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Stickman1990

Live : Accents on the Orient – Crystal Symphony Hong Kong to Tokyo 9-26 May 2019

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9 hours ago, BWIVince said:

Terry, just out of curiosity, roughly how many people were on that tour?

 

Vince - there were 29 on our bus (bus 6)  - and I think there were 6 buses so around 180 Crystal guests on that particular tour number 

 

It would have been nice to have received a note recognising the issue and apologising but no sign of that yet 

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9 hours ago, BWIVince said:

.. but even then we've usually had a crew escort.  I'd be disappointed too, sometimes having a liaison comes in handy -- even if it's just for the Crystal backpack with the toilet paper.  :classic_tongue:

 

Vince

Ha!  I had wondered what was in the Crystal backpack the tour escorts carry.  Good to know!! 😉

 

~Nancy

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Posted (edited)

Yesterday we were in Taipei, Taiwan (Republic of China) - I took a tour of the City’s highlights - which turned out to be the National Palace Museum which houses artefacts bought with the Nationalists when they fled mainland China, the Martyrs Shrine and Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall where we witnessed the changing of the guard at the last two locations - they are certainly trained in their drills and marching 

 

and yes there was water available in the Bistro for those touring independently and plenty of water on the tour buses and cold towels and hand sanitiser on the gangway when we arrived back (in future I’ll only mention this situation when there is nothing on offer) 

 

Today we are in Ishigaki, Japan - one of the Okinawa Islands - I have heard it’s very beautiful - and it’s going to be quite hot and humid 

 

One ransom comment about sailaways - they are now piping the Louis Armstrong instrumental into the Palm Court which is lovely to be able to listen to it clearly as we get underway 

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Edited by Stickman1990

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8 minutes ago, suzeluvscruz said:

Loved the pictures! I remember that jade bok choy!

 

The guide was very clear it’s not Bok Choy as the colour pattern is different - it’s Chinese Cabbage - of course fog is Westerners we just referred to it as the most familiar Chinese vege - Bok Choy

 

It was a good tour and there’s lots of different rooms it just that it was so long on our feet 

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Oh yes, I remember the book Chou/Chinese cabbage discussion!

It was indeed an awesome collection, just wish we had more time there without the crowds.

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Terry  and  Shirin....

 

Appreciated your  comments  (and Terry photos) from your visit to Taipei.

 

We have not been there before and  hope we get there in the future.

 

Big contrast between your weather and the weather we are experiencing.  😀

 

Continue to enjoy.


Keith

 

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For the shipoholics out there - we had company at Ishigaki Island today - Europa 2 which is a German luxury brand. They were moored in the harbour and had to tender but we were docked 

 

 

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8 hours ago, suzeluvscruz said:

Oh yes, I remember the book Chou/Chinese cabbage discussion!

It was indeed an awesome collection, just wish we had more time there without the crowds.

 

Oh boy, don't we love autocorrect?! That book Chou would have been delicious if it was BOK CHOY!:classic_laugh:

 

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On 5/12/2019 at 3:34 PM, Stickman1990 said:

 

Most definitely in fact we had a long chat with him at our table last night. He is looking forward to a break at home and spending time with his family after this leg. We have Head Waiter Santana looking after us but Vlada knows one of the couples at the table so pops by every so often to check on us and chat 

 

I hope Vlada will be back from break in September when we sail. He is absolutely our favorite Head Waiter and it's been several years since we've sailed with him as we've only been on Serenity of late. 👍

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22 minutes ago, BEAV said:

 

I hope Vlada will be back from break in September when we sail. He is absolutely our favorite Head Waiter and it's been several years since we've sailed with him as we've only been on Serenity of late. 👍

 

Same here Brian!!!

 

nancy

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We enjoyed the beauty of Ishigaki yesterday but can't say the same for our excursion unfortunately. This was a maiden port of call for Crystal so I can understand it might take them some time to get it right. In hindsight I wish we had skipped the tour and just made our own way to a nice swimming spot.

 

Dinner last night was at Silk and we really enjoyed it. We dined with some friends and the meal was well paced out and everything we ordered was great. The only thing I think needs a little work is the steamed dumplings. We'll definitely be dining here again and even though we ordered a lot of items last night we still didn't sample everything so the menu really has been extended in the evenings.

 

We're in Naha today and we'll be touring on our own. It's still hot and humid so the plan is to go out in the morning and be back in time for lunch and spend the afternoon by the pool. Back to Prego for dinner tonight.

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Posted (edited)

Shirin - similar sentiments on Ishigaki in terms of tourist attractions but we had a great guide who made our tour - she’s going to be guiding ships tours in Naha today - so if anyone gets Akiko you are in for a treat 

 

Talking to several others there were no swimming beaches on the island so your plan may have come unstuck 

 

Were doing our own thing in Naha but Akiko told us Soba Noodle and Pork are the local Okinawan specialty dishes so we may try and find a place for lunch to enjoy the local cuisine 

 

Most will understand why I’m chatting to Shirin like this and not directly - you can go days without seeing other guests depending on your daily programme. Such is the wide variety of dining and entertainment on board 

Edited by Stickman1990

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, BEAV said:

 

I hope Vlada will be back from break in September when we sail. He is absolutely our favorite Head Waiter 👍

 

Now why have one favourite Head Waiter when you can have two great guys watching over you?

