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Keith1010

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  1. I wanted to update this to reflect that the opening times for Churrascaria and Silk have been moved back up to 6:00 PM from 6:30 PM on the last voyage. They will stay at 6:00 PM. While they were pulled up by 30 minutes guests can arrive and be seated at these dining venues as late as 9:00 PM. The dinner hours for Waterside, Prego, Umi Uma, Sushi Bar remain as they have been on the last voyage. Guests can arrive at 6:00 PM and can be seated as late as 9:30 PM. The adjustment back to 6:00 PM makes it easier for those guests dining early to attend a 7:45 PM show without rushing through their meal. With the change to open seating, and the new dining venues and start for showtimes happening late last year Crystal continues to evaluate items like these. Keith
  2. DAY 2 VENICE Good morning from Venice where we will remain docked until 9:00 PM this evening. Today is turnaround day for the cruise. Many guests will be departing the ship today. Some are staying in Venice, some are going to other places in Europe and many are traveling home. Some guests are continuing to the next voyage. They are in-transit guests. They can come and go as they please today as if it was any port day. The brief excitement for the early morning was a short power outage. I believe 30 minutes but could have been less than that. When power restored first the lights all came on, followed by the A/C followed a few minutes later by the water. Last night was fairly quiet on the ship until many guests returned from going ashore around 7:00 PM and continue to return after that. We are moving today so we decided to have a casual dinner in our room last night to get things set for the move. We made it a pizza night with salad, pizza and popcorn. I had mentioned that following the World Cruise that the opening hours of Churrascaria and Silk went back to 6:30 PM and wanted to let everyone know that they are now back to 6:00 PM. Please remember that following the dry dock and changes to open dining, the new dining venues, the Supper Club, the timing of shows that as was the case on Symphony they are continuing to tweak these types of things. One of the advantages of opening all of the dining venues at 6:00 PM is so that those dining early do not have to rush to get to a 7:45 PM show. If the venue opens at 6:30 PM it makes it tight for people to get to a 7:45 PM show without rushing through dinner. Churrascaria and Silk seat people up until 9:00 PM. Our next cruise is a nine day cruise which goes from Venice to Athens. There is one Black Tie Optional Evening plus eight Crystal Casual nights. This is the itinerary. Right now Reflections is not on line. When it is (could be tomorrow) I will post it. As usual I welcome questions and comments. Cheers, Keith
  3. We were just in Sorrento on-board Serenity six days ago. Arrival time was 7:30 AM. Departure time 10:00 PM. The feedback you have received is consistent with our most recent experience and all of the other times we have been to Sorrento. Once the service began it was continuous. You might wait five or ten minutes max. for the tender. We have been to Sorrento numerous times and fortunately have not experienced tender service being discontinued or moved but it can happen. On our recent stay we had the choppiest weather conditions on the ride over than our previous visits to Sorrento. By afternoon on the return all was calm. Hoping you have good weather. As Kathy mentioned we ensure we take the map with the port agents phone number on it so if there are any issues we have a contact. We also have phones with us and a plan that allows us to pick and choose when we use it so if we don't use it we don't pay but if we do do we pay a daily fee. I realize the driver/tour guide would have a phone but prefer to know we have service should it be needed. Keith
  4. WELCOME TO VENICE ITALY John glad you liked the photos and thank you and Anne for the thoughts on the infinity pool. Anne Is correct that the location of the pool for me is not desirable given the height issue. I could see the water overflowing and me going over the back of the ship. LOL We arrived to Venice this afternoon and after the ship was cleared we walked into Venice. We wanted to return to the Jewish Ghetto which we did and walked all around that area. On the way we took in many sites including visiting several churches. Lots of people were out and about and Venice is one of those places that is busy most of the year. The weather was terrific with a high of 67 degrees Fahrenheit and it was sunny. Lots of tourists were enjoying the afternoon. We also saw lots of locals including close to 100 grade school students standing in line for a Gelato and lots of students waiting to enter the Jewish Museum. As we walked the Jewish Ghetto Anne Marie and I discussed how challenging life was for those in the Ghetto. We also talked about the horrific time leading up to, during, and after World War II. For us it is a reminder that as challenged as people think the current era is with all that goes on around the world IMHO the challenges with World War II were far greater than they are today. It's a r reminder for us to appreciate life. Some photos. During the course of this adventure from time-to-time we have had to take our passports with us in port. Today was one of those days. Whereas on the other occasions we didn't have to show them today we did as we returned to the Cruise Ship terminal. Speaking of the terminal we are the only ship at the terminal which is good. The terminal area has changed since we were last here with things such as a people mover. That was another option to get to the city as was a water taxi. The signage getting into the city was excellent and once in Venice we remembered where to go. Cheers, Keith
  5. Good you are going to Komodo Island now and I hope your visits to Komodo and Bali go well. I have read that by middle of this year a decision will be made as to whether they will close off the island beginning January of 2020 due to smuggling of several of the Komodo dragons. Other options are being explored. Best to you both. Keith
