We had a long day as we made it back home. First flight was to JFK. It took off early and arrived early. Getting through immigration with Global Entry was a breeze. They no longer asked all the questions at the kiosk. Just took a photo of us. Waited a bit for luggage and cleared customs quickly. When we returned in the luggage Anne Marie asked the lady from Delta where we go for the connection/TSA and the lady told her do not ask me any questions. You see she just was yelling put the luggage on the conveyer belt and she could not be bothered. LOL.
Got on the line for TSA pre check. More crazy than they normally are. Keith made it through pretty quickly but Anne Marie was pulled over to go through the extra screening as were some other people. And one woman got very irate as her cat which was in a piece of luggage was already though the screening and she was screaming. OMG. LOL.
Anyway we made it and then proceeded to the crazy club lounge at JFK to wait four hours for our connection.
Our final flight went very well. While we were waiting at the gate the pilot came up to speak with us. He was very friendly asking where we had traveled from and he gave us a heads up that we might encounter some bumpiness along the way home. After we boarded he came on to give the same message to everyone and at one point shut down food service for about twenty minutes but the good news is we encountered almost no turbulence. We also got in a few minutes early and once our luggage was in our hands we were driven home.
We arrived home 11:30 PM and by the time we went to sleep we had been up over 28 hours.
Keith was up early with a key item on his mind. Go grocery food shipping.
In spite of the long flights home we have had an amazing time and we look forward to our next adventure. Please check back in a month for hopefully more travels. Keeping fingers and toes crossed.
Many thanks to those of you who followed along and for those of you who sent us e-mails, used the contact form and/or posted comments to the Blog.
Until next time.
Anne Marie & Keith
Last night we enjoyed our final dinner of Crystal Endeavorin our suite. These are the menus from Waterside.
As mentioned we had dinner in our suite. This has become a tradition over our last several cruises. In the days when we sat with others and we had assigned tables we would have dinner in what was the Crystal Dining Room back in the day. It was a time to say our goodbye to those we had dined with during the cruise and in most cases met for the first time and an opportunity to give thanks to the waitstaff team for taking good care of us. As they say times have changed. LOL.
We ordered from a range of menus; Waterside, Umi Uma and from the 24 hour in-suite room dining menu.
Many thanks to Butler Danijel (this is the real way his name is spelled although in the USA we would spell it Daniel which is what his name badge shows for simplicity) for organizing this for us.
We finished our final packing and placed our checked luggage outside our room for collection.
After a good night's rest we got ready to debark the ship. We were in no rush since we are spending one additional night in the city before we fly home on Tuesday. We arranged for a private vehicle with Crystal to take us the very short drive to the Borg Hotel. This is the hotel Crystal is using for its pre and post cruise hotel program, which we booked on our own. If not for the suitcases we could have walked this on our own as it would have represented one of our shortest walks of this adventure.
We had our final breakfast on Endeavor and spoke with Butler Daniel for awhile and later our suite attendant came by to check on us.
When we made our way to the reception area to wait for the chief concierge we spoke with several members of the crew including one from reception, the front and back office manager, head waiter Jarred, the executive housekeeper, Eva manager of Shore Excursions and finally the chief concierge. Everyone wanted to know how we enjoyed Endeavor and we both were not standing next to one another but gave the same answer. We loved it. We plan to return.
We left Endeavor at 9:45 AM for the drive to the Hotel. This is the most organized debark ever. The chief concierge took our two rolling bags while we held our back packs. When we got to the steps to disembark two people took our roller board bags and the chief concierge took our backpacks. Once on the ground we looked up and the tent was there with luggage and our two checked bags were right there and two people took those bags and we all walked to the van where they were loaded and the driver took us to the hotel. A few people from Crystal wave to us including Eva-Linn. The driver was very polite and spoke great english and in no time we were to the hotel.
The hotel offers an early checkin for an additional $50.00 in Euoros and had reached out to us the other day. Keith said yes but they said they could not guarantee it. Well why did you ask???? LOL. Keith called in the morning and the person at reception said the hotel was sold out last night. However, Keith had tried a booking as if we were checking in last night and at that time the suite was available. Anyway after one minute the gentlemen said you are in luck. We have one suite of this type and it was not in use and it is ready for you. At first he said don't tell anyone because none of the standard rooms were available nor for that matter and other room. Keith said mums the word. The good news we were in the room by 10:00 AM.
The suite has two levels with the upper level more having large TV and table and offering views If only some of the construction cranes were not there. LOL. You don't want to drink and go up or down those steps.
