A little nautical nostalgia

By Patti Pietschmann, Travel Diva

Patti and Richard in their Penthouse home away from home

I have a story to tell about a most memorable cruise on Crystal Symphony we took a few years ago.

We sailed from Los Angeles to Hawaii on Easter Sunday and returned to LA on Mother’s Day.

Glorious sea days

There were five fabulous days at sea to do everything or nothing–we did a little of both (LOL). Swam in the pool, got massages in the Spa, worked out in the Fitness Center, jogged on deck, attended  workshops, lectures, seminars, ate and drank. I also tried my luck in the glitzy casino to no avail.

All drinks are complimentary on Crystal so we did our fare share of martinis, Margaritas and wine.  By the way, if you don’t know, tips are also included in the fare.


Finding baos, Bambu and nirvana

Port stops

Our first port stop was Hilo, Hawaii.  It’s on the rainy side of the island but we lucked out with pure sunshine. The town is filled with souvenir shops and thrift stores. We made a stop for a cup of famous joe at Bear’s Coffee. Good, strong stuff and free, fast WiFi which we used.

Next came Kauai. Since there was ample time in ports, we rented  a Mustang convertible from Hertz  and tooled around the island with a stop at the beach. We did the same in Maui. The cars were delivered right to the pier. So it was very convenient.

In Oahu we walked from the ship to Chinatown in search of manapuas, which you may know as “baos.” We brought a full bag back to the ship. we found ’em.  We love these fluffy buns. Afterward, since the Symphony was in port until midnight, we  went shore for a drink at a bar.   So we strode across the road to Restaurant Row where we found the lively Bambu bar.

Bambu Bar in Oahu

The Crystal Symphony off La Haina, Maui








We were in a Penthouse 1058 with verandah where our butler, Teo took good care of us. He took care of our laundry, brought drinks and snacks to the cabin and served us breakfasts and dinners on the balcony whenever we wanted.

The butlers on Crystal always do it right.

Since I’ve yet to sail on the newly-refurbished ships some of my info may be dated. But the idea behind this piece is to reflect just how memorable some cruises, on the right ships can be. And this one was.

We have sailed with Crystal at least six other times and had equally wonderful times. But perhaps it was the  magic of the Hawaiian islands or just something, this was one of the best.

Or just maybe the butler did it serving us this fine food in our stateroom.

Butlers on Crystal Cruises




Ah the good life relaxing on deck

After Hawaii Crystal Symphony sailed back to Los Angeles giving us another five wonderful days at sea. Again we enjoyed the usual morning swim, cappucinos, balcony breakfasts, fine dining and activities. Crystal has a well-stocked library. There are also late-run movies shown and super entertainment and lectures. My husband, Richard, kept remarking, “There’s just not enough time to do it all.”

In addition to the two luxury liners, Crystal operates luxury yacht/riverboats and a jet plane. To learn more about Crystal Cruises or book a voyage contact a Pavlus Agent or read this. 

Ah the good life relaxing on deck

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