Live From The Crystal Serenity - January 5 thru May 7, 2014 Blog

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86,688 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Good morning from Serenity.

We are still docked in Monte Carlo but will be moving to an anchored position for the rest of the day as another ship will be docking here this morning. The tender drop off will be somewhere nearby here.

We had gorgeous weather yesterday with highs in mid 70s. I live the Med this time of year. Even though we could not get off the ship until noon time and it was a Sunday the places we visited were far less crowded than say in July or August. For us this is a fun place to just walk around on our own and to visit some of the sites.

We had thought about Nice for today but decided to pass since today is a Sunday.

A special crew has been on board the ship to wash the carpet as when the water came through it spread to a large portion of the dining room. Time wil tell if the carpet will need to be replaced.

Kudos again to the wonderful crew who sprang into action when this event occurred. some were up minutes after this occurred and still had to perform their regular duties last evening in the dining room. When the doors to the dining room (and I am talking about the metal doors) opened everything looked like it always does as we were seated for dinner. The crew does there utmost best to make situations like this as transparent as possible to the guests. Sure we knew about it because the dining room was closed for breakfast and lunch but what took place to get the dining room ready to serve dinner last evening was largely transparent to us. I wanted to mention that they even opened Prego for lunch yesterday to ofer an additional venue beyond Tastes for sit down service. Again, kudos to the Crystal Cruises team.

I had mentioned on the Vlog the other day and could not remember if I mentioned here. but while playing Tennis the other day my partner accidentally hit the ball within two inches of my eye as I was turning to go back to the back of the court since that possession should have ceased as the ball had clipped my paddle in the first place. What I didn't mention is that when the ball hit my face I could hear a noise as if the bone made a crack. Anyway the surprising news is I have no pain and didnt't get black and blue. I did apply ice to it but. It for about 45. Injures after it happened as I continued to play. Anyway, I was very fortunate and next time I will not turn my head until I know that no one is trying to hit it even though play should have stopped.

Speaking of paddle tennis I have met so many nice people on this voyage playing tennis. I knew one couple from Symphony form a cruise in 2010 but other than that these are all new people that I have not met before.

When you are on the ship for so long you seeded leaving and returning. When we boarded on January 5 Fiod and Beverage Manager Walter was leaving that day to go over to Symphony and after being on vacation he is back on board and will take Tayfun's spot in a few days when Tayfun's goes on vacation. In a couple if days we begin our last voyage which is a 7 day cruise from Rome to Istanbul. Our son and daughter in kW will join us as we finish out a fantastic adventure on the Crystal Serenity.

More later.

Keith
86,688 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Speaking of the dining room, last night Anne Marie and I continued to try items from the Modern Menu. While we often do nit have appetizers, we are doing that since the menu came out just to try the new items. For those who follow our blog I will post some photos along with the menus. Aside from the new menu items being very tasty and creative they make for a fantastic presentation. It is. Ice that you can mix and match if you like ordering from both the modern and the classic menus or just ordering from either menu.

Keith
Palm Desert, California
1,681 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by Keith1010
Speaking of the dining room, last night Anne Marie and I continued to try items from the Modern Menu. While we often do nit have appetizers, we are doing that since the menu came out just to try the new items. For those who follow our blog I will post some photos along with the menus. Aside from the new menu items being very tasty and creative they make for a fantastic presentation. It is. Ice that you can mix and match if you like ordering from both the modern and the classic menus or just ordering from either menu.

Keith
Keith, someone posted a while ago that the modern side of the menu changes every evening but the traditional side changes every two days. From you blog, it looks like both menus have been changing each evening. Is that correct or am I just misreading the menus? Thanks as always.
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Crystal, SilverSea, Regent, Paul Gauguin and Matson
Playa del Rey, CA
893 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Hi Keith,

I sent an email to be added to your blog. Especially interested in seeing your pictures of the new menu/food.
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86,688 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by Rally
Keith, someone posted a while ago that the modern side of the menu changes every evening but the traditional side changes every two days. From you blog, it looks like both menus have been changing each evening. Is that correct or am I just misreading the menus? Thanks as always.
You are absolutely correct. Originally the concept was to change the Classic Side every two days but based on feedback on the Symphony guests wanted it changed everyday so now it does change everyday.

Keith
2,772 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
I remain somewhat puzzled as to why Crystal does not simply include the newer items among the evening's daily offerings. We are not speaking about 2 different cuisines here [e.g. Asian & European] but rather including some items which reflect the evolution/current interests/styles of cuisine.
Oregon
1,135 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
I am personally glad they offer both. This is true especially on long voyages. After several months it will be nice to have something for dinner that is NOT:
frothed
smoked
raw
otherwise 'modern technique' or esoterically created.

Honestly sometimes roast turkey or meatloaf sounds good after a few months at sea.

This is just my opinion but I am very encouraged with the changes. It represents more choices.

Ilene
Palm Desert, California
1,681 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by Keith1010
You are absolutely correct. Originally the concept was to change the Classic Side every two days but based on feedback on the Symphony guests wanted it changed everyday so now it does change everyday.

Keith
Thanks, Keith. I would have agreed with the Symphony passengers, unless Crystal was prepared to double up on the rack of veal . As it is, they have changed the dish to boneless, call it veal rib eye, and placed it on the Modern menu. I had a fit until Crystal got the Symphony exec. Chef to write me saying it's the same preperation minus the bones I guess I will be the final judge of that May 1
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Crystal, SilverSea, Regent, Paul Gauguin and Matson
86,688 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by PaulaJK
I remain somewhat puzzled as to why Crystal does not simply include the newer items among the evening's daily offerings. We are not speaking about 2 different cuisines here [e.g. Asian & European] but rather including some items which reflect the evolution/current interests/styles of cuisine.
The new items feature recipes that include ingredients that are prepared very differently than the traditional items. They look different and they taste different than many the vast majority of items ever served in the Crystal Dining Room.

While they could have mixed it all together, it is a lot easier for guests to distinguish between the two and I feel in the end that it will make it easier for the guests to order the types of items that they prefer.

In fact, on the cruise before they rolled this out they did include two or three new items on the menu but it was not so easy to find them. So for those guests who have sailed with Crystal before who prefer the traditional items it just makes it a lot easier for them to locate them and for those guests who want to try out the new items it makes it easier as well. There have always been two pages for the menu anyway so this clearly shows all of the new items and all of the traditional items. While we are enjoying the new items, they won't be for everyone.

Keith
86,688 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by ijkh
I am personally glad they offer both. This is true especially on long voyages. After several months it will be nice to have something for dinner that is NOT:
frothed
smoked
raw
otherwise 'modern technique' or esoterically created.

Honestly sometimes roast turkey or meatloaf sounds good after a few months at sea.

This is just my opinion but I am very encouraged with the changes. It represents more choices.

Ilene
Ilene, on top of this on something like the World Cruise they also change up the dining menu more along the way to try to offer great choices. With that said, between the new Tastes and the new menu items it does represent more choice than ever before.

Keith
86,688 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Good morning (it's early) from the Serenity as we are sailing to our next port of call in Porto Venere.

Unfortunately, it rained on and off in Monte Carlo so we decided not to go into port. We had to tender along with the Seabourn Quest because one other ship was in port and the priority goes to the ship with embarking/disembarking guests. The good news is we saw quite a lot our first day there and have been there several times before.

I had a haircut appointment with a new stylist as the one I was using since January is now on holiday. This one actually worked on two other cruise lines who coincidentally over a six year span each switched to a different salon/spa vendor so she started here about four weeks ago. I was so pleased and since we decided to stay on board the ship that Anne Marie got an appointment to have her hair done as well as she had been back and forth as to whether she could wait until we are home in a few weeks. So, at least it was a productive day from that standpoint since for the rest of the time we are on board it is fairly port intensive and we have our son and daughter in law coming on in a couple of days and want to spend as much time as possible with them on this last voyage.

While some went into Monte Carlo for part of the day many stayed on board as we did.

I made it to the Fitness Center three different times and Anne Marie got in a couple of walks inside the ship.

We made last night a movie and pizza night which we do a couple of times a cruise when on for a very long time. We watched one movie before dinner which didn't work for either of us; Gravity. I am sure some liked it but this one was not for us. While we ate we saw Captain Phillps which we thoroughly enjoyed.

The Crystal Dining Room was closed yesterday morning for breakfast and lunch. I am pretty sure that it was so that the special group they brought on board to clean the carpets could do their work. We will be back in the dining room this evening for dinner and the dining room was opened for dinner last night per the regular dining hours.

