Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
BWIVince

Reflections on OCS190917-11 (Huh?) [9/17 YVR-LAX]

Recommended Posts

On 10/11/2019 at 4:16 PM, ClefsDor said:

Vince, I think you need to alter your dining routine - I'm worried you're limiting your dinner menu items. I think Glen and I consumed about double the amount you had at Umi Uma. Not sure if I should be embarrassed about that 🙂. Glad to see though that you enjoyed evening cocktails and can't wait for further instalments. 

 

Adrian, I still remember the very witty and wonderful live blog you did on a Crystal cruise a while back - can we hope for another live blog when you sail in a couple of weeks?


I think you’re right, Shirin!  I’m feeling kind of deprived, now that I know the consumption standard is so much higher in Umi Uma than I’ve been achieving!

 

On 10/11/2019 at 4:49 PM, Fly Fast Cruise Slow said:

 

...and admittedly, I have walked out with sake in hand as well, much to the embarrassment of Shirin. I agree Vince, a shame to let it go to waste.

 

Did you have any Aviation cocktails?


I did Glen, but sadly it took me a few days.  I asked a few times after I boarded, and as it’s not listed on the menu anymore, I got a few blank stares when I asked.  (That’s not surprising or disappointing since they dropped one of the components of a proper Aviation years ago, even before it got de-listed from the menu.)  After a few days though, I tried again and had much better luck through the end of the cruise.

 

In your honor, I did a photo journal of all the exciting places the Aviation got to experience with me.  😁. (I really hope you find this amusing, I know my humor sometimes doesn’t translate!)

 

923927A4-9C36-4D84-AFFF-DDE3E1797226.jpeg.892c93274424cce6a359eaa9f36dacf3.jpeg

 

First we went to Glacier Bay...  The Aviation was clearly acting blasé about the whole thing, it’s hard to impress a chilled cocktail with a bunch of ice.
 

51CA5BEB-A3AF-4F42-8F85-99FE75AB0C1F.jpeg.13ea26d4d2c5ec37bcc2411d2a595dc8.jpeg

 

...then another night we went to Happy Hour.  He was quite unimpressed and a little jealous that he only got to experience crudités night, when he heard I’d ordered other drinks on pate night, and especially the two pigs in a blanket evenings!  Strike two.


22B058F0-09D1-48C7-ADE0-262716A65135.thumb.jpeg.e9687c02cab7e8cbcc78e49df17cea9c.jpeg

 

Finally, it was the sweeping vista of the Bay Bridge in SF from Deck 12 that impressed.  I need to stop here before I start telling any jokes involving cherries.  🤭😮

 

The sad thing is, I didn’t think of that joke story line until now, but I actually had taken all three random pictures for no reason.  Haha

 

Vince

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, fyree39 said:

If I may, mass market cruisers are used to rushing to be first in line for anything and everything. Looking at those line-up photos I noticed some folks dressed like they do on mass market lines. I'd expect that was the issue. It's been said here before that certain sailings attract new-to-Crystal cruisers and I suspect this was one of those.

 

In any case, this Crystal neophyte is looking forward to being amazed by everything Crystal in less than a month!

 

4 hours ago, LHT28 said:

maybe it was casual night on Crystal?

I understood that you no longer had to wear suits & fancy dress to dinner most nights ..is that incorrect?

 I would not want to be classed as mass market  😱

Most people in the photo looked like they were dressed appropriately

 

1 hour ago, fyree39 said:

Mostly people are indeed dressed appropriately in the photos. I just noticed jeans on one person and an untucked shirt on another. That's considered formal wear on Carnival. :classic_ninja:


I think there is a misperception out there that Crystal is dressier than other lines, and I don’t think that’s really the case.  In fact, I had already sailed Cunard several years before I first sailed Crystal in 1992, and one of the things I liked about Crystal was how much more casual Crystal was than the QE2 at the time. Obviously it’s a lot more casual now with the elimination of the mid-tier “informal” dress code, but even regarding jeans Crystal has allowed them at dinner on Casual nights for as long as I can remember.  (It’s not a recent change at all.)

 

On casual nights, I wore either a button-down shirt or a polo shirt and khakis, and so did almost all the other men on the ship.  I was teased (in fun) when I was the only one at our table of 6 wearing a tie the last BTO night.  
 

Crystal is really not as dressy as I think many people have built it up in their heads, IMHO and IME.

 

Vince

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vince is correct.  Jeans (no holes) are allowed on casual nights and as long as I remember as well.  They just don't list Jeans  as an example of what one can wear.  I would add that evening wear can vary based on many factors including itinerary, time of year, length of cruise and demographics.

 

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vince, I’m loving your sense of humor. Keep it up. The Saga of the Avation cocktail was great. 

