After another breakfast of cereal and milk (getting to like this), my sister picked us up and in about 30 minutes we were at the Renaissance Hotel LAX. There were several Crystal representatives tagging luggage and passing out colored tickets for the several busses that would take passengers to San Diego. We were on the second bus leaving at about 11:00 AM or so. We ran into Steve Friedman, another lecturer on the ship, who along with wife Brenda, were on the first bus out.
Crystal supplied water and snacks that would keep us for the two plus hour ride to San Diego. The bus was comfortable and we were in the first seats behind the handicapped seats in the front of bus (to avoid car sickness).
Fortunately, it was a Sunday - had this been a weekday ride, it would have taken three times as long. The ride was mostly freeway and even though it was a Sunday, there was still a lot of traffic. The bus moved very slowly once we got to the San Diego Harbor area - I'm really not sure why since the traffic was not an issue. I survived the ride (I don’t really like bus washrooms). Because people were arriving at different times, the check in process was not very long. We checked in very quickly on board the Crystal Symphony.
Now, we are official
It was late and we had a small lunch (red pepper gazpacho and tuna melt) at the Trident Grill on Deck 11.
We signed up for several excursions with Shorex and also made two reservations at Prego. Prego, the Italian Specialty Restaurant, is a good choice on the first night since seating in the Crystal Dining Room is still in flux.
We were assigned Cabin 7063 – an ocean view cabin on the Promenade Deck.
We are usually on Deck 9 and I'm not so sure about this location. Although the room is very nice, you can see the people who are walking the Promenade Deck. This may not be an issue in the daytime due to the reflective surface on the windows but at night, you can indeed look into the rooms on this deck.
The Lifeboat Drill was held at around 4:30 PM. On this ship, you need to wear your life jacket and assembled at your actual muster station next to your Lifeboat on Deck 7. Everyone was signed in pretty quickly but it still took a little time to get through all the announcements from the bridge. It was getting a bit chilly out on the deck by this time. This was as close as you're going to get to a real lifeboat muster. All the ships should carry out this kind of drill.
We explored the ship a bit to re-familiarize ourselves with the various important locales.
Port Side View of Lindberg Field (SAN)
San Diego from Deck 12
San Diego from Ship
Tonight is Crystal Casual dress (slacks, collared shirt, and jacket). We did notice quite a few people without jackets and chalked this up to folks not getting their luggage yet.
At Prego, we ordered Caprese Salad, Cesar Salad, Mushroom Soup (the best), John Dory (a fish, I had to look up to make sure it was kosher), Fetuccini Pesto, and Lady Fingers for dessert. The food was OK but the late lunch kind of spoiled the dinner.
We watched the sail away from the Promenade Deck. One interesting site was the huge Naval Base along the harbor. One of the crew told us it was the biggest one in the US. Sounds good to me.
We went to the Welcome Aboard Show hosted by Cruise Director, Paul McFarland. It was the usual show featuring Chorus Line and Grand Hotel. The lead female singer, Carina Karcher, was terrific but the best part of the show was the Latin Quartet (two couples from Hungary). Synchronized dancing at its best.
From the show, we went to Palm Court to listen to Shoresound Duo, a British girl (vocals) and guy (guitar and piano). They were very pleasant to listen to. They may be our go to lounge entertainment for this cruise.
When we got back to the room, I noticed that the room had a strong vibration - you could feel it in the walls (don’t know if this is normal but it is very intrusive – it woke me up at 3 AM). To minimize the vibration, you need to move the pillows away from the wall and almost sleep sideways.
As far as actual noise, the room was quiet.
The clocks move forward one hour tonight in anticipation of a new time zone in the next couple of days.
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