Distance to Porto Venere from the time we left Monte Carlo last evening at around 6:00 PM is relatively short so according to the Captain we were to travel at around 10 knots per hour and we should arrive around 8:00 AM. Weather is forecasted to be partly cloudy with a chance of some rain. We will hope for a nice day in port weather-wise. Tomorrow we are in Livorno and the following morning this voyage comes to an end.

Keith
Palm Desert, California
1,681 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by Keith1010
The new items feature recipes that include ingredients that are prepared very differently than the traditional items. They look different and they taste different than many the vast majority of items ever served in the Crystal Dining Room.

While they could have mixed it all together, it is a lot easier for guests to distinguish between the two and I feel in the end that it will make it easier for the guests to order the types of items that they prefer.

In fact, on the cruise before they rolled this out they did include two or three new items on the menu but it was not so easy to find them. So for those guests who have sailed with Crystal before who prefer the traditional items it just makes it a lot easier for them to locate them and for those guests who want to try out the new items it makes it easier as well. There have always been two pages for the menu anyway so this clearly shows all of the new items and all of the traditional items. While we are enjoying the new items, they won't be for everyone.

Keith
This makes sense to me. Fun to read (we Italians are great menu readers and love the fact that there are more choices than ever before.
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Crystal, SilverSea, Regent, Paul Gauguin and Matson
Sydney, Australia
4,605 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Originally posted by Keith1010
Gravity. I am sure some liked it but this one was not for us. While we ate we saw Captain Phillps which we thoroughly enjoyed
Saw them both back in February on Crystal Symphony and agree with your assessment completely - couldn't make any sense of Gravity and Captain Phillips was great - although I'm not sure watching it on board a ship is a great choice
So was that streamed to your iPad or do they have the DVD's of these movies on board now?
86,688 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
For those not receiving our blog here are copies of the menus from this past Saturday night in the Crystal Dining Room.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0ZfT_4S2SE...1600/Scan.jpeg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8FfOTrA8NA...00/Scan+2.jpeg

I didn’t have a dessert menu so I didn’t include one.

This is a photo of the Scallop, Tuna, Cevice and White Miso Soup appetizer that each of us had.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9CVRxPXsrK...0/IMG_3202.jpg

This photo shows the Fresh Turbot Pea Risotto King Crab Entrée we both had.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-A22xK7lktx...0/IMG_3205.jpg

We loved the presentation of each item and the ingredients that go into their preparation. Aroma and taste were great.

If you want it prepared say without an item you can do that or say you don’t care for the sauce you can either have it without it or ask for it on the side.

As it turned out the chance of rain today in Porto Venere was not just a chance. Thankfully, we got off on the first tender because it was only a drizzle for the first 75 or so minutes but then the rain came down harder. In many ways it turned out well that we didn’t plan to visit the other islands. We will leave that for another time. Even under cloudy skies, which sometimes can influence how pretty each of us thinks a place we are visiting, is, we loved this area and found it to be quaint, and very appealing and beautiful. I will post photos in the next day or so on this thread but later today they will be on our Blog.

Keith
Palm Desert, California
1,681 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by Keith1010
A few photos from yesterday's visit to Porto Venere.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6hh6s9R6lq...0/IMG_3237.jpg

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KjFjo89vKv...0/IMG_3227.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fF4szl3gHA...0/IMG_3244.jpg

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8RyCMcJVrm...0/IMG_3225.jpg

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yXpLjmgKHj...0/IMG_3234.jpg

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-28hZuR_95_...0/IMG_3260.jpg

Several more on the blog.

Keith
Thanks. So much beauty in the world. Off to Tokyo at 4:30 tomorrow morning, so sayonara for awhile
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Crystal, SilverSea, Regent, Paul Gauguin and Matson
86,688 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
We enjoyed a wonderful day today in Italy. We visited Lucca for the very first time and this walled city was perfect for us as it is a waking city and that is exactly what we did. We walked the entire wall and we walked up and down almost every street. On our way back to the ship we stopped at Pissa. Our last visit there was 16 years ago with our children.

Weather was great and it was just fun to spend a lot of time walking.

This voyage comes to an end tomorrow morning.

Keith