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rafinmd

2018 Crystal World Cruise as seen by a 4-Star Mariner

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That is a hefty chunk of change for three days!:eek:

😞 I know but once in a lifetime right?

We could of done it with companies outside of HAL but in this case we felt more comfortable with HAL. One of our bucket lists.

Denise:)

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I'm not Copper Roy, but I certainly recognize the officer at the gangway talking.

 

 

I so agree with you on Macchu Piccu.

 

Great posts!

 

Never having been there but thinking that I would like to, you seem to be less than enchanted with the site. Reasons?

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Tampa Girl, my point (and I think Kazu's) is that as nice as Macchu Piccu is, it should be a separate trip, and not by missing several days of a cruise.

 

 

Crystal App?

 

 

Some cruise lines now have an “app” that you load on a device before the cruise and get various information such as a means of checking your account or making reservations. HAL doesn’t really have an “app” but the wifi home screen (the HAL Navigator page) offers much of the same functionality without the need to download anything. Crystal offers a different set of bells and whistles, some better than HAL and some not as good.

 

A Crystal “app”? Yes and no. There is an app that they recommend installing before hand but it isn’t really Crystal. It’s called “Press Reader” and a general purpose app designed for reading newspapers and magazines electronically. It provides a fairly wide selection of newspapers from several countries, which are loaded onto a server on the ship so individuals do not need to use the satellite individual to read. It is also the portal for things like menus, online Reflections, and other printed materials like shore excursion books.

 

Here’s a rough listing of the papers available.

 

reader.png

 

Here, also, is the page that comes up when hooking up to the wifi, akin to HAL’s Navigator page.

 

1056628561_connect(Custom).jpg.853359e90b8bd3a6a902fc2d1575f125.jpg

 

The last option, “Live Cruise Map” doesn’t seem to be working. “Future Cruise Booking” is just an online form that’s delivered to the Future Cruise Consultant. “View Movies and Lectures” is a “Video On Demand” interface where you can call up a number of movies and also a selection of lectures going back several months, on your device.

 

“Read the Latest New”s is the interface to the Press Reader App. Unfortunately, it only seems to work reliably on an IPAD.

 

Finally, there’s the login screen to access the internet. No fee but only 2 devices can be used at a time so you must log off one device before logging into another.

 

Roy

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So far I am very impressed with everything you have shared about Crystal! Although DH and I are both retired, we h a ve enough going on in our lives right now that makes longer cruises difficult for us, but when we are able to travel for extended periods of time, I think Crystal might be an excellent choice for us. I really like the way you plan your trips, so I'm trying to learn as much as I can now from you. That way when we are ready for a world cruise, I will be better prepared to plan it! :cool:

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The Press Reader is very interesting, Roy.

 

Wondering if Crystal also has some of these in hard copy for those that don't have devices (or prefer not to read on devices) for the "app"?

 

Thanks.

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I am so impressed with Crystal’s “Press Reader” Roy. Very detailed and very informative too. Question, what I love about HAL is yes itinerary but most important is the wonderful presence of the

Indonesian staff that are so warm and friendly and make you feel at home. How is it with Crystal?

Denise:)

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Cartagena, Colombia

...............................................

There were a few stragglers about 12:35 as the facilities by the gangway were broken down. I wonder if Copper10-8 might recognize any of the people in this picture..............................

 

 

Hi Roy; the female voice from WEDM during the crew drill was more than likely her cruise director, Erin. The CD, along with the captain, are the primary communicators on the ship's P/A system. HAL currently does not have any female staff captains, after former staff captain Catherine Williams left to become a harbor pilot. K-dam currently has a really competent German female 1st officer and it wouldn't surprise me if she became the next female staff captain

As far as your gangway pic close to Westie's departure, that's HAL's senior (in terms of time on) security officer, a Brit; one of the four 'Boatmen' (LSA) with the life vest on, a Hotel Dept officer, the Cartagena port agent, and a local tour operator

Check your inbox when you have a chance - visitor request is headed your way! ;)

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The Press Reader is very interesting, Roy.

 

Wondering if Crystal also has some of these in hard copy for those that don't have devices (or prefer not to read on devices) for the "app"?

 

Thanks.

 

I am so impressed with Crystal’s “Press Reader” Roy. Very detailed and very informative too. Question, what I love about HAL is yes itinerary but most important is the wonderful presence of the

Indonesian staff that are so warm and friendly and make you feel at home. How is it with Crystal?

Denise:)

 

Jacqui, you uncovered an interesting shortcoming that I hadn't thought about. I checked the library and there are no hard copy newspapers. I also checked the computer center and there's only one computer (stepping back unlike HAL the public computers (like Explorations Cafe) and the computer classroom are in a suite with the public computers on one side and the classroom on the other with a staff desk in between), and the computer that can access press reader is in the training room so only accessible when class is out of session.

 

Denise, the staff is international and there are a fair number of Filipinos but no more Indonesians than would be expected from a representative international group. All the staff is great, and I find the Indonesian staff on HAL excellent but not all that unusual. When I am on HAL there are some things I like better than Crystal like chilled soups and the best waffles I've seen at sea but I've found Crystal's crew at least as warm and friendly.

 

Roy

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There was a question concerning the library so I’m adding a picture of it.

 

library.jpg

 

The open pool deck reminds me a lot of the Prinsendam’s but I think Serenity’s is significantly larger. While the Prinsendam has tables along the sides of the deck on Serenity they are near the midship elevators under a covered section.

