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Keith1010

LIVE FROM CRYSTAL MOZART - MAY 10, 2019 SAILING

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1 hour ago, AllisonJames said:

I am enjoying your reports — thank you.  We are taking our first ever river cruise summer 2020 — Amsterdam to Basel on Crystal Bach, followed by five days in Vienna so you are giving us lots of ideas on what to see and do!  Have fun!r

I am so glad that you are enjoying the reports.  I hope that you enjoy Vienna as much as we did.

 

Keith

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DAY 2 - CRYSTAL MOZART

 

Good morning from Crystal Mozart.

 

Please remember that you will find a more extensive write-up and photos on our Blog.  I will provide some comments from last evening and early this morning which will be published in more detail on our blog later this afternoon.

 

We are all settled in our room.  We have a PH suite.  There are some similarities to those on Serenity such as a desk for me and one for Anne Marie that also provides her with area for makeup.  The TV is on the side of the bed similar to how it used to be on Serenity before moved over the Couch in the recent dry dock.

 

There is a pull out refrigerator similar but not the same that are in the Ocean Vessel Seabreeze Suites.  Coffee maker is similar to the suites on board the Ocean Vessels and we like its placement.

 

There is less draw space but after all these are shorter voyages.

 

We brought two large suitcases with us having shipped the rest of our luggage from Serenity home.  As is the case on Serenity our largest one does not fit under the bed.  We found a nice area by the side of the two desks to place that piece but the stewardess said they could store it for us.  We didn't think they would have the space to do that so that was a nice surprise.

 

The bathroom is a little smaller than the Serenity PH but is very efficient.  It has a good size shower and for those who like to take baths it does have a bathtub.  For us that is something we don't need.

 

It does have several USB outlets which is a nice feature next to the bed and also by the desks.

 

I have a European Adapter which allowed me to plug in a multi outlet device.  I asked for two additional ones which the Butler retrieved for us. 

 

The TV is similar to that of the Ocean Vessels with on line movies, live TV and other options and on line I can pull up menus and daily programs. 

 

We had a great time last evening.

 

We had a pre-dinner drink at the Palm Court before attending the muster drill.

 

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Attended the Muster drill which was outside since it was not raining nor windy.

 

Before it began and at the start of it a recording was played. As soon as I heard the first word I said Anne Marie that is Cruise Director Gary Hunter which it was.  Afterwards with a microphone in hand the Captain provided safety instructions.  As was the case on Northwest Passage when we arrived and check in for the drill the staff place the life vest on each of us. They also removed them.

 

From there we returned to Palm Court where we saw spoke with Entertainment Host Mark Farris who we know from Ocean Cruising.

 

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Mark welcomed everyone and did a nice introduction with music so we learned the countries whom the guests are from on this cruise.  He introduced the Senior Officers and Staff.

 

Dinner was at Waterside.  Open seating and you can arrive anytime between 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM.

 

On Ocean Vessels we no longer have an interest sitting near a window as often the views are not that great whether in port or at sea. 

 

When we entered Waterside, Restaurant Manager Christian assigned a table for this dinner and the waiter took us there.  We didn't ask for any specific location.  It was a two person window table and it did have beautiful views of the river, the shore, some wildlife and other vessels transiting the river.

 

The waiter was terrific and his assistant was the person who took our luggage onto the vessel when we arrived yesterday.

 

The menu is not as extensive as the Ocean Vessel which makes perfect sense as we are sailing with one-sixth of the people on a Crystal Ocean Vessel.  We thought the choices were great and could have ordered ones other than what we selected.

 

I normally don't comment about a roll but it was one of the best we have ever had at sea or at land.  The mushroom torte we had was amazing and something we don't see served at sea and we enjoyed the salad and the moist and tasty black bass.  Anne Marie had a small portion of the dessert and I had some cheese.

 

Wine selection was nice. Anne Marie had the white wine that was on the menu.  I asked for a different red that they told me about earlier at Palm Court which is served on the Ocean Vessels.  They have a good selection of European and California wine.

 

This is the menu.

