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Keith1010

LIVE FROM CRYSTAL MOZART - MAY 10, 2019 SAILING

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1 hour ago, jpalbny said:

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.

Scary we said almost exactly the same thing!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, jpalbny said:

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.

 

Great minds......😀

 

Interesting. I knew there was another dock, but I thought it was a lot further downstream. Thanks to both of you for the information.

 

We actually did disembark Tauck where we were docked and they got the buses right up to the ship. Along with the buses for the THREE other ships that were rafted to us! Of course it was chaos on the river last Fall with the low water levels, so I suspect they did a bunch of things differently from what they would normally have done.

Edited by Roland4

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We had 2 days in Passau (one more due to water levels but we still got to go on all of our excursions) - I went to Munich and then to Regensburg.

 

I did see the Mauthasuen-Gusen concentration camp memorial excursion and just couldn't bring myself to do it. I want to some day - I just think I need to be in a different mindset. I know it will be incredible powerful and I didn't think I was ready for it mentally.

 

What really bothered me was that on the way back from Munich - I was surfing the news with my iPhone (buses have WIFI). The headline was that there is a movement in Germany of some groups to deny the existence of the Holocaust. I just couldn't believe that this happened during our parents and grandparents lifetimes and was so evil and people say it didn't happen. It is not like it was hundreds of years ago. My grandfather died in WWII fighting this evil. It has affected so many of us.

 

Your review makes me want to go - we all need to go and see this. We can not forget.

 

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9 hours 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?  

I miss it also! I was on it in November. I recognize a lot of the crew from Keith's pictures and his comments (same room steward).

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24 minutes ago, Coral said:

We had 2 days in Passau (one more due to water levels but we still got to go on all of our excursions) - I went to Munich and then to Regensburg.

 

I did see the Mauthasuen-Gusen concentration camp memorial excursion and just couldn't bring myself to do it. I want to some day - I just think I need to be in a different mindset. I know it will be incredible powerful and I didn't think I was ready for it mentally.

 

What really bothered me was that on the way back from Munich - I was surfing the news with my iPhone (buses have WIFI). The headline was that there is a movement in Germany of some groups to deny the existence of the Holocaust. I just couldn't believe that this happened during our parents and grandparents lifetimes and was so evil and people say it didn't happen. It is not like it was hundreds of years ago. My grandfather died in WWII fighting this evil. It has affected so many of us.

 

Your review makes me want to go - we all need to go and see this. We can not forget.

 

 

I went to one in Berlin a while back and it messed me for the remainder of that trip.  Now, when I am on vacation, I avoid anything heavy like that.  

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4 minutes ago, Coral said:

I miss it also! I was on it in November. I recognize a lot of the crew from Keith's pictures and his comments (same room steward).

 

Same here.  They are so nice and kind.  

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21 minutes ago, kent9xxx1 said:

 

I went to one in Berlin a while back and it messed me for the remainder of that trip.  Now, when I am on vacation, I avoid anything heavy like that.  

Yea - I think it needs to be a separate trip.

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11 hours ago, docmark 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.  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 !! 

docmark...Glad to hear  that  you felt the same way as we  did about the guide.

 

Elegant another great description.

 

Keith

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In terms of the docking we are docked about 10 minute drive from town.

 

There are two reasons as I've learned.

 

One is that as I mentioned it would be more challenging to back up and turn Mozart from a docked position given the width and length of Mozart.

 

At the same time given that Mozart is already double the width of two vessels it is taking up two spots rather than one and those downtown spot are in demand.

 

Keith

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2 hours ago, Coral said:

We had 2 days in Passau (one more due to water levels but we still got to go on all of our excursions) - I went to Munich and then to Regensburg.

 

I did see the Mauthasuen-Gusen concentration camp memorial excursion and just couldn't bring myself to do it. I want to some day - I just think I need to be in a different mindset. I know it will be incredible powerful and I didn't think I was ready for it mentally.

