Crystal Symphony 2010

This is the last time Crystal will visit the Mexican Riviera, at least for the foreseeable future. Last, but not least, as this is a 10 day cruise and includes ports in the Sea of Cortez.

Fifteen years ago, my wife, Michael, and I sailed on Symphony’s inaugural out of New York to Los Angeles. I remember walking onto the ship and seeing the rain of water next to the sculpture. That is about the only setting that I still recognize.

This ship has changed quite a bit since 1995 (as have I), and the “new” Symphony is stunning. More about specific changes will come later.

My wife and I have made the trip to the LA Cruiseport numerous times. For some reason this time I put the place name in our navigation system. Did I put Cruiseport? No. Did I put Port of Los Angeles? Yes. OMG!!!

I won’t go into the near dissolve of my marriage, but I kept telling Michael to “go left, go right, NO!! I said right”. You get the picture. We ended in a strange area, no ship in sight, lots of oil tanks, and a building. The Port of Los Angeles. Nice office.

From that point it was a nightmare. We kept trying to get back to the freeway, navigation system be damned. Not good, the city of something was having a parade, and each turn we took, after a few blocks, had floats, police, barriers, etc. Do you know how hard it is to hear marching band music with your wife screaming?

At last the ship. Although I had left home in plenty of time, the long trip ate that up. I was the last to board. Once on Symphony, the stress faded. I’m on Penthouse Deck in a lovely and spacious stateroom.

Bags arrived quickly, and I unpacked. Oops, somehow I totally forgot to bring a razor and shaving lotion. Forgetting the razor was a $15 mistake. If this happens to you, I suggest buying in port rather than on board.

Cologne was a different issue. Faced with a penny candy smell shelf,

I went by label alone. I have a bit of a sinus problem and am aroma impaired. God knows what the result of a squirt of Joop is, but it looks cool on the bathroom shelf.

My butler, Teodor, introduced himself. He’s from the UK and has an accent that completely eludes translation. And he speaks rapidly! It’s like watching a foreign movie without subtitles. He asked me something, and without a clue as to what he said, I um-hummed yes. Ten minutes later a bottle of vodka appeared.

Dinner was sushi. Nobu is a famous sushi creator and oversees preparations. I heartily recommend the “house special”.

Be careful of the wasabi. It has twice the zing of any I’ve had ashore.

The TV has “cable” channels, so Sunday night football closed the curtain for me. A note about the TV; its flat screen faces directly forward

and thus is difficult to see from the bed. Pull it straight out, do some twisting,

and line of sight is from pillow to screen.

Tomorrow a look at the ship, but let me leave you with this. President Obama has the Bush tax problem. Enough already!

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