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LIVE - WORLD CRUISE 2019 & MORE - A NEW ADVENTURE UNFOLDS - 12/15/18 - 5/21/19


Keith1010
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it  is  amazing to hear that each meal , each drink each interaction with staff have been 5 star experiences--

I am reading this blog  with other  ATW cruise blogs  to determine which is the best for me --

Thanks for all your positive input, but  something , some food, some experience must have been 3 star instead of 5 star!!

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2 hours ago, markf said:

it  is  amazing to hear that each meal , each drink each interaction with staff have been 5 star experiences--

I am reading this blog  with other  ATW cruise blogs  to determine which is the best for me --

Thanks for all your positive input, but  something , some food, some experience must have been 3 star instead of 5 star!!

Markf;

 

Overall the food has been great.  On accession in the blog and in other posts I've mentioned that while we have enjoyed the food immensely that is not to say that every meal all of the food has been outstanding.  Once in awhile one of the courses was not terrific and was OK.  This has been the exception though.  Even something one might have often one time might not be to their liking.  For example, a few years ago I started to have the Rack of Lamb in Prego and that has continued into this cruise.  Since boarding in December I've had it five or six times.  One time it was so so.  Just like home sometimes you make the same thing and once in awhile it doesnt come out to your liking.

 

You will never know what is the best for oneself until you try it out for yourself.

 

In my case I believe its a good idea to study the respective cruise line website to learn as much as you can including the layout of the ship, the layout of the accommodations, what they emphasize, what they offer, etc.

I read reviews but focus on the things that the vast number of people say are positive or not so positive.  I also like the book on Ocean Cruising written by Douglas Ward and published by Berlitz and updated yearly.  I  don't focus on his ratings but  rather on his write ups and stats.

 

We have cruised Crystal a lot and it didn't take long for us to appreciate the amazing crew.  Relationships develop overtime but we found them from cruise one to focus on guests as individuals.

 

We do enjoy the overall experience.  Just like the food that is not to say that everything is 100% perfect all of the time because that is not going to happen anywhere including our own home.  But overall we find the cruising experience to be terrific with Crystal. 

 

Keith

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WELCOME TO  ATHENS  (PIRAEUS) GREECE

 

We are scheduled to arrive to this port at Noon today.

 

This cruise will end tomorrow morning and we will be on-board for one more cruise which is a seven day round trip Athens cruise with stops mainly in  Greece.

 

Yesterday we were  in Nafplion, Greece.  This is a tender port but the good news is that work is in progress which will allow cruise ships to dock there.  

 

I took the tender over to the town yesterday and walked it for a couple of hours.  It was foggy on one side of the town and clear on the other side and that was the case for most of the day.  Weather felt cooler than the temperature because of the cloud cover.

 

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We will  likely not go into Athens today and haven't decided about tomorrow.  We have been here many times and this Sunday Greek Orthodox Easter is celebrated and I think many things are going to be closed today and through the weekend.  We will decide tomorrow.  

 

This is todays' Reflections Program.

 

Reflections.pdf

 

You'll note that the Crystal On Broadway Show is being performed which is a makeup from when it was cancelled the other night due to the movement of the ship.

 

Keith

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ATHENS, GREECE - DAY 2 TURN AROUND DAY

 

Today  is turn around day with the Venice to Athens cruise coming to an end and the start of the Athens R/T cruise.  

 

We arrived to Athens yesterday before noon. With the arrival time they opened Marketplace at 11:30 AM to accommodate those guests who had early tours or would be touring independently.

 

We have been to Athens several times and decided to stay on board.  Anne Marie was doing packing so we don't have to deal with so much at the end of this next voyage when we will be departing Serenity.  Our packing is a little more complicated as we will be taking some luggage to Vienna for our pre cruise stay and for the Mozart River Cruise and the remainder of the luggage will be shipped home.

 

I played Paddle Tennis for a couple of hours.  It was only myself and one other person so more challenging with the singles play.

 

We dined at Waterside last evening.  Enjoyed the dinner.  On this cruise Waterside has been busier later in the evening.  This is another reminder how dining times do vary by cruise.  We arrived shortly after Waterside opened and it was very quiet for most of the dinner.  

 

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Before  we finished dinner several guests arrived.

 

I didn't take a photo of it but I had some cheese last night.  For those who enjoy cheese every evening they have a cheese menu and several choices available.  The cheese offered changes each evening.  The Head Waiter for your section will cut the cheese.  Our Head Waiter knows the type of cheese I prefer and I have him select it for me.  I had three small pieces; two from Italy and one from France.  One of the Italian Cheeses was a "wow" for me.

