Traveler Spotlight: Jolene and Neal Luck travel with Crystal CruisesJune 18, 2019 • By THIRDHOME
THIRDHOME Members, Jolene and Neal Luck, had an extraordinary experience traveling from Sydney to Singapore aboard the Crystal Symphony.
How did you choose this Crystal Cruise Experience?
When we saw the Crystal Cruise offering on THIRDHOME and the voyage was from Sydney to Singapore we immediately looked at each other and said WOW this knocks off several things on our bucket list we have to do this! We love snorkeling so the Great Barrier Reef was also a huge draw. We saw dragons on Komodo island on documentaries for years and the opportunity to get to actually see them in person was a big selling point. Bali was a destination interest since the book Eat, Pray, Love! Singapore is known as a premium destination spot.
What were some of the main highlights and experiences of your journey?
We challenged ourselves with the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, we trekked the Sydney Botanical Garden, Hyde Park, and Darling Harbour and topped out at 17K steps seeing the most iconic birds in Australia. We also hiked Hamilton Island Scenic Trail with breathtaking views of the bays, butterflies, and Kookaburras.
Aboard the Symphony we got to see an America’s Got Talent act and The Illuminators light dance show, which was absolutely thrilling. We also very much enjoyed the grand gala, which highlighted the amazing chefs and their culinary creations.
Bali was a 9 hour tour for us and the best possible tour of all including a personable guide telling stories of his youth, an orchid garden, batik processing center, and two famous temples starting with Pura Taman. Ayun ending with the sunset at Pura Tanah Lot (the seaside temple only accessible at low tide), Balinese food, and dance performance of the traditional Ramayama Monkey Chant onboard the ship.
Marina Bay Sands infinity pool on top of the structures was spectacular and our room faced the marina where light shows were conducted every evening.
Clark Quay was absolutely the most beautiful place after dark or otherwise we’ve ever seen and the Singapore river cruise puts you up close and personal with the revolving colors on the bridges and the waterside facilities.
Faber Peak Cable Car Dining was unique and a memorable experience ending with a video show on a large tree bringing fantasy and amazement
The Singapore Botanical Garden comes close to matching the Gardens by the bay or better (just missing the indoor fantasy gardens) and we saw a water monitor in the pond (much like a small Komodo dragon).
Was there one specific WOW moment you enjoyed the most?
The WOW moment was when a large Komodo dragon started coming straight for our group (there is a series of pictures on this). The guides recommended stepping back and pointed their sticks at the dragon and he dropped on all fours flat to his belly. The guides say they hate the sticks poked at their noses because it hurts them so they don’t charge when the sticks are pointing at them. A separate WOW moment on the same island was when we saw a Komodo dragon stalking a deer on the beach, the people scared off the deer and the dragon missed his lunch.
What did you like most about the Crystal Cruise experience – service, staff, dining, cabin accommodations, etc?
The service, staff, dining, and staterooms on the ship were above any expectation we could possibly have. The food was five-star (I would give ten-star if there was such a thing) gourmet as often as you want including room service. The stateroom attendants made sure the room was stocked with beverages and fruits of your choice. There were several staff members who went above and beyond to make us feel special and appreciated as guests on the ship.
What would you like to share with other members about your experience using the services of THIRDHOME Custom Travel?
We worked with Liz Bates and she has supported three magnificent trips for us including Fiji, Peru, and now Sydney to Singapore. Liz is always there for her clients, does the right thing, and does what she says she is going to do. We know we can count on Liz with any of our travel needs and appreciate her expertise so much.
How would you rate this past travel experience?