 

WATERSIDE.pdf

 

One side represents local items and the other side classic items.  You can order from one or both sides.

 

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Blog will have more food photos.

 

When we got back to the room there was candy for each of us so for those who miss Chocolate on the Pillow you have something similar here.

 

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We slept very well.  The bed is comfortable.  They had a record of the type of pillows Anne Marie enjoys.

 

I am an early riser which is a perfect time for me to get in a workout and also do our laundry and that is what I did this morning.

 

After having spent five days in Vienna we have no tours planned for today.  We will be having dinner in Vienna later this evening.  We are going to see what is walkable from where we are docked this morning.

 

I am posting the daily Reflections Program from yesterday.  These are more generic and in our room was a hard copy daily activities summary.  Also in our room was a summary of our shore excursions. 

 

REFLECTIONS.pdf

 

 

Well, that's it for now.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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Posted (edited)

Two new things to me - we had an iPad in the room and we also had a Toto toilet which had the toilet seats warm all the time and a remote.

 

I had an ocean viewing room and also had a Butler. Every room has a Butler - not just the top suites.

 

----------------

 

Keith - I still can't open the PDFs posted. Maybe a jpg would work. Maybe others can report if they can open it. Tried 2 different browsers.

Edited by Coral

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Coral, let me suggest you check out the menus and reflections on our Blog.  It is at www.followourtrips.com and from there click on current blog up  top.

 

Yes, all rooms have butlers.

 

That toilet seat is new for us too.

 

Keith

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6 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

Coral, let me suggest you check out the menus and reflections on our Blog.  It is at www.followourtrips.com and from there click on current blog up  top.

 

Perfect - thank you. It wasn't posted when I looked earlier. Hope your trip continues to be wonderful.

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Amazing day today and it is not over yet.  I have updated the blog so lots more photos and detail there.

 

Enjoyed my first workout in the Fitness Center.

 

After having breakfast Anne Marie and I went out for along walk.  During our walk we passed the Crystal Ravel which  is in Vienna.  Enjoyed a nice walk and made it to a church we wanted to visit.

 

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After getting back to the ship my wife Anne Marie encouraged me to ride one of the bikes the Mozart has.  Although I am an avid indoor cyclist and teach spin classes at home I am not an outdoor bike rider.  However with a nice path to go on I decided to do it.  I rode for quite awhile in two distinct directions.  Saw lots of nice scenery.  The bikes have an electric capability which I tried out but kept to the manual most of the time.

 

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When I got back to Mozart I mentioned to the person at the Reception Desk that I had seen Ravel and it would be nice to visit.  She said you can do just that by showing your room card.  So I decided to take a run over there and I literally ran.  I toured the ship and it was great to see what Ravel looks like as it has three other sister vessels that look the same.  Their width is half of Mozart.  Beautiful ship.

 

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After having lunch at Waterside Anne Marie and I decided to revisit Ravel so she could see it herself.  While on board a head waiter came up to us to say hello as we last saw him on Serenity a few  years ago when he worked at the Prego Italian Specialty Restaurant as a waiter.

 

When we returned to Mozart we were chatting outside with the Hotel Director when a member of the crew was going ashore and she recognized us from having been our penthouse attendant on Serenity.

 

We are enjoying the rest of the day in Vienna.  This evening we have dinner plans off the ship.

 

24+ hours on our first River Cruise voyage and we are having an amazing time.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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6 minutes ago, Coral said:

Perfect - thank you. It wasn't posted when I looked earlier. Hope your trip continues to be wonderful.

Thank you so much for the good wishes.

 

Keith

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Really enjoying your detailed blog and posts. Reading about your experience onboard (and off) the Mozart is making me all the more excited about our upcoming voyage on the Crystal Bach!  Again, thanks so much for taking the time to share!

 

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Babcia7, I am glad you are enjoying the Blog and posts.  I wish you a wonderful time on Bach.

 

Keith

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Hi Keith and Anne Marie!

It is fun to read your initial feelings and observations of the Mozart!

