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LIVE FROM CRYSTAL MOZART - MAY 10, 2019 SAILING


Keith1010
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Keith,

 

I continue to thoroughly enjoy your reports. Our itineraries were slightly different (we didn't go to Hungary) - though our trips are entirely different just because the different excursions we went on. It is like you are on an entirely different cruise.

 

I always said I wanted to return to the Mozart and do the same itinerary again because there is so much to do in each port.

 

I hope you enjoy Hungary.

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9 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

 

Either way we will return for another river cruise on another Crystal vessel.  We are getting to see places that we couldn't see on an Ocean Voyage and are enjoying the fact that it combines items such as service and cuisine that we have experienced on Crystal Ocean Vessels with the opportunity to visit places that we wouldn't have seen and also do it in a unique way such as on small tours and being with just a small group (small is relative I know) of fellow guests.

 

Keith

 

We are going in the opposite direction.  We had such a great time on Debussy last year (Rhine cruise) that we are looking at Crystal Ocean cruises.  We are also signed up for Ravel Danube Xmas cruise this November as well so we are enjoying your blog

 

We had done of the bigger ocean lines (Celebrity) and some medium (Oceania) a few times.  I also worked with fleet wide concessionaires on ships as a manufacturer - including visits while the ships were being constructed in Germany and France.  I haven't seen them all, but I have been on quite a few ships and lines, both here and in Europe.  Crystal is very well run

 

I would echo all of your comments on your on board experience on Mozart.  While all the parts are excellent, the totality of the experience was very compelling.  The staff training must be very thorough.  I did talk to one of the staff last year while on a tour (she was one of the tag along guides).  She said the Crystal interview experience was rigorous,  She had already worked for a few different cruise lines so she knew the ropes

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Coral and tfred....thank you both for your very thoughtful posts.

 

This voyage has been amazing.  I continue to use this word because I am not sure if I can find a better word to describe out experience.

 

More in a moment.

 

Keith

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This has been a great day for us.

 

We loved Budapest.

 

We walked the Pest.  We walked the Buda.  I went  back out in the afternoon and ran the Pest.

 

For those of you  who are long time Crystal Cruisers  you may remember Josef  Widmar who was Maitre d' on the Ocean Vessels.  Guess what?  We saw him after nine years.

 

 

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This is a lovely city.  We were advised to stay in the  main area and not venture more than three blocks from the main area.

 

We went to the market.  Fantastic.

 

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We walked by and visited several interesting places.

 

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Tomorrows blog will have lots more photos and narrative.


Tonight was a buffet dinner and many will be going out for a concert.  At 10:30 PM we will leave where we are docked for scenic cruising to see the lights all  lit up win Buda and Pest.

 

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This is the white wine that we have enjoyed the past couple of days before dinner.  It includes Chardonnay and Riesling. Very nice wine from Vienna.

 

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Cheers,

 

Keith

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Keith,

 

Your pictures of the Central Market bring back fond memories of our stay in Budapest several years ago.  I love all markets but this one just blew me away,

 

The evening cruise to see all the lights is spectacular.

 

Love your blog.

 

Judy

Edited by jlf1
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Keith-

I’ve so enjoyed reading about your time on the Mozart. We’re eagerly awaiting our upcoming cruise on Crystal Bach this summer (our second Crystal cruise, but first river cruise). We had already identified a cruise for next summer on the Mozart to book while onboard. You’re trip report confirmed our feelings that this would be an amazing ship and itinerary. With the recent news, we’ll have to start checking out other Crystal river itineraries. Still, you’re detailed recounting of your experiences have reaffirmed our decision to sail with Crystal this summer and in the future. 

 

I hope you and Anne Marie enjoy the remainder of your cruise. Honestly, with your positive attitude and joie de vivre, I can’t imagine you wouldn’t!

 

Safe and happy travels!

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Judy, cruisewmn and CruiserFromMain thank you so much for your very nice comments.  They are all greatly appreciated.

This has been a terrific way for us to cap off this wonderful adventure which began several months ago.

 

Keith

 

 

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On 5/14/2019 at 10:10 AM, Roland4 said:

 

We spent three days in Passau last September when our Tauck cruise got cut off there due to no water beyond Passau. While Crystal operated a shuttle, it is a very easy town to walk from anywhere along the river the ship happens to be docked. Lots of small (and large) restaurants to choose from. It is definitely worth the walk to go to the park at end of the "island" where the three rivers come together. 

Thanks! We'll be there in September, so hopefully there will be no water issues this year.

I will mark down the park. 

 

Nancy

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Enjoyed our second day in Budapest  today.  As I post this we are now on our way back to Vienna and will arrive on Sunday.