After checking in we walked to one of the grocery stores we went to during the pre-cruise stay and bought items for lunch and dinner. After lunch in the room Keith went out to one nearby convenience store which we also went to during the pre-cruise stay in the city.
As he was leaving the hotel two people called out his name and they are on the Endeavor voyage boarding today and they have been following the trip and a few minutes later two other couples following the trip came to the area where Keith was. They were all getting ready to leave to go to the other hotel for the Covid-19 test. Keith told them how wonderful the cruise was.
Well it's a small world. Our dear friends Ashley and Kelly are taking a Round/Trip Iceland trip on the Silversea Shadow. We sailed with them for one of the two Serenity voyages we were on and have known them for years and also have sailed with them several times. They arrived to Iceland early this morning and we had made plans to get together with them which we did. We took them over to see Crystal Endeavor and then to see some of the places we had visited during our pre-cruise stay.
We will post more after we arrive home but wanted to share some thoughts. Also, for those of you who follow us please come by a month for now for our next adventure.
We have used the word amazing many times but this is how we feel about the adventure between the places we have seen and how we have seen some of them, having the opportunity to sail on our first expedition vessel and all of the memories we have created.
There were stressful times as the cruise neared with the increased incidence of COVID-19 and some changes such as Iceland new requirements for a COVID-19 test. Add to this the extra precautions we took for COVID-19 such as in Reykjavik eating our meals at the apartment all those days, wearing masks outside and on all of the excursions and anytime we left our room on Endeavor. Normally, we would have dined with some fellow guests and some of the Senior Staff/Officers of Endeavor and with some of the members of the Expedition Team. Other than one dinner with an officer we only dined with each other. The major unfinished area of Endeavor was the Solarium which will house Market Place. While it would have been nice if it was open, we didn't plan to have lunches at Market Place as we usually do pre-COVID-19 and even if we did in the scheme of things this is minor. Given the choice of no Solarium or no cruising we say no Solarium. In addition Endeavor far exceeded our expectations in so many ways including the design and layout and space of the new vessel, the amazing crew, the food, service and overall ambience of the ship and how well everything was organized including the excursions/expedition experiences. We look forward to sailing Endeavor again and again.
And once again, please be sure to come by in a month for our next adventure.
Anne Marie & Keith
Many of the photos we have posted from The Bistro were taken in the early morning before the food was put out. These are photos Keith took before yesterday's tour of the bridge with food out.
We know some of you enjoys Portuguese Tarts including one friend who loves them. LOL. So these are for you.
Before dinner we got a preview of the new Solarium which will include a pool, two level venue for Market Place and other areas to relax and a retractable ceiling.
It was great to see the Solarium yesteday. Over the next several days it will only look better as the accompanying items are placed inside. The pool is retractable and will be open when in use. The ceiling is also retractable. There are a couple of photos with lounge chairs in an area off from the main room where guests could lounge indoors. There is a jacuzzi. There are a couple of sections for Marketplace. Some of the artworks in the tiles may be hard to see in the photos. There will be another area where you can go from there which is where the equipment for the water will be located.
It is two tiered so people can eat or sit on at either level.
I believe seating is for 100 people at a time which is great when you consider the ship can hold up to 200 people and people come and go at different times and there are other venues for breakfast and lunch includng Waterside and The Bistro.
I understand hours will be longer for Marketplace given the start and end times for tours. For example I believe for lunch it might open at 11:30 AM and stay open quite later in the afternoon. On this voyage we have had days where we visit two places in a day or places where we are there all day but tours are avaialble in the morning and the afternoon.
We saw Eva-Linn before we dined at Waterside. She is an amazing member of the crew and an all around wonderful person.
Today's Daily Activities Program.
Waterside dinner menus from last evening where we ate.
Dinner at Waterside was amazing. Ahi Tuna for Keith as an appetizer and the Mushroom Taste for Anne Marie. Caesar Salad light on the dressing for the two of us, Salmon for both of us and a very small portion of the Venison for Keith. A dessert for Anne Marie and Cheese for Keith and as we often say some wine for the two of us.
Everything was outstanding and a big shoutout for the amazing Waterside Waitstaff.
We began today as we do most days when we cruise with an early morning workout for Keith followed by breakfast in our room. Butler Daniel mentioned on the last cruise as we got close to docking you could smell fish and the smell was not all too pleasant. We experienced the same things.
We then watched our approach to our final town of this voyage; Heimaey, Iceland. When Keith toured the bridge yesterday the Captain explained the approach. In short as we first arrived we turn completely around and we backed into the area and at one point turned around again and pulled into the to dock. The rocks and foliage have lots of beauty to them.
