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Live From Crystal Symphony

Discussion in 'Know Before You Go' started by ShipMaven, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    March 14 - alongside Aloha Tower Honolulu (composed yesterday - no internet to be able to post)

    I didn’t disappear into Waikiki Beach. It was around 4:30-ish when we were inching our way alongside Piers 10 and 11. Gangway was connected by 5:00 (our ETA) and we were cleared to go ashore shortly afterwards. I waited a few minutes . Internet has been down. Not sure when we’ll have service.

    The crossing to Honolulu was the roughest I can remember in my adult years. Very heavy swells - Symphony handles a sea well, but we were rolling and pitching. This morning, the cloud level was very low, rain was pouring…and the ever-present swells still were there. Around 3:15pm, I looked out and we were abeam of Coco Head and Coco Crater. In the distance, I could see “the other side†of Diamond Head. We slowly rounded that landmark and cruised parallel then went ashore to the Aloha Tower Marketplace. I don’t think I was there 10 minutes when it began to rain - I understand the weather here has been inclement for over two weeks. I scurried back to the ship. After showering and dressing for dinner, I decided to go topside to the Palm Court for a drink - I ordered a virgin frozen peach Daiquiri and silently toasted my friends.

    Tomorrow night, I’m dining in Silk Road, their pan-Asian alternative restaurant. This was added since my last voyage on Symphony - the restaurant used to be Jade Garden. Décor is totally different now. There is no charge to dine in either of the alternative restaurants (Prego and Silk Road) - they suggest a gratuity of $7.00 per person.

    Tomorrow morning, I’m hosting a private tour here that culminates in high tea at the famed Moana Hotel on Waikiki Beach. I’m looking forward to it. I only hope it doesn’t rain. I had to chuckle because I checked in by phone with the tour operator. The number is a local Hawai’i area code. I learned I was speaking with Singapore!!

    If you’re following our web cam for now, check the Bridge cam and the starboard and port cams. Ahead of us is downtown Honolulu. To starboard is the Aloha Tower Marketplace. To port, you may get to see the Superferry that transports people and cars between islands - and Pearl Harbor is that direction.


    March 15 - alongside Honolulu

    It has been a great day today, thanks in part to Mother Nature cooperating.

    I arose at 5:00am in order to coordinate the tour - be sure the type of motor coach I requested was here on time (it was, at 7:30am). Ordered room service breakfast, and it was delivered to the minute that I asked for. After breakfast, I went out of the Terminal to check on that motor coach, Driver and Guide. All showed up as promised. Went back aboard to gather the group. Everyone was at the appointed meeting room on time, with their badges, etc. This is quite unusual - oftentimes one or two forgot something. Not this time. We proceeded to the bus together and off we went - sightseeing tour of some areas of the city, and then up to Nu’uanu Pali. It was a beautiful, clear, sunny day. I learned afterwards that there had been over 2 inches of rain yesterday, with a mudslide at the Pali. No evidence of it today - whew. We had a comfort stop at a souvenir store - surprisingly, they loved it and were gobbling up souvenirs! From there, we proceeded out to the shoreline near Coco Head, the famous Blow Hole, Hanauma Bay. We stopped a few minutes at the Blow Hole - and could see whales spouting and breaching offshore. From there, we continued on through some beautiful residential areas - and what did we see? A Duck vehicle on tour! :grin Around Diamond Head, along the Ala Wai Canal and over to Kalakaua Avenue to the Moana Hotel. This year, we were escorted to a private dining room overlooking the ocean instead of the open Verandah. I, personally, would have preferred the Verandah, but it didn’t take away from the delightful event. We had private entertainment - ukulele player and very graceful hula dancer., The group loved it. We were given our choice of teas, brewed at table, had yummy sandwiches at each place, and a variety of pastries. A couple folks came and told me that they were vegetarians or could not eat fish or seafood - they were quickly accommodated with sandwiches they could eat. No one was eager to leave, but leave we did for more sightseeing around Honolulu - and finally back to Crystal Symphony. As the humidity was uncomfortably high for me, it felt good to get back to the air-conditioned comfort of our home for almost two more weeks.

    Lifeboat drill is going on now for the 150-so guests who joined us in Honolulu.

    I’m headed into the shower now, and shall write more after dinner at Silk Road.
  2. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    Had to come back "live" for a minute.

