2014 World Cruise Medley

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#81
Central Maryland
18,888 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
The Crystal Symphony is in Nagasaki, Japan. The Crystal Serenity is in Monaco.

Normally, when On Deck for a Cause is held I would walk just 3 miles in the morning and 3 more at the event. Today’s event overlapped the Protestant devotions, so I walked my full 5 miles in the morning and an additional 3 laps after devotions. I did my final laundry today, finishing the walk and the laundry just after 7.

The walk (or what I saw of it) was pretty dead and sparsely attended, likely because there had been several others since the World Cruise started. I saw only a handful of walkers on deck and there were refreshments in the Atrium afterwards. I saw very few takers although I was only there a few minutes. A new lecturer (apparently a one and done), Dr. Keith Nurse, spoke on “Caribbean Carnivals”, with an emphasis on Trinidad. When I left the lecture the “Cause” refreshment table was being taken down.

Tom Goltz had a program at 2PM on the Spanish American War. Most of the rest of the day was devoted to packing, and one other action that may not be quite right. I normally spend Christmas with my family in Central Florida, and the Ryndam has a New Years cruise out of Tampa that fits with that and also gets me back home before my volunteer responsibilities resume in January. When my booking came back, it was for Christmas week. I went back to the Future Cruise person and it will hopefully be straightened out.

At a closing cocktail party in the Queens Lounge there were a number of tributes and speeches including a recap of the ports by Barbara and a comedy sequence where most of the senior staff received pies in the face, except for the shore excursion manager who was accosted with about a dozen stickers. There was a “Chef’s Dinner”, but without the usual round of introductions, just a dignified meal. The evening entertainment was comedienne Rita Rudner. She was pretty good. The Piano Bar was a bit sad as it was an evening of farewell songs.

Today’s parting shot has another local ring. I see in the news digest Michael Phelps has gotten off to a good start in his quest to return to competition. Despite some youthful indiscretions, Phelps has been a tremendous asset to Maryland. Best wishes for another great Olympics, Michael.

Roy
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Currently enjoying:
Grand Alaska Volendam-Denali-Westerdam

Index to active Crystal Roll Calls
Limited View Cabins

Future cruises:


7/18/18 Volendam/Westerdam Alaska >>> 8/10/18 Crystal Symphony Panama Canal
11/10/18 Grandeur of the Seas Southern Caribbean
1/4/19 Prinsendam Grand South America
4/21/19 Nieuw Statendam Transatlantic>>>5/9/19 QV Kiel-Southampton>>5/12/19 QM2 Brugges-Gurernsey-New York
10/18/19 QM2 NY-Southampton>>Bach Rhine>>Serenity Barcelona-Lisbon-Ft. Lauderdale
1/22/20 Crystal Serenity LA-Sydney>>>3/6/20 QM2 Sydney-New York
#82
Central Maryland
18,888 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
The Crystal Symphony is in Kobe, Japan. The Crystal Serenity is at sea from Monaco to LaSpezia, Italy.

My final full length walk was uneventful under pleasant conditions and partly cloudy skies. While the major activity of the day was packing (some bags were even in the hallway Saturday), there was a busy program.

Protestant worship at 8 in the Queens Room was well attended. It was my turn to read the scripture (Beatitudes). At 9:30 Hotel Director Henk Mensink was Gene’s guest on Good Morning Amsterdam, followed by a Paul Goltz lecture on Che Guevera. At his midday update Captain Mercer indicated we would pick up the pilot at 4:45 AM, and would berth at Pier 26, where the World Cruise had begun many months ago.

The final redemption of Grand Dollars came after lunch (my 10 were just enough for a lanyard), and Jill Eyers closed out the enrichment series with a talk on fossils. Despite it’s weaknesses, I still haven’t gone through all my internet time (about 2 hours left), but also am still unable to log into Cruise Critic, either from my laptop or the ship’s computers. That gets frustrating after a while.

All 10 of us were present at table 311 for the closing dinner; I and several others enjoyed the Chateaubriand. At the end we had a crew parade and they sang us a farewell song. There was a single show of the orchestra in “Take 5", mostly jazz and mostly solos by band members but also including a number where they demonstrated playing a number on portable devices from a keyboard on a laptop screen to a phone sized device. As I left the Queens Room the last glow of dusk was hanging over the bow.

Today’s parting shot covers the world of unintended consequences, usually presumed to be a bad thing. I really never intended to take this last voyage, but backed into it when I found myself looking for a way home from Cape Town. This is actually the longest time I’ve yet spent on a single ship at once (a brief record to be broken at least twice in the near future), and I think the longest I’ve yet been away at once. As long as it’s been, I can’t believe how quickly the end is coming. I would have to call this a very good unintended consequence.

I do plan to report on the trip home but will not have internet access on the train, so the conclusion should come after the fact.

Roy
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Currently enjoying:
Grand Alaska Volendam-Denali-Westerdam

Index to active Crystal Roll Calls
Limited View Cabins

Future cruises:


7/18/18 Volendam/Westerdam Alaska >>> 8/10/18 Crystal Symphony Panama Canal
11/10/18 Grandeur of the Seas Southern Caribbean
1/4/19 Prinsendam Grand South America
4/21/19 Nieuw Statendam Transatlantic>>>5/9/19 QV Kiel-Southampton>>5/12/19 QM2 Brugges-Gurernsey-New York
10/18/19 QM2 NY-Southampton>>Bach Rhine>>Serenity Barcelona-Lisbon-Ft. Lauderdale
1/22/20 Crystal Serenity LA-Sydney>>>3/6/20 QM2 Sydney-New York
#83
11,000+ Club
11,246 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Welcome home Roy. Enjoyed your daily reports. The snow is gone.
Rick and Deirdra
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MST USNS Gen.Walker 9/66,Chandris "X" Amerikanis 2/78,Viking Princess 1/89, Nordic Empress 12/94, Empress 8/95, NCL Leeward 8/98, DCL Magic 1/99, NCL Sun1/02, Sky1/03, CCL Triumph 11/03, Brilliance 1/3/05, BR 1/2/06, GR 11/19/06, MJ 1/8/07, Empress 10/6/07,JW 1/6/08, EN 10/23/08(B2B)EN 10/27/08,MN 1/9/09,VY 2/22/09, MJ 5/22/09, MJ 9/18/09,OA 11/30/09(B2B)OA 12/01/09, MR 2/14/10,MJ 5/14,MJ 08/27,RD 10/16/10,AL 12/5/10,MR Cape Horn 2/1/11,FR 5/8/11,MJ 8/22/11,MN 9/5/11,VY 10/22/11(B2B)VY TA 10/30/11,JW 1/12/12, MJ 4/23, MN 7/6, MN 8/24,FR 12/16(B2B)MN 12/24, NV 1/26/13,MN 2/18(B2B)MN 2/22,MN last RCL cruise 3/29, EN 6/21(B2B)6/24, EN 7/26,EN 8/23/13 (B2B) 8/26/13, EN 12/23 (B2B2B2B) 1/3/14,RH 5/30/14,EN 7/25/14,VS 8/18/14(B2B)8/28,JW 12/20/14(B2B)12/27/14,MJ 2/20/15(B2B)MJ 2/23, GR 6/19,SKY 7/20,INDY 8/23(B2B)INDY 8/30,SKY 11/23,JW 12/20 (B2B) 12/27, INDY 2/18/16, MJ 4/25 (B2B) MJ 4/29, GR 6/18, MJ 8/26 (B2B)MJ 8/29, SR 1/13/17, MJ 4/25(B2B)4/29, MJ 6/5, AL 7/16/17, HR 8/26/17, MJ 9/18/17, SR 1/5/18, AL 6/17, AN 7/21, MJ 8/20, AD 10/21, IN 1/25/19, OV 5/13/19, GR 8/3, SY 9/21, SR 1/20/2020.
#84
Central Maryland
18,888 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
The Crystal Symphony is in Kobe, Japan. The Crystal Serenity is in LaSpezia, Italy.

I set a wakeup call for 5 but actually awoke at 4:45 with lights far closer to the ship than I expected. When I got out on deck 15 minutes later the condos at the entrance to the port were behind us. I walked 7 laps (2 miles) and the lines went out about lap 4. I finished my walk about 5:50 and returned to my room to make some final online checks. The sun came up an hour later, largely hidden in a few low-lying clouds, but the colors immediately before sunrise were beautiful. The Coral Princess arrived in port about an hour after us.

