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Keith1010

LIVE FROM CRYSTAL MOZART - MAY 10, 2019 SAILING

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I missed Linz - so it was good to see your pictures.

 

We had 2 days there and I went to Salzburg and the Lake District in Austria - both I loved!

 

Must return!

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

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. 

 

You have really had no luck with the weather this trip, which is too bad. We have done this stretch of the Danube twice and it is a very different experience when the sun is shining. Hopefully the weather will change for you soon. If it is any consolation, it is raining and 5 C here in Toronto today!

 

Larry

Edited by Roland4

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Keith, no issues with river levels there?

 

Roy

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3 hours ago, rafinmd said:

Keith, no issues with river levels there?

 

Roy

Roy so far so good.  No  issues.  Thank goodness.


Keith

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Enjoying following your trip. We are also Crystal cruisers. Unfortunately, our river cruise on the Ravel was altered so much because of low river levels last August ( it was decreased from 14 day cruise to 5 days) we decided to rebook to a later cruise. Originally we were going from Vienna to Basel, but changed to a 16 day cruise on the Mahler, Amsterdam to Budapest. We are scheduled to board the Mahler on June 5th, so I have been reading your comments and jpalbny blog from 2016. Both of you are very informative with your descriptions, pictures, and recommendations. Thanks so much. Have a great trip and I look forward to reading more.

Lesli 

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Larry, yes the weather has been  much cooler than usual for this time of year.  Last week we  might have been in shirtsleeves.  Thankfully it hasn't dampened our spirits.

 

Lesli, I am glad you are enjoying the posts and wish you a wonderful time on Mahler in June.


Keith

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CRUISING THE DANUBE RIVER & PASSAU, GERMANY

 

Good early morning  from Mozart.  I realize it is evening for many of you.

 

We were on tour yesterday  afternoon which was a four hour tour of  Mauthasuen-Gusen  concentration camp memorial.  This was the first time we have visited a former concentration camp.  We have been to many Holocaust Museums including ones in Israel and Washington, DC.

 

When I post our Blog later today I will have a lot of commentary about the experience and some take away items so I don't want to be redundant on this post.

 

I do want to say that the tour guide we had was one of the best we have ever had on any tour whether a group or private tour.  He took a unique approach which was to begin by asking us questions at the start, middle and throughout the tour.  For example  it began with why are you here.  Answers were honest such as the person who said "My wife made me go".  How did the Holocaust  happen?  Who ran the camps?  How did those who survived from the beginning  do that?  Did others know about the camps?  He  used the  questions  to stimulate conversation and over time answered each one for us.  He also answered all of our questions sometimes right away and others later in the tour.

 

The tour had a maximum capacity of 18 people even though you could fit many more on the bus.  We had  17  but  two people stayed on the bus due to one being physically challenged.

 

As  much as I studied the Holocaust in grade school, college and at Jewish Classes I learned a great deal yesterday from the tour guide and seeing the camp first hand.  Some of what I learned applies to today.

 

Again more to read in our Blog later today.  A few photos.

 

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 So here we  are after the tour with a lot to think about and with heavy hearts.  Then we return to Mozart in a life so completely different than those from the time of World War II and the terrible things that so many people lived and died through.  You have to sit back and say those little things that bother many these days on the most part are far  less impactful than what the previous generation went through.  With each passing year I realize how much we owe to my parent's generation and the sacrifices that so many people of that generation made for the future. 

 

Back  on Mozart Anne Marie and I did reflect on the tour between ourselves and later with a few other fellow guests as we shared our experience from the tour and learned about their experiences on a different tour.  When we arrived back to the ship, our butler along with another butler was standing at the entrance with trays that had some type of mixed drink on them to welcome guests back to the ship.  We didn't have one but what a contrast from the tour.  At the same time  very classy on the part of Crystal Cruises and Mozart.

 

I can't say enough about what an amazing experience it has been to be on Mozart.  So far what we have experienced has exceeded our expectations.  The  ship is elegant.  The on-board team amazing and the total experience truly luxurious. 

