FAREWELL TO THE CRYSTAL SERENITY
Final disembarkation day is always so sudden! The final packing of those "overnight" things and double checking all drawers, closet, and under the bed, a quick breakfast, a faint "see you next time" and boom.....you're in the terminal and gathering your bags. After 108 days, this is always quite painful and a very sudden landing into reality. However, Crystal Cruises really makes this whole procedure very easy. For the luggage, the big lifesaver was Crystal's luggage company, Luggage Concierge, with their President aboard, Nic Colucci, and his team. We shipped four large duffle bags home and will arrive a few days after we get home on May 1st! Perfect!
Our driver was waiting for us outside the Southampton Cruise Terminal and off we went to our favorite Oasis for two nights, the Four Seasons Hampshire, located approximately half way between Southampton and London's Heathrow International Airport. In about an hour, we arrived at the gates and entered something familiar to us - true SERENITY!
We were here four years ago after disembarking from the Queen Mary 2 crossing from New York and it was so good to be here again. As we pulled up to the entrance, we were greeted by our dear friends, Susannah Laurie, Director of Marketing (pictured left) and Colin Clark, Four Seasons Hamshire General Manager (pictured right). This warm welcome is so typical of this exquisite hotel. We were whisked right up to our room, the St. John Ellis Suite overlooking the entrance and grounds of this estate and park. Our trademark is a yellow smily face and low and behold, the pastry chef, had made some for us with a happy greeting on the dining room table.
Virtuoso Hotelier of the Year several years ago and London's Four Seasons Manager and Regional Vice President for Four Seasons Hotels, John Stauss, had a lot to do with all of this fun! We will have the priveledge of seeing John once again in August at our Virtuoso Travel Mart at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch in the Seasons Dining Room, went immediately to the Spa and huge indoor pool facilities, returned to the Bistro for dinner and got to bed early. It has been a rather full and emotional day of more farewells, one last look at our home away from home, the Crystal Serenity, and a big welcome at Four Seasons Hamshire.
OUR THOUGHT FOR THE DAY......
"Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey". - Pat Conroy