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Stickman1990

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

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Just loved this shot so much I wanted to post it up - one of the chefs in Silk doing prep this morning. Happy crew help achieve happy cruisers - it’s infectious and that one thing we pretty much all don’t mind catching on a cruise ship 

 

And just adding the Sushi & Sashimi menus from Umi Uma for completeness 

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Since it keeps being brought up on the boards...

 

I have yet to make it to a late show on time.Now if I think  I want to see a show I got to the early one then do dinner. I have fiund both Prego and Umi Uma busy when I go at 830.

 

since the start of the WC they have adjusted the time of Silks closing to 845 for the people who eat late and like to do the show first.

 

yesterday at the pool I got to watch the pool dance waves worse than into Fanning Island.i tried  once.being petite did not help me. Later enjoy an hour walk on deck before wandering the ship looking for fun music. Did not happen like the night before.

 

tonight while many are bringing guests on ship I will be off enjoying Sydney at night.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:

We enjoy the morning show which is at 8.30am each seaday morning. Stacey and Gary host it and are sometimes joined by a guest from the crew or one of the entertainers. But the real culmination of the show is the trivia questions posed by Stacey where guests phone in to win prizes - so far I’m doing well with 2 shows I’ve got in with the correct answer to the first question each time - so now I’m the lucky owner of a Crystal USB memory stick and something else will arrive in our room during the day

 

The situation in the main noon trivia isn’t quite so good - we are running second after getting 12 yesterday, second again - our rivals got 13 so they are 3 ahead of us with one round to go - I fear that may be too big a gap for us to bridge - but we will give it a try

 

 

What are the “prizes” at trivia on your cruise? On the Symphony they were 15% discount vouchers, we won the first 2 trivia’s. You were only allowed to use the vouchers in the spa on a port day and you had to purchase a signature treatment (so it didn’t even cover the gratuity). If you tried to use it in the photo gallery you were not allowed to use it for formal photos. In the shops you could not use in one of the shops, could not use it on anything on discount etc etc. We refused them after that and could not even give them away to other teams. Seabourn wins that department hands down haha

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Umi Uma was so amazing! The new style salmon tartare with caviar - wow ... and even better was the new style wagyu beef sashimi!

Everyone recommended the whisky cappuccino desserts to us but I thought the creme brûlée’s were the winner!

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What great contributions to this thread from a number of people on this segment. Thanks to Terry for starting the thread. 

 

The various accounts of life on Serenity are keeping me wanting more. Terry, the photos of Palm Court were some of the best I’ve seen.  One in particular gave me a better sense of the new space than I’ve seen previously. 

 

Larry, thanks for your postitive review of Silk. Maybe it’s lessons have been learned from earlier missteps or maybe it’s just evolving. 

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Stickman, Is doing a wonderful review for his cruise and love the photos and detailed observations.  Good job!

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We’re here...

 

 

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And certainly not alone 

It’s a full house with two docked and two moored in the harbour 

 

 

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Edited by Stickman1990

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And WOW, what a light show Sydney and Mother Nature put on for about two hours this evening!! Been a long time since I have seen that much lightning in one place at one time!!! Feel sorry for anyone who got caught out, or on the tenders, in that downpour!!

 

Went to Umi Uma for dinner this evening and it was great, as usual, A  number of additions to the menu since last year, plus, of course, the usuals!! Tomorrow we are off for our "traditional" lunch at Doyle's Seafood on the Beach at Watson's Bay!

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Good morning - well Sydney certainly didn’t dissapoint yesterday - looking lovely on arrival and relatively mild (trust me that wasn’t high humidity or heat yesterday folks) and as Larry has said around 6pm we got what is a very typical electrical storm after a hot day in Sydney. Black clouds with a lot of electrical action happening - thunder and dramatic lightening bolts and flashes and then rain - but fortunately no hail (the day we arrived in Sydney last December we witnessed the worst hail storm in 20 years in the city and our friends who came to visit us had hail damage to their car - as did thousands of others in the city

 

