Day Four

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Central America Caribbean » Cuba
February 16th 2016
Published: June 17th 2017
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Geo: 20.89, -76.25

Dawn breaks as Serenade sails toward Aruba. Our position is just north of Cuba as we adjust course to sail along her northern coastline. We are close to Cayo Coco where we spent 2 weeks back in 2008. We can't see the pristine white sand beaches or the azure waters that lap the shore but we have very fond memories of our time in Cuba.

We slept in till just after 6am today so our body clocks are getting back in sync. We have coffee on the balcony as the sun rises and it glints of the white foam churned up by Serenades powerful azipod propellors. There are a couple of other ships in our vicinity, all tankers, but they fall behind Serenades sleek speed.

We breakfast in the main dining room. Eggs Benedict of course for me and the classic breakfast for Peter. We then take a short stroll around the ship, visiting the shops first of all. We don't buy anything at this stage. Plenty of time for that. We seek out our embarkation photo. We spend 5 minutes doing what everyone else does. Scouring row after row, column after column to find our images gazing back at us. There are two photos but we only like the one and will buy it later in the cruise.

We head back to the cabin and apply sun cream before venturing up to the pool deck for some sun and relaxation. As its a sea day the main pool is s busy and so we head further back. Due to the back problems I have had an recent cruises I intend to stay well clear of the lay flat sun beds as definitely on Constellation last year my back went as I was getting off the sunbed. Eventually we head down to deck 5 and the promenade. We find a couple of steamer chairs and pull them into the sunshine and spend an hour sunning ourselves in the blissful warmth. After that we pull them back into the shade and read/listen to music for a while.

We lunch in the Windjammer. For a ship this size we think the Windjammer is woefully small as there aren't as many food stations as on the Voyager or Freedom class ships. True she is a smaller vessel than those but there are still 2000+ people onboard and most lunch in the WJ. Still what we have is very nice and will see us through to dinner this evening.

The afternoon is spent almost the same as the morning. Relaxing with books and music. Peter is having a few issues with his sinuses and so heads to the Vitality Spa to make use of the steam room there in the hope that will help somewhat. It seems to. We spend the late afternoon on the balcony as we pass very close to the eastern coast of Cuba form where the ship will turn southerly to pass between Cuba and Haiti.

It's formal night and so we shower, change and get into our tuxedos. Mine is definitely more snug than it was back on Constellation last year. We have a drink in the Concierge Lounge before heading to the Safari Club. The bar there is not open and so we try the Schooner bar for G&T's and Jack & Cokes. From there it is Vintages Wine Bar. Our premium package means we can try a few other wines that we normally wouldn't in case we didn't like.

We head to dinner in the main dining room. We are quickly seated. Our wait staff are a contrasting pair. The main waiter is little stoic and abrupt, he clearly wants us in an out as quickly as possible. The assistant waiter is warm and affable. Our orders are taken by Mr Abrupt and we also ask for the complimentary bottle of wine afforded us by our Diamond+ status. Wine glasses are brought but no wine. Mr Affable advises us that our card is with the Head Waiter who will sort it out. Our starters come. I have the garlic and herb scallops which are very nice...if a little on the small side. Peter has a sliced chicken breast salad. Still no wine. Our Caesar Salads are delivered and I spot the Head Waiter return and shake his head woefully at our own waiters. They come over to advise that the wine is not available. Peter is not happy and kicks off..politely but firmly.

The wine arrives and we are told that we should have received a voucher in our stateroom that we should have brought with us. Peter's says we didn't and it's news to us. We purchase the wine and say we will take it up with guest services later. Our mains arrive. mine is Duck with red cabbage, mange tout and potato croquettes. It is absolutely delicious and my portion is huge which is unusual for the main dining room. Peter has beef tenderloin which he enjoys. We finish with Strawberry Cheesecake and I had the BBB. Banana, Baileys, creme Brûlée. It was ok but not the best. More like a creme caramel.

After dinner we have flutter in the casino on the slots but are not lucky. E head back to the Safari Club where the bar is now open. Stefan from Montenegro is working the bar again and makes us some nice cocktails. I order a Sidecar he accidentally makes me a Stinger which is Hennessy & Creme De was interesting but not one I would order deliberately. From there we grab some excellent pizza from Park Cafe before retiring...both feeling a little quishy.


17th February 2016

Great blog. Enjoying sharing your voyage.

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