We took a tour before we arrived to Endeavor. We visited the Botanical Gardens, Flower Gardens and stopped at a few other locations before boarding.
We took a nice tour after we boarded of the entire ship. The ship is beautiful and we had a reunion with both new members of the crew and so many we know from Symphony, Serenity and Mozart. The sip is amazing. It is beautiful.
First dinner at Umi Uma. It was a homecoming. Jay the Sommelier, Emerson who we know from Symphony and Sheila from Serenity and a wonderful Head Waiter.
Food was delicious and some new creations we have not had before.
An amazing experience.
Dinner Menus from Umi Uma
Waterside Dinner Menu from last evening.
We remained docked last night. We both slept very well. We were tired. The bed is very comfortable and we really love the layout of the room. There are many nice features. One of them is the lighting. There are many lights and you can adjust some of them. The walk-in closet has automatic lights which is a pleasure as there is no need to continually turn on or off the light.
There are two desks. One desk which Keith uses in the living area and another desk with a vanity mirror along with a makeup mirror which lights up that is perfect for Anne Marie.
There are two Televisions. One is recessed in a cabinet which you can raise and lower with a remote control. The only challenge is we don't know yet how to operate the television portion to actually watch the TV and the other one is a very nice TV on the wall. We couldn't find any news channels so we shall see how much use it gets.
Our Butler is Daniel who is the Senior Head Butler. In this role he oversees all the butlers. We remember Daniel from the Ocean Vessels. More recently, he has bee on the River Vessels and will be retuning later this year. Originally, Jaison from Crystal Serenity was to be here as Senior Head Butler and to be part of the team opening up the ship but due with the Delta Variant in India was not permitted to come. He should be back next month. More recently Jaison took care of us for a few segments of World Cruise 2020 after Senior Heat Butler Rao went home for a well deserved holiday. We miss both Jaison and Rao this year and look forward to seeing them both on future cruises on-board Endeavor and Serenity respectively.
Keith got his morning exercise a different way than usual and that was doing laundry. He must have been up and down the steps 25 to 30 times as he did four washes and additional visits to the dryer. Add to this wearing a mask which always makes it a little more challenging. It's not the same as working out on an Elliptical Machine or Indoor Cycle bike but it sure made for a nice workout.
As we do on the other Crystal Vessels we enjoyed breakfast in the room this morning.
Afterwards, Keith went out again into the city where he walked and ran. Afterwards he met up with Anne Marie who was already walking outside and we walked for awhile.
While outside we saw Dr. Soto. We have sailed with Dr. Soto on several voyages in 2018, 2019 and 2020 on-board Crystal Serenity. The Doctor also has also performed his function on Symphony and he has opened Endeavor including the medical center.
Keith has also played lots of Paddle Tennis with Dr. Soto but this won't happen on Endeavor as there is no Paddle Tennis Court on the ship. Maybe in a future dry dock. LOL.
We enjoyed lunch in the room which Daniel organized with each of us having Salad Entree.
We are enjoying the rest of the day on the ship.
We will close for now.
Anne Marie & Keith
Some say variety is the spice of life. Spontaneity is also another spice of life. About 4:45 AM, Anne Marie said to Keith aren't you going to go out for a morning walk/run so you can see Endeavor. Although he hadn't planned to do so, this was music to Keith's ears. The nice thing is it gets light very early so whereas at home it would be pitch black it was daylight in Reykjavik. He did a combo walk and run over to the Old Harbour where Crystal Endeavor was slowing making its way to its docking position. Timing is everything in life.
Some additional photos from out last walk yesterday afternoon.
We have enjoyed our stay including the accommodations we selected at the Reykjavik Residence Hotel and our many walks throughout the city.
We wanted to begin with an overview of the hotel property.
Reykjavik Residence Hotel is comprised of the reception building; plus, eight other buildings. Seven of the eight are the guest units and the eight building is a Wine Bar open each evening with indoor and outdoor seating.
Our building is named the Printing Press Front Building & Courtyard Building and is on the same street as the Reception Building and no more than a two-minute walk.
