Before embarking with my son Alex in Istanbul July 1, on a Mediterranean cruise aboard Crystal Serenity, I asked the following question: Is Crystal Cruises fit for a teen?
The short answer is yes. He loved our time on Crystal Serenity. And he loved Crystal even more once we disembarked and checked in to the Hilton Arc de Triomphe in Paris - especially when he found out that he could not order room service anytime he wished.
Well, he could have, but doing so would have broken the bank. When we discovered that it would set us back about $30 to have a cheeseburger and fries sent to the room, we decided to walk 10 minutes at midnight to the local McDonalds on the Champs Elysees. Of course, who could complain? We were in Paris, after all, but we sure missed Crystal.
Of course, that's one of the great things about a cruise. Once you pay the cruise fare, most of your vacation is covered. You can pay for optional shore excursions, and on many cruise lines, you also pay for drinks and have to dole out extra for gratuities. Crystal Cruises is now all-inclusive in those areas. Only the shore excursions and spa cost extra.
Alex enjoyed the destinations that Crystal showed us as well, with Istanbul and Rome in first place, and Mykonos second. Truth is, he says now, those destinations all probably tie, along with Sicily, Sorrento, Navplion, Athens and Monte Carlo.
We typically toured during the day, enjoyed ice cream in the late afternoon - every day - had dinner at one of several restaurants, then either watched a show or a movie in the Hollywood Theatre or rented a DVD for the room and ordered pizza and/or popcorn. Alex only participated in the teen activities program once, but he enjoyed that, dodgeball.
Because consumption is so easy on a ship, a lot of people worry about gaining extra pounds. Alex gains extra inches. He now claims that he is taller than I am. Perhaps. One thing is for certain: He's now a world traveler. He has Crystal (and dad) to thank for that. And I feel equally as fortunate to have spent such a memorable trip with a great kid.