  6. WELCOME TO VENICE Let me begin with Dubrovnik, Croatia where we were yesterday. This was our first visit since sailing Serenity for the very first time in 2005. We enjoyed lovely weather. By afternoon the high was mid 60's F and the skies "Crystal" clear. We were not alone in port. It was funny to see not one but two ships from Viking given that they have four ships in total and I believe that one is out of commission right now but I could be wrong about the latter. Anne Marie and I took a taxi to the downtown area. The first shuttle was at 9:00 AM and we could leave at around 8:00 AM by taking the taxi. We wanted to get onto the wall before it was crowded and we did just that. We had beautiful views of the surrounding area just like we had in 2005. There were four differences from 2005. The entry price is now about $30.00 per person (USA dollars). They no longer take Euros but only local money. And one sign said Credit Card only. Back in 2005 you could rent ear sets and listen to a narration as you walked. What didn't change is the history of the wall and the lovely views. We then walked the walled city and unlike our first visit we were out and about before most tourists arrived. We walked into several churches including a couple of Catholic Churches. There are 100's of restaurants/cafes and several were already opened serving breakfast. There were also lots of shops man of which were opened. I remember the main area from 2005. What I didn't remember is all of the side paths many of which have 100 or more steps. I've included photos of the Viking Vessels. By the way when I returned to the ship we could set the aft of one of them where on the top deck (I think top) is a pool. I am not sure what that would be like while at Sea. Then again I am not a pool person having never been in the pool on Serenity. I don't follow the Game Of Thrones but for those who do some people we know (guests and crew) had a map to find the sites that have been in this series. From what I heard the popularity of the Game Of Thrones has resulted in increased tourism and higher prices in the city. Maybe that is why the entry cost is substantially higher than it was in 2005 even adjusting for inflation. When we arrived home from touring the city we noticed the disembarkation folders on many doors including our neighbor who has been on since the Holiday Cruise as well. The vast majority of those on this cruise are leaving tomorrow and that includes most who have been on the full World Cruise and many who came on for part of the World Cruise. Our time will come soon. Had a great night last evening. It began with a pre-dinner drink with another couple who we are sailing with for the very first time. When I suggested meeting at the Avenue Saloon I didn't realize that they had Name That Tune. It was hosted by the Avenue Saloon Pianist Ged Scott. IMHO he has a terrific voice. We should arrive to Venice around 2:30 PM. We haven't decided how we will get downtown as there is no water shuttle provided. When we were here in 2005 we walked into the city one of the days as that was an efficient way to get to the Jewish Ghetto so we will consider that as an option. There is now a people mover and the other option is a water taxi. We'll just plan this by ear. This is today's daily Reflections Program. Reflections.pdf Well that is it for now. Cheers, Keith
  7. Vince, just to add to your comments the change was indeed made commencing with the first full voyages for 2019 on Symphony and Serenity. The change was made with a couple of safety reasons in mind: To avoid situations where guests were having difficulty walking up or down steps as the could not see the steps as the lifeboat vest sticks out so far. Because some guests were removing their lifeboat vest or on the way back to their room or the guests didn't put on their vest on the way to the Muster drill resulting in either themselves or some other guest to trip over the straps that were hanging on the floor/stairwell. Keith
  8. Another Great Video. Keith EPISODE 4 OF CRYSTAL’S ‘CULINARY JOURNEYS’ VIDEO SERIES HIGHLIGHTS THE FLAVORS OF THE SYDNEY MARKET & BARRAMUNDI MIAMI, April 16, 2019 – The latest flavors showcased in the 12-part video series “Crystal Cruises Presents: A Culinary Journey Hosted by Chef Jon Ashton” are courtesy of a Sydney favorite. Following his explorations of the Australian capital and its local market and foodie culture, the celebrity chef and Crystal’s own culinary experts each present their own take on barramundi, one of the most widely served fishes in the region. Chef Ashton takes viewers to the Sydney Fish Market, where a vast array of seafood is on offer each morning, then back aboard Crystal Serenity, where Crystal Executive Chef Werner Brenner challenged him and two Crystal Cruises’ chefs – Alfred Napotnik, Chef de Cuisine in Prego and David George, Chef de Cuisine in Waterside – to create original barramundi dishes. Each chef’s iteration of the mild white fish was later served in their respective dining venues aboard the award-winning ship, showcasing its versatility and the chefs’ diverse creative talents. Visiting an array of locales around the world with Crystal Serenity, the “Culinary Journey” video series features local chefs, farmers and expert guides showcasing the signature dishes – and tips for preparing them – in an array of locales, taking him and viewers off the beaten paths into the heart of each place’s culinary spirit. The videos air every two weeks, published on Crystal’s Crystal Insider blog and Crystal Cruises’ YouTube channel. About Crystal Only the world-renowned Crystal Experience offers an unwavering, unparalleled standard of excellence and luxury across four distinct cruising options: Crystal Cruises, the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line; Crystal River Cruises, the World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line; Crystal Yacht Cruises, offering boutique luxury and bold adventure in the world’s most elite harbors; and Crystal Expedition Cruises, taking Crystal’s acclaimed elegance to the farthest reaches of the world. Crystal has been recognized with top honors in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards for a record 25 years; voted “World’s Best” by the readers of Travel + Leisure for 20 years; and won the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Virtuoso for four years (2014, 2015, 2016 & 2018). Crystal is proud to be a platinum partner of the advisors of ASTA. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel advisor, call 888.799.2437, or visitwww.crystalcruises.com. Join the hundreds of thousands who subscribe to the Crystal Insider blog, follow Crystal Cruises’ Facebook page and @crystalcruises on Twitter and Instagram, and engage in the conversation with #crystalcruises and #WhereLuxuryisPersonal.
