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gmarsh

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About gmarsh

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  1. The ONLY way I can access the website is with a Chrome browser. Safari will not load any subscreens after the main. The Crystal website has something very wrong on it...
  2. My experience is: about 4-6 weeks before sailing, your TA should receive your docs and send them to you. Talk to your TA. You should receive a nice folio with your boarding docs, luggage tags and several booklets of information. Make sure you have completed the on line registrations for your personal info, passport, credit card etc. Happy sailing!
  3. Wild weather always makes travel interesting... We have never made the stop at Grand Caymen, three cruises and wild waves and wind always got to us at the Caymens. Oh well, next time!
  4. Hi DrTee, I used to be the secretary for a Barbershop Chorus. We had to pay royalties on the songs we sang ONLY in concerts where we charged admission. When we performed for groups at no charge, no royalties. We also could pay an annual blanket fee to cover lots of concerts if your group did more than two or three... Regards. G
  5. We Made It Home...Sat Night 1/5/19 2100h. All accounted for and safe at home. Thanks to everyone for a good, but horribly long travel day. Don't quite know where to start. The shock and awe of being home to the puppies and kitties and alpacas mixed with the realization that the phone next to the bed doesn't summon hot coffee any more. I rolled over on Sunday AM and distinctly felt the bed thump against another wave. Yep, I never get sea sick, however, getting my land legs back always takes a day or two. Oh well, a good reason to lay about. And I didn't feel much like writing any more about our second half of the trip, it just didn't seem dignified to pull out all the memories and stick them on paper just yet. Key West was ultra humid. After two superior sea days of great sailing and sun, food and drink the gang split up on their own jaunts. Some hit "The Southernmost Point", some went conch fritter hunting and we just wanted Sloppy Joe's. The Conch Shak was EMPTY of conch. Seems a huge run on Friday night had run them out. Huge bummer. But, Sloppy Joe's fritters were just wonderful. Not to miss. Steamy fried golf ball sized hunks of corn fritter and conch and onion. Boom Done! It was really humid, did I mention that? Fortified, we strode up Duval St. away from the dock area to see what we could see. Lots of great little shops and old houses and after a while, I figured we best get back. I wanted a frozen key lime chocolate covered from a shop on the pier. We started back and zig-zagging back and forth toward the pier front. It was really humid and this walk was taking longer than I liked....knees ya know?! And there was always another rooster peeking around the fences, why was that? After one more right turn, we saw the Symphony stack and knew all would be well. The chocolate dipped key lime pie slice on a stick was pretty righteous. It was so humid that the entire confection was drenched in condensation. Then it begins to melt. Faster than it could be eaten. Crumbles melting all over my hand and lips and face in chocolate. They scanned my picture just a little extra it seemed...Mmmmm. Foods, the second, third and fourth time around. Everyone loved the food. Some a little more than others. The choices can be a bit much. We all picked and chose from both sides of the W menus when we ate there. Sharing plates, getting an extra dish for the table and making sure we had everything we needed was completed in good order. Astlan and Onder combined with Igor made our special table of 12 a great time. The repeated visits to Prego, Silk, Umi Uma and the Meat Palace did not disappoint. Not once. All the kids are gourmands and well as great cooks in their own styles. They piled into Silk, table of 8, and loved it. Prego fulfilled double orders of faves and satisfied us with such great meals. Lady Jean and I did Umi again and did awesome. The chocolate cake is worth the work. On this voyage, they allowed 4 total trips to Prego, Umi and Sushi Bar with no surchages. LAST DAY and NIGHT It really is hard to get off the boat. It takes 4 days to decompress, relax, sober up and get into a shipboard routine. The next 7 days are on automatic. Wake, coffee, read, eat, read, pool, eat, shower, eat, sleep. The last few days are a slow awakening to the fact of the matter. It's almost over. We did it. Brought the kids on a trip, no injuries, no missed flights or sail-aways. All is right. But, we still gotta get off. I did check on staying on thru Aruba for a few $K more...but no...sniff. We tip extra at the end for the Teams that take care of us. Butler, attendants, bar staff, MDR and the Lido Team certainly. Others that we feel did an extra nice job. Saying thank you for having fun with us leads to hugs and tears and I still am in awe of how hard these crew teams work. We were told by one of our fave crew members, that the crew sometimes see so many folks that don't seem to have fun or are just not enjoying the trip, that having happy customers that interact with the crew are so much better. They enjoy our daily chats and showing pictures and stuff. I might be grumpy from the clock time change but seeing Kiko or Micheal help me with coffee puts everything on a even keel. We disembarked at the same "Poland Street Liquor Bar and Emporium" where we got on. It was funny to watch the traffic backing up on the wrong side of the street as a train blocked the entrance for a half an hour. Semi's full of provisions, buses for us and garbage trucks all streamed onto the huge dock area. We left and went out for one final beep and grabbed our luggage. I was expecting some sort of Customs declaration or some guy or something? Nothing. Coulda brought in more diamonds!!! (There were two ICE dogs chillin' outside...) Bus ride to Hilton for a pretty good lunch. Bus ride to MSY on time. Flight ON TIME. HOME ON TIME! Crazy puppy licks and bad kitty hated the litter box. Oh well. My pillow. EOM G
  6. 600 Poland Is a liquor store. If you go there, you passed by the “secret” entrance...there is a ramp on the right, across from the vacant lot..that is the entrance to the rat infested embarkation area...see pic below. Crystal SHOULD put a guy and a sign out on the street by the entrance. We could see Symphony from our Marriott window.
