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We joined Celestyal Crystal in Montego, Jamaica and she appeared smart and freshly painted on first impression. We were not disappointed once onboard as despite her age Crystal was very well maintained. Our cabin was one of the new balcony additions on Deck 7, added to the ship in 2015 Our cabin steward was attentive and friendly. Both embarkation and disembarkation were without delay. The wifi package was in line with other ships and whilst we unable to access connectivity in our cabin, there was a strong signal in all public areas and downloads were quick. The pool is small as is the case on older ships and is located outside the Hedra casual dining/buffet restaurant and has an optional retractable roof with table and chairs either side. A food station preparing dishes to order such as omelettes at breakfast and speciality dishes at lunch time made it a popular setting to dine, however it did not encourage many passengers to swim in it. Given the itinerary had only one day at sea and it was not considered an issue. What makes this cruise so appealing is it is themed as a Cuba cruise and that is what Crystal delivers. There was a Professor from Havana onboard who provided daily lectures on the Cuban history and culture. Spanish language and Cuban dance lesson were part of the daily programme and the drinks list with various spirit and Cuban rum offerings was impressive and affordable. As Australian citizens we were travelling independently and not on the People to People programme. The ship docks in Old Havana where you can easily walk around the historic area. Being in port for 2 days allows you to eat locally in the evening and enjoy some Cuban music, the Centro area where the museums and classic American cars are found is a 20 minute walk or short ride away. In both Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos it was is an easy walk to the town centre if you were not on tour. Maria la Gorda is a tender port and a chance to swim if not doing a tour, diving available. There is limited facilities aside from a couple of bar/restaurants. We dined at different tables each evening in the main dining rooms and met an interesting mix of people, mainly from Canada and the US. Food was not exceptional but it was varied, offered Cuban specialties and the service was polite and staff were friendly. The buffet selection at lunch was adequate and our least favourite place to eat. We were impressed by the nightly shows onboard, for a small ship they were professional and entertaining. The cruise surpassed our expectation. It was an old ship and we were prepared for that, it was our preference over cruising on a bigger more modern ship, we went for the Cuban experience and Celestyal delivered. We read books on the history and culture but we came away with a far greater insight into this country than we had hoped for. The ship is in keeping with going back in time which is what a visit to Cuba is about. A cruise we would recommend.

Cuba Cruise

Celestyal Crystal Cruise Review by Seaingthworld

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2016
  • Destination: Cuba
We joined Celestyal Crystal in Montego, Jamaica and she appeared smart and freshly painted on first impression. We were not disappointed once onboard as despite her age Crystal was very well maintained.

Our cabin was one of the new balcony additions on Deck 7, added to the ship in 2015 Our cabin steward was attentive and friendly.

Both embarkation and disembarkation were without delay.

The wifi package was in line with other ships and whilst we unable to access connectivity in our cabin, there was a strong signal in all public areas and downloads were quick.

The pool is small as is the case on older ships and is located outside the Hedra casual dining/buffet restaurant and has an optional retractable roof with table and chairs either side. A food station preparing dishes to order such as omelettes at breakfast and speciality dishes at lunch time made it a popular setting to dine, however it did not encourage many passengers to swim in it. Given the itinerary had only one day at sea and it was not considered an issue.

What makes this cruise so appealing is it is themed as a Cuba cruise and that is what Crystal delivers. There was a Professor from Havana onboard who provided daily lectures on the Cuban history and culture. Spanish language and Cuban dance lesson were part of the daily programme and the drinks list with various spirit and Cuban rum offerings was impressive and affordable.

As Australian citizens we were travelling independently and not on the People to People programme. The ship docks in Old Havana where you can easily walk around the historic area. Being in port for 2 days allows you to eat locally in the evening and enjoy some Cuban music, the Centro area where the museums and classic American cars are found is a 20 minute walk or short ride away. In both Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos it was is an easy walk to the town centre if you were not on tour. Maria la Gorda is a tender port and a chance to swim if not doing a tour, diving available. There is limited facilities aside from a couple of bar/restaurants.

We dined at different tables each evening in the main dining rooms and met an interesting mix of people, mainly from Canada and the US. Food was not exceptional but it was varied, offered Cuban specialties and the service was polite and staff were friendly. The buffet selection at lunch was adequate and our least favourite place to eat.

We were impressed by the nightly shows onboard, for a small ship they were professional and entertaining.

The cruise surpassed our expectation. It was an old ship and we were prepared for that, it was our preference over cruising on a bigger more modern ship, we went for the Cuban experience and Celestyal delivered. We read books on the history and culture but we came away with a far greater insight into this country than we had hoped for.

The ship is in keeping with going back in time which is what a visit to Cuba is about. A cruise we would recommend.
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Cabin Review

Cabin #7006
Cabin was newly refurbished with the addition of the new balcony build in in 2015. It was of a generous size with adequate amenities including a fridge. Our large bags fitted under the bed. The water pressure in the shower was good and hot water consistent. Shower caps and face washers provided. We travelled with adult children in the adjoining cabin and were able to open the connecting balcony partition to allow us to socialise together when we so choose, Good location close to stairs to all dining venues.