The anticipation surrounding Crystal Symphony’s grandest makeover in her history is definitely building. We can almost taste it. Which, let’s face it, is one of the best parts of a Crystal cruise – the delectable cuisine prepared by our expert culinary teams. As the dining experience aboard Crystal Symphony is enjoying a dramatic redesign at the moment, we’re looking forward to welcoming you to the proverbial table to indulge in the reimagined journey of flavors that awaits.

But it’s not only what will be served on board that is noteworthy emerging from this dry dock. The when and where are significant, too, as for the first time ever, Crystal debuts Open Seating in its all-inclusive, world-class restaurants. With the abundance of choices of eateries available to you throughout your days and evenings on board, we’re sharing some of the top things to keep in mind while planning your reservations (or lack thereof) for your voyage. We wouldn’t want you to miss one bite…

The entrance foyer to the brand new Waterside restaurant on Crystal Symphony’s Deck 5.

Here’s what you need to know:


Waterside – Formerly known as the Crystal Dining Room. Still the main spot for elegant dining with classic specialties and modern gastronomy, this Deck 5 restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast and lunch service will continue in the same schedule previously offered, but for dinner, guests will dine at their leisure from 6 to 9:30 p.m.; no reservations will be accepted.

Marketplace – Formerly the Lido Café, this daytime venue serves up casual ambiance and buffet style breakfast and lunch specialties. Dine at your leisure, as no reservations are accepted.

Churrascaria – The evening transformation of Marketplace, Churrascaria turns up the flavor for dinner, serving tapas and ceviche, traditional Brazilian seafood and grilled meats, and offering tableside carving service. Dinnertime hours from 6 to 9 p.m. will not accept reservations, so indulge as you wish.

“I PREFER TO PLAN.” Reserve your table at these venues via Priority Check-in & Planning Center (PCPC)

Silk Kitchen & Bar – Moving in adjacent to the Trident Grill, Silk Kitchen & Bar prepares the comfort food of the Far East, serving Chinese specialties family style. Breakfast and lunch will offer self-service of traditional Chinese favorites – dumplings, dim sum, noodles, meat-filled crepes and soups. For the dinner hours between 6 and 9 p.m., cuisine is served family style, and reservations are required.

Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa aboard Crystal Symphony

Umi Uma & Sushi Bar – A fresh rebranding of Silk Road and The Sushi Bar, the specialty dining venues by Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. The restaurant will continue to serve the inspired cuisine of Nobu, prepared by his personally trained chefs, and will remain the only Nobu restaurants at sea. Reservations for specialty restaurants (including Prego) are always required.

Vintage Room – These intimate winemaker’s dinners accommodate just 12 guests around the elegant table, serving several curated courses that pair with wines selected by Crystal’s expert sommeliers. Reserve your seat at the table, or book the entire dinner for yourself and you 11 closest wine-loving travel mates.


Guests who wish to dine at the same table, with the same service staff each evening?

As part of the evolution of Crystal Symphony’s dining experience, the new Open Seating concept effectively eliminates Main and Late Seating, and Dining by Reservation, meaning that no standing table assignments exist. Guests are accommodated on a first come, first served basis, and guest table and service requests will be accommodated whenever possible.

Single guests who don’t wish to dine alone?

We will continue the tradition of offering dining company for our solo guests. An invitation will be sent to all single guests to dine with their fellow travelers at a preset time and restaurant.

Guests who prefer to dine in their staterooms?

Crystal’s 24-hour in-room dining will continue, featuring menus from Waterside for all guests, as well as menus from Umi Uma & Sushi Bar and Prego for Penthouse guests.

Guests who enjoy meeting new travelers over dinner, as it was done when the Maitre D’ assigned guests to tables for eight with other diners?

We will still offer the opportunity for couples and groups to join together at larger tables. Wait staff will identify tables for such occasions and invite interested parties at specific times to join these tables.

Guests who enjoy the Officers’ hosting program?

We will continue the tradition of offering tables in Waterside hosted by Crystal Symphony officers on two to three nights of the cruise, depending on the length of the itinerary. As in the past, assignment to hosted tables will not be permanent.

The countdown is on for the reveal of Crystal Symphony’s evolution! Book your voyage now and look forward to the posh new spaces that await you on board. And make your reservations (or don’t!) to enjoy the finest cuisine at sea. *Dining hours are subject to change.



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HAL Wins Awards for O, The Oprah Magazine Partnership, Rudi’s Sel de Mer and Alaska Cruises

Holland America Line recently collected a trio of awards from Seatrade Europe, AFAR Media and Kreuzfahrt Traume that recognized the brand’s marketing initiatives, Alaska cruises and culinary excellence, respectively.