 

We’re really enjoying the service in Waterside and Santana and Vlad are taking care of us 

 

and last night it was Yellow Tail Carpaccio appetiser and Turkey for me - some like the white and dark meat and others just white 

 

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Edited by Stickman1990

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1 hour ago, ClefsDor said:

We enjoyed the beauty of Ishigaki yesterday but can't say the same for our excursion unfortunately. This was a maiden port of call for Crystal so I can understand it might take them some time to get it right. In hindsight I wish we had skipped the tour and just made our own way to a nice swimming spot.

 

Dinner last night was at Silk and we really enjoyed it. We dined with some friends and the meal was well paced out and everything we ordered was great. The only thing I think needs a little work is the steamed dumplings. We'll definitely be dining here again and even though we ordered a lot of items last night we still didn't sample everything so the menu really has been extended in the evenings.

 

We're in Naha today and we'll be touring on our own. It's still hot and humid so the plan is to go out in the morning and be back in time for lunch and spend the afternoon by the pool. Back to Prego for dinner tonight.

I finally realize why I think food is served to fast in Silk. Everyone who says it is pace out correctly is a table of 2 to 4 people. I only went alone there and found when I skipped a starter and had two mains with rice it all came at once. I need to say one dish at a time please. I did love my duck this  past winter and the lobster  all but one night. It was not spicy enough for me. it was cal;led curry and I needed more.

 

Be glad for the heat as NC been extra cold for mid May. Last year I did not need a layer to walk.

 

Your  last two ports are not on my fall cruise on another line. But very happy to learn about them. Thank you!

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Yesterday we were at Ishigaki Island in Okinawa - it was nice to be back in Japan - although the Okinawa region is very different from the thriving metropolis of Tokyo 

 

It it was an inaugural visit for Crystal Symphony as was today’s visit to Naha, Okinawa and there were ceremonies in the Cove area with local officials presenting a plaque to the Captain and other officers to commemorate the occasion

 

I think it would be fair to say the island had limited tourist activities - our tour visited  Yaeyama Palm Tree Grove, Kabira Bay and Ishigaki Yaima Village which were interesting but not exactly enthralling. I have included photos of one of the folk dancers at the Village - her performance while balancing a large saki bottle on her head was very interesting.  It was a very humid day and we were glad to get back to the ship. The highlight was our guide Akiko who was very entertaining and she even played us tunes on the 3 string Okinawan Banjo

 

Today we visited Naha the main city of Okinawa - we took the shuttle into town, along with many others, visited the local market and had lunch at a noodle restaurant where we had Okinawan Soba Noodles and local Pork

 

We returned to the ship for afternoon tea and enjoyed a drink before attending the Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle which was well attended - I would estimate around 30 in attendance

 

We then went to the show which was the ensemble performing Speakeasy then we went to Churrascaria for the first time this cruise. Our friends loved it and tried a range of the salads and meats on offer. I felt the service was a little slow and disjointed this time compared to our experience on Serenity and last August on Symphony - but the meat was delicious. Following this we attended a performance in the Starlight by Brett Cave a pianist who performed in the Galaxy last night.

 

Then it was an early night - we get to enjoy a time adjustment as we sail to Shanghai - clocks back one hour overnight. We have a busy sea day tomorrow so we need to get some rest 

 

 

 

 

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I just looked at the Prego menu you attached on Monday.   There appears to be a big error in the dessert menu .  It has the affogato description as: 

Espresso-Flavored Lady Fingers,  Layered with Light Mascarpone Cheese  & Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream 

 

… sounds more like tiramisu to me … the famous Prego affogato dessert has coffee poured over ice cream  and it's my favorite Prego dessert.  I'm wondering if the dessert available is really affogato or if it's tiramisu!

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13 minutes ago, happy cruising said:

I just looked at the Prego menu you attached on Monday.   There appears to be a big error in the dessert menu .  It has the affogato description as: 

Espresso-Flavored Lady Fingers,  Layered with Light Mascarpone Cheese  & Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream 

 

… sounds more like tiramisu to me … 

 

I’m not a dessert person so don’t know the answer but I’ll check it out next visit and hopefully someone else can clarify the reality 

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One of the things we enjoyed during our stroll down International Street in Naha, which is quite a large city of over 300,000 people, were the quirky items in the market shops 

 

Here’s some - our favourite were the grass flip flops so you could enjoy the feel of grass underfoot, while the fish slippers ran a close second

 

Jackets for dogs are clearly in fashion this year 

 

We watched the Owl outside the Owl Cafe - he was enjoying the breeze from a fan and then had a spray to keep cool

 

Check out the description of the ice cream 

 

We enjoyed a Soba noodle lunch and were lucky to meet some fellow cruisers at an adjoining “table” - you sit on the floor with your feet in a well so you’re comfortable but the sitting and standing process can be a bit interesting - somewhat akin to a yoga workout I think!

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Posted (edited)

Did you try the Habu Sake?  The one with the snake in it 

Edited by NottheMonkey

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33 minutes ago, NottheMonkey said:

Did you try the Habu Sake?  The one with the snake in it 

 

Haven’t tried it but I’d be up for it - I’ll get an eye out for it once we hit Japan again 

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Thanks to the Cruise Critic community I learned how to order some great eggs Benedict in Waterside - two soft poached eggs with the Hollandaise on the side instead of on top...they came out perfect this morning...

 

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