Reflections on Crystal Serenity, Pacific Sojourn, LA to Syd - 23 Jan – 17 Feb 2018

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#21
Brisbane Australia
40 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Bon Voyage Terry, looking forward to reading your reports! I am interested also in your impressions of VA business- we are flying with them to LAX in April prior to joining Crystal at Ft Lauderdale for a short trip through the Panama Canal.
David
#22
4,658 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Hi Terry.

Received our ticket package today and it says we are embarking at St. Ives Stepes, Dawes Point, 11 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay. Am I correct in assuming that is the area between the OPT and the Park Hyatt??

Larry
#23
Sydney, Australia
5,651 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Larry - not quite that location as you reference it - that small jetty is around from the Park Hyatt and pretty much under the Harbour Bridge and next to Pier 1- it is the normal tender point for Crystal when moored at Athol Buoy - here's the Google Maps location for it @ https://www.google.com.au/maps/place....2085344?dcr=0

I can’t see them clearing customs and baggage pick up at those steps - almost impossible IMHO

I assume that will be at the OPT and they will run buses around to it rather than have people walking around to it like Browns cows (is that an expression you understand?)

Still has the potential to be a challenge - although if 2016 repeats its the first step of getting off Serenity and onto the tenders which is the pinch point and results in delays

I’d say there is still a bit of water to flow under this bridge....
#24
4,658 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by Bodogbodog
Larry - not quite that location as you reference it - that small jetty is around from the Park Hyatt and pretty much under the Harbour Bridge - it is the normal tender point for Crystal when moored at Athol Buoy

I can’t see them clearing customs and baggage pick up at those steps - almost impossible IMHO

I assume that will be at the OPT and they will run buses around to it rather than have people walking around to it like Browns cows (is that an expression you understand?)

Still has the potential to be a challenge - although if 2016 repeats its the first step of getting off Serenity and onto the tenders which is the pinch point and results in delays

I’d say there is still a bit of water to flow under this bridge....
Thanks, Terry. Having been lucky enough to have walked around that side of the Park Hyatt and under the bridge a few times in the last few years, I know where you are referring to. Either way, it will be a short cab ride from the Four Seasons. And yes, I know all about Brown's cows! Irish/English on both sides of the family! My guess is they will offload the luggage at the OPT the night before, and I agree, they would have to bus you around. Could make for an interesting morning for you, but at least you will be home. Might be a different story for anyone needing to get to the airport!
#25
Sydney, Australia
5,651 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Ah yes - I forgot you were embarking as opposed to disembarking - not sure how they will handle that as if you clear customs at the OPT I'm not sure how they will manage immigration and security for those who are embarking

Last time they used White Bay terminal for both disembarkation and embarkation - that worked well but getting to and from White Bay is never a popular thing I'm afraid - were ok with it but its out of the central city and such a contrast to the OPT in terms of convenience

As I've said before Sydney has a real and known problem with capacity at the moment due to its' popularity - the Government is looking at options - but that lovely Bridge of ours is a real gating factor in terms of the inability of larger ships to use White Bay - ie it's physically not possible for them to pass under it

Re getting to the airport - a lot of the US flights are late morning or early afternoon and in fact Qantas is late afternoon - plus Saturday traffic from there to the airport is going to be a lot better than rush hour - so people should be ok as long as they're not looking for an early flight - our ticket doesn't state what time disembarkation commences but they will need officials on duty shore side to process passengers as they clear customs (immigration should have been done on the ship earlier) so I can't see it being too early
#26
4,658 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by Bodogbodog
Ah yes - I forgot you were embarking as opposed to disembarking - not sure how they will handle that as if you clear customs at the OPT I'm not sure how they will manage immigration and security for those who are embarking

Last time they used White Bay terminal for both disembarkation and embarkation - that worked well but getting to and from White Bay is never a popular thing I'm afraid - were ok with it but its out of the central city and such a contrast to the OPT in terms of convenience

As I've said before Sydney has a real and known problem with capacity at the moment due to its' popularity - the Government is looking at options - but that lovely Bridge of ours is a real gating factor in terms of the inability of larger ships to use White Bay - ie it's physically not possible for them to pass under it

