Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community


  • Content Count

  • Joined

About BWIVince

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Maryland, USA
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Everything old Is new again... I still remember Harmony’s old simulator, and agree this is probably an idea that deserves a revisit now that technology has improved! Vince
  2. I don’t usually quote Wikipedia, but my entire frame of reference for this comes from a couple of friends of mine from South Africa, so I can’t speak to it well at all. Wikipedia describes it as a spongey caramelized pudding flavored with apricot jam, and served hot with custard or ice cream. That was exactly how it was served and tasted. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malva_pudding I defer to others with more knowledge on it! I definitely recommend trying it though. Vince
  3. I have to give some more thought to what my absolute favorite dessert on Crystal is, but I just had the Malva Pudding for the first time last month and it was sooooo good! I’m glad you mentioned it, because it’s very unassuming. Vince
  4. +1, Pat! It’s not like they squirt French’s on the top of it, or anything. The sauce adds a richer tang than the balsamic and is one of the keys to its success, IMHO. I still recommend trying it — the mustard is VERY subtle, but important. Paul — what a small word! I hope to meet you and your wife as well! Vince
  5. It comes from the galley with a mustard sauce (that's the cross-cross) and the capers, and then the waiter squeezes the lemon (with two forks), drizzles on balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and then grates (some variation of) parmesan cheese on it. You can always have the waiter customize as you wish, but I highly recommend trying it with the above at least once. Mike -- I'm hoping few people opt out of the pictures from the M&M, I'd love to see them. I missed it because it was scheduled in the middle of dinner for us, but I know there's no "good" time for it so I understand. Thanks for taking the pics! Vince
  6. A few doors down, I didn't have a pen in my room when I boarded, and thinking she would eventually catch it, I gave it a couple of days before I said something to the stewardess. She said they were expecting a shipment of them (and some other things she listed) the next day in Juneau, and sure enough one of the medal ones shown above appeared that evening. (I told her I was fine waiting and didn't need her to dig one up from somewhere else -- I still had the one I'd just stolen from the Rosewood in Vancouver in my pocket. ) Vince
  7. Thanks for the scoop, Jim! That's very interesting. Tracie -- YES! I knew there was a really obvious one I was forgetting, and I was still a little too fuzzy that early to remember it. Thanks! Terry -- that's a good point about the Chefs... I wasn't even thinking in that direction. I doubt Nobu is going anywhere anytime soon, but you could argue his connection to California is strong since his first restaurant, Matsuhisa, was a California legend. Chef Ghahreman is the latest with the partnership ended, but before him was Piero Selvaggio, that partnered on one of Prego's iterations, and Wolfgang Puck, that partnered on Jade Garden's second iteration. Like Nobu they are all famous for various ventures, but you're right to call out they all came to prominence for their work in California. Vince
  8. I have no background, but I’m not surprised about the end of the sponsorship... Crystal has been walking away from its partnerships with California-based companies a lot in the past few years. I don’t think these have been bad things, but they’ve been interesting to watch. Everything from Big Leaf teas, Apple products and services (though the hardware remains in the labs), several of the toiletry brands like Neutrogena and Sebastian (though older), and Nestle’s ice cream brands which are regionally based in the US in CA. I just see this as another one of many tiny steps in the de-Californiazation of the company. Vince
  9. Ok, just some quick pics from Prego, since I already covered Umi Uma. Nothing any different about my meal on this trip than I can remember from others -- just a little busier in there compared to my last two visits to Prego at 6:30 from my last two cruises. Apologies in advance for the bad lighting... I'm always a little challenged with the lighting in both Prego and Umi Uma, and of course I'd never use flash. I don't want to adjust the photos much either, so they're a little more off than most of my food photos. These are four of my favorites -- it's hard to give them up to try other things, but I would do something different on a second visit the same cruise -- or at least I tell myself that. The Beef Carpaccio (as presented, before tableside enhancements): ...and after all four steps are complete: The Lobster and Octopus (Poached Cold Water Lobster Medallion & Slow Steamed and Compressed Octopus with Crisp Shallots and Olive-Thyme Vinaigrette) : Lavender Roasted Duck Breast (Balsamic Cherries, Chestnut Cappuccino, Salsify and Poached Radish) : Affogato (Espresso-Flavored Lady Fingers, Layered with Light Mascarpone Cheese & Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream) -- As the waiter is pouring the hot water over the coffee grounds: ...and the final product: It's a riff on tiramisu with the same flavor profiles, but as an affogato. Vince
