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It's been 214 days since we arrived home from our last adventure but who’s counting.   😀


Having spent the last seven months at home, we begin this new adventure within one week from today. 


To say we are excited and ready-to-go is an understatement.


Many thanks to those of you who provided live reports from your respective Crystal Cruises.  This was especially helpful while it was not possible for us to travel.


Our adventure begins with a family trip to Walt Disney World.  This is the first time the entire family is together on holiday since May 2017 when they joined us for a family celebration on-board Serenity.   Since then, we have one new addition to the family and another on the way.


Ironically, we hadn’t been to either Disneyland or Disney World for close to twenty years.  This changed in 2016 when our daughter and grandson accompanied us to Disneyland.  In 2017 we took the entire family to Disneyland before boarding Serenity for a family celebratory cruise.  Last year the two of us went to Disneyland before boarding Crystal Symphony.  This time it’s Disney World.  Go figure.


From Disney World Anne Marie and I make our way to South Florida for a pre-cruise stay before boarding Crystal Serenity on January 7 for the first half of World Cruise 2020.  This includes four segments.


Segment 1 – Miami to Los Angeles;


Segment 2 - Los Angeles to Papeete, Tahiti;


Segment 3 – Papeete to Auckland, New Zealand;


Segment 4 – Auckland to Sydney, Australia


Departing Serenity we spend time with our family in Sydney before making one final stop on our way home.


Several from this board will be on Serenity for the entire World Cruise or portions of it.    Many will post which is terrific as it provides plenty of information and different perspectives.  In fact, collectively we likely will cover close to the full 24 hours of each day.  LOL.


For anyone on-board who would like to post on this thread you are more than welcome to do so should you not want to post on your own thread.


We look forward to reconnecting with those of you we know from previous cruises and meeting others for the very first time.  This is one of the many areas of cruising we enjoy.


I welcome comments and questions from everyone.


I will do a Blog which you can find at:




On the home page click on the tab that says Current Cruise.


The Blog already includes an introductory post and short video.   We waited until Thanksgiving Day to let the four grandchildren know about Disney World.  Thanks to WhatsApp, both families were together via a video call with one family at our house and the other family in Sydney.  Ironically today is made even more special as the Sydney family arrived to our home Wednesday evening and our family who lives a couple of hours from our home will arrive in a few hours to visit with everyone for part of the day.  


I thought there was no better way to kick all of this off than by starting the live thread today.  These are three grandchildren who were on-board Serenity for the family celebration in 2017.  The newest member of the team was sort of there since he was born five months later following the cruise.






I will try to differentiate many comments from what I post on the Blog and what I post here so I am not repetitive.  I'll have some photos here and many more on the Blog.  Maybe, even food photos.  




There will be some typos and other grammatical errors because I don't have time to reread what I" right" (just kidding about right as I know it is write, but that is certainly an example of the many errors you will likely fine.  I guess I could blame it all on auto-correct.  LOL.    If only there were 72 hours in a day maybe it would be possible to catch most errors but...........


I know what some of you are thinking.................



Look for another update on December 24 including two videos.  Daily posts begin December 26.  


As 2019 winds down I wish each of you a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.   Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy New Year.  This is one of those years when Chanukah falls over Christmas since it begins the evening of December 22.  


Happy Cruising to all.


May your dreams and wishes for 2020 come to fruition.  





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This will be especially fun for me, b/c we often celebrate at WDW with our 48 y.o.son, who is a super fan, plus I’m currently posting this from the comfort of the loveseat of my Serenity stateroom, waiting for Mr. B to wake up to go to our penultimate breakfast onboard!


The best of everything to the entire Steiner family.

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We’ll see you on board! My wife and I are taking our first Crystal ocean cruise on the first segment of the world cruise, and we’re very excited. (Crystal River was great!) The cruise leaves on her birthday and I’m retiring on December 31 so it’s a celebration cruise for us.


Thanks for starting this thread. I’ll take you up on your offer and add some posts here as well as we go along. 

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Thank you Nancy, HTS volunteer, Muriel, Jimbri, Beachtunes, hazlemaye, Robin, ghgeckos, Julie, eileen, Roy, CruiserFromMain, Bob & Jeannie, and Kathie for the good wishes along with several from this board who reached out to us via e-mail or via our blog.


Today’s Blog has been updated with a never before seen video (the lost episode) which was filmed when we were on-board Crystal Serenity earlier this year.  Some footage shows what Anne Marie and I do regularly when we cruise with Crystal Cruises and includes some of our thoughts about Crystal and about each other.




It was fun to participate in the video but it is quite clear that I was wise to pursue a career in telecommunications in lieu of acting.  LOL.   😀


Nevertheless we enjoyed numerous laughs and one mishap which thankfully didn’t cause an injury.


