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rafinmd

Crystal Serenity Los Angeles to Sydney, January 22 to March 3, 2020

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OMG - have you confirmed we’re not stopping? 
Not surprising but just keen to confirm so I can roll over and go back to sleep....

 

We just rang the front desk and they have confirmed that the visit to Tonga is cancelled 

Edited by Stickman1990

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6 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

OMG - have you confirmed we’re not stopping? 
Not surprising but just keen to confirm I can roll over and go back to sleep....

 

We just rang the front desk and they have confirmed that the visit to Tonga is cancelled 

Have a good snooze.  Captain announced it just after 7 on Channel 3 and outer decks.  I expect an updated program about 9:30 but until then just relax.  Rick will probably say something on channel 3 about 9:30.  I wonder if any entertainers were due to get on or off in Tonga.

 

Roy

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19 hours ago, rafinmd said:

Have a good snooze.  Captain announced it just after 7 on Channel 3 and outer decks.  I expect an updated program about 9:30 but until then just relax.  Rick will probably say something on channel 3 about 9:30.  I wonder if any entertainers were due to get on or off in Tonga.

 

Roy

Roy I've  spoken to a few who are scheduled to get off in Auckland and some are scheduled to go to Symphony.  In fact a few from Symphony might have  been here already if  not for their revised itinerary.

 

I  didn't even know there  was an announcement  until you  mentioned  it in the  post.

 

The other  day I  heard the announcement  as I was running on the Promenade  Deck  but Anne Marie did not.  This time we  were  both in our  room so we didn't hear  it.

 

Keith

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1 hour ago, rafinmd said:

News Flash.  All cruise ships have just been denied entrance into the Kingdom of Tonga.  There were apparently supposed to be 3 other ships (Astor, Columbus, and Wind Spirit) and all were turned away.

 

I am not surprised and picked up on this a few days ago. I suspect that they already knew about this for several days. Over the last few nights, after the shows when Rick came out he joked several times about “hopefully” being able to stop in Tonga.

 

I have a feeling Fiji will be much the same. Would be good to know sooner than later so we can get our head around it. Getting a bit of cabin fever as we have been off the ship for only 15 minutes in the past week and the enrichment program isn’t exactly what we would have expected from a leg of the world cruise.

Edited by Fly Fast Cruise Slow

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8 minutes ago, Fly Fast Cruise Slow said:

I have a feeling Fiji will be much the same. Would be good to know sooner than later so we can get our head around it. Getting a bit of cabin fever as we have been off the ship for only 15 minutes in the past week and the enrichment program isn’t exactly what we would have expected from a leg of the world cruise.

If that's going to happen I hope it comes to light sooner or later.  I think we gain an hour on the way to Fiji, and lose it right away going to New Zealand.  If we don't go to Fiji, I hope we won't need to do that.

 

Roy

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6 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

If that's going to happen I hope it comes to light sooner or later.

 

Well I was able to get my GPS to work and it indicates that we are well on our way to Fiji. So we will see what happens. Also, the weather looks to be clearing and I anticipate some sun in a few hours  - which is good.

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Day CS19, Mon-Tues, February 10-11, 2020, Cross International Dateline


Queen Mary 2 has cancelled a call in Penang, Malaysia on February 10 and will be at Port Klang on February 11 for resupply and fuel purposes only.  Passengers will be allowed to get off but if they do they will not be able to return to the ship.  The sun rose at 6:09 and set at 7:11.  The moon set at 7:44AM and rose at 8:51 PM.


It was another day of variable weather.  With the hour gained overnight I thought I might be up before 5 but only made it up 5 minutes early.  When I stepped out on the promenade deck about 5:20 the deck was wet where not covered by balconies but the moon was shining brightly by a cloud not much bigger than it.  


