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Leejnd4

LeeAnne & Sandy's Sizzling Samba & Tango Cruise - Symphony Jan 24-Feb 3

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20 minutes ago, Les Picantins said:

LeeAnne is doing such a great job sharing some of the highlights of this cruise that I don’t have too much to add.

 

I will just mention that we are having such a wonderful cruise that even though we are only days away from becoming « Diamond « on Seabourn, we will now choose Crystal as our first choice when planning future voyages. The service is impeccable, the choices of activities and dining (and drinking) options are varied, and the quality of dining is (IMO personal and professional) a note superior to the competition.

 

This evening is our meet and greet party and then we’re off to Umi Uma for a romantic dinner for 2.

 

Tomorrow will be our first sea day. I’m sure there will be lots of activities planned. So far the pool area has been pleasantly under crowded. It will be interesting to see what happens manana.

 

Marjorie

 

 

 

Marjorie,

 

Nice to read your post and glad the cruise is meeting your expectations.  Keep on having a stellar time.

 

my husband and I look forward to our next Symphony cruise. We've sailed crystal exclusively since 2004 and it's been a great fit for us.  Is Crystal perfect, nothing is perfect!!  However, our expectation are met or exceeded 95% of the time and we treasure these wonderful exoeriences.  We're itinerary driven and have not been on the Symphony since 2015.  Up until that times, all of our sailings with one exception were on the Symphony.   Can't wait to see the changes from 2017 and reconnect with so many wonderful crew members.

 

have a great day.  Thanks for posting.

 

Nancy

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Crystal. What can I say? I wend to the computer lab just to see if it was possible they could help me in some way, and it turns out they have Adobe Photoshop on the computers here. I'm used to using Adobe Lightroom to process my photos from raw, but you can do it in Photoshop as well...just not with quite as much flexibility. But the young man here gave me a quick lesson on how to use it, and BOOM - here are the best shots from my two dives yesterday. 🙂

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What beautiful photos! I have to check the board every morning to see if there's a new installment. Today is my lucky day. 🙂

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Wowzer! Between LeeAnne’s commentary, those fabulous pictures and Marjorie’s comments too, I am more excited than ever to board Symphony in BA on Sunday!  

 

Thank you both both for sharing your amazing experiences. Keep it coming, as I am soaking in every detail! 

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Just awesome photos of your dive. I had a slew of emails this morning alerting to new posts to your thread. Now I know why there were so many! Thanks so much for sharing them.

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Great photos and commentary from your dive, I love following adventurous travellers who do and see things out of the ordinary.. I look forward to reading more as your cruise progresses...

 

Anne..

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Loving the thread and your passion to enjoy everything

 

Now remember to build in some relax time too - although there’s always so much to tempt you with on Crystal 

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LeeAnne, WOW! The dive photos are incredible.

Thank you so much for posting them, and your recent commentary.

 

So happy to know that you and Sandy are enjoying the cruise so much, and being on the Symphony.  What a great ship!

Enjoy all your days ahead as much or more.

 

Very much enjoying following along with you from afar.

Tom

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Lee Anne, as I mentioned before your thread is like reading a real time experience and you have the art of writing.  You are bringing us into the real experience of cruising with Crystal and you don’t gloss it over.  Thank you.

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LeeAnne, let me add my voice to the above compliments, I am loving your fabulous photos and your interesting, entertaining posts.  Hope you and Sandy continue to have a great time.

Bob

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11 hours ago, Les Picantins said:

LeeAnne is doing such a great job sharing some of the highlights of this cruise that I don’t have too much to add.

 

I will just mention that we are having such a wonderful cruise that even though we are only days away from becoming « Diamond « on Seabourn, we will now choose Crystal as our first choice when planning future voyages. The service is impeccable, the choices of activities and dining (and drinking) options are varied, and the quality of dining is (IMO personal and professional) a note superior to the competition.

 

This evening is our meet and greet party and then we’re off to Umi Uma for a romantic dinner for 2.

 

Tomorrow will be our first sea day. I’m sure there will be lots of activities planned. So far the pool area has been pleasantly under crowded. It will be interesting to see what happens manana.

 

Marjorie

 

 

We just got off the Symphony in Rio and did the Ovation in December, agree wholeheartedly with your comments. Enjoy the rest of your cruise.

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Amazing photos. It's as though we are right there.

 

Temecula! My Mom and sister used to live there and we lived 20 minutes away. Small world!

