Crystal Symphony Part 2 – The Food and a Side of Abracadabra

Part of what makes Crystal Cruises stand out from the crowd is their spacious public areas, restaurants and onboard entertainment. I believe when it comes to luxury cruising, where you pay top notch prices, expectations need to be surpassed. The Crystal Symphony does not disappoint it may even in fact set your luxury standard. Part 2 of my review talks about a few of the things that really stood out while I was on the Crystal Symphony.

Palm Court Tea

Palm Court Tea: Around 3:30 PM almost every day, port day or sea day it did not matter you could find me Palm Court Pianistforward on deck 11, sitting in Palm Court enjoying a full English High Tea. Palm Court is filled with cozy couches and over sized chairs with panoramic views of whatever destination you just so happen to be that day. Your tea menu is already on the table, choose from a variety of black teas, herbal teas and green teas. It comes served in an individual pewter tea pot at the perfect temperature for drinking – not once did I burn my mouth! This did not taste like your average boil hot water add tea bag beverage either. With a pianist leisurely playing in the background you may find yourself a bit overwhelmed at first, as tray after tray of scones, clotted cream (I don’t even want to know the calories in clotted cream but it was magical), cookies, brownies, and these fantastic mini sandwiches in all sorts of flavors are presented to you. They say ambience is everything, and that may be the case here, but to this day whenever I drink tea, I still cannot get over how I had that “perfect cup of tea” every day on the Symphony. Palm Court Tea is a must at least once, for anyone sailing on Crystal Cruises, just make sure you skip lunch and plan a late dinner that night, you’ll be stuffed by the time you leave.
Read more

Crystal Symphony Part 1 – Service that Matters

The last year, as a travel consultant, I have learned the Crystal Cruise product pretty well mostly by selling, training with my great DSM and reading all the reviews and message boards I could get my hands on. I knew what the cruise line offered pretty well and was very excited to experience it first hand. Crystal Cruises is an exceptional luxury experience. Being an all inclusive luxury cruise line definitely has it’s perks. You don’t have to worry about paying gratuities at the end- although I found that by the last day you wanted to tip a little extra since because you ran into staff who were just that great. There is open bar throughout the ship, along all your regular sodas, juices, coffees etc. Your room has a nicely stocked mini bar and your first reservation in each speciality dining restaurant is included, also depending on the itinerary you may have 2+ included. The itineraries are often unique since the cruise line only has 2 ships the Crystal Symphony and the Crystal Serenity, also since they are smaller ships they are often able to visit ports larger cruise ships cannot reach. My experience on the Crystal Symphony surpassed pretty much every expectation I had. This will be the first of a few blog posts about my experience on both Crystal Cruises and in Southeast Asia and off we go!

Read more

In My Backyard: Dig This

Picstitch Dig This

In My Backyard is an ongoing segment of slightly longer and more in depth reviews on activities, restaurants and shows in and around Las Vegas, NV. I decided to write these because the thing I love the most about living in Las Vegas is all the activities, shows etc. I have easy access to and I want to share that knowledge with you, so when you come and visit you have an inside view take on what there is.

I love presents! Not to go all Veruca Salt on you, I actually love giving presents. The idea of finding a unique gift, whether it be big or small is a creative challenge, plus everyone ends up happy! Who doesn’t like getting presents? Earlier this year the search for Derek’s birthday present led me to Dig This in Las Vegas, where you could sign up, channel your inner Tonka Truck-playing child within you and go play with the real things. Read more

My First Love


Seattle - view from the Ferry

Seattle – view from the Ferry

Cities are like people. Cities are complex and always changing, and the connection we have with them changes too. We may have wanted to spend every waking moment with them 4 years ago but now that we’re older, maybe that city just doesn’t fit our needs anymore (hello L.A.). Cities can be extremely confusing and disorienting (Moscow – looking at you) and lively and fun (Las Vegas)! In my book though, there is usually one city that is like our first love. It can do no wrong and seems to have access to all the coolest stuff.. always.

Seattle is my first love. Read more