 

After changing  we visited Palm Court for a drink.  I was asked the other  day if they had local red wines and they do.  Last night he had on hand an Austrian Pinot Noir and a Cabernet.  I had a Pinot Noir and took a photo of the bottle so that I could post a photo here.

IMG_0545.thumb.jpg.4b69053b83701f136bef19bca94580dc.jpg

 

Dinner at Waterside was enjoyable.  We could see that 7:00  PM is a popular time.  As those of you follow my posts on the Ocean board we normally dine at 6:00 PM although up until late 2005 we used to dine at 8:30 PM and on another line having open dining we would dine at 7:30 PM.  So 7:00 PM has been an adjustment but we  are doing very well with that.   We were in a conversation  with two other couples last evening so we didn't get to Waterside until 7:10 PM and it is amazing how many people were already dining as we were taken to a table at Waterside.  We sat by the window as we enjoyed a nice dinner.

 

We are trying to be more adventurous on this sailing and trying items that we might not normally have on an Ocean Voyage.  For example, I had Oysters  Rockefeller as an appetizer and Duck as the entree.  I don't think I have had either before on any of our Crystal Voyages.  Some food photos.

 

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I will close for now.

 

Again please check out our Blog later today  for much more from the tour.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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A couple  of photos I took at 6:00 AM our time  as we are sailing to Passau, Germany.

 

203985738_IMG_48252.thumb.jpg.2dfe90bd5ba09d579bb11f133c8b33f6.jpgIMG_8054.thumb.jpg.6ca69d2b10bce0540e90d134d09664a2.jpg

 

 

Right now the weather in Passau is a balmy  (LOL) 38 degrees Fahrenheit with a big of 50 Fahrenheit forecasted.

 

Keith

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"We were on tour yesterday  afternoon which was a four hour tour of  Mauthasuen-Gusen  concentration camp memorial.  This was the first time we have visited a former concentration camp.  "

 

Very sobering isn't it? We have been to Neungamme. (which was a work camp, but as our guide said, they were all death camps.)  I just recently found out my Dad's family was from Belarus and his parents were some of the fortunate ones to make it out after WW1. Any relatives that didn't probably ended up in a concentration camp or were murdered by the Nazis when they invaded in 1941. 

 

On a brighter note, I look forward to your post on Passau, as we will start our river cruise there.

 

Nancy

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the red wine photo! Next you should try some Lemberger, AKA Blaufrankish. If you have a chance to try a Schwarzriesling, go for that too. And Zweigelt.

 

That camp visit must be such a heavy trip. We went to the Anne Frank House last year and that type of stuff hits you hard. That generation is not far removed from us even though it seems worlds apart. Chris's grandparents lived in Austria during WWII and we have a lot of mementos from that era. 

 

Enjoy Passau! The sail-in is spectacular.

Edited by jpalbny

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Nancy....Thank you for sharing the experience of your Dad's family.  Very tragic.

 

jPalbny...Thank  you for the recommendation.  We  have not yet been to Amsterdam but do hope to visit and visiting the Anne Frank home is top on our list.

 

Keith

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We arrived to Passau this morning.

 

The sail in to our docking location was spectacular.

 

We are located about a 10 minute drive from the downtown area with two other River Cruise vessels.

 

Crystal offered a range of tours including a walking tour, a tour to  Hamburg ( I believe 2 and 1/2 hours each way), a biking tour, a beer tour (we were booked on that for this afternoon but cancelled it a couple of weeks ago).  We decided to take the shuttle into town ourselves.

 

The weather is quite a bit cooler than normal.  Began at 38 degrees (F) and for most of the walk it was in the 40's. (F). 

 

There were lots of vessels docked downtown along with some that do Lunches/Dinners and scenic cruising.

 

We visited several churches and other sites.  We did not make it to the Castle.  Nancy  we will try to make it there tomorrow but if we don't some members of the crew recommend it for its views so when you are there that would be one to see.  I am sure your weather will be quite a lot better than ours.

 

Some photos.  I will post more photos tomorrow on our blog.