As this was our third sail into Sydney in the past 12 months we were not too worried about seeing it from the upper deck so we enjoyed lunch in Waterside after music trivia (we didn’t do so well with that scoring 5 out of 15 but it was fun and not a competition round). We enjoyed Ziti pasta and a Chicken sandwich accompanied by glasses of a 2012 Hawke’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc - very strange to have a Sauv Blanc that old but it was very nice - by the time we finished lunch it was almost time to moor at Athol Buoy. I know some guests are disappointed we’re not docked at Circular Quay but hopefully the view from the ship with literally 360 degree harbour views makes up for that. The local tenders provided are running constantly (last one overnight was 2am) and are doing a great job ferrying people to and from the ship

 

Our friends joined us around 4.30pm and we started with 4 different gin and tonic cocktails in the Palm Court - they enjoyed those. We were glad they could join us as tomorrow they sail to Auckland on a Ponant ship then return a few days last to Sydney on Silver Muse - so we we’re glad to set the benchmark for them onservice and dining so they had another luxury line to benchmark the others against (they’ve sailed many lines including Cunard and Seabourn but not Crystal but they will be joining us on Serenity for the trans Pacific from LA to Brisbane in 2021 so will get to enjoy Serenity at sea then). We walked the ship and showed them around pretty much all the areas - even the gym so I can now say I’ve been there this trip. It was during this time the storm hit but we stayed outside on Deck 13 and tried to capture the action but it’s very hard to shoot a lightening flash I’m afraid. The harbour is so busy with many ships coming and going - we have the small (around 200 guests) Ponant ship moored near us and the P&O ship that had been at White Bay sailed out while we were walking. The Carnival ship that had been at Circular Quay sailed out earlier - there’s pictures of them 

 

We stopped at the Cove and enjoyed some pre dinner cocktails and listened to Irina playing her violin. Then it was onto Prego for our 8pm reservation. As we arrived Keith and his family were leaving and we met and chatted with them  for a moment

 

As the menu has recently changed at Prego we enjoyed the classics with our friends - Beef Carpaccio and Mushroom Soup in the Loaf and one of our friends had the Lasagne for main course. We also tried the Crudo appetiser and I had the truffle Ravioli (both new) and my wife enjoyed the lamb. Others finished with Tiramasu for dessert while I enjoyed the Cheese selection. It was a very pleasant evening and lovely food and service

 

We then went to the Avenue for an after dinner drink or two and listened to the duet who were playing there as Dan Davis had the night off. Our guests departed around 11.30 to go home to pack for their own cruising starting today - the Ponant ship is due to leave at 6pm which is the same time as we are due to depart. My money is on us to leave first as they don’t embark until 4pm and while only approx 200 passengers getting them settled and breiefed will take some time. The bridge was lit in red to celebrate Chinese New Year

 

We slept well (we always do on Crystal) and are getting ready to welcome another 3 friends onboard to spend the day with us today 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fantastic updates and photos Larry and Stickman! Watching the storm last night I felt terrible for anyone trying to leave or get back on the ship during that time. Hope it didn't effect too many peoples plans for their evening in Sydney. The new ravioli dish in Prego looks and sounds delicious!

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Great photos and narrative!!!  Sounds like you and friends had a wonderful visit.

 

how was the tuna crudo?  It looks very appetizing.

 

nancy

 

 

Edited by nancygp

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1 hour ago, Stickman1990 said:

I know some guests are disappointed we’re not docked at Circular Quay but hopefully the view from the ship with literally 360 degree harbour views makes up for that.

Great photos and commentary Stickman.

 

I think Athol Buoy is the prized spot out of the 3 because, as Stickman mentions, everyone enjoys the view and depending on the wind potentially everyone might get a view of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge from their room. Also I think it is amazing that Crystal charter the Captain Cook cruiser, with open decks, to ferry people back and forth providing another opportunity to see the Opera House and Harbour Bridge from different angles etc. 

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1 hour ago, nancygp said:

Great photos and narrative!!!  Sounds like you and friends had a wonderful visit.

 

how was the tuna crudo?  It looks very appetizing.

 

nancy

 

 

 

It was lovely - my friend and I had double appetisers - the crudo and the carpaccio- that was not too much at all. I was just saying to my wife that last night was one of our best ever Prego meals, great service from Dutch female server (didn’t catch her name) and our somellier - not instructive but always there to top up etc. the food was excellent 

 

One negative comment I do have to make is that they don’t serve San Pelligrino anywhere around the ship - standard sparkling water is now Crystal Spring or the plain carafe style. Our room attendant has found me some San Pelligrino for the room - so it exists but to not have it in the Italian restaurant is silly. I really think they need San Pelligrino in Prego at least.

