I am on the Crystal Symphony luxury cruise liner in search of Italian treasures as we cruise past a myriad of coves and inlets along Italy’s west coast.
Earlier in the day, my beau Stephen and I were whisked from the palatial setting of Rome’s historic Hotel Eden to Civitavecchia, the departure port city for our seven-day cruise.
We chose this fine 51,000-ton gal for a few reasons. Back in 2006 Crystal Cruises completed a US$23-million overhaul to the 922-passenger vessel which was the shipping company’s most extensive interior refurbishment to date. We also were interested in discovering the allure of the Italian Riviera made famous by Roman emperors, European princes and Hollywood jet setters. Still, the other reasons were the guest-space ratio for guaranteed sheer seclusion and the great guest to staff ratio for pampering and finer details.
Upon arrival Victor, our personal butler, escorted us to our penthouse suite. Complete with balcony, lounge chairs and uber chic interiors, the suite had a “serenity now” ambiance propelled by a bucket of the finest, chilled GH Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne. There amid crystal light fixtures, crisp Egyptian cotton sheets, honeyed inlaid wooden cabinetry, and cool sage and rich burgundy accents, I knew we had arrived to our home away from home.
It was the perfect introduction for our prowl to explore the playground of the rich and famous. “Please know I am here for anything you wish,” replied our white-gloved butler who turned in his tuxedo tails and disappeared.