We had a tour planned for this morning which was a hike but we decided not to do the tour as we had our Covid-19 test this morning and also wanted to pack.
After getting the test Keith ventured out and walked for quite a while making a loop around the town and walking several side streets. A few minutes from the pier and he saw many nice homes whose exteriors are painted in all different colors similar to what you might see in places such as Greenland recognizing there is very little daylight in winter. There was a very large school and a church and some stores including two of the grocery stores we showed at while in Reykjavik.
Once back to the ship Keith stopped by the Medical Center and picked up copies of both our test results which were negative. Again, we are both positive people but so it goes. LOL.
A few additional photos as we made our way back to sea.
Anne Marie & Keith
We took these photos shortly before departing Seydisfjordur late yesterday afternoon. The cloud cover was blocking portions of the mountains surrounding the town.
Today's Daily Activities.
Dinner menus from last evening at Waterside where we dined.
It was great to return to Waterside for a lovely dinner. We were taken excellent care of by Senior Waiter Dris, Waiter Nico, Sommelier's Mila and Rao, Head Waiters Jared and Igor and Restaurant Manager Slavko.
A big shoutout to the Waterside Galley under the direction of Executive Chef Adam Jenkins and Executive Pastry Chef Paula Hannigan.
We enjoyed four courses over a leisurely meal.
Appetizers of Caviar with Blinis for Keith and Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail for Anne Marie; Keith tried part of a second appetizer Beets with Goat Cheese; Farmer's Vegetable Salad for both of us; Broiled King Crab Legs for Anne Marie and Pan Fried Corvina for Keith; Cheese for Keith and Chocolate Ice Cream which was not on the menu for Anne Marie. Of course there was wine for each of us.
This was a delicious meal. Normally Keith would have one appetizer but the Dris recommended the Beets and Keith couldn't pass on the Caviar so he tried some of the Beets and they in itself were wonderful and the cheese was out of this world.
Waterside seemed busier than normal but way below the number of people who could sit there.
We spoke with Head Waiters Jarred and Igor about the soft opening of Marketplace scheduled for 6:00 PM this evening. When we say soft opening dinner it's so the guests can see what it looks like and there will be champagne.
As we were walking from dinner to the stairway we could hear the entertainment from the Crystal Cove and listened for a couple of minutes to listen one of the songs being sung.
We slept well as we cruised to our next town. Keith was up first and did laundry and worked out. As he was leaving the Fitness Center he stopped to take a bunch of photos on Deck 5 where Fitness Center, Salon, Reception The Bistro, The Medical Center, Marketplace and Guest Suites are located.
Before we began our tour we looked out our verandah and saw lots of Jelly Fish and also a Duck swimming around them. Smart Duck. LOL.
We also saw them sending the Zodiacs down into the water.
We took our last Zodiac Cruise of this wonderful voyage. It was a private Zodiac with the two of us and Marine Biologist Lisa Lapointe. We learned so much about the different sea birds we had the opportunity to see along with other wildlife and even wildlife we didn't see. We also saw lots of Jelly Fish but more importantly learned a lot about them as well. It was a wonderful way to top off all of the Zodiac Cruises we have taken.
Early on in the voyage, Captain Thomas Larsen mentioned because the Bridge Lounge was not completed guests could sign up for a tour of the bridge. When operational guests will be able to visit the lounge to observe the bridge.
Keith took the tour today with only two other guests. They met near the reception desk and the chief of security escorted everyone up to deck 8 and over to the Bridge. Our room is on the same corridor and we can see the entrance.
Captain Thomas welcomed us and gave us a tour. All Keith can say is Wow, Wow, Wow. We have taken other tours of the bridge but have never seen anything like this.
If you said we were in a space movie this would come the closest. There are two chairs where the two officers in control of the ship sit. They are like pilot and co-pilot of an aircraft as they work together and they also agree on all decisions. Rather than having to walk to other areas all of their controls are right there on a console and they also have screens with critical information and of course a birds eye view thorough the windows.
Behind them are two similar seats. The one on the right is only used by the Captain and the one on the left is used when a pilot is on board. This way the pilot can consult with the captain. The key word is consult not take action.
We saw the area where the Captain will be
Today's Daily Activities.
Dinner menus from last evening at Waterside.
We enjoyed dinner at Umi Uma. We often would not go to Umi Uma this often on a cruise but we were invited to go to one of the Specialty Restaurants by one of the officers and since we just dined at Prego we thought Umi Uma made sense for us.
Great meal. Great conversation. A great Waitstaff Team.
