Crystal - Panama Canal - Par Excellance: Crystal Symphony Cruise Review by hjames2

Crystal Symphony 5
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Crystal - Panama Canal - Par Excellance

Sail Date: January 2012
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Miami
Although the Crystal Symphony is older than the Seabourn Sojorn we last sailed on, the ship is maintained in top condition. Beautiful inside and out with amazing attention to detail. With about 900 passengers, we never felt crowded in this spacious vessel.

The Captain and crew were wonderful, although the no handshake policy was a little strange, no matter how much sense it makes. It felt a little odd. Maybe you could post hand sanitizers just past the receiving line? But, the crew were courteous, industrious, and efficient.

The main dining room was a little less formal than Seabourn or Regent but still elegant. And, the maitre'd made special desserts several evenings which were great. Grand Mariner souffle, cheeries jubilee, bananas foster, viola!! And, a special filled birthday cake for one of our tablemates who were all wonderful. We sat with 3 other couples and their presence made the meatimes special.

We stopped in St Thomas, St Maarteen, and More Curacao on the way to the canal and just walked the towns to get a feel. They were all picturesque, friendly, warm, and quaint but like a lot of other Caribbean ports. Amazing yatchs in St Thomas harbor though.

The Panama Canal should be on everyone's bucket list, what a sight. Just watching the operation was enlightening, well worth the trip. We debarked in Caldera and took a coffee plantation tour up the valley to San Jose. We had lunch at Cafe Britt Coffee Plantation. The Costa Rican food was great and we were schooled on coffee production from seed to brew.

The San Jose Marriott was beautiful in old colonial style of heavy dark wood and wrought iron. With an open roof over the courtyard and open hallways. Like living outdoors. A quick 10 minutes to the airport and home. All in all, a great adventure. Less

Published 02/20/12

Cabin review: B9001

We picked cabin 9001 on a rec. from a Cruise Critic reviewer. It gave us an unobstructed forward view as we went thru the canal. It was also covered and shielded us from the sun which was important since the transit took all day. Those stuck out on the decks were getting too much sun. The room was small compared to Seabourn and Regent but adequate.

Port and Shore Excursions

Easy ride from the airport and easy embarkation. The view of the skyline as we left a 9pm was spectacular.
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Member Since 2009
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