Another building which is called The Prime Minister’s Residence is located in the other direction of our building and across the street and a five-minute walk from Reception.
Four of the other buildings called The Embassy, Publishing House, Bergshus and The Tannery are right next to one another along with the Wine Bar and are located across the way from Reception but a couple of blocks further away and involve a five-minute walk.
The other building called the Artisan House is also located about five minutes from Reception and across the way.
All the residences are apartment style hotel accommodations. They include studios which are modest style one room units with a small table adjacent to the beds. They are in three of the buildings on the ground floor and have a small kitchenette area.
There are three types of suites.
A Junior Suite located in one of the buildings also with a kitchenette.
A family suite located in one of the buildings which can accommodate up to six people with one bedroom and a living area with pullout bed. They have a kitchenette and decorated with some characters with the younger children in-mind.
A Royal Suite located in the Prime Minister’s Building where the King of Denmark and his queen stayed during their royal visit to Iceland in 1926. It is classically decorated with a corner bathtub and include wine cooler with an array of wine.
There are four types of apartments.
The one-bedroom apartment is in three of the buildings. They have a fully equipped kitchen, one bathroom and a living area.
The two-bedroom apartment located in one of the buildings and includes a fully equipped kitchen, living room, and even a washer and dryer.
The two-bedroom/two bath apartment is the one we are in and is in one of the buildings. The main difference between this one and the two-bedroom apartment is the second bath in this apartment versus the washer/dryer in the other apartment. Although we do not have plans to use it, inside our building is a laundry room with washer and dryer.
The three-bedroom apartment is close to double the size of the two-bedroom apartments and located in one of the buildings. These apartments have the third bedroom, fully equipped kitchen, large living room and washer/dryer.
The accommodation we chose worked out perfectly for us. We made our selection with COVID-19 in mind. In short, we wanted a place to stay with minimal guest traffic getting in and out, a nice size living area where we could relax after a day of long walks, and a place where we could eat most if not all our meals including kitchen and a nice size table to eat on. The layout was perfect and its proximity to the downtown area and to nearby grocery stores worked out very well.
The building in the photo with 45 on the front is the Prime Minister’s Residence.
Each day the Breakfast Basket includes two different types of cheese. We only have a little bit because how much cheese can one eat. This plate included two type of cheese from Thursday and one from Wednesday.
Embarkation day is always exciting and today was no exception. Similar to our cruise on Crystal Mozart in 2019 today marks our first time on Crystal Endeavor and only the third cruise of this vessels with a full complement of guests on-board. With only a maximum of 200 guests on-board the ship we sailed which comes the closest to this size was the former Seabourn Pride.
The first time we sailed the Pride was twenty-six years after her debut and the second time was two years later. She was close to 10,000 tons, had five passenger decks, and a length of 438 feet. At double occupancy she could carry 208 passengers with a crew of 164.
Crystal Endeavor was completed in 2021 although some work continues on the finish out of the interior of the ship. In contrast to the Pride, her gross tonnage is 20,000 tons, has five gues decks and is 539 feet long. She can can carry up to 200 guest at double occupancy and carries a crew of 206 members.
Whereas the Pride had two dining venues; a main restaurant and a casual dining area called the Verandah offering breakfast, lunch and on occasion dinner, Endeavor's dining venues include Waterside, Prego, Umi Uma, Bistro, and Marketplace along with The Pantry which is available 24 hours offering self service items such as snacks and beverages.
A few days before the start of the voyage we were notified that construction has not been completed for the Solarium/Marketplace, Sauna & Steam Room, as well as the Marina Deck, Bridge Viewing and Helicopter Lounges and that there are issues with some suites. This didn't come as a surprise to us having followed the adventures of some on-board for the first two voyages.
After checking out of the hotel we took a taxi over to the Grand Hotel where we checked in for the cruise. Directly next to the hotel is the USA Embassy.
We took the COVID-19 test and about 15 minutes later learned we were negative. Negative. We are positive people but it's best to be negative when it comes to the test.
