CALIFORNIA HERE WE COME
We enjoyed a good night's sleep at the airport hotel and heard no aircraft noise.
After we awoke we got ready for the start of our adventure. The hotel shuttle took us on a five-minute drive to the airport terminal. Check-in was efficient and with Global Entry allowing pre TSA check we made our way through security expeditiously. We enjoyed coffee at the airline lounge and visited a few stores before making our way to the gate for our flight.
Our flight left on-time and was uneventful. There was some turbulence but in someways it felt like being at sea.
While the first class section was full, the coach section was less than half full. This is because of the time of year when business travel slows and tourist travel ramps down until closer to the Christmas and New Years Holidays.
The good news is that we landed 45 minutes early. However the plane that was at the gate was delayed so if they didn't switch gates we would have been delayed arriving to the gate. We were assigned a different gate and by the time we arrived we were back on schedule. Translation. We waited 45 minutes on the plane. LOL
We did have a first. Thanks to the airline app we can track when the luggage gets loaded on the aircraft. While we were sitting in the airline lounge Keith noticed that the luggage was loaded on an aircraft. The only problem is that it was loaded on another flight to Los Angeles that left three hours before our flight. When we landed the app showed that the luggage was being held at the customer service area and that is where we claimed our two pieces.
The last two times we sailed from Los Angeles (May 2017 & September 2018) we stayed at hotels on-site at Disneyland. On other cruises we booked hotels in Long Beach, San Pedro, Santa Monica, Marina del Rey and Beverly Hills.
This time we returned to Beverly Hills and booked the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel. The last time we stayed in Beverly Hills was before the start of the 2008 World Cruise and we stayed at a different hotel property.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel will be our home for five nights. This is our first time staying at this hotel. We booked a garden patio suite.
Our room was not ready upon check-in. We were given another room that we could use which we did and then we went out to have lunch. Our room was ready by the time we arrived back from the restaurant.
This is a special trip for us and Keith booked a room to celebrate the start of this adventure. The room is beautiful and what makes this one unique is the amazing outdoor patio. We look forward to having breakfast outside along with enjoying some nice afternoon time outside.
Some photos of the inside of the room and some additional ones of the patio.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel opened in 1991. The hotel includes 140 rooms, 38 suites and 17 private villas. The exterior of the hotel has a French Riviera look and its winding walkways are lined with lemon trees and palms. The hotel is a short walk from Rodeo Drive.
The hotel includes three venues for dining: The Belvedere serving Mediterranean-Californian cuisine; The Roof Garden serving Californian Cuisine and The Living Room featuring Traditional Afternoon Tea and food items. There is an intimate venue to enjoy a drink, light snack and conversation called The Club Bar.
There is a fitness centre, a spa and a rooftop pool and Jacuzzi for exercise and relaxation. The map will give those of you not familiar with Beverly Hills an idea as to its proximity to Los Angeles and other nearby areas.
We will dine at the hotel this evening and will post about that tomorrow. We are excited to be in California and look forward to a memorable journey.
As we begin this journey we thought we would include a slide show from previous World Cruise adventures.
NOTE: The slide-show may not show on all devices.
Anne Marie & Keith
LET'S GET THIS PARTY STARTED
Today begins a new adventure. All items on our checklists are complete. We added last-minute items to our carry on and checked luggage and ensured all important documents are with us including passports, and cruise documents. We received two sets of cruise information; one for Crystal Serenity and one for Mozart. Mozart Final Cruise Documents will be sent to us electronically a e-documents while on-board Serenity.
The documents we received in November were for the Holiday Cruise and included the "Before You Sail" booklet and luggage tags on the left side of the photo. In December we received the information for the 2019 cruises on-board Serenity. This included a revised "Before You Sail" booklet reflecting the new dining venues on-board Serenity following the recent dry-dock and a new look for the luggage tags. We also received updated luggage tags for the Mozart River cruise. The updated tags and booklet are on the ride side of the photo.
We want to mention that packing our luggage was more challenging for this cruise than past cruises. This is because on the day the World Cruise begins we will change rooms. The good news is the rooms are next to one another. We decided the move would be easier if we didn't unpack all the luggage. Anne Marie determined the items we would need for our pre-cruise stay. These items went into one piece of luggage. She also figured out what clothes and other items we would need for the first two voyages and placed some in the pre-cruise bag and the remaining items in two other pieces of luggage we shipped to Serenity. The rest of the clothing went in other suitcases we shipped. Once on the ship we will not unpack those bags until we change rooms. We will have them stored for us until the start of the World Cruise.
