12-16-06 

Today after a lovely breakfast at the Lido buffet, we wandered the streets of Key West in torrential rain.  We had three destinations in mind – Heritage House museum which has an orchid garden, Hemingway’s house, which has a very large number of six-toed cats, and a restaurant I had read about in Frommer’s called Bahama Mama’s.  Mary was in a very bad mood and reminded me of myself on a previous cruise when I just wandered the streets of San Juan whining.  I guess it was payback time.  I found the Heritage House interesting and worth the $5 admission.  The garden would have been lovely to sit in if it wasn’t pouring rain.  The Hemingway House was $11 each and I was really only interested in the cats.  Also by then we were both very tired and hungry.  Bahama Mama’s was gone.  The whole shopping center it used to be in was up for sale, so that was a little disappointing.  I’m including a photo of one of Hemingway’s cats.  catI just love the roped off bed and the cat plunk in the middle of it grooming.

Since Bahama Mama’s didn’t seem to exist, we dragged ourselves back to the ship and had lunch at the lido buffet.  I was very pleasantly impressed.  They had a huge assortment of food.  The salad bar had three kinds of lettuce and nice sized shrimp.  I had a beef stir fry and salad and some delicious french fries and some pappadum.  A waiter also brought me a glass of pineapple juice, a glass of ice, and a bottle of perrier which I mixed together for my favorite “cocktail”.

We’re sitting here in our stateroom stealing internet from an unsecured wireless network, listening to steel drum music and a rooster crowing.  One thing we LOVED about Key West was all the roosters and hens just walking around all over the place.  Mary was quite negative about the whole place, saying that it was too touristy.  I really liked it and would have liked it a lot more if it wasn’t pouring.  I know we Oregonians aren’t supposed to complain about the rain, but I guess this wasn’t exactly how I was picturing our vacaton.

After lunch, we got into our swimsuits and went to the spa where we got locker keys for the women’s locker room.  Each locker had a robe and slippers in it and we put on the robes and went down to the pool.  I swam in the empty, lovely, long salt water pool.  (It was still raining.)  Then I joined Mary in the empty very hot lovely hot tub and then we went back to the locker room and showered.  The shower was lovely with Elemis Spa products.  I especially liked the lavender body wash.  Then we went into the sauna which had a huge window overlooking the sea.  It too was lovely.  It’s the cheap person’s spa day.  It’s 4:38 right now and there is a sailaway party at 5 or maybe it’s already started and that’s the music I’m hearing.  Anyway, there will be free rum punch and more Louis Armstrong.

We’ve been comparing this cruise with our last luxury cruise on Regent, and of course it’s only the second day, but so far we think the food is better on Crystal, the service better on Regent, and there are more friendly people on Crystal – on Regent people weren’t unfriendly, but everybody seemed to keep to themselves.  However, as a tradeoff for more friendly people, there are more snooty, haughty people too.  (Mary says not hotty in a good way too.  It took me a minute to get her joke – ok now, laugh.)  I think these people are actually very low-class.  Mary says the guy in front of her yesterday at the muster drill was spending the whole time pointing out to his wife people whom he didn’t approve of.  And we’ve encountered some fairly rude behavior from people who clearly think they’re better than us riff-raff.   But it’s okay, because we know the truth.