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Cruises

Crystal Symphony Gets a Makeover

cruises, ROAM By June 19, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Crystal Symphony MakeoverWhen Crystal Symphony got a makeover, we knew it would be spectacular. We were given the chance to tour Crystal Cruises‘ new $15 million renovation of the Symphony and we were blown away. Crystal offers an all-inclusive experience, helping guests to be able to truly relax without worrying about tips and beverage charges. The recipient of the Conde Nast award for best cruise line 20 years in a row, Crystal has adapted to changing demographics and passenger needs (the average passenger age is 47) by relaxing the dress code, though you will still see loads of tuxes. Menus have also undergone a fresh makeover, with modern cuisine left side of and the traditional on the right.  The only luxury cruise line to offer children and teen areas, I found the design of these spaces fresh and innovative.

Crystal Cruises Ballet StatueOnboard there are 2 specialty restaurants – the Silk Road Sushi bar and Italian and guests can reserve these spaces twice per trip. The gym has been refit with new equipment by techno gym (the same machines that World Cup teams use to train.) 

Edie Rodriguez, President and CEO of Crystal Cruises, started with the company in 2013 but loved ships so much that she came aboard a cruise anonymously prior to her tenure. The staff wowed her with their memory of guest names and their attention to her unique breakfast desires. In time she heard stories of one staff member ordering a recliner for a guest to fulfil a need, and many crew members who have accompanied passengers ashore for medical treatment. Aspiring to be across the globe, Rodriguez has big plans for the company, adding a third ship in 2018 and gearing up to celebrate Crystal’s anniversary in July.

The unique tours for late risers, bespoke adventures and voluntourism opportunities while aboard were very exciting and it was clear that innovation with a perfect balance of tradition flood from every Crystal experience.

Trident Bar and GrillThe bright Trident Bar and Grill speckled with lime green umbrellas and orange cushions featured a living wall in the shape of the earth.

University @ SeaComputer University @ Sea began 20 years ago and allows passengers to create websites, hone their computer skills and share details of their journey with loved ones back home. Every computer can run a PC or Mac interface. They also offer iPad and iMovie classes.

Teen lounge Crystal SymphonyThe “teens only” hang-out Waves features new Casalina chairs and Marimekko-patterned Fatboy bean bags, and Fantasia has been redesigned for younger kids. All enjoy Wii, PlayStation, Xbox, Kinect, wide-screen TVs, and supervised age-specific activities.

Cigar loungeI loved the smell and opulence of the cigar lounge.
Lux Nightclub Crystal SymphonyWith it’s vibrant purple hues and while leather seating, Luxe Nightclub would be a fantastic place to dance!

Crystal Symphony StateroomStaterooms were huge for ship standards, and the decor clean and lofty. Deck 9 has ‘pure’ rooms in which everything is hypoallergenic.

I certainly would love to cruise with my family on this ship – perhaps my son can use the gym equipment and fulfill his dream of being in a World Cup one day!

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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To Alaska With Love on the Disney Wonder

cruises, Disney, ROAM, USA By July 29, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , 3 Comments

Disney WonderYou know you feel special when a cruise line picks your hometown as a departure port.  We luckily got to tour the Disney Wonder prior to her first Vancouver – Alaska sailing.  The ship, like the Disney Fantasy was elegant, filled with mystique and the first class service Disney always provides.  Here are our top 10 favourite tips when heading to Alaska on the Disney Wonder.

Disney Wonder Foyer1.  Lots of Alaska excursions are geared toward family travel – eagles, totem polls, log rolling.

2.   Crew members announce each family via microphone, making your little princesses, pirates (and Mom and Dad) feel special from the moment you step aboard.

3. Servers follow your family to each of the 3 dining rooms. This is a revolutionary concept in cruising, and ensures that your personal staff know your menu requirements.  Knowing that you liked the dark beer last night, they may suggest a fun alternative.  Being aware of kids allergies or gluten-free preferences adds an extra layer of safety to Disney’s already allergy-friendly alternatives

Disney Wonder Sendoff4. There are no casinos aboard the ship – instead an entire floor dedicated to children’s programming.  An excellent trade.

5. Before 9pm kids are allowed in the nightclubs so they can experience a taste of the adult spaces on the ship.  Awesome for teaching.

6. Palo is an adults-only restaurant and brunch is over the top. Reservations are required and we’d recommend you make one as soon as u get on the ship!

7. Unlike the other Disney cruise destinations, there are no fireworks on the Alaska itinerary in order to honour the environment.

8. The Spa sells a limited number of passes for the Rainforest Relaxation Room.  With water features, lounges and soft music our family will certainly nab a pass for our next cruise. Services in the spa include barber services for men and teeth whitening for women. You may become the 12th Disney princess.

9. Personal training is available as well as boot camps and body sculpting in the gym. The experts in the spa also offer footprint analysis.

Disney Wonder Cars Carpet

11. ‘Ionithermie’ is a special treatment that flushes toxins out of the body and you could lose up to 8 inches during the cruise.

12. The child activity areas are incredible and while on the Fantasy, my kids never wanted to leave.  Children are not only outfitted with a GPS so their location in the facilities can be determined immediately, but parents are constantly reachable via wave phone that is provided in the stateroom.

13. The Nursery is for kids from 12 weeks to 3 years and requires an extra fee ($6 per hour, per child).  The Oceaneers Club hosts 3-12 year olds.

Disney Wonder Tinkerbell14.  Get a requisite photo with Tinkerbell in the Grand Foyer.

So head to Vancouver, grab an ocean-view cabin (you don’t want to miss the stunning views) and let the Disney Wonder sweep you off your feet.  Your kids will be transfixed by Northwest culture, and you may lost up to 8 inches (if you can resist the glorious food).

 

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Kate Middleton to Become Godmother to the Royal Princess

cruises, ROAM By April 17, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

Kate Middleton Princess CruisesAs if we weren’t obsessed enough with her baby bump.. she’s now going to add ‘Godmother’ to her many titles.  Princess Cruises has announced that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge will name Royal Princess, the newest addition to the line’s fleet. Kate herself will name the ship in Southampton on Thursday, June 13.  The spectacular ceremony will uphold British ship-naming traditions including the blessing, a performance by the Royal Marines Band and the pipers of the Irish Guards, together with contemporary highlights.  So choose your fascinator, grab a Burberry bag and get ready to cross the pond, as this is one ceremony not to be missed.

Royal Princess AtriumThe 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship. Among the special features found on board will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on water; the new Princess Live! television studio; the largest pastry shop at sea; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.  Royal Princess Gelato BarOh – and a gelato bar.  (Which means that you’ll have to also take advantage of the gym and spa…).  After her maiden voyage the ship will sail Grand Mediterranean cruises throughout the summer, followed by Eastern Caribbean cruises beginning in the autumn.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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