 

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For

those of you reading our Blog, a big focus of the Blog was about our visit to the Concentration Camp.  I was a bit wordy which is not unusual for me.  Believe it or not throughout my  career my focus was to keep write-ups short, to the point and highlight conclusions/items requiring action/followup at the beginning.   I had all of my people attend a long course on effective business writing.  When I retired I decided I would be verbose (wordy).  I also decided when I retired I would only  do those things I wanted to do.  So you will find it wordy but please know it comes fro from the heart.

We will undoubtedly  return on the same itinerary because there is lots to see and we would do some things differently with warmer weather.

Cheers,

Keith

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Keith, I am amazed by the number of World Cruises you have taken!  Just curious, have you ever considered a World Cruise on a line other than Crystal?  Do you ever get tired of it and just want to be at home? And the two of you look very fit, do you have any tips on staying fit on a cruise and avoiding weight gain?

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40 minutes ago, AllisonJames said:

Keith, I am amazed by the number of World Cruises you have taken!  Just curious, have you ever considered a World Cruise on a line other than Crystal?  Do you ever get tired of it and just want to be at home? And the two of you look very fit, do you have any tips on staying fit on a cruise and avoiding weight gain?

AllisonJames.....

 

We have enjoyed all of our World Cruises and we look forward to each one with great anticipation.  We never get bored as there is so much to do on and off the ship. 

 

We do try  to stay fit.  Coincidentally, on the thread I did for the World Cruise the other day I posted about how we manage weight and stay fit on-board the ship.

 

This will take you to that post.

 

 

Keith

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4 hours ago, NJBeaglemom said:

"We were on tour yesterday  afternoon which was a four hour tour of  Mauthasuen-Gusen  concentration camp memorial.  This was the first time we have visited a former concentration camp.  "

 

Very sobering isn't it? We have been to Neungamme. (which was a work camp, but as our guide said, they were all death camps.)  I just recently found out my Dad's family was from Belarus and his parents were some of the fortunate ones to make it out after WW1. Any relatives that didn't probably ended up in a concentration camp or were murdered by the Nazis when they invaded in 1941. 

 

On a brighter note, I look forward to your post on Passau, as we will start our river cruise there.

 

Nancy

 

We spent three days in Passau last September when our Tauck cruise got cut off there due to no water beyond Passau. While Crystal operated a shuttle, it is a very easy town to walk from anywhere along the river the ship happens to be docked. Lots of small (and large) restaurants to choose from. It is definitely worth the walk to go to the park at end of the "island" where the three rivers come together. 

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Keith, thank you so much for helping us relive our Danube cruise from 3 years ago. We had a morning sail into Passau, and the scenery was breathtaking. We both agree from a peaceful, serene standpoint, that stretch of the Danube is our favorite of our river cruises, thus far. 

 

We are looking forward to our Mediterranean cruise on Serenity next May, and your trip report of the Mozart has certainly put Crystal on our list for our next river cruise.

 

Robin

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On 5/10/2019 at 7:06 AM, Keith1010 said:

 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.

 

Thank you for your reports.  It brings back so many memories.  I miss the Mozart and it was just weeks ago.  I agree that the experience was amazing, and the service level is very high.

 

Would you say the food/service/room are better/same/worse than the Ocean?  

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50 minutes ago, Roland4 said:

 

We spent three days in Passau last September when our Tauck cruise got cut off there due to no water beyond Passau. While Crystal operated a shuttle, it is a very easy town to walk from anywhere along the river the ship happens to be docked. Lots of small (and large) restaurants to choose from. It is definitely worth the walk to go to the park at end of the "island" where the three rivers come together. 

Larry,  that is true if you are docked downtown like Tauck is today. 

 

In our case we are docked about a 10 to 15 minute drive from the town along with two other ships.

 

Since Nancy's cruise begins there hopefully they will be docked downtown.

 

Keith

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26 minutes ago, kent9xxx1 said:

 

Thank you for your reports.  It brings back so many memories.  I miss the Mozart and it was just weeks ago.  I agree that the experience was amazing, and the service level is very high.

 

Would you say the food/service/room are better/same/worse than the Ocean?  

