Passau, Germany & Cruising Danube River
Karin, thank you for your very nice comments about our Blog along with our comments from the tour of the concentration camp. It was definitely a very emotional experience. We were glad to hear that all students in Austria once they reach the appropriate age are required to visit the concentration camp. It is our hope that more knowledge will go along way to help prevent something so horrific from ever happening again.
Catherine..Thank you for your comments. It's a personal decision as to whether to visit a concentration camp memorial. I am glad we went ahead and did it. The challenge is returning to the ship knowing the hardships/pain and suffering that others experienced and having an experience that is 360 degrees opposite to that back on-board the vessel.
Steve...We are glad that our advice was helpful on your recent trip and that you are enjoying the blog/postings. We are just two people who love to travel. Although the weather has been on the cooler side we have been told that May is still a perfect time to do this trip. As many river vessels as we see now there will be many more during the summer plus those who visit with a land trip.
We wanted to begin with a shutout for our Butler Paulo and Suite Attendant Linda. They are both very professional, friendly, and they don't miss a beat.
We do have breakfast in our room each morning. It is simple as we both have cereal and a banana. We have it at 7:00 AM. Precisely at 7:00 AM there is a knock on the door and it is Paulo. He is always positive as he sets up the meal. He also gives us great advice about each stop. He also has been very intensive with our water and other beverages. They are always there in the correct quantity. The only other item we have had him take care of is some pressing. He mentioned to us the first day that if we leave pressing by 7:00 PM it will be ready the following day by or before that time. One time we forgot gave it to him in the morning but said we understood it would not be ready until the next day and within hours he had the items pressed and back to us.
Our Suite Attendant Linda has been terrific. We are out of the room before or right after she comes on in the morning and similarly in the early evening. When we return back to the room the room has been cleaned in the morning and turned down in the evening and most importantly she is thorough and does not miss a beat. Everything is there from towels to tissue and precisely looking perfect. She is also very positive and it shows each day.
As mentioned we took the shuttle to the town of Passau yesterday morning.
The drive was 15 minutes and our return was less than 10 minutes.
We drove along the Danube.
As we made it into the downtown area we saw several River Vessels in town along with lunch/dinner Vessels.
From the drop-off point we walked all along the town visiting St. Stephen's Cathedral, Cathedral Square, Old City Hall, Pilgrimage Church of St. Mary along with some local stores, and places selling baked goods.
Even though it is not the peak tourist season there were many tourists in town.
It was on the cooler side while we walked starting in the low 40's (F). By the time we finished the walk it was a balmy 53 degrees (F). When the sun was out it felt good but when the sun went behind the clouds and with some wind gusts it felt cool.
Once back to Mozart we enjoyed lunch and a leisurely afternoon on the ship.
Speaking of lunch. Waterside has a luncheon buffet. There is a salad bar, an area with hot foods, another area with soup, a station with bread and another one with desserts. There is someone to served the soup and when we go to the hot area there is one to two people behind the station who serve some of the food and assist with other items. For example there are some hot pots and they lift the cover while we take the portion we prefer.
Once at the table there are waiters who ask what type of drink we would like. We sit in the same area each day so the two waiters working that areas know the beverages we like. They have also given us great advice about the upcoming areas we are visiting and provide a high level of service as does the entire waitstaff at Waterside.
Last evening we enjoyed a pre-dinner drink at Palm Court.
We sat with two other couples who we have met on this voyage. They are both traveling together. Late afternoon right before we had drinks in the Palm Court there was a talk given on the European Union.
This is the dinner menu from Waterside.
This was followed by dinner at Waterside with Captain Bela Burjan and Hotel Director Sonja Gruber. The Captain began duties on this ship in 2002 and became Captain in 2009. When the parent of Crystal Cruises Genting purchased Mozart the Captain came over to Crystal Cruises. Hotel Director Sonja performed various jobs on-board Crystal Harmony which was the first ship in the Crystal Ocean Fleet before becoming Osaka II and transferring to NYK (former owner of Crystal's) to sail mainly with Japanese guests. After performing various jobs on land Sonja returned to Crystal Cruises as Hotel Director of Crystal Mozart and was actively involved with the deployment of Mozart.
We enjoyed four courses starting with appetizers and a couple of items we would not see on an Ocean Vessel.
This included the Local Crayfish Appetizer we had as an appetizer. It was delicious. it was recommended by the waiter and an excellent choice.
We both had salads.
The other item we had that was unique from an Ocean Vessel was Fresh River Trout which we had. We thought since it was fresh and local we should have this as our entree. We made a good choice.
Fourth course we dessert for Anne Marie and Cheese for Keith.
We enjoyed a lovely dinner between the outstanding cuisine and service and a wonderful non-stop conversation. It was great to get to know the Captain and Hotel Director. We learned so much from them about Austria, Budapest, other places we are visiting, the Danube River, food and much more. It was an honor for us to have an opportunity to dine with them.
We slept well. There was no rocking of the ship as we remained in port.
Keith was up early and enjoyed a workout at the Fitness Center. As we have mentioned he has changed his workout from an Elliptical Machine since they are not available (ceiling too low for them) to a stationary bike. He was able to watch a portion of the Golden State/Portland Trailblazer National Basketball Game making the time go by very quickly. At the same time this is a perfect time to do laundry.
Afterwards, he enjoyed some coffee. While we have a coffee maker in the room since Anne Marie was sleeping that is not a good option. The good news is just four or so rooms from our room and close to the reception area is The Pantry. It is open 7x24. With a push of a button you can make coffee and there are various choices. The pantry has light snacks, and cold beverages.
This photo shows the coffee maker and some other items.
Below the counter with the coffee maker is a refrigerator. Those are peaches along with cold drinks. Peaches look yummy.
We enjoyed breakfast in our room.
As it turned out the weather forecast which called for rain was correct. We had considered going back into town or possibly a bike ride for Keith but with the rain we decided to stay on-board Mozart. We left our room about 8:00 AM so that Linda could clean the room. When we left, she was getting various cleaning items set up outside our room.
We walked over to the Palm Court which is just one deck higher than our room. Anne Marie has been using the iPad that is in each room. One of the nice features are newspapers and magazines which Anne Marie has been reading. Keith worked on our Blog.
With only a few days remaining of this voyage and the continued chance of rain and much cooler temperature (45 degrees F) we decided to take advantage of the time and do some packing. This time around the packing is easier as we don't have to figure out what to ship home and what to pack to take with us. Everything with us stays with us and will come home with us.
At one point we heard an announcement that our vessel would be repositioned. Earlier today we were next to another ship and those guests getting off had to walk thru our vessel. After repositioning we took the inside while another ship took the outside position as we would be leaving in a couple of hours and the other ship would be staying.
The time went by quickly and before we knew it was time for lunch and our departure from Passau at which time we begin scenic cruising.
Anne Marie & Keith