By Don George
One evening on a recent cruise, I strolled around the deck of Crystal Serenity at sunset (with a flute of Champagne in hand, of course!), watching the sun slip into the sea, gazing as the first stars pricked the deep blue sky, listening to the ship move sleekly through the water that stretched limitlessly all around us, reveling in the silence and the serenity and the exultation of possibility, of all the pleasures just passed and all the ports still to come.
Here and there couples clustered on deck, pointing at the sea or gazing at the stars in each other’s eyes. Seabirds swooped and soared in our wake. And the ship surged through the sea.
I felt at once infinitely small, a drop of water in the ocean of the universe, and at the same time an important part of a warm and intimate shipboard family that I had come to know and love. In one sense, my world was reduced to the size of that ship, alone (as far as I could tell) in that vast body of water, a minuscule and yet marvelous place where at that very moment, some members were putting on tuxedoes and gowns for dinner, and others were bustling about, making sure that silverware, china, and crystal were placed just so. Somewhere, Crystal’s string quartet was playing heavenly music and couples were waltzing, chefs were saucing, entertainers were rehearsing their lines….
I stood alone on the deck, under the now blue-black sky, and thought of these worlds: the unimaginably large planet on which we sailed (and which sailed, itself, through the ocean of the universe), and the lively, intimate ship-world that would bear me, warm and well comforted, through the night. Then I raised my glass to the scimitar moon and toasted the gift of that moment, and that waterborne family, and the discoveries and fulfillments of such moments at sea, part of the inimitable richness of Crystal cruising for me.