Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Serene Time on the Seas; EDWARD STEPHENS Meets a Remarkable Woman on a Remarkable Cruise Ship in the Middle of the Med

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Serene Time on the Seas; EDWARD STEPHENS Meets a Remarkable Woman on a Remarkable Cruise Ship in the Middle of the Med

Article excerpt

Ccount of the number the ship has stopped during her consecuti 90 months - and 16 world cruises - at sea. Her permanent home now is Cabin 7080 on deck seven.

Affectionately known as Mama Lee by all members of the ship's compan she sold her house in Fort Lauderdale, Flor just after the death of her beloved husband Mason and became a professional passenger.

Mama been on Serenity. than seven "We were happily married for 50 years," she said. "But the day before he died Mason told me 'don't quit cruising' and I took him at his word.

"He loved being on ships and we did 89 cruises together. Now I have completed 415, of which 215 have been during the seven-and-a-halfyears I have lived on the Crystal Serenity. t "This is my home now and I love it. All my needs are taken care of m and I don't have to worry about anything.

"It's a fairytale world and I'm sure I couldn't adjust to normal life now."

as anything we d pressing. When he said he ould be serving anapes each day plus any drinks we would like, I felt myself taking on Downton Abbe A ytyle delusions of randeur. But life on board does spoil you as njoy the finer things albeit for a short time.

Lee, who has the Crystal for more years The penthouse suites are elegant in the extreme, with their kingsized double beds, a comfortable living area, separate dressing room and home from home-sized bathroom complete with full-sized the passenger crew ratio of not far off one-to-one.

Unlike the modern leviathans of the cruise world which disgorge three, four or even five thousand passengers at each destination, the capacity of Serenity is just over 1,000 t so staff soon begin to address you by surname and you start to realise what life would be like aboard your own private yacht.

But few private yachts would have their own super-sized theatre, full-sized cinema, lively nightclub, enticing casino and fully equipped gym, all of which we managed to take full advantage of as we sailed from port to port with a busy nine destinations in 12 days.

The shows in the Galaxy Lounge theatre came thick and fast, with everything from Broadway-style musicals to classical piano recitals.

But for most passengers cruising is all about the two Ds: destinations and dining. So let's take the latter first.

Make no mistake about it, when you are on a Crystal cruise you are never going to starve. There is food available 24 hours a day, but for a very good reason.

If you are stopping at different destinations almost every day passengers are going to be coming and going at all times, depending upon how long they decide to stay ashore and what tours they might have booked. So when they do want to eat, there has to be something available for them.

Enjoying breakfast, lunch and dinner in the magnificent Crystal Dining Room felt like eating in a Michelin-starred restaurant each day. …

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