 

I miss some of the cocktails that were once standards. I too was met with blank stares on our last cruise. The Bacarazz (sp?) was one of my favorites.  After insisting they must have a recipe for it somewhere, I gave them a rough idea of how to make it.  The bartender gave it all his effort, but the result tasted like cherry KoolAid. 

 

Please post more narrative about your cruise. BTW, I love food porn. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BWIVince said:

The sad thing is, I didn’t think of that joke story line until now, but I actually had taken all three random pictures for no reason.  Haha

 

That’s great - love the story line and photos. If we ever find ourselves on the same cruise, I am going to special order the Creme de Violette so we can have them properly!

 

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BWIVince said:

Crystal is really not as dressy as I think many people have built it up in their heads, IMHO and IME


Sadly that’s something Crystal perpetuate in their advertising and videos by using models who are all dressed pretty much all the time (at least they’ve finally expunged the floating gowns on the woman in last years advertising)
 

I like Crystal casual - It’s a polo and dockers for me most nights 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, BWIVince said:

On casual nights, I wore either a button-down shirt or a polo shirt and khakis, and so did almost all the other men on the ship.  I was teased (in fun) when I was the only one at our table of 6 wearing a tie the last BTO night. 

 Thanks

That is what I normally pack for  our cruise  on Oceania  for DH   (except for the Jacket & tie )

 

I will pack his blazer for BTO  night   just so  we are not classed as Mass market & getting above our station 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ChansonDeLaMer said:

I miss some of the cocktails that were once standards. I too was met with blank stares on our last cruise. The Bacarazz (sp?) was one of my favorites.  After insisting they must have a recipe for it somewhere, I gave them a rough idea of how to make it.  The bartender gave it all his effort, but the result tasted like cherry KoolAid.

 

I believe that cocktail would be off the list -- the main ingredient is Bacardi Razz, a raspberry flavored rum.  IIRC, I don't believe that Crystal stocks that aboard anymore, so the bartender was probably trying to use Chambord to provide the raspberry flavor, but that liqueur has a pronounced sweetness that you would not have had with the Razz.  Also, I believe that Crystal has an electronic recipe guide for hundreds of cocktails available to the bartending staff, so if it wasn't there, it was probably due to lack of proper ingredients.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, LHT28 said:

 Thanks

That is what I normally pack for  our cruise  on Oceania  for DH   (except for the Jacket & tie )

 

I will pack his blazer for BTO  night   just so  we are not classed as Mass market & getting above our station 😁

I apologize if you felt I was singling out you or anyone else on this thread. That wasn't my intention. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:


Sadly that’s something Crystal perpetuate in their advertising and videos by using models who are all dressed pretty much all the time (at least they’ve finally expunged the floating gowns on the woman in last years advertising)
 

I like Crystal casual - It’s a polo and dockers for me most nights 

Hopefully everybody will continue to be accommodated - we love dressing up and would hate if that became a rarity. Each to their own! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/10/2019 at 5:38 PM, Stickman1990 said:

 

 

I’m definitely glad we’re late diners - I much prefer the more leisurely and relaxed approach 

My father passed away at 87. He refused to have dinner before 7 PM on any night because to quote, "I'm not an old f*rt."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/10/2019 at 6:29 PM, LHT28 said:

Finally  some food porn 😁

I was beginning to think  no one on Crystal would take photos of their food

I know DH will not go to Umi Uma  but those dishes look good

Do try to get him to try it. The cooked dishes are divine too so even if you're not a sushi eater, there's plenty to enjoy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, my.

 

Where do I start?  I'm either always late to the party, or miss it altogether. 

 

I, too, was lucky to be aboard this fun-filled sailing with so many of the wonderful folks from this board. Luckily (for me), Vince recognized me after a 14 year absence since last sailing with him. Funny how the shades of hair turn completely different in such a short span of time. 🙄 

 

I had three Crystal kindergartners in tow with me this cruise. My Sister, who bunked with me, caught on to the ways of Crystal in short order, thanks to having several cruises on other lines under her belt. But by dinner the first night in Umi Uma, she was fully Crystalized. I think it was the ability to order additional lobster tempura with no adjustment to the dinner tab.  But the simple, yet elegant sesame ice cream took her across the finish line. My other two newbies needed a little more time, however, not having anything to compare, save for one, lone 5-day cruise we had sailed together on Disney back in 2012. It took Jim four days to discover he could order a pot of coffee to his stateroom in the morning. And when he also discovered there was no charge for it, he started ordering two pots. But somewhere along the way, they, too, both drank the cool aid. And loved the taste. 

