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Keith1010

READY-TO-GO - LIVE  REPORTS FROM CRYSTAL SERENITY FOLLOWING A “MAGICAL FAMILY” GETAWAY

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Yes thee schedule was to be at thee Oversea Passenger Terminal since the schedule first appeared on the Official Website that shows where each ships docks or anchors while in Sydney.

 

The letter I posted from Captain Birger noted that as well.  We anchor on the day we arrive on the morning of March 2nd and later that evening we dock and will remain until Serenity departs as scheduled on March 4.  While Larry, Robin and a few others from this board will remain on board and others from this board will board Anne Marie and I will depart the ship as we planned on March 3 and will wave to those remaining on-board as you leave on the 4th.

 

As I am writing this the ship is relatively calm.   We will see if things pick up a bit anytime soon.  

 

Hopefully  we will have a nice day as we have scenic cruising in the Sounds.  

 

As they have done on past sailings we have been on in this area there will be a Soup and Sandwich Buffet set up in the Palm Court from 11:45 AM to 1:30 PM today for those interested in lunch and enjoying scenic cruising at thee same time.

 

This evening is a Crystal Society Party at 7:30 PM.

 

The good news is for the first of two times before we arrive to Sydney we turn the clocks back this evening before going to sleep.

 

That's it for now.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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Winds have picked up as expected based on Captain Birger's update from yesterday afternoon.

 

Captain Birger spoke from the bridge a little while ago (we opened the door to hear it in the hallway) and advised guests to be very careful as they walk around the ship and not to go outside including not on their verandahs.

 

Things should subside by the time we get into the sounds.

 

A short video from inside our room.

 

 

Keith

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Well a nice day to be inside and the Captain has once again reminded everyone to do just that and that includes not opening  sliding glass doors. 
 

The  forecast was wrong and wind has been stronger than forecast. We were at wind T 80 knots with a high recorded of over 100 knots

 

At one point you could not see out the window at the salon where I am in 

 

As of a few minutes ago wind speed 50 knots. 
 

Keith
 

 

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19 hours ago, Flak999 said:

 

Wow, that sea looks rough! Do either you or Anne Marie suffer from sea sickness?

 

Andy.

Andy, we both do very well although I do better.

 

The seas were worse when the winds kicked up about 45 minutes after I took the video but are better now.  I would say at around 50 knots.

 

We won't be able to get into all three sounds today.   The latest is we will get into one of the three sounds.

 

This afternoon at 1:30 PM the Park Ranger has been added to the schedule to give a talk.  Hopefully, later we will get into the one sound.

 

My hair stylist now has something to add to her resume and that is cutting hair with very strong winds.  😀  I reminded her from time to time to take her time which she did.  😁

 

I believe someone went outside to take a photo while I was having my haircut.  Very foolish.   I often think some people never grow up.  

 

Andy when do you arrive to Sydney?

 

Keith

 

 

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3 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Winds have picked up as expected based on Captain Birger's update from yesterday afternoon.

 

Captain Birger spoke from the bridge a little while ago (we opened the door to hear it in the hallway) and advised guests to be very careful as they walk around the ship and not to go outside including not on their verandahs.

 

Things should subside by the time we get into the sounds.

 

A short video from inside our room.

 

 

IMG_9600.mov 4.12 MB · 50 downloads

 

Keith

Wow! That looks very much like what Roy, myself and others experienced on the "infamous" 0205 back in 2010 !!

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I can remember a pretty stormy crossing of the bay of biscay about 10 years ago. We were on Oceana with P&O, the ship was secured for heavy seas and I think there was only a table of eight of us for dinner that night! My late wife was confined to our stateroom with a very troubled stomach, as were many of the other passengers. Motion sickness is strange isn’t it? I am totally unaffected, and yet some are totally laid low by it! 
 

I fly out to Sydney on Friday 28th, I am meeting friends from Adelaide who are going to show me around Sydney. I join Serenity for the next segment on the 3rd March. 
 

I am really looking forward to the whole experience, particularly now my TA has secured me a lovely hotel in Bali for three days and then a connecting flight to Singapore for my two day stopover at Raffles before my flight home.
 

I have enjoyed reading of your adventures, and they have certainly whetted my appetite for this next stage! 
 

Andy.  