 

Before we left dinner, we shared best wishes with Rob and Jim (Rob is a CC member) who are leaving this morning.  They were departing the ship early today and I tried unsuccessfully to find them this morning after my workout.  With this being an overnight and many early flights disembarkation began very early this morning.  

 

As I mentioned today begins a R/T Athens Cruise.  This is the itinerary.

 

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Right now the embarkation Reflections Program is not available.  I thought I would post today's Waterside Luncheon and Dinner menus.

 

WATERSIDELUNCH.pdf

 

WATERSIDEDINNER.pdf

 

Well, that's it for now.  In seven days it will be Anne Marie and myself departing Serenity.

 

As usual, I welcome comments and questions from those of you who are following along with us.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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I wonder what I will read after you leave the ship. Great ports and some new to me. In 2 years I should see some if them again.

 

what do you think about people who give 24 hours notice getting special ordered food. Like spicy pasta or a fish not on the menu. Seems people are being flamed and I fir one eat  almost no land animals and always looking for a protein thst swims or tofu or just a spinach salad and pasta. 

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I agree in that every night I get into bed and look forward to reading your post!  I, too, will really miss them. It’s become sort of a ritual! Have a great last week. It must be hard to see the end of this adventure approaching. I am sad just thinking about it for you both. Safe travels and good health to you both. 

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6 minutes ago, ellbon said:

I wonder what I will read after you leave the ship. Great ports and some new to me. In 2 years I should see some if them again.

 

what do you think about people who give 24 hours notice getting special ordered food. Like spicy pasta or a fish not on the menu. Seems people are being flamed and I fir one eat  almost no land animals and always looking for a protein thst swims or tofu or just a spinach salad and pasta. 

Yes there are some nice ports.  The one in Cyprus is new to us and we haven't been to Rhodes since 2007 and look forward to these and the other ports.

 

Special orders are certainly fine and no one should be flamed about this.  In our case if we know that a particular item will be on the menu we wait for it  and find that we special order infrequently compared to years past.  However, if we won't be at Waterside the evening something that we like is ordered we will special order it.  Twice  we have had lobster the day after it was on the menu as we were dining at another venue the night it was on the menu.  In other cases we have asked from time to time if an item can be prepared differently.  It could be as simple as a salad asking for it to be prepared differently or it could  be something more in line of a special order.  The  key  is to provide 24 hours or more notice.


Keith

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1 minute ago, JBL919 said:

I agree in that every night I get into bed and look forward to reading your post!  I, too, will really miss them. It’s become sort of a ritual! Have a great last week. It must be hard to see the end of this adventure approaching. I am sad just thinking about it for you both. Safe travels and good health to you both. 

Thank you so  much for your thoughtful comments and good wishes.

 

We have had a great  time on-board Serenity and it always goes very fast.

 

The good news is  after we leave Serenity we fly to Vienna for our first visit and for our first RIver Cruise five days after our arrival so we still have lots to look forward to. 

 

The other good news is we have other future voyages to look forward to.

 

Best to you.

 

Keith

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22 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

Yes there are some nice ports.  The one in Cyprus is new to us and we haven't been to Rhodes since 2007 and look forward to these and the other ports.

 

Special orders are certainly fine and no one should be flamed about this.  In our case if we know that a particular item will be on the menu we wait for it  and find that we special order infrequently compared to years past.  However, if we won't be at Waterside the evening something that we like is ordered we will special order it.  Twice  we have had lobster the day after it was on the menu as we were dining at another venue the night it was on the menu.  In other cases we have asked from time to time if an item can be prepared differently.  It could be as simple as a salad asking for it to be prepared differently or it could  be something more in line of a special order.  The  key  is to provide 24 hours or more notice.


Keith

Mine is spinach salad with egg  but a different dressing. could eat salad about daily. I ordered  Dover Sole one a week. a simple pasta and  things like that. Seems the other cruise line  a certain person thinks unless you have allergies God Forbid you order what you like or prefer to eat.  

 

Maybe by the time you go  back home it will be warm. went from shorts to a sweatshirt today. next year and the following two I will not be here in April. At least that is the plan

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Robin the spinach salad and egg sounds great.

 

For several years we used to go with a standard salad each night and that included Spinach (we eat spinach at home every night) along with some selected vegetables.  I also used to go with a standing order of steamed vegetables.  The last couple of years we eliminated the standard orders so that we would vary the salads we try.