The fact Mozart has bikes onboard of guest use is intriguing to us...do you know how many are available? 

Wishing you both a continued healthy and enjoyable experience! 

Caryn 

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DAY 3 MOZART

 

Last evening we went to a Michelin Restaurant.

 

I believe that early on that once a voyage all guests could go for an inclusive dinner but that changed and was limited to specific suite categories.  Anyone else can sign up for this but at a cost.  Several months ago we learned that only those in the top suites could go going forward as inclusive and that our suite (PH category) going forward would also receive a charge.  However, we would not since we booked the cruise prior to the change.

 

Anyway, this brings us to last evening.

 

We were one of 11 people who were taken on the bus over to the restaurant.  We arrived there at around 7:30 PM.  We were told earlier in the day that the other 9 people were traveling together as a group and since some of them spoke no English it made sense for them to sit together while we had our own table.  We certainly concurred with the recommendation.

 

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This was our first time on the bus.  Many arrived to the ship on the bus if they flew in that day.   In our case we were already at a local hotel.

 

There was also a local escort who was with us on the bus, who got us situated at the restaurant, checked up with us once during the meal and road back with us to Mozart.

 

We had a lovely table by the window and part of the experience is the lovely views.

 

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There was a set menu and wines were paired.

 

We had three wines.

 

We began with Tuna and Belotta. 

 

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Next course was a Turnup Cabbage Soup with seafood.  It was very tasty.

 

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For the next course we had a choice of beef or seafood and we each took the Monk Fish   It came in a sauce with Spinach.  Also a very tasty entree.

 

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For the dessert there was a Fermented Banana.  We were asked if we had any food allergies and Anne Marie has a couple of them.  As it turned out one of the ingredients in this dessert she is allergic to so they brought out a chocolate dessert.  Anne Marie had it and enjoyed it.  I passed on it.  I didn't get a photo of it.

 

The restaurant views of the city were amazing and we enjoyed the cuisine and the service.  The only downside was the music.  There is a large bar in the middle of the restaurant which could be the reason but they played non-stop music that to me would be the kind I might like when I was in my late teens and twenties and going to a club or maybe I would use one or two of the songs when teaching indoor cycling.  These comments are coming from someone who does like restaurants that are on the quieter side.  Other than that it was a lovely evening and we had a terrific time.

 

It started to rain while we were at the restaurant.  We had brought an umbrella.  Before we walked from the restaurant to the bus the driver brought over umbrellas for everyone.  A couple of members of the extraordinary Mozart team met us at the bus after we arrived back to where the vessel was to see if we needed assistance.   Another example of wonderful service on-board the vessel.

 

About five minutes after we arrived Mozart departed the area where we have been docked. 

 

Today we have a tour planned which begins at 10:00 AM.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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Arrived to Durnstein, Austria a couple of hours ahead of schedule.

 

It is a charming town.


Anne Marie and I walked in there on our own.  Perfect timing as we seemed to be the only tourists there.  As we were leaving to return to the ship several groups from two of three other vessels in port were on their way into town for their respective walking tours.


We are taking an inclusive Crystal tour which is a walking tour of the town in less than 30 minutes.

 

It was nice to see grade school aged children on bicycles going to Monastery without adult supervision.  Reminded us of how things were when we were that age in our own country and how things are no longer that way.

 

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The town does depend on tourism and the shops were open even on a Sunday and early too.  We also walked by a Vineyard.

 

Today is Mother's Day.  On our return to the ship Hotel Director Sonja was with the Captain and wished Anne Marie a Happy Mother's Day and gave her a box of candy and on our bed was another box.  Anne Marie is very happy.

 

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Our granddaughter who along with our daughter and family are living in Sydney, Australia for a few years and her name is Emma and we found a restaurant in her name.

 

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Cheers,

 

Keith

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20 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Thank you Caryn. They have 30 bikes on board.

 

Keith

Wow, that’s great!  

I know all the river boat cruises offer various biking excursions, but I think Mozart is the only Crystal vessel to have bikes onboard. It sounds fun to have access to bikes if we want to head out on our own! .

