Monday, February 19, 2018

Crystal Symphony - Sydney to Tahiti - Day 3 - Sun Feb 18, 2018 (Sydney then Departing for New Zealand)

Sydney, Australia

We woke early again this morning and were out walking on the Promenade Deck and saw the sunrise over Sydney.  It was cloudy and warm, so walking early was a good thing.

Breakfast was in the Marketplace (buffet).  We both had made-to-order omelets, fresh fruit and fresh-squeezed orange juice.  Julie is normally not an orange juice drinker, but can’t resist the fresh-squeezed juice onboard.

At 11:45 am we set off for the Featherdale Wildlife Park to see some of the native Australian animals.  It was about a 40 minute drive each way from the cruise ship terminal and decided to take a ship’s tour for ease of transportation.  Sydney has a traffic problem that it is trying to rectify with public transportation, improved roads, etc.  Luckily it was Sunday afternoon and no traffic jams.

The Featherdale Wildlife Park is the oldest, most established and respected wildlife park in Sydney.  We saw kangaroos, koala bears, wallabies, wombats, Tasmanian devils, dingos, birds, emus, bilbys, and more.  All in all, an afternoon of wildlife we’ve never seen before.


After a very long day!


Tasmanian Devil

Mama Kangaroo and Joey 
Joey moved into Mom's pouch

Red Kangaroo

Most were very small, but several were large.

Billy tea, biscuits, scones, etc. 

Billy tea is regular black tea, brewed in a billy pot, with added eucalyptus. 
We arrived back at the ship at 4pm, in time for the muster (safety) drill at 4:15pm, in preparation of our sail away from Sydney.  We were grateful our muster station was on the shady side of the ship and it was very warm – upper 80s. 

Required picture of life jackets during the safety drill.
The champagne sail away party was on the upper decks.  Sailing out of Sydney was magnificent.  The Symphony is small enough that we could sail under the Harbor Bridge.  Her sister ship, the Serenity, was also here in Sydney.  She is a bit bigger than the Symphony and cannot sail under the bridge, so was anchored in the harbor.  The Symphony is 51,004 tons with capacity of 848 passengers (we are sailing with 756 passengers).  The Serenity is 68,870 tons with current capacity of 1,070 passengers (which will be reduced to 980 after her fall 2018 dry dock). 

The band played for sail away.

At 5pm Louis sang.  Each time a Crystal ship leaves a port Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” is played.  We sailed under the bridge and past the Opera House.  The Serenity readied herself and followed us out to sea.  It was quite a sight to see both ships in the same port, as well as sailing out together.  The Symphony is headed to New Zealand next, and the Serenity to the Philippines.  We watched as the Sydney pilot tried to get off the ship and onto the Pilot boat that was bobbing next to the ship.  Pilots are the harbor experts that come onboard to sail the ships out of the harbor and to the open seas.  Usually the ship is able to block the waves so the pilot boat is fairly stable.  Not today.  The pilot boat was struggling to nuzzle up to the ship, and it took quite some time for the pilot to jump from the ship onto the boat for his return to Sydney.  It looked pretty scary to us.

Sailing under the bridge.

Serenity prepares to follow us out of the port.

Leaving Sydney Harbor, heading into the Tasmin sea.
We freshened up and got ready for dinner.  A quick stop for a glass of wine in the Crystal Cove, then onto Prego for dinner.  Prego is the Italian Specialty restaurant onboard. 

Tonight we decided to have our Prego favorites.  We both had Arugula Salad with Pine Nuts, Pears, and Blue Cheese, the Signature Mushroom Cream Soup and Lasagna (not your ordinary Lasagna – it is made with homemade noodles, meat sauce, porcini mushrooms, mozzarella and has both a béchamel and tomato sauce).  For dessert Julie had the Strawberry Sorbet topped with Prosecco (sorry no picture), while Bob had some vanilla gelato.

We closed the night with the “Crystal in Motion” production ship.  This is a new production show since we last sailed, while good, it was not spectacular.

We walked 7.15 miles, 17,116 steps, climbed 46 floors (we don’t take the elevator on cruise ships unless Julie is in heels on formal night and is concerned about navigating the stairs with heels and the motion of the ship).