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Stickman1990

Live: A Plane, Car, Cruise & Train – Crystal Serenity Auckland - Perth 5-20 Feb 2019

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Thank you for the amusing comments and Crystal observations.  I am enjoying your travels!

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And the voyage continues........

 

Terry and Kerry we raised a glass to you in Palm Court as we sailed past Perth. And Terry, Bettina said to say Hi!

 

 

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I was enjoying  the sail away from  deck 12 and 13..  pool, hot tub  and track.  WhT a great day,

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4 hours ago, rafinmd said:

The end is coming so quickly.  Have a safe trip home.

Roy

 

Thank you Roy - it’s been a wonderful trip so far - and we still have the train trip home to come. It is exciting to contemplate what 4 days and 3 nights on the Indian Pacific will be like 

 

I’m enjoying following along my on your South American adventure too 

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6 hours ago, Roland4 said:

And the voyage continues........

 

Terry and Kerry we raised a glass to you in Palm Court as we sailed past Perth. And Terry, Bettina said to say Hi!

 

Bon Voyage and enjoy those sea days 

 

I guess the staff servicing Palm Court has changed now - Kasia was heading up there from the Avenue so I guess Cameron and Bettina May have moved around to another bar 

 

I enjoyed following the sailaway on the Panomax camera 

 

Hope all the supplies made it on board and the Santa Margarita is now freeely available 

 

Ironically we’re taking a cruise to Freemantle today to have a look around - we will take a 1 hour cruise down the Swan River, then the hop on hop off trolley in Freemantle and after that catch the train back to Perth 

 

Yesterday’s disembarkation was super smooth with an easy walk off, minimal border force interaction except to hand in our declaration where “did we have any New Zealand honey” was the only question asked. We picked up an Uber which came quickly and headed to the Pan Pacific in Perth. We later discovered that hotel was the one used by Crystal for the day room for their transfers so we saw several familiar faces. It’s a nice hotel and we can recommend it 

 

Our room was ready early so we went up and unpacked as were here until the train on Sunday. Then we took a walk into the city and took one of the 4 free bus routes that flow around the extended city area (I was going to say CBD - Central Business District) but I discovered yesterday this seems to be an Australian / New Zealand term as some US and UK friends said they weren’t familiar with it. These free bus services are very popular with the locals as they allow them to move around quickly and efficiently. It’s a good initiative by the city and I can see how it would reduce congestion in the city 

 

We chatted with friends who joined Serenity yesterday and they let me know they secured tickets from Mario for the Super Club, they’re dancers and we’re pleased to hear about it from me last week so they knew they needed to Marie the request as soon as possible when boarding. So it seems the problems of pre booking that we encountered on our leg are under control now and Mario was able to allocate them a booking 

 

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Well Larry & Monica I can see you’ve mastered blogging as we discussed - love that “balcony cam” shot

 

We shared several meals with Larry and Monica but never breakfast - but we did discover we both loved the Crystal Bran Muffins - so I am now officially passing the Crystal Muffin to them to carry on the blog from onboard while we continue on our time in Perth & Freemantle

 

Enjoy those muffins and the 7 sea days!

 

 

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8 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:

 

Hope all the supplies made it on board and the Santa Margarita is now freely available 

 

 

We chatted with friends who joined Serenity yesterday and they let me know they secured tickets from Mario for the Super Club, they’re dancers and we’re pleased to hear about it from me last week so they knew they needed to Marie the request as soon as possible when boarding. So it seems the problems of pre booking that we encountered on our leg are under control now and Mario was able to allocate them a booking 

 

The internet has been a little spotty today, popping in and out at odd times.

 

Yesterday was a major resupply and we counted eight containers plus four or five semi-trailers being unloaded and while it all got on the ship, a lot of it had not quite made it to the bars before opening time, but things were  better as the evening progressed. For all that, a few things never made it, like Macallan Single Malt Scotch!

 

We were able to get a reservation for the Supper Club this evening as well. Not sure if that is a result of them addressing the advance booking issue or the fact there are only about 700 guests onboard for this part of the itinerary. There are apparently about 100 more joining in Mozambique. Guess they didn't like the idea of seven sea days in a row!

 

 

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A couple of pictures from our tour of Perth. The central business district from the tour boat, the War Memorial and views from King's Park. As you can see, the weather was perfect, and according to our guide, it is like this every day. Probably a bit of an exaggeration, but it sure was a nice day!

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Edited by Roland4

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Today we enjoyed a river cruise down the Swan River to Freemantle then used the HOHO Trolley to explore this quaint little city. I imagine we did a lot of what Crystal passengers did yesterday - and in fact we continue to run into folk who were on our cruise - some of whom will be on the train with us 

 

We can thoroughly recommend the Freemantle HOHO Trolley which visits sites like the Jail, City Centre and the Fishermen’s Wharf area and Cicerellos Fish & Chips (I like their humour regarding the inevitable Seagulls watching dinners on the wharf - plus the Little Creatures Brewery beer - their Micro Brewery is in Fremantle

 

 

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3 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:

Well Larry & Monica I can see you’ve mastered blogging as we discussed - love that “balcony cam” shot

 

We shared several meals with Larry and Monica but never breakfast - but we did discover we both loved the Crystal Bran Muffins - so I am now officially passing the Crystal Muffin to them to carry on the blog from onboard while we continue on our time in Perth & Freemantle

 

Enjoy those muffins and the 7 sea days!

 

 

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Roland4 and Stickman1990 - you make a great double-act with your reports, one from onboard and one on land for as long as it takes you both to reach the end of your journeys.  

