Disclaimer before I write any more — I don’t mean for this post to sound pretentious, but there is a high likelihood that it will . . .
Crystal River Cruises
We checked out of our hotel and check into the Crystal Mozart, Crystal Cruises first riverboat. So, this might be the most luxurious trip I’ve been on. We were met at the dock by an uniformed staff member, complete with top hat and tails. Check in consisted of a lovely young lady taking us to a comfy couch and electronically checking us in. No wait. No fuss. No muss. Our room wasn’t quite ready, so we headed up to Waterside, the main dining room, for a quick lunch.
Another lovely young lady found us while we were eating, presented our room keys, and told us to come find her downstairs when our lunch was finished.
I’ve been on a lot of cruises. I mean A LOT. But this riverboat is unbelievably gorgeous. The inside décor is done with muted grays and blues. Gentle lighting illuminates the upscale art in the public rooms.
Lunch finished, we ventured toward the main desk and our cabin. Lovely. The same muted grays and blues. A refrigerator stocked with cold beverages, white wine and red wine. Every possible amenity that we could want is at our finger tips. And, the staff is ready to jump in with any help or assistance we need.
We had the opportunity to take a tour of Jewish Vienna. I learned so much more about the history than I could ever have imagined. We even had the opportunity to see the excavation of a ninth century synagogue.
For our final afternoon in Vienna, we strolled along the Danube and looked at all the other riverboats. Who knew there were so many ( up to 30 at a time) in Vienna.
And Then Something Magical
As part of our cruise, Crystal provided a private tour of Belvedere Palace art museum and a private concert.
Getting to see Klimt’s works was breathtaking. Our tour guide was knowledgeable about art, and really helped us understand the evolution of Klimt’swork.
But, the highlight – perhaps one of the highlights of my life – was the private concert. It sounds so simple to say, we heard a fabulous orchestra play Mozart and Strauss. However, I can’t put into words the emotions the musicians drew from us. Inside the concert hall at Belvedere Palace the acoustics were amazing. By the time the orchestra ended with “The Blue Danube” we were all on our feet.
All in all, the past few days in Vienna have been once in a lifetime!