  7. That is our granddaughter Mabel. She had such a time but crashed just before midnight. This little girl of two has been so good, eating with us in the Main and not fussing at all. She loves soup!
  8. Good morning and from our family to yours, all the best for a prosperous New Year! I just can’t help it. So much sentiment, joy and happiness has come to our little blended family during this voyage. The loss of parents, grandmas, brothers and friends of ours and our children can be hard on a family. At grandma’s funeral service, my niece was very worried about the family not carrying on traditions after losing Ma. I replied that it was up to the youngsters now, to bake the cookies, host Easter dinner and be the guides for the new babies yet to come. We are blessed. Now, on to much more important things!! WiFi! Wifi connectivity and function has been excellent. I can read and post almost without any lag and there is not a single place on the boat where I lost signal. We can access the dining menus, Reflections and more through the connect.crystalcruises.com portal. The only drawback (to me) is the large number of cell phone Zombies... We spent NY’s eve in St. Kitts. I made a quick run into the shopping gauntlet and made it out with my loot...”saved?” 50% on some charm bracelets and charms for the grand daughters and daughters. Another tradition being handed down from my father. i will never forget the shopping session he took my late wife and my sister et al in Martinique many years ago. My Dad always knew some guy somewhere at the jewelry store and we went in and he and Ravi hugged and joked and let the girls pick out something sparkly and shiny. The kids all went off to the beaches for sun and jet skis and did make it back to the boat, sharing a ride with some Celebrity pax. They made the boat with 2 minutes to spare. Meanwhile, the “shame the late arrival lady” announcements went out along with urgent horn honks from the Ship! Hooooooonk, hoooonk went the 🛳! Captain backed us out and turned back west but we couldn’t figure out why this tug boat was chasing us?? Ohhhh, someone forgot to come and pick up the pilot!! Minutes later the pilot boat showed up and we finally went on our way! The Countdown in The Atrium was loud, hot and smelly as we counted down...but wait!! Where are the balloons? Oh my, they won’t come out of their nets! Oooooh noes, the whole thing came down in one big blob! Toothpicks were handed out to pop the balloons. There is no evidence of any confetti or balloons this AM, max kudos to the Housekeeping staff! Two sea days to Key West and another “gulf” day back to NoLA. Meanwhile it’s 8DegF back in Coolerado! We are getting our time changes back as we sail to the west. I think Captain has put us back on Eastern time a day early to make the last time back to Central time change easier. Today might be a 500 Rummy family Championship with a side of love and kisses, although some euchre might be happening too! Happy New Year!
  9. Silk. Last night. Awesome dinner. Superior service and full of flavors. Lobster and scallops, lamb, black bean beef and more. Repeat.
  10. Happy New Year to you two! RE: Crew And Customer Love I retired to the stateroom last night, after 11pm after having a little Bistro snack and said good night to my buddy Richie. This Morning, 515am, Mr. Richie is up and working. He helps get my coffee with a smile and says “You’re up early!” The dedication of the crew to making sure we have a fine time is so wonderful. I know it’s weird to be sentimental over fellow working travelers that we might never see again, however, when I see them take an extra moment to play with a little kid, and they’re thinking of their own kids too...well, ya know what I mean. 😘 G
  11. St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.... This trip is half gone...so we still have another half to go. We slipped out of Jamaica under high winds and waves. The 12-15 foot swells made for a rocky overnight and some casualties...mal de mer or mal de booze?🍾🍸😮🤪? I finished my attempt to break the bank and finally own Crystal...better luck next time. Just couldn’t fill that inside straight royal flush! An entire sea day slipped by as Captain dodged the squalls here and there. Trident Grill has been operating at maximum all afternoon. The Cheeze burgers are still the best with the little castle of lettuce , tomato and onion. If you are unsteady, the Lido team will carry you to your seat with your meal. They are the best! Lady Jean and I tried a little experiment for dinner, appetizers in Main Dining, er “Waterside” and then we chased the hor’s dovers servers around. Great fun and we didn’t over eat AND we got our steps in!! The kids are starting their second round of Prego and UMi Uma bookings. For this trip, Crystal is allowing FOUR total meals between the two without the $30 surcharge. Dunno why. The meals continue to be darn good! We have Prego on NY’s day. Milind has been a fine Butler and has met every challenge put to him. We had an impromptu gathering on 10 aft (we have PH1063) for Jamaica sail away. He brought beers, fries and some snackies for the hoards and, as usual, Louis made me cry. it is a Wonderful World! More later if we survive our snorkel adventure today.