Oh that's a tough call because size of ship is a factor and because we have sailed the ocean vessel (particularly Serenity) many times.   Also this is only our fifth day on Mozart.   There is more to come and that likely includes food.

 

I would say that if this was your first cruise on both vessels that you will find that the on-board team on Mozart will recognize you much quicker and pick up on many of your preferences quicker.   I think that there are certain levels of service higher on Mozart and some that are higher on the Ocean Vessel and some that are pretty even. 

 

In terms of the food I would say that the presentations are better on Mozart but the diversity of cuisine is far greater on the Ocean Vessel.

 

Bottom line for us we love both types of vessels. Each have their positives.  Some are the same and some positives are different.

 

Right now Mozart has far exceeded our expectations in many areas.  The crew is amazing.

 

Mozart is probably closer to our experience on the former Seabourn Pride which could carry up to 200 guests.   For an Ocean Vessel it was the smallest we sailed.

 

Keith

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40 minutes ago, acwmom said:

Keith, thank you so much for helping us relive our Danube cruise from 3 years ago. We had a morning sail into Passau, and the scenery was breathtaking. We both agree from a peaceful, serene standpoint, that stretch of the Danube is our favorite of our river cruises, thus far. 

 

We are looking forward to our Mediterranean cruise on Serenity next May, and your trip report of the Mozart has certainly put Crystal on our list for our next river cruise.

 

Robin

Robin, I am glad that you are enjoying the reports.  The sail  in was beautiful.

 

I hope you enjoy your Serenity  Med Cruise.  We love the Med, love sailing it in May and love  sailing it on Serenity.

 

I can't compare Mozart to any  other  River cruise never having sailed on the other ones but it is hard for me to imagine  it could be any  better than this. 

 

Keith

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"We were on tour yesterday  afternoon which was a four hour tour of  Mauthasuen-Gusen  concentration camp memorial.  This was the first time we have visited a former concentration camp.  We have been to many Holocaust Museums including ones in Israel and Washington, DC. "

 

--Keith, we were on same tour with same guide last week, (we got off Mozart when you got on), and agree with you on the guide, he was best guide we have had on ANY cruises .

 

On another point, first day we boarded on Mozart(our first river cruise) my wife and I came up with same word best describing the ship : ELEGANT !! 

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3 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Larry,  that is true if you are docked downtown like Tauck is today. 

 

In our case we are docked about a 10 to 15 minute drive from the town along with two other ships.

 

Since Nancy's cruise begins there hopefully they will be docked downtown.

 

Keith

That's interesting. Are you docked below the point where the rivers join, or above it, past the town itself. Last September we were docked at the bridge that carries the road across to the other side and I didn't think there was any docking beyond that. Of course, due to low water we couldn't get any further up the river than that anyway.

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24 minutes ago, Roland4 said:

That's interesting. Are you docked below the point where the rivers join, or above it, past the town itself. Last September we were docked at the bridge that carries the road across to the other side and I didn't think there was any docking beyond that. Of course, due to low water we couldn't get any further up the river than that anyway.

There are at least two docking locations for Passau. When we sailed on Avalon, we initially docked, as you did with Tauck, right in town. However, that night, since it was the last night of our cruise, we moved to the Lindau location, a few miles away. I'm guessing this is where the Mozart is docked. It made it easier for the Avalon buses to get the passengers off, who were continuing to Munich. (but, it was more difficult for us, as we had to take a taxi back into town to catch the train)

 

Robin

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There are two docking areas for Passau. One is on the riverbank (Danube) at the edge of the old town. The other is downstream past the confluence, on the other bank of the Danube. It's called "Lindau" and it's an industrial port about 10 minutes' drive from the old town.

 

Our Uniworld trip initially docked at the Old Town but moved to Lindau the night before disembarkation. The reason was that it's much easier to get buses in and out of that area. There's no way to get a bus near the cruise ship if it's docked near the Old Town (Between the bridge and Driefluesseeck). There is not a big road along the river there. So it's easier for ships to dock in Lindau for a changeover day. 

 

Just saw Robin's reply so this is redundant. Yes, it was about 13-14 Euros for a taxi to the train station. Would have rather walked from the Old Town.

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