 

We were  very impressed with this city.  It is a great walking city. 

 

We did return to the Market and picked up a few gift items for family.

 

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The Parliament Building.

 

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A couple of additional photos taken during our walk.

 

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It is amazing how many River Cruise Vessels are on the Danube.  Today Viking had three ships there, AMA Waterways had three of their ships side by side and there were many other vessels in port.  Sometime we'd like to return to begin or end a cruise here.

 

After lunch we stopped by The Bistro so Anne Marie could have a Cappuccino.   Sommelier Darrell made a nice one for her with a heart.

 

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There are several activities on the schedule today.

 

Hotel Director Sonja just finished a talk about Mozart (not the ship but the composer), and there is a cooking demonstration on making Apple Strudel.  Later this evening there will be some entertainment.

 

This is the dinner menu for this evening.

 

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We continue to have an amazing time.  We are very happy that we finally had the opportunity  to  take  a River Cruise.  We had some bad luck with two previous bookings that were cancelled.  We are now trying to find another River Cruise that will work for our schedule.  In order to have time to study this we did an open booking so we can do the research sometime after we return home.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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20 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

This has been a great day for us.

 

We loved Budapest.

 

We walked the Pest.  We walked the Buda.  I went  back out in the afternoon and ran the Pest.

 

For those of you  who are long time Crystal Cruisers  you may remember Josef  Widmar who was Maitre d' on the Ocean Vessels.  Guess what?  We saw him after nine years.

 

 

IMG_7350.thumb.jpg.aea678dba3499960e3477eb0a67309ea.jpg


This is a lovely city.  We were advised to stay in the  main area and not venture more than three blocks from the main area.

 

We went to the market.  Fantastic.

 

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We walked by and visited several interesting places.

 

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Tomorrows blog will have lots more photos and narrative.


Tonight was a buffet dinner and many will be going out for a concert.  At 10:30 PM we will leave where we are docked for scenic cruising to see the lights all  lit up win Buda and Pest.

 

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This is the white wine that we have enjoyed the past couple of days before dinner.  It includes Chardonnay and Riesling. Very nice wine from Vienna.

 

IMG_7066.thumb.jpg.3f3ed5cef29449f6e6310052f758a0ab.jpg

 


Cheers,

 

Keith

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I’m enjoying your posts and photos of Budapest. However, I’m puzzled by your guide’s remarks that you should stay within 3 blocks of the main area. I’m not sure what the limits of the main area may be, but I’ve found Budapest a very safe city, except perhaps for pickpockets, and have never felt in any danger there. Was he warning of possible muggings?  Or is there another reason to avoid certain areas of the city? It’s been a few years since I was last there so perhaps things have changed in the meantime. 

Edited by laverendrye
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The advice was given to us from someone who visits there monthly. 

 

He he said the main area was much nicer and as you go further away from that area buildings are not so well kept up and some of the areas not so good. Yes like many cities around the world wise to keep up the guard from pickpockets

 

 

 there was so much to see over the two days that it was unnecessary to venture very far from the main road that is off both sides of the Danube .

 

Keith

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Keith, It sounds like you've had a wonderful river cruise! Like the previous poster, I was also surprised by the advice you were given about safety in Budapest. Herb and I were on one of the Mozart cruises last fall that was impacted by low water levels and had to be bussed to Budapest. Crystal put us up in the Kampinski Hotel, and neither the cruise line nor the hotel mentioned any areas to avoid. We walked all over the city – to Heroes' Square, to dinner at night and to the river for a Danube sunset cruise – and never felt threatened or unsafe. We stayed an extra night at the hotel and took the train back to Vienna to meet the ship before disembarking. From our experience, I can honestly say we were never uncomfortable safety-wise.

 

Hope you enjoy the rest of your cruise...we've enjoyed following along!

 

Mary

Travel Blog: https://www.themodernpostcard.com

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It is Sunday morning  on Mozart as I write and post this.

 

lLaverendrye...You are very welcome.

 

Mary thank  you for your comments.  Again sharing what we were told and this had more to do with focusing on the areas closest to the Danube and not getting to far up the side streets in terms of things to do as well as the look of the area. 

 

It might have been on persons opinion. This is not the first time where someone has shared information to us about what areas to visit whereas others have not as we have traveled the world.  

 

Either way there was too  much for us to see in our limited time there anyway so for us there was no  reason to walk up several blocks off the main path.

 

Presently, we are sailing back to Vienna where this journey began.  I believe we are scheduled to arrive at 6:00 PM today and we depart Mozart tomorrow morning.

