Thursday, January 16, 2020

Day 5 (Jan 15, 2020) – Crystal Symphony – San Diego to Guam – Second Day at Sea

Let's get started on the most important part of today's blog - the Great Petar Hunt!! This is for our friends on the current voyage. Two years ago, we were lucky enough to be on the Symphony twice-Australia/New Zealand/Pacific Islands and Panama Canal. We got to know a member of the bar waitstaff very well, Petar. When we boarded the ship in San Diego, we saw him in civilian clothes and we exchanged hugs and what not. Well, we've been on the ship for several day sand have yet to find him. He was working in the Crystal Cove and Palm Court two years ago, so we checked those venues. Nothing. Then we went to the Avenue Saloon and again nothing. We also checked the Silk Bar and didn't see any bar wait staff at all. Last night, we checked all five venues twice (at 5pm and 9pm) - although the Palm Court had two private events at 5pm, so we didn't get to check in there. Anyway, CAN YOU HELP US PLEASE? If you see him, let us know (either by adding a comment to this blog or maybe posting on Cruise Critic). We suppose that he could have been disembarking because it was the end of his current contract, but he didn't say that when we saw him. So, please help us locate where he is working. Thanks to you all!!!

Picture of Petar and Julie from March 2018.
Now, back to the daily grind of exercising, being pampered, learning new stuff, and eating amazing food!!!

The seas definitely calmed down last night and we both slept well.  We gained an hour last night (one of the benefits of sailing west). Today we started our day early, at about 6:15 am with a walk on the Promenade Deck.  It was 57 degrees, 88% humidity with a 5 knot wind.  Much more pleasant walking conditions than yesterday.  Julie walked for a full hour while listening to podcasts.  Bob walked for 1 hr 12 minutes.  We both used the outdoor fitness machines that focus on upper body strength after our walk.  Not many people use these machines, but we both truly enjoy them and being able to gaze at the ocean as we are trying to maintain upper body strength.  At home we have a weight lifting routine that we do at least 3 times a week.  The outdoor machines cover Cardiovascular, Strength, Balance and Flexibility.  There are signs outlining a beginners, intermediate and advanced routine posted by each machine.

A nice view of the sunrise
Julie was able to get a couple of loads of laundry done this morning right after exercising.  It was nice to get the clothes from touring in San Diego washed, dried and put away.

Breakfast was in the buffet – we had a very light breakfast this morning because this afternoon is the Asian buffet.  In all of our Crystal cruises we have never eaten at the Asian buffet.  Julie reads cruise message boards ( and it sounds like we have been missing out on some fabulous items.  Today is the day we will try it!

We skipped the first lecture of the day at 10:00 am – “Welcome to the Great Southern Ocean-Oceanography” by Jon Malay.  It’s wonderful that the lectures are available on the TV in the staterooms and we may watch it later.

The 11:00 am lecture was World Affairs Lecturer Tom Faranda presenting “The Next Ten Years-Your Life.”

We enjoyed the Asian buffet, there was a nice selection of sushi, sashimi, soups, and cooked Asian fare.  If we were to go again we would probably stick with a large salad and top it with one of the Asian proteins – such as the Teriyaki Salmon and then have a couple pieces of sushi on the side.  Part of cruising is developing a culinary routine (so they don’t need a forklift to get you off the ship). Our second Crystal cruise we requested a scale in our room.  There’s been one there when we arrive on each subsequent cruise.  The problem with the scale is that it truly only works when you are docked.  The movement of the ship causes wide variation in the numbers when weighing at sea.  That can be good or bad depending on the roll of the ship.  So, the key is to see the lowest number and jump off the scale quickly.

The afternoon lecture (1:30 pm) was Dr Barbara Udell presenting “EZ Steps to Get a Good Night’s Sleep-From A to Zzzzzzs.”  We did not really learn anything new. Her slides were so dense that
it was impossible to read them and listen to her at the same time (one of the tricks that Bob has learned after teaching for nearly 40 years is that minimalism in slide content is the most effective). Bob found out that it was excellent for helping you go to sleep. Bob had a really nice nap and decided he learned that he should have just stayed in the cabin and had a more comfortable nap. We suppose that if one wanted to improve their sleeping ability, they could just watch the recorded version of the talk.

The afternoon movie was “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”  Julie really enjoyed it, Bob thought the middle was depressing, but it did end up with a relatively happy ending.

Dinner was in the Waterside, as was excellent as always.
Julie had Chilled Poached Shrimp with chili jam; Baby Spinach Salad with roasted garlic dressing, chopped eggs and bacon; and Steak Diane for her entree. We chose to have a serving of the entree Homemade Potato Gnocchi in the middle of the table so we could sample some gnocchi with our steak. Bob had the same salad and same steak.

Although we entered the dining room at about 6:10, we had barely finished our main course at 7:20 pm and the first show of the evening was at 7:30 pm-a comedian.  You never want to walk in late to a comedian’s show.  We decided we wanted to go to early show and passed on dessert.  This was a hard one, because Julie has 4 desserts that she loves on Crystal and those are the ones she orders while onboard.  Tonight they had one of her 4 desserts.  Saved some calories by going to the early show!

John Joseph is the onboard comedian – and we always enjoy his shows.  Each time we see him his show has new material and is fresh.  Last night in particular we felt that he basically does improv and just expands his act based on observations from the audience, things that happened on the ship on that voyage, etc.

Afterward the Latin Dancers performed in the Starlight Lounge – very talented dancers indeed.

Today we walked 17,305 steps and 7.7 miles.

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