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

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Actually, HAL does give guests/pax the ability to have visitor(s) on board, but only during the grand voyages and those above and beyond the routine seven, ten, and fourteen-day Carib/AK and Europe voyages. Those requests have to be in at least 72-hours prior to arrival in the concerned port and need to be approved by the staff captain

How is the westbound ride, Roy?

 

thanks Copper.

 

So on a 28 day cruise in Europe on the P'dam, that might be possible?

 

Wonderful :)

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Thanks for your reports and photos.

 

On our Maasdam cruise, the port visit to Apia was cancelled, replaced with Pago Pago, American Samoa.

Edited by erewhon

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Thank you for the info on the visitor program on Crystal, Roy. That is a wonderful thing to be able to do!

 

We have twice been permitted to bring guests on board, once on the Volendam also on the Maasdam in 2016.

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So far the ride has not been too bad. We have had some pitching but not too serious. I've gotten my 5 miles in on the promenade deck each of the 3 days so far. It has been on the chilly and cloudy side so far.

 

 

With the 80 day Grand South America coming next year that's good to know about visitors although the opportunity is not too likely to come up.

 

 

Swells have shifted from our stern to the side so the stabilizers are doing their thing.

 

Roy

 

Good news, Roy! Enjoy Hawaii :)

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Thank you erewhon, Krazy Kruizers, Copper, bennybear, and kazu. I've actually learned some things about HAL from this thread.

 

Crystal and Cruise Critic

 

Crystal has traditionally had a pretty good relationship with Cruise Critic. For the last 1 ½ years or so they have had an official representative on their forum, first the former Host Andy as a contractor and just recently the corporate office has taken on the role.

 

Ever since I joined Cruise Critic they have sponsored official Cruise Critic Meet and Mingles. We sign up on Cruise Critic and if there are 10 people registered we get a card with the time and place of the party. We had one last night (Friday) with about 4 officers and perhaps 30 cruisers in attendance. A photo taken at the Meet and Mingle also inspired a rather rambling parting shot.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/critic1.jpg

 

I’ll take a bit of a rambling parting shot springing from a photo Travel2learn took of me at the Meet and Mingle. No, this wasn’t one of the Black Tie Optional nights. I do cruise a number of cruise lines and one of them is Crystal. For the World Cruise I’m taking the position that while I love Cunard, Crystal is a much more elegant setting and it just seems right to dress as least as elegantly as I would on a Cunard ship. There is often talk about loyalty and some people seem to think that loyalty requires exclusivity. This is a business, not a marriage. My 4 most usual cruise lines are Royal Caribbean primarily for their Baltimore itineraries, Cunard for enrichment excellence and transatlantic service, Holland America for great itineraries and very good service at an affordable price and of course Crystal for overall excellence. I’ll look at loyalty as bringing regular business and speaking well of a company where justified. If these companies did not give me a product worth the time, money, and trust in invest in them I would not be back. What about Crystal. Well, if I call other companies inferior, what does that say about Crystal. Better than inferior. Well, technically yes, but that’s not exactly the description I would choose.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/critic3.jpg

 

Roy

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Oops. Where I said " I do cruise a number of cruise lines and one of them is Crystal", I should have said "one of them is Cunard. Slight proofreading omission there,

 

Roy

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Hi Roy,

Just was able to catch up!!

What a great photo of you all dressed up!! Wow. Thank you so much for taking us on this wonderful journey.

Looking forward to more.

Denise:)

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Interesting to hear how they work with cruise critic.

Love your comments about loyalty vs marriage. Sometimes it is good to try new experiences.

Aloha!

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Great post and comments, Roy.

 

And, what an elegant gentleman you are in that picture :)

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Following along on morethangetaways and enjoying every post. Thanks for sharing your cruise with us. Great fun to read.....good pictures too.

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Thank you everyone.

 

Today's trivia:

 

5. What courntry’s mint designed and issued the first Euro coin?

8. Who was the first person to be portrayed (worldwide) on a postage stamp?

12. Where is the Van Gouh Museum

13. In what movie did James Bond first say “Shaken, not stirred”?

14. What was the name of the bar tender mentioned in the second verse of “Piano Man”?

 

Crystal Serenity World Cruise Religious Activities

 

I suspect things will be a little different on the Symphony since it’s their first world cruise in many years but Serenity has been doing it regularly. On normal cruises there is a priest who conducts daily Mass as well as an interdenominational service on Sundays. Protestant Chaplains and Rabbis are (and always have been) only onboard for world cruises and major holidays. In the case of Serenity these chaplains come back year after year and become fixtures on the ships.

 

Rabbi Morris Hershman has been on every World Cruise I can remember as well as the Northwest Passage. In addition to his standard services he does a more or less weekly “Rap with the Rabbi” on sea days where topics of interest are discussed and all cruisers are welcomed. Where most people may actually see him is as a panel member for “Liar’s Club”, an knockout stars in the show.

 

The Protestant Chaplain is Pastor Ed Voosen. He has been on every world cruise I’ve followed except for one where his daughter was undergoing treatment for cancer. In addition to his weekly services with Holy Communion he has a more or less weekly informal session on sea days. Church Music was one of his specialties in his career and those sessions usually focus on a few of people’s favorite hymns. In addition to his liturgical duties Chaplain Voosen also organizes the World Cruise Choir.

 

While the Priests are important to me on regular cruises I have not noticed them as much on the world cruises and have always assumed they came on for a segment or 2 on the world cruise much as they rotate for a cruise or 2 during the rest of the year. Since Fr. Tom Falkenthal was on for the Panama Canal cruise I have a bit of a relationship with him and was surprised to see that he is on for the entire World Cruise. I know he has been on World Cruises before but I don’t know if he’s a regular or not.

