Saturday, August 11, 2018

Day 1 - Fri August 10, 2018 Embarkation - Crystal Symphony - San Francisco to New York

Day 0 - Thu August 9, 2018 Embarkation

We got up early and went for our daily walk. We decided to walk down to Pier 27 to see if the Symphony was actually there (yes, we've had the problem of the ship not being where it was supposed to be). We walked by the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic church on our way down the hill.

Eventually we made it to Embarcadero St and decided to head to Pier 39 first, just to get in some extra steps. We walked to the end of Pier 39 and then headed toward Pier 27. Sure enough, the Symphony was there. We then headed back up the hill to the hotel.

To accomplish that, we had to walk up stairs, 264 stairs to be exact. THAT was a challenge.

The bottom part of the stairs.

Eventually we made it back (a total of 56 minutes for the walk and 3 miles). We had left a card out the previous evening for our choices for a continental breakfast, which was delivered to our room at about 8am. We sat in the room and had our light breakfast while we cooled down from the walk. We then got ready and hung out until 10:30 when we decided it was time to head over to the port (our checkout time was 11:00am). We really enjoyed the hotel and would definitely stay there again.

Once we got to the port, it was a fairly traditional embarkation. We gave the porter our bags, showed ID and ticket, got scanned and headed upstairs to get pre-checked in. Once we accomplished all of that, we sat down and waited for our boarding number to be called (we were in the second batch). While we were waiting, we met a number of Cruise Critic fellow passengers (Julie had arranged three teams for trivia and we spent time talking to several of those that will be on the teams).

We were able to board around noon, get officially checked in on board, and then headed to the Waterside for our traditional first lunch (getting our first glass of champagne from the server Michaela - whom was stationed in the Cove during our last cruise). On the way, we stopped at the library to get tickets for the Magic Show (we chose the first one on Sunday at 3pm). We both had our usual fare, with Julie having the seafood appetizer, salmon, and raspberry sundae.

Bob had vegetable soup, Cobb salad and got talked into the raspberry sundae too (it was wonderful).

We made it to the line to get additional speciality restaurant reservations (for a 20 day cruise, you can have 2 in each restaurant, but only one can be booked ahead of time). We were third in line and got our first choices no problem. We then headed up to the Lido deck and hung out in the shade by the pool waiting for 3pm to roll around so we could go to our rooms.

We got there, all our bags where there, so we spent nearly 2 hours unpacking and getting things set up. We met our cabin attendant, Maryna, who quickly addressed our special requests. The mandatory life boat drill was held at 5:15pm. We headed to the Cove to have a drink and wait for the ship to depart. We started moving right around 6pm. Outside we had a great view of sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge. It was chilly and windy, but the sights of San Francisco from the ship were just gorgeous. The views of the bridge were backlit until we got to the other side. It was magnificent.

Dinner was in the Waterside. Remi, the Maitre D' gave us a table by the window at about 6:45.

For dinner, Julie had Jumbo Shrimp for an appetizer, Crab and Brie Soup, and the Lemon Sole. Julie didn't care for the way the Sole was prepared.

Bob also had the Jumbo Shrimp, a salad, and Wisconson Milk-fed Veal Rib Eye. For dessert, Julie had Creme Brulee and Bob had Apple Tart ala Mode.

We got to dinner so late that we were not able to make the show, so we decided to go and hang out in the Avenue Saloon. We talked with Michaela again and learned that we both prefer the Ruby Port more than a Tawny Port. We ended up going to the 9:15 welcome aboard show. It began Crystal Ensemble of Singers and Dancers doing a scene from the musical Chicago and then the comedian John Joseph. He was quite funny, ad libbing much of the material based on his guest interactions. It was the end of a great day to begin our cruise.

We walked a total of 15,509 steps and 6.8 miles.

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