This is the luggage shipped to California for delivery to Crystal Serenity on the day we board.
Since September we received three letters from Crystal Cruises with information about the World Cruise. We also received hard copy booklets in a keepsake holder detailing all of all World Cruise shore excursions and land programs.
As we have done in the past, we are staying overnight at an airport hotel this evening before our early morning flight.
Crystal will provide most of our transfers on this adventure. They provide two complimentary transfers for those on the full World Cruise plus we are using one Crystal Society Milestone providing two additional transfers. A private vehicle organized by Crystal Cruises took us from our home on a one hour drive to the hotel.
The driver's name was George. He was quite the professional in all ways. He arrived early, was courteous and a safe driver. He drives on the weekend to keep busy but has a job at one of the luxury hotels in our city. The drive went by quickly as we talked the entire time.
This is our third visit to this hotel and the staff is very customer focused. Our room was ready when we arrived and the few items we asked for (extra coffee and creamers) had been placed in the room. The person who checked us in remembered us from our one night stay in September prior to our flight to Rome for the three Crystal Serenity back to back cruises.
A reminder of the Holiday Season at the Hotel.
We will enjoyed dinner at the hotel and relax as we get ready for tomorrow. Our next post will be tomorrow evening from Southern California.
We will conclude today's post with a map showing our itinerary for this adventure.
Anne Marie & Keith
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It's Time. Let's get the party started.
Anne Marie & Keith
The following is a video from Crystal Cruises highlighting the behind the scenes makeover of Crystal Serenity. We were on-board Serenity right before dry drydock.
Additional details for each voyage on Serenity follow.
Following is the detailed itinerary for the Mozart R/T Vienna River Cruise.
A NEW ADVENTURE AWAITS
Dec 16 Los Angeles, California
Dec 17 Los Angeles, California
Dec 18 Los Angeles, California
Dec 19 Los Angeles, California
Dec 20 Los Angeles, California
Dec 21 Los Angeles, California (Embark Serenity)
Dec 22 Catalina Island, California
Dec 23 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Dec 24 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Dec 25 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Dec 26 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Dec 27 Maui/Lahaina, Hawaii
Dec 28 Oahu/Honolulu, Hawaii
Dec 29 Kauai/Nawiliwili, Hawaii
Dec 30 Hawaii/Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Dec 31 Hawaii/Hilo, Hawaii
Jan 01 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Jan 02 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Jan 03 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Jan 04 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Jan 05 Ensenada, Mexico
Jan 06 Los Angeles, California
Jan 07 Santa Barbara, California
Jan 08 San Francisco, California
Jan 09 Day At Sea
Jan 10 Ensenada, Mexico
Jan 11 San Diego, California
Jan 12 Catalina Island, California
Jan 13 Los Angeles, California (World Cruise Begins)
Jan 14 Los Angeles, California
Jan 15 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Jan 16 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Jan 17 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Jan 18 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Jan 19 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Jan 20 Oahu/Honolulu, Hawaii
Jan 21 Maui/Lahaina, Hawaii
Jan 22 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Jan 23 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Jan 24 Fanning Island, Republic of Kiribati
Jan 25 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Jan 26 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Jan 27 Pago Pago, Samoa
Jan 29 Crossing International Dateline
Jan 30 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Jan 31 Lautoka, Fiji