 

 

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11 minutes ago, wearesiamese said:

Wow! That looks very much like what Roy, myself and others experienced on the "infamous" 0205 back in 2010 !!

Yes, but this will only be for a couple of hours.

 

Roy

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Andy, I've been fortunate.  Only one day where the seas bothered me and that was on the Seabourn Pride.  

 

Have a wonderful time in Sydney.   It is a lovely city with so much to do in and around the city.

 

We've loved every minute on-board Serenity and I hope you will have the same experience.

 

Safe travels.

 

Keith

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24 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

Yes, but this will only be for a couple of hours.

 

Roy

That's true ! LOL On "our" crossing we traveled between 2 cyclones between Fiji and Sydney, and  we went through that for what, a couple of days? (I need to go look at my pictures from that trip again!) I just mean  what I saw in that video- the high winds that they are experiencing, the height of waves etc  but thankfully for them they will not have to deal with this for very long

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The winds have decreased from earlier today.

 

When Captain Birger spoke from the bridge with his 12:00 Noon update he noted the plan is for us to visit Doubtful Sound later this afternoon.  

 

I did notice at lunch at Marketplace it was much quieter than usual.  Makes sense given location.  We were told it was equally quiet for breakfast.

 

No Paddle Tennis for me today.  😀

 

Cheers,

Keith

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Keith - are you aware of the announcement by Crystal on no embarkation in Sydney, Bali or Colombo and anyone due to disembark in those ports will leave the ship in Sydney?

 

Reasonably topical and important news...

 

Did the Captain happen to mention that?

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Terry:

 

The first I heard about this was seeing the post on the other thread with the letter about the cancellations.  Haven't heard anything yet from anyone on-board Serenity other than reading Roy's comments on that other thread.

 

Keith

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10 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

The first I heard about this was seeing the post on the other thread with the letter about the cancellations.  Haven't heard anything yet from anyone on-board Serenity other than reading Roy's comments on that other thread


Thanks Keith 

 

It’s sure going to make for an interesting cruise from Sydney to Mumbai (maybe) - pretty much only full WCers on board I’m guessing as people can’t embark in Sydney as I know many were planning to do so

 

It will be interesting to hear when further announcements are made onboard

 

I bet there’s some really interesting conversations on board today as news filters out and the implications start to become apparent 

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Terry, yes it will be an interesting day for sure.

 

This Coronavirus has certainly turned the travel industry upside down.

 

Keith

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23 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

This Coronavirus has certainly turned the travel industry upside down.


Upside down and then vigorously shaken the bottle every so often

 

The economic and human toll is huge 

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1 hour ago, Stickman1990 said:

Keith - are you aware of the announcement by Crystal on no embarkation in Sydney, Bali or Colombo and anyone due to disembark in those ports will leave the ship in Sydney?

 

Reasonably topical and important news...

 

Did the Captain happen to mention that?

Interesting news. I was flying out of Colombo to India. I wanted a longer stay than what Crystal  gives and also more sightseeing in New Dehli. 

 

Also so I was very sick this morning from the motion.  I woke at 6 running to the bathroom. A first for me in Tasman Sea. Been in bed but not sick.

 

 I went to sleep with the balcony door open a few inches and did not need to close it until around noon when I got soup. 

 

Part of me would love to leave the ship for a few days and rejoin but the question becomes where.

 

one WC couple talked about leaving the ship and flying home. They were already worried about Rome. Yes I heard about N Italy.i have friends in Nice now.

 

on another note Azamara had a brilliant sunny day in Milford Sound and now in Dunedin. 

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Let’s start with Hair.  LOL.

 

The other day hours before we heard Captain Birger’s announcement of the itinerary change to skip Hobart due to storms in the Tasman Sea we changed her hair appointment.   Her original appointment was the day  we were crossing  the Tasman Sea and we realized an appointment that day would not be a good idea.  She was able  to get an  appointment for 12:30 PM the day she called and being a port day no worries about the ship moving around.  After all while the salon is not at the bow of the ship it is located on  deck 13 at the  stern (back) of the ship.

 

Well I was not so lucky.  I made my appointment for the day we were supposed to sail all three sounds which normally is fine and it was for 8:00 AM so I knew I would not miss much if any of the scenery.  Little did I know we would be in winds of 100 Knots.  I was fine with  the rough weather but this was something new for the hairstylist plus she had the biggest challenge of standing, and cutting hair while the ship was moving around.  My concerns were please do not  cut me with the scissor including  hitting my eye or cutting an ear off or just cutting an entire section of my hair off.