 

Nancy

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Yesterday was our last stop in Brazil. Here are my thoughts about the three ports here and tips for those who might be travelling to this part of the world in the future. Now keep in mind that I am not at all the adventuring cruiser who likes to take excursions and get a full immersion experience. The spa team knows me much better than the destination’s department. Pre-cruise in Rio, for example, I was perfectly content to see Christ the Redeemer from a distance on my drive from the airport to my hotel and then see it upclose on a drone video on YouTube in the comfort (and security) of my hotel. When in port, I’m usually on an early tender, walk around and do some shopping, and then back on board for a nice cold drink and lunch. I know there are some of you out there who are the same, because we cross paths all of the time.

 

With all that in mind:

Rio - a destination when seeking warm weather in January. If you’re like me, make sure to pick a great hotel with good security, a nice pool and good restaurants. Don’t forget any toiletries as that might force you to leave the hotel on your own (g-d forbid). Our hotel recently replaced their gift shop with an H. Stern jewelry store, so it’s a good thing I packed my sunscreen.

 

We saw vultures circling in 2 different spots on our drive to the hotel, once again from the hotel and twice after boarding the ship. Well that was a new and different experience. I wonder what was down below.

 

Also, make sure ahead of time that your driver knows where to drop you off by the ship. Almost everyone we spoke to had to walk somewhat long distances with their baggage, passports and other valuables in hand to get to the porters in an unsecured area, yikes. To make this all more stressful, during both of our TA prearranged tranfers, the fuel tank gauge was on empty and blinking. If I were to do it over, I would have paid the premium for a Crystal arranged driver.

 

Next port Buzios - put on the map by Bridget Bardot. The St Trop of South America. A pleasant beach town to walk around without really having  to worry about looking over your shoulder. Lots of places to purchase thongs both for your feet and cheeks, if you know what I mean.

 

Last stop in Brazil, Ilhabela and by far the prettiest. The thing to do here is go to the Toca waterfalls by 4 x 4. Just the thought of that made my coccyx hurt, previously injured bouncing around on a safari in South Africa a few years ago so I decided to spend my remaining real$ instead. It was a challenge, but I managed. Should any of you find yourselves in the same dilemma, there is a shop selling bath and beauty products right across from the tender pier. It’s a brazilian Occitane. The salesgirl was more than happy to oblige.

 

So there you have a lazy and paranoid girl’s view on the cruise ports in Brazil.

 

Before coming here, several people recommended going to Paraty. Too far from any of our stops. Hopefully next time Crystal plans this itinerary, they will add it in and spend less time in Rio. 

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1 hour ago, Les Picantins said:

Yesterday was our last stop in Brazil. Here are my thoughts about the three ports here and tips for those who might be travelling to this part of the world in the future. Now keep in mind that I am not at all the adventuring cruiser who likes to take excursions and get a full immersion experience. The spa team knows me much better than the destination’s department. Pre-cruise in Rio, for example, I was perfectly content to see Christ the Redeemer from a distance on my drive from the airport to my hotel and then see it upclose on a drone video on YouTube in the comfort (and security) of my hotel. When in port, I’m usually on an early tender, walk around and do some shopping, and then back on board for a nice cold drink and lunch. I know there are some of you out there who are the same, because we cross paths all of the time.

 

With all that in mind:

Rio - a destination when seeking warm weather in January. If you’re like me, make sure to pick a great hotel with good security, a nice pool and good restaurants. Don’t forget any toiletries as that might force you to leave the hotel on your own (g-d forbid). Our hotel recently replaced their gift shop with an H. Stern jewelry store, so it’s a good thing I packed my sunscreen.

 

We saw vultures circling in 2 different spots on our drive to the hotel, once again from the hotel and twice after boarding the ship. Well that was a new and different experience. I wonder what was down below.

 

Also, make sure ahead of time that your driver knows where to drop you off by the ship. Almost everyone we spoke to had to walk somewhat long distances with their baggage, passports and other valuables in hand to get to the porters in an unsecured area, yikes. To make this all more stressful, during both of our TA prearranged tranfers, the fuel tank gauge was on empty and blinking. If I were to do it over, I would have paid the premium for a Crystal arranged driver.

 

Next port Buzios - put on the map by Bridget Bardot. The St Trop of South America. A pleasant beach town to walk around without really having  to worry about looking over your shoulder. Lots of places to purchase thongs both for your feet and cheeks, if you know what I mean.

 

Last stop in Brazil, Ilhabela and by far the prettiest. The thing to do here is go to the Toca waterfalls by 4 x 4. Just the thought of that made my coccyx hurt, previously injured bouncing around on a safari in South Africa a few years ago so I decided to spend my remaining real$ instead. It was a challenge, but I managed. Should any of you find yourselves in the same dilemma, there is a shop selling bath and beauty products right across from the tender pier. It’s a brazilian Occitane. The salesgirl was more than happy to oblige.

