Crystal Cruises: Culture, Feng Shui and Elegance on the Caribbean
With ships that accommodate some 1,000 guests, Crystal Cruises' vessels are a bit larger than those of its competitors. But style isn't sacrificed aboard Crystal Symphony or Crystal Serenity; rather, it's abundant, earning Crystal a nomination for a Luxist award in the Best Caribbean Cruises category.
Founded in 1988, Crystal is known not only for the elegance of its ships but for the rich cultural activities available to passengers. The company's Wine & Food Festival at Sea debuted in 1996, allowing guests to mingle with celebrity chefs such as Suzanne Goin, Danny Meyer and André Soltner as well as wine experts from across the world. In the wake of the festival's success, Crystal built a Vintage room in each of its ships; here, dinners pair rare wines with complementary cuisine. In 2009, the company debuted a series of themed cruises, each with a focus on a topic such as photography, jazz, golf and ballroom dance.
Owned by Japanese firm Nippon Uesen Kaisha, Crystal's spacious cabins all have design features based on feng shui, the Eastern art of interior design to create positive energy. Caribbean itineraries for two of its ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, offer ports of call including Turks & Caicos, Antigua, Curacao, St. Lucia and St. Maarten; trips range from 7-14 days and originate in Miami, New York and Costa Rica.
Caribbean trips start below $3,000 for a weeklong round-trip Miami cruise but can easily stretch into the five-figure range for longer journeys and larger rooms.
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Gallery: More from Crystal Cruises