The Crystal Serenity is in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam. The MS Amsterdam is in Manila, Philippines.
Despite a near consensus on Crystal’s beds being sub par, my first night’s sleep on the Symphony was excellent.
Soon after 5 I headed into the terminal to try the wifi. After some futile efforts I happened to walk by the vacant information desk and saw the sign that said the wifi was not working. I then went back to my room and spent about 20 minutes on line for today’s internet checks and postings. I’ve heard reports from several cruise lines, including both of the ones on this journey that the internet has been particularly bad. Crystal’s Reflections are quite large the first couple days and often take several tries to upload. While today was slow, the first 2 copies posted without any real problems.
My walk, while delayed, went well, and I finished my 5 miles about 8AM. It started nice and cool, but heated up after the sun came up, especially on the port side. The schedule was a bit odd today with sailaway scheduled for a time one would associate with an arrival. All aboard was 9:30am, and when I left the Lido at 9:35 the gangway had been stowed and the crew responsible for that had already gone. Captain Symonds came on the PA at 9:40 and announced we had singled up and would leave soon. I was at my sailaway spot above the bridge when Vice Captain Tonci Hladilo
gestured to beware of pending sound and Captain Symonds blew the horn. Louis sang at 9:48 (Crystal sailaways are rather simple, with the main tradition being the playing Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World as we depart). The Captain had warned us that the harbor exit was narrow and we would be making some tight turns, a fact borne out by a look at our wake. Once we were well away from the dock I went up to the Trident Grill late risers breakfast for Apricot French Toast.
While technically a port day with time in Bali, it was really more like a sea day, especially in the afternoon. There were 2 Crystal Visions programs. Destination Lecturer Dr. Lawrence Blair, who has lived in Bali for 35-plus years, gave “An Introduction to Indonesia”. At 3:30 Jay Wolff followed up with “Darwin and Evolution”, focusing on observations made in Indonesia. After his talk I got up briefly to Palm Court for Afternoon Tea.
Both of this cruises Black Tie Optional nights are on days I wouldn’t expect. Today shouldn’t really have been a surprise to have it on a port day since we left so early. The second Black Tie Optional night will be my final night on board. It will be the next to last night for most, but I must leave immediately in Singapore to transfer to the Serenity, so my packing may be a bit of a challenge.
There were 5 of us tonight at Table 73 for a superb dinner. This was followed by Captain Symonds welcome reception. Captain Symonds reported we have 681 guests from 27 countries and a crew of about 540 from 49 nations. A diverse group indeed. The evening entertainment was Maestro featuring the Crystal Ensemble of Singers and Dancers.
As today’s parting shot I happened to notice in their Bios that 2 of our dancers have connections to Ukraine. While I do not know these people personally they do enrich my time on the ship and put a personal stamp on the current events. May the conflict end soon and the will of the people prevail.