As veterans of many Transatlantic cruises, on ships large and small, we had high expectations of the Crystal experience.
Our expectations were exceeded well beyond our dreams. This was a cruise that fulfilled all our hopes, and with a Big Band theme, we really held very high hopes indeed.
We organised our own flights to the embarkation port of Miami, arriving the day before and staying overnight at an airport hotel. Embarkation was simplicity itself, and we were soon on board this lovely vessel and enjoying a delicious champagne lunch as our cabin was readied. Our deck 8 cabin was an elegant delight,comfortably furnished with a soothing decor in shades of grey. Luggage was promptly delivered, and our charming cabin stewardess quickly arrived to introduce herself and ask for any preferences.
We wandered the ship, strolled along the gorgeous uncluttered teak promenade deck and admire the beautiful pool deck with its generous pool and comfortable rattan loungers and pod-style sunbeams. Pleasant waiters offered drinks and quickly returned with orders, a task they completed with friendly efficiency throughout the cruise.
Dining was a delightful experience in all venues. The main dining room served delightful menus with a wide choice and first class presentation,whilst the 2 specialist dining rooms, Prego and Silk Road offered fine dining in sophisticated ambience. Casual dining was our choice at lunchtime, in the Lido Cafe, which had daily themed dishes and delightful desserts on offer. Waiters carried plates to guest's chosen seating, and offered drinks to choice. For guests hungry during the day, the lovely bistro had delicious offerings, changing to suit the time of day, as well as a wide menu of coffees and teas. Room service was also excellent, and we enjoyed having breakfast served in or cabin each morning.
Entertainment, was as we hoped, high quality, with lovely shows, cameo performances, and the most wonderful Big Band playing almost every evening in the beautiful Palm Court lounge, with glorious swing music to listen or dance to.
Day time activities kept guests as busy as they cared to be, with high calibre lectures on offer, dance tuition for the more active, handicraft music and painting classes for the creative and a lovely library for the enthusiastic readers. There was so much on offer, it was difficult to fit in everything you wished to do!