Holland America Line’s partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine won the 2017 Seatrade Cruise Award for Marketing Initiative of the Year; the AFAR Travelers’ Choice Cruise Awards recognized the line’s Alaska Cruises; and Rudi’s Sel De Mer was given the International German Cruise Award for Best New Restaurant Concept by German publication Kreuzfahrt Traume.

“We are always deeply honored when our brand is recognized for an initiative we worked tirelessly to develop or an experience that elevates who we are and what we deliver,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Thank you to the readers and decision-makers from Seatrade, AFAR and Kreuzfahrt Traume who awarded us with these three prestigious honors.”

Seatrade Europe Recognizes O, The Oprah Magazine Partnership
Holland America Line’s partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine earned the 2017 Seatrade Cruise Award for Marketing Initiative of the Year. The new award recognized the cruise line’s onboard programming that was designed to unite the soul-stirring power of travel with the magazine’s deep commitment to connection and personal growth.

O Magazine cruise shirts.

Five special theme cruises feature exclusive programming developed with the magazine’s editors, along with guest motivational speakers and one very special cruise that Oprah Winfrey sailed on in July 2017. Additionally, more than 300 cruises sailing from North America through the remainder of 2017 and 2018 have a variety of inspiring and engaging activities that bring the magazine to life on board.

AFAR Alaska

AFAR Audience Names Holland America Line’s Alaska Cruises Number-One
In the AFAR Travelers’ Choice Cruise Awards, Holland America Line earned top accolades for its Alaska cruises. This is the first year AFAR Media broke their esteemed awards into three categories: hotel, cruise and destinations. More than 130,000 votes were received in the cruise category alone, and Holland America came out as number-one in the Alaska Cruise Line category.

In 2017 Holland America Line celebrated its 70th year as a leader in Alaska exploration. The line’s award-winning Alaska cruises and Land+Sea Journeys are the heart of the company’s global itineraries, and every itinerary is highlighted by scenic cruising of Alaska’s Inside Passage and one or more of Alaska’s famous glaciers and fjords.

Holland America Line’s Land+Sea Journeys combine a three-, four- or seven-day Inside Passage or Glacier Discovery cruise with in-depth overland tours to the Yukon and Alaska’s interior. Holland America Line is the only cruise company to weave must-see sites such as Denali National Park — the centerpiece of every Land+Sea Journey — with seldom-seen ones, such as Dawson City, in the heart of Klondike Gold Rush Country.

Rudi’s Sel De Mer Wins Best New Restaurant Concept
German publication Kreuzfahrt Traume named Rudi’s Sel de Mer Best New Restaurant Concept at the International German Cruise Awards. First launched on ms Koningsdam as a stand-alone venue, Rudi’s Sel de Mer recently debuted as a pop-up in the Pinnacle Grill on several ships in the Holland America Line fleet, and will expand to the entire fleet next year. The specialty restaurant was created and named for the cruise line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, who conceived and developed the concept.

Rudi's sel de mer

For Rudi’s Sel De Mer, Sodamin created Food Faces art for the exclusive show plates made by Bernardaud. Each plate portrays an image of a work of art crafted from food.

Rudi’s Sel de Mer is built around a menu of classic French Mediterranean dishes with a contemporary twist, featuring locally sourced seafood. The setting is an intimate brasserie with custom décor, plates, menus and uniforms reflecting the ambiance. Guests can indulge in a diverse selection of dishes over several courses that includes Rudi’s Seafood Tower, Bouillabaisse Marseillaise, Fruits de Mer, Duck Cassoulet, Soufflé au Fromage, Salt Crust Baked Branzino and desserts like Crêpes Suzette, Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Sauce and Rudi’s famed Souffle – a version of the Salzburger Nockerl.

Holland America Blog

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Video: What’s New Behind Crystal Symphony’s Curtain?

Crystal Symphony’s redesign is nearly complete, and new Penthouses, dining venues and high-tech amenities aren’t the only dramatic changes you’ll find aboard this award-winning ship. Cruise Director Shane Morley returns to the Crystal Insider today, with a true insider’s reveal of the brand new glamour that will debut when the ship’s curtain raises as she emerges from dry dock. Crystal Symphony entertainment offerings have long showcased glittering performances by the Crystal Ensemble, and the multi-talented team is back on stage to welcome you aboard…

Crystal’s ensemble rehearses scenes from ‘Crystal in Motion’ in preparation for the show’s debut aboard Crystal Symphony’s first post-dry dock voyage from Lisbon.

Cue the music, cue the drumroll – and every other stage show reference in our repertoire – as Shane sits down with Crystal’s vice president of entertainment, Keith Cox, for a chat about the new entertainment aboard Crystal Symphony.