 

What really bothered me was that on the way back from Munich - I was surfing the news with my iPhone (buses have WIFI). The headline was that there is a movement in Germany of some groups to deny the existence of the Holocaust. I just couldn't believe that this happened during our parents and grandparents lifetimes and was so evil and people say it didn't happen. It is not like it was hundreds of years ago. My grandfather died in WWII fighting this evil. It has affected so many of us.

 

Your review makes me want to go - we all need to go and see this. We can not forget.

 

Unfortunately there are still some people who deny existence or are anti Jewish or both.  There was an article in the Wall Street Journal about ten days ago about this happening in Austria.   Unfortunately it occurs in the USA as we've seen.  The lesson learned from our tour is a reminder that people speaking up against this is very important and people saying it won't happen is key as well.

 

Yes, we cannot forget.

 

Keith

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PASSAU, GERMANY & SCENIC CRUISING

 

Good morning from Crystal Mozart.

 

I am starting this post at 5:30 AM local time. 

 

We will be in Passau until 1:00 PM today.

 

This provides an opportunity for those who went to Hamburg yesterday to do touring today or for those who toured yesterday to take a different tour today.

 

There was a walking tour on the schedule for today but I think I might pass as it is supposed to rain.  Although cooler we were fortunate that we had no rain yesterday as it had been in the forecast.

 

Well as I writing this I took a few minute break to go to the Pantry.  We are on Deck 2 located just a few rooms from the Pantry.  The pantry is open 7x24 offering coffee, light snacks and beverages.  Since I am up early I don't want to make coffee in our room because my wife is sleeping so it is very convenient to make some with the push of a button at the Pantry. 

 

554582049_IMG_63232.thumb.jpg.854ae7e0e9d62b2f125b13f10f86d77a.jpg

 

Below the coffee maker is the refrigerator.

 

421788586_IMG_67293.thumb.jpg.0895cdc06c9526953c23b15653e73227.jpg

 

I keep using the word "amazing" but that is the way we feel about the experience.


We are having a terrific (well amazing time).  As I mentioned it comes the closest to being on the Seabourn Pride. 

 

We met two couples the other day traveling together.  One of the people had followed my postings on CC.  Very nice people and on their first River Cruise and first Crystal Cruise (they have sailed on other Ocean Vessels with other Cruise Lines) and they are  using the same word as I do to describe the experience.

 

We sat with them in Palm Court following a lecture given yesterday afternoon about the European Union.

 

Had a great time last evening and that included dinner with the Hotel Director and the Captain at  Waterside.  We enjoyed a delightful conversation.  Learned more about places we are visiting, the River, Austria, Europe and so forth.  They are both a delight and to me set an excellent tone for the ship. 

 

The meal itself is great and we are certainly trying some items we might not have on the Ocean Vessel.

 

For example Local RIver Crayfish as an appetizer which was delicious the  way it was prepared.

 

We also had the fresh River Trout.  Simple but a nice  fish to eat if you like fish. 

 

This is the menu from last evening.

 

Waterside.thumb.jpg.090dfedf2116f9ede1f045aed219605b.jpg

 

 

Well we will see what the weather  brings  today and what we end up doing which could range from staying on-board to going back into Passau or maybe even a bike ride for me.

 

Having a wonderful (well amazing) time on Mozart.

 

Cheers,

Keith

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Hi Keith...

i am sorry your weather has not been better, but I know you and Anne Marie are still enjoying your experience. 

 

The meal photos and menus look beautiful and interesting.  I am curious if you feel the Mozart chefs and kitchen are willing to make menu adjustments or special orders similar to the Serenity or Symphony?  Not that we couldn’t find numerous items we would enjoy....just curious! 

 

Enjoy your day, and hope you get out on a bike again this week!

Caryn 

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Hi Caryn:

 

Yes we are very much enjoying the experience in spite of the cooler than normal temperatures for this time of year.  It really will be  a good excuse to revisit the itinerary.