 

You can add me to the Bran Muffin fan club.  Some fresh fruit, a Bran Muffin and a cup of black tea in the Bistro is the perfect late breakfast for me.  Never in a million years could I eat a bowl of bran but the bran muffins were a very pleasant discovery when I cut out all refined carbs in the form of regular breakfast pastries a few years ago...

 

Keep up the good work both of you, and continue to enjoy the rest of your trips...

 

Anne...

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You learn something new every day - I'v never seen the bran muffins before but I'll be trying them for sure next cruise!

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3 minutes ago, ClefsDor said:

You learn something new every day - I'v never seen the bran muffins before but I'll be trying them for sure next cruise!

 

They’re available in Marketplace and the Bistro - not sure about Late Risers breakfast in Silk 

 

They’re there but I think they they suffer from not being as visually appealing as their cousins like Blue Berry Muffins or those show off Pastries and treats like Berliners - which we used to love 

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8 hours ago, ClefsDor said:

You learn something new every day - I'v never seen the bran muffins before but I'll be trying them for sure next cruise!

 

Found this in my photo archives - my late Bistro breakfast, bran muffin, fresh fruit and black tea....

 

 

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That’s an oldie - Mighty Leaf Tea - it always amused us that the waiters told us to let it brew for 4 minutes - as if it was the magic time for all preferences 

 

Thankfully they don’t do that anymore 🙂

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Hmm, while on the Symphony, the tea menu no longer offered Mighty  Leaf  Tea.  Joseph Meinl teas and coffee...and teapot/cup&saucers.  

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11 minutes ago, 8dimsum said:

Hmm, while on the Symphony, the tea menu no longer offered Mighty  Leaf  Tea.  Joseph Meinl teas and coffee...and teapot/cup&saucers.  

 

That’s correct - as I said that photo was from my archives not a current one, and for some reason I must have not had my preferred brand of tea with me that morning as I’m not a fan of either the Mighty Leaf or the Meinl brands that were/are now served onboard...

 

Anne...

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The Indian Ocean Day 2 and the view from our balcony. A little more sun, a little more warmth and fewer waves than yesterday.

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A busy first couple of days on the ship yesterday and today. I have counted a total of seven different lecturers so far, plus Ken Rees who is getting a few days off as there is no "destination" to lecture on as yet. Today also included a cooking demo by the celebrity chef onboard. Also new, and apparently replacing the iMovies course, is Creative Cruising FUNdamentals, taught by Sandi Wheaton who was involved in the movie course. Yesterday's lecture was about different social media platforms, and today's was about travel photography.Although not big on social media, beyond FaceBook, and also not the "principal photographer", I found the first two sessions quite interesting and informative.

 

We went to the Supper Club for the first time last night and quite enjoyed it. In essence, it is the show band with Anna Kocakova singing mostly "torch songs" for the two hours. Irina did a couple of violin pieces and Curtis and Beverley did their usual dance acrobatics for a couple of numbers. The Ambassador Hosts were also on hand, but the emphasis is on the entertainment. Having never been to a supper club I have nothing to compare it to, but we were seated with an older couple from San Francisco, originally from Philadelphia, and he loved it saying it was just like the New York supper clubs of the 60's. His comment was "all they need to do is take the piano off the stage onto the dance floor and seat Anna on it while she sings".

 

The food was very good, but because it comes out of the galley, and the service team a combined group from Waterside/Prego/Umi Uma who don't work together a lot, the timing was a bit erratic. Having said that the food was hot and fresh. We had caviar and the lobster while our tablemates had Prego mushroom soup (in a bowl) and lobster. Dessert was a chocolate/raspberry mousse cake.

 

A few pictures of our dinner and  of the entertainment. The lighting made picture taking difficult.

 

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5 hours ago, Roland4 said:

The Indian Ocean Day 2 and the view from our balcony. A little more sun, a little more warmth and fewer waves than yesterday.

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Thanks - I’m never going to tire of that view - which is just as well as I don’t think it’s going to change a lot over the next week 🙂 

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Hello from Perth and Rottnest Island

 

Today we had a little cruise too - we took a fast ferry out to Rottnest Island which is around 1 hour and 15 minutes from downtown Perth as one of the tours included with our package of accomodation, tours and the train journey 

 

 This very popular small holiday island is the home of the Quokka - another one of those unique Australia marsupials - this one looks like....well a giant rat - but they certainly are cute and not so cuddly as they can carry some diseases 

 

The Island is beautiful - lovely pristine beaches and safe moorings for many boats that visit from the mainland - we took a tour that circumnavigated the island including taking us to the most westerly point where the view was out to Africa - we couldn’t spot Serenity though...

 

Speaking of which we came across another Crystal “Cruise ship” waiting for its turn to berth in Freemantle - we’ll give this one a miss thanks 

 

We enjoyed the day with another couple from our cruise (CC members) who are staying at the same hotel and going on the Indian Pacific train with us on Sunday - in fact tomorrow they’re on the same tour as us back down to Margaret River wine country and Busselton. During the day we introduced them to Lamingtons - an Australian institution for dessert - sponge coated in chocolate icing and then covered in coconut - with a good serving of cream! - low calorie - not!

 

We had dinner together as we braved ourselves for the challenge of repacking things to get everything for the 4 day train journey into an airline carry on sized bag each - mission accomplished I’m pleased to report 

 

I can certainly recommend a visit to Rottnest Island - and a tip for the island tour - sit on the Port side of the bus for the best views of the sea and landscape - we got lucky and made that choice quite by chance

 

 

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Edited by Stickman1990

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3 minutes ago, ClefsDor said:

I'm enjoying this joint narrative - thanks Roland4 & Stickman! 

So am I !   I must remember to avoid booking the Crystalgate. 

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