Romance at Sea: Symphony

Sparkling Crystal: A Symphony of Honeymoon Bliss

They say it isn’t the destination but the journey that really counts. Wise words—and truly applicable to the Symphony, one of two award-winning Crystal Cruises ships. The smallest of the fleet, with capacity for 922 guests, the Symphony feels intimate—there are so many “boutique” experiences that it often seems like you have the ship to yourself—but is big enough to sail to some incredible destinations, including Antarctica. Offered this year during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, this 18-day cruise with flightseeing, hikes and Zodiac adventures around the icy continent is typical of the cruise line’s commitment to offering memorable on-shore experiences in addition to wowing guests onboard.

Romance at Sea: Crystal Cruises, the Symphony. The Crystal Symphony can accommodate 922 passengers yet feel as warm and intimate as a boutique hotel.

The Crystal Symphony can accommodate 922 passengers yet feel as warm and intimate as a boutique hotel.

Indeed, voyages such as this—and others, including such destinations as the Great Barrier Reef, Burma, Alaska and China for connoisseurs—are among the reasons Crystal ships are consistently named “best in the world. But discovering the world goes beyond calling on fascinating ports. Crystal also offers interesting experiences in “voluntourism,” allowing guests to engage with locals wherever they visit. And private adventures are always offered, for those who want to tour a museum before the doors open or catch a glimpse behind the scenes of a world-renowned ballet. The idea is, when enrichment and entertainment are combined, magic happens.

Romance at Sea: Crystal Cruises, the Symphony. The Lido Deck is the ship's social hub, with live entertainment, swimming, sunning and dining.

The Lido Deck is the ship’s social hub, with live entertainment, swimming, sunning and dining.

For honeymoons, a Crystal cruise tailored to the couple’s personalities can be a powerful way to begin life together. But let’s not discount the pamper factor: Service is a Crystal hallmark, especially on the penthouse level, which offers not only spacious accommodations with wide balconies but also a butler on call 24/7. Have a hankering for Champagne and caviar Consider it done. A thing for coffee at 4 a.m. It will be delivered. Need a bath drawn, or your stateroom strewn with rose petals, or a romantic surprise planned for your other half The butlers have you covered.

Romance at Sea: Crystal Cruises, the Symphony. The Penthouse Suite features top-of-the-line appointments.

The Penthouse Suite features top-of-the-line appointments.

And though it seems like a large ship might be overwhelming for two people who only have eyes for each other, there are many opportunities for enjoying shipboard life without the crowds. On the newly renovated Symphony, for example, the Avenue Saloon is a beautiful, small-scale venue where guests can enjoy craft cocktails and live piano music. Silk Road, a Nobu restaurant, is an intimately scaled restaurant with top-notch food (do not miss the mushroom soup, served in a Japanese tea kettle). And the high-backed loungers of the Palm Court, on the fore of the eleventh deck, offer one of the best views of the bow as it slices the waves. Champagne in hand and jazz in the background, it is the very essence of romance. (888-722-0021, crystalcruises.com)

Romance at Sea: Crystal Cruises, the Symphony. The Symphony calls on fascinating ports worldwide (here, docked in Portofino).

The Symphony calls on fascinating ports worldwide (here, docked in Portofino).

 

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