We were taken care of by Waiter Sheila and Sommelier Jay from Serenity whom we have known for many years with some assistance from Emerson whom we have also known for many years from our Crystal Symphony Voyages. Head Waiter Martin would check on us throughout the evening and a special touch is he assists bringing out the Entrees to the table and he takes a moment to explain the entree. Restaurant Manager Slavo checked up on us at well. This is tru teamwork at its finest.
For the second of our three visits Sheila offered to organize a Sushi Platter for us most of which Keith eats and one for the officeralong with Shrimp Tempura for Anne Marie.
After we had the Sushi we looked at the menu. Sheila suggested an off the menu salad which the chef wanted to prepare for us and we said great.
We both switched entrees from the other evening. Anne Marie had the Wagyu Beef and Keith had the Sea Bass.
For dessert it was fruit plate for Keith and Coffee Creme Brûlée for Anne Marie and the officer.
We arrived to the town of Seydisfjordur, Iceland early this morning. The weather is what we expected for some of the ports. It's called Icelander Weather. LOL. Overcast, cooler temperature and rain. Welcome to Iceland. Just kidding.
Some of the information we learned about the town during our visit includes:
This town has a population of less of 676 residents as of a couple of years ago.
Seydisfjordur is surrounded by mountains. The town was settled by Norwegian fishermen in the middle 1850's. The nearby fjord of Vestdalseyrl was the site of the first industrial whaling station.
Like some of the towns in Iceland fishing is no longer the driver of the economy. Rather, tourism is key. Tourism has really taken hold for the past 20 years.
The town has several waterfalls one of which we took a photo of. It has many wooden buildings.
In spite of the rain it didn't dampen our spirits and we still had a nice visit.
We both managed to get in haircut appointments as we plan to quarentine when we arrive home and that was when we planned to have our hair done. The salon is very nice with five people working on-board. Mercedes who did our hair also does manicures/pedicures. Like most everyone on board she has two responsibilities whereas normally there would be dedicated people doing hair and another dedicated person doing nails.
We enjoyed both breakfast and lunch in our suite which is the approach we haven taken each day as we did on Serenity.
All in all it has been a great 24 hours.
Anne Marie & Keith
Today's Daily Activities
Yesterday afternoon at 2:30 PM we arrived to Husavik, Iceland for our second stop of the day. We were docked and Keith walked from the ship over to town. The town was charming. There were a couple of buses on a land tour of tourists and many people eating lunch outside at various restaurants.
Keith visited The Husavikurkirka Church which was builtin 1907. It is a wooden church with a Swiss chalet style. He also walked over to the Whaling Museum.
On his walk back to the port the high was close to 65 degrees Fahrenheit with the sun shining bright.
This town is an example of how much we appreciate travel and also the diversity of the world. Several mountains had snow caps.
These are the dinner menus from last evening at Waterside.
We dined at Prego for the first time of this cruise. The menu is similar to the one offered on the Ocean Vessels with fewer choices reflecting a smaller guest count. One other difference was the entrees didn't include Veal but they had a Chicken Scaloppine Parmigiana instead of Veal. There were still plenty of choices to satisfy our pallet. The dessert menu was extensive. Isn't this what counts?
At the same time there were some touches unique on Mozart and one of them was the preparation of Caesar Salad near our table. As our waiter prepared the salad he could ask if we wanted each traditional ingredient as well as adjust the amount accordingly to our preferences.
Everything was great.
Breaking news for the first time ever after a lot of cruises Keith had the Carpaccio of Back Angus Beef and loved it. While he eats lots of Sashimi the idea of this one was hard to swallow figuratively but literally it was easy.
Dining at Prego was similar to coming home. Tilmar Prego Restaurant Head Waiter from Serenity, and the lead Waiter for our table we knew from Mozart as he took care of us at Waterside many times and the other Waiter is from Serenity who we knew from lunch at Marketplace and seeing and speaking with at the Waterside Restaurant from time-to-time and of course Slavko who would stop in periodically who we know well from Symphony and Serenity.
We both had appetizers; Caesar Salad, Scaloppine Parmigiana for Anne Marie and the Lamb for Keith and a sweet dessert for Anne Marie and Cheese for Keith and of course wine. You have to like the Texas size Pepper Mill.
Once again, we slept well between both of us being up later and Keith being tired from his earlymorning workout, walk and run of the Arctic Circle and his walk to/from Husavik. Anne Marie enjoyed two walks on-board Endeavor including a long walk in the morning.
After enjoying breakfast, we go ready for our next expiration which today was Vopnafjordur. Originally, we had signed up for one of the walks but somehow ended up with 7:00 versus 8:00 or 9:00 AM. In lieu of this we booked another Zodiac Cruise.
