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Old May 5th, 2011, 03:45 AM
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Evening at Sea - May 4 ‘11
Ken Venturi’s presentation and question and answer session, hosted by our golf pro, Shannon, was excellent once again.


I think what makes it so is that he speaks from the heart, with a genuine warmth, a nice sense of humor, and in whatever he days, or whatever story he tells he makes it obvious he’s a man of values. I think it sums him quite nicely when he says; “ golf is the only game in the world that you can call yourself for cheating”.

He recalled an incident when he was playing in a tournament, and was one shot off the lead; a day prior he’d played a ball based on a playing partners judgment, which half way through the round the next day he found was not correct. He withdrew from the tournament mid-round because he had signed an incorrect score card the day before. When he explained the reason to an official, the official said… “who would know?”. Ken Venturi’s answer was…he would!

I don’t think there is anyone who participated in Crystal’s golf package for this cruise who won’t really cherish the time they got to spend with Ken Venturi; getting golf tips on the course, listening to his stories, and simply spending time with a legend.

Golf is a traditional game built around a set of rules that some might view as silly etiquettes. It’s surprising how adhering to those same etiquettes in life leave you with such a good sense of values.

We turn our clocks forward tonight, so we lose an hour. Exiting the dining room at 10 P.M. tonight means it’s 11 P.M. The performer tonight was a ventriloquist, but I forget his was a pre-dinner show tonight (because of the time change), so I missed it. Come to think of it, I think I missed another presentation by the “memory enhancement” guy too. Think I need him to make a house call.

Tomorrow morning I have an interview with the Symphony’s Hotel Director Josef Matt, followed by an interview with golf pro Shannon Kneisler, so it's off to bed early tonight.
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Last edited by Kuki; May 6th, 2011 at 03:03 AM.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 01:53 PM
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Kuki, I have been enjoying your posts which I have been catching up on all at once. If you remember, we traveled together on the previous Princess voyage. We were the newly married couple from Goodyear, AZ, Mark and Gail.I'm so sorry to hear that your mom took ill and wish her as well as all your family the best. Hope you get some improved weather on the remainder of your trip, if not, you have the mid 90's to look foward to on your arrival back in the valley of the sun.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 06:15 PM
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So good to hear your Mom's condition is improving and I hope she continues to do so. And I hope that allows you to enjoy these last few days of the voyage a little more than when you were earlier in the week.

You make a valid point about lectures and no matter how interesting the subject matter could be it's a make or break depending on who is the presenter. To the opposite of your experience, a few years ago we attended a lecture on geography, neither one of us being all that interested in the subject, but just figured we'd go hear the guy talk anyway! An hour later we came out of the theatre amazed at the information presented and couldn't wait to return to his other lectures the rest of the cruise. As a college professor, I envied those who studied under him he was that good.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 06:58 PM
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- At Sea on the Symphony - May 5 ‘11
My day began with the now routine delivery of my gallon drum of coffee by my butler David.

There are a couple of oddities in my Penthouse Suite, that I should probably talk about. Hanging on the wall, at the entrance to the suite, are door hang signs; one a Do Not Disturb sign, the other a Make Up Room sign. It’s a great idea for guests to let the cabin attendants know if you’re in or not. The odd part of this is the design, because every time you open or close the door to the suite the door hangs fly off their little hooks. A small box on the wall to store these cards, rather than hooks would solve the problem.



Other than the bathroom and the walk-in closet, this PH suite is really one very large room (though beautifully and functionally designed), however it does have a lot of table lamps as well as ceiling lighting. The oddity here is there is no one switch that controls, all, or even most of the lighting.
When I retire at night, I feel like I have to “walk around the house” to make certain I’ve turned off all the lights.

This morning I interviewed the Symphony’s Hotel Director, Josef Matt, who began his career with Crystal 17 years ago, in the same position he has now. Unlike many in this industry, who work their up from various positions, Mr. Matt’s move to the seas was directly to Hotel Director.
He is a qualified Chef, Pastry Chef, as well as a graduate of the Hotel Management program in Lucerne, Switzerland; previously working and living in Paris, London , Johannesburg, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland, prior to joining Crystal Cruise Line.


By chance I attended the Miami Cruise Convention (commonly referred to as SeaTrade) in March. ‘10, when Crystal announced the introduction of “Perfect Choice Dining”. Therefore I wanted to discuss with Mr. Matt how difficult it was to this dining choice, first rolled out on the ship the second cruise of Jan. 2011.

The premise to “Perfect Choice Dining” is that it allows guest to book in advance and reserve their choice of times to have dinner in the Crystal Dining Room, rather than the still available classic assigned main or late dining times.

There’s a couple of situations that can cause confusion for guests choosing the “choice” dining program.

- guests misunderstand it occasionally. One example, people mistakenly think they can request a table for 8, expecting the cruise line will fill in their table at their chosen dining time. It doesn’t work that way. You can certainly reserve a table for 8, but it’s the guests responsibility to fill those seats; the cruise line doesn’t organize that.

The system is set up to work much like the system for booking the ship’s alternate restaurants; Prego and Silk Road. If one wishes to simply show up with no reservation, it’s possible, but seating is based entirely on space availability.

Mr. Matt tells us Classic Assigned Dining is by far still the most popular option for Crystal passengers.

“Officially” there are 660 passengers on this sailing, of which 460 are Crystal Society members (returning Crystal passengers). Apparently it’s not all that unusual to have as high as 90% returning passengers on a Crystal cruise.

Through the course of our interview I was very surprised to learn that in the dining room, all entrees are cooked a la minute (as ordered). As a previous restaurant owner, I was very impressed they could have the organization required for that type of production for such a large dining room. This is not something you’ll find on any but the luxury brand ships. The “normal system” on other lines is to partially cook all items, and warm them to serve, as would be done in a banquet setting. That is not the Crystal way!

We also discussed one issue raised to me by my fellow passengers; the hours of operation of the Lido Café. For lunch the Lido Café buffet is open only from 12 Noon to 1:30 P.M.

I hadn’t noticed this because by chance I hadn’t tried to eat outside of those hours. But I was surprised to learn of the short hours for the café, and I asked about it.

On my previous cruises, I can’t recall a ship not having at least a reduced sized buffet running late into the afternoon. Princess, for example, has some form of buffet open in the Horizon Courts 24/7. On the Symphony, the only options after 1:30 P.M. until 6 P.M. are room service, or the Trident Grill.

I thought it odd, Mr. Matt seemed to think it was just fine, and simply the way they do things. He noted it was at least in part because they feel they have to give the staff some time to rest, as well as to prepare for the daily Tea Time in the Palm Court.

When asking about why all passports were collected at the beginning of the cruise, which hasn’t been my experience of late on other cruise lines, the explanation was basically very similar… that’s the way we do it.
In my PH suite the information booklet says I have the ability to order dinners from either the dining room or either alternate restaurant, and have my meal served course by course in the suite. I wanted to clarify if all cabins onboard could do the same.

Though the service is slightly different, as the butler serves the meals in the suites, in other cabins you can order from the dining room. Mr. Matt suggested all passengers might want to have their appetizers served at once, and ask the cabin attendant to serve the entrees a bit later. Though perhaps not as smooth as in the suites, it is possible to enjoy this service in any cabin onboard.

Our final topic of discussion was the ship’s smoking policy, which I addressed a bit in yesterdays blog entry.

Smoking is certainly a hot button topic on the message boards whenever those threads start, but apparently not so much on the Crystal Symphony. Complaints are apparently fairly rare. Over the last several years the policies have been changed a bit, with Starlite Club, and Palm Court being designated non smoking areas. If speculating Mr. Mott suggested that at some time in the future the ship’s Piano Bar, Avenue Saloon “MIGHT” be designated non-smoking (as the Connoisseur Club, the ship’s Cigar Bar is located right next door.

Smoking is allowed in all staterooms onboard, but NOT on guest room balconies. This was a safety precaution put into place after the fire on Princess several years ago, as opposed to a reaction to complaints from passengers.

Josef Matt was very straight forward with answers to my questions, and I appreciate the time we were given.

When that interview ended, I proceeded directly to the interview I’d set with our golf pro, Shannon Kneisler. I’ll present her interview on it’s own tomorrow, as it’s really an interesting personal and professional story.
This evening I’m headed for a return visit back to Prego for dinner. It was totally sold out for tonight, but I managed to ask a favor of Josef. A perk of a Press card I guess.
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Last edited by Kuki; May 6th, 2011 at 04:09 AM.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 08:27 PM
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Kuki, I have been enjoying your posts which I have been catching up on all at once. If you remember, we traveled together on the previous Princess voyage. We were the newly married couple from Goodyear, AZ, Mark and Gail.I'm so sorry to hear that your mom took ill and wish her as well as all your family the best. Hope you get some improved weather on the remainder of your trip, if not, you have the mid 90's to look foward to on your arrival back in the valley of the sun.
Yes, of course I remember you...my smoking buddies from the Churchill Lounge.


Appreciate your thoughts regarding my mother. I'm staying in touch with the situation as best I can.

We had better weather on our return portion of the itinerary last time, with you on the Sapphire Princess. Seas are quite choppy, and weather that keeps most everyone indoors.
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Last edited by Kuki; May 5th, 2011 at 09:00 PM.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 08:30 PM
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So good to hear your Mom's condition is improving and I hope she continues to do so. And I hope that allows you to enjoy these last few days of the voyage a little more than when you were earlier in the week.

You make a valid point about lectures and no matter how interesting the subject matter could be it's a make or break depending on who is the presenter. To the opposite of your experience, a few years ago we attended a lecture on geography, neither one of us being all that interested in the subject, but just figured we'd go hear the guy talk anyway! An hour later we came out of the theatre amazed at the information presented and couldn't wait to return to his other lectures the rest of the cruise. As a college professor, I envied those who studied under him he was that good.
You are so right. It depends on the presenter. Casting Director, Jeff Greenberg's have been excellent, and very entertaining!
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Old May 6th, 2011, 03:33 AM
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Evening at Sea on Symphony May 5 ‘11
It was another indoor day on the Symphony. There’s tonight and 2 other nights left in the cruise. I have to be honest, because of the situation at home I’m pretty anxious for this cruise to end; a really unfortunate space to be in, as under normal circumstances I’d be looking forward to every remaining moment.

Those of you who may have happened to also follow me as I was writing the Virtual Cruise from Sapphire Princess in March (also the Hawaii itinerary) may recall some problems I had with the ship’s internet service. It wasn’t awful, but was occasionally spotty.

I’m not sure of the reason (perhaps Crystal purchases more satellite band-width) but, except for one day when I had trouble uploading some pictures, the service has been very reliable, and not that slow for a ship’s connection. It’s been sort of about the speed of the old days of dial-up service.

They sell packages of Internet time onboard at C U @ Sea aft on Deck 6. There’s an initial set fee of $5. Pay as you go is pretty pricey at $0.75 pre minute. The smallest package available is 2 hrs (120 minutes) for $50 ($0.42 per minute),10 hours (600 minutes) for $200 ($0.33 per minute), and the largest package -25 hours (1500 minutes) for $300 ($0.20 per minute). Pricing is the same whether you use the ships desktops, or bring your own laptop or I pod.

Tonight I dined with one of my tablemates, Anthony, another solo cruiser, at Prego… for a repeat visit.

As it turns out Anthony, from New York, is a long time collector of cruise ship paraphernalia, who used to work for Cunard Cruise Line, and had made for a terrific and entertaining tablemate. I’ve enjoyed all my dining room tablemates company, but tonight’s dinner gave me the opportunity to hear more of Anthony’s story, and more about his collecting hobby.

Without question Prego is my favorite place to eat on the ship, and I had to pull a couple of strings to get a last minute reservation in the sold out restaurant tonight. Earlier in the cruise it would be easier to get a reservation. I know several people dined there several times.





For my meal tonight I began with a Caesar Salad, repeated the Mushroom soup in a bread bowl, that is fantastic, followed by an appetizer size portion of Chicken Ravioli, and my entrée was a superb version of Osso Buco, accompanied by a safron rossoto. Dessert was a three piece sampler.

In the showroom (Galaxy Lounge) tonight Classical Pianist, Sujeeva Hapugalle, performed, and though I am not a piano aficionado I thought the performance was excellent. Once again the show for late seating diners was pre-dinner, and the show for early diners after dinner. Once again, they make the change because we lose the last hour of time tonight, as we get back on Pacific Daylight Time.

At 10:15 P.M. the Starlight Club was filled for The Liar’s Club. With the time change coming, and a busy day of interviews, etc. I passed the Liar’s Club on my way to bed.

Returning to my suite I found vouchers to hand to the staff (for my pre-paid gratuities) as well as directions and luggage tags for disembarking the ship. This does mean the end of the cruise is near.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 08:05 AM
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Kuki,

I'm enjoying reading your updates and I feel for you for the situation you are in. I've been in a similar situation, on business trips, back in the days when I actually worked for a living.

Enjoy the last two days of your cruise and I hope you have a safe trip home.

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Old May 6th, 2011, 09:22 AM
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Kuki, I know how hard it must be for you knowing your mom is ill, but we both know what a trooper she is, and she always seems to rally. Glad to hear she is doing better and Mrs. Kuki is "handling the stress" so you can continue your cruise and your fascinating reports.
Now, if you could just send me that chocolate fountain.....

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Old May 6th, 2011, 09:52 AM
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Enjoy your last two days at sea. I myself am leaving on business; so, I may not be on the internet for a few days. Just have fun and safe travels home.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 11:04 AM
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I have really enjoyed this virtual cruise Kuki. A lot of time and effort goes into the postings and I'm sure there are nights when you'd rather just crash. I doubt that I'll ever cruise on Crystal but between you and Paul I feel like I already have! Enjoy your final days at sea as best you can and have a safe trip home. I hope your Mother makes a full recovery.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 12:59 PM
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I have really enjoyed reading this Kuki. What a great job you have done. I also know what it feels like to get that emergency call about someone at home. It is so horrible to be at sea, and have to wait for more news, hopefully better, and trying to decide if you need to get off in port and fly home.

I have a question for you. The golf partners each day. Were they the same 3 guys? How did they determine who would golf with who? Thanks..
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Old May 6th, 2011, 01:31 PM
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I have really enjoyed this virtual cruise Kuki. A lot of time and effort goes into the postings and I'm sure there are nights when you'd rather just crash. I doubt that I'll ever cruise on Crystal but between you and Paul I feel like I already have! Enjoy your final days at sea as best you can and have a safe trip home. I hope your Mother makes a full recovery.
I appreciate your thoughts (and everyone's). I am not about to tell you or everyone that they shouldn't say they'll never sail Crystal.

It is a luxury line, with luxury line prices...but there may be opportunities along the way where with specials, or their newly introduced, standby fares, some will contemplate taking the jump, spending more, to get to sample a luxury experience. They only have two ships, so not all of us could fit anyway
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Old May 6th, 2011, 01:33 PM
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I have really enjoyed reading this Kuki. What a great job you have done. I also know what it feels like to get that emergency call about someone at home. It is so horrible to be at sea, and have to wait for more news, hopefully better, and trying to decide if you need to get off in port and fly home.

I have a question for you. The golf partners each day. Were they the same 3 guys? How did they determine who would golf with who? Thanks..
Thanks LuAnne. Glad you've been enjoying the virual cruise.

To your question, they mixed and matched the golfers each day, so I played with other players each day. Though I imagine if you had your foursome you could just play together.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 03:15 PM
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Thank you Kuki. Continue to have a good cruise, and a safe trip home. Prayers for your mom, and family.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 03:35 PM
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Default Some ship pictures

FYI, by the time this cruise has ended I'll have used about 29 hours of Internet time, including time to upload photos, and text (never mind time spent writing). Just in case anyone decideds to undertake such a task. It's been great fun sharing it all with you!

Here's a new group of pictures I've been able to upload...
Silk Road -Cruising by Mobu Matsuhisa -







Prego




Avenue Saloon - Piano Bar - I haven't mentioned it much but I have spent a fair bit of time here. Particularly before dining at Prego and Silk Road, since it's located close by. Many nights the saloon was hopping.

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Old May 6th, 2011, 08:03 PM
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Kuki, I just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying your post's! I doubt if we'll ever sail with Crystal, so it's nice to read what a luxury line is like .

Still praying for your Mom,
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Old May 6th, 2011, 09:02 PM
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- At Sea on Symphony - May 6 ‘11
Today may be a report on some odds & ends, that I’ve yet to talk about.
My PH suite is 387 sq. ft. with balcony. There are 2 levels of PH Suite above this category suite.

The Penthouse Suite comes with the use of a butler, as I’ve explained previously. His services (or overnight, those of attendant) are available 24 hrs a day.

As well as delivering my morning coffee or breakfast each morning, if I chose to, he would deliver what I ordered from any of the restaurants or dining rooms onboard, and serve them course by course in my suite.
The suite comes equipped with a rather unique coffee table, with a built in hydraulic system to raise it to regular table height. It also has the ability to fold out forming a regular sized table to dine at.

One of the perks of the PH is complimentary service. David, the Butler, removes and delivers any items left out for pressing, as well as laundry I want to send out.

The PH suite comes with a complimentary bar set up, including a bottle of white and a bottle of red wine, as well as a bottle of Champagne, and a choice of two full sized 1 Liter bottles of liquor, from a liquor menu. And the beer and sodas are complimentary, and restocked as used. My tablemates have been the benefactors of the complimentary wines and champagnes, as I’m not much of a drinker.

Each day at around 5 P.M. David delivers a plate of appetizers to the suite. He always tells me what the item for the next day is. If I prefer something different, I simply have to tell him what my preference would be, and it is delivered.

I believe in every cabin, not just PH suites, there’s a large Crystal Umbrella, binoculars, house coats and Kimonos, for the guests to use while they are onboard. You’re welcome to take the umbrellas off the ship for shore tours, but are expected to leave them behind at the end of the cruise.

Reflections, the ship’s daily newsletter, is the best I’ve seen on a ship. It is very comprehensive, offering profiles on everyone from ship’s officers, to entertainers and lectures through the course of the cruise. Included is a single sheet detailing the schedule of that day’s activities.

My biggest solo pet peeve, of what I refer to as “Ship Spam” (junk mail delivered to the cabins much too often, unsolicited) is of no concern on this trip. Aside from Reflections nothing is delivered to my cabin that is not of use; nothing where the sole purpose is advertising.

Along the way on this trip I’ve also met some interesting “characters”. I’ve mentioned several of the more “unique” ones. A player in the casino said to the dealer; “can you make me rich?”, to which the dealer replied; “you already are rich”. “You’re right; very rich!” , said the player, as he bet $5.
I do also have a correction of sorts to make about an earlier statement, when I said I wasn’t getting chocolates on my pillow at night. It’s correct that I am not getting them on my pillow. However, there is a box of chocolates that sits on my dresser, and I discovered it gets replenished each time I eat some of the chocolates. It could be a chocolate lovers ultimate dream; a bottomless box of chocolates.

As the weather was coolish again today, and the seas still choppy, I spent part of the afternoon packing. Yes, the cruise is coming to it’s last day.

