Under 30 on a Crystal Cruise
Crystal Cruises is one of the best luxury cruise lines out there. Last spring I had the opportunity to sail with Crystal on their Vancouver-Los Angeles Itinerary. It was my boyfriend’s first time on a cruise– think how spoiled he is now!
We took the late flight into Seattle on a Friday. After landing, we hopped on the Light Link rail that takes your right into downtown for only $2.75 each! Arriving at the Fairmont Olympic, we found out we got upgraded to the suite. Pretty sweet, eh? It was a gorgeous property, rich in history. The rooms are tastefully decorated in traditional flare, and of course the plate of chocolate covered strawberries makes a nice touch. Just there to stay one night, we woke up the next day to hop on the Amtrak Cascades train to Vancouver. What a beautiful ride! Along the coast, we saw everything from snow-capped mountains to seals on the beach. It took about 4 hours to get to Vancouver.
Upon arrival, we picked up a rental car and drove up to Whistler. A winding road led us to the famous ski village of Whistler, B.C. We checked in to the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, a grand property on Blackcomb Mountain, just a short walk to Whistler Village. It was raining and a bit cold so we enjoyed the spa and stayed inside that day. The next day was sunny and gorgeous! We rented full suspension mountain bikes and hit the trail. Mountain biking in Whistler… what an experience! The trails were lush and green with tall trees and awesome boardwalk style paths. After a long day of adventure, we had dinner and fondue at the Fairmont. Absolutely delicious.
The next morning we packed our bags and drove back to Vancouver. Our stops that day- Shannon Falls and Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Shannon Falls was an enormous waterfall right on the highway! It was stunning. Capilano was an outstanding experience, featuring a 450 foot suspension bridge, 230 feet over the Capilano River. After that sightseeing, we headed to Canada Place to check in for our cruise.
Canada Place is a magnificent port featuring a neat design and excellent layout. Checking in was cake. You just walked on the ship after dropping off your bags, and proceeded to the lounge area to get your shipboard card. No lines, no hassle. We went straight to our cabin which was nice and clean. The balcony was perfect for a couple of chairs and a table, and the storage space inside the cabin was pretty ample. We relaxed for a bit, and went back into town before the ship departed at midnight.
First stop on the cruise was beautiful Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia. What a fantastic city! Gardens and parks galore, wonderful people and just overall a great place. Our second stop was in Seattle, Washington, where a friend who lives there took us on a personalized tour! We visited Pike Place Market and of course the Space Needle. Third city was Astoria, Oregon, home of the movie The Goonies. This was a quaint town with great little shops and good local beers!
The fourth day was at sea and we finally had time to explore the ship! We spent a good amount of time in the huge hot tub on the pool deck, which we had all to ourselves! With intimate bars and great dining options, we didn’t get bored. There was never an issue with too many people or waiting in line. The food was simply amazing. Dinner at the specialty restaurants was just brilliant. Chef Nobu’s Asian restaurant had the best sushi and the Italian restaurant Prego had the best dessert! The late-risers breakfast on the pool deck served up the finest apple ricotta pancakes. Being all-inclusive, I was surprised to see the bars stayed uncrowded. The bartenders made wonderful drinks and remembered exactly what you like and don’t like. Before dinner, we would just ask them to surprise us with something and it was always enjoyable. They do have a small casino and night club, but after 10 pm the ship was pretty quiet. Most passengers are over 60, so bedtime was a bit earlier than ours
The fifth day we stopped in San Francisco, California. We visited Alcatraz and Ghirardelli Square, very easy to get to from the cruise terminal. Our last port was Santa Barbara, California. The seas were a bit rough and the tendering boats were having some trouble getting into port. We decided to stay in that day, avoiding the rain and nauseous boat ride! The next day was disembarkation in Los Angeles. Sadly, it was time to go home!
Overall what a marvelous trip! Everyone on the cruise kept saying how young we were, but not in a daunting way. It didn’t bother us one bit being the young ones, it was actually pretty nice! Having the entire ship to ourselves is definitely the way to travel!