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20 hours ago, teamflames said:

What are the “prizes” at trivia on your cruise?

 

At this point can’t say as they don’t hand out daily prizes - it will be awarded at the end of the round of 3 quizzes - it’s a World Cruise style to have rounds. I hope they give out for second as well struggle to get to first

 

I am now the proud owner of a couple of Crystal baggage tags (more for the collection) - that was the prize for yesterday’s morning show question

 

I totally agree those discount vouchers are an embarrassment and I wish they’d change them 

 

Seabourn wins hands down on prizes and giveaways - a Seabourn bear for every person playing trivia at the end of the cruise as well as great daily prizes - travel adapters, passport wallets etc 

 

But hey we all know the real “prize” in trivia is bragging rights as winners 🙂

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We tried real hard to get a shot of the lightening but it’s hard - my friend just sent me this one that has a little bit in it but there were some great flashes - if anyone captured it please do post them up 

 

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Some ask about the tender process and where we are when you arrive in Sydney - hopefully this helps 

 

Here’s some shots of the Ives Steps at Dawes Point and the gazebo Crystal errect. Use the harbour bridge as the reference point

 

I had a bit of a wait to go ashore - too long I thought but we were lucky to be able to get on a returning tender immediately. It’s a pretty good service and certainly better than using the ships tenders

 

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Edited by Stickman1990

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Another great day in Sydney - pretty warm and a little humid with a short period of showers but clear now - we just soaked up the atmosphere and 360 degree views and hosted 3 friends on board - eating and drinking in various bars and restaurants - lunch in Waterside with a continuous flow of Jacquart champagne (only one glass of course) - we didn’t want to go there but Marketplace was closed, coffee in the Bistro, cocktails poolside and finishing with cocktails in Palm Court listening to Irina entertain on the violin at afternoon tea 

 

There was a lot of visitors on board - a great option allowed by Crystal - and many travel agents being given tours - my wife said at knitting this morning she felt like a zoo animal being observed. I get it they want to show off the ship but they need to keep numbers controlled 

 

I particularly liked the risotto in Waterside at lunchtime 

 

We got through another three of the Gin and Tonics - I believe in order of photos 

 

Grapefruit Tarragon Gin & Tonic

Stuck in the Med

Lavender & Lemon Gin & Tonic (they didn’t have any Lavender garnish at the time) - I added a second one below as I’ve just ordered one to try myself - I’m up to # 8 on my sequential targeting of the list

 

and the other is the Karma Chameleon cocktail - cardamom infused vodka, St Germain Elderflower liqueur, pineapple juice, fresh lime juice and a dash of Midori liqueur

 

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Edited by Stickman1990

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I left the ship around 1030 today and no wait at all. Come back guessing the second to last gender as the little tent was up. Never saw rain today. We were at lunch for hours but nothing was wet when we came out.

 

As always just love my time in Sydney. Never long enough.

 

 

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Great photos - Sydney is one of those cities that one never tires of seeing panoramas of.  Having been located at Barangaroo (before it was redeveloped) and the OPT I think I like the anchoring and tendering combination best of all Sydney options as you also get a harbour cruise thrown in every time you go ashore!!!  

 

I like the look of the cod risotto, haven’t noticed that on the lunch menu before - was that a poached egg sitting on the top of it???

 

Anne...

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I have died and gone to heaven - we ate at the sushi bar at Umi Uma and sat right in front of the chef - we chatted with him and enjoyed watching him and his assistants prepare the sushi and sashimi 

 

We discovered our chef was a New Yorker from Vietnam - but trained by Nobu 

 

It’s the first time we have done this and we are hooked - I recommend the experience to anyone who enjoys Umi Uma 

 

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Edited by Stickman1990

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14 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:

 

One negative comment I do have to make is that they don’t serve San Pelligrino anywhere around the ship - standard sparkling water is now Crystal Spring or the plain carafe style. Our room attendant has found me some San Pelligrino for the room - so it exists but to not have it in the Italian restaurant is silly. I really think they need San Pelligrino in Prego at least.

That must be new, because on our July cruise, we had no trouble getting some any place we asked for it. 

 

Nancy

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