Crystal Symphony: Where’d Everybody Go?

Good afternoon and greetings from the Falkland Islands. We anchored here at about 7:00 AM today and will be departing in a few hours. 

Here’s AAC CPA greeting you from the Promenade Deck – note the lovely weather:

AAC - Welcome

Yes, gentle readers, the weather today is not ideal for going ashore and traipsing about. So AAC CPA and I elected to stay aboard. And it was really interesting, because everyone else went ashore and we were left almost all alone. 

I thought that, as we have the run of the ship, I’d give you a tour without being distracted by any other passengers of the beautiful Crystal Symphony. Count the number of people you see as I show you the ship.

We start our tour up on Deck 11 where, all the way forward, is the Palm Court, an oasis of calm (and palm). Unless it’s right now where afternoon tea is in session and then the places gets pretty busy. Or during the cocktail hour, where you might drop by for a pre-dinner libation. On port days, however, the place is empty and AAC CPA and I spent a few luxurious hours up there all by ourselves pretending that we owned the ship and had it all to ourselves which, actually, we did for awhile.

Palm Court

Let’s move down to Deck 6 where you can find the Bistro, open all day and into the evening. It’s here you go for your morning coffee, snacks and small meals during the day.

Bistro

Next up is the Starlight Lounge. During the day, you can play Team Trivia (we’ve won twice, btw), or attend a lecture or, at night, come for a cocktail and dancing.

Starlight Lounge

Proceeding aft on Deck 6, we hit the Connoisseur Club, one of the very few places on the entire ship where you’d go for a stogie and some cognac. I think it’s a smelly room, but that’s me.

Cigar Lounge

Next door is the Avenue Saloon, a place where everybody knows your name. Wait, isn’t that in Boston? Anyway, it’s an intimate bar for drinks, chatter, live piano music, and, on some nights, karaoke!!

Avenue Saloon

Next door is Computer U, where you go with all your tech issues. We’re lucky to have Internet right now, so I’m rushing to get this blog entry completed ASAP.

Computer U

Computer U also offers classes in their very own Computer U classroom.

Computer U Classroom

All the way aft on Deck 6 is the card room where, on sea days, duplicate bridge games are available. Please don’t trump my ace!!

Card Room

Moving forward and to the port side is the 1st of the 2 specialty restaurants on board, Prego, serving up delicious Italian fare.

Prego

A little further forward is the 2nd specialty restaurant, Silk Road, where the cuisine of the great Japanese chef, Nobu Matsuhisa, is served. We were there last night, and I had sushi for dessert. Seriously, I did.

Silk Road

Next door to Silk Road is one of the special culinary treasures of the ship, the Vintage Room. It is here – for an additional, but completely warranted charge – that you can enjoy an intimate 7-course meal with wine pairings, hosted by the ship’s head sommelier. It’s a real treat. And for only 10 – 12 guests.

Vintage Room

Moving back midship on Deck 6 is the fully stocked library.

Library

Or, if reading’s not your thing, how about taking in a movie at the Hollywood Theatre? They show fairly new films and serve fresh popcorn, too.

Hollywood Theater

If it’s a live show that you want to see, you’ve got the Galaxy Lounge, all the way forward on Deck 6. Shows are presented every night for your viewing pleasure.

Galaxy Lounge

Finally on Deck 6, if Lady Luck is with you, check out the casino, where slots galore and table games await you. (The blackjack tables have been very unkind to me on this voyage.)

Casino

Let’s move down to Deck 5 which is, perhaps, the hub of the ship. Let’s burn some calories after all the eating we’ve done over the past 9 days, and take the grand staircase to get there.

Crystal Cove Stairway

And here’s the reception desk, where you can plan a shore excursion or ask the concierge to make you a reservation for some hot restaurant in a port city, or just about anything you want.

Reception

Directly across from the reception deck is the Crystal Cove, yet another watering hole. This one gets very crowded just before dinner. There’s another pianist here to entertain you while you sip your cocktail.

Crystal Cove

Just next to Crystal Cove is the ship’s signature fountain and waterfall. They’re big.

Crystal Cove Fountain

Although you can only see a part of it, immediately in front of the waterfall is an open area that, on big-band cruises, can be used as a dancefloor for pre-dinner dancing. It’s swank.

Over your head is the stained glass Crystal Cove ceiling.