 

thepool.jpg

 

Roy

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Is that an actual librarian or a guest? ;)

 

Not a guest. Most of the time it's an actual librarian but not the whole day. When they are off one of the singers or dancers fills in for the void. The cast also handles the noon trivia except on the World Cruise where it's handled by the "World Cruise Hostess".

 

Roy

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There was a question concerning the library so I’m adding a picture of it.

 

library.jpg

 

The open pool deck reminds me a lot of the Prinsendam’s but I think Serenity’s is significantly larger. While the Prinsendam has tables along the sides of the deck on Serenity they are near the midship elevators under a covered section.

 

thepool.jpg

 

Roy

 

Wow Roy, that really does remind me of the Prinsendam.

 

Does Crystal have a roof that closes? Aplogies if I missed that.

 

I actually like the fresh air so am quite happy with the P'dam's Lido :)

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Not a guest. Most of the time it's an actual librarian but not the whole day. When they are off one of the singers or dancers fills in for the void. The cast also handles the noon trivia except on the World Cruise where it's handled by the "World Cruise Hostess".

 

Roy

 

I remember the HAL cast working in the library, late nineties or so

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Wow Roy, that really does remind me of the Prinsendam.

 

Does Crystal have a roof that closes? Aplogies if I missed that.

 

I actually like the fresh air so am quite happy with the P'dam's Lido :)

 

I'll need to add some more photos later. Neither ship has a pool with a roof that closes at this time. There is a moveable roof on the lido deck between the midship and aft elevators. There was originally a pool there but they decided it was more important to have additional seating space in that area and the pools were removed; I think about 2008 on the Symphony and 2012 on Serenity. A little comic footnote, the safety message that played in the stateroom video said something like "Enjoy the Seahorse and Neptune pools, but no diving" for about 5 years after the Neptune pools were removed. If only they'd take out those annoying bird baths on the Veendam and Rotterdam and put in more outdoor seating, that's a change I could live with.

 

Roy

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Thanks Roy for your reply!!!!

Wish I was here when you come to San Diego! On the road to the high desert for the 2 weeks. Enjoy your stay in San Diego and your next great adventure!

I’ll be reading with my coffee!

Denise:)

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Promenade deck

 

Those who know me know I like to walk at sea. Here’s a collage of the Serenity’s Promenade Deck starting forward starboard and looking across the bow, back on the port side, across the stern, and forward on the starboard side.

 

promserenity.jpg

 

HAL regulars will notice 2 things missing:

1-Lifeboats: They are tucked into the hull on the deck below. When I get to the Symphony you will see lifeboats in the corresponding picture.

2-Lounge chairs: I’ve been sailing Crystal since 1996 (They began operating in 1990), and there have never been lounge chairs on the promenade deck–It’s a place to walk or to stand by the rail looking over the side. There are about 3 benches where perhaps a total of about 6 people can sit and rest for a minute but that’s it. This may explain why the Koningsdam’s promenade deck doesn’t bother me, those chairs have never been part of my culture.

 

Need a lounger. They’re on all the aft passenger decks from deck 8, just above the promenade to deck 11, the highest deck just below the lido.

 

aftserenity.jpg

 

As a comparison I’ll link to similar shots from my 3 HAL ships alst fall:

 

Oosterdam:

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/promenade.jpg

 

Amsterdam:

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/amstprom.jpg

 

and finally Prinsendam:

 

https://solocabinchallenge.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/eepromenade.jpg

 

Roy

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Trivia on Crystal

 

I hope nobody will mind me stealing a bit from Scrapnana’s thread. There is not as much trivia on Crystal generally as there is on HAL. It is offered only at noon on sea days. With lectures at 11 and again at 1:30, I don’t normally participate because it becomes very rushed going from the morning lecture to the lunch to the afternoon lecture, especially with Captains who give their updates at noon.

 

I popped in today about 12:20 and they were midway through the questions but I caught the first ones in the recap before the answers were given They range from real giveaways to some that had me totally stumped:

 

1.What US State begins with a P?

2. Name the Capitol of Malaysia.

3. What flavor is Cointreau?

4. How many valves in a trumpet?

5. What sport does Concentino Rocca play?

6. How many times did Bjorn Borg win the men’s singles at Wimbledon?

7. What country did the French Horn come from?

8. What color is an orange blossom?

9. Name the world’s biggest island.

10. What city to the NBA Hawks represent?

11. Hartsfield Airport is in which state?

12.What is a group of frogs called?

13. Where are the Glass House Mountains?

14. What is the fastest growing religion in Ireland?

15. In which country did donuts originate?

 

The singers and dancers from the cast take turns hosting the trivia. Today it was Gabor, a dancer from Hungary. English was clearly not his first language and pronunciation was awkward. He was very patient about spelling any words that were questionable.

 

Prizes are for vouchers for various outlets. Today’s was for the photo shop. The winner today had 11 correct.

 

In the future, I will try to choose a few questions and put them at the beginning and end of another post.

 

The answers:

1. Pennsylvania

2. Kuala Lampur

3. Orange

4. Three

5. Golf

6. Five

7. Germany

8. White

9. Greenland

10. Atlanta

11. Georgia

12. Army

13. Queensland (Australia)

14. Buddhism

15. Netherlands

 

Roy

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Finally got caught up on all your posts. All these world cruisers give me lots of reading to do. Great way to spent the day when it's cold & snowy up here in the great white north. Keep them coming. Enjoy

Allan

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Love the post!!! I really like the aft decks with chairs and lounge chairs!!!!

Enjoy the promenade with your morning walks too!!

Take care Roy happy Sailings.

Denise:)

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Thanks Roy for the answers.

 

The promenade deck looks very nice - loungers/not.

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