So many stories have begun with Crystal Cruises. Throughout our 25 years of luxury cruising, we’ve hosted guests’ first-ever cruises, first-ever international adventures, large family reunion vacations, intimate couