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andydates

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About andydates

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  1. I think the Mozart will have to be moved once transferred to another company for Genting. I hope they move it to China to do the Yangtze River cruises.
  2. Keith, I echo everyone else and thank you for all the time you spent on your Blog, and posting here. Sorry, off topic, but wonder if you happen to know how do the river cruise ships get repositioned to different regions? I don't think they are capable of sailing in the oceans. Perhaps they are lifted onto a cargo ship, and transported? Thanks
  3. Keith. Looking forward to hear about your river cruise experience as well especially on the differences in food variety. As an aside, I am wondering how do you prepare for your tax returns when you are away during the entire tax season in the US when all the annual statements such as 1099’s come in at the end of January. Do you just file an extension and deal with it when you return? Thanks
  4. Hadley, Any chance you have more copies of the MDR menus for different nights? Odd that the sample menu you posted featured Japanese cuisine, when the majority of passengers are Chinese. Also, can you post a higher resolution image of the menu as the one you posted is a bit fuzzy when I try to zoom up to read it? Thanks
  5. Hi folks, I am looking at cabin # 1005 and 1006 on Main deck, and Holland America shows it as 234 sq. ft. Is that correct? Are these cabins larger for some reason? Thanks
  6. Can any one confirm that cash advance on slot machines still free on Holland America, specifically on the Amsterdam? Has the Amsterdam slots been converted to the cashless slot system? On the Zaandam back in 2016, it wasn't converted yet. Thanks
  7. Ivi, What ship are you going on? MalbecWine, I checked out the reviews on Yelp regarding Rainbow Palace, and it doesn't seem authentic either according to the reviews. First of all, in a Chinese restaurant when most of the patrons are not Chinese will never be authentic, and also not providing chopsticks automatically is a sign it caters to non-Chinese crowd. Here's a review I found which I found on point. "If you are looking for real Chinese food look elsewhere. No Chinese people inside. If I were an older American and married to an older American and only had Chinese food in America, Rainbow Palace would be 5 stars. But I'm not old, go to Asia often, and I'm married to someone born and raised in China. Service is very old school. You have to be asked if you want chopsticks. Nothing to write home about here. Flavors were good to me but even I kept thinking for the same price how much food could we get at Temple Street Eatery. We had Chicken Gwin Jin and South Sea Curry Scallops. I really liked the sauce on the scallops. So I'm going to ask my mother-in-law to make it. Don't get me wrong, food was good just not at this price point. I will not be returning for at least 30 years. Just not our style. It might be just what you are looking for so read a few other reviews."
  8. Just got back last night from Serenity. On the positive, the churrascaria actually included another non meat item for those not into all the meat. They have branzino served in the self serve buffet area now as well. Attached is picture of it. I enjoyed my dinner there and overall was good, but for some reason the Picanha steak was very tough and chewy this time, even though it was thinly cut, and still a bit red so not overcooked. Back with the discussion on Silk, it definitely is not authentic, and dare I say in some respects even worse than the Kung Pao Chicken in fast food chains like Panda Express. Peppercorns were briefly outlawed but have not been since 2005. I verified with kitchen staff that they don't have high powered gas wok, but they still should be able to do a better job, and get the flavor right. As far as my comment on the fried rice, I didn't mean to say it was excellent, but at least it was a better attempt at keeping it authentic. I say this being Chinese born in the US, with both parents from Hong Kong, and living in Los Angeles area, we have plenty of authentic Chinese restaurants. At least in LA, the Chinatown here is not the best Chinese cuisine you will find in LA. Chinatown in LA has become mostly a place for new immigrants, and a big Vietnamese population for some reason. The best authentic Chinese food in LA area is in the Monterey Park/Alhambra/San Gabriel area. As far as authentic Chinese fried rice, should not be overly greasy, and especially not dark brown with lots of soy sauce to make it dark. The color of the rice should just be lightly browned. I would agree that the food should be classified as Chinese fusion, and not actually Chinese food. It is not hard to do authentic Chinese food though, as Crystal did have it once before when they featured Din Tai Fung onboard. They specialize in dumplings, and offer some other noodle/fried rice options with some other appetizers and vegetables, but doesn't offer a broad menu with other meats/seafood. It is more of a family style restaurant, nothing fancy, but authentic, and would be happy with that. For those of you not familiar with the chain, their website with menu is at http://dintaifungusa.com/menu I will be trying the new Royal Caribbean Spectrum of the Seas in May with my kids, and although I think most of the food on Royal Caribbean is horrendous, except for some of the specialty restaurants, it will be interesting to see how authentic they get the Chinese food. This ship will be home ported in Shanghai, so once the ship arrives there, the majority of the passengers will be Chinese, so they should be able to get the Chinese food right. From what I read, the majority of the food in the main dining room will be Chinese food. If a mass market line like Royal Caribbean can get it right, and Crystal cannot, it will be a shame especially since Crystal has Chinese owners.
  9. Keith, I join the rest in my zest to follow your world cruise blog as well. With all your world cruises and sailing on Crystal outside of world cruises, I am surprised you are not a Centurion member yet. Will you hit the milestone during these 157 days?
  10. Was at Umi Uma last night, and happy to report that it's excellent as always with a few new items to menu including lobster tempura, and Chilean sea bass. Attached is copy of the menu. Unfortunately, Silk still has not improved from my last experience on Silk on the Symphony. In fact, the only thing on the menu that was somewhat authentic is the fried rice, and the Chilean Sea bass. Something as simple as Kung Pao chicken is not done right. Way over sauced, and not wokked dry but still lots of liquid on the dish. Perhaps they don't have high powered gas BTU wok grill, as not allowed on the ship, so really can't do authentic Chinese cooking right. Talked to F&B manager at Captain's party, and he was saying food is subjective, as they have had generally good reviews. I told him that it's true food is subjective, but authenticity is not. It's definitely not authentic, and a Chinese restaurant of that quality would be out of business in a few months if it was in LA where there is a large Chinese community. I enjoyed the shrimp balls on the Symphony, but were way too salty this time. Attached is the dinner menu of Silk as well. I think they took away the dumplings previously on the menu. SilkDinnermenu.pdf Umi Uma12-7-18.pdf
  11. Robin, What's the LR stand for?
  12. It means a jacket at minimum per Crystal guidelines for men. "A Black Tie Optional evening offers a celebratory opportunity to dress more formally on a special evening(s). For men, this includes a dark suit with tie, or tuxedo; for women, this includes a formal cocktail dress, evening gown or dressy evening separates. On Black Tie Optional evenings, we request at least a jacket to be worn by men and a dress, skirt or dress slacks and blouse or sweater to be worn by women. Jeans may not be worn in any dining venues or lounges, including the Casino, on Black Tie Optional evenings."
  13. Was BTO evening last night, and noticed quite a few men in only polo shirts. I mentioned this to dining room manager, and he said unfortunately it's management decision not to stop them, but just for them to inform hotel director to send them a note to cabin to warn them. Disappointing, as it really destroys the ambiance when most people are dressed up. If they don't want to dress up, they should just either order room service, or go up to Churrascaria on Lido deck.
  14. Onboard serenity now and they had open house of some cabins. Here’s pictures I took of the new Seabreeze PH cabin. As you can see, there’s a shared entry way between too suites so the cabin itself is slightly smaller than a standard PH.
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