  10. You can dine early with me anytime, Jon! Definitely -- I live in Frederick now but I grew up in the Montgomery County suburbs. Living in Frederick was a big adjustment for me at first, but we have an amazing food scene now with both interesting restaurants and really cool suppliers popping up to support that demand. On the beverage side we seemed to have jumped from microbreweries (which we still have stacked side-by-side in some places) to boutique distilleries with some really interesting products. It's great to see more [former] Merl'yners here! Vince
  11. Thanks -- I'll post some more pics shortly! I miss the Bacarazz Martini too! Also, the Sakeberry Martini -- I think they were both in the same generation. I think FlyerTalker is right about the liquor inventory being part of the issue with the Bacarazz, that makes sense. IIRC, it was one of Tony Abu-Ganim's recipes, I'll have to look and see if I have it anywhere. That's true about the ads, but it's funny you say that, because even though there is a disconnect now, the disparity between the ads and onboard has actually gotten better over the years. I happened to be flipping through the 1994 brochure today, and all of the daytime pictures look like Crystal Casual dinnerware today (which was NOT daytime wear in 1994), while all of the evening pictures are tux or suit. True, there were more nights to dress up back then, but those are the ONLY pictures of any evening or night shots at all in the brochure. And the MDR... In fairness though, I do have many memories of Josef Widmar in a tux like that! (Rear upper left, black tux. Hard to see clearly in the shrunken resolution.) His presentation here was true to life! [Photo Credit Crystal Cruises, 1994 Cruise Atlas] Are you kidding, I've aged 50X worse than you have in the past 14 years! You look fantastic!! I'm pretty sure I'm also grayer than you -- I started graying at age 14 and have to keep my hair this short to avoid scaring small children. I look forward to seeing you again soon, either on land or sea! +1 on the food pics and Waterside appetizers too. I've made many meals (both lunch and dinner) out of appetizers and half-portion entrees. Don't be a stranger, Brian! Vince
  12. You can always check with the Crystal Society hostess onboard -- their desk is right in the Crystal Plaza by Waterside. They're very friendly, and are very happy to look this stuff up in their database. Do you happen to have anything that might still have your Crystal Society number on it, by any chance? As soon as I plugged it into my website account (the one for crystalcruises.com and not your booking in the PCPC), it came right up with all my history. Some of the details for the early cruises are blank, but all of the cruises show in at least basic form. I would still get the Society Hostess to add it to your reservation, even if you don't have reservations (since it sounds like you booked direct) do it before the cruise. Welcome back! Vince
  13. They used a smooth green vinyl from like 2000/2001-2003, and then switched over to the ribbed green vinyl at the end of 2003/early 2004. The onboard keycard wallets matched the ticket packets in both generations of the green materials, and the guest info binder in the stateroom was changed with that ribbed green finish with in a year or so of the packets. The smooth green one was kind of leather-like...ish. I have one of key card wallets from that era still in my collection somewhere. It felt kind of nice, but if it was actual leather and not vinyl, it was a cheap painted leather. We use a similar vinyl material now for swag padfolios and such in my industry. Ditto to what Patty said about the pen holder... They picked a design that had the pen holder, I guess thinking people would find it more useful to use later, but I've never seen them include one. Marketing opportunity lost. Vince
  14. I understand the disappointment completely! I have wanted to do a North Cape cruise since I was a kid, and every time I've come close, there has been some factor that has ruled it out. I wouldn't trade any of the experiences that I had instead for that cruise, so I have no regrets, but this has been on my bucket list FOREVER. To not be able to reach some of these storied ports anymore using the line I enjoy sailing the most is a definite loss. I similarly missed my bucket list ride on the Concorde the same way. What I did instead was one of my father's last and furthest trips, and was very special and the right choice, but... Sadly, as Larry said above, it's kind of problematic for the line to go into too much detail. Not that you would do this at all, but the more explanation you give, the more leeway it gives some customers to go back and argue with the cruise line over the decision, and second-guess the cruise line's plan. In the end it may make some customers feel better to know the details, but it doesn't change outcome at all and it tends to open the door to a lot of wasted time and money because of some people's nature. Cruise lines aren't the only ones doing that, I get the same thing from airlines and hotels a lot now as well. If a hotel's opening gets delayed, or a renovation rescheduled, you get general themes and generalizations along with the updated timeline. Vince
  15. This is one of my favorite features of Crystal's transfers. Many times the refreshments they serve are more like lunch, too. The fact that it's the same cost as the direct transfer for the earlier flights is a nice plus. Vince
  • Create New...