Day 6 (con’t) – July 13, 2018 (Fri) – Bistro Mozart

Having heard so many great things about the tapas-style Bistro Mozart, we decided to give it a try. We liked it so much that we had to book it for a second time before we disembarked.

First of all, it was very pleasant to eat with floor to ceiling windows right beside you. Incredible Danube river views accompanied us for the whole meal, from day to night.

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There being no menu, it was up to the chef to share with us his “creation”, based on our liking of seafood and meat. These were the appetizers: salmon with caviar, air-dried pork, caesar salad…soooo yummy!

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Main course were shrimps and filet mignon with yams and garlic bread. Everything was super tasty. Our dessert was of course their famous mango sorbet with chunks of mangoes.

 

 

 

Day 6 (con’t) – July 13, 2018 (Fri) – Linz

When we got back to Linz, we drove past Hauptplatz the main city square. It was so beautiful that we decided to have a little exploration on our own. After changing our Bistro reservation to 8 pm, we started to walk to the Main Square from the ship. Then we saw the cute yellow trolley so we decided to take a little tour of the town. It was only €9 per person for a 30-minute tour. We were the red tour so we could see our ship from the bridge.

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After the trolley trip, we walked around and then paid €1, 20 to take a 3-stop bus ride back to the Main Square before walking back to the ship. We just paid for the bus tickets from the machine at the bus stop, very easy with clear English instructions.

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Day 6 – July 13, 2018 (Fri) – Linz & Cesky Krumlov

Linz & Cesky Krumlov – July 13
Steps walked: 11,800         Floors climbed: 4 Distance walked: 8.4 km
Details Time Notes
Breakfast at Waterside 8:00 AM
Ship Tour: Czesky Full-day Adventure 9:00 AM
                   to Cesky Krumlov (LNZ-03)
arrived at Cesky Krumlov Castle 11:00 AM start tour from uphill
complimentary coffee break at Cesky Pernik 11:50 AM
Guided tour part 2 12:00 PM
Free time & Lunch 12:20 PM
Lunch at Hotrel Dvorak terrace by the river 12:30 PM 1050 Czech Koruna
Coffee at Egon Café 2:00 PM 138 Czech Koruna
Meet at Old Town Square 2:30 PM
arrived back to Linz for city sightseeing 4:00 PM
Back to ship, booked Bistro dinner 4:20 PM
Afternoon snacks at Bistro 4:30 PM
Walked to Linz Old Town 5:15 PM
Boarded trolley for a 30-min Old Town Tour 6:00 PM €9 per person
Took a bus back to ship 6:50 PM €1,20 per person
Back to ship 7:05 PM
Dinner at Bistro Mozart 8:00 PM
Ship to Passau 9:00 PM
Went to “Ther Liar’s Club” at Palm Court 9:30 PM too long & repetitive!

While we were at Linz, the ship docked with the Port side facing the pier. Luckily, our suite didn’t get blocked by the pier at all. But you could see from the picture that a whole chunk of rooms on Deck 1 from mid-ship to the front of the ship were completely blocked.

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We docked really close to town. Strolling to Hauptplatz, the Old Town Main Square, was just an easy 5-minute walk.

After breakfast, we boarded the bus to go to Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic. Most people from the ship chose to go to Salzburg as it was a more popular spot for tourists. So there were only about 20 of us on the coach. After a 2-hour journey on the coach, we arrived at the top of Český Krumlov Castle, dated back to 1240 when the first castle was built. We felt much better walking downhill, accompanied by the gorgeous views:

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After a 45-minute walk, we were taken to a cute little shop opposite the castle exit to taste their famous Old Bohemian ginger bread. We were also offered free trials of their wine & liqueur. The ginger bread had lovely designs and was really soft and delicious.

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We continued our walk to cross the Vltava (Moldau) River to the Old Town Square. We had a great lunch on the terrace of Hotel Dvorak by the river.

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Both the fish and the duck were delicious.

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After lunch, we walked to a little cafe for coffee before joining the group at the Old Town Square to walk to the coach for our return trip.

