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calliopecruiser

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  1. I really like Symphony, and prefer her to Serenity mostly for size/configuration reasons - she's a little smaller and a feels a little more comfortable to me, though I know that's for entirely personal, emotional reasons I can't explain. I don't like the lifeboats hanging out over the Promenade deck, but that's about the only thing I don't like about her.
  2. There's a local Chinese restaurant that makes the most amazing "6 grain congee" that has brown rice, hulless barley, Japanese rice, French red rice, rye berries, and purple barley - with mushrooms and slivered green onions. It's unbelievably good, and my favourite take out dish. I might have to pick some up this week 😋
  3. So try a different cruise line, and a less crowded ship -- less crowded because it's designed that way, not because it's less full. And to avoid the aggressive selling that could drive you crazy, consider an "all-inclusive cruise" - there's no need for them to sell you stuff, and even the stuff that isn't included (like bingo or extra-exclusive wines) is only sold to you if you go to them to ask for it (not them approaching you to buy it). I've done 4 "repositioning" cruises on Crystal (1 transatlantic, 2 transpacifics, and a Panama Canal trip) and they are my favourite -- especially the transpacifics. I've got one coming up in 5 months, and another a year after that.
  4. Congee and a strip of bacon. I love bacon, but it's bad for me in so many ways that I limit myself to a single piece on occasion. So I add it to my usual congee breakfast every now and then.
  5. If you are travelling solo, Crystal will be the least expensive of the luxury lines because of their lower solo supplement, but other than that, I agree with Tillie -- since you say Siversea and Seabourn are definitely out of your budget, the other luxury lines (Crystal, Regent, Windstar, SeaDream) will be as well. Consider a premium line such as Viking, Oceania, or Azamara, though I'm not sure the price difference is very big.
  6. In my opinion, if you really want to see the best of Crystal, choose an itinerary with lots of sea days, ideally at least in groups of two or three. That's when days are slower, and you can really appreciate the service, amenities, and extras like the great lectures.
  7. Me too. The first time I sailed with Crystal I booked a balcony because that's what I enjoyed on other lines.........but once on-board, I realized that there were lots of public outdoor spaces that were quiet and uncrowded. As a result, I was perfectly happy - actually happier - to spend time there than I would have on my balcony. On other lines, the scant outdoor spaces were filled with crowds and noise, but not so on Crystal. Since then, I've saved that money and gotten a window cabin.
  8. I think anyONE doesn't need two of everything, but a couple might want two of everything, especially if they are infrequently together. I don't think anyone's confusing needs and wants -- I bet they know these things are wants, but part of the luxury of going on a luxury cruise vacation is getting what you want, not just what you need. Apparently it is a bunch of skin of your nose, or you wouldn't have made these comments about what other people choose to do 😉
  9. If you're wearing cotton, the heat of your body and gravity will get rid of the creases in a few hours anyway -- while you're enjoying those beers.
  10. I've used them, and I don't understand how they help either! I guess some people like compartmentalizing their luggage; I found no benefit.
  11. No, not at all! I only carry one USB charger with 2 ports, but I need several different cables. My battery charger uses a different connector than my iPhone, for instance, and neither work for my laptop (which plugs into the socket and isn't a USB device at all). I think those 3 are the only things I plug in, now that I think about it. That said, I actually own many chargers, but I don't travel with them - having lots is handy at home for outlets in many rooms, but unnecessary for travelling.
  12. That's what you need in order to plug in several at once to charge them in overnight (otherwise you'd have to get up in the middle of the night to change devices - this way you can charge 3 or 4 slowly at once, rather than charging each in sequence but faster). I have something similar but with a relatively short cord.
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