She’s a big ship and is unashamedly luxurious as beﬁts a ship representing the most awarded luxury cruise line in the industry. And of course all this size gave plenty of space for the 1063 passengers and 604 crew though you would never have known there were so many souls on board. The Thanksgiving cruise took us on a round trip from Fort Lauderdale, calling it at Grand Turks, Grand Cayman and Key West, all of which basked in the Caribbean sunshine, totally at odds with the wondrous Christmas decorations which were hung throughout the ship.
We were hosting 126 Virtuoso Voyager guests, there were only 3 shore days, and 7 total days, which meant there was not a shore event planned. We were on Deck 7, the Promenade deck, which allows passengers to circumnavigate the whole ship, with many using it as a jogging track (just over 3 laps per mile for those interested in such details.) Our cabin, by coincidence, was an ocean view stateroom, designed for handicapped passengers, which gave us 200 square feet more than the standard state-room and had a large walk-in shower and closet to boot; like the rest of the ship it was beautifully furnished and very comfortable and isn’t scheduled for their next mega dry dock next later this year. Mama Lee, a spry 85 year old likes it so much that she has taken up permanent residence on-board.
The ship was equipped with a couple of splendid eateries, over and above The Crystal Dining Room on Deck 5. The Sushi Bar, by NOBU, on Deck 7, was a joy to behold. We sat at the Sushi Bar and watched in awe, as the chefs took seemingly random scoops of rice, slices of ﬁsh and vegetables and created miniature works of art, seemingly too good to eat, but, which tasted absolutely delicious. Prego, the Italian restaurant, also on Deck 7, was another place where masterpieces of ethnic cuisine were conjured up to delight the tastebuds and satisfy the senses. In between these gastronomic palaces, one could visit the Trident Grill on Deck 12 for an alfresco breakfast in the warm Caribbean sun; The Bistro on Deck 6 for ‘café et gâteaux’ almost anytime during the day; and The Crystal Dining Room to experience exquisite cuisine in the formal and elegant format for which Crystal is famed.
As for the rest, the various shops catered for those in the mood for extensive retail therapy, and the Spa was booked solid for then duration of the cruise. As ever, the crew was scrupulously polite and accommodating, generous with their time and endlessly patient in response to their guest’s seemingly endless queries. She is a ﬁne and luxurious vessel on which to while away the days, with excellent cuisine, ﬁne wines and attentive staff; neither of us were sure we could have asked for anything more!
Contributed by Lynne Adams
An independent affiliate of Direct Travel