Crystal Symphony: Better Than Ever

Crystal Symphony: Better Than Ever

Many luxury travelers are skeptical about taking cruise vacations. They associate cruises with mediocre, calorific buffet food; cramped, ill-designed cabins; hoards of people with lines at every turn; not being able to get off the beaten path; and being nickeled and dimed for extras. If you are cruise avoidant, a voyage on the Crystal Symphony will dispel any such misgivings.

Chef’s Tables: On Cruise Ships, Dining is Theater and Chefs are the Stars

Chef’s Tables: On Cruise Ships, Dining is Theater and Chefs are the Stars

As long buffet lines give way to more individualized dining experiences in smaller, specialty restaurants on ships, a growing number of cruise lines are adding chef’s tables as one more appetizing option. The term “chef’s table” suggests exclusivity — the ingredients, menu, setting, and intimacy of small group dining — as well as the expectation of doting attention from the chef and servers.

Le Boreal: A French small cruise ship experience

Le Boreal: A French small cruise ship experience

A passenger boarding Le Boreal is instantly immersed in French language, culture and cuisine, beginning with the welcome from the ship’s captain and his officers, all of whom hail from France. Shipboard announcements and lectures are routinely delivered in both French and English. Even the mandatory muster drill on the first day offers non-French-speaking passengers…

Back on the river: The American Queen steamboat

Back on the river: The American Queen steamboat

For the 50 years leading up to the Civil War, steamboats ruled the Mississippi River and its tributaries to the east and west, carrying passengers, produce, sugar, cotton and livestock while weaving through the nation’s heartland and touching the shores of 10 states from Minnesota to Louisiana. By the time Great American Steamboat Co. took…