In three days, Pam and I are boarding Crystal Serenity for their Haute Caribbean Holiday cruise, and we can’t wait. In fact, we wish we were leaving right now.
We are Crystal first-timers, and who wouldn’t be excited to spend 15 days cruising the Caribbean, celebrating Christmas and New Year’s, on a cruise line that year after year, wins the industry’s most prestigious awards for excellence?
Our departure point is Miami. Over the course of the cruise we’ll be visiting Grand Turk, St. Maarteen, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Tortola and Key West. On Tortola we’re looking forward to Virgin Gorda — our last cruise there got nixed because of adverse weather.
On most of the stops we’ve already pre-booked shore excursions. One of particular interest is to us is on Antigua, where we have joined the Crystal Voluntourism program to assist in the care and feeding of rescued donkeys at the Antigua Donkey Sanctuary. It’s a great idea, and Crystal offers these opportunities at no cost to the participants.
Since it is a luxury cruise, there are three “black tie optional” nights, which means part of my preparation has been updating my tux. Funny how it doesn’t fit in places that it used to.
There are three specialty dining venues we’ve already booked. They are Prego, featuring Italian fare, Umi Uma and Sushi Bar, from the famous master chef, Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa (we love the Nobu New York location) and the Stardust Supper Club, which harkens back to the days of Sinatra and an elegant evening on the town. If it’s about glitz and glamour, Pam’s all in.
Between ports, there are several days at sea, which are great for really getting to know the ship and meeting our fellow passengers.
While some prefer to be home for the holidays, we think a cruise is a perfect way to celebrate the season. We have downloaded the new Crystal app, and plan to offer updates at sea on how it’s going, so I hope you’ll stay tuned as we prepare for “all aboard” on Dec. 22. Happy holidays!
Crystal Serenity photo, courtesy Crystal Cruises