Crystal Cove Ceiling

And, because you’ll want to book your next cruise before disembarking, here’s where you can meet with a Crystal Cruise consultant who’ll answer all your questions and make your dreams come true. I kid you not, I was talking to Paula Jean earlier today about booking back-to-back river cruises – for 2018!!!!!

Book a Cruise

Just aft of Crystal Cove is the place where you’ll spend a lot of your time, the Crystal Dining Room. Overseen on this voyage by the incomparable Remi, the CDR is the place where you’ll be very spoiled by the excellent service and cuisine.

Dining Room - 01

And here’s a section of this afternoon’s lunch menu, which I know will make somebody’s day.

Lunch Menu

So that’s my little tour of the ghost ship, Symphony. I hope you enjoyed it.

Do you believe me now about how empty the place is today? To give you a better idea, I was told that, at noon, there were only 67 passengers aboard. Full capacity is 922, so you get the idea, right?

Tomorrow’s a sea day and then, on Sunday, we dock at Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

Adios, amigos!!!

 

 

Another Day in Antarctica

I am here to tell you that it never gets boring. If you even think you might become a bit ho-hum about sailing around Antarctica, just wait 5 minutes and see another marvel.

This morning, we woke up to find ourselves near Deception Island. If penguins are your thing, this is the place. There are literally hundreds of thousands of them running all over, scrambling down to the shore (a/k/a “Penguin Highway”) to find food, then back up into the hills. It’s fascinating.

We’re now en route to Elephant Island, which will be our last stop here before, once again, sailing through the dreaded Drake Passage on our way to our next port, the Falkland Islands.

Here are more images from the past 24 hours:

And oh, did I mention that we had visitors yesterday from Palmer Station, who came aboard to tell about what they do here?

Palmer Station Crew.jpg
Here they are, arriving on the port side

BTW, they played to a packed house and they were extremely interesting as well as entertaining.

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Look at this amazing photo of seals and penguins! (photo courtesy of Nancy Shafran)

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Can you believe these penguins? (photo courtesy of Nancy Shafran)

Iceberg Under Water
Another iceberg – note that you can see it underwater as well

AAC - Iceberg Evening
AAC CPA on deck at cocktail time – it’s now about 8:00 PM

Evening Front of Ship
Same time, from the bow of the ship

Evening Back of Ship
And from the stern

Evening on Promenade
And along the deserted Promenade Deck

Iceberg Sunset
Is that a fabulous sight or what? Still 8:00 PM yesterday evening

AAC Evening Cocktail
And, immediately after, cocktails in the Palm Court

Sunset - 1130 PM
Sunset in Antarctica – at 11:45 PM

Deception Island.jpg
Earlier this morning – Deception Island from a distance

Deception Island - 01
Another view of Deception Island, closer up

Penguins
Those spots are penguins – wish I had a telescopic lens for my iPhone!

The last photo today is for our sailing buddy, Jim Brochu, who has entertained aboard the Crystal ships many times. Every day at sea, one of the activities is “Team Trivia”. The following question gave a sly wink to Jim, as #4 is a show that Jim wrote and performed for a season in New York and later performed on Symphony back in 2012. (7% of the respondents voted for “Zero Hour”!!) 

Zero

That’s all for now, folks! 

 

 

Breaking News: Antarctica!

Greetings from the bottom of the world! For some unknown reason, we have the best Internet service since we boarded the ship last Wednesday. I’ve decided to strike while the iron is HOT, and am posting a few pictures from our first 5 hours in Antarctica. The photos probably don’t do justice to what I’m seeing in front of me at the front of Crystal Symphony’s Palm Court. I’m here with a couple of hundred other passengers taking in the sights. Wish you were here to share them with us!

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AAC CPA at about 6:15 this morning – icebergs in the distance

Antarctica 01 - 0642

Antarctica 01 - 0658

AAC - 02 - 0655

Antarctica 01 - 0754

Lido Deck - 0745
Lido Deck totally cleared of everything

Whale 0833
Humpback whale sighting

Antarctica 01 - 0929
AAC CPA with mainland Antarctica behind him

Mainland 0915
Mainland Antarctica

Antarctica 01 - 0927

2016-01-19 10.55.38

THIS ONE
Taken from the top of the ship on Deck 12

Pretty amazing, right?

More to follow, as our Internet connection allows!

 

 

Day 6: The Dreaded Drake Passage

Good morning and greetings from somewhere inside the Drake Passage. First of all, we still have Internet service, so I’ll try to get this post done quickly.

Were you worried about us last night? Wondering how we were doing as we made our way through the Drake Passage (especially after the Captain’s scary announcement – which he repeated THREE TIMES IN A ROW!!)? We left Ushuaia on schedule at about 9:15 PM, while we were in the middle of dinner.

Detour: Look at some of the yummy things we had last night:

Negronis
Starting the evening with Negronis in our cabin with the family, followed by:

Pork Tenderloin
AAC CPA’s pork tenderloin – deeelicious

Bruno - Crepes Suzette
Our headwaiter Bruno made us some Crepes Suzette for dessert

After dinner, we checked out the sights as Ushuaia receded in the distance:

Ushuaia in the Distance
Ushuaia far away at 10:30 PM Sunday night; it isn’t quite dark yet

We were all a bit tired after our day at Tierra del Fuego National Park, so we decided to call it a night. On getting back into our cabin, we made sure that everything was secured, especially the booze, which we wrapped in cloth napkins and placed in a drawer. Any that could roll or slide or fall, we took care of it. We read for awhile and then packed it in.

I slept through ’til about 7:00 AM and was only slightly aware during the night of any movement around me. Turns out that it was quite a rough night. The ship was definitely pitching this morning, but in no particular direction – it was shake, rattle and roll for awhile, then settle down, and then lurch forward. In a word, it was “fun”. (We’ve been through much worse.)

We decided to get dressed and head down to breakfast, but we had a problem. Apparently, during the night a drawer opened inside our closet and jammed the closet door shut. Uh-oh – no clothes to wear! Fortunately, we called our intrepid butler Raja, who got the right guy with the right tool to remedy the problem. Thus we were able to go down to a mostly empty restaurant. Seems like there may be some unhappy sailors this morning. But we soldier on!

AAC CPA is at some lecture, but I decided to climb high in the ship and came all the way forward on deck 11 to Palm Court. A delightful cocktail lounge with great visibility of the ocean in front of us. It’s also where afternoon tea is served each day.

Of course, being so far forward and so high up, there’s a lot of motion up here. I kinda like it. (AAC CPA recalls being up here a few years ago during really rough weather, when he basically had to crawl out, because the motion was so bad. Fun times, right?)

So, here we are in Palm Court as I complete today’s blog entry:

Palm Court Entrance

Map - Position
Just inside Palm Court is this map to show us our current position 

Palm Court
Big dance floor in the middle of Palm Court

View from Palm Court
Our current view – not so bad right?

Creepy Statue
Creepy statue in Palm Court – I just don’t get it

My view - 02
And here’s the view from where I’m sitting right now; yes, that’s my foot

Bottom line: If this is as bad as it’s going to get, bring it on. In about an hour, the Captain will make his daily announcement and we can expect an update on weather conditions. If all goes well, by this time tomorrow we will be cruising around Antarctica. Isn’t it worth a bit of rough seas to get there to see it?

Stay tuned!! (Ooooooh, we’re really rocking and rolling now. It’s the Drake Shake for sure!)

Day 5: Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego

Buenas tardes from the almost the bottom of the world. Today we anchored in Ushuaia, Argentina – the lowest point in South America. We were supposed to have docked early this morning, but wind conditions prevented that from happening.

Speaking of which, the Captain’s Announcement just came through to the entire ship literally this minute! Change in plans – when we depart Ushuaia later early this evening, we will not pass by Cape Horn on our way to Antarctica as originally planned. The reason? The pilot boats refuse to get off the ship there due to the bad weather forecast that has been predicted! Instead we will head directly towards Antarctica. (Remember my last post about “the Drake Lake” vs. “the Drake Shake”? Looks like we’re going to get the latter.) The seas should turn rough around midnight. Winds up to 30 MPH and wave heights up to 14 feet. Let the games begin!!

Ahem – as I was saying – we had a marvelous day traveling to the Tierra del Fuego National Park, which I described in my last post. Let me share with you some of the photos I took today:

Ushuaia Sunrise - 01
Sunrise in Ushuaia at 6:00 AM today as seen from our cabin

Ushuaia On Deck
AAC CPA on deck a few minutes later – it’s cold out there!

Ushuaia Sunrise - 02
Portside view

Symphony from Harbor
The beautiful Crystal Symphony as seen from the pier

Post Office - 01
1st stop inside the park: the world’s southern-most post office

Post Office - 02
Postcards for sale at the post office

Lake Shot - Panoramic
Panoramic photo lakeside

Visitor Center
AAC CPA at the Alakush Visitor’s Center

Roca Lake
Another lakeside view – note the beautiful snowcapped mountains

Condor Hill - AAC - 01
AAC CPA with Condor Hill in the background

Lowest Sign - AAC
Lapataia Bay – AAC CPA is at the lowest point at the end of Route 3

Lapataia Bay
Lapataia Bay

That’s all for now, kids. Time for us to batten down the hatches and get ready for our roller coast ride to Antarctica.