Some views from the ship.
This time we were in the larger of the two models of Zodiac. This one can accommodate 18 guests. We had 11 guests on board which allowed for proper social distancing and good spacing.
Our driver was Mark who drove us the first time. Mark is in charge of the maintenance of all the Zodiacs Born in Wales he has lived in Australia, Canada and a couple of other countries before moving to the USA six years ago where he lives in Michigan.
The town of Vopnafjordur has maintained a pretty steady population since 2000 and has 662 residents. Fishing continues to be a driver of the local economy.
We enjoyed the Fjord and cruised on both sides of it. When making our way from Endeavor over to the first side we went very fast and had various bumps along the way. Likewise, we went diagonally across to the other side and towards Endeavor and went fast for 10 minutes to reach the other side.
We saw lots of birds As we got close to the shoreline on each you could see fish and the depth seemed like one foot. The formations of the Fjords are amazing with color and all sorts of things to see.
At one point as we neared one formation Keith pointed out to Mark what he could see and that included an Elephant, a Lion, a Lamb, a rather large Bunny, a Gorilla and a Monster.
We saw a nice waterfall and Mark explained why if you saw Whale it would likely be from that side than the other as the waterfall adds unsalted water and this promoted vegetation promoting fish and then large fish and guess who eats the fish? You are correct, the Whale. LOL.
The weather was lovely with lots of sun with highs in the mid50's. We have truly enjoyed another day in Paradise. Photos follow.
Back on board we enjoyed lunch in our suite. Endeavor left at 12:30 PM and the rest of the afternoon and evening we will be at sea. There is lots going on including two lectures by the Expedition Team, a look at the new Telescopes in Palm Court and a champagne toast with the Captain to celebrate our crossing of the Arctic Circle. We have some scenic cruising until this evening when we will be "out to sea".
Anne Marie & Keith
Suzanne, glad you are enjoying the Blog. We are on Deck 8 and all suites other than the two largest ones are two suites at a time sharing a common entrance door. On Deck 7 they all look to be double with the exception of Suite 750 and on Deck 6 they all look like doubles. I didn't check other decks. Best to have your TA confirm this.
A nice touch. Compartment near our suite entranceway door for our expedition jackets, hats and the waterproof bag from Crystal Cruises and the one we brought from home having sailed Northwest Passage.
Some additional photos of the ship.
Last evening we dined at Umi Uma for the second time of this cruise. These are the dinner menus from Waterside.
We were taken care of by Sheila, Jay and Emerson at Umi Uma. We tried some specialties created by the Umi Uma Chefs and Sheila put in an order for Sashimi and Sushi. We both had salads and then we flip flopped. No, we didn't change our mind. We changed our entree. Keith had the Wagyu Beef for the first time ever which Anne Marie had the other night and Anne Marie had the Chilean Sea Bass Entree which Keith had the other night. Everything was delicious. We also closed out the meal with fruit plate for Keith and a Chocolate Soufflé for Anne Marie.
There is a new addition to the Connoisseur Club which is a fire place. Well not a real one. This is done with lighting and everywhere you look something is new such as this couch.
The seas were calm as we sailed to our next port of Grimsey.
These are the daily activities for today.
Keith was up early and did laundry, worked out and went out on the open deck. It was chilly but the views were spectacular.
We both enjoyed breakfast in our room. Keith ended up going on an excursion while Anne Marie stayed on-board while Keith did the Arctic Circle Walkabout. We thought this was better for Anne Marie so she could avoid the Tender due to her situation and thought the walk would be too much and we were right.
There were three Walkabouts; two were for the Arctic Circle and the other for Grimsey Island. One was two miles and the other four miles. Keith took the four mile walkabout.
After taking the tender over to Grimsey Island the group was welcomed by one of the Expedition Members and then the person leading our group provided an overview of where we would go. Keith walked in the front with him and a couple of other guests.
The walk began on a road but with only 60 full-time residents they didn't have to worry about motor vehicles. Five minutes into the walk the group began walking on paths with a combination of rocks and dirt and we headed towards the cliffs which hug the shoreline. The rest of the walk was on dirt and grass and also on uneven paths due to the rock.
The group did see Puffins (yea) and several birds. Eventually, we saw Shore Excursion Manager Eva-Linn running toward Keith and the group. Keep that in mind.
There was a good amount of fog and it was cool. Ironically the leader had said as we walked we would be like an onion wanting to peal clothing off but at one point he added a layer. You would walk up and down various hills and some of the slopes were at a sharp incline.