 

The 3 clergy (and their wives) work very well together and support each other. Both Rabbi Hershman and Fr. Tom were at the interdenominational service today and the Voosens took part in the first Rap With the Rabbi. We do see a bit less of Fr. Tom since he has the added responsibility of a Mass every day.

 

Answers to trivia:

 

5. What country’s mint designed and issued the first Euro coin? Belgium

8. Who was the first person to be portrayed (worldwide) on a postage stamp?Queen Victoria

12. Where is the Van Gogh Museum - Amsterdam

13. In what movie did James Bond first say “Shaken, not stirred”? Goldfinger

14. What was the name of the bar tender mentioned in the second verse of “Piano Man”? John

“Now John at the bar is a friend of mine

He gets me my drinks for free”

 

It was a day that separated the wheat from the chaff in trivia with scores (mostly around 9 or 10) running from 6 to 13.

 

Roy

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Awesome morning in Maui. I hope our weather follows the Oosterdam back across the Pacific.

 

Roy

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We watched the Oosterdam sail off into the sunset yesterday. It was a beautiful day, glad you enjoyed Maui. Aloha!

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Thanks Keith, bennybear, and Krazy Kruizers.

 

Day Serenity26, Tuesday, January 30, 2018, Honolulu, Hawaii

 

The Crystal Symphony is at sea from Mauritius(8829 miles away) to Broome(5254 miles)

 

I had planned not to walk on deck today and when the alarm sounded at 5 turned it off and went back for a bit of extra sleep. Turned out to be more than planned and when I woke again we were spinning around to approach the dock. I had missed sunrise by a few minutes but the appearance was delayed until it could get above a wall of buildings to our east.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/dawn0130.jpg

 

One of Honolulu’s iconic landmarks is Diamond Head and I have not been there for many years. The morning’s first shuttle took me to the Ala Moana Mall, not just a shopping center but a hub for Honolulu’s transit system.

 

My first encounter with Honolulu’s transit system (“The Bus”) was not the greatest. There was quite a long wait for my bus but fortunately I was right at the beginning of the route. As it slowly made it’s way along the route it got more and more crowded, finally even leaving some passengers at the curb at one stop. It was a bit of a relief to finally get off when my stop came.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/thebus.jpg

 

Diamond Head is quite a large park and it’s a half mile walk from the bus stop to the visitor center passing through a tunnel on the way. Entry is charged but it’s only a dollar. In the early 20th century Diamond Head was used by the army as a lookout point and gun battery. Today’s hiking trail is pretty much the same one used by mules in the military era to carry supplies to the lookout posts.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/tunnel1.jpg

 

From the visitor center in the crater a .8 mile trail rises 560 feet on a combination of moderate and steep grades, switchbacks, 2 long staircases, an uphill tunnel, and a spiral staircase to the summit. On the way up I paused at an overlook where a winch and cable system was used to haul up some supplies.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/hoist.jpg

 

I found the walk quite challenging and a couple of times thought about quitting as the sweat was getting pretty profuse but just took it a few sections at a time. I was about 50 minutes going up and about 30 back down. At the top were stunning views including the Diamond Head light house.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/dhlight.jpg

 

On the way back down I paused for a photo of one of the stair cases.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/stepsdown.jpg

 

The bus ride back to Ala Moana was considerably more civilized than the ride to Diamond Head. After a bit of shopping and lunch I was back at the ship about 2:30. While most HAL cruises are not likely to offer the town shuttle there are transit options as well as Uber/taxi to get to Diamond Head

 

In the evening we had the first of several “shoreside events” for people on the full world cruise. We boarded buses at 5:15 for a 20-minute ride to the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum. Founded in 1889 on the campus of the former Kamehameha Schools, the campus has Hawaii’s largest collection of Polynesian artifacts.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/thebishop.jpg

 

On our brief walk through of the museum I was impressed by a large model of a sperm whale hanging from the ceiling.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/greatwhale.jpg

 

Our event was held in a large tent on the lawn behind the main building. We were served tapas and treated to a show by local dancers lasting abut 45 minutes. An elevated platform in front of the stage was used at times by solo dancers.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/starperch.jpg

 

As desert was served a group of male dancers performed a fire and knife dance on the lawn between the tent and the museum building. We returned to the ship about 8.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/firedance.jpg

 

On our return there was a bowl from the museum sitting on our beds.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/thebowl.jpg

 

There is much here that I think HAL handles better. While I haven’t yet sailed a full HAL grand boyage my impression is that things exclusive to those on the full voyage are things like Pinnacle dinners where everybody has a chance for the same experiences other nights. I think the full world cruisers were the only one who got the bowl while everybody on a HAL Grand Voyage (full or segment) gets all the applicable pillow gifts..

 

I’ll take my parting shot from another blog again. I’ve been reading reports that the MS Amsterdam with several friends on board has been caught between 2 storms on it’s way across the Pacific. I know that feeling from my 2010 crossing on the Symphony and it’s a very draining experience. Cruise Critic member wearesiamese has sent me a photo which well depcicts the situation. I wish the Amsterdam’s passengers quick relief from that weather system.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/2storms.jpg

 

I’ll have a post on the lunar eclipse when time permits.

 

Roy

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Eek! Those waves! That is why I am too chicken to do the trans oceanic cruises.

 

I hope you saw the eclipse. I looked at two am and again around 4 it was nearly full. But no red. Looking forward to reading your experiences.

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Great pic of the 1918-built Diamond Head Light, Roy! :) Yeah, Amsterdam is going through some through some rough times, weather-wise :( on her route to Auckland, NZ, arriving on Friday

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