After receiving our wrist tags we filled in two forms and turned these in along with a form we filled out ahead of time. Crystal representatives confirmed that the driver for the private tour we booked would be at the hotel by Noon and they were.
We stayed in a large room very far from other people where they had water, juice, coffee, croissant sandwiches and pastries.
We are so excited to be on board Endeavor. We will post lots of photos tomorrow of the ship and of our tour but thought we would post a photo from our embarkation lunch at Waterside. Cobb Salad and Champagne.
Anne Marie and Keith
Today is our last full day in Reykjavik as we board Crystal Endeavor tomorrow.
After breakfast, Keith took another long walk on his own while Anne Marie got ready to join him for more walking.
Some photos from his walk. Patricia thank you for your lovely comments. You had asked if English is spoken widely and we have found this to be the case. Every person we have met has been able to understand and speak English. We've had no problems communicating which is an added bonus.
Today's early morning weather was amazing. It was the warmest we have experienced since our arrival and we actually opened up our top jacket. We took a very nice walk along the shore line but this time in the opposite direction of the Old Harbour and towards the area where the larger ships dock.
You never know what you will discover and during this walk we ended up at a unique area as you will see with several of the photos we are posting.
We took another walk and these are photos we took.
They include a visit to the Old Harbour where we saw various vessels and two groups of people going out on Whale Watching tours after receiving instruction, some of the artwork on sides of buildings, a visit to the Tjornin Pond, a walk-by of The Parliament and City Hall, and photos taken on our way to/from the hotel.
We enjoyed lunch at our room and today was packing day as we get ready to board Endeavor tomorrow.
We walked a couple of more times and will post additional photos tomorrow.
Anne Marie & Keith
Thank you Barb. One of the numbered ones seems to be where people could line up and race. We saw one lady with a stroller racing her daughter earlier today.
Patricia, yes the HB is for hard boiled. It's not often you see that. We would estimate the hotel is about a mile and 1/2 from the old harbor. It's a nice walk with so much to take in. Thank you for the Anniversary wishes.
Emily, yes the four of us now have another thing in common and are part of the club.
Thank you Terry M for your comments. We are glad you enjoyed those wedding photos. Seems like yesterday although we have aged quite a bit since the day we were married.
Thank you Stephanie and you are so right. On every walk we pass lots of restaurants and we were saying if not for COVID-19 we would have so many nice choices and right you are we would be dining at places featuring seafood. We appreciate your recommendation. Maybe when we return for one night following the cruise we could look at take-out.
We began the day with the breakfast basket plus some cereal for Keith. The basket works out great and some of the items we have for lunch or an afternoon snack such as some of the cheese and cold cuts.
As has been our routine, Keith goes out first for a walk on his own while Anne Marie gets ready. He gets out around 7:15/7:30 AM which is a perfect time to walk with very few people out and about.
We went out for another one of those long walks back down to the waterfront. First, we walked over to the Sun Voyager which is a sculpture by Jon Gunnar Amason. The artist was trying to convey several thoughts including undiscovered territory, freedom and hope.
We continued walking along the waterfront eventually turning back and walking past the Harpa and over to the Old Harbour. We saw the National Geographic Vessel with is one of the Lindblad's ships, various Whale Watching and Puffin viewing vessels, other vessels and an area where ships were in dry dock.
We were not through for the day as we did yet another walk and another. LOL. We love to walk if you can't tell by now. LOL but so very true. We've been doing it as long as we've known each other and that began during our Junior Year in University when neither of us had cars at school.
As we walk around the city, it is hard to believe it is Summer. After all, back home the temperature would be equivalent to a late Fall (Autumn) day or even wintertime. In Fahrenheit in a normal summer back home our high might be another 50 degrees than it is in Reykjavik. Interestingly, the highs and lows are about the same each day.
Weather is another example of how diverse our world truly is.
