DAY 16 CRYSTAL SYMPHONY -VICTORIA
Last evening we enjoyed a pre-dinner drink at the Avenue Saloon. This time Keith tried another new drink that bartender Teo recommended for him which was a Hemingway Daiquiri Martini. It was made with Cuban Rum. Delicious. Anne Marie tried a different type of wine. All good. We have enjoyed our visits to the Avenue Saloon and Teo has come up with some nice drinks for Keith to try and the rest of the bar staff has been warm, friendly and professional.
We enjoyed our final supper (dinner) at Waterside. These are the menus.
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner.
Keith tried the Veal Carpaccio for the first time ever. It was lightly cooked. It tasted delicious and was enhanced with the toppings of apples, feta cheese cream, truffle honey and cider pearls. Anne Marie had one of her favorites; shrimp cocktail.
We both had a salad that we have from time to time if we do not see a salad on the menu that we prefer.
Keith enjoyed the Sea Bass so much the night on Black Tie Optional night that we asked the Head Waiter earlier in the day if it was available for dinner and he said absolutely. Otherwise we would have had one of the items you can get on any night such as salmon.
Dessert. Anne Marie had the coffee ice cream and this flavor is a favorite of hers. She encouraged Keith to have a dessert such as the cheese plate and after some arm twisting (LOL) Keith did just that. There is a special cheese menu with around eight choices. With the assistance of the Senior Waiter Keith selected four of them. A short while later Head Waiter Albert who cut them brought them out along with a large tray of crackers and breads to select from. We were both pleased with our choices.
The wine was enjoyable. Keith tried the wine that was on the menu (Pinot Noir) and thankfully he had sommelier Jorge pour just a little amount to taste and this one did not work for him. He was going to go with one he had a few days later as well as on prior cruises but as it turned out there was another wine to try from Sonoma Valley California which was a mixed blend and that was perfect. Head Sommelier Boris poured it for us to try. Anne Marie liked it as well and she mainly sticks to Chardonnay and Chablis.
All in all a wonderful meal. This was our last time dining at Waterside. It has been a terrific experience.
The comedian last evening was Steven Couette who performed two shows and this marked his second performance of the cruise. We believe based on his show and the laughter he generated from the audience that he will be asked to return. Keith met him several days ago and in the Crystal way when Keith saw him two days later the comedian remembered his name. In keeping with multiple evening choices a variety pianist Jason Lyle Black performed two shows last evening.
These are photos from dinner.
We wanted to thank not only the amazing wait staff at Waterside but all of the people who we do not see including those who prep and cook the meals to those who clean all of the dishes and everyone else involved this area. Same goes for the other areas of the ship. Also kudos to Restaurant Manager Slavko who has mastered the transition from traditional to open dining.
We spoke with Hotel Director Josef Matt shortly after dinner and expressed our appreciation to him and his entire team. They have been amazing.
We slept well as we sailed to our Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Keith who is an earlier riser woke up later than he has in years of sailing. Staying up later and forwarding the clock three hours did catch up with him.
We enjoyed breakfast in our room as we have each day and got ready to explore Victoria. Our first visit was in the mid-1990's prior to our first Alaska Cruise on Celebrity Century. On that visit we took a ferry from Vancouver to Victoria. We returned in 2002 on a stop that we made on our first cruise with Crystal Cruises on Crystal Harmony and have stopped here numerous times since then.
As we have done in the past in lieu of taking the shuttle we walked from the cruise ship terminal to downtown Victoria.
The weather was in the 50's so we layered our clothing. With a chance of rain we wore a light rain jacket over another jacket. Eventually we removed the top layer. The walk along the water is always pleasant and we follow the signs to the city. Easy peasy. We stopped to take photos along the way. Once in town we walked inside the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Last time we were here they were doing major work on one section of the hotel. It is a beautiful hotel. Eventually we stopped at one shop, Wilson Clothing, which we have visited the past several years. For the second time we made a purchase for Anne Marie.
We enjoyed the walk back to the ship. We spoke with a couple of the locals and as they always are very pleasant people. As we walking inside the terminal area we ran into Anne Marie who Keith saw the other day but Anne Marie hadn't seen as she is the night time auditor. We first met Anne Marie on Serenity in 2007. She has held several positions on both Serenity and Symphony. So nice to see her. We've included some photos with each of us with her.
On our way back we saw a large family of Geese.
We also included a photo of Butler Dario setting up breakfast for us.
We had lunch at the Market Place. We arrived a few minutes before Noon to chat with member of the wait staff and as it turned out they opened at 11:30 AM to accommodate those guests booked on early afternoon tours. Many members of the crew were going to go ashore when on their break. Some for a run, others for a walk, and even others to go biking.
Victoria is an amazing city. It is very beautiful. The nearby mountains had snow on them.
We will enjoy the ship for the remainder of the day and finish packing and we will have our final supper (dinner) of the cruise in our room.
We will post more in the next day or two.
Anne Marie & Keith