 

Personally, I especially enjoyed the evening entertainment this voyage. Everything from the varied shows in the Galaxy to Joel Spire in the Avenue. Many of us were sad that Mark Farris disembarked in Vancouver as we embarked, but to my little group we gave Joel a solid two thumbs up. 

 

A shout out to the great employees at Guest Relations. My Sister and I each had a separate issue that required their services. In both cases, they rose to the occasion over and above expectations. 

 

I believe my only disappointment was not dining in Waterside more this trip. I enjoy sampling the various appetizers that are of great interest to me, both in terms of taste and presentation. Ordering several, then an appetizer portion of an entrée, or no entrée at all, is a personal pleasure of mine. As would be perfectly expected, my little group of newbies wanted to experience every venue. And that we certainly did, and with repeat visits and happily paying the $30. But another couple of nights in Waterside would have made the perfect balance for yours truly. Maybe I should have continued on two nights to Cabo!

 

And now comes time for the confessional. I, too, love food porn. I admit it. I'm an addict. 

 

Terrific to cruise again with Nancy and Larry, Len and Marilyn, Mary and Karen, Patty and Mike, and Patty. And, thanks, Vince, for not turning around and jumping ship after seeing my gray hair!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, mcshane said:

Hopefully everybody will continue to be accommodated - we love dressing up and would hate if that became a rarity. Each to their own! 

I agree.

 

What I like about the guidelines is that there is a lot of flexibility on both Crystal Casual and BTO nights.  On Crystal Casual the majority of the times I do wear a sports jacket because I like doing that and feel very comfortable.  Yes, on some nights I wear a collared shirt and khakis and feel comfortable.  On most cruises with BTO nights I bring a tuxedo and/or suit.  However, should there be circumstances where for pre or post cruise plans we were minimizing luggage I know I have the option of a sports jacket.  My wife and I also like to dress up.

 

In general, think the guidelines satisfy most people with the keyword being "most" because it is hard to please all of the people all of the time.

 

As to the photos in brochures showing people in certain type of dress this is pretty typical of what cruise lines do and hotels and the list goes on and on and on both in print and soft copy including website.  Same goes for many other companies such as showing someone driving a sporty car.  Oh and often the people including the gents have makeup on and hair perfectly combed. 😎 

 

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vince, I am with you. about food photos.  Also drink photos too.  😀

 

There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.  This is very true. This is why social media has enhanced the ability of many businesses to promote their own products themselves through their photos and those from their guests.

 

I know someone can tell me in words how great the food is or how magical the entertainment is or how nice the ship looks but a photo can do this more effectively with far less words.

 

Vince, speaking of food and drink photos, I am hoping as time permits you can post more of them.  😋🍸🎂🍷.

 

Many thanks,

 

Keith 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, AtA said:

Do try to get him to try it. The cooked dishes are divine too so even if you're not a sushi eater, there's plenty to enjoy.

Absolutely !

My DW does not eat sushi or sashimi but still really enjoys Umi Uma. Lobster tempura and the wagyu beef are two of her faves, together with the mushroom salad, miso soup, etc. Also, the signature black cod is worth trying...I love it, although it's not to DW's taste.

Go on, be brave !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gosh I guess I need to switch from Crystal, Regent, Seabourn , etc since I like to eat early   I guess I’ll head to mass marketing cruise lines. Will I still be allowed to be at the gym at 5am?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, BWIVince said:


Despite my reputation here, I actually rarely do food photography outside of travel,  but I live in a town with a surprisingly noted food culture for its small size, and we are actively encouraged by our noted restaurants to take and share food pictures.  When I posted my first travel food pictures on IG earlier this year, I was immediately followed by the owners or managers of our top two restaurants in town and messaged encouraging me to keep going and do more.

 

May I ask what town (we are ex-Native --DW born in Charm City and lived in the Baltimore, Carroll and Howard counties)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, BEAV said:

Oh, my.

 

Where do I start?  I'm either always late to the party, or miss it altogether. 

 

I, too, was lucky to be aboard this fun-filled sailing with so many of the wonderful folks from this board. Luckily (for me), Vince recognized me after a 14 year absence since last sailing with him. Funny how the shades of hair turn completely different in such a short span of time. 🙄 

 

I had three Crystal kindergartners in tow with me this cruise. My Sister, who bunked with me, caught on to the ways of Crystal in short order, thanks to having several cruises on other lines under her belt. But by dinner the first night in Umi Uma, she was fully Crystalized. I think it was the ability to order additional lobster tempura with no adjustment to the dinner tab.  But the simple, yet elegant sesame ice cream took her across the finish line. My other two newbies needed a little more time, however, not having anything to compare, save for one, lone 5-day cruise we had sailed together on Disney back in 2012. It took Jim four days to discover he could order a pot of coffee to his stateroom in the morning. And when he also discovered there was no charge for it, he started ordering two pots. But somewhere along the way, they, too, both drank the cool aid. And loved the taste. 