 

Yesterday afternoon as we sailed the Danube we had the best weather of the cruise between the sun and the overall outside temperature.  Several people were out and about on the sun deck enjoying scenery and some were having drinks made at the retractable bar.

 

Anne Marie attended a talk on Mozart (not the ship but the composer) given by Hotel Director Sonja.  The talk was informative and carried over to dinner with her last evening.  A gifted composer.  I wonder if he knew that his music would be played today.  There was a food demonstration on how to make Apple Strudel which took place right after that.

 

One of the highlights from Mozart was the beautiful scenery which we enjoyed in the afternoon, while having a pre-dinner drink  at the Palm Court and at dinner.  WIth so many of the crew who either in the countries or nearby countries as well as having worked on Mozart for quite sometime, we have learned so much from them.  This is unique from the Ocean Vessels where on the most part a small number of crew might come from the country you are visiting.  Yes I know there are exception such as when we visit South Africa,  Croatia  and a few  other countries (yes if we were in the Philippines) that are from the country. 

 

It's also nice that in some of the places we stopped along the way that sometimes a member of Mozart lives so close that they could run over to their place or visit family or family could come by. 

 

The beautiful scenery that we saw carried over to dinner.  A couple of photos taken from inside Waterside last evening.

 

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Dinner was terrific and once again we enjoyed a leisurely dinner lasting close to two and one half hours.  I only took photos of a couple of the items.

 

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One of the things I have learned in life is not to put off those things that you can do today until tomorrow and that has been reaffirmed a few times since our adventure began in mid-December including this trip.

 

We have wanted to do a River Cruise for the past few years.  Unfortunately our first two were cancelled by the cruise line.  We made the decision to book this one while on-board Crystal Symphony in May  of 2017  and hearing from a Senior Officer along with a fellow guest how beautiful Mozart is. 

 

They were both right.  I have been using the word "amazing" in several posts and when conversing with others on-board Mozart.  I am so glad we added this voyage. 

 

As to not putting things off the other day we were looking at itineraries to see if we could add another one for 2020 or 2021 and our preference was to do it on Mozart.  This changed when we learned that Mozart will be moved to be part of Genting only and not Crystal River Cruises.  While we are disappointed as this ship really works for us I am so glad that we didn't put the trip off for another time because if we didn't book it for this year we would never had had the chance to sail this amazing ship.

 

One of the things I was told last year that pretty much  everything was replaced from what the ship looked like before inside the ship including pretty much every screw and nut.  As I understand there are two items remaining inside which are paintings so when I took the photo of Anne Marie outside Waterside before dinner last evening I wanted to get one of the paintings in the photo.

 

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Well, that's it for now.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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16 hours ago, laverendrye said:

I’m enjoying your posts and photos of Budapest. However, I’m puzzled by your guide’s remarks that you should stay within 3 blocks of the main area. I’m not sure what the limits of the main area may be, but I’ve found Budapest a very safe city, except perhaps for pickpockets, and have never felt in any danger there. Was he warning of possible muggings?  Or is there another reason to avoid certain areas of the city? It’s been a few years since I was last there so perhaps things have changed in the meantime. 

 

I have to admit that I was puzzled by the same thing.  I was last in Budapest a couple of years ago and spent one full day with a guide doing a tour 'by public transport' and we went all over the place using the trams, metro , local buses and of course on foot and I never noticed anything 'unsavoury' or felt uncomfortable at all.   I loved it so much that I am hoping to return later this year for a mini-break and continue my 'local experience' discovery of the city...

 

Anne...

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Keith, I must ask if you made it up to Castle Hill on the other side? The views are stunning from that viewpoint.

When we were here with Tauck, (Prague to Budapest) this is where we disembarked and they had us staying at the beautiful Four Seasons hotel. It is located at the entrance of the Chain Bridge. A lovely hotel with Art Deco design. Hope you took a peek inside.

 

We also walked all over Budapest and felt quite safe. Just an FYI for others.

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35 minutes ago, TrulyBlonde said:

Keith, I must ask if you made it up to Castle Hill on the other side? The views are stunning from that viewpoint.

When we were here with Tauck, (Prague to Budapest) this is where we disembarked and they had us staying at the beautiful Four Seasons hotel. It is located at the entrance of the Chain Bridge. A lovely hotel with Art Deco design. Hope you took a peek inside.

 

We also walked all over Budapest and felt quite safe. Just an FYI for others.

TrulyBlonde....

 

Yes we did make it up to the Castle Hill on the  other side.

 

I visited the Four Seasons on my  own and with my wife the following day.  Please see post 179 where I posted a couple of photos.  I posted several others on the blog that I do.  www.followourtrip.com and click on Current Blog.  I was truly impressed with the Hotel.