 

I did close my eyes as the scissors got close.  I did remind her to take her time.  I did have the chair slide back a few times.  I did have experience the sink where the  shampoo/conditioner is done with the back of my  head resting on it moving  around.  The good news is she did  a  great job  and no cuts or bruises for me.  LOL.

 

There was a gent next to me having his hair done.  I said to him “it’s a great day to have a shave, don’t you  think?”  We all laughed including a lady nearby  having a  manicure  along with the manicurist.  

 

Yesterday  began with the rough seas  but they did calm down  and  we did make  it into Milford Sound.  Although we've been there on  several prior cruises always nice to cruise and very happy for those who never sailed the sounds that  we were able to get into one of them.

 

 

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Before dinner we enjoyed a terrific  performance by Pianist Richard Pucci, the  Showband, and Assistant  Cruise Director (soon to be Cruise Director) Raphael.

 

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Also an enjoyable dinner at Waterside between nice wine which I sent over to Waterside with  great food and outstanding service.  

 

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Cheers,

 

Keith

 

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EN ROUTE - SYDNEY AUSTRALIA

 

Yesterday's crossing over the Tasman Sea was pretty smooth based on the route we are sailing.  Weather outside was pretty good.  I believe the pool was closed for most of the day but I was able to play Paddle Tennis in the afternoon in spite of the wind.   

 

As the Captain noted in his Noon announcement the seas would become more choppy later in the evening and he was correct.   You can feel it now as I am posting but overall not bad at all.  We are located mid-ship so that can make a difference as well.

 

For the first time of this cruise (better late than never) we dined at Churrascaria last evening.  It was a Black Tie Optional night (BTO) and decided to have a quiet meal there as we knew Waterside would be busy.  This is our third time dining at Churrascaria (once on Symphony, once last year on Serenity and once last night).

 

We didn't overeat, starting on the salad.  We thought the Salad (and we could be wrong) was different than last year and I mean that in a positive way.   Since we eat a lot of salad at lunch we felt the last time we were there that the salad was more like lunch time and last night we thought it was less of a repeat of lunch.  We do appreciate staff serves the guests the items from the salad station and the hot vegetable station.  We had some selected items from the Gauchos ((1) Beef Short Rib, (3) Shrimp & (1) Baby Lamb Chop for me and I think (1) Beef Picanha and (2) Shrimp for Anne Marie.  We  both had fruit from the  Fruit and Dessert Station and Anne Marie had  a small dessert.  Enjoyed the  very tasty Brazilian Cheese Bread.

 

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Last photo is from a  Coffee which one of  the Sommelier's at The Bistro made for  Anne Marie when she was having coffee with a friend  yesterday afternoon.

 

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The clock is winding down (oh we did turn the clocks back one final time last evening) before our time on Serenity comes to an end in Sydney.  

In the meantime, Cheers,.

 

Keith

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Just a  few tidbits.

 

Since arrival to Sydney has been pulled up by  one  day  we received information on four shore excursions for the March 2nd arrival.  In our case, since we are leaving the ship on March 3,  since we will be anchored on March 2 and since we will spend one week in Sydney we will remain on-board on March 2nd.   For those continuing on the good news for them is they have extra time in Sydney.

 

Also related to Sydney all guests will attend a mandatory  immigration inspection on March 2 and for those of us leaving in Sydney we received last evening a questionnaire to fill out with one question related to whether or not we had a fever of 100.4 F or 38 C or higher, felt feverish, chills, or had respiratory illness symptoms  of a cough, sore throat or difficulty breathing.

 

If anyone answers yes to this they  will be assessed free of charge by a member of the Crystal medical staff.

 

I mentioned on the other thread on Serenity Embarkation Cancellations that many people have had decisions to make over the last 36 hours.  In our case no decisions as  we were leaving in Sydney from the time we boarded.   Ironically, in  our case we had originally  booked  Miami to Sydney and on last years World Cruise we added Sydney to Singapore because  we liked the additional Australia  port  stops on that  segment.  However since we were going to spend time in Sydney with  family  we realized  it made no sense to fly from Singapore back to Sydney and had that segment removed.  If we had kept that segment and was offered the option to leave in Sydney  or stay to Mumbai we would leave in Sydney.   Should that segment end in Mumbai we really  have no interest flying from there or spending anytime there and whether or not Serenity goes to Mumbai is anyone's guess.

