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Old April 25th, 2011, 04:49 AM
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Default Virtual Cruise - Crystal Symphony - Hawaii - Getting "Crystalized"

Crystal Symphony - Day 1 - Apr. 24
It was a very unusual day for me today, as even though I am cruising without Mrs. Kuki to keep me organized, I made it to LAX; from there to the Port of Los Angeles, in San Pedro, onto the ship; received all my luggage; unpacked, and got through the first day onboard, without incident. And seemingly, I have forgot nothing, except my wife.

Just six weeks ago I was in San Pedro, disembarking from the Sapphire Princess at the end of a 14 night cruise to Hawaii and back. Therefore it was a bit of an odd feeling back so soon to set sail on the exact same itinerary on the Symphony; a ship just under half the size of the Sapphire.
One similarity, as on most of my previous sailings from Los Angeles, whether to Hawaii, or to the Mexican Riviera, the first night the seas are quite choppy.

On arrival to the ship, it took about as long as the fastest I could walk to check in and cross the gangway to board the Symphony.

The lobby/atrium, with itís marble flooring, crystal lighting and feature waterfall is visually stunning, making a significant opening statement to a first time Crystal cruiser.

A line of attendants were waiting, offering to handle my carry-on bag and escort me to my cabin but I declined, opting to make my way on my own.
My accommodations for the next two weeks is Penthouse 1061, just a few cabins from the stern on Deck 10. Iíll go into detail about the amenities that come with the Penthouse Suites, and this later in the cruise, after Iíve settled in a bit, but my initial description is luxurious, understated elegance.

Iíve got more drawers and storage space than I could have used if Iíd brought three times as much luggage.

Today was Easter Sunday, and waiting to greet me in my suite was a large plate of bunny and chocolate egg creations, and a bottle of Champagne. In short order, I met my butler David, and my cabin stewardess, Priscilla.

For the first time that I can recall on a cruise, the Lido deck cafť was not open on embarkation day. Lunch is served in the Dining Room until 1:30, and after that time the Trident Grill on Lido Deck, for hamburgers, hotdogs, wraps and such is open until 6 P.M.

This did create some lines, and those working behind the counter, and on the grill seemed a bit harried attempting to keep up. The hamburgers looked terrific, but with the rush were served under cooked, and with orders simply being yelled out to the cooks, when I ordered a cheeseburger, and the cook forgot, a piece of cheese was simply thrown on top, rather than melted on the burger.

Though tonightís dinner, late seating in the Crystal Dining Room, quickly put to rest any questions my lunch experience might have left in my mind. Both food and service were superb.

As with all the Virtual Cruises I write, I attempt to write each installment at the end of the day, and get it posted. And, as tonight, I sometimes stay out much too late before returning to the cabin to write. So, please excuse the grammar and spelling mistakes I am bound to make, as I fly by the seat of my pants, for the next two weeks.

I do promise to provide much more specific details as the cruise progresses.
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