DEPART MOZART & FLY TO LONDON
Caryn, thank you for your comments, good wishes and for following our trip. We wish you both the very best.
Betty, we are glad to hear you enjoyed the blog and we wish you a great time in Italy. If we can help with questions please let us know.
Anne, thank you for your comments. We don't have another River Cruise booked yet but plan to find another one to book. We loved the experience.
Doris, thank you for your very nice comments about our Blog and for following along all these months. The nice thing about travel is that there are many options available including different types of vessels to sail on. It is amazing the cruising industry has have between Ocean and River Cruise vessels not to mention the increase in airlines and flights and land trips.
Yesterday afternoon had some interesting items on the schedule including Wine Tasting followed by Team Trivia. The morning also featured a Galley Tour.
We enjoyed our final evening on-board Mozart starting with a pre-dinner drink at Palm Court.
Mark Farris was playing the Piano. There are two pianos on Mozart. One is located in the cove right by the bar where there some seats are located and the other one is in the Palm Court where many chairs are located. Mark changes up where he plays the piano before dinner.
It has been wonderful sailing with Mark.
This was followed by our final dinner of the River Cruise at Waterside
This is the dinner menu from last evening.
It was busy in Waterside and very jovial since this was the final night of the cruise. People traveling together or newfound friends were dining at larger tables. Guests were saying their goodbyes to one another and to the amazing members of team Mozart.
We enjoyed four courses.
Each night the waiter would make a recommendation for each course.
We both had a Crepe for the appetizer, recommended by the waiter. It was delicious between the actual crepe pastry and the filling.
We asked for Spinach Salads which were not on the menu for our next course.
Keith had Lamb Chops for his entree and Anne Marie had Salmon. The waiter had recommended the Lamb.
For dessert, Anne Marie had a strudel. After all we are in Austria. and Keith had Cheese Plate. He had the waiter select the types of cheese some of which were on the menu and some that was not last evening.
It was a wonderful meal. With Mozart going under Genting at the end of the year and not available for bookings we expect that we will likely see some of the waitstaff on other River Vessels, Ocean Vessels, the Yacht and Endeavor.
They took great care of us throughout the cruise.
We said our goodbyes to many of the waitstaff team including those who took care of us regularly at dinner and those who we would have on occasion when we were sitting with other people at larger tables and other locations. Often at dinner we sat at the port side of Waterside. At lunch we dined at or near the same location. During lunch the swap the waiters so the waiter we would have at dinner would be at the starboard side and the waiter who is assigned to the port side for dinner would be at the starboard side for lunch. It's nice how they move them around. Some of the waiters/assistants will be working the buffet area at lunch and back in the dining venue for dinner.
Likewise, earlier in the evening we gave our best to the two bartenders at Palm Court. We also thanked the two people who served the drinks who we saw later as they are runners at Waterside during the dinner time.
Before going to bed we added more items to the luggage and weighed them.
We slept well last night. We were up early but no exercising for Keith. We had breakfast 30 minutes earlier than usual. Butler Paolo was on duty one hour earlier than normal so he brought the breakfast. We gave our best wishes to him. We knew him from his time on Crystal Serenity. We are sure he will move to one of the other River Vessels so he can stay closer to home in Europe.
A difference between the River Cruise and Ocean Vessel is luggage doesn't to have to be placed outside our suite until 45 minutes before departure. In our case that was 7:15 AM with a private transfer scheduled for 8:00 AM.
We kept to the same breakfast of cereal and a banana.
We arranged for a private vehicle transfer with Crystal Cruises to take us to Vienna International Airport. Another option was the complimentary bus transfer to the airport.
Butler Paolo told us when we were ready he would take care of our luggage. We called him at 7:00 AM and he came by the room and took out our two large pieces of luggage.
We left the room at 7:50 AM and we saw our luggage and the concierge Andrea said the vehicle would arrive in the next few minutes. Hotel Director Sonja stopped by to chat with us as did the Captain a few minutes later.
At precisely 8:00 AM Andreea wheeled our two pieces of luggage off the ship. It was raining. With umbrella in hand Sonja escorted Anne Marie and Shore Excursion Manager escorted Keith out to the waiting car. Unlike the Ocean Vessel no necessary to have the ship cards scanned and the vehicle was just a few steps from Mozart. In short, the departure process was as easy as embarkation.
The drive to the airport was quicker than anticipated. We used an airport concierge service which allowed for expedited check-in. We proceed through passport control and to an airport lounge.
The airport lounge was pretty plain but the person at the desk was very professional and helpful. He showed us around the lounge pointing out where everything was; self service breakfast, beverages, rest rooms; tables with outlets, etc.
Security was done when we proceeded to the gate for our flight.
Today's flight only involved traveling from Vienna to London Heathrow where we are staying over at the London Heathrow Sofitel Hotel. We have stayed at this hotel numerous time including a few weeks ago when we flew from Serenity in Athens to London Heathrow. There is a direct flight to our home city but the connection today would have been too tight for us which is why we broke the travel into two separate days.
We arrived to Terminal 3 at Heathrow. The good news is starting last night landing cards are no longer required for those entering the UK from seven countries including the USA. There were no lines to go through immigration. Not sure if this was the reason but it certainly eliminates paperwork, saves money and allows the reallocation of some resources.
From there we made our way to Terminal 5 where Sofitel is located after we cleared immigration, picked up our luggage and cleared customs.
We will post more tomorrow before we take off on our flight back to the states.
Anne Marie & Keith