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/moon0211.jpg


An hour later on the other side of the ship it there were many more clouds with the rising sun peeking through only on a narrow strip at the horizon.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/dawn0211.jpg


I walked 5 laps around the ship with 3 more added on the way to the lido.  It was one of my better days for the foot.  It did have some times where the soreness was there but it was ok for most of the day.  While my walking is impaired I am still doing enough that it would be difficult to be on a ship without a decent promenade deck.  I decided to post a few scenes from the deck with the little sign with the distances, and a couple of bollards at the back that I don't think have ever been used.  On the sides are the life rafts, and several benches.  There are no loungers but they are on the upper aft decks.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/promdeckcs.jpg


Pastor Voosen was the guest on the morning show with Rick and Stacey.  There is trivia at the end of the show and I called in with one right answer.  The question was what county in Ireland contains the Blarney Palace and I correctly guessed Cork.  I got a hat later in the day.


The ship activities started at 9 with Rap With The Rabbi.  Topics discussed were weddings conducted by non-clergy and the different interpretations of the Bible by Jews and Christians.


The morning talks were Richard Hayman at 10 on Captain Cook's Voyages and Robert D'Alimonte at 11 with the second part of his talk on the European Union.


In his noon update Captain Vorland noted that we had encountered a "wall of water in the morning" and had slowed down to let the storm pass.  It was calm and lovely as I went up to Marketplace/Trident for lunch.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/noon0211.jpg


The 1:30 lecture was Judith Fordham with another talk on the justice system and how the adversarial nature can sometimes lead to injustice.  I watched from my room and then went up to Scoops for ice cream.  The Crystal Quartet was playing under the canopy by the kids clubs.  Their hours are 1:30 to 2:30 so it mostly conflicts with the lectures.   According to my calculations we actually crossed the dateline about 4:50.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/poolquartet.jpg


There were 5 at my shared table including one shop employee who has joined a couple of times.  My choices were the beef consume, roast turkey, and a bowl of berries for desert.  I was out just in time for the show.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/dishes12.jpg


There were actually 2 shows.  Production Show Icons In Concert was performed in the Galaxy Theater at 7:45 and 9:45.  Comedian Steve Caouette was in the Stardust Club at 8:45 and 10:45.  The 8:45 show was standing room only and I passed, and the 10:45 was too late.  I did go up to deck 13 to see if I could catch a moon rise but stayed until about 5 minutes past the appointed hour with no luck.  I could only see one faint star in the sky.  The lighted pool deck was pretty at night.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/poolpm.jpg


I'll keep my parting shot brief or maybe not.  It's hard to believe I am past the midpoint of my 40 days on Serenity.  People sometimes ask if 30 days on a ship is too long.  NOT FOR ME!   With the just announced closing of Tonga to cruise ships coming from nowhere coronavirus areas who knows how long I will actually be on each ship or where we will end up.


Roy

 

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No they didn't have  advance warning about missing  today's stop.  They learned about it at the last minute.  I was told they  are looking at whether or  not they can get to  Fiji sooner.  We should know more soon.

 

Trust me if they knew about this in advance we would have been told.  

 

Roy, on another social  site someone  posted that  Chris Hamilton and Shimi Goodman  were supposed to board today.   Obviously that  is not happening.

 

Keith

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Captain Birger is speaking from the Bridge.[

 

As I expected  he noted we only learned about this at  5:00 AM.

 

The hope  is we will be able to go to Fiji  tomorrow and if  approved overnight there.  It is a tender port.

 

Yes the original plan would be to move the clocks back one hour on the night of the 13th and on the  night of the 15th move them forward by one hour.  

 

Keith

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1 hour ago, Fly Fast Cruise Slow said:

Getting a bit of cabin fever as we have been off the ship for only 15 minutes in the past week and the enrichment program isn’t exactly what we would have expected from a leg of the world cruise.

 

I don't know what you were expecting, but with the exception of Judith Fordham, the lecturers this segment are all new to us and their lectures have been well done and informative. 

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On 2/11/2020 at 9:04 AM, rafinmd said:

News Flash.  All cruise ships have just been denied entrance into the Kingdom of Tonga.  There were apparently supposed to be 3 other ships (Astor, Columbus, and Wind Spirit) and all were turned away.

 

Roy

Keeping Fingers crossed that Fiji doesn’t follow Tonga’s example. I like sea days but 3rd missed port already is getting little much. (And the poor crew is really getting cabin fever). 

 

J

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41 minutes ago, Roland4 said:

 

I don't know what you were expecting, but with the exception of Judith Fordham, the lecturers this segment are all new to us and their lectures have been well done and informative. 


