Yesterday and today are sea days. Yesterday we met Sandra for breakfast – Sandra is full of life and good humor and good stories, and we ended up talking and laughing together until almost lunch time. She invited us to her cabin for drinks later, and I said I would bring some of my hard-won beer.

We went back to the cabin for a bit, and then to lunch. The lunch was a special lunch – Asian buffet in the Lido area. On our last Crystal cruise, I had actually found these specialty buffets annoying, because they closed down the other lunch options, so everybody came, so there were lines and noise and tumult and you couldn’t find a table – might as well be on Carnival. Thus, I entered the cafe area with trepidation, and almost bolted when it sounded louder than usual and there appeared to be a line. My sweetie made me stay, however, and it was fine – there wasn’t a line, and it was only a little louder than normal. There were all kinds of little Asian dishes in little cute bowls – I got a little bit of everything. Once we got to eating, though, we discovered that most of the fare was only mediocre – definitely my most disappointing dining experience on Crystal.

After lunch we went to the Trident Ice Cream bar for dessert – I got one scoop of Peanut Butter with Reese’s Pieces in a home-made waffle cone – delish!!

The afternoon was glorious – just lay about the cabin reading, dozing and listening to podcasts. The seas are a bit high, which means the ship has got a pretty good pitch going (I guess this is pretty common when sailing the Pacific Coast), which can make walking a little bit difficult, but makes lying in your bed divine – rocks you to sleep.

I did make a trip to the ship’s gym mid-afternoon to ride an exercise bike for a while. The gym on this ship is less impressive than most; it is small and dark and cramped-feeling, and the exercise bikes are just up against a wall – usually the treadmills and bikes and such look out on the ocean, but here only the treadmills do. Still, it was pleasant enough, and the staff are very nice.

We are heading north back to LA now, and our cabin is on the port (left, for you land lubbers) side of the ship, which means that we can watch the sunset from our balcony. Because of the swells, no one was out walking the promenade deck (directly below us), and because it was rather windy, no one was out on any adjacent balconies. And so, I was able to do my forward-bow-music-singing thing from my own balcony, rather than having to go up on deck. Lis had gone to a Yamaha music class (she’s such a joiner, my sweetie!), but got back just in time to watch the sun drop in to the ocean.

Note from Lis: The Yamaha class was fantastic. I am so excited now to get a keyboard and continue my musical education!

There was a Captain’s Farewell Cocktail Party right before dinner. We timed it so that we arrived early enough to get some free booze, but too late to have to hear any speechifying – the whole thing broke up right as the waiter handed us our champagne. We took our drinks and headed to the main dining room.

This was our last night in the main dining room, as today we have reservations at Silk Road. Our waiter (Zoltan, from Thailand by way of Hungary) was particularly attentive, and our sommelier (Kremena, from Bulgaria, with whom I am now officially in love) (Lis: Hey now!) scolded us for bringing in our own wine. Zoltan has a helper (Juhan, from Estonia) who is new and inept and causing Zoltan much aggravation – but he (Juhan) is sweet and earnest and trying really hard and is very boyish and tall and has cute dimples, and I’m a little in love with him, too :) (Lis: Hmmmm.)

After dinner we went to Sandra’s room for drinks. I brought along my special beers for everybody. Now was the moment of truth – I had been worried that, after all this trouble, the beer wouldn’t be as good as I remembered. But, luckily, it was – Sandra and David were impressed. We had a lovely time, and then it was time for them to head to dinner (they are late-seating, we are early-seating).

Lis had read that the gym and women’s locker room were open until 10pm, so we made our way up there for a steam. The steam room is beautiful and the steam was divine. Then I took a shower in their special 5-way-jets shower, and then back to our room and to bed, to be rocked to sleep – it was a great end to a lovely sea day.