couple of the dishes we had last night:

smoked-scallop-cucumber-foam
It’s a hot smoked scallop, with cucumber foam and charred cucumber

beet-sherbet
Red beet sherbet, which we used as a palette cleanser.

OOPS! I forgot to photograph my entree: a yummy pink-roasted pancetta pork tenderloin, which I had with mashed potatoes, yellow carrots and olive oil caviar and chives!

chocolate-brownie
“Chocolate & Banana Harmony”

After dinner, we took a little stroll around deck 6, where all the “action is”. The theme of this crossing is “Big Band” and, true to form, Crystal has engaged the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra to play every night. The band has all the old charts and Great American Songbook standards, so it’s a pleasure to listen to them. We’ve sailed with them on numerous occasions and they are marvelous.

tommy-dorsey
Great musical evenings with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra

So to atone for my sins yesterday (all that Cristal, all that food!!!), I was up and out by 8:00 AM this morning to do my 12 laps around the Promenade Deck. Both Crystal ships are great in that they have Promenade Decks that extend all the way around the ship. For those of you who count, a mile is equal to 3.7 laps.

Around 9:00 AM, the Captain made an announcement that rocked my world: On every westbound crossing we’ve made from Lisbon, the first port of call is always either the Azores or the Canary Islands. As we’ve made this crossing so many times, we’ve been to those places more than we really need to be. So, when the Captain announced that, due to the remnants of a hurricane somewhere, he decided to cancel our call at the Azores and proceed directly to our only remaining port: St. Thomas, I was extremely happy. What this means for me is 8 consecutive sea days – WOO HOO!

Then it was time for breakfast. As it was such a lovely day, here’s AAC, CPA having an alfresco breakfast, a lovely start to the day:

aac-breakfast

(According to dear friends Lynne and Garry, who know all that one needs to know about what’s happening on board, a couple in an adjacent cabin to their’s had booked the crossing for the sole purpose of visiting the Azores, so I suppose these folks having a bad day.)

I, for one, am not upset. With no disrespect intended, once you’ve seen the Azores, you’ve seen the Azores, if you receive my meaning. And you can quote me.

So, it’s just about 6:00 PM and Sebastian is about to drop by with some evening canapes at our request. That’s one of the joys of sailing on Crystal. I think we requested pigs-in-blankets (I never said we were highbrows, after all), crudite (but NO cauliflower) and potato chips. I’m already chilling the glasses for the Negronis which I’m about to make.

sebastian
The absolutely indispensable Sebastian, “the best in the West”.

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AAC, CPA with Negronis and all the rest.

After our leisurely cocktail “hour”, we’ll get cleaned up and, as it’s our first formal night, we’ll have dinner tonight at one of the specialty restaurants: Prego.

Buona sera a tutti – a domani!!

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