Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Day 2, October 5, 2014, Symphony Crossing – Boarding the ship and leaving land

Day 2 – We slept until almost 8:30am, catching up on the time zones.  We got up, took a short walk, packed and got things ready for our pickup again from Lisbon Taxis at 11:30.  We got down to the lobby at about 11:05, and the taxi was already there.  We headed for the Tagus River and the Crystal Symphony.  The taxi driver had looked the ship up on the internet and it was not in the port that he thought it was (Lisbon has three port areas).  Fortunately, when we got near the shoreline, we saw the ship and he took us right there.  We gave our luggage to the stevedores, and headed inside to wait until boarding time. 

They let us on the ship starting at a little before noon.  We got checked in and then went to the dining room for lunch.  We did our traditional meal, with Julie having Fresh (onboard that day) Atlantic Salmon and Bob having the Cobb salad, with a terrific Creamy Vegetable soup as an appetizer. That along with some great Champagne made for a great start to this trip.  We had a Raspberry Sundae for desert.

After lunch, we wandered the ship, looking at the various changes.  The last time we were on Symphony it was just headed into dry dock in Hamburg in 2012.  And, this time, it just got out of dry dock on the cruise before ours, so it has had 2 sets of changes since our last visit.  We were having a hard time figuring out what had changed vs. what we had seen on the Serenity, the Crystal ship that we were on last year.

We were then allowed into our rooms where we unpacked and got ready for the lifeboat drill.  Then we got a couple of glasses of wine and went to deck 7 to watch the sail away.  One of only 2 for this 10-day trip.   All was uneventful (we left about 15 minutes late as they were waiting for one more passenger).  We hung out watching the shoreline recede as we headed across the pond (about 3000 total nautical miles).

The statue of Jesus on the hill across from Lisbon:

After the sail away, we got ready for dinner and went to our dining by reservation at 6:15 pm.  One thing that has changed is we were seated in the middle of the dining room, not the far back corner like in the past.  We aren’t certain, but it is possible that all of the dining by reservation moved areas away from the windows.

Since there is going to be a lot of eating on this trip, we are going to document the various food items.
For dinner, Bob started with a White Tomato Mousse with Gin and Pumpernickel from the modern menu while Julie had Shrimp Cocktail.  Bob thought that the mousse was ok, but a bit bland.  We both had a salad: Panache of Mixed Greens with Lorenzo Dressing that was quite good.  We both had Grilled Filet Mignon with Béarnaise Sauce and baked potato for our main course.  For dessert we both had the Crème Brulee.  

After dinner, we went to the welcome show.  To our eye, they modified the Galaxy lounge with the stage going out more into the audience area, so the seats on the side are way on the side.  The welcome show had some snippets of the dancers and singers.

After that, we went to the starlight lounge and listened to the Harry James Orchestra (now led by Fred Radke).  They are a dozen strong and an excellent big band.

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