Breaking News - We arrived back to the United States of America and this was the first time in twenty-seven days that we went ashore without wearing boots or hiking shoes and our red Northwest Passage Jacket.
We began last evening as we normally do with a pre-dinner drink at the Avenue Saloon. We chatted with Dancer Curtis for a few minutes and it was very nice to catch up with him. It has been a pleasure watching Curtis and Natalie perform.
Afterwards, we enjoyed dinner at the Prego Italian Specialty Restaurant. We were joined for dinner by Cruise Director Rick Spath. We enjoyed the superb cuisine, wonderful service and the ambience of the dining venue. Costa was our waiter and took wonderful care of us as did Head Waiter Mario and Specialty Restaurant Maitre d' Antonio. We also enjoyed lots of laughs with Rick as well as with Costa, Antonio and Mario and Sommelier Jiri.
For those of you who have followed our travels, given the amount of time we have spent on Serenity these several years the on-board feeling we have is as if we are in a small community or as they say in other parts of the world a small village. When you sail with people year after year bonds develop as you share so many good times and experiences. This takes place with fellow guests but also with the members of the crew who we do adore. Some of them are the ages of our children so we have enjoyed watching many start in one area and overtime move to other areas either as lateral moves and/or promotions. Also some of them have went on to marry and start families and again we get joy from all of this as we do from our very own family. It's not easy to put this into words.
The first two photos are from the Avenue Saloon with the second one including Martin. Every night shortly after we arrive someone comes around with two trays with one type of canapé on each tray and on certain nights such as Black Tie Optional the one tray will include several types of canapés. Even though they know we pass on the canapés they still offer them to us and we always say thank you but we will pass on them since we are going to dinner.
Third photo with Cruise Director Rick and next to photos with Sommelier Jiri. Jiri is someone that like our own children we have enjoyed seeing him progress over the years. He not only has a great knowledge of wines but he has both humor and passion. Jiri married last year and is married to another member of the crew who has progressed from the wait staff to being the first female butler on Serenity. Next photo is Costa. We have known him for years and enjoy many laughs with him. He is a consummate professional in all he does.
We couldn't stop without taking a couple of food photos. We both had the additional entree (pasta with crabmeat) as a small appetizer and Keith had the sea bass.
All in all a wonderful dinner with Cruise Director Rick who is very special to us.
After dinner we attended the Captain's Farewell Reception. It was the most attended end of cruise reception that we have been to in several years. When you go to the receptions you can either wait on line for a photo with the captain or you can go in the door on the other side to be seated right away. We go in on the door to see the Captain. The photo is not the reason. Rather we wanted to thank him again for his leadership on this voyage. Likewise, we wanted to thank Hotel Director Hubert for all that he and his team does. Cruise Director Rick was also there as was Crystal Society Hostess Jaque.
The featured entertainment was a special show that was first performed on World Cruise 2016; Elvis. The show was really enjoyable.
We slept well as we sailed to Bar Harbor, Maine. The seas were relatively calm.
Keith was up early and worked out at the Fitness Center. Afterwards, we enjoyed breakfast in our room.
Before we could go ashore in Bar Habor, we went through USA immigration.
We have visited Bar Harbor several times on both Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. Most recently we were in Bar Harbor in August of 2014 as part of a crossing from Southhampton to Boston on Serenity.
The town is relatively small with a city population of less than 5,500 residents. The waterfront is within 100 yards of the tender drop-off pier.
Bar Harbor is located off the coast of Maine. Last century it was the summer retreat to millionaires as was another place that we will be visiting in a couple of days; Newport, Rhode Island. It was home to many estate homes until thy were completely destroyed a the fire of 1947.
The island's beauty comes from its emerald-green forests and rugged valleys.
One of the highlights of this area is visiting Acadia National Park. We have done this in the past. Crystal Cruises offers many opportunities in the way one tours the park including by bicycle, limousine, bus or open vehicle.
The town includes several streets with many stores and restaurants and other businesses and is a fun place to was around.
Other attractions include:
Main Street Art Galleries. There are streets lines with galleries selling many one-of-a-kind items.
Abbe Museum. This museum is all about Native American culture and its history in Maine.
Historical Society Museum. This museum features an exhibit showing the town's history through photos and pamphlets.
St. Savior's Episcopal Church. The church was constructed in phases from 1877 to 1938 and is built using stone and wood. A couple of photos of nearby islands as we were getting closer to Bar Harbor.
Today was amazing. The weather was even better than the forecast. We could have worn shorts. On our previous visits this time of year we had to wear jackets and it was overcast. We had full sun with no clouds.
We took the tender over to Bar Harbor. It is a very short tender drive. When we got off the tender, a man called out our name and it was Jonathan. He knew what we looked at from our blogs and he is a contributor on Cruise Critic and it was a pleasure meeting him. It was so nice for him to come by to welcome us to Maine.
We walked for a few hours and just enjoyed being outside and we took in lots of scenery. We passed by many beautiful homes, some the size of mansions. Some of the former mansions are now Hotels, or used for Bed & Breakfast while some are museums and others are still used as residences. We passed by more moderate size homes which were charming. We love the New England look of the homes with their colorful colors and styling of the outside of the homes. After a couple of hours we walked the downtown area with its shops and restaurants. They were quite busy with some of the people being from the ship.
We were going to go to a restaurant to eat off the ship which Jonathan had recommended to us from others who had eaten there. In the end we decided to keep walking and then get a bite on the ship. Keith also played Paddle Tennis (in shorts) and Anne Marie walked and worked on packing.
As we walked we talked about possibly coming to Maine and spending a week or so here. It would be a delight.
In the afternoon from our verandah we saw this sailboat and could hear all of the children on-board happily singing.