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Old April 28th, 2011, 06:00 AM
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- Sea Day - Symphony - Apr. 27 ‘11
I solved my morning “immediate urge for coffee” dilemma today by calling my Butler David and requesting a large pot of coffee. It seemed he arrived with the coffee almost before I had the phone back in it’s cradle.

So, you think you’d never have any use for butler on a cruise? Those were my thoughts awhile back when we first had the services of a butler available to us. In the few times since, when we have had a butler available, I’ve become very use to enjoying the details and services they provide.

On the first day of the cruise, knowing the second night was Formal Night, I had asked David to take a Tuxedo shirt I had purchased new to have it pressed. It arrived back in my suite saying they were unable to press it, as it had a tear near the shoulder blade seam… with a small piece of tape on it pointing out the tear.

I had another formal shirt with me, so it was not a problem. Yesterday I asked David if he could take the shirt to the tailor to have it repaired. He took it happily, and last night it was back hanging in my closet, repaired and pressed, ready for the next formal night. One of the perks of the Penthouse Suites is free pressing, btw.

I’ve also discovered the aft stairway, which allows me to take about 10 steps from my cabin doorway to a very pleasant exterior area, with a few loungers and two tables if you choose to sit there. Otherwise it’s only up a few stairs to the aft section of Deck 11, aft of the Lido Café.

This morning at 10 A.M. enrichment lecturer Ken Venturi, who’s famed career as a professional golfer, and golf commentator for CBS Sports, gave the best presentation I’ve seen from a lecturer at sea. There was no Power Point presentation, or discussions about golf swings. The man is a master story teller, and captured the near full house audience with his charm, warmth, and charismatic presence, while filling the time with stories of his golf career, and his friendships with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and legendary Byron Nelson.

I’m going to be doing a private interview with Mr. Venturi shortly and will save the tales he shared today, along with more I’m sure, at a later date in the journey. I have the feeling it may be one of those interviews that drags on for days because you just don’t want it to end.

Later in the afternoon the enrichment lecture was by a memory expert, giving tips on remembering people’s names and other tricks to improve one’s memory. I forget who he was, and what time the lecture was held. <rim shot>
The presentation was by Dr. Fred Chernow, a retired psychology professor.

By afternoon temperatures on deck had warmed closer to what passengers would expect on a Hawaiian cruise. The seas are calm, and there are more people out and about.

I believe there are just under 700 passengers on this sailing. Heck, on our previous Hawaii sailing on Sapphire Princess I think there were that many people in my cabin.

With the most generous space to passenger ration on the Symphony, there are many times you simply wonder where everyone is. Crowding is not an issue on this ship.

As I have often referred to our recent Sapphire Princess Hawaiian Islands cruise, I thought I’d provide a link in case anyone would like to read it, just to understand the comparisons and contrasts I make for the remainder of this cruise.

Some might think it unfair to so directly compare a Princess cruise to a Crystal cruise. However, because my sailings on both of these ships were only six weeks apart, and duplicating the itinerary identically, it is somewhat unfair not to.

Princess Cruise Line is considered a “Premium Brand” and Crystal is a “Luxury Brand”. Keep that difference in mind and it may be easier to find the comparisons I might make helpful.

To this point I haven’t given any specific information about the cuisine in the Crystal Dining Room, or the specialty restaurants, Prego or Silk Road. That has been my plan because it’s a long cruise, and we’re only on Day 4. Plus I have yet to sample the specialty restaurants.

I will say so far most everything I’ve eaten in the Dining Room has been very good, and a significant portion of it exceptional. The service has been friendly, efficient and professional.

As we’re moving westward we’ve gone through two time changes already, and those changes have wreaked a bit of havoc on my system. Dining at 8:30 P.M., with shows following at 10:30, and short visit to the casino, then writing the day’s report is leaving me a bit rubbery legged.

This evening’s show was a headliner. I won’t mention the name because he might not be on your cruise. But, I will say the show tonight, unlike last night’s was fairly weak. It was a singer/trumpeter, and I lasted three numbers, before I left, and there was a number of people who weren’t far behind me to the exit.

Prior to the show beginning, it was announced that the Royal Wedding will be broadcast tomorrow night, beginning at 9 P.M. in the Hollywood Theater, on the big screen (though the wedding ceremony won’t occur until midnight). Because of the lateness of the hour, the wedding will be re-broadcast the next day, with a few special onboard “wedding events” planned.

I have been meeting and talking to quite a few of my fellow passengers, aside from my tablemates; who we’ve seemed to settle in nicely with. I believe it’s been easier to meet and socialize with my fellow guests on this ship, than it is on the larger ships, with larger passenger loads; probably due to the fact you see the same faces much more often on a ship the size of Symphony.

BTW.. if anyone has any questions about any aspects of the ship, feel free to post them please. I will respond.

Here's a few more pictures as well

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