Re getting to the airport - a lot of the US flights are late morning or early afternoon and in fact Qantas is late afternoon - plus Saturday traffic from there to the airport is going to be a lot better than rush hour - so people should be ok as long as they're not looking for an early flight - our ticket doesn't state what time disembarkation commences but they will need officials on duty shore side to process passengers as they clear customs (immigration should have been done on the ship earlier) so I can't see it being too early
I would not think immigration/customs would be an issue for embarking guests as they will have cleared when they entered the country, and we spend the first week sailing north along the coast to Cairns. Our docs say embarkation is anytime between Noon and 7:30 PM, so disembarkation will have to be completed prior to that. I suppose timing will depend on how many guests are disembarking/changing ships (another wrinkle) in Sydney as well. I wonder if they might tender the "changing ship" group directly to Symphony (and vice versa) in White Bay. Technically they are not disembarking, so they likely would not have to clear customs. Going to be an interesting day methinks!

Here's a heretical thought for the capacity problem, turn the bridge deck into a drawbridge so bigger ships can pass!! Just kidding! It is a problem though, because it seems like the lines are sending more ships to SOPAC every year, and those are just the lines we see and sell regularly in North America. We don't see much (any) of P & O, and then you have ships like RCI's Ovation that launched, with little North American notice, directly into the Asia-Pacific market. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
#27
Houston, TX
988 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Originally posted by Roland4
Our docs say embarkation is anytime between Noon and 7:30 PM, so disembarkation will have to be completed prior to that.
The logistics on February 17 will certainly be interesting. Especially with the 250+/- of us on the full Serenity WC all leaving at about the same time for the WC gala that evening.

Rob
#28
Florida
4,528 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by ryndam
The logistics on February 17 will certainly be interesting. Especially with the 250+/- of us on the full Serenity WC all leaving at about the same time for the WC gala that evening.

Rob
Sounds WONDERFUL. The rest of the Crystal Cruise Critic world will be waiting to hear all about it!
#29
4,658 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by ryndam
The logistics on February 17 will certainly be interesting. Especially with the 250+/- of us on the full Serenity WC all leaving at about the same time for the WC gala that evening.

Rob
I had forgotten about that gala. Of course, I suspect most embarking guests will be like us, anxious to get aboard, and will be on the ship long before you all start heading out to the gala! Going to be a busy day for the local tender operator(s), as I can't see Serenity using its own tenders, especially for gala guests!! I know when we were in Sydney a couple of years ago Celebrity was doing an embarkation/disembarkation by tender and they were using what looked like one of the Parramatta ferries for their tender operation.
#30
Sydney, Australia
5,651 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Originally posted by Roland4
I know when we were in Sydney a couple of years ago Celebrity was doing an embarkation/disembarkation by tender and they were using what looked like one of the Parramatta ferries for their tender operation.
They’ll probably use Fantasea again @ https://www.fantasea.com.au/ - I smiled at the sea horse logo, for the charters - they won’t use the ships tenders or something as big as one of the Parramatta ferries. They need larger capacity and fast. But the St Ives Steps are not the OPT - lots of pinch points on this route including Deck 5

I’ll just be glad to get off efficiently - unlike 2016 which was a nightmare and wasted so much time including for those wanting to tour Sydney and who weren’t on Crystal tours (although from what I saw I think they would have been impacted too)

Having said that except for mass exodus time it’s really neat to be moored at Athol Buoy - you can’t get a more panoramic view of the harbour. So please bear that in mind as you read about this impending pandemonium
#31
Oregon
1,249 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Not to cause any additional stress but realistically allow plenty of transport time to get to Dawes Point. This is all from our experience on WC 2015. The roads around Dawes Point are narrow and not particularly well marked. It is known both as Dawes Point and St Ives Steps.