But… tonight is our final formal night. I’m going to have a shower, turn my underwear inside out, and put on my Tux. I’ll report back later, if it’s an interesting night.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 03:03 AM
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Evening at Sea - May 6

My butler David delivering my daily 5PM snack.



Apparently last night, when tablemate Anthony and I dined at Prego, we were replaced at our regular dining room table by some friends our tablemates had met. They said they had a wonderful time, and Vlada, the Head Waiter for our section of the dining room entertained them all night. So apparently, Anthony and I are the “duds” at the table, and why the other nights have been so boring.

I’m kidding. I wasn’t even going to talk about my tablemates until tomorrow night, because then I could get off the ship Sunday, before they saw me to smack me. But, since I have the time tonight, I’ll have to say nice things about them.

Our dining room table consists of Anthony from New York, Susan from Las Vegas, Glen and Barbara from Florida, and Gary and Mary from the San Francisco area, and me. I’m the only virgin in the bunch…Crystal virgin, that is.




They’ve been very kind to me all week, and since Maui when I got the news my mother was ill, dining with them, and them tolerating my silliness during dinners has been a great help, and a big help taking my mind off of the situation, at least for a little while, and I very much appreciate the welcome I’ve received at the table, and the warmth they’ve shared with me over the past 13 nights.

Each and every one of them, and their lives has a story. But they’re not that interesting, so… that’s me kidding again. I’ve enjoyed their company a great deal, and I think I’ve finally convinced them (or is that conned them?) into believing I’m a writer.

The Crystal Dining Room was a bit late opening for late seating tonight. I’m not quite sure why, but I suspect it was because there was a Captain’s Farewell Reception prior to dinner; possibly the galley had been overwhelmed with the appetizers for the reception.

Once the doors were opened and we were seated, the pace of service seemed to be off throughout the meal. The food was very good, but the pace was off, so we didn’t end up leaving the dining room until 10:45 P.M.



If I were European I’d probably just be going out for dinner, but as I am not, I came straight back to the suite to check for email from Mrs. Kuki, and finish today’s piece.


Our Dining Room Staff


I have a decision to make tomorrow, whether I am going to fly directly home from LA, or go back to Arizona for 1 day, to pick up my belongings as planned.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 08:01 AM
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Kuki,

I have been following your cruise and am sorry about your Mom's illness, but am happy she seems to be on the mend. It is a terrible position to be in. I had a similar situation when I had just moved to Australia and my dad was ill. It just changes the entire experience from one of optimism to 'just get me through this'.

As for your cruise experience, the differences in perceptions from your cruise to mine (I sailed on the cruise just before - which you can read the eleven part series at http://www.thisismyyacht.com.) is why it is so important for folks to not read one review and think it represents what their, personal, cruise experience will be.

Your focus has been so much on the golf aspect of the cruise and, of course, has been colored by your "fun" having been curtailed. (What a trouper you have been! Bravo!) You also have been making comparisons to Princess, which really has me shaking my head at times. To be sure, my experience and my take on my first Crystal cruise has been significantly different and, of course, I had only one sea day. But this is your cruise and your experience.

Best of luck with your mom and safe journey home...whichever path you take.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iamboatman View Post
Kuki,

I have been following your cruise and am sorry about your Mom's illness, but am happy she seems to be on the mend. It is a terrible position to be in. I had a similar situation when I had just moved to Australia and my dad was ill. It just changes the entire experience from one of optimism to 'just get me through this'.

As for your cruise experience, the differences in perceptions from your cruise to mine (I sailed on the cruise just before - which you can read the eleven part series at http://www.thisismyyacht.com.) is why it is so important for folks to not read one review and think it represents what their, personal, cruise experience will be.

Your focus has been so much on the golf aspect of the cruise and, of course, has been colored by your "fun" having been curtailed. (What a trouper you have been! Bravo!) You also have been making comparisons to Princess, which really has me shaking my head at times. To be sure, my experience and my take on my first Crystal cruise has been significantly different and, of course, I had only one sea day. But this is your cruise and your experience.

Best of luck with your mom and safe journey home...whichever path you take.
Eric... Thanks for the comments. First of all "my assignment" was to cover the Crystal Golf Program, as you'll see in a couple of upcoming feature articles starting Monday). So, that's where my focus had to be.

I also attempted to describe the experience... what others might experience when/if they sail this ship.

My comparisons with Princess were to show the differences a reader could see in sailing a Premium Brand or a Luxury Brand. Then Premium Brand sailors would be a able to decide if it's worth the cost to step up to a Luxury Brand.

At Crystal's price point, they should obviously be significantly better than Princess.

I'll also be writing a full review of the ship later. I've been writing reviews of different lines for a decade now, on over 60 ships. In the luxury market I've previously sailed Seaborn, Siversea, Regent, and now Crystal, so have some experience in the Luxury market to draw from as well.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 04:15 PM
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- Heading to Ensenada - May 7

Yesterday I forgot to mention that all passengers could pick up their passports, which had been collected during the embarkation process. During our interview, I had asked Hotel Director, Josef Matt, the reason for collecting the passports, and didn’t really receive an answer that had any particular reasoning. Picking up the passports yesterday made it even more to difficult to understand the policy; unless historically they’ve found too many passengers misplace their passports during the cruise, so they collect them as a precaution.

This morning, special interest lecturer Jeff Greenberg, an Emmy Award winning casting director, how over the years has worked as casting director for many hit shows, and movies (like Frasier). He won his first Emmy for the newest hit on TV, Modern Family.


Mr. Greenberg showed the original pilot episode on the big screen, afterwards explaining how each of the main characters was cast. It was interesting to hear which actors had been offered particular parts in the show, and turned it down (mostly for monetary reasons), and how the producers made their final decisions. Though still working on Modern Family, filling all the guest spot parts, Mr. Greenberg also just completed work on a new pilot, Family Album; crossing his fingers that it to gets picked up as a series.

This was the final session, of 3 presentations Mr. Greenberg made during the cruise, and every session was fun, interesting, and enjoyable. Today’s was so well attended it was moved to the large showroom in the Galaxy Lounge.

Returning to my suite I received a message that the situation at home is not good. I’ve changed my plans, and booked a direct flight from LAX home tomorrow afternoon. I pray I get home in time!

Due to circumstances, this will be the last installment I post on this Virtual Cruise. I thank Crystal for graciously hosting me on this cruise, and you the readers for crusiing along. And some time in the future, after life settles down, I will be posting a summary and writing a full review.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 05:05 PM
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I am sorry that things have taken a turn for the worse. Safe flight home.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 05:18 PM
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God speed Kuki.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 05:57 PM
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I agree - God's speed!
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Old May 7th, 2011, 08:49 PM
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God speed for you and hoping for a quick recovery for your MOTHER.

Have a safe flight home.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 09:11 PM
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I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom. I'll be praying for you all,
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Old May 7th, 2011, 10:12 PM
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Sorry to hear things took a turn for your Mom, Kuki. We're keeping your Mom, you and Geela in our thoughts and prayers.

Jan
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Old May 8th, 2011, 03:16 PM
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I am sitting in a lounge at LAX waiting for my afternoon flight home to Canada.

The news from home was a little bit better this morning, so I am feeling "a bit better". There have been 3 times before now that the Drs. have told us my mother wouldn't leave the hospital. She proved them wrong before, so I'm hoping she's going to do the same this time!!

I thank everyone for their thoughts!!!

David served me breakfast in the suite this morning, and disembarkation was simple and easy.

There are no passengers boarding today, other than a few corporate types. The ship heads to SanFrancisco tonight, and picks up passengers tomorrow for Alaska.

For today, even the dining room is closed, today is play day on the ship for the staff and crew... pool and deck games and parties. A day of really letting themselves enjoy for most onboard.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 05:54 PM
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I really, really hope your mom proves the doctors wrong once again.
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