I have often read on these boards that the enrichment and programs on the world cruise is “Crystal on Steroids”. It doesn’t seem any different to me than what I have experienced on any other non-world cruise segment. Agree the lecturers aside from one have been good, but they are only part of it. When you hear the words “Crystal on Steroids” it conjures up something more robust. 

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55 minutes ago, Fly Fast Cruise Slow said:


I have often read on these boards that the enrichment and programs on the world cruise is “Crystal on Steroids”. It doesn’t seem any different to me than what I have experienced on any other non-world cruise segment. Agree the lecturers aside from one have been good, but they are only part of it. When you hear the words “Crystal on Steroids” it conjures up something more robust. 

I think under the circumstances of the current world viral epidemic the "normal" standard for even a Crystal WC has been de-normalized.  The current circumstances are anything but usual.   This is going to be a very difficult time for the entire cruise industry.  

 

I for one am grateful NOT to be onboard right now.  I say that as much as I love Crystal.  No thank you.   This year we plan on going to a small luxury hotel in on the big island of Hawaii for vacation.  No cruise for us.   All the best to you sailors on board.

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2 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Captain Birger is speaking from the Bridge.[

 

As I expected  he noted we only learned about this at  5:00 AM.

 

The hope  is we will be able to go to Fiji  tomorrow and if  approved overnight there.  It is a tender port.

 

Yes the original plan would be to move the clocks back one hour on the night of the 13th and on the  night of the 15th move them forward by one hour.  

 

Keith

Whilst I don't know the timing of Tonga's announcement that it was no longer accepting cruise ships, cruise line head offices should email ships as soon as the announcement is made.  Otherwise, with the speed of the internet, some passengers are going to know before the Captain makes an announcement that the port will be missed.  Of course, he can't make an announcement until daytime hours.  

As always, I'm enjoying your comments on the cruise Keith. 

Edited by MMDown Under

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19 hours ago, MMDown Under said:

Whilst I don't know the timing of Tonga's announcement that it was no longer accepting cruise ships, cruise line head offices should email ships as soon as the announcement is made.  Otherwise, with the speed of the internet, some passengers are going to know before the Captain makes an announcement that the port will be missed.  Of course, he can't make an announcement until daytime hours.  

As always, I'm enjoying your comments on the cruise Keith. 

Thank  you MMDown Under for the nice comments.

 

The Captain did exactly what you suggested.

 

The ship received the denial at 5:00 AM ships time  and Captain Birger made the first announcement (not to the staterooms so not  to disturb guests) at  around  7:00  AM.  He then followed up with a  second announcement.

 

Best to  you.

 

Keith

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I assume we are still optimistic about arriving in Fiji a day early as the new Reflections has added a note to turn our clocks back tonight.

 

Roy

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1 minute ago, rafinmd said:

I assume we are still optimistic about arriving in Fiji a day early as the new Reflections has added a note to turn our clocks back tonight.

 

Roy

Agreed a good sign. 

As always I have been enjoying your comments on your latest travels. 

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12 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

Captain has just said Fiji have confirmed we will be allowed in tomorrow 

I perhaps had a bit of advance notice that was about to happen.  I went out with my GPS about 11:50 to follow the daily report and saw we were doing 20.5 knots which would not have made sense if we weren't doing so.  I see we did have some entertainers planning to board in Tonga but there should be direct flights to Fiji (unless Tonga is also suspending that).

 

Roy

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Just now, Krazy Kruizers said:

Wonderful pictures of the moon, sunrise and lights on the ship at night.

 

Why isn't Scoops open more than just an hour?

Scoops is open something like 11 to 6.  It's the Crystal Quartet that only plays poolside 1:30 to 2:30 and I would normally get my ice cream with lunch and be off the pool deck in time for the 1:30 lecture.  God only knows why but yesterday I decided to come back after the lecture for ice cream and discovered music on the pool deck when I returned.

 

Roy

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Roy,

Thanks for your reports.

Lovely photo of the moon.

Pleased that you will be permitted to visit Fiji.

