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Fly Fast Cruise Slow

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Everything posted by Fly Fast Cruise Slow

  1. Pretty boring itineraries, Serenity is pretty much relegated to Alaska, Montreal and the Caribbean for 7 months in 2022.
  2. Interesting thing to make a complaint about. In Australia we would say no worries. It very rarely is a worry. It is just what we say. Same as no problem. I feel bad for the waiter.
  3. Great sea day and fantastic black tie optional this evening. Everything was perfect.
  4. Just notified that the Shanghai port is closed due to heavy fog we will not arrive until after dark now. I guess today will be a sea day.
  5. You are correct Vince, I remember you writing about it once or twice! So, specifying “two soft poached eggs with the Hollandaise on the side” ensured mine came out perfect. I think an emphasis on soft poached makes sure that care is given to the eggs and that they are not put under the broiler. I’ll test this out again, later in the cruise. Wow, you know you are relaxing when the only thing worrying me are the softness of the eggs. By the way Vince, the Aviation Martini’s are going down a treat! Glen
  6. Thanks to the Cruise Critic community I learned how to order some great eggs Benedict in Waterside - two soft poached eggs with the Hollandaise on the side instead of on top...they came out perfect this morning...
  7. We are currently in one of the rooms at the front with the larger verandah and I have to say the extra space is quite significant and makes a huge difference. We are on for 17 days on this cruise, in what should be relatively calm waters with just three sea days so the motion shouldn’t be significant and usually doesn’t bother us anyway. The solid railing is the exact height of the table. I am 5-8 and sitting in the chairs outside I get a nice view of the ocean, my wife is 5-3 and she has no issues either. Laying in bed you don’t really see the water, but standing anywhere in the room we see 2/3 water and the 1/3 is blocked by the solid wall. In summary, I would be very inclined to have this type of room again given the larger footprint of the verandah. It makes for a very comfortable and spacious place to sit and eat breakfast or have drinks etc. (we have never eaten breakfast in the room before today and I can see this as a daily occurrence now). Also the longer the cruise, the more inclined I would be to have the extra space on the verandah. So for us the extra space trumps the solid wall.
  8. Thanks so much for posting, we hear so little about Symphony, so it is nice to see your stay onboard was so good. We are on Symphony in 9 days (HK to Tokyo) and we are very much looking forward to it. I suspect there will be a very active contingent onboad that trip who will be actively posting! Glen
  9. What would be impressive is if they poured it all day or even at lunch, the reason they pour it for breakfast is that not many would actually have any, as opposed to offering it at a different time of day, complimentary.
  10. I refer to them now as the brand name, Havaiana’s or Birkenstocks in order to differentiate them. As Roland4 says there are too many types and styles these days. I have worn Birkenstocks to Waterside for lunch in warm weather, but never Havaiana’s. If sitting by the pool, I would wear Havaiana’s into Marketplace to grab my food and eat it in the Trident/Silk area. I would never wear either at night, but rather a loafer or driving shoe without socks. What a funny topic!
  11. We had an experience in Anchorage a couple years ago where everyone pretty much needed to use the Crystal transfer to the airport due to the distance from the port to the airport. We arrived to the airport and our luggage arrived an hour later - due to the fact that the luggage was not loaded on to the buses but rather a separate truck. Made for a stressful time, but it worked out in the end.
  12. TER777 - what are the port times in Shanghai - the website has been showing 2pm to 2pm for some time now? I dont recall receiving anything from Crystal. Glen
  13. Keith - I agree that restaurants these days are always trying to push people out as quickly as possible, the same goes here in Australia. We love that we are able to slow it down on Crystal. I noticed that you two eat at the same four top table each night at Waterside - quick question...with open dining are the staff usually ameanable to two people sitting at a four top? With the two tops so close together in the new setup this may be a good option for us. Glen
  14. Hammo - as mentioned all the inclusive wines are pretty much readily available everywhere. If not the bar staff or sommeliers wont hesitate to grab your favourite bottle for you. What I always do is I go to the Crystal Cove early in the cruise and ask for the all inclusive wine list and snap a photo of the white & reds on my iPhone so that I have the list on hand and can refer to it throughout the cruise. As mentioned, depending on the ports, new AI wines may be brought on throughout the cruise (South Africa, New Zealand, Australia etc.). All in all they do a great job with the wines. Here is a list from a past cruise just so you can get an idea of what’s in store...
  15. Looks like Crystsal will be missing out on Alaska in 2020 but not 2021 as Endeavor will be doing 5 voyages in and around Alaska between 12 June - 18 August 2021. Fares starting from US$12,300pp - which will pretty much price most people out. Shame that the other two ships wont be going there, but the Med and Northern Europe might sell better.