Remember: we’ll probably be out of internet range for the next 4 days or so. When I return, I hope to have lots of adventures to share with you.

Still On the High Seas: Tierra del Fuego and the Drake Passage

Greetings and salutations from the beautiful Crystal Symphony. Thought I’d say “hello” and tell you a little bit about what’s in store for us over the next few days.

Before I do, however, here are a few pix from the past couple of days:

AAC - 1st formal night
AAC CPA on our 1st formal night

Family Negronis
Family Negronis in Palm Court (the 4th glass is MINE!)

Formal Shoes
Formal shoes on formal night

At Home Negronis
Our butler, Raja, delivers yummies to us each evening; I make the Negronis

Boys
Pre-dinner entertainment: The Virginia Gentlemen from UVA

Captains Invite
Look where we’re going tonight before dinner

It’s our 3rd consecutive day at sea – a very lazy afternoon – and tomorrow we arrive at our first port: Ushuaia, which will be our portal to Tierra del Fuego which, in Spanish, means “Land of Fire”. It was named by Ferdinand Magellan who, when passing by in 1520, saw a number of fires burning on the coastline.

Tierra del Fuego Pic - 01

Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago at the southern most tip of South America, including Cape Horn, and is divided between Chile on the east and Argentina on the west, but the entirety is governed by the latter country.

The earliest known civilization dates back to 8,000 BC.

Our excursion on Sunday morning will take us from the port town of Ushuaia to Tierra del Fuego National Park, about 10 miles away. This enormous park – measuring over 155,600 acres – has one of the most beautiful cold forests in the world. As we are at the southern-most tip of South America, we can expect to see many areas of the forest blanketed with snow.

We will also witness and admire the flora and fauna of extreme south Patagonia.

Part of our excursion will take us to Roca Lake, from where we will be able to see Condor Hill, the natural border with Chile.

Lapataia Bay, considered one of the most stunning sights on the island, will be included in our itinerary.

Throughout our journey, it would not be unusual to see wildlife.

We are advised to wear layered clothing, as the daytime temperature will be in the mid to high 40s.

When we depart Ushuaia on Sunday evening, our real adventure will begin: crossing the notorious Drake Passage on our way to Antarctica. I used that adjective intentionally, as you never know what you’re going to get whilst in the passage. It can be relatively calm, or you can be in for one heck of a ride.

Drake - Map

Apparently, we can expect one of two things: “the Drake Lake” or “the Drake Shake”. Which would you prefer?

Drake - 02
The Drake Lake?

Drake - 03
Or the Drake Shake?

(We have friends, traveling on an expedition vessel, who attempted to cross the passage 3 times, but we unable to complete the journey to Antarctica and were turned back because of the rough waters.)

We’re pretty good sailors – don’t generally get seasick nor miss meals – but can admit to being a bit intimidated by crossing the passage not once, but twice over the next few days.

So why all the hubbub? Apparently, this body of water marks the convergence of the Atlantic, Pacific and Southern Oceans. The potential (probable?) turbulence is attributed to the passage’s geographic position between the cool conditions of the southernmost part of South America and the frigid regions of Antarctica. Another contributory factor is due to the volume of water traveling through the passage, about 600 times the flow of the Amazon River!!

Anyway, it’s going to be a once (twice, actually) in a lifetime experience regardless of what happens.

Don’t forget that, due to our position, we may lose Internet reception for a few days, particularly once we enter the Drake Passage and throughout our visit to Antarctica.

Don’t worry – we’ll be just fine, and I’ll report back to you once we’re back in range.

 

1st Full Day at Sea

Good afternoon and greetings from the beautiful Crystal Symphony somewhere between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia! Today is the first of 3 consecutive sea days before arriving at our first port.

It’s been a warm and sunny day, but every day will get cooler and cooler as we approach Ushuaia (which will be in the high 40s) and then on to Antarctica (where, if we’re lucky, the 30s).

S24381A

I want to share 2 pieces of information with you:

  1. We’re having an amazing time so far; and
  2. Due to the route south to Antarctica, we may (probably will?) lose internet contact from January 18 – January 21. Don’t worry – we’ll be just fine!