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Day CS20, Wednesday, February 12, Nuku’alofa, Tonga (NOT)


Queen Mary 2 is on her revised itinerary and is at sea from Port Klang to Fremantle, Australia. The sun rose at 6:28 and set at 7:35.  The moon set at 9:07 AM and rose at 10:02PM.


When I first stepped out on deck about 5:45 it was dark but the moon was just faintly peeking through the clouds a bit too lightly for the camera to pick up.  As I walked around I got a GPS reading and we were about 17 miles from Nuku'alofa harbor.  I planned very limited walking on the ship with additional walking expected in port.  As events unfolded I did eventually end up walking a total of 2 miles.


I went out again about 6:30 for sunrise which was also disappointing but noticed there was no land ahead of us which seemed about odd but I returned to my cabin anyway.


Captain Vorland came on the PA (just the bridge view channel on the TV) about 7 and broke the news that we had been denied permission to enter the harbor at Nuku'alofa.


This would have been my third visit to Nuku'alofa and each time I have taken basic tours but also had a bit of individual time in the city.  Right outside the dock is the Royal Palace which is closed to the public.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/royal.jpg


My last visit was on the 2018 World Cruise and we had visited just weeks after Cyclone Gita had come through leaving devastation throughout the countryside.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/gitacountry.jpg


I was particularly interested in the city where the storm had virtually demolished the legislative building (It may have been the upper left panel of the "city" group although there may not have been enough left for even a photo)


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/gitacity.jpg


Rick came on the PA about 9:30 with a preliminary announcement of a new schedule.  There were 2 morning presentations, Bill McKay at 10 with "Beyond the Night Sky", and General Shaefer at 11 with "Lessons in Leadership: The US Response to Pearl Harbor", not just the military response but the civilian response as well.


In his noon update Captain Vorland made it official that we had gotten approval to arrive in Lautoka a day early.  It had become a calm day although there was more wind, possibly just the effects of turning in a more northerly direction towards Fiji.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/calmday.jpg


With no 1:30 lecture I held back on lunch so I could get more of it on the pool deck while the Quartet was playing.  I've talked about Scoops but haven't had any photos.  Business was booming and I did not get a view for a photo of the space but did get the menus.  First the ice cream selection.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/scoops1.jpg


Next all the toppings.  Total delight.  I like mine with butterscotch sauce and cranberries.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/scoops2.jpg


Crystal provides a Priest on every Ocean cruise and they do an excellent job with interdenominational services on Sundays.  Father Patrick would normally be my spiritual leader but for the World Cruise we have a Protestant Chaplain as well as a Rabbi.  The three work very well together.  Father Patrick had corresponded with the Cardinal in Nuku'alofa and they had set up an afternoon session at the Basilica (On the care of our common home) with all 3 faiths included.  A session was held at 2PM in the Avenue Saloon to discuss what would have transpired at the Basilica.  The Cardinal had supplied two prayers and one was read in the Avenue.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/earth.jpg


There was a full house of 6 at my shared table.  I chose the vegetable broth from the vegetarian menu and the pork chop as well as a bowl of berries for desert.  Service was very quick and we were finished about 7:15.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/dishes12.jpg


It seemed foggy outside after dinner but despite the weather we had a beautiful sunset.  Go figure.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/dusk0212.jpg


The featured entertainment was supposed to be piano showman Chris Hamilton.  He was due to join the ship in Tonga but hopefully will be able to fly to Fiji and perform Thursday.  In his absence, the Crystal Ensemble of Singers and Dancers performed the spot show "Rock and Pop-A-Mania in the Stardust Club.  We gain an hour overnight as we move to Fiji time.


My parting shot will come from the planned meeting at the Basilica in Tonga.  The second of the prayers, "A prayer in Unison with Creation" was not read but was provided for us.  


creation.jpg


Roy

 

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On 2/11/2020 at 6:24 PM, rafinmd said:

Scoops is open something like 11 to 6.  It's the Crystal Quartet that only plays poolside 1:30 to 2:30 and I would normally get my ice cream with lunch and be off the pool deck in time for the 1:30 lecture.  God only knows why but yesterday I decided to come back after the lecture for ice cream and discovered music on the pool deck when I returned.

 

Roy

 

Thank you for explaining the hours of Scoops and the Crystal Quartet.

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