Western Caribbean Stories and Tips

Daytme activities on the Serenity

Crystal Cruise Tea Time Photo,

Crystal Cruise Line is noted for it's Creative Learning Institute. On days at sea there is always room by the pool showing that many guests are busy with the learning activities offered.

One room is dedicated to music instruction on Yamaha Digital Pianos with lessons twice daily, mostly geared to the beginner. The great surprise here was that at the end of the week, anyone who took a lesson was entered into a drawing for a new piano. A nice perk! The card room always seemed busy with either bridge games or instruction at various levels. Berlitz social conversation language classes are taught on each cruise—Spanish was the choice on this cruise, appropriate for visiting Mexico—again designed for the beginner. The Internet Cafe is also in this area. Computer University at Sea was my favorite and very popular. One part of the lab was dedicated to internet access with knowledgeable assistants to help you if you encountered problems, and the other section was for learning with hands-on classes. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publishing, and Digital Photography were very interesting.

Lecturers are invited on board each cruise. A White House correspondent gave us insight on our presidents by sharing his slides and anecdotes about their "planes", their "retreats", and their individual personalities. It really felt like we were getting a sneak peak into their private lives. A motivational speaker was aboard along with a lecturer from the Princeton Institute helping guests define goals to improve their lives or to teach them leadership skills.

The spa and fitness areas were always abuzz with exercise classes and nutrition informational seminars, as well as makeup and anti-aging hints and product info on their line of Steiner and Elemis products. I did buy some products and will continue to order them when I run out. Plus, they were duty free. A unique program was "Walk on Water". This ship has a 360 degree teak deck for walking. You are fitted with a vest with weight inserts and you are allowed to keep it for the length of the cruise. Two walks are scheduled daily if you care to have company while walking off the calories.

A golf pro gave seminars and was also available for private consultation enhanced with video for an extra fee. Paddle tennis courts, shuffle board, and ping-pong tournaments were scheduled regularly.

The dance hosts were not only busy at night as partners for the unescorted ladies, but served as dance partners during the instructional classes readying everyone for a night of dancing. As you can see, the day goes very quickly with so many choices of activities and if you care to part with extra money. Bingo and Caesar's "Casino at Sea" is bound to tempt you.

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