Brits to the fore on Crystal Serenity

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The headquarters of Crystal Cruise Lines are in Century City, Los Angeles. The company is a subsidiary of the giant Japanese shipping conglomerate, Nippon Yusen Kaisha. Crystal Serenity, on which I have been travelling for the past week, was built in St Nazaire, France, and I have been mingling with passengers from all over the world.
Since I embarked in Athens, I’ve met people from New York, Chicago, Florida and California. From Canada, South America, South Africa and Australia. Not to mention those from China, Japan and the Philippines. Plus the Israelis who joined us in Haifa for the remainder of the cruise to Venice.
There are quite a few Brits on board as well. And we find lots about the ship to remind us of home.
For a start, Serenity was christened in Southampton, at a ceremony on 3 July, 2003. The godmother was Dame Julie Andrews, whose framed portrait hangs on the wall of the central atrium.
Jump forward a few years from then, and much of this week’s entertainment has been from the UK.
We’ve had two performances from Nicola Loud, who in 1990 was chosen as the BBC Young Musician of the Year at the age of 15. She will be on stage again this evening, as part of a variety show fronted by Cruise Director (and ventriloquist) Gary Hunt. And, as it happens, she’s just two weeks into her honeymoon.
Comedian and pianist Jon Courtenay, from Manchester, was a big hit on stage in Serenity’s Galaxy Theatre, as befits a performer who has twice been voted Crystal’s comedy entertainer of the year.
If you have never heard of him, it’s no surprise – he says his only television experience involves buying a 42-inch plasma screen and mounting it on the wall at home.
Last night, we even had Elton John on stage for a greatest hits show which had the whole ship rocking. Closer inspection revealed it was actually tribute artist Jonathan Kane, but it was difficult to tell the difference.
There’s yet another Brit to be found among the ship’s crew. Andrew Arabin-Jones is one of the four-strong team of Ambassador Hosts, whose job it is to partner single ladies on the dance floor of the Palm Court on Deck 12.
His CV certainly looks impressive; he took to ballroom dancing after a career which has included being part of the design team for supersonic airliner Concorde, and hobbies which have taken hip off-piste ski-ing, car rallying, and to a karate brown belt.
If that doesn’t provide conversation material a bit above the level of “Do you come here often?” then it’s certainly matched by the other hosts. One is a professor of consumer sciences at the university of Alabama and has taught around the world, another designed a recruitment plan to provide more than 8,000 private security guards for the Los Angeles Olympics.
We should have hired him for the London Games . . .

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:42+00:00 21 October 2012|Cruise entertainment, Cruise fun|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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