Feb 01 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Feb 02 Cruising the Pacific Ocean
Feb 03 Waitangi, Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Feb 04 Auckland, New Zealand (Overnight)
Feb 05 Auckland, New Zealand
Feb 06 Cruising the Tasman Sea
Feb 07 Cruising the Tasman Sea
Feb 08 Sydney, Australia (Overnight)
Feb 09 Sydney, Australia
Feb 10 Cruising East Coast of Australia
Feb 11 Hobart,Tasmania,Australia(Overnight)
Feb 12 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Feb 13 Cruising the Bass Strait
Feb 14 Kangaroo Island, Australia
Feb 15 Adelaide, Australia
Feb 16 Cruising the Great Australian Bight
Feb 17 Cruising the Great Australian Bight
Feb 18 Albany, Australia
Feb 19 Busselton, Australia
Feb 20 Fremantle/Perth, Australia
Feb 21 Cruising the Indian Ocean
Feb 22 Cruising the Indian Ocean
Feb 23 Cruising the Indian Ocean
Feb 24 Cruising the Indian Ocean
Feb 25 Cruising the Indian Ocean
Feb 26 Cruising the Indian Ocean
Feb 27 Cruising the Indian Ocean
Feb 28 Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius
Mar 01 Réunion Island/Port Réunion, France
Mar 02 Cruising the Indian Ocean
Mar 03 Taolanaro, Madagascar
Mar 04 Cruising the Indian Ocean
Mar 05 Cruising the Indian Ocean
Mar 06 Maputo, Mozambique
Mar 07 Richards Bay, South Africa
Mar 08 Durban, South Africa
Mar 09 Cruising the Coast of South Africa
Mar 10 Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Mar 11 Cape Town, South Africa (Overnight)
Mar 12 Cape Town, South Africa (Overnight)
Mar 13 Cape Town, South Africa (Overnight)
Mar 14 Cape Town, South Africa
Mar 15 Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
Mar 16 Luderitz, Namibia
Mar 17 Walvis Bay, Namibia
Mar 18 Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
Mar 19 Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
Mar 20 Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
Mar 21 St. Helena
Mar 22 Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
Mar 23 Georgetown, Ascension Island
Mar 24 Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
Mar 25 Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
Mar 26 Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
Mar 27 Dakar, Senegal
Mar 28 Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
Mar 29 Porto Novo, Cape Verde Islands
Mar 30 Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
Mar 31 Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
Apr 01 Santa Cruz de la Palma, Spain
Apr 02 Cruising the Atlantic Ocean
Apr 03 Málaga, Spain
Apr 04 Cruising the Mediterranean Sea
Apr 05 Barcelona, Spain
Apr 06 Monte Carlo, Monaco (Overnight)
Apr 07 Monte Carlo, Monaco World Cruise Ends AM
Apr 08 Monte Carlo, Monaco
Apr 09 Genoa, Italy
Apr 10 Florence/Livorno, Italy
Apr 11 Rome/Civitavecchia, Italy
Apr 12 Sorrento, Italy
Apr 13 Cruising the Ionian Sea
Apr 14 Corfu, Greece
Apr 15 Kotor, Montenegro
Apr 16 Dubrovnik, Croatia
Apr 17 Venice, Italy(Overnight)
Apr 18 Venice, Italy
Apr 19 Koper, Slovenia
Apr 20 Split, Croatia
Apr 21 Dubrovnik, Croatia
Apr 22 Dubrovnik, Croatia (Leaves 5:00 AM)
Apr 22 Kotor, Montenegro
Apr 23 Cruising the Ionian Sea
Apr 24 Santorini/Thíra, Greece
Apr 25 Náfplion, Greece
Apr 26 Athens/Piraeus, Greece (Overnight)
Apr 27 Athens/Piraeus, Greece
Apr 28 Cruising the Aegean Sea
Apr 29 Paphos, Cyprus
Apr 30 Rhodes/Lindos, Greece
May 01 Souda Bay/Chania
May 02 Santorini/Thíra, Greece
May 03 Mykonos
May 04 Athens/Piraeus, Greece (Disembark Serenity)
May 05 Vienna, Austria
May 06 Vienna, Austria
May 07 Vienna, Austria
May 08 Vienna, Austria
May 09 Vienna, Austria
May 10 Vienna, Austria (Embark Mozart)
May 11 Vienna, Austria
May 12 Danube Scenic Cruising
May 12 Crossing the scenic Wachau Valley
May 12 Dürnstein, Austria
May 12 Melk, Austria
May 13 Linz, Austria
May 14 Passau, Germany
May 15 Cruising the Danube River
May 15 Passau, Germany
May 16 Cruising the Danube River
May 16 Bratislava, Slovakia
May 17 Scenic cruising into Budapest
May 17 Budapest, Hungary
May 18 Scenic cruising from Budapest
May 18 Budapest, Hungary
May 19 Cruising the Danube River
May 19 Vienna, Austria
May 20 Vienna, Austria(Disembark Mozart)
May 20 London