Buzz’s comments on his cruise from Valparaiso to Auckland on the Crystal Symphony February-March 2019
Before the cruise, I spent 4 nights in Santiago. This was my longest cruise so far – 32 nights on the ship – consisting of two 16-day legs. The jewel port on the first leg was Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Before we arrived, four ships had failed to get their tender operations going due to rough seas. Our ship managed to conduct tender operations even if it was a bit of a rough ride. It was well worth the delayed start of the day and a little bit of a challenge boarding the tenders. I was very pleased with the entire day’s tour. Pitcairn Island was the next stop and most of the fifty residence of the island came on board to present information on the island and sell their wares. Unfortunately, the island does not have the infrastructure to host the 575 passengers we had onboard. The Society Islands were pretty and most beach and water activities. I did learn some more about the evolution of the habitation of Polynesia. The Cook Islands were another great learning opportunity about the expansion west from Tahiti. New Zealand was fantastic. In addition to learning a lot about the indigenous population, their customs, their arrival in the 13th century, and the history of their interaction and conflicts with Europeans. I also had a great white water rafting trip there featuring a 21 foot water fall (click here to see the white water rafting pictures). I am the one in the red helmet.
Food onboard was very good; better than on my other Crystal voyages. I continued to like the specialty restaurants including the two new ones.
We had many sea days so the lectures and entertainers were a very important part of making this a great cruise. For a listing of the Itinerary, Staff, Entertainment, Lectures and programs click here.