My tag was Blue 3 with an estimated time off of 9:15-9:45. Some things about disembarkation went well and others not so great. A nice thing is that we do not have a deadline to be out of our rooms. What I would like to see improved is the information process. Numbers are called when it’s your turn but it would be nice to know what the different tags are and the order they will be called. As it is, all we know is pretty much “not yet” until it is actually your turn. Mine came at 10:15. I was quite lucky not to have a problem leaving the ship. I had been wearing an old shirt that isn’t coming home with me, and left it in the trash about 9:30 when I went to the Queens Lounge to await my final call. About 10 I realized that I did not have my room key. With a quick trip back to my room it was still in that shirt pocket. As we left the ship Hotel Director Henk and Cruise
Director Gene were at the gangway with “thanks” and “farewell”.

The terminal was a bit chaotic. Most luggage colors were marked by signs but blue was not. There also didn’t seem to be much order to the numbers, once I found the blues, the 1's, 2's, and 3's were not very well defined. I walked around for quite a while before locating my second bag. Customs and immigration, which I had feared, was a breeze. When I walked up to the line, every agent was busy but nobody was ahead of me in the queue. I was at the curb in about 5 minutes. It was about a 15-minute ride to Amtrak’s Fort Lauderdale station. The service there was a little less than I was hoping for, apparently with just one agent. My luggage is now sitting on a cart, and will not be checked until the final hour before the train leaves. I had hoped to check my bags and head out to McDonalds for wifi, so I’m glad to have been online before leaving the ship.

My train arrived on time and I was soon settled into my cozy home for the next 24 hours. It wasn’t long before I was in the diner for lunch, at a table shared with a couple from the Amsterdam who had done the full world cruise. The journey through Florida brought back memories, having spent many Christmases in Central Florida with my parents, first in Lakeland (the drive-in theater across the street from their mobile home park still appears to be open) and in Kissimmee, where my mom spent her final 10 years. Some things have changed, but it’s still very familiar.

The sun went down as we approached Orlando, and a steak dinner soon followed. We played cat and mouse with the schedule. When I called it a night about 10 we were about 20 minutes behind.

As a parting shot, I’m sure many things have changed while I’ve been gone, but some things are stubbornly stable. I was back on the Crystal Symphony when Flight 370 went down, and not too far from the crash site. Since then I’ve been halfway around the world by ship with many stops, but there still is no trace of the missing plane. May the families of the victims soon get some answers.

Roy
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Currently enjoying:
Grand Alaska Volendam-Denali-Westerdam

Index to active Crystal Roll Calls
Limited View Cabins

Future cruises:


7/18/18 Volendam/Westerdam Alaska >>> 8/10/18 Crystal Symphony Panama Canal
11/10/18 Grandeur of the Seas Southern Caribbean
1/4/19 Prinsendam Grand South America
4/21/19 Nieuw Statendam Transatlantic>>>5/9/19 QV Kiel-Southampton>>5/12/19 QM2 Brugges-Gurernsey-New York
10/18/19 QM2 NY-Southampton>>Bach Rhine>>Serenity Barcelona-Lisbon-Ft. Lauderdale
1/22/20 Crystal Serenity LA-Sydney>>>3/6/20 QM2 Sydney-New York
#85
Central Maryland
18,888 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by Pumbaamd
Welcome home Roy. Enjoyed your daily reports. The snow is gone.
Rick and Deirdra
Thanks. Now can we get rid of the rain?

Regrettably, I must now add one more ship to this list. The MS Amsterdam is at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas The Crystal Symphony is in Shimzu, Japan. The Crystal Serenity is in Livorno, Italy.

We have continued to play cat and mouse with our schedule. I woke about 6 and we were on time, but we were back 20 minutes late by the next stop. The issue was signal problems, it was too foggy to see the rising sun but that did not delay us.