 

If we were on the full World Cruise we would have stayed realizing  there is uncertainty.  No  one can guarantee anything but our  feeling would be regardless of port changes or the unknown we would look at it as an adventure.  Who knows it could end up in  the UK or in the USA.  And  we realize there would be uncertainty as to whether or  not it was cut short.    The packages to stay or to go home look good.    I think in the end around  80  to 85%  of the World Cruisers will stay.  This is a guess on  my part based on a number of Full World Cruisers who we spoke with yesterday some of whom first asked our opinion.  We would never recommend what they should do.   We could only say what we would do and even then only shared this if asked.  

 

Well between a changed port because of the medical issue, missed ports due to weather,  a missed port due to being turned away, and a revised itinerary due to weather and  then one due to CoronaVirus for those staying on past Sydney this has certainly been a World Cruise to remember.  The good news is in spite of this we have had a wonderful time between the on-board experience and several ports of call including some of our favorite ones in New Zealand.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

 

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Wow.  With all those embarkations cancelled the only passengers remaining on the ship will be full world cruisers?  That would be an interesting experience.  A few hundred passengers on a ship designed for 900+. 

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17 hours ago, History&Wine said:

Wow.  With all those embarkations cancelled the only passengers remaining on the ship will be full world cruisers?  That would be an interesting experience.  A few hundred passengers on a ship designed for 900+. 

The ship will have a relatively low passenger count on the next segment  from Sydney to Mumbai.

 

For those staying on it will indeed be  an interesting experience.  I am sure they will have a great time and no problem getting a reservation to dine anywhere.

 

Keith

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EN ROUTE TO SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
 
For the last 24 hours the Internet has been slow (well very slow) so I cannot update my Blog.  Hoping this clears up today.
 
Yesterday was a terrific day at sea.  
 
The revised path the Captain is taking us to Sydney has allowed for a terrific experience at sea as we have avoided the major storms which would have converged on our original path. Overall we enjoyed excellent weather with just a few minor bumps on the road.

When I do update the blog I will cover several items so I won't do this here.
 
I wanted to mention two examples of why we enjoy Crystal so much.
 
We always learn something new from the enrichment program and yesterday was no exception.
 
For me the something new came from Rap With The Rabbi.
 
It had the largest attendance of any of the previous sessions. The Rap was devoted to a talk given by World Affairs lecturer Dr Robert Freedman. His talk was about the recent Israel-Palestinian Peace Plan. He provided a two page outline along with a map illustrating the plan. He covered the key issues of the dispute, prior peace initiatives dating back to 1947, key elements of the peace plan, reactions to the plans and implications of the plan for the Middle East. He kept to the time table he laid out for the talk allowing the final fifteen minutes for question and answer. A lot of material was covered in an easy to understand manner. I can't tell you how much I learned and I am sure those attending felt as I did based on feedback from a few people I saw later in the day.    
 
The other area I wanted to mention is dining.   Many of us enjoy the dining experience and find it another reason why we enjoy Crystal.  Last night was no exception as we dined with the couple who  we did a wine tour with the other day.  They were kind enough to provide some wine and we provide champagne and we dined close to three hours together at Waterside enjoying great conversation, delicious cuisine and being taken care of by an amazing waitstaff team.  
 
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Today is the start of  another sea day. By tomorrow morning we will be anchored off Sydney having arrived one day earlier than the original schedule called for. I believe the plan  is to use the ships tenders between where we are anchored and somewhere near the Sydney Opera House.  Later in the evening after another cruise ship vacates the pier we will dock and the following day we will disembark Serenity.
 
In the meantime we have two full days to enjoy.
 
Cheers,
 
Keith
 

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On 2/26/2020 at 4:55 PM, wearesiamese said:

Wow! That looks very much like what Roy, myself and others experienced on the "infamous" 0205 back in 2010 !!

Think we had it worse on that crossing as we experienced five straight days of very rough seas.  Palm Court was empty as many could not take the waves breaking up to the bridge.  Could not even use the fitness center.

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Good morning  again.

 

Finally got my Blog updated.  Not easy  but hopefully it's out there.

 

Keith

 

 

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