Happy Mother’s Day to Anne Marie!

Caryn 

 

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Hi Keith so glad you and Ann Marie are enjoying your first RC. Your detailed yet neutral explanations are wonderful. I’m especially enjoying your photographs. Thank you. 

We’ve never experienced the Crystal brand. I think it is fantastic that the staff can move seamlessly from ocean to river. This gives the customer the same experience no matter which itinerary. 

Looking forward to the rest ...

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GotCaryn, it is great about the bikes.  Mozart has the benefit of the additional space to store them.

 

Got2Cruise.  I know that when Crystal first announced going into River Cruises there were  questions by  some could a company whose experience was in Ocean Cruising succeed in the River Cruise Market.  Obviously  there are different areas to success such as profitability and other areas include service and performance.   Not having sailed another River Cruise I can't compare our experiences to other River Cruise companies but what I can say  is that the experience for us has been amazing. and that includes the service level.

 

Keith

 

 

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CRYSTAL  MOZART - DAY 4

 

A good early morning from the  Crystal Mozart.

 

First a correction.   Yesterday I posted the dinner menu from Waterside saying it was the one we would have that evening and I was mistaken.  It was the one from May 11 not May 12.  This is the one for May 12.  Since we dined off the ship on May 11 I didn't pick up on posting the wrong one.

 

WATERSIDE.thumb.jpg.cda87b0892cd8b3565f29f9eace90ca7.jpg

 

Since I am mentioning dinner let's go with that.  We were invited to have dinner with the Crystal Society Hostess Alexandria Stanga and the person she is training to take her  position when she goes on Holiday next cruise who is Mariyana Yordanova

for dinner at Waterside.  

 

We had a lovely evening with non-stop conversation.   

 

Dinner was delicious.

 

I had the Tomato Tartar to try something  new.  It  was very tasty.  Anne Marie and one of the other  hosts had Shrimp Cocktail.

 

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We both had the salad and  I forgot to get a photo of it.  It didn't include any green leaf salad but we certainly get more than enough of that for lunch.  It  was tasty.

 

All four  of  us had the Wiener Schnitzel.  To think we have never had it before our visit to Vienna (twice in Vienna) and once on the ship is funny looking  back on this.  Now we know like most things each one tastes a little different from one another based on preparation.  We enjoyed it along with the potato salad. 

 

The ladies all had some type of dessert.  Anne Marie had ice cream.   I had fruit plate.

 

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We enjoyed  so many good laughs.   One  was discussion Toto.  Toto is the manufacturer of the Toilet.  This toilet has a mind of its own.  You walk in the bathroom and the toilet starts preparing for you.  

 

Now I'll backtrack to some items.

 

Before lunch we went over to The Bistro and we noticed there was ice cream.  I said that is Ben  &  Jerry's and learned  that they make their own ice  cream on board the ship.  I believe  they make almost everything you can think of on the ship including hamburger rolls.  I was saying that I thought the roll I had at our first dinner on board Mozart was the best we had ever had and the person I spoke with reminded me that a key factor is likely the ingredients with items like flour  coming locally  and even the milk.  

 

Moving right along before dinner we went to the Palm Court and we listen to Mark Farris play the piano.  Mark is not only an amazing pianist but his  memory is amazing.   He hadn't seen us for a couple of years  yet asks about our children by name  and remembers so many other things.  It's not about us.  He does that with everyone.  Wow.  I wish I had that memory.  He knows we like The Beatles so he played a couple of their songs and one of them with Mother's Day in mind.  

 

After dinner last evening he hosted a Sound Of Music themed performance at 9:30 PM in honor of Mother's Day.  

 

The weather yesterday was pretty much overcast and rainy for most of the day.  As I had mentioned on our first of the two visits yesterday morning it was not raining.  As we viewed the scenery form the ship some members of the Mozart mentioned that if it was  nice weather it would look nicer  and we could sit outside on the top deck.  My view  was that  the scenery was still breathtaking and this will be a good excuse to return  for a similar itinerary  because  weather  does change things up in most places.  We have been to the Lost City Of Petra twice.  One time it was sunny and hot and one time mild temperature and overcast.  The colors looked different and the overall experience different.  This has happened  to us at many places. We are still having an amazing time so the weather doesn't dampen our spirits.  I do wish we brought a few items for the cooler weather such as woolen hats and even waterproof pants but we are managing well.  