Many taxi drivers have never heard of the location. That is those that could speak enough English to admit they had no idea of what we were saying. Our experience with taxis was a little like those of contestants on the Amazing Race. You have to sort through a lot of taxis who don't have a clue where Dawes Point is to find one that does. Just our experience hurrying back late at night after the Opera trying to catch the last tender to the ship at night.
#32
Sydney, Australia
5,651 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Originally posted by ijkh
That is those that could speak enough English to admit they had no idea of what we were saying. Our experience with taxis was a little like those of contestants on the Amazing Race. You have to sort through a lot of taxis who don't have a clue where Dawes Point is to find one that does. Just our experience hurrying back late at night after the Opera trying to catch the last tender to the ship at night.
Very good point - I’d ask them to take me to Pier One at Dawes Point - very very few Sydneysiders would know where St Ives Steps are but Pier One is a reasonable landmark

It would actually be a nice walk back from the Opera House around the water front if you weren’t in a hurry - but not in heels 👠
#33
Long Island,NY/ Sarasota, FL
384 Posts
Joined May 2000
To those now on Serenity, or about to be on Serenity, we'd like to ask a favor.
We became somewhat "addicted" to the tuna melts at the Grill in the afternoons. Could someone please ask what kind of cheese they use in the melts? Maybe we can reproduce them at home! :-)

THANK YOU!
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"Even a bad day at sea is better than a good day on land!"
#34
Sydney, Australia
5,651 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Originally posted by gwesq
To those now on Serenity, or about to be on Serenity, we'd like to ask a favor.
Will do - of course that may mean I have to sample one
#35
UK - Berkshire
314 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Well, I don't know how I managed to miss this, Terry! I am clearly being inattentive despite thinking I was staying on the ball... Oh dear, perhaps the beginning of the end is nigh for me!
Apologies for clogging up your inbox earlier but great to hear you will be doing more than the occasional post!
In a way I am sorry you are not on the Symphony - to hear your thoughts on what has gone on there but it will be interesting to hear from the Serenity and on your attempts to continue to burn the candle at both ends for so many days.
Good luck, bon voyage and enjoy every single second!
Adrian
PS don't worry, I am not blaming you for the flu epidemic - I remain grateful for your relieving me of some of my less reputable relatives.
#36
Wilson, NC
1,651 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by Bodogbodog
I’ll just be glad to get off efficiently - unlike 2016 which was a nightmare and wasted so much time including for those wanting to tour Sydney and who weren’t on Crystal tours (although from what I saw I think they would have been impacted too)

Having said that except for mass exodus time it’s really neat to be moored at Athol Buoy - you can’t get a more panoramic view of the harbour. So please bear that in mind as you read about this impending pandemonium
As I was on the World Cruise in 2016, I can attest to the fiasco with the tenders. Luckily, I was on the last tender from the ship that morning. I do hope the tender situation has been fixed.

Overnighting in Sydney at the Athol Buoy was one of the most amazing nights of the World Cruise. If you are fortunate to have a suite on the "correct side" of the ship, you will have one spectacular night on your balcony.
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Beth



#37
Long Island,NY/ Sarasota, FL
384 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by Bodogbodog
Will do - of course that may mean I have to sample one
Bet ya can't have just one! :-)
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"Even a bad day at sea is better than a good day on land!"
#39
Sydney, Australia
5,651 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Originally posted by travelberlin
Have a good flight Terry!

Thank you Ivi - yes we are actually on our way to the airport now - the joy of peak hour Sydney traffic makes that a challenge at the best of times but knowing the outcome we are going to have it’s more than tolerable this morning

Thank you to everyone for your kind wishes - we are really looking forward to this cruise
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You can contact me: bodogbodog @ gmail . com (take out the spaces)




04/14/2017 Crystal Symphony - Tokyo to San Diego - 17 days
12/21/2016 Crystal Symphony - Auckland to Melbourne - 15 days
01/24/2016 Crystal Serenity - San Francisco to Sydney - 22 days

11/13/2014 Crystal Symphony - Auckland to Sydney - 11 days
10/28/2014 Crystal Symphony - San Diego to Auckland - 15 days
02/16/2014 Crystal Symphony - Sydney to Bali - 12 days
01/05/2013 Crystal Symphony - Melbourne to Hobart - 6 days
#40
Long Island, NY
224 Posts
Joined Dec 2014
Safe flight Terry. We fly out of JFK for LAX on Saturday morning...beyond excited
Tim and I look forward to meeting you at the meet and mingle.
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Kathie