CRYSTAL MOZART - DAY 2
Rob...Thank you for sharing your experience from your two and soon to be three River Cruises. I too wondered if the experience could be duplicated on the river cruise vessels and it can. This is truly Crystal. Amazing team on board to take care of each guest.
Catherine M. we hadn't realized there was an indoor pool. It's actually just adjacent to our room at the end of the hallway. The laundry facilities are nice given the size of the ship. We are two doors from these facilities. There are three washers and three dryers.
After we posted Butler Paolo who we know from Serenity came by to go over the room with us and any of our needs. He explained dry cleaning and the laundry service and we went over the beverages we desire in the refrigerator. He took note of the beverages and a few other items such as needing an additional European plug.
We spent the rest of the afternoon getting everything unpacked and put in its proper place.
Anne Marie met our Suite Attendant Linda. She was very helpful. She knew about our preferences from our time on Serenity and Symphony. Keith met Linda on our way to the room after dinner. She was already preparing our room for turn-down service at around 5:30 PM when Anne Marie returned to the room to get sunglasses to go outside for the muster drill.
This is the daily Reflections program from yesterday. In addition to this program there is a hard copy listing which details times for the daily activities. Inside the first edition was the summary of all of the tours we booked on-line with two sheets; one per person.
Before the safety briefing we had a pre-dinner drink at the Palm Court. The bar staff who is also the wait staff for dinner was very helpful. There were several wines to choose from. Keith asked about some of the choices for Red wine in preparation for dinner.
We attended the safety briefing and mandatory muster drill for all guests which was held at 6:00 PM. It was very well done. The captain went through all of the details and it was very informative. The crew placed our life jackets on us almost like Northwest Passage. For those of you who have sailed on a Crystal Serenity cruise the recording about the drill was done by Cruise Director Gary Hunter. Keith picked up on that as soon as the first word of the recording was uttered by Gary.
We then attended the Meet the Officers get-together at Palm Court which was hosted by Entertainment Host Mark Farris. We know Mark from the ocean vessels. He is a wonderful entertainer and we are happy that he is on-board for our sailing. Right before the officers were introduced we spoke with the Captain and the Hotel Director. We learned that the Captain has been on this vessel since 2002 and Captain since 2009. He and the crew members came over to Crystal Cruises after the vessel was purchased by the owner of Crystal Cruises; Genting
Mark gave a great introduction including introducing each country that guest are from and playing a portion of a song associated with the respective countries. Countries included United Kingdom, Belgium Australia (yes Australia not Austria), Mexico, The United States of America and a handful of other countries.
Mark introduced the officers and senior staff starting with the Captain. Others included Vice Captain, Hotel Director, Restaurant Manager, Shore Excursion Manager, and Crystal Society Hostess.
Mark also mentioned that we would have local entertainment the next two nights including something special for Mother's Day.
He introduced the Shore Excursion Manager who spoke about tours and gave advice as to the type of shoes to wear in port and also about being careful with valuables. All good advice.
We had dinner at Waterside and following is the dinner menu.
The dinner was terrific. After entering Waterside we were welcomed by Restaurant Manager Cristian who we know from his time on Serenity before he went to Symphony. He assigned a table and we were escorted to the table by one of the Waiters. We were at a window table. On the ocean we have learned that often the view from a window table is not anything special.
The window view last evening was completely different as we enjoyed wonderful views. We saw the shoreside, several ducks (yes ducks) and many River Cruise Vessels.
The food was fresh and delicious.
Even the rolls might have been the freshest and tastiest rolls we have had at sea and in most cases tastier than on land.
The choice of items is not as extensive as those on the Ocean Vessels. This is not a surprise given that we are sailing with one-sixth of the number of guests we might have on a Crystal Ocean Vessel. There was still plenty to choose from.
We had the same items. This included a mushroom tarte, Spinach Salad and Black Bass. The tarte was amazing in its creation and taste. You can see the difference as this is something you would not find on the ocean vessel which likely is due to far fewer guests on-board the river cruise vessel. The salad was fresh and the Sea Bass was as the waiter described, very moist.