Anne Marie & Keith
Before we begin from last night we wanted to provide some comments about our approach during this adventure.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic not to mention the Delta Variant coupled with Anne Marie's immune deficiency in order to travel we have decided to take a decidedly different approach. It is similar to our adventure on Crystal Serenity in Nassau but we are being even more careful because of the Delta Variant which spreads like wildfire.
As such, whereas we normally would have booked two days of private tours we have no formal tours planned. The only exception is on embarkation day after the check in at the hotel for Endeavor and our testing is completed at Noon we will take a few hours tour with a driver/tour guide arranged through Crystal Cruises. This way we avoid a group transfer shuttle to Endeavor and also tour around the city.
We are minimizing going indoors as much as possible knowing it poses greater risks. Keith has done some of the grocery shopping himself and Anne Marie has done some with Keith but staying as far away from people as possible. Fortunately, everyone is wearing masks indoors at grocery stores and inside other stores.
Outdoors we are wearing masks something we don't need to do at home and when we are walking up sidewalks and streets if people are coming our way, we move as far away as we can safely do. In Nassau, we had two lunches outdoors and all breakfasts and dinners in our room. This time we might have all our meals in our room.
We know there are no guarantees when it comes to COVID-19 and there was some risk on the flights and at JFK airport in particular but we are trying to be as safe as we can. We can't describe what a zoo JFK airport was but the airline lounge tops it all.
The new variant has truly thrown a curveball as we get ready to board Endeavor. It is not something we expected when we booked the cruise.
Are we happy? Absolutely. Just being here and walking the city and taking in beautiful views and people watching and holding hands as we walk and talking and laughing and thinking of history and the culture of Iceland is much more fun than being at home. We are having a wonderful time and look forward to our time on Endeavor.
The same goes when we board Endeavor. We will be as careful as we can be and there are some tours we would have jumped on which we didn't book. In fact, there are some tours we booked a couple of months ago we will likely cancel.
We are happy to be here and we are making life as good as it can be.
We are equally happy with the accommodations we have.
Each afternoon sometime between 2:00 and 4:00 PM the apartment is cleaned and the breakfast basket is filled with items for the next morning. Coffee is replenished as are new cartons of milk and fruit juice if required. In addition to the breakfast basket, there is a container of cereal. Bread comes later and we had some for at lunch.
Another day and another breakfast to start the day.
Some observations about the city.
It is a very nice city to walk. This is what we love about cities which is the fun of walking outside and smelling the roses which allows for many more observations than riding around in a vehicle.
Overall, the city looks relatively clean. When Keith walked early Monday morning various streets and sidewalks were being cleaned. We've seen sidewalks being cleaned routinely in some cities around the world early in the day, but yesterday also included streets and it was on a national holiday.
We walk where our feet takes us. Sometimes you get to an intersection where the street names are not marked so we don’t worry about that and just remember the route we’ve taken so we don’t get lost.
Now let’s change to food. Why not? LOL.
Like any city the food stores are smaller than a suburb.
We have been to two different grocery stores. Both made excellent use of their space but rather than have 50 variations of a product they had one to three choices. I find it easier to shop. Sometimes less is good although I often say choice is good. LOL.
The quality of the vegetables has been great. The mixed greens and spinach were fresh and those raw mushrooms were not filthy and as white as you can find a mushroom.
Keith took a walk by himself for over an hour and covered lots of ground.
When he began the walk the weather seemed warmer than when he returned. It must have been the breeze causing a little chill.
We both went out shortly after Keith returned from his first walk and we walked over to a nearby grocery store, brought items we purchased over to the hotel and then went out for a couple of your walk.
We visited Harpa Concert Hall. We saw three busloads of people arrive and on each bus was a Viking Sign and the people getting off had carry on luggage with them. We are thinking they were on a pre-cruise tour. From a distance we could see what looks like the Viking Ocean Vessel in the distance.
We walked along the water. There was a chill but we were layered and a few times the sun actually showed through the clouds. This was a miracle. LOL.
After lunch we were back out for a couple of hours. We had our first rain and were prepared with rain jackets on and we pulled our hoods up and after five minutes the rain stopped. The weather forecast was right. It did rain but thankfully not very long.
