Crystal Serenity called on the Port of Saipan early yesterday morning with more than 1,000 of its passengers disembarking and taking tours of Saipan and Tinian.
Pacific Development Inc. director Gordon Marciano said the passengers were made up of Americans, Canadians, Australians, Europeans, and Japanese. The Crystal Serenity also is manned by a crew of around 1,000.
There were also a handful of war veterans aboard, including a couple that saw action in the Battle of Saipan—Lloyd Glick of the USS North Carolina and Lt. Herbert N. Rosen of the medical ship Whedbey, which collected leapers from Micronesia that were brought to the U.S. Navy colony for Hansen’s disease on Tinian.
Pacific Micronesia Tours was the ground-handler for Crystal Serenity for Saipan, while PDI took care of the tours on Tinian.
Marciano said the over 1,000 passengers of the cruise ship were split into two groups for a tour of Saipan, which included a visit to the American Memorial Park Visitors Center to watch the 20-minute documentary “Island Called Saipan.”
The passengers also toured popular tourist sites including Bird Island Lookout, Banzai Cliff, Sugar King Park, the old Japanese hospital, the old Japanese jail, Agingan Point, and a number of beaches that American forces landed on during World War II.
On Tinian, 35 passengers of the cruise ship took the 15-minute flight aboard Star Marianas and were treated by a tour that was conducted by local historian Don Farrell.
The group visited the island’s invasion beaches, the famous atomic bomb pits, and North Field runways, among others. The highlight of the tour was a sumptuous island-style barbecue lunch at Chulu Beach that PDI and Tinian Fleming graciously organized.
Marciano said everyone had a great and memorable time during their four-hour side trip to Tinian.
“Everybody had fun. Some of these guys who went to Tinian never expected island hospitality like that. They said they never visited a place with people that are so kind, generous, and very accommodating.”
The Crystal Serenity began leaving the Port of Saipan around 5pm. It is in the initial part of an 89-day world tour that will also have stops in Japan, other Asian countries, Africa, and Europe.
Crystal Serenity is a cruise ship owned by the cruise line Crystal Cruises. Crystal Serenity was built in 2003 in STX Europe in St. Nazaire, France. She operates together with her older sister ship, Crystal Symphony, offering round-the-world voyages