Eventually you get to the original monument showing distances to some cities such New York City. However, each year the Arctic Circle sphere moves in small increments so when you cross the Arctic Circle it is no longer where it was. They now mark it with a large metal shaped ball. It is far less impressive. The hole allows them to put a chain through the balland pull the ball each year with a tractor to mark the new spot.
As Keith and another couple were getting close to the circle there was one sheep between them and the ball. Thankfully, the sheep moved. There were a couple of other sheep moving around and one not moving so they weren't sure if it was sleeping or no longer alive.
Keith turned around to make the trek back on his own to the tender drop-off. Keith thought of Eva-Linn running so he decided to run and ran the entire way back other than one quick stop. This was when on his way back he saw several people from the group including the guide who one guest fall down and he assisted her along with her husband. The good news is she was fine. On his run back he saw several people from the group walking towards the monument.
Keith was the only one on the tender and it would likely be another 45 to 60 minutes or more until the next person got back.
It was a fun tour. Keith got to speak with several different guests including officially meeting our Endeavor next door members.
Back on the ship Keith changed out of his sweaty clothes and told Anne Marie all about the tour.
We enjoyed lunch in our room and are enjoying the afternoon on the ship as well.
Anne Marie & Keith
Today's activities listing.
A few additional comments we forgot to mention.
When Captain Thomas spoke at the presentation the other evening he mentioned this can be a very busy cruise with often more than one visit each day and the opportunity to book excursions for each place visited. The choice is nice so one can be as busy as they would like.
Our Zodiac driver mentioned the evolution of expedition sailings in that initially some focused on the expedition itself and the on-board experience was more limited to buffet meals and say a piano player at night. Contrast tis with Crystal Endeavor where you have a combo experience between Expedition Style and Luxury Cruising. This is very true.
When we were out on the zodiac cruise we also had another zodiac with one driver and no guests. Our driver mentioned that they try to do this for several reason; one is for experience for the other driver, two is so if the water gets too choppy for some people or if anyone wants to go back they do have a method to get guests from one zodiac to the other and three another set of eyes looking for wildlife. The latter reminded me of a safari where you have two in the front; driver and scout.
One interesting site were two sheep (we saw many others) who were resting on rock near the shore line. This seemed unusual to us thinking they would be more comfortable on the grass.
Switching gears or should we say moving along we wanted to mention the entranceway doors to our suite.
We have two doors to unlock to get into our suite. The first one is an exterior door. Inside are two suites; ours plus our fellow guests next door. The second door takes us into our suite.
Unlike the Ocean Vessels you do not inset your shipboard card into a slot but rather you hold it towards the light. Initially we took the card out of the Crystal Provided Card Holder until Anne Marie discovered with the holder closed you can tap it over the light and the door is unlocked.
We hadn't posted the Waterside Breakfast Menus so thought we would so you could get an idea what is available at Waterside. When Market Place opens this will provide another venue for breakfast and there is also The Bistro.
Dinner menus from last evening at Waterside.
We had planned to dine in our room last night as part of our plans for social distancing but feel very comfortable dining out for dinner so we too the car (LOL) over to Waterside. Well, NOT. We walked down four flights of stairs and a few seconds later were at Waterside.
The Waterside team is very attentive and there is lots of time to speak with them. We have had Dris as our Senior Waiter, Nico as Waiter, both Milo and Rado as the Sommeliers (no we don't drink so much that we need two) LOL, and Head Waiters Jarred and Igor along with Restaurant Manger Slavko who is responsible for all Restaurants and Food & Beverage.
We enjoyed another amazing dinner.
You can tell we have have a lot in common other than dessert.
We had the same appetizers, salads and entrees. We had an absolutely amazing and fresh Seafood Cocktail, followed by a crispy Caesar Salad with dressing on the side and an amazing (double amazing) entree of Turbot. Everything was fresh and the Turbot was moist.
So you wonder where do we differ. Keith had cheese and Anne Marie had Chocolate Nougat Slice.
Then there was the wine to complement each course. We differed on this with Chardonnay for Anne Marie and Cabernet for Keith.
While we slept Endeavor sailed towards Siglufordur. It's easy to fall asleep on the ship. The bed is very comfortable and we always appreciate the slight movement when at sea.
Keith was up first. While all rooms have a coffee maker, we utilize it when the two of us are awake given the noise they make. Similar to the river cruise vessels there is what is known as the Pantry on-board Endeavor. It is one deck above us and located next to the library and right near Palm Court. It is open 7x24. It has various beverages including coffee so this is where Keith gets his early morning coffee. If not for COVID-19 they would also have light snacks there including fruit and pastries and other items for the guests.