Anne Marie & Keith
Many thanks to Patricia and Ann for their comments. We love to when people comment and love reading them. Keep them coming along with any questions.
Keith went on another walk late yesterday afternoon to get some fresh air. He finds this a good way to get onto the new time zone. Lots of people were out and about.
We enjoyed dinner back in the room. As we did in Nassau we will be very careful over the next few days. Under normal circumstances we would dine out each evening but at this point in time we likely will have our meals in the room.
One of the pleasures of getting settled yesterday was to finally remove the masks. From the moment we were driven from home to our regional airport those masks stayed on for 24+ hours which for us was a record.
Before dinner we cut up the two apples from the breakfast they left for us yesterday and enjoyed them with some of the wine Keith purchased.
Dinner was simple but fine. One of Keith's duties at home is making salads each day for lunch and dinner but after all we are on holiday so Anne Marie took over. LOL. We enjoyed sandwiches and a couple of sides and the salad and of course some wine. As we've said, once on board Endeavor there will be lots of find cuisine to look forward to so we can rough it on our own right now. LOL.
Speaking of food, each afternoon they remove the breakfast basket and replace it with a new one. In addition to the basket, they provide cereal in the room, plus in the refrigerator there was a pint of milk and a pint of apple juice and a nice selection of coffee to use with the coffee machine. The only two items missing are a microwave and washing machine/dryer. LOL.
Although Keith was up early he got close to 7 hours of sleep and that was great. Maybe we are getting older but in spite of very little sleep we felt very good yesterday. We always believe when traveling to a new time zone to stay up and get onto the time zone as quickly as possible and to go outside to get fresh air. Maybe getting older has one benefit which was us feeling quite good after the long day we had.
Speaking of breakfast we did enjoy the some of the items in the breakfast basket for breakfast They used to offer breakfast in the main building but with COVID-19 they eliminated this and went with the breakfast basket. It is a very nice touch. The other thing they do is place fresh bread on the doorknobs of the room each morning. Another very nice touch.
Today in Iceland is national Commerce Day. Many places closed on Sunday in preparation for this holiday which is held on the first Monday of each August. It is one of what looks to be fifteen National Holiday's celebrated nationally some of which are religious. Today, even the grocery store was closed.
Keith went out on an early morning walk on his own. There was a chill in the air which is quite different than it is at home. Everywhere he looked there was something to see whether it was the color of the buildings, artwork, flowers or something else which caught his eye.
We both went out for a nice long walk. We walked on the street of the hotel heading northwest on Vatnssitgur and walked up and down side streets, over to the water, along some adjacent streets, over to the Hotel Borg which is the Hotel used by Crystal Cruises for pre and post hotel stays and after working up a nice appetite stopped by Baejarins Best Pylsur for a hot dog. It was founded in 1937 and gained some national notoriety when former President Bill Clinton dined there in 2004. The condiments include ketchup, sweet mustard, fried onion, raw onion and remolaoi (mayonnaise). Keith had all of these condiments combined while Anne Marie had them all except for the onions.
After taking a break we went out on three additional walks around the city. One of our destinations was Hallgrimskirkja which is a Lutheran Church which at 74.5 meters high is the largest church in all of Iceland and one of the tallest structures in all of Iceland.
Lots of tourists were out and about like us.
Weather was nice. At time a little chilly with a breeze and other times a delight and no rain.
Anne Marie and Keith
Thank you Susan and Patricia.
About 30 minutes before boarding time we made it over to our gate. As it turned out all passengers who had connected on other flights had to present documentation at the check-in desk. This included our passport, another showing of our COVID-19 test and presentation of our vaccination cards. Interestingly enough at one point they made an announcement that they had seen 80% of the passengers which fulfilled the requirement and anyone else in line could take a seat.
Shortly before takeoff the local agent came on the speaker to say Delta was very sorry and a credit would be issued to passenger accounts. As it turned only those in first class could utilize the entertainment system and everyone else could not. We could although Anne Marie read her Kindle Book and Keith surfed the Internet and worked on our Blog. In fact he's been writing portions of today's Blog on our flight
The good news is our flight from JFK to Reykjavik left on time as did our first flight to JFK.
