For our first ever cruise and after much research using Cruise Critic my wife and I decided to on Crystal and the Crystal Serenity.
But as many had told us - after Crystal it would be all downhill - yes we were spoilt!!!
The Crystal Forum on Cruise Critic was a great help - many of our questions were quickly answered as were our ones directed to the Crystal website.
As first time cruisers the sponsorship system worked very well and our credit helped with our excursions,
As avid golfers and having never toured the British Isles together we booked the back to back Dover to Dublin - Dublin to Dover(the golf themed cruise) - Dover to Barcelona cruise from August to September.
Everything we had read about Crystal was correct and everything fell into place without any problems.
The golf theme section of the itinerary with Billy Casper as the featured guest was a great highlight. Such a gentleman who at 82 years old gave his time to everybody - even non-golfers. His lectures in the main auditorium were always full and he gave such a fascinating talk interspersed with a range of questions and answers that kept everyone in their seats until the end. On every golf excursion he was there with encouraging words and tips and the dinners with his wife and family towards the end of the cruise were another highlight.
With a great deal of pre-cruise planning our son and his wife came on board for dinner to surprise my wife after we arrived at Barcelona and the staff could not have been more accommodating - the deck security and concierge had every angle covered in case there was a hiccup in the plans but it went off flawlessly.
Truly a great experience for our first ever cruise and as a result we have already booked our next Crystal cruise.