Like the Ocean and River Cruise vessels the Fitness Center is open 7x24. After Keith's workout he spent a few minutes outdoors enjoying another sunrise. Each morning has had a different look and this is one of the many special pleasures of sailing at sea.
After enjoying breakfast in our room we got ready for for another day.
In his talk the other day Captain Thomas mentioned because the Bridge Lounge will not be open for this cruise he would have tours of the bridge organized. We noticed in today's activities program signups for the tours began so Keith stopped by the reception area to sign us up and we went with August 14 at 1:30 PM.
Originally, we planned to take an excursion. However we changed our mind as we learned from the daily program we would not be docked as the information we previously received indicated and we instead would have to take a tender. We didn't want to take a tender with COVID-19 in mind.
The good news is Keith checked with one of the members of the expedition team and there was room for the two of us on a Zodiac Cruise so that is what we did.
Unlike yesterday no rain, and it was sunny and very little wind all making for a perfect Zodiac Cruise. Our guide was Casey and in total eight of us on board. Casey was born in Cape Town, lived in England and now in Canada North of Vancouver and her husband is also part of the Expedition Team. We sailed around the Fjords, saw lots of birds and learned so much about the area as well as science. Someone had asked me the other day about water temperature and today around 52 degrees Fahrenheit.
You will notice we wore both layers of our jackets. The reason was if we didn't bring the outer layer it would have rained. LOL but you know how that goes.
We are so fortunate to have excellent weather since we arrived to Iceland as we know this time of year it can be rainy and windy. Each day we don't have sub-optimal weather is a day we consider ourselves fortunate.
After our return to Endeavor we enjoyed a lovely afternoon on-board. This included lunch and walking around outside the ship.
Life is good.
Anne Marie & Keith
Patricia...Thank you for your comments. In our type of suite there are two TV's. One is located on the wall near the round table and the other is by the foot of the bed and can be raised to watch the TV or lowered into the cabinet when not in use. This allows someone to watch TV in bed if they so choose.
Before sail away. Please turn on your volume.
These are the Waterside Dinner menus where we dined.
We had four courses courses:
An amazing Scallop Appetizer, Salad, Char Seafood and we shared one Crab Cake, and Peach Melba for Anne Marie and Cheese for Keith.
Additional interior ships photos. These are from the deck above us which is Deck 9 and include Palm Court which is a beautiful lounge used for evening entertainment, and enjoying scenic views. The Expedition Lounge is also on this Deck where you can chat with member of the Expedition Team in the evening.
An adjustment we have made is getting used to very little information provided hard copy. For example, on the Ocean Vessels the daily Program Reflections was provided hard copy but on Endeavor the daily activities program is provided electronically and you can view it on the iPad provided in each suite and/or on your own devices. You just need to remember to look at it to see what is planned for the day. This is an example of today's daily activities program.
We began the day with exercise for Keith and he also did laundry in between the workout.
Some views of Isafjordur.
Enjoyed breakfast in our suite and got ready for our excursion.
Another cruise ship is here and that is one of the Viking Ocean ships.
Initially, we signed up for the Dynjandi Waterfall which involves a hike. We thought once you get over to the Isafjordur Island you begin your hike. However, we learned yesterday the excursion includes a 45 minute bus ride in each direction. We didn't want to push our luck being in a bus with 20+ people (that is how they load each bus) so in lieu of this tour we saw Excursion Manager Eva-Linn who signed us up for a 90 minute Zodiac Cruise. This way we could be outside.
We arrived to the Crystal Cove 15 minutes before the start of the tour as requested. When it was time to go we went down one deck to the area where we went to our assigned locker to each put on our vests for the Zodiac. There was no need to put on the boots as we were not making a landing.
Everything was very well organized. The zodiac driver assisted us getting into the zodiac. Upon our return one of two crew members assisted us getting out at the tender/zodiac landing.
The excursion ended up lasting two hours which was great. It drizzled most of the time but not an issue with the waterproof jacket Crystal provided and our waterproof pants and hiking shoes.
Our driver was wonderful. Born in Australia and spending many years in this field he provided so much information about Whales from around the world including Iceland. We have so many take aways from today and one of them is how little was known about Orcas and other Whale until the mid-1970's.
We saw some wildlife including seals but the ones we saw tended to stay a good distance from the zodiac so we don't have any photos to share of them.
We enjoyed lunch in the suite and beautiful views from the ship. We then visited Vigur Island.
We are having such a wonderful time.
Anne Marie & Keith
Eileen so glad to hear you are enjoying the Blog.