We took off at 10:30 PM for our flight to Reykjavik. The aircraft was on the older side and the dinner was, well, quite different than a dinner on our go-to-airline. With that said, with our upcoming cruise coming up on Endeavor we have plenty of great meals and cuisine to look forward to. The flight attendants were professional and friendly and we made it to Reykjavik in one piece.
The good news is we debarked the aircraft about 30 minutes early. Unfortunately, getting through immigrations and customs took about close to 90 minutes. This is what happened.
Upon landing we made our way to immigration. Unlike our recent experience in Nassau where we made it through immigration in minutes this one was not so easy. After leaving the aircraft we walked towards baggage claim and immigration. We had to walk down a flight of steps which was challenging with two carry-ons and two backpacks as the escalator was not working. Once downstairs there was confusion where do we go with hundreds upon hundred of people queued up. As it turned out this was the line which took you in various directions. It was Disney World without anyone directing you. We weaved back and forth until we got to a flight of steps where we walked up to the next level. We continued to weave back and forth on that level until ultimately we went through passport control, then we think we went down again to baggage reclaim. It was a long process because the carousel was very long. Keith found one piece but then time went along and he didn't see it on the carousel but eventually spotted it on the floor on the other side of the carrousel with some other bags. With luggage in hand we got on a other line and ultimately we went through a check to verify passport, covid test and proof of vaccination. For those not tested we saw one family along with a couple of other people being tested.
The good news is our driver was waiting for us as soon as we exited the final check point and the walk to the vehicle was brief. The drive into the City took about 45 minutes and we were taken to the Reykjavik Residence Hotel. The Hotel is comprised of eight different buildings all within walking distance of where we checked-in. Originally, we had booked a day room with the possibility our room would not be ready until 3:00 PM or later. The good news is we were told if we waited 30 minutes our room would be ready and we would be charged for the day room. We did this.
After getting our room cards we walked no more than two minutes to the building our room is located in. When we say the room we have a two bedroom apartment. There are six apartment in the building on three different floors. The room has two bathrooms, a living area and a kitchen with oven, stovetop, refrigerator and dishwasher along with sufficient items to cook if one wanted to do just that. Keith selected this with COVID-19 in mind even before the variant hit. We wanted a place where we didn't have to go through a lobby filled with lots of people, not to mention the elevators.
The hotel is conveniently located to several attractions and also a nearby food store and plenty of restaurants, and stores.
They had asked us if we wanted a breakfast for our arrival and we said yes and we made it into a breakfast and a light lunch.
After breakfast, we walked some including a visit to the food store. We asked about a wine shop and since today is a National Holiday it is closed and the same is true for tomorrow. After we got back to the room Anne Marie started to unpack while Keith went back to the grocery store to get some additional items. We decided to have dinner in the room and get to sleep at a reasonable time since we had very little sleep.
Keith went back out on a mission to find wine. LOL. He spoke with the person who registered us and he confirmed wine stores are closed. He looked at a website where we could order wine for delivery but that seemed to complicated. Keith had passed a restaurant where he noticed patrons having lunch accompanied by wine and beer for some. He asked the hotel person if restaurants could sell wine for take-out. His answer officially no but sometimes they will. Keith went inside the restaurant and asked if they could sell wine and the answer was, technically know but he would. LOL. With two bottles of wine in hand he made it back to the hotel where we had a light lunch. No wine. Too early.
Following are some photos of our room and a couple near the food store.
The past 24 hours+ involved travel. Tomorrow we will start to explore.
Many thanks to Susan, Betty, Gill and Rocky & Dave for your good wishes and thoughtful comments and to those of you we have heard from via e-mail.
Our excitement builds, as today marks the start of a new adventure.
We were picked up at our home and driven to our local airport to check in for our flights. We had the same driver as we did when we were picked up for our flights to Nassau 31 days ago.
