The Crystal Symphony
On October 28th I embarked on the Crystal Symphony for a cruise to New Zealand. The 16 day cruise made one stop in Hawaii on November 2nd and continued to NZ on the following day. The symphony was an all inclusive booking. It included everything except tours in Hawaii which were of no interest. The food was good but not exceptional. The entertainment was very good and the lectures excellent. I had been assigned a table for 8 at the late seating which I changed after the first night. I wanted early seating which made attendance to the various activities simpler. I was put at another table for 8 with 4 ladies all singles and three employees of the cruise line two men who were dancers for the single women and one Columbian women who taught Spanish. This worked well for a while but soon became a bore. The women were all older 75+ and we had little to talk about after the first few nights. In addition I found that the eating schedule just resulted in too much food and decided to make an adjustment. I needed more activity and to spread out the eating over a longer period of time. The places to select from are many and varied. I decide to try five to six small meals spread throughout the day.There are also three other venues I have not tried which offered an additional variety of food. I will try this for the remaining 9 days of the voyage. To put my fellow sailors in perspective I give the following example: Last nights show had a ventriloquist and after he used his animals he came out with a wild haired girl which he placed on his lap. She looked at him and at the audience and said: “Damn you ! You promised not to take me back to the nursing home”. That tells it better than I can.
The Crystal cruise line has many loyal followers. Most passengers on this cruise have made multiple cruises with Crystal. Some border on being addicts. The boat is beautiful and well managed. The crew very attentive and the service is excellent. The room is on deck 5 and my very large window is just about 12 feet from the waterline resulting in spectacular views of the sea it is near the bow of the ship where the wash from the bow adds to the excitement. The forward elevators are 20 feet away and lead directly to most of the entertainment which is on deck 6 and 11. I sleep with the blinds full open so I can see the sea when I wake up. The boat speed has been between 17 and 21 knots and the ship although it is stabilized not as stable as I would expect. When the seas are high and the engine power set to a higher rpm pushing the boat there a many small chatters of the doors and is not something I am used to on such a large boat. No one else seems to notice. I had this experience once on the QM2 after it had been in repair and the props were out of balance. But that was in staterooms in the rear of the ship. If I get the chance I will discuss it with someone in the crew and see their response.
I am writing this at the dock on Honolulu and will stop now and see if I can get ashore for a walk around town.
I just got back! I walked 10,000 steps today near the port, tomorrow the downtown area with the beaches, hotels and restaurants is waiting. Tonight I went to the Special Sushi restaurant and had Sushi and Tempura Shrimp. It was very good and authentic. Three more special restaurants to go. I am allowed to go to each one twice on this trip so that almost will fill the days left with a little variety. The restaurants Prego (Italian), Silk Road (Oriental) , Sushi (Japanese) and the Bistro (A curious mixture of Spanish, Mexican). There are also three different buffets serving a wide variety of Smogasbord like dishes and two small restaurants outside near the pools. Plus the Main Dining room. Weight loss! What weight loss?