Adelina...The toilet seats in the suites are not heated as they were on Mozart.
On all the Crystal Vessels they have implemented COVID-19 contact tracing. Typically you utilize a tracer which works like a watch band. You can also place it in your pocket and it will work. We wore the bands for the first day. Daniel mentioned another option which is to wear the tracer inserted in a band you wear around your neck. Sold!! The tracers are not waterproof so we felt it was easier to go this route.
At 5:30 yesterday afternoon we attended the Life Board Drill. Our muster location was located near Reception. Drill was very well organized and when the instructions were given from the bridge not a peep from the guests which was a first for us. Unlike Ocean Vessels lifejackets are not located in the suites but at the muster stations and other difference was the strap goes between your legs.
Afterwards we attended Captain Thomas & Senior Officers, Expedition Team & Entertainment Hosts Welcome Presentation at the Crystal Cove. The Captain spoke, he introduced the Senior Officers, Entertainers performed and the lead members of the Expedition Team spoke. It was a great introduction to Endeavor. The reception was at the Crystal Cove which we thought had a little bit of the look of Star Dust on Serenity with the stage, raised floor and bar in the back but more open.
We enjoyed dinner at Waterside and what a special dinner it was.
These are the Waterside menus.
Dinner was amazing. How about Mama Mia.
It was superb.
Waterside is beautiful and as we sat there we could see all of the details which went into it.
Unlike the Ocean Vessels it was very quiet with food stations not visible and not noise from trays with dishes on them as trays are not used to get the food from the galley to the dining area. Service was impeccable as it is throughout the ship with 200+ crew and only around 115 guests.
Restaurant manager Slavko stopped by and Head Waiters Igor and Jarrett check on us several times and Sommelier Milo and the Waiter never missed a beat.
As to the food.
Caviar for Keith and Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail for Anne Marie, Garden Salad for both of us as well as Fresh Lobster. For dessert, some cheese for Keith and Ice Cream for Anne Marie.
The lobster was out of this world. It was by far the best lobster we have had at sea. It was moist, at the right temperature, not rubbery, and the taste was wonderful or better yet amazing. Waterside was not very crowded nor loud.
Kudos to team Endeavor
While we were eating the ship departed and you would never know it. This ship is very quiet and sails very well.
These are additional photos of Endeavor; exterior, interior and a couple showing the recessed TV at the foot of our bed. These TV's are only in rooms on Deck 8.
When we returned to our room last evening there were two of the packages on our bed. A very nice touch.
It's nice to be at sea again after our overnight in Reykjavik. There is often something to observe while at sea and it is a very special time for many seasoned cruisers including ourselves.
While at sea we are reminded of a quote from former President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. He said: "I really don't know why it is that all of us are committed to the sea. I think it's because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and the ships change, it's because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean. And therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going from hence where we came."
Keith made use of the Fitness Center this morning with an early morning workout. He utilized the Elliptical Machine. It was early and he was by himself which was the Plan.
Keith made his way to the Pantry which is open 7x24 and has coffee, tea and other beverages and made himself coffee. This is something offered on the Crystal River Cruise Vessels. If COVID-19 was not an issue they would have light snacks available as well a fruit and pastries.
We enjoyed breakfast in the suite as we got ready to begin our second full day on the ship.
The original itinerary called for a brief stop at Patreks/fjordur where nesting seabirds could be observed. However, we learned yesterday this had been cancelled because unfortunately the birds have left the cliffs following the breeding season. In lieu of this stop Flatey Island was scheduled for today.
We first walked outside on the Promenade. It was cool but very nice and we ran into the Captain and chatted for a few minutes. We also attended the mandatory meeting, although they didn't have us sign-in about the Zodiacs and it also covered todays destination Flatey Island which does get its name because it was flat. The meeting was informative. We found that having sailed Northwest Passage we had a solid background about safety and care on the Zodiac.
We had two members of the Expedition team speak with one speaking about the Zodiacs and the other about Flatey Island and a third member asked lots of questions to ensure various topics were covered.
Afterwards, we could visit the mud room area. We were shown our assigned lockers (one for each of us) and the boots were next to them which we tried on.
Three guided tours were added for this afternoon but we decided to stay on-board Endeavor though the information we received today will prepare us for taking the Zodiacs.
Some views of Flatey Island from the ship as well as the lowering of the first of the Zodiacs and photos from the Expedition talk we attended.
Due to the tours Waterside opened for lunch at 11:30 AM today instead of Noon.
This is today's Waterside Luncheon Menu.
We are signing off now.
Anne Marie & Keith