"" Writer's Wanderings: Cruising The Bahamas--San Salvador

Friday, November 19, 2021

Cruising The Bahamas--San Salvador

 There are 700 islands in the Bahamas but only 30 are inhabited. One of the things we looked forward to on this cruise besides the food, the entertainment and the time to relax was stopping at places we had not been. San Salvador was one of them.

There are four different monuments scattered around the twelve by five mile island that commemorate Christopher Columbus' first step into the New World. While Columbus was able to stop here and go ashore, we were not. The place where the tenders from the ship would land, was not protected from the surf and there was a strong wind blowing in. It would not be safe. So with apologies, Captain Vorland announced at lunch time when we arrived at the island that we would be having a great day at sea.

I could imagine the Cruise Director, Rick Spath, scrambling to schedule more onboard activities but I think it was not much of a scramble. The Crystal Serenity had been making this cruise for a few months now and there were other times that the ship could not allow passengers to go ashore because of weather. He had alternative plans in his back pocket, I'm sure.

It was all okay by us. We wanted a day at sea to explore and reacquaint ourselves with the ship that we would be spending 128 days aboard come January. We had already attended a lecture by one of our favorite at sea lecturers, Bill Miller who is an authority on ocean liners and cruise ships. We have heard him several times on other cruises and he did not disappoint. The history and interesting facts of those who traveled on the early ships is fascinating. 

Our first stop after lunch was paddle ball on the sun deck. In the benches that hold the balls and paddles, there was also pickleball equipment but there were no lines on the paddle ball court for pickleball. 

We chose a couple of paddles and grabbed some balls for the opportunity to practice a little and get used to the larger paddles and the tennis balls that have a hole poked in them to keep them from being too bouncy. We started hitting the balls back and forth and laughing as we had to get used to the way the ball bounced and the moving deck below our feet. When we took a water break, we watched the group of guys playing in the court next to us. They were obviously well practiced with the game and it was quite competitive. 

The rest of the day we spent getting a walk around the Promenade Deck and enjoying afternoon tea. The tea has changed procedure a bit. I suspect because of COVID protocol, instead of waiters coming around with trays for you to choose the scones, and little pastries and finger sandwiches from, a three tiered tray was set before us with more than we could ever finish off. We did our best though and learned later that we could just ask them to leave the tray with the scones on it and take back the rest. After all, we had to leave some room for dinner. The whole experience reminded us of the very expensive high tea we had at the Burj al Arab in Dubai.

Reading on the veranda followed by dinner in the evening was relaxing me more and more. Dinner was the excellent experience we expected from Crystal and our waiter, Kola from Albania, was fun. Entertainment in the Stardust Club was James Fox who presented a selection of songs from various artists including Billy Joel and Elton John. We had skipped the show the night before when he did only Billy Joel. We were so tired that first night that we were falling asleep before the show started. I was glad we got to hear him before his time aboard was over.

We sank into soft pillows and crisp linens and quickly went to sleep rocking gently our second night at sea.

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