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Day 5 – July 12, 2018 (Thurs) – Durnstein

Durnstein & Melk – July 12
Steps walked: 10,332         Floors climbed: 11 Distance walked: 7.4 km
Details Time Notes
Breakfast at Waterside 8:30 AM
Ship Tour: Durnstein Walking Tour & 9:30 AM quaint little village
                   Monastery (DUE-03)
1-hour guided tour with Lisa Marie
free time to explore the town 10:30 AM
back to ship 11:45 AM
Scenic Sailing along Wachau Valley 12:00 PM
Lunch at Blue 12:20 PM
Arrived at Melk 4:00 PM
Ship Tour: Melk Abbey: a Baroque 4:30 PM lots of walking!!!
                   Masterpiece (MLK-02) 2-hr guided Guide: Iduna (Excellent)
Left Melk Abbey 6:30 PM
back to ship 6:45 PM
Dinner at Waterside 7:00 PM
Social time at Cove Bar 9:00 PM

Crystal Mozart left Vienna just before midnight of July 11. When we woke up on July 12, we found that we were already at Durnstein, with Amadeus Symphony parked right beside us on the Starboard side. Again, it proved that our suite location was great as there was still a little bit of gap between our windows and the front part of Amadeus Symphony.

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We started the walking tour by going to Dürnstein Abbey. Established in 1410 and rebuilt in 1710 in the elaborate Baroque style, the abbey is definitely very well-kept. Here is the famous spire of the blue church:

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The interior was surprisingly stunning for a quaint little village of only 900 inhabitants.

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We had an easy stroll through this beautiful village, heard legends about the town, its ruined castle and King Richard I of England, also known as Richard the Lionheart. Walking back to the ship on our own was super easy.

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On a river cruise, the worst stateroom locations were the midship rooms, and many of them were the penthouse suites. They ALWAYS got blocked, at least partially if not completely. All you faced was just the concrete. Those on Deck 1 midship were in complete darkness, like you’re trapped in a lock.

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Day 4 (con’t) – July 11, 2018 (Wed) – Michelin Star Culinary Experience at Le Ciel

When we booked this cruise, the Michelin-starred restaurant experience was one of the highlights that attracted us. Now Crystal only offered that to guests who are in Penthouse & above free of charge, all others would be charged €249 per person. Since we booked the cruise before Crystal announced the cut-off date of August 7, 2017, we were able to enjoy this culinary experience free of charge. Out of Edvard, Konstantin Filippou & Le Ciel, we chose the last one.  There were 16 of us going there and 20 that went to Edvard. Not sure how many went to Konstantin Filippou.

The food at Le Ciel was definitely above average and the service was great too, but I don’t think it’s worth €249. Crystal used 3 different coaches to take us to the restaurants. Le Ciel is on the 7th floor of the Grand Hotel, quite close to the Vienna State Opera.

The menu

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The veal (main course)

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The dessert

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2 types of chocolate after the dessert (yes, the green ones are yummy chocolates)

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What a great day in Vienna! There was so much that we didn’t get to see so I was very glad that we got to stay in Vienna for a couple more days after the cruise.

Day 4 – July 11, 2018 (Wed) – more sightseeing in Vienna

Vienna – July 11
Steps walked: 11,139          Floors climbed: 13 Distance walked: 7.6 km
Details Time Notes
Breakfast at Waterside 8:00 AM
Ship Tour: Exclusive Museum of Fine Arts 9:00 AM
                   & Art Chamber (VIE-05)
arrived at Kunsthistorisches Museum 9:40 AM early opening for
2-hour guided tour with Gabriela, saw Klimt’s artwork Crystal guests
walked to Imperial Treasury to see crowns 11:40 AM
walked to coach 12:20 PM
boarded coach at Albertina 12:30 PM
Lunch at Waterside 1:00 PM
Ship Tour: Imperial Schonbrunn Palace & 2:00 PM guide: Irene
                   Royal Carriage Museum (VIE-04)
self tour of palace grounds (no tour inside) 2:50 PM
Guided tour to Royal Carriage Museum 3:30 PM interesting history
Boarded coach for more city sightseeing 4:30 PM
Back to ship 6:00 PM
Signature Event: Michelin-Star Dining at 7:00 PM upscale and delicious
                Le Ciel by Toni Morwald (VIE-16) excellent service
arrived at Grand Hotel 7:20 PM
finished dinner 9:30 PM
back to ship 9:50 PM