We are flying with an airline Keith hasn't flown since he worked and sometimes would use them and we are not sure Anne Marie has flown. Check in was easy and we did have to show them our negative COVID-19 test results. The TSA line was extremely long but the Pre TSA Check was very short and we breezed right through security.
We went to the Airline lounge and it is modern looking and more impressive than the one for the airline we usually fly with. The personnel are very nice and helpful and the food selections better and many items are touch less.
The first flight took us to JFK airport. After arriving we made our way to the JFK International Terminal. The terminal was a zoo with even more people than we imagined as is the airline lounge.
There is an irony to being at JFK airport on this day. Thirty-four years ago we were married and by early evening we were checked in at a Hilton which was located near the JFK airport. The following day we were to fly to Bermuda for an amazing honeymoon. We remember July 31, 1977 as if it was yesterday.
We are posting this from JFK airport where this evening we fly to Reykjavik, Iceland. Our next post will be from Iceland.
Anne Marie & Keith
In the past we have found the key to a successful adventure is all of the planning, research and preparation which go into each trip.
This includes flights, hotels, excursions and other touring, along with equipment and clothing and other accessories.
Talk about a major contrast between our recent Bahama Cruise and this adventure. The Bahamas were "Hot", "Hot", "Hot".
Iceland even in the Summer will be on the cooler side with a good chance of some rather windy and rainy days. Put away the shorts and other summer clothing and bring out clothing to keep us dry and warm.
Crystal provided a link to the company which is providing an outdoor jacket to each guest along with loaner boots. The company also had a comprehensive list of items to consider bringing for this trip. Between this list and our experience preparing for the Northwest Passage cruise we took on-board Crystal Serenity in 2016 we had a good idea as to what we should bring with us.
This included waterproof pants and jacket, clothes to layer, hats, gloves, neck gear, hiking shoes, long johns and a few other clothing items. We also are taking hand warmers, waterproof backpack, and waterproof case for our smart phones.
We booked Crystal excursions. They offer a mix of complimentary excursions along with ones which include a cost.
Shortly after booking the cruise we made our flight and hotel arrangements and since then we have researched the ports of call we will visit.
Very recently, Iceland made the decision all visitors arriving by flight must get a COVID-19 test 72 hours or less from the time they check in for their first flight. This put us on the cusp as most places do not perform COVVID-19 tests over the weekend which is what we would have needed. Some do but some of them do not comply with the testing requirements of Iceland. We tried to push out our flights but couldn't get the class of service we had booked so we ended up pulling up the flight by two days meaning we are spending more time in Reykjavik than originally planned. Yesterday we took a Covid-19 PCR test and when the results came back last night they were negative. We also filled out the pre-registration form for arrival to Iceland on line which cannot be submitted until you are within 72 hours or less of arrival to Iceland. The approval comes via e-mail in a couple of minutes or less with a bar code which we will show at arrival.
A week ago on a Thursday, we received in the mail from Crystal Cruises a cover page with each of us including a bar code which will be used to check-in for the cruise. The package also included luggage tags. Similar to the ones we received for the Bahamas cruise these tags are pre-printed. The difference is they don't require a short string to fasten them to the luggage but have adhesive when removed allows you to easily put them around the handle. These are similar to some of the other luxury lines however these stand out more with the teal colors. Prior to that we received an electronic vacation guide.
Luggage tag with suite number and last name removed from the photo. Another set of tags were included with Anne Marie's name on them.
As this adventure begins we have many people to thank. This includes many from Crystal Cruises on land and at sea who have been very helpful assisting us in cruise planning. Special thanks to our outstanding Travel Specialist Gerri and to her outstanding assistant Gabby. One of many things the Pandemic taught us is how people react in adversary and when things go terribly wrong. While some agents abandoned their customers when cruise and other travel was shut-down, Gerri and Gabby were there for us every step of the way and for their other clients. They had our backs the entire time and we will never forget this. Our thanks for all of their help with this and our other travel plans and for all they do.
Anne Marie & Keith