 

Personally, I especially enjoyed the evening entertainment this voyage. Everything from the varied shows in the Galaxy to Joel Spire in the Avenue. Many of us were sad that Mark Farris disembarked in Vancouver as we embarked, but to my little group we gave Joel a solid two thumbs up. 

 

A shout out to the great employees at Guest Relations. My Sister and I each had a separate issue that required their services. In both cases, they rose to the occasion over and above expectations. 

 

I believe my only disappointment was not dining in Waterside more this trip. I enjoy sampling the various appetizers that are of great interest to me, both in terms of taste and presentation. Ordering several, then an appetizer portion of an entrée, or no entrée at all, is a personal pleasure of mine. As would be perfectly expected, my little group of newbies wanted to experience every venue. And that we certainly did, and with repeat visits and happily paying the $30. But another couple of nights in Waterside would have made the perfect balance for yours truly. Maybe I should have continued on two nights to Cabo!

 

And now comes time for the confessional. I, too, love food porn. I admit it. I'm an addict. 

 

Terrific to cruise again with Nancy and Larry, Len and Marilyn, Mary and Karen, Patty and Mike, and Patty. And, thanks, Vince, for not turning around and jumping ship after seeing my gray hair!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Brian,

 

wish there was a "love" button.

 

larry and I so enjoyed spending time with you, Kerry and your friends!!!!  we too thought the cruise was a few days too short!!!

 

xxx

 

Nancy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too was on the 9/17 Symphony sailing and discovered this great amber.  Maybe the best balanced beer I have ever tasted.  Come to think of it...two beauties in one picture.  Next year will be our 50th and we are celebrating on the Serenity in New England.

0923191958.jpg

Edited by Nicho99
Added comment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Nicho99 said:

I too was on the 9/17 Symphony sailing and discovered this great amber.  Maybe the best balanced beer I have ever tasted.  Come to think of it...two beauties in one picture.  Next year will be our 50th and we are celebrating on the Serenity in New England.

0923191958.jpg

I will have to try this one.

 

How nice you will celebrate such a special anniversary milestone on board Serenity next year.

 

I love your description of the photo.  

 

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On this cruise, There were 3  varieties of Alaskan offered!!!  I was pleased to see local beer onboard and available in various bars.

 

Very special way to celebrate your milestone anniversary next year.  Best gift in my book!!!

 

nancy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎10‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 3:01 PM, ChansonDeLaMer said:

Vince, I’m loving your sense of humor. Keep it up. The Saga of the Avation cocktail was great. 

 

I miss some of the cocktails that were once standards. I too was met with blank stares on our last cruise. The Bacarazz (sp?) was one of my favorites.  After insisting they must have a recipe for it somewhere, I gave them a rough idea of how to make it.  The bartender gave it all his effort, but the result tasted like cherry KoolAid. 

 

Please post more narrative about your cruise. BTW, I love food porn. 

 

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.

 

On ‎10‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 4:24 PM, Stickman1990 said:


Sadly that’s something Crystal perpetuate in their advertising and videos by using models who are all dressed pretty much all the time (at least they’ve finally expunged the floating gowns on the woman in last years advertising)
 

I like Crystal casual - It’s a polo and dockers for me most nights 

 

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.

 

CHB.thumb.jpg.fc94770a025fcd7558c74740bf41952d.jpg

 

And the MDR...

 

CDR.thumb.jpg.f08230f424eaa9c20a2c1e28a5640f67.jpg

 

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]

 

18 hours ago, BEAV said:

 

And, thanks, Vince, for not turning around and jumping ship after seeing my gray hair!

 

 

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, ctjon said:

Gosh I guess I need to switch from Crystal, Regent, Seabourn , etc since I like to eat early   I guess I’ll head to mass marketing cruise lines. Will I still be allowed to be at the gym at 5am?

 

You can dine early with me anytime, Jon!

 

8 hours ago, PaulMCO said:

May I ask what town (we are ex-Native --DW born in Charm City and lived in the Baltimore, Carroll and Howard counties)

 

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!  :classic_smile: 

 

Vince

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meet & Mingle -- Cruise Critic party photos

 

There were 22 of us that gathered in the Palm Court.

I shot 5 photos and was about to post them here....?

(or is there a more appropriate location?)

 

But my wife said some people might object to having their photo on this public forum (without their consent --- I don't want to offend anyone.  However quite a few people mentioned posting the photos was a good idea)

 

So if you have an objection or suggestion, please email me:  mywong23@yahoo.com

If I don't hear from anyone by 10/23/19, I will assume there are no objections and I'll post the photos.

 

mike wong

 

wongs.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...