In the meantime, here’s a look at our Penthouse Suite on deck 10:

Crystal Penthouse Suite

And here are a few images from our 1st 30 hours on board:

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1st sunset: note the sliver moon in the upper right

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AAC CPA’s 1st breakfast on Lido Deck

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And his 1st cappuccino at the Bistro on Deck 6

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View from our private verandah earlier today – nice and warm, but not for long!!

Tonight’s the 1st formal night, so I have to start getting ready and into my penguin suit, which seems somehow appropriate for a trip to Antarctica, right?

That’s all for now!!

Buenos Aires: Embarkation Day

Here it is, gentle readers. On this amazingly beautiful and sunny day, two years after booking this cruise, embarkation day is at last here.

For those of us who have – or will – take a cruise or make a crossing (remember?), is there anything as exciting as pulling up to the cruise terminal, handing your luggage over to your trusted porter and walking over the gangplank onto your ship (in this case, the beautiful Crystal Symphony)?

This will be a very quick post today, as embarkation day is filled with getting settled in, greeting your fellow passengers, surprise reunions with passengers with whom you’ve sailed before, reacquainting yourself with the crew and the vessel. 

Although we’re boarding at around noon, we don’t set sail until 5:00 PM.

Here’s a shot of our finally packed luggage before we checked out of our hotel – peace has been restored!!!

2016-01-13 10.28.39
Miraculously, we got everything back into the suitcases!

More to follow soon.

Buenos Aires – Day Five

Well, here it is: our last day in town. Our chariot – a/k/a Crystal Symphony – awaits and we will board her tomorrow for a 14-day cruise that will take us to Antarctica and other unusual places. This is the first trip that AAC CPA and I have taken in many years where every place we visit will be for the 1st time. Exciting, right?

Crystal at Harbor
The beautiful Crystal Symphony, as seen from our hotel room

So our plan today was an easy one: We paid a visit to Templo Libertad, just a block away from Teatro Colon. Adjacent to the synagogue is the small Jewish History Museum. The best day to visit the synagogue is on Tuesdays, beginning at 11:00 AM. Due to security, a passport is required and the entry fee is 140 ARS, about $10.00.

The design of the synagogue, which opened in 1932, is heavily influenced by Roman and Byzantine architecture. It is home to the Congregación Israelita de la República de Argentina (or CIRA).

On the way to the synagogue, we made a return visit to Teatro Colon, just because it’s such a beautiful building. And it was there that we had a surprise reunion with two friends who are going to be on the cruise with us. Here’s AAC CPA’s surprised reaction when he saw them (with Leslie and Ron in the background).

AAC - BA
AAC CPA surprised by our Crystal sailing buddies

Here are a few photographs of the synagogue:

Libertad Synagogue Gates
Templo Libertad 

Libertad Synagogue
Templo Libertad gate detail, showing the 12 tribes of Israel

Libertad Overhead Entrance
No, that’s not the Vulcan salute!!

Libertad Sanctuary Entrance
Entrance to the sanctuary

Libertad Sanctuary - 01
Inside the sanctuary

Libertad Sanctuary - 02
A closer look at the “bimah”

Museum Typewriter
It’s an old typewriter with Hebrew letters found inside the museum

TRAVEL TIP: Templo Libertad

This afternoon was quite lazy and we began the arduous task of repacking. I don’t know why it should be difficult, since we’re not adding anything to what we brought from New York but, somehow, it’s very challenging and fraught with peril and emotional outbursts. Perhaps you’ve also had that experience, too?

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Is repacking more stressful than packing?

Tonight, for our grand farewell to Buenos Aires, we’re staying in and starting our evening at Vinoteca, which offers an extensive selection of wine tastings, particularly of the Malbecs we’ve been enjoying while in town. There’s also the option of sampling a selection of artisanal cheeses while you’re sipping the wines you’ve chosen. From there, we’ll have dinner at the elegant Duhau Restaurante, the gourmet restaurant at the hotel.

Park Hyatt Vinoteca
Vinoteca at the Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt

Park Hyatt Duhau Restaurante
Duhau Restaurante

11:00 Update: We had a great meal, preceded by an amazing wine and cheese tasting at Vinoteca. We sampled 8 different wines: 4 red and 4 white, and 7 different cheeses, all of which were home grown. The dinner at Duhau was excellent and each dish was beautifully presented, as was the service. 