  12. Jamaica? Idaho, I’ll Aska... Ocho Rios was yesterday and a good time was had by all. The this nshore assault team took their the hills for rafting and water falls and jerk chicken, with the requisite Red Stripes to wash it down. Others chose to wander the port and paddle in the beach side at a Beach Park, costing a few bucks. The paddling and playing wiped out the kids and great naps took place later. I, on the other hand stayed on board and hung out with the Lido team and weathered a couple of squalls passing by. We all agree so far that the Waterside offerings have been a little weak. Too much “modern” and the Classic has been a little strange in the menu blends. Some strong appetizers followed by whimsical entrees that don’t seem connected. But, flavors are good and we don’t have scurvy! Silk totally wowed our adult kids with service last night. The seven of them asked for all the appetizers and all the entrees for the table to pass and share family style. All requests were accepted and all the dishes were on point. “Authentic” or not, the Crystal vision to provide some fun foods in an alternate setting works just fine. Maybe they are trying to be avant-garde too much n the MDR? The boat is not full and is fairly quiet. We closed down a bar last night...ok, only Palm Court, where there was a little duet playing and two couples. Wait staff was happy to have some folks to tend to and last call was 2300h. Meanwhile, Mark Farris as holding serve in the Saloon to a packed house as usual. He looks soooo young in his on board pic from high school! He’s so cute and Most Likely to Play in a Saloon! DJ music in Starlight...ehhh. Full band and the Crooner show in Galaxy was well attended and liked from overheard comments. Casno is D E A D. Little to no slot play. Only one Blackjack table going at 10pm...and the high roller club hasn’t broken open the six deck shoe yet. We enjoyed a little 3 Card poker and are still playing with the ship’s $, but just barely. At present, we are just off the southern coast of Hispaniola, en route to San Juan PR. Very windy and wild seas, 15 ft swells and 45kt winds across the bow. Most passengers are staying inside, reading or napping. Lady Jean and I are braving the elements and loving the wind and waves that remind us we’re sailing!! Hugs! G
  13. Sorry, I got busy eating and having a great sea day after Cozumel. Five boats hit the beaches. We had NCL Breakaway dock at the north pier Plata del L’angosta, with 4000 passengers and 1600 crew. Quite the neighborhood! A gaggle of us went to Mr Sancho’s Beach club. Basically for 50$ you get all food and beverages included and can sit on the beach and play in the dirt! Bring your towels or pay 5$. Service was great, with ten people we kept Guillermo very busy and tipped him well. Taxi service was super, for a 12 person van we paid 5$ a head, no haggling and $$$ are well loved here. Sea day on the way to Jamaica was a solid 10! Adult kids are finally recovered from “sea sickness” and have their sea legs. The two grand girls, 28 months and 8 years old are having a great time and the crew love them! A squall popped up and Lido cleared out in a hurry with the sharp, cold wind but 15 minutes later, all was wet and warm and sunny again. We’re pulling into Ocho Rios now, there are trees over there Captain!
  14. Churasscarryeoutofthere, or “The Meat Palace” Regular salad bar, fresh and stocked like lunch buffet. Go lightly on the starter stuff, save it for the main meat battle. Brazilian sausage - sweet and savory juicy sausage. Just get it ne. Parmesan Chicken - great crunchy skin, a well trimmed leg of 🐓. Braised beef short rib - nice juicy tender hunk of moo. Would NOT let me have the entire skewer! Ugh.... The Lamb popsicles - medium rare, seasoned well and...all gone! Beef tenderloin - better than I make at home! Grilled shrimp, didn’t have but oh my, the sizzled as the skewer went by! Grilled pineapple - carmelized sugar and cinnamon pairs nice with pork medallions they will slice for you! The service was great fun, watching Clarry and Dio slicing away with broadswords and they still have their fingers! Such good foods, simply prepared and the staff makes it all special! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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