Our next Cruise Critic post and Blog updates will be December 26 and continue daily after that.


As a reminder you can access our current blog at:




Wishing each of you a Happy Chanukah and/or Merry Christmas.  May all your wishes come true.





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2020DisneyPhoto_edited-1.thumb.jpeg.9ca33486993ec22128b7bb4a6babc941.jpegThank you very much Ken and Beach Tunes for your very thoughtful comments.


I thought I would begin today’s post with a tidbit.


On a recent thread someone asked about shipping luggage and similar questions have been asked on this board in the past and on other boards.


I always say the three major companies use the same transport companies.  This means that in the end you are at the mercy of the shippers.  The costs vary and each company does a few things differently from one another.


This time we had a first but the good news is it resulted in a short delay on one of the pieces of luggage we shipped.


We shipped three pieces of luggage and had copies of the Federal Express Tracking Numbers.  We inventoried each piece and have a tag that goes on each piece with a number (eg, Number 1, 2, 3, plus numbers that go on the bags we take with us) and each inventory list is numbered.  If a bag goes missing we know what is in it.


The day arrives for luggage collection.  The next day I check status and two of the three bags have been received at the next major location which is several hundred miles east of us which is good news as that should be the direction the truck(s) are driving.   The third piece has arrived to a location two-hundred+ miles west of us.  Didn’t make much sense so we knew it was a mistake.  The following day the first two pieces continue east as they should and the third  bag travels east back to where it was first dropped off after pickup from our house.  The good news is the first two bags arrived to the destination on a Saturday and the last bag arrived two days later.


This is one of many reasons we do ship luggage early.  If the luggage company wants a week we give them two weeks or more in case something goes wrong.  This time of year we allow additional time because of holidays and weather.  I can remember times when facilities were shut down for a few days due to poor weather conditions such as snow or ice or trucks trapped in snow or ice.


Before I forget, when our cruise documents arrived they arrived in a new wallet different from the ones of recent years but similar to some in the past although the color is different.  They other difference was the luggage tags were more like the ones we got for our River Cruise earlier this year.  Our last Ocean luggage tags were received in mid- 2018 for the Symphony and later in 2018 for the Serenity Cruises.






I do want to note this time we got the actual documents as e-documents as the documents were not ready when the document wallet was sent.


We are filled with lots of emotion as our trip gets underway.  As positive as I am there was a moment or two a few months ago when I wondered about future travel plans.  I kept the faith and remained true to my core beliefs.  These beliefs continue to evolve and take form.  We try to make the most of each day, focus on the positives, do those things we enjoy doing, seize the moment and enjoy life.  Former Crystal Cruises Captain Glen often said if you want to have a good time you will and if you don’t you won’t.  Anne Marie and I share this belief and this does carry-over to my posts and to our daily lives.


Part of the enjoying of travel is all of the planning which goes into each adventure.  The planning and items on our things to do list are almost complete and we are ready for this new adventure to begin.


The Blog has been updated and with today’s post. Starting today I will post daily on Cruise Critic and the Blog.    We are taking it slow as we make our way to Disney World so the start of the trip will feel like our transportation is being provided by air tortoise rather than on a flight a jetliner.  


Speaking of CC and Blog posts I want to highlight something I mentioned on our Blog.


When writing our posts there is not enough time in the day to proofread each and every word and sentence and reread what has been written so I ask for your understanding for any grammar errors and/or typos as I expect to make many of them.  I would need 72 hours in a day to do all we want to do when traveling and to take the time to read over all we write for CC and the Blog.




I want to close by saying I hope many of you are enjoying time with family, friends and/or time off from work and the warmth and joys of the holiday seasons.   I was reminded yesterday of the many people who work on Christmas Day and this includes the many who keep us safe and sound.


 I was out and about on several walks.  On two of the walks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon) I heard and eventually could see ambulances with lights flashing and their sirens on making their way to two difference residences in our community.  Our thanks to the men and women around the world who were working including medical, firefighters, police, military and many others who keep us safe and sound.


At the same time many people were working in many other professions on land, at sea and in the air.


Happy Holidays.





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1 hour ago, rafinmd said:

Can you put a link to the blog about every 20 posts or so,

It’s currently running at post 1 and 16 having the blog address included - maybe he could add it to his signature so it gets repeated more frequently? It’s really not hard for people to click on the first page to get it if they don’t find it 

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3 hours ago, rafinmd said:

Keith, a suggestion.  Can you put a link to the blog about every 20 posts or so, so that newcomers can easily find it without going back to the first page.







Happy Holidays.



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