After a restful sleep, we woke up ready to have a full day of sightseeing in Vienna. This was our itinerary for the day:

  1. 9 am – 1 pm     Exclusive Museum of Fine Arts & Art Chamber
  2. 2 – 6:30 pm       Imperial Schonbrunn Palace & Royal Carriage Museum
  3. 7 – 10 pm          Michelin-Star Dining at Le Ciel by Toni Morwald

First we went to breakfast and it was amazingly good. I’ll post some pictures later.

Our 1st stop was the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts). The museum was supposed to open at 10 am but Crystal got priority entry at 9:40 so we could follow the guide and saw many areas before the public. We had to leave our bags in the locker. Photography without flash was permitted. Our tour guide Gabriela (same as yesterday’s tour) was very very good.

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One of the most important works was the Saliera or Salt Cellar by Benvenuto Cellini.

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Another special event at the Kunsthistorisches Museum was the Stairway to Klimt. To remember the artist’s death 100 years ago, there was a temporary elevated platform that brought visitors close to 13 paintings on walls above the museum’s grand staircase.

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Then we moved on to the Imperial Treasury to view 2 very famous imperial crowns. The first one was the Austrian Imperial Crown (the Imperial Orb, Crown, and Sceptre of Austria).

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The second one was the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.

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After we went back to the ship for lunch, we started our afternoon excursion to Schönbrunn Palace and the Royal Carriage Museum at 2 pm. The drive took 20 minutes.

We only visited the outside of the Schönbrunn Palace but the ground was absolutely stunning.

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The Carriage Museum was right next to it.

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We left the palace at 4:30 pm and the driver drove through the city for more sight-seeing before getting back to the ship. I’m so glad that we got to stay for a couple more days after disembarkation so we could see more of Vienna. It’s a wonderful city!

 

 

Day 3 (con’t) – July 10, 2018 (Tues) – 1st dinner on board

After a below average lunch on board, we found that dinner was much better on the Mozart. Here is the menu:IMG_5537

The potato soup was good.

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My husband said the ham with egg tasted very good and interesting with egg.

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I had the veal tenderloin (medium rare) and it was delicious. The sauce was a bit salty for me.

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My husband’s brisket was just average. I never liked the texture of it and the meat was a bit dry.

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The sacher cake was very good.

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After dinner, we were going to go out but then it was raining very hard so we went to the Cove Bar and listened to Derek Conlon on the piano. We already met a lot of new friends on the ship so it was fun chatting with them.

Day 3 (con’t) – July 10, 2018 (Tues) – sightseeing in Vienna

It started to rain after lunch when we were starting the excursion “Austria in a Nutshell”.

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There was a Crystal umbrella in the closet and we could also ask for another one at the lobby. Since it’s the first time we joined a ship excursion, we forgot our Crystal Clear audio device so we had to go back to the room to get them. It’s convenient that our suite is just a few rooms down the corridor.

After a 15-minute drive, we arrived at the legendary Ringstrasse, one of the world’s most beautiful boulevards. Our guide Gabriela was super good and knowledgeable. We drove by the Vienna State Opera to our washroom break where Crystal offered us complimentary coffee using a coffee bike.

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We continued our walk through the beautiful Heldenplatz

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to the Imperial Palace.

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After the walking tour, we had apple strudel & coffee at a little cafe next to the tourist info office opposite the opera house before getting back to the ship.