 

So there you have a lazy and paranoid girl’s view on the cruise ports in Brazil.

 

Before coming here, several people recommended going to Paraty. Too far from any of our stops. Hopefully next time Crystal plans this itinerary, they will add it in and spend less time in Rio. 

Love your perspective Marjorie! I now wish I’d gone with you into Ilhabela. I never even got off the ship yesterday, but I would have very much enjoyed doing a little shopping with you.

 

But I can’t complain...I enjoyed my lazy day too. Just like I’m enjoying today. 

 

Looking foreword to seeing you and Francois in the Cove for drinks tonight!

 

LeeAnne

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On 1/25/2019 at 8:48 AM, Leejnd4 said:

So trying to update this thread from my iPhone felt like I was thumb-wresting with Arnold Schwarzenegger. (And I will give a Crystal Tote Bag to the first person who gets the movie reference in that last sentence!)

 

LeeAnne,

 

Love the conversational style of your posts. Can't wait for more.

 

I don't know if I'm first, but of course you're referring to "True  Lies" with Arnold and Jamie Lee Curtis.  Funny thing is, I have an anecdote about the making of that movie, so pardon me for hijacking your thread with this one post. (Readers, this has nothing to do with cruising.)

 

The specific scene you're referring to (the family at home) was filmed on location one block from our house in Chevy Chase, MD.  This wasn't hard to figure our when five to seven semi-trailers parked all over  the neighborhood.  Word spread one evening there would be filming.  A small group of us (12-20) formed in the gathering dark waiting for something, anything, to happen.  Just as the light was really starting to fade, a not tall, but stout figure walked up the sidewalk opposite us coming from the trailer area.  We realized it was Arnold.  We all just stood there.  He got to the drive of the property, about to turn away from where we were standing, and silently turned to us and paused like, "Well?"  I don't think any of us really knew what do, so the crowd sent up this polite little golf clap.  After a couple seconds Arnold, apparently satisfied, turned up the drive and walked away to shoot his scene.  That was my brush with Hollywood.

 

Anyway, enjoy your cruise. 

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Amazing photos and a refreshing blog!  Keep on having a fabulous time—and sharing with us!

 

Ricki

Edited by ricki

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Our two consecutive days at sea are coming to an end. What better way to relax. I was pleasantly surprised that the pool area was not at all overcrowded. At 11:00 at least half of the loungers were still available. There are so many activities that none of the venues are at capacity. I was surprised to hear that the ship is full.

 

We just returned to our cabin after attending the Mozart tea. Please don’t hate me for saying this, I found it to be gimmicky. While everything is well done from the room decor to the music to the items served, I found the costumes to be too much. I could see the animation department dressing up, but the food and beverage team would look (and probably feel) better in uniform.

 

Okay everyone I am psychologically prepared for many of you to disagree, but I’m sure some of you find it to be very Disney. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Les Picantins said:

Please don’t hate me for saying this, I found it to be gimmicky. While everything is well done from the room decor to the music to the items served, I found the costumes to be too much. I could see the animation department dressing up, but the food and beverage team would look (and probably feel) better in uniform.

 I couldn't agree more and I think many others feel the same way. I feel bad for the serving team to have to dress up like this and cringe a little for them. 

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These costumes have been adorned since the Harmony’s day’s.  It really is getting long in the tooth.  I also remember Excalibur nights and the 50’s nights where waiters had to change into the theme.  I feel bad for the staff in Palm Court that have to wear those Mozart costumes.  It is so passé.

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I agree too - love the Mozart piano and sometimes the violin accompaniment and “special” treats but they could lose the costumes for the wait staff - some of which are getting a little ragged anyway 

 

Times move on...

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completely agree, it was the first afternoon tea we went to and it was so packed it was not relaxing at all, it was the only time the staff looked displeased (it was so hot up there) and it did not feel like a tea as you serve yourself. I returned to a "normal" tea and it was so much better but overall I still wasnt a big fan ... I think you need loose leaf tea for a start and a platter of food would be more enjoyable than constantly being served. 

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53 minutes ago, teamflames said:

completely agree, it was the first afternoon tea we went to and it was so packed it was not relaxing at all, it was the only time the staff looked displeased (it was so hot up there) and it did not feel like a tea as you serve yourself. I returned to a "normal" tea and it was so much better but overall I still wasnt a big fan ... I think you need loose leaf tea for a start and a platter of food would be more enjoyable than constantly being served. 

In our group that met daily for tea we did request a sampling of everything to be shared. You just tell them what you want and they will bring a small tray out with anything you request and this worked out well as the only thing that was requested was more tea or other libations.😁

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