 

We have not tried to change things up much but the few times we have it's been easy.  For example, changing a salad to exclude certain items  or asking for a different dressing on the side.  The other night I asked if it was possible to get a baked potato as I haven't seen a list of extra vegetables on the dinner menu and that was easily done.

 

I suspect that  with some notice as is the case on the ocean vessels that we could also special order something assuming it is on board and if it wasn't my sense is if they could get it in port they might well do that as  they do pick up items locally.


Speaking of items it's really different than the ocean vessels.  On the ocean vessels they  try  to get  as much at the port of embarkation to make it through the cruise.  On the longer cruises they might pick up some items (fruits and some vegetables) but that is  more of an exception.  On the river  cruises the duration is shorter and there is less storage space but they also have the advantage of picking items up locally.  For example yesterday they took delivery of items and I believe today they  will as well and one night there will be lobster.  It is interesting watching as  they take delivery  of items.  They form an assembly line  with one person opening the boxes and removing items and they have a line of people and hand the item from person to person to get it onto the ship.  It truly is  a team effort and lots of people are involved with this.  Not  just  the folks who work in the food area.  This is  true of many things. 

 

Keith

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When researching Mozart - they said they bring the lobsters in from Maine. Not sure if that is still true.

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2 minutes ago, Coral said:

When researching Mozart - they said they bring the lobsters in from Maine. Not sure if that is still true.

I am sure they  do just that as  they  do  the  vast majority  of  time  for the Crystal Ocean Vessels.

 

Keith

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I thought this might  be  of  interest.

 

On selected evening's in  addition to Waterside they serve Tapas at  The Bistro.  Reservations should be made for this due to limited  capacity.

 

BISTROMOZART.thumb.jpg.3fd5456f6b44060cbd0c9608a62d6f6a.jpg

 

 

Keith

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Posted (edited)

I can comment on some deviation from the menu. I think they prefer to have a day's notice if possible if things are not on the menu

 

I am not a fan of broccolini/broccoli. It seemed to be a favorite amongst the chefs on Mozart. I asked if they had a different vegetable and that night, they did not. Later during the meal - they came over and asked what vegetables I liked and I said anything but broccoli and cauliflower. They then named about 10 vegetables and they were all fine. Well - the next night - they brought me a rather large bowl of steam vegetables of every vegetable except for broccoli and cauliflower. This bowl could have been a whole meal!

 

Then - while their intent was to provide me a better experience - I was somewhat embarrassed. Some how every one in the dining room knew I did not like broccoli. I went back to Blue to have lunch one day and asked someone who I did not previously know what the soup was and they answered by calling me by name and said "I am sorry, you will not like today's soup - it is broccoli and cheese".

 

Their intent was to provide me with the best service by letting others know. I didn't think I made that big of a deal by asking for a different vegetable. The rest of the cruise, I didn't bother as I didn't want to be presented a whole meal of just vegetables again (in addition to the entree).

 

Crystal thrives on personal service and I can tell you they definitely want to please individuals.

Edited by Coral

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Thank you Keith and Coral for your comments on the menu and special requests.  I got a good laugh at of your “you will not like today’s soup” story, Coral!  On one of our Serenity voyages I joked with our friend Morne who is a head waiter about there not being brussel sprouts at lunch in Marketplace....well, within 10 minutes, an entire bowl appeared at our table!

 

I think we have only made one or two special requests in the dining room on our ocean voyages. We enjoy the quality, creativity, and presentation of the various menu dishes, and I think I would have enjoyed the local crayfish and river trout, Keith!  Having never experienced a river cruise, I was just curious if we could request something simple like grilled chicken or roasted vegetables.....looking at the menus you have posted Keith, and reading Coral’s experience, I don’t think it would be an issue 😊

 

The Mozart sounds like a very special experience!