  9. I am afraid you could not do that. You will get it back after the fact. Keith
  10. Jonathan, this is a good question. The amount of time the crew is on board ranges by position. For some crew members they are on for seven months and off for two months. Some are on for four or five months and off for two months. The highest senior officers are now on for two months and off for two months. So we have seen some crew who have been on for the entire time we have been on. For some they were on when we first arrived then off for a couple of months and then back on. Sometimes this might vary slightly based on port and where a crew member is from. Keith
  11. Thank you John. We have had a great day in Dubrovnik. Our first and only visit to this city was in 2005. We returned to the Wall and to the Old City. I'll post more about this tomorrow. The weather today has been superb with a high of 65 degrees (F) and clear skies. Wishing you a great time on Seabourn. Keith
  12. Patty, that is correct. We used to refer to flip flops as thongs when we were young. It was only with the popularity of thongs as in under garment that it seems flip flops are now the common name for them. I still use the word slipper for what one might wear around the house. This is why I mentioned that while slippers would be OK for daytime use I normally see many in sandals. Keith
  13. Dwight, thank you for sharing the updated version of the map. Each time I revisit the itinerary I continue to believe that Crystal hit a home run with the five options of World Cruises they are offering. I am glad it includes Australia and New Zealand and Europe including not only Italy and Spain but that it gets up to the Black Sea and includes places that Crystal has not sailed for quite awhile. For those wishing to choose one or more segments there are many that to me are very appealing as well. I see that some categories appear to be sold out. I realize it is close to three years out and bookings will go up and down until final payment is due but this one looks to be very popular based on what is showing as available and also speaking with many friends we know who have booked portions or one of the full World Cruises. Keith
  14. Tony, they might handle Esprit differently than the Ocean Vessels but on the Ocean Vessels it is the second day if an overnight unless the ship was leaving very early the following morning. Keith
  15. WELCOME TO DUBROVNIK, CROATIA We arrive to Dubrovnik in a couple of hours. Yesterday was our first visit to Kotor, Montenegro. I have to say that our sail-in was one of the most magical sail-ins we have experienced in all our days of cruising. It was amazing with such beautiful scenery all around us for quite awhile. At times I felt as if we were sailing the Norwegian Fjords while at the same time it had its own characteristics. The wonderful experience continued after we docked and Anne Marie and I visited the old town. It architecture reflected other areas we have visited. This included a feel of being in Venice as we wondered on side streets and would discover yet another church. We both walked the areas towards the Church Of Our Lady Of Remedy built inn1518. Anne Marie walked a portion of the area and stopped at the St. Roko Position while I continued my walk. I don't do too well when it comes to heights. I was able to climb about 90% of the way but had to stop not because of the physical challenge but because of the heights. I know longer had the wall to allow me to forget how high I was. The amount of steps is greater than those of St. Helena and more challenging as they are not all the same and have some rough spots. For most of the walk there were steps on one side and cobble stones in the middle. While trickier to walk on the cobble stones there are times when I did just that to keep further away from the wall. Weather was perfect. I believe high 50's (F). While Rain was in the original forecast the weather was beautiful for most of the day with a high close to mid-60's (F). This was one of the most pristine areas of the world we have visited. We do return here on our next voyage. For those of you who have not sailed to Kotor I highly recommend it if you find it on an itinerary you are considering booking. Personally, I think early in the season is good as we were docked. If more than one ship in port one of them will anchor. The other benefit was less tourists and weather much more temperate than say the summer when it can be hot and humid. Some photos and one Video. Keith IMG_5653 2.m4v
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