A DESSERT
Desserts at Duhau – A sweet end to a perfect meal

CUISINE TIP: Duhau Restaurante and Vinoteca

A PALACE
Another part of the hotel – just ‘cuz

PS. Internet reception aboard ships can be notoriously terrible, so you may not hear from me for awhile. Not to worry – I’ll keep in touch as best I can.

What’s New, Buenos Aires??

I know it seems like all we do is travel, travel, TRAVEL! Cruising around the Caribbean in November, spending Christmas week in London town and now here we go again. Too much galavanting about in too short a period of time, you say? Well, maybe – I’m just grateful that we get to go at all!

You may have already noticed that I like to plan my travel way ahead. At this point, we’ve booked trips (mostly cruises) through 2017. I think it’s great to get them on the calendar. Sometimes, there’s a financial incentive to booking early. If you’re traveling by ship, perhaps you want to snag a certain cabin. Maybe you’re traveling with friends or family and need to coordinate. You get my drift.

Here’s the deal: our cruise line of choice for the past 11 years has been Crystal Cruises. We’ve sailed on Serenity or Symphony more frequently than all other cruises we’ve taken combined. We like the service, the crew, the spaciousness of the vessels and, not least, the passengers with whom we sail, many of whom have become good friends over the years.

TRAVEL TIP: Crystal Cruises

So, about 2 years ago, Crystal announced that, in January 2016, Symphony would be sailing from Buenos Aires to Antarctica and to several other ports. We’d never been to Buenos Aires, let alone South America. And how many opportunities do you have to visit Antarctica? It sounded too good to pass up, and so we booked it, way back then. I contacted my friends at Tully Luxury Travel, chose my cabin, and they booked it for us. Thank you, Nada and Monika.

TRAVEL TIP: Tully Luxury Travel

Crystal Symphony Antarctica
Look what awaits us in about 2 weeks!

As it turns out, my sister, Leslie, and her husband, Ron – who introduced us to Crystal Cruises back in 2005 – decided that they wanted to get in on the action and offered to join us. They’re good sailing buddies, so we thought “why not”?

Crystal Voyage
Here’s where we’ll be going

In addition, we have other good friends who are joining us on this cruise, at least 4 of them (that we know about). One fun thing about Crystal is that, while you’re at the terminal waiting to embark on sailing day, you’re inevitably going to run into people with whom you’ve cruised before. AAC CPA and I are always amazed (and totally flattered) when people walk up to us on line, reintroduce themselves and say how pleased they are to see us again. That’s pretty nice, right? That’s also part of the Crystal experience.

Our cruise doesn’t begin until January 13th, so we decided to fly down to BA this Thursday evening (American Airlines has an 11 hour, nonstop overnight flight from JFK to EZE) and we’ll spend 5 nights at the Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt. It’s reputed to be one of the loveliest hotels in Buenos Aires. Thank you Veronica at AmEx Platinum FHR for taking care of our hotel reservations.

TRAVEL TIP: AmEx Platinum FHR Program

BA Night
We’ll be there in just about 72 hours

BA Park Hyatt
Our digs for 5 nights

TRAVEL TIP: Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt

Oh, and here’s another little TRAVEL TIP, if you have the means to do it. You know when your cruise ends and you’re thrown off the ship first thing in the morning (probably kicking and screaming and in total denial)? Well, what if your flight home doesn’t depart for another 13 hours? What’cha gonna do?? Our policy is if you don’t ask, you don’t get. So we asked Veronica if she would contact the Park Hyatt and inquire if we could reserve a “day room” until it was time to leave for the airport that evening. Guess what? We asked and we got! (Thanks again, Veronica!) We’ll be able to check in as early as 9:00 AM, and we’ll have the room until early evening. And, because it’s only a “day room”, the rate has been reduced. So now it won’t hurt so much to get off the ship – we’ll be able to laze around the hotel, hang out by the pool or the spa, and just be pampered, pampered, pampered.

If you’ve been following my posts at all, you know that I’ve already booked our dinner reservations and retained the services of a very cool guide who will squire us around the city.

And for all of you concerned with jet lag, here’s a cool travel fact: there’s only a 2-hour time difference between NYC and BA. Not only that, it’ll be the same everywhere we sail on the cruise. Jet lag: BE GONE!

Casa Rosada
Guess who lived here once upon a time

I’ll be posting while we’re away although, as usual, we’ll probably have the usual lousy Internet challenges for the 2 weeks we’re aboard Symphony. I know, poor us!!

Stay tuned – it’s going to be a great trip!