 

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18 minutes ago, koko's_mom said:

 

I think we have only made one or two special requests in the dining room on our ocean voyages. We enjoy the quality, creativity, and presentation of the various menu dishes, and I think I would have enjoyed the local crayfish and river trout, Keith!  Having never experienced a river cruise, I was just curious if we could request something simple like grilled chicken or roasted vegetables.....looking at the menus you have posted Keith, and reading Coral’s experience, I don’t think it would be an issue 😊

 

 

I don't eat fish and I never found the menu difficult for me. I looked at someone else's menu before I left, and it appeared every night, there was 2 of the 3 on the every day items (chicken, steak or salmon). I have no doubt you could get a copy of the menu a day in advance and if not acceptable, you could order chicken. I did order the chicken the last night and while it wasn't bad - it was my least favorite meal. That being said - all the other meals were outstanding so the chicken was probably fine but not great compared to "outstanding".

 

I am not a buffet person but somewhat preferred the buffet because there was more variety for me. The hot items are served to you so it is only the salad bar and other items are self serve. Though by no means am I saying dinner wasn't good as it was very good.

 

I have no doubt if you speak to a waiter early on, you can have whatever vegetables you want.

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Posted (edited)

My other interesting story from the Mozart. It was the 2nd or 3rd day I went to the front desk to ask a question. They greeted me by name. I asked how they knew my name as when I boarded, someone else greeted me and escorted me to my room (so I didn't go to the front desk area). She said that the more I visit their desk, the more they will remember my name. I then said "this is my first time here". She then said "we try to memorize everyone's picture with their name".

 

So while everyone may know Keith the moment he arrived on the ship, by the 2nd or 3rd day - they make it a point to know everyone's name.

Edited by Coral

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Caryn,  you are very welcome.

 

They also  have items  that  you  can order  most evening's even though they are not on the menu as we learned today similar to the Ocean Vessels such as Steak and Salmon.  Possibly Chicken  but  not  sure.

 

They also  have soups that can be ordered.  It's been chilly and  at  Waterside for lunch the waiter mentioned that since  a hot bowl of soup might be in order this evening.  :classic_biggrin:

 

Buffet at Lunch is similar to Marketplace but less choice since there are less guests.

 

Salad bar is still very extensive and because they can bring on produce locally  it is  very  fresh.  The Spinach and other lettuce items were terrific today.  Tomatoes  very tasty.  Instead  of cucumbers that are sliced they dice them which I find  terrific.

 

They have a smaller set of hot items.  It's  been great.  Normally on Ocean we  have salad and some protein such as Chicken or Salmon.  When they have Chicken on Mozart it is a whole chicken and they slice pieces for us.  Or today a couple of choices of fish that I normally might not have but still terrific such as a slightly breaded fish and a salmon that had bread around it like a beef wellington.  Anne Marie says they have that on the Ocean Ships.  Hot steamed vegetables each day and to me finer quality than Ocean.

 

On Mozart (the others don't have this) they have that Herb Garden.  They also have edible flowers which I had one last night in the appetizer I had.

 

The principal people who tend the garden are actually the Captain and Hotel Director who are on-board right now.  They do a great job having looked at the garden.

 

Keith

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Wow....it all sounds wonderful!  It makes sense not to have as many choices due to size of the vessel and number of guests.... but it sounds like everything is fresh and special due to the same!  

 

On a more somber note, I appreciated reading about your tour of the Mauthasuen-Gusen  concentration camp memorial.  I am sure it is difficult to see first hand, and has to make a lasting impression.  I will put this experience on the top of our list if we ever make a journey such as yours.

 

I am spending some time searching the Crystal calendar for a return stay on the Serenity, or a new adventure on the Mozart!  

My best to you and Anne Marie,

Caryn 

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One last thing - the Mozart has both a regular menu and a vegetarian menu. I didn't figure this out until half way through. Some things are on both but there were some things including soups that sounded good on the vegetarian menu that were not on the regular. You can ask your butler for both menus so you can see them earlier in the day.

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