 

Day 3 – July 10, 2018 (Tues) – embarkation in Vienna

Vienna – July 10
Steps walked: 9,971         Floors climbed: 3 Distance walked: 6.7 km
Details Time Notes
hotel check out 7:15 AM
took a taxi to Salzburg HBF 7:20 AM €10,80 fare + €1,20 tip
breakfast at OBB Lounge at Salzburg HBF 7:40 AM 1st class perk
boarded OBB Train RJ763 at platform 4F 8:00 AM
Salzburg HBF → Flughafen Wien Bahnhof 8:08 AM
arrived at Flughafen Wien Bahnhof (airport) 10:58 AM
met Crystal reps at train platform 11:00 PM
got suitcases from Luggage Storage 11:10 PM €4 x 2 x 3 days = €24
walked to Crystal coach at parking lot 11:20 PM
left airport to ship 12:05 PM
arrived at Handelskai pier#5 where Mozart docked 12:30 PM
Lunch at Waterside 1:10 PM
Ship Tour: Austria in a Nutshell (VIE-02) 2:00 PM Light rain
washroom/coffee break near City Park 2:40 PM Guide: Gabriela (great)
walking tour via city park to imperial palace 3:00 PM
free time starting at St. Stephen’s Cathedral 4:05 PM
pick up Vienna Card at Tourist Info 4:25 PM
afternoon snacks at Rosenberger 4:35 PM €10,70
Walked from Stephansplatz to Schwedenplatz 5:10 PM boarded coach there
Back to Ship to continue unpacking 5:35 PM
Dinner at Waterside 7:00 PM
Social time at Cove Bar 9:00 PM

Checked out from the Salzburg hotel at 7:15 am. Front desk called a taxi cab that arrived in 2 minutes and we got to Salzburg Main Station at 7:40 am. Fare was €10,20 + €1,80 tip. The traffic was a tiny bit slower than Sunday. After checking that the train left from Platform 4F (only half the train continued on to Vienna Airport and half stopped at Vienna Main Station), we had free breakfast at the OBB 1st Class Lounge and boarded the train on time. This time we saved €70 per ticket than buying it right at the station.

The Crystal reps waited for us at the train platform at Vienna Airport and we were escorted to the Crystal Coach that was waiting for us at Terminal 3 parking lot. We had to wait for over half an hour for ten more guests to arrive before pulling off to the pier. IMG_9887

Crystal Mozart docked at pier #5 on Handelskai, which was directly opposite the St. Francis of Assisi Church, also known as the Emperor’s Jubilee Church.

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I read many reviews before picking my suite with a French balcony, making sure that when docking at the piers the room/view would be blocked to the minimal.  So far it proved to be an excellent choice. I’ll do a summary of Mozart’s docking positions at the end of the cruise. My suite is #203 on the port side.

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Check-in was a breeze, it took no more than 5 minutes, including taking pictures for our cruise cards. We did it with a rep right at the stateroom, which is on Deck 2, that means we did not have to take the stairs from the entrance of the ship. Since our luggage was already brought to the room, we started unpacking before having lunch at Waterside Restaurant on Deck 3. Our first buffet lunch on board was not good at all. Both the chicken scallopini and veal were not even warm and they were quite hard. Coffee was not good either. However, the food got much better after the first meal.

Our S1 Deluxe suite with French balcony is only 219 sq. ft. in size, we found it very small, though it’s already bigger than other cruise lines’ balcony rooms. We packed very light, knowing that only smart casual clothes were needed. Each person only brought 15 shirts/T-shirts, 7 pair of pants/shorts, 2 pieces of swim wear, 3 pairs of shoes, 1 pair of slippers, 1 jacket (my husband has 1 sport jacket too), 10 underwear, plus our toiletries and electronic gadgets like phones, tablets, cameras, chargers, etc. I also have 3 dresses. We had no problems putting everything in the 2 closets with 3 huge drawers. An iPad is on one night table, and a phone is on the other.

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The TV is quite big for the room but it’s not movable, so we can’t even use our HDMI cable to see our photos and videos on the TV.

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I love the sitting area. It’s facing the front of the ship so it’s great to sit on the couch to enjoy the river scenery along the way. I’ll show the balcony windows later. The mini-bar (actually a pull-out drawer) is beside the desk under the coffee machine and the cups and glasses.

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The bathroom with the adorable Toto heated toilet is lovely and well-designed. Upscale Etro bath products are provided. The shower’s water pressure has been great. The middle knob is for the temperature, the left is for the overhead shower. With both the left and the right turned on, it’s the hand-held shower. There is a drawer under the sink, a shelf above the toilet, so there is enough space to leave my toiletries.

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