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Fly Fast Cruise Slow

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. This was from our April 2017 Crystal Mozart trip...
  4. This is a big loss for Crystal Symphony, the service staff and all of us as passengers. Slavko was an incredible restaurant manager. Like Keith mentions, he seemed to be everywhere at all times keeping an eye on things, making sure everything was perfect. He was a great leader for the service staff and very charming, engaging and accomodating to us as customers. We are going to miss him on our next cruise in May. Having said that, I am really a happy for him and his family and wish him all the best. Maybe he will turn up on Crystal Mozart - a little closer to home for him.
  5. Great photos Stickman and we are loving the commentary. It all sounds fantastic and we are sitting here so looking forward to May on Symphony. I am tempted to challenge you to see how many of the 30 gin cocktails we can get through on the May cruise in 17 nights! Which winery you are visiting in Adelaide? Enjoy!
  6. Keith - I appreciate you taking the time on your cruise to compile an 800+ word response/explanation of the policy and your individualistic views on why you support it. We all want Crystal to be successful. I am just merely stating my view on the matter and how this impacts me and the many people who are in similar circumstances. Whether or not this stacks up as important or a consideration for Crystal - time will tell. I fully understand the business side but there are less draconian ways to deal with it. What I can say is that the first time I get caught out by this policy - even though I am fully aware of it, I am going to have a big problem with it. However, if they run their brand like I run mine (and so far they do), then there shouldn’t be an issue.
  7. It is the cancellation penalty that is the main issue for us. In 2020+ you lose 25% of your fare if you need to cancel 121 days out for 13-21 day cruises and 151 days ot for 22 day + cruises. This is very restrictive for someone who still works and likes to book their holidays well in advance to take advantage of savings and to obtain airline tickets etc. The previous 90 day policy was more reasonable. The $100 or $500 I can deal with as it can be applied to the next booking. But the potential loss of $4000+, I have an issue with these new thresholds.We just booked a 26 day cruise in 2020, which I am a bit nervous about as I dont think that on December 26, 2019 (the last day to cancel without incurring a 25% penalty), I am going to know my full work commitments for a 24 May 2020 cruise.
  8. Just to give my two cents, as somone who still works, I am deeply concerned about the new policy and penalties etc. My job is such that situations can arise which could potentially require me to change our schedule. Losing 25% of my deposit 5 months out from a cruise, is too long and very restrictive for us. We are now starting to book 2020 cruises so my concerns have now resurfaced as they are now becoming reality with the 2020 bookings. One shouldnt feel anxious about booking a holiday or for booking well in advance to obtain good pricing and to obtain good airfares/seats etc. and anxcious is exactly how the policy makes me feel now. Even the airlines that we fly dont have a policy so restrictive like this, granted I have a particular status with both Qantas and Virgin Australia that basically allows me to cancel 1 day before a flight with very minimal to no penalties. As I mentioned in a previous post when the policy was announced, it will over time alienate the younger demographic which Crystal needs to continue successfully in the future. I agree with Stickman in that the first time I lose out, which in my opinion is inevitable at some stage given the current policy coupled with our situation and how often we like to cruise (on Crystal exclusively I should add), I am going to have a massive problem with them.
  9. Strangely, the only rooms available online are Seabreeze Penthouse and Penthouse Suite - prices starting at $17,180 You can get flights from Qantas on points on Qatar Airways back to Sydney for 150,000 points for two people (economy though) on the 19th March.
  10. Great photos and commentary Stickman. I think Athol Buoy is the prized spot out of the 3 because, as Stickman mentions, everyone enjoys the view and depending on the wind potentially everyone might get a view of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge from their room. Also I think it is amazing that Crystal charter the Captain Cook cruiser, with open decks, to ferry people back and forth providing another opportunity to see the Opera House and Harbour Bridge from different angles etc.
  11. From the other side...wish we were getting on...88 more days until we get on Symphony...
  12. We are really looking froward to reading your live blog - enjoy your trip and the cooler weather in NZ! Glen
  13. Wishing you a Bon Voyage and we look forward to travelling along with you!
  14. Here are a few more pics of the Seabreeze on Symphony, the above pics look a bit cramped in the living area, not sure if it is the photography or the actual room. We had room 9059. Glen
  15. I can confrim that I was drinking the Pedroncelli Zin on the recent California Cruise 6-13 Jan 2019 - very nice drop. This is just the Crystal Cove wine selection, not the full one...
  16. Thank for the update Keith, the weather does appear quite nice at the moment, so glad they were wrong. Quick question, do you know which berth the ship is in, I beleive it is 92 - which seems easy to get to? Looking forward to seeing you onboard soon - Glen
  17. I had some time this afternoon on our flight to LA to register and explore the new website. Aside from only showing only one previous cruise of mine, which I am sure will be fixed, no othrer issues from my end. I think the new website is visually appealing and generally easy to use and navigate, The asthetic is very much what I would expect of a luxury cruise line - very modern and elegant - so much more elevated than the previous website and portal. As a Gen X’er - I like it. Congrats to the Crystal team looking after this. In 2019+ agility is the name of the game and mistakes as a consequence are fine with me and can be fixed along the way, as long as they are fixed very quickly.
  18. Thanks for posting Stickman, we really enjoyed following along with you.
  19. AU$16.90 by the dozen at Dan Murphy’s. Stickman - we are really enjoying following along with you - thanks for posting.
  20. Thanks for all the updates, we are really enjoying them. Just curious about Prego and any changes that may/may not have taken place there with the decor during the drydock. It was looking very 1980’s, especially with the fruit basket wall sconces etc., beforehand and in my opinion was in desperate need of a refresh of sorts.
  21. Bon voyage to the both of you, we look forward to following along. Glen Sent from my iPad using Forums
  22. No worries Vince, everytime I had an aviation martini on our July cruise I would ask Shirin, “what happened to Vince?”! Glad to see you are back and thanks for posting, we are most certainly interested in your overall thoughts. - Glen Sent from my iPad using Forums
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