Archive for the ‘Crystal Symphony’ Category

Crystal Symphony Ship Tour

Our last day in Fort Lauderdale/Miami, we had a chance to tour the Crystal Symphony.  Crystal Cruises is a luxury cruise line with two ships each with just under 500 cabins.  There are no inside staterooms, only ocean view and balcony.  An entire deck is dedicated to penthouses, which include butler services.  Starting in the Spring of 2012, Crystal Cruises will become all-inclusive with wine, spirits, gratuities and much more included.  Right now they offer an “As You Wish” spending credits.  Airfare from major US airports is included, though you can get a credit instead for not using their air program.

Continue reading

Upcoming Ship Tours!

I think that when every you try to find the perfect cruise for someone, it is much easier if you have first-hand knowledge of the itineraries and ships.  By no means is it required.  There are some very good travel agents that haven’t been on a cruise that still do a good job.  I feel that there are so many subjective things out there though about a cruise that it’s almost better to experience a cruise for yourself and keep an open mind.

For example, I can say that I didn’t like the food on Royal Caribbean but my mother and sister loved it.  I thought the food on Disney Cruise Line was very good but my sister said it was just ok.  Now what I say is that Disney uses a lot more sauces and flavor combinations while Royal Caribbean is more of a meat a potato meal.  This doesn’t mean one is better than the other, it just gives you a better idea of what the food is like and you can choose which is a better fit with your palate.

The same goes with itineraries.  I have heard that Alaska was an amazing cruise destination.  I learned about Alaskan cruises through courses from Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines.  Personally, I didn’t see why an Alaskan cruise was that great.  Sure you could see whales and other wildlife, but a top cruise destination?  I decided to try it out for myself in May this year and you know what?  This is one of the top cruise destinations I have ever been to.  Granted there are a few I haven’t been to, but after 25 cruises, this is in my top three.

It is for these reasons that we try out different cruise lines, different itineraries and do ship tours.  This doesn’t mean I’m going on another cruise anytime soon, it means I’m off to tour a couple more ships.  The opportunity has come up for me to tour the Norwegian Epic and Crystal Symphony.  In less than a couple weeks I’ll be spending part of a day on each one of these.

Norwegian Epic is the newest and largest of the NCL fleet.  Epic has a lot of features that are very different than other cruise ships.  One is the studios category of rooms made for one person with no single supplement fees.  Another is the layout of the cabins and the bathrooms.  I’ll hold off on describing these until I see them in person.  I’m hoping we’ll get to see the Haven, Norwegian Cruise Line’s ship within a ship so to speak.  This is the area where all the suites are located, with their own courtyard containing loungers and pools.

Crystal Cruises will be changing to an all-inclusive line in the Spring of 2012.  This cruise line is considered a luxury brand and has two smaller ships.  The sale pricing on some of their 7 night cruises this year have been incredible for a luxury line so we are excited to see what this ship has to offer.

Before I tour the ships, I will be attending a cruise travel conference.  Representatives from many cruise lines will be there and I’ll have an opportunity to ask any questions I have.  I’d also like to get answers to any questions you might have (yes, I will ask the Disney rep about the rest of 2013!).

What would like to learn about the Norwegian Epic or Crystal Symphony?  What information would you be interested in finding out from any other cruise line?

%d bloggers like this: