After making the most of our last night aboard the Crystal Symphony, the morning alarm came quickly. We went to the dining room for breakfast for the first time. Our waiter couldn't believe I was ending my trip with oatmeal and fruit. He was much more pleased with Veronica's choice of eggs Benedict. The last breakfast is alway sad. We saw Tom and Ed in the dining room and said our farewells although I think they are still on board the Symphony hiding (Shh!).
We decided to take a private transfer to the airport which I learned about through the amazing blogs of Keith1010 from Cruise Critic. It was a great use of our onboard credit. We waited in the cove area across from the concierge until it was time to go. Howard, our favorite Ambassador Host, came over to say goodbye while we were waiting. When our car was ready, the concierge walked us to the gangway where we were met by a representative who escorted us directly to our bags, through customs and directly to our waiting town car. Easiest disembarkation ever!
I was worried having a flight at 11:40 but we made it to the airport by 9:30. We had to fly to Los Angeles and then home to Philadelphia. There was a slight delay out of San Francisco as our plane needed to be duct taped because of an overhead bin that refused to shut. Funny thing is that our plane was also duct taped from Philadelphia to Portland. Even with the delay we made it to Los Angeles with about 35 minutes time until our next flight began boarding. The flight home was uneventful which is nice. The meal was a salad and I enjoyed that. I even splurged and tried the ice cream sundae. I think it was a way to drown my sorrows.
Philadelphia wasted no time in reminding us that we weren't on Crystal any more. The airport was not very busy at 11pm but all ladies restrooms were being cleaned. Every single one we passed. Then, the luggage carousel broke as the bags just started coming out. A worker jumped up and ran down the ramp returning with one bag he tossed on to the carousel. He ran back to repeat. This could take awhile. After many announcements of changing carousels, the original one started running and our bags finally appeared. We were anxious because finally we could call Chris to meet us. We were excited to see him. We told him stories of our trip on the way home but we all were ready for bed after a long day. My bed felt great!
This cruise will be a favorite of mine for sure. First, I was able to have this adventure with my daughter. We were able to share lots of mother-daughter bonding. She is a wonderful travel companion even if she sleeps later than I do. Crystal cruises also makes everything extra special. This was my third Crystal cruise and all have been favorite vacations. Of course there were a few things that could have been better but they were truly minimal (dance host, seat stealer, closet) or personal preference (Prego) but Crystal far exceeds in all areas. We met some great passengers and crew on this trip and that is one of the true joys of cruising. On longer voyages, you really start to feel like your own microcosm of society. I would highly recommend a cruise on Crystal for anyone who is thinking of trying a luxury cruise.
It is sad when one trip is over but it helps if you have one to look forward to. Next summer, all three of us will be traveling to England, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Netherlands and Belgium on the NCL Spirit.