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  1. Just an FYI re: Luggage Forward experience.....used them to ship golf bags from Los Angeles to Hawaii and then back home again. everything went smoothly and timely in both directions. Marc
  2. Because there were no flights with business class seats before noon that we could book with miles, we will stay overnight in Rome and then take a 19:50am flight the following day. No stress. Thanks all, Marc
  3. Thanks to all. We will go with a flight after 12 noon.
  4. Will be disembarking Serenity next July 31 in Civitavecchia. Ship docks at 6am per the itinerary. What would be the earliest time to book a flight out of FCO? Is 11am doable? Marc
  5. Keith, Your memory is intact. I was on a Tauck tour in Japan this past April and as part of the tour received a car service transfer from Narita to the Park Hyatt Hotel in late afternoon. The drive took about 90 minutes. Marc
  6. I have travelled solo many times on Symphony and Serenity and have always been able to have a very nice time. Most people onboard are very friendly, couples or other solos. On sea days, there is Trivia around 12pm that will afford the opportunity to sit with a small group (5-6) which will let you meet others. If you are a bingo player, this also occurs on sea days. Prior to All Inclusive when alcohol was not included, they would have a singles cocktail party, but no longer. As for dining, if you do not hook up with anyone else, if you go to Waterside (main dining room) you can ask the Maitre D' to sit you at a table for singles that may also have a couple as well. It would just be the luck of the draw as to the time you go to Waterside. With regard to Prego and Umi Uma, when you first board the ship, go to speak to the Maitre D' of the specialty restaurants (usually located in Prego) and ask if there will be a singles table one night. In summary, if you are not shy about conversing with others throughout the day, you will not be alone and you will have a very enjoyable cruise. Marc
  7. LHT28 The aft areas on decks 8-10 would be the perfect place to "to just sit in the shade in a quiet place to read or relax". As Keith stated, when you are sitting in those areas, you may feel like you are on a personal yacht. Marc
  8. As for Symphony, 2bobs gave you good info regarding the aft areas on decks 7-10. Even though you are not in a cabin on those decks, you are welcome to those areas which have several chaise lounges making it a nice place to relax. On my 14 cruises on Symphony, I have always been in a deck 7 cabin, and when I want to relax in a spot outside without all the hubbub of the pool deck, I will use the aft areas on deck 8 or 9. I think I can count on one hand the number of times there has been anyone else out there and I do not recall being bothered by smoke at any time. Marc
  9. My group of 6 did a Vintage Room dinner on Symphony during an Alaska cruise last summer. I am not a wine drinker, but the others were. I enjoy good food and I would say that the food served during the VR dinner was excellent, both in uniqueness of presentation and taste. While it is expensive if you are not partaking in the wines, it is a nice experience to enjoy at least once. Marc
  10. No one is going to prevent you from going to the evening entertainment or other entertainment venues (bars) on BTO nights if you are without a jacket. Marc
  11. After boarding and dropping off hand luggage in the cabin, I immediately go up to the Lido Deck and look for my Crystal "family" of Lido crew, especially on Symphony which I have sailed 14 times. Then I sit and relax with a cocktail, Brazilian Dream, and enjoy those heavenly sweet potato fries from Trident Grill. The perfect start to an always great time on board. Marc
  12. I would call Crystal's 800 number. I had a problem a few days ago booking a reservation for 5 people in Umi Uma on the PCPC. I called and my reservation was taken care of immediately. Maybe you can have some luck also. Marc
  13. I have not stayed in an A1 on Symphony. Last time I was on Symphony was June 2018 and in an E1. When I say the cabins are in need of redecorating, I am referring to the furniture and furnishings, such as the desk, the bedside lamps, the vessel sinks in the bathroom (which in my opinion are horrible). The cabin is functional, but it is not decorated in a 2019 manner. The public spaces are up to date as far as décor goes. I do not think you will be disappointed in choosing a cruise on Crystal Symphony. I do not think there is a better crew at sea who will attend to your every need with a genuine smile on their face.
  14. I have sailed on Symphony 11 times, all in an E1 cabin on deck 7. The view straight out the window is almost never obstructed. Some cabins may have obstructed views if you are trying to look to the left or right out the window, or up (lifeboats above). You are raised a few feet above the promenade deck, so you will see heads of people as they walk or jog the promenade deck. As a person who is not in the cabin much except for sleeping, bathing, and dressing, the lack of a balcony does not bother me. There are loads of public spaces on Symphony that are almost never crowded, to sit and enjoy the views, read a book, or chat with friends. As for whether the cabins are "depressing", it is true that they are in need of redecorating. But for me, they are more than adequate as far as basic functionality for someone who does not spend a lot of time in the cabin. Marc
  15. I was a solo some nights during a one week cruise on Serenity in December 2018. (I knew a few other people, but as we had differing dining tastes, we only ate together3 times.) One night in Waterside, I went in around 7:30pm and asked if there was a solos table that had not already started the meal. I was ushered to a round table where there was one couple and two singles sitting, who had ordered, but were not yet served. On another night at Waterside, I asked for a table for myself. I was ushered to a two top table. As the tables are close together, eventually I struck up some short conversations with people to the right and left of me. Everyone was friendly. If you make even the slightest effort, I think you will find a congenial atmosphere no matter where you sit or with whom you sit, even when sitting alone. Marc
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