    We backed away from the pier shortly before 6:00pm. A beautiful rainbow formed, and then a second rainbow. What a stirring sight! The Captain sounded the horn, saluted those ashore watching us, and we listened to the sounds of Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World playing on deck. That's Crystal's theme song whenever we sail from any port.

    And now it's off to the West on our long journey to Hong Kong.
  3. Bread

    Bread Guest

    Glad you enjoyed Hawai'i. I look forward to your continued travelogues.
  4. J.E. M.

    J.E. M. Guest

    Mary Ann, were you able to make a side trip to the Waikiki International Market during your albeit brief stay? Thanks for keeping us posted.
  5. J.E. M.

    J.E. M. Guest

    Mary Ann, were you able to make a side trip to the Waikiki International Market during your albeit brief stay? Thanks for keeping us posted.
  6. nieciez

    nieciez Guest

    Thanks again Mary Ann for another wonderful chapter.....I am so enjoying my first Crystal Cruise through your "eyes"....sounds just lovely.
  7. Corky

    Corky Guest

    Wow! Hawaii, a double rainbow, and my man, Louie. It is a Wonderful World that we live in!! :)

    JANPEP Guest

    Reading this as I wake up makes me think I'am dreaming, what a trip, wish I was really there, you make me feel like I'am.
    Thanks for taking us along with you.
    Hope the seas are calmer for your next leg.
    Waiting for the next chapter.
  9. nieciez

    nieciez Guest

    GREAT picture Mary Ann!
  10. Cruise cutie

    Cruise cutie Guest

    Thanks so much for the share Dear Paesana, it's a thrill to be able to follow your wonderful journey, and a very stunning photo to Boot!!..:)..Joanne
  11. audrey

    audrey Guest

    thanks for the up date everyone on the trip with you are very lucky. I feel like I am on the trip with you thanks for taking us along. I hope you have calm seas for now on I will be looking forward to your next post.
  12. The Cruiser

    The Cruiser Guest

    Another great read ShipMaven.
  13. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    As always, thank you all. I appeciate your comments.

    March 16 - at sea

    I awoke to an unusual sight this morning - sunshine!! A friend, who’s baby we’ve been awaiting, has been in labor since last night (first baby), so I’m anticipating the Blessed Event sometime today. :thumb :baby

    Last night, I dined in Silk Road for the first time. During Symphony’s last refit, Jade Garden was removed and the popular Silk Road (that has been on Crystal Serenity) was added along with a Sushi Bar. Service was excellent - no complaints whatsoever. But…I miss Jade Garden. I preferred it. Alright, not everything can be 100% to one’s liking.

    The featured entertainer in the Starlight Club was an Italian tenor (from Las Vegas) named George DeMott. He was excellent - sang both Italian and Irish selections (interesting combination!). One of his Irish pieces was the lilting Danny Boy. I couldn’t help but think of our own Mal D who has a magnificent Irish tenor voice. Mal brings down the house when he sings. At any rate, I’m very much looking forward to another performance by George DeMott. He sang to a full house last night, and deservedly so. He ended his show last night with my favorite Andrea Bocelli aria - Con Te Partiro' (Time to Say Goodbye)

    Today at lunch time is the King Neptune Buffet in the Lido Café. I’ll go, armed with an appetite and cameras. :grin More to follow…
  14. suer182

    suer182 Guest

    Mary Ann I have gained 5 pounds since you have sailed. ARG not fair.
  15. Corky

    Corky Guest

    Oh, it all sounds so lovely, and the only thing that could make it better, is if George DeMott was singing your favorite Andrea Bocelli aria - Con Te Partiro' (Time to Say Goodbye) while you were dining at the King Neptune Buffet!! :D
  16. Charles

    Charles Guest

    thanks. Glad you are enjoying your working cruise.

  17. The Cruiser

    The Cruiser Guest

    Thanks ShipMaven. Another great read.
  18. Judi

    Judi Guest

    Sis, I'm enjoying your travelogue as well....I only wish we were there with you.

    Ah the humidity, I remember it well. :(

    Hmmmm, frozen Peach Dacquiri...that reminds me of the Wallaby Darned at Outback Steakhouse. Denise, does Leatherneck remember sharing them with me last year??!!??

    =lolgang =lolgang =lolgang
  19. Calgon1

    Calgon1 Guest

    Fantastic! Certainly do wish we were there. Maybe someday!
  20. Mary Ann, I'm really really enjoying the posts. I check a couple of times a day just to make sure I don't miss one. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this, it is very much appreciated.

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