Anne Marie had a small portion of a cake and Keith had some cheese.
During the course of the meal the Head Waiter came by to check on us and we also met the Executive Chef. The Executive Chef came by to speak with two couples who were sharing a near-by table but stopped by our table for a moment and knew our name. Amazing.
Throughout the ship many of the staff already know our names Again, amazing.
As we were returning to our room we saw Butler Paolo. He had mentioned to us that on the pressing to call him when we left the pressing and if we left it before 7:00 PM we would get it back the next day before 7:00 PM. We called him before we left the room. When we saw him he said he had just left the pressing in the room. It was one sports jacket for Keith and so nice they turned it around in a couple of hours.
When we walked in our room there were chocolates for each of us which was a very nice touch.
We slept well on the first night of the River Cruise. We remained in port.
Keith was up early and enjoyed his first workout of the River Cruise and also did laundry. Since there are no elliptical machines he worked out on a Stationary Bike and watched the news and a portion of the National Basketball Association Playoff game between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets.
After the workout he got some coffee at the Pantry which is right near our room and has coffee, water/juices and wine along with some cookies/pastries 24 hours each day.
We had coffee and breakfast in our room. Sound familiar. LOL.
Butler Paolo arrived to our room precisely at 7:00 AM with cereal and bananas. He had thought we wanted one bowl of raisin bran and one bowl of all-bran but we actually have half and half. In a blink of an eye he brought additional bowls and we were all set.
After breakfast before leaving the ship we spoke with Concierge Andreea Zala about a few items. She was very helpful and mentioned several times she would be happy to assists us with any plans in each port.
We then went on along walk which included walking by several River Cruise vessels including the Crystal Raval as we made our way to a destination we picked out. Our stop included a visit to the Kleiner Kirchenfuhrer Cathedral and a nearby residential area.
When we returned Keith thought it would be nice to ride a bike. Anne Marie encouraged him to do this. While he teaches indoor cycling at home as well as taking the classes he is not an outdoor cyclist. He always worries about falling down and breaking something. However given the paths he decided to give it a try and had a wonderful time. The bikes are also electric but Keith primarily biked without the benefit of the electric portion of the bike. He biked long past where we went this morning and then returned in the other direction past Mozart and way beyond the marina. From there he went past Mozart and halfway towards where he first biked and back to Mozart. He had a great time.
When Keith returned to Mozart he was speaking to one of the people from the front desk about Ravel. She said that guests from can visit the ship and all you have to do is show your room card. Keith decided to do just that and this time he ran from Mozart to Ravel. Their position changed from earlier in the morning when another ship was in front of them so to get on and off Ravel you have to walk through the other ship. Tomorrow Ravel begins a new voyage and the moved the ship close to the pathway as they were taking on new supplies.
Once on-board Keith spoke with the Concierge. The would have given Keith a tour but no-one was available to cover the area for the Concierge. She took time to point out where the public rooms were and Keith visited them. He could clearly see the difference in width between Mozart and Ravel as Mozart is double the width. Ravel is typical of the ships that sail the Rhine. The ship is beautiful and is one of four ships that were built exclusively for Crystal Cruises. These ships carry 106 guests whereas Mozart carries up to 154 guests. Total crew on Mozart is 92 versus 68 on the other four ships. All five have a terrific guest to crew ratio.
Shortly after Keith returned we enjoyed lunch at Waterside where we had a large sized salad entree.
After lunch we walked over to Ravel so Anne Marie could take a tour and see it herself. While on board one of the head waiters came up to us who used to be a waiter in Prego on Serenity.
When we arrived back to Mozart we were speaking outside with Sonja the Hotel Director. While we were speaking one of the crew members was walking off the ship and she came up to us to say hello as she had been a stewardess for us many years ago.
We are enjoying the rest of the afternoon in Vienna as we post this with dinner plans off the ship for this evening.
Anne Marie & Keith