 

This morning we will walk around and this afternoon we have a four hour tour planned.

 

I will close for now.


Cheers,

 

Keith

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I forgot to mention a couple of other items.

 

When we got back to our room there were chocolates and this time with Mozart in mind.

 

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The other item was that during dinner we enjoyed both scenic cruising and going through a lock on the river.  We could see the lock from the windows as we waited to enter.  Once in the lock at the level we were on we could see the cement only.  We remarked on the ocean vessel we sit higher and we are seeing the top of it rather than seeing the cement.  

 

We will have the opportunity to see many locks on this voyage.

 

Keith

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Enjoying the chance to follow along; we did this route and some of these stops in 2016. Did you climb to Richard the Lionheart's castle in Durnstein? We really wanted to but didn't have time.

 

Your menus are making me hungry. I was just a little surprised that there (so far) are no local red wine choices. Germany and Austria have some interesting red wines too, which go well with the foods served along the Danube. Hope that you will have a chance to try some!

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jpalbny...Glad you are following along  We did't make it up to that castle as the weather was rainy and not conducive for it.  Hopefully another time.

 

I'll have to ask about the red local wines.  I know we have one in our room .

 

Thank you for your recommendation about them.  I did try some of  them at the Hotel Club Lounge.

 

Keith

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We enjoyed a nice  walk around the city of Linz, Austria which is the third largest city of Austria.

 

The city is well organized.   The motorists stopped for us each time to cross the street.  They have electric trams

and I will post a video of  them.

 

 

There  were lots of impressive shops, lots of restaurants and cafes and other businesses. 

 

The architecture on the buildings was appealing.


We saw lots of churches and many government buildings had towers and  clock on their tops.

 

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While we have a tour that begins shortly this afternoon many guests were one full day  tours.


We normally  have lunch  at Waterside.  It  is closed one time for lunch on the 10 day cruises and today it was closed which made sense with so many people touring.

 

We had lunch at the Blue Grill & Bar which is open from Noon to 2:00 PM daily.

 

For those of  you who have sailed on Symphony or Serenity it has some similarity serving selected grilled items such as a Hamburger and fries you would find at the Trident Grill on-board those ships.

 

It does serve some items  not found at the Trident Grill such as the Cobb Salad which we had today.

 

There were a few items they added to today's menu since Waterside was closed.

 

Unlike the Trident Grill it offers table service.  The waiters were terrific as was the Head Waiter.

 

I am including a photo of the menu that I took.

 

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Cheers,

 

Keith

 

IMG_6811.jpg

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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Hello Keith,

 

Linz! That means Linzer Torte is right there at your fingertips to try. If you like sweet and heavy cake, do buy or sample some.  It is delicious.

 

notamermaid

 

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36 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

Hello Keith,

 

Linz! That means Linzer Torte is right there at your fingertips to try. If you like sweet and heavy cake, do buy or sample some.  It is delicious.

 

notamermaid

 

Hi notamrrmaid

 

Thank you.

 

On the the blog I wrote about it being the oldest known cake

 

Unfortunately we didn’t try it. We should have. Hopefully we will be back and be sure to try it

 

Keith. 

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3 hours ago, jpalbny said:

Enjoying the chance to follow along; we did this route and some of these stops in 2016. Did you climb to Richard the Lionheart's castle in Durnstein? We really wanted to but didn't have time.

 

Your menus are making me hungry. I was just a little surprised that there (so far) are no local red wine choices. Germany and Austria have some interesting red wines too, which go well with the foods served along the Danube. Hope that you will have a chance to try some!

We did this route plus other stops with Tauck. Climbing to the castle was a highlight and nice way to get some exercise . Enjoying this blog and bringing back memories. Thanks Keith

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