As Crystal Symphony moves closer to her reveal and her groundbreaking evolution, stay tuned for more updates and all the details about the new ‘Crystal in Motion’ show and more on the Crystal Insider.

The post Video: What’s New Behind Crystal Symphony’s Curtain? appeared first on CRYSTAL INSIDER.


eagle cruising for food 4/19/17 -2
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Carnival Cruise Line Creates the World’s Longest Conga Line at Sea for World Conga Day™


Carnival Cruise Line has produced an epic global celebration for Australia’s fifth birthday, creating the world’s longest conga line at sea for the first ever World Conga Day™.

Australia is Carnival Cruise Line’s first international home-port outside of the U.S, with Carnival Spirit sailing year-round and Carnival Legend sailing seasonally.  In 2020, the brand will have two ships sailing year-round from Australia.

This global event started in Florida on October 10 on board Carnival Sensation and from here, the Carnival Conga island hopped throughout the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, before traveling over to the Pacific.

From the Pacific, the Conga then passed from the Mexican Riviera to Carnival Legend in the Coral Sea, with the Conga craziness arriving onto Carnival Spirit this morning.

More than 60,000 guests took part in the Carnival Conga throughout the week, as it travelled across 25 Carnival ships, 13 countries, 7 time zones, and spanning nearly 10,000 miles finally arriving in Sydney on October 17.

Iconic around the globe, the conga is a sure-fire way to get a crowd on their feet having a good time, which is why World Conga Day™ was born, to give everyone a chance like never before for a day of pure undiluted fun.

From this year forward, Carnival Cruise Line want World Conga Day to be enjoyed not just by everyone on board their ships but around the world, as an excuse for people to leave their troubles behind – a holiday from all the worries of the world.

Carnival Cruise Line Vice President Australia and NZ Jennifer Vandekreeke, said “We’re delighted that Carnival guests and crew from around the globe have joined together for a bit of fun to celebrate our five year anniversary in Australia.  Since the arrival of Carnival Spirit in 2012, more than 750,000 Australians and Kiwis have enjoyed the fun of a Carnival Cruise. We’re excited by what the next five years will bring, especially given by 2020, we will have two ships sailing year-round from Australia.”

Captain Vittorio Marchi, Captain of the Australian based Carnival Spirit added, “As our first international port, Australia has always been close to my heart. Sailing here for five years is a huge milestone not only for myself but the entire Australia-based crew, so I am thrilled to lead Carnival Spirit into the beautiful Sydney Harbour as part of this global celebration.”

To learn more about Carnival Cruise Line, visit For reservations, contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL.

Carnival Cruise Line News

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Practical Travel Tips

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Practical Travel Tips

It does not matter whether you are just a novice in cruising since you can expect help from the veterans. Learn from their experiences how best you can benefit from your cruise while you evade unknown but undesirable situations.

To enjoy cruise tour learn to enjoy crossing formalities first
Be ready to produce at the airport or customs your passport or identification and your cruise ticket too if required. Never forget where you have kept those to remain free from tension and any awkward situation. It would be fine if you keep all those in a small case like a business card holder. Keep it in a safe but quickly reachable place.

To keep copies of your passport, visa, driving license, and other important documents would be wise. That applies for your traveler’s checks and credit cards too. For maximum safety precaution, keep at your home a set of the copies with a trustworthy person who is capable of taking out quickly those if your need be, while in the ship’s safe or in your cabin’s safe, if there is one, keep another set. Retain with you the originals and a set of the copies, in different places though.

Travel wise, be practical
You have no idea when it is morning time if you are in an inner cabin inaccessible for direct sunlight. An alarm clock can save you from botheration of rising from the bed now and then and go up the steps to the deck to check if someone else is already up there.

During the cruise you may not wash the clothes and therefore check that clean and worn clothes are not mixed up. Keep a laundry bag for dirty clothing.

Fun holidays-share joys with distant friends!
You can use the phones on the ship but prepaid phone cards will be cheaper. In case you prefer your cell phone better ask your service provider for extension of your calling area, get from them probable cost for receiving and making calls and at special rates, if any.

For taking pictures to record the valuable moments remember to carry enough batteries for your camera and extra memory cards too. Do not forget to bring your charger if you use rechargeable batteries. For use of camera with film be cautious to keep it at such a place that scanners do not spoil the film.

You will learn from knowledgeable cruisers that closer the look better is the view. Therefore for true appreciation of the surrounding beauty you need binoculars.

An important advice waits for you still. Despite your best efforts for a perfect cruise if it goes otherwise you should not take it as a tragedy. If there is a stain on your clothes or a camera film is spoilt you should not ruefully dampen the special vacation spirit. Why should you forget that you are on a pleasant holiday mood on a cruising spree away from your daily worries? To enjoy yourself is the solitary goal there.


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