At breakfast I dined across the aisle from a couple who had cruised out of Miami, the Silver Star is quite well timed for returning cruisers. We continued across the Carolinas and Virginia, while we were under way I accomplished a lot on my compilation of views of Amsterdam limited view cabins. The final meal for a while not my responsibility was a nice lunch burger, and soom we’ll cross the Potomac and ready for the final brief leg. I stepped off the train in Richmond, and it’s clear we’re not in Florida any more. I had packed my sports coat while waiting in Ft. Lauderdale, but will want it for the final transfer.

Richmond was the last stop where the Silver Star picks up new passengers, and from there on the train goes as fast as possible, even if ahead of schedule. We were just about on time in Washington where we switched locomotives to electric power. We had a few minutes to stretch there but it was raining quite hard and I stepped off only briefly. We arrived in Baltimore at 3:55, about 20 minutes early, with a drizzle as I entered the station. The Airport Shuttle was waiting at the door, and I was home about 4:30.

Extended trips are wonderful, but there sure is a price to pay on return. I
I’ve spent about an hour just sorting accumulated mail to 2 large batches of junk and another 6 inches of stuff I really need to look at, that will keep me busy for a while.

Roy
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Currently enjoying:
Grand Alaska Volendam-Denali-Westerdam

Index to active Crystal Roll Calls
Limited View Cabins

Future cruises:


7/18/18 Volendam/Westerdam Alaska >>> 8/10/18 Crystal Symphony Panama Canal
11/10/18 Grandeur of the Seas Southern Caribbean
1/4/19 Prinsendam Grand South America
4/21/19 Nieuw Statendam Transatlantic>>>5/9/19 QV Kiel-Southampton>>5/12/19 QM2 Brugges-Gurernsey-New York
10/18/19 QM2 NY-Southampton>>Bach Rhine>>Serenity Barcelona-Lisbon-Ft. Lauderdale
1/22/20 Crystal Serenity LA-Sydney>>>3/6/20 QM2 Sydney-New York
#86
Maryland
1,166 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Welcome home! We brought in the rain for you so you can have the time to go through all your mail and get reacquainted with your home.

Now we can prepare for Alaska!

Amy
#87
11,000+ Club
11,246 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Alaska?
We are on Rhapsody from Seattle May 30!
Rick and Deirdra
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MST USNS Gen.Walker 9/66,Chandris "X" Amerikanis 2/78,Viking Princess 1/89, Nordic Empress 12/94, Empress 8/95, NCL Leeward 8/98, DCL Magic 1/99, NCL Sun1/02, Sky1/03, CCL Triumph 11/03, Brilliance 1/3/05, BR 1/2/06, GR 11/19/06, MJ 1/8/07, Empress 10/6/07,JW 1/6/08, EN 10/23/08(B2B)EN 10/27/08,MN 1/9/09,VY 2/22/09, MJ 5/22/09, MJ 9/18/09,OA 11/30/09(B2B)OA 12/01/09, MR 2/14/10,MJ 5/14,MJ 08/27,RD 10/16/10,AL 12/5/10,MR Cape Horn 2/1/11,FR 5/8/11,MJ 8/22/11,MN 9/5/11,VY 10/22/11(B2B)VY TA 10/30/11,JW 1/12/12, MJ 4/23, MN 7/6, MN 8/24,FR 12/16(B2B)MN 12/24, NV 1/26/13,MN 2/18(B2B)MN 2/22,MN last RCL cruise 3/29, EN 6/21(B2B)6/24, EN 7/26,EN 8/23/13 (B2B) 8/26/13, EN 12/23 (B2B2B2B) 1/3/14,RH 5/30/14,EN 7/25/14,VS 8/18/14(B2B)8/28,JW 12/20/14(B2B)12/27/14,MJ 2/20/15(B2B)MJ 2/23, GR 6/19,SKY 7/20,INDY 8/23(B2B)INDY 8/30,SKY 11/23,JW 12/20 (B2B) 12/27, INDY 2/18/16, MJ 4/25 (B2B) MJ 4/29, GR 6/18, MJ 8/26 (B2B)MJ 8/29, SR 1/13/17, MJ 4/25(B2B)4/29, MJ 6/5, AL 7/16/17, HR 8/26/17, MJ 9/18/17, SR 1/5/18, AL 6/17, AN 7/21, MJ 8/20, AD 10/21, IN 1/25/19, OV 5/13/19, GR 8/3, SY 9/21, SR 1/20/2020.