  16. It is a really good perk to be able to get some bottles sent to the room, however I really only did this on our first ever cruise, perhaps because of the novelty of it. I asked for a cognac and received a 1 litre bottle. Maybe because it was only a 10 day cruise, but I ended up leaving over half the bottle which I thought was quite wasteful as it would end up down the sink in the end. I also find that we rarely even touch the wines in the room. I suppose it comes down to personal choice, we would much rather go down to the Cove or Avenue and socialize for a pre-dinner drink than have one in the room. Conversely, at the end of the night, if I feel like a nightcap, which is most nights - I would find my favourite bartender, have a chat and then take my drink back to the room. This is the beauty of Crystal - the choice is yours no matter what your preference is. You can even ask your butler to have a glass of your favourite nightcap waiting for you in the room if you so desire...I am getting excited now...50 days to go until Symphony, however no butler this time around unfortunately 😞
  17. We had this same issue during our 2017 Holiday Cruise when we hit Durban - so I wouldnt be surprised if this keeps happening as long as you are in South Africa. This is the problem with South Africa - the local authorities are a law upon themselves and make up the “rules” as they go along - they are really just looking for a handout. It really is a shame and while a few might make out monetarily, the vast majority of residents will be impacted. The actions throughout our 2017 cruise has totally put us off ever going back to South Africa, land or sea. I know alot of the cruise lines avoid it because of these issues. During our cruise, we had mandatory face to face customs inspections at almost every South African port - even when we sailed from one South African port to another. This made no sense, however it became clear that after getting up early each morning to attend them, some being cancelled in last minute, that the local authorities just wanted to get on the ship for a free coffee and breakfast. The issue we had in Durban with the alcohol was that the authorities were demanding a “duty/tax” quiet frankly a payout from Crystal on any alcoholic beverages that were opened while we overnighted in Durban. All the alcohol on the ship, except from the rooms, was counted and had to be placed in a bonded area of the ship. Very early in the morning, signs were placed around the bars saying that there would be no alcohol consumption allowed while in Durban. You can imagine what this caused. By late afternoon, a “deal” was struck with the authorities whereby all alcohol that was already open could be used to make drinks. Anything that needed to be opened was “taxed”. So for mixed drinks there was a limited selection those days as to what you could have. I beleive beer and wine may have been excluded or negotiated favourably. The whole situation was totally ridiculous. Luckily this only occured in Durban. I am curious to see how this plays out in the rest of the ports.
  18. We also really love Symphony - I prefer her to Serenity. In fact we have always thought/experienced the opposite regarding service in Waterside, much better on Symphony than Serenity - for us at least. In August last year Slavko was on leave and he came back in October, I always thought when he was running the show all the staff seemed to be playing their A-game and things would slip somewhat when he wasnt there - at least this seems to be the correlation between what we experienced and read on CC. Now that he has left Crystal, it will be interesting to see what happens when we are on Symphony in May.
  19. Thanks for all the great posts, we really enjoyed “travelling” along with you. Looking forward to seeing you on the May cruise, I suspect that we will have quite a lively and exciting live blog going on that one.
  20. Where ever you choose it will be fantastic. Last year we celebrated our anniversary in Prego on Symphony and didnt even tell anyone it was our anniversary - at the end of dinner an anniversary cake appeared. That was impressive. I do love the idea of a four top table by the window in Waterside, special order menu, a nice bottle of wine, watching the sun go down and the water go by - heaven.
  21. Also with the Magic Castle in LA, the door charge of $25(weekdays)/$35(weekends) is waived for Crystal ticket holders which is great. The only obligation is that you are required to have dinner. Regarding the transfer of tickets, the older tickets that we hold do not have our names on them or any disclaimers so I suppose technically these can be transfered to others. The newer tickets that we hold, from around July 2018 onwards, have a space where our names and cruise numbers were written in on the ticket and below that it says “Pass not valid unless it contains the passenger and cruise number. THIS PASS CANNOT BE SOLD OR TRANSFERRED” The last sentence was in capital letters on the ticket so I suppose they are now enforcing this, and making it super exclusive. This will also make it difficult to bring others with you. As we have quite a few tickets now including the older ones and because they dont expire, I will keep the older ones without a name on them in case we ever want to bring friends with us. Glen
  22. We love Magic Castle at Sea and the Magic Castle in LA. We were there this past Janaury for the first time and it was absolutely fantastic. We booked it about 10-11 months out. The food was average, but then again it isnt about the food. We arrived there just about when it opened at 5pm and stayed until around 11pm, we had dinner at 8pm which was the second seating. However, it seemed that most people arrived at the same time which meant the close up magic shows from 5-7pm were pretty hard to get into as each show only accomodates 26 people, so you need to stand on line for up to 45 minutes. The next time we go we will arrive a bit later after the crowds settle in and stay later in the evening as it tends to thin out once people start going to their dinner seatings beginning at 6pm - I believe the dinner seatings are 6/8/10pm. The week that you are set to go, you should go to the MagicCastle.com website and click on the Now Appearing tab to see the weekly program of who will performing magic and the show times so that you can plan out the evening a bit. Also, note that there is other magic happening throughout and not just the shows listed on the program. Often times member magicians who are there on the evening will do impromtu magic over the course of the evening in the different rooms. The Castle is quite large so have a goood walk around it. There are many bars and little nooks and lots of quirky things around - an owl above one of the bars that answers yes and no questions / a telephone that should be picked up when you go past it / a piano that plays songs upon request etc.etc. Drinks can be taken everywhere, including into the shows. It really is a special place and we will certainly make this a go to place everytime we find ourselves in LA. This is such a great but little know benefit of sailing with Crystal. Enjoy! Glen
  23. This was from our April 2017 Crystal Mozart trip...
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