 

All...Let me try this one more time.  Someone  we know well gave us several recommendations on what to visit.  We did just that.  His advice which I first posted was simply this.  "We were advised to stay in the  main area and not venture more than three blocks from the main area."

 

This is because he said that areas  several blocks from the main area are less maintained than the main areas.

 

He  didn't say they were unsafe nor did  I.  

 

What I mentioned  in a followup post which asked about this was that we do watch out for pickpockets but we do that in  most cities around the  world  including  our own when we  travel.

 

So one final time.  He did NOT say  it was  unsafe.  Rather he  just said the areas were not kept up as well as the main areas.

 

P.S.

 

The same  person recommended that  we visit the Four Seasons  Hotel.  If  he didn't  I would never have found it nor looked inside.  It is a gem.  😁

 

Keith

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This is the dinner menu for our last dinner of the voyage.

 

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For each city both on-line  and  hard copy they provide these  maps.  We found them to be very helpful  and we prefer them better than ones on the Ocean Vessel.

 

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Keith

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22 minutes ago, koko's_mom said:

Keith and Anne Marie...

I know you are enjoying your last evening onboard the Mozart.  Wishing you a smooth and safe journey home.  Thank you for taking us along on your travel adventure.

Caryn

Me too - save travels home! Thanks for sharing your trip on the Mozart with the rest of us. Brings back great memories.

 

I agree about the maps. They are amazing. I brought them home so if I return, I have them as they are better than most maps I have come across.

Edited by Coral
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Thank  you so much Caryn.  We have had an amazing adventure on the ocean  and the river and on land.  Thank  you for all your positive comments.

 

Thank you Coral and thank you for all your posts.  It has been fun  for me  to be a River Cruise Newbie.

 

Coral, I am bringing the maps home as well and also saved a soft copy of each of them.

 

Keith

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We  arrived to Vienna shortly after 6:00 PM last evening  and enjoyed our final evening on-board Mozart.

 

This included a drink at Palm Court and listening to the piano of Mark Farris.  Mozart has two pianos nearby.  One  is considered in the Cove where the bar is located and a short walk later you  are in the Palm Court where there is a piano there.  Mark will change-up location.  We said our final goodbye's to Mark and the two bartenders.  The two other people who serve the drinks are also runners at Waterside where we saw them later at dinner.

 

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It was  a busy night in  Waterside  and louder than usual with people enjoying final dinners together for those traveling together or newfound friends.  We spoke to several members of the waitstaff during dinner and as we were leaving who have helped us throughout the voyage.

 

Often we sat in the same area for lunch and for dinner except when we dined with others at larger tables.  At night we would usually have the same wait staff.  At lunch it would  be a different wait staff as the ones we would have for diner would work on the opposite side and the ones from the opposite side at dinner would take their spots. 

 

Dinner was delicious. 

 

Each night the waiter would give recommendations  for each course.  We went with the one he gave for a crepe and that was delicious.

 

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We  both asked for Spinach Salads which were not on the menu.

 

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Anne Marie went with the Salmon.  I tasted some and it was cooked perfectly.

 

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I went with the Lamb Chops which the waiter recommended.  I almost went with the goulash but maybe another time.

 

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For dessert I had cheese plate again.  I will take a break from the cheese for the next month and Anne Marie had a strudel. 

 

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With Mozart moving under Genting members of Mozart will largely  be  moving to other areas and  that can include other River vessels or Ocean or the Esprit Yacht or the new Endeavor.  I expect we will see some of them over the coming year to eighteen months.  They are an extraordinary  team.  Some of them have been on Mozart from the start and either stayed their or helped with openings of other River Vessels or just worked on multiple Crystal River ships.  Some are new to Crystal.  Some we new from their time on ocean vessels.  A very nice mix of people.

 

We will leave here in a few hours.  Unlike the ocean vessels our luggage is still in the room.  We are asked to place it outside the room 45 minutes or more before we depart the room this morning.  We are scheduled to depart here at 8:00 AM.

 

We will  take our first flight today and spend one night at  an airport hotel and fly home the next day.

 

I will post again this evening or tomorrow and I will post final thoughts in the coming days here and on the Blog.

 

Cheers,

Keith

 

 

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I  wanted to share some good news.  Well, I think it is  good  news.

 

We just arrived to London  Heathrow  and starting last night they eliminated the  landing cards from seven  countries including  the  USA.  Todays' flight  arrived to terminal 3.   There  were no lines.  That might have been coincidental  but this does reduce significant  cost, allows  for efficiency and is supposed to free up resources to do other things.  

 

Keith

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