I am not sure why anyone would have a concern with standard or special orders. In fact, this is one of the many items we enjoy about Crystal.  Several years ago we were on another cruise line and early on went to their dining room for lunch.  I asked for some changes to the salad they had on the menu and the waiter said it could not be done.  Well, that was our first and last lunch of that cruise in the restaurant.  :classic_ohmy:

 

I suspect the weather will  be nice when  we get home.  I know it will be warm.  Just hoping that it isn't hot although I will take that weather over cool weather anytime.  :classic_biggrin:

 

Keith

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Like several others your blog and CC entries have been a daily ritual and when it began May seemed such a long time away - especially given that we join Serenity in Athens on May 4th with friends who have never cruised Crystal before. So, whilst sorry your time is coming to an end we are very excited that ours is just about to begin. We thought we were going to meet you both in 2012 on a Dover - NY crossing but you changed plans (wisely as it turned out - it was a fearsome crossing!) and it looks like this time you will have left a couple of hours before we arrive! Nonetheless, thanks for your continued insight into what we can expect - some food pictures have been 'fed' to our friends to whet their appetites!

This will be our first return to Crystal since Dubai to Mauritius in November 2017 so you can imagine how parched we are and in need of some re-Crystalization....! Sadly we will only be on for a week although I return with my Mother (who is 95 now) for her first ever cruise on May 18th.

Do enjoy your final week on Serenity - although many of us are obviously looking forward to hearing about your river cruising experiences.

 

(as an aside I have started to follow Roy's HAL blog - I always follow his Crystal blogs but it is making a interesting change to read reports of a cruise line we have never experienced)

Adrian

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Adrian:

 

Thank you so much for your very thoughtful post.  Welcome to Crystal Serenity.  We look forward to meeting you at the Meet and Mingle Party which will be held on this voyage.   That is so nice that you will return to for a voyage with your Mother for her first ever cruise.  That is wonderful.

 

See you soon.

 

Welcome aboard Serenity.

 

Keith

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6 minutes ago, MalbecWine said:

Keith, I think you misread Adrian’s post.  They will miss meeting you by a couple of hours.  I believe you are debarking and they are embarking.

Oops.  Yes, my mistake.

 

Adrian, I am sorry we won't get to sail with you.  I wish you a wonderful cruise.  Safe travels.

 

Keith

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5 hours ago, Noggins said:

(as an aside I have started to follow Roy's HAL blog - I always follow his Crystal blogs but it is making a interesting change to read reports of a cruise line we have never experienced)

Adrian

So you will be boarding Serenity just about the time I get off and head for Cunard.  Still a while till I return to Crystal (Bach 10/27 and then Serenity and finally Symphony). 

 

Roy

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9 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Robin the spinach salad and egg sounds great.

 

For several years we used to go with a standard salad each night and that included Spinach (we eat spinach at home every night) along with some selected vegetables.  I also used to go with a standing order of steamed vegetables.  The last couple of years we eliminated the standard orders so that we would vary the salads we try.


I am not sure why anyone would have a concern with standard or special orders. In fact, this is one of the many items we enjoy about Crystal.  Several years ago we were on another cruise line and early on went to their dining room for lunch.  I asked for some changes to the salad they had on the menu and the waiter said it could not be done.  Well, that was our first and last lunch of that cruise in the restaurant.  :classic_ohmy:

 

I suspect the weather will  be nice when  we get home.  I know it will be warm.  Just hoping that it isn't hot although I will take that weather over cool weather anytime.  :classic_biggrin:

 

Keith

Some people just think no one has the right to order unless they have food problems, I do not like peppers,olives, cukes and more but like spinach ,.somadd an egg or bs on and I hsve a balance meal.  I like Dover sole so I ore ordsr it. Someone got me spicy noodles. I learned from long time cruisers.

 

on the other line I am a long time cruiser. So I will ask.  Thank I have been learning the long time cruisers get more TLC which is not right. I see it all the time.  Ut if I can get food I like I will go for it,

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2 hours ago, rafinmd said:

So you will be boarding Serenity just about the time I get off and head for Cunard.  Still a while till I return to Crystal (Bach 10/27 and then Serenity and finally Symphony). 

 

Roy

Hello Roy. I'm sure you'll remember that 2012 crossing - if only for the missed ports of call?! We're back on Symphony in October - New Orleans to Miami, again with friends who will be new to Crystal.

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ON THE ROAD TO PAPHOS, CYPRUS

 

This is the one sea day for this seven day cruise.  In fact, I think this will be the only sea day for the next month or so given that the cruises will be short and Serenity is sailing the Mediterranean.

 

Yesterday was embarkation day with many new guests arriving/leaving and some staying on board.

 

We said until next time to some people we have sailed with on this and previous world cruises.

 

Since the ship was overnighting in Athens the disembarkation was very orderly and began early in the morning.

 

We have met several Crystal Society Members along with guests on-board for their first Crystal Cruise or at least first Crystal Ocean Cruise as some people have been introduced to Crystal through the River Cruise and/or Yacht experience.

 

We walked around Piraeus yesterday rather than going into Athens.  We have never visited the local city of Piraeus as we have always chosen to tour Athens.  It is certainly a much  smaller  city with less attractions compared to Athens.  Nevertheless  it was convenient to visit on foot and we walked to the main square and up and down the main road with lots of restaurants/shopping/places selling baked goods/outdoor market and it made for a nice morning.

 

There were lots of churches.

 

A few photos:

 

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After returning to the ship we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon on-board Serenity.

 

Enjoyed a terrific dinner.  We both had appetizers from the modern menu and truly enjoy how they are prepared.  They are very flavorful with the ingredients that accompany them.

 

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I'll have other photos on the blog later today.

 

Here is a copy of today's  Reflections.

 

Reflections.pdf

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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WELCOME TO PAPHOS, CYPRUS

 

Yesterday was the only sea day of this cruise and the only sea day for the next month or so with upcoming sailings having no sea days.

 

It was a nice day with enrichment and other activities offered.

 

I took my first indoor cycling class of this new voyage.  There will be two of them including yesterday.  

 

There are more younger (younger ranging from 40, to 60) on this cruise than the other ones we were on so I was not surprised that all of the bikes were filled yesterday.  It was a fun class.  

 

A short cycle video before class began.  

 

 

The lunch at Marketplace featured the Asian Buffet.  This seems to be the most popular of the buffets on all Crystal Voyages we sail for many years  now.  

 

Paddle Tennis had less people than I thought we might see.  When I got up there four people who were traveling together were playing but they left shortly after I did.  I played with a few other people for the entire time I was up there.  Weather was a bit strange.  It was windy so after you hit the ball if it went up in the air you didn't always know where it would land.  Temperature was pretty good.  I wore a long sleeved shirt and pants and about halfway through wish I had worn short sleeves and shorts.  It drizzled at one point but the court was safe to play on and then the sun came out.

 

Although we don't have an official black tie optional night on this cruise the menu at Waterside was what one would have on a BTO night.  Many of our favorites.  For me Caviar served traditionally and for the two of us Lobster.  The lobster  was larger than usual so I am thinking it came from somewhere other than Maine  but I could be wrong.  It was delicious.  

 

They had the Crystal  Society Party last night and congratulations to one of our own from CC who was honored.  

 

We are anchoring off Paphos, Cyprus.  Anne  Marie and I have never been  to Paphos or to Cyprus for that matter.  The town is supposed to be a short walk from the tender pier.  

 

Some food photos:

 

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Today's  daily Reflections Program.

 

Reflections.pdf

 

We leave Serenity in a few days so if anyone has any questions that I can assist with please be sure to let me know.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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1 hour ago, Cairn Mom said:

 We found Cyprus to be very interesting. I hope you enjoy your visit. 

We’ve never been on a Crystal river cruise. I’ll be interested in reading about your experience. 

 

Thank you.

 

You'll be hearing about our  first river cruise before you know it.  I'll be posting about that on the River Cruise Board and will provide a link to that thread once it has been established.

 

Keith

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I want to correct something I have mentioned previously and also add something I learned today.


Like this cruise the next seven day cruise will also have one sea day.  After that one there will be some six day cruises that are all ports.

 

I learned something today that I never knew and it relates to why Cyprus where we stopped today is on the itinerary.

 

If you are sailing Athens to Athens you can't have all Greek Ports on the itinerary.  You have to have one Foreign Port .

 

I had thought the USA was the only country with these type of requirements but alas I learned that is not the case.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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3 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

I want to correct something I have mentioned previously and also add something I learned today.


Like this cruise the next seven day cruise will also have one sea day.  After that one there will be some six day cruises that are all ports.

 

I learned something today that I never knew and it relates to why Cyprus where we stopped today is on the itinerary.

 

If you are sailing Athens to Athens you can't have all Greek Ports on the itinerary.  You have to have one Foreign Port .

 

I had thought the USA was the only country with these type of requirements but alas I learned that is not the case.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

until a few years ago many cruises ex Athens were calling in Turkey … for that reason  ( Kusadasi , marmaris …)

and it seems Spain does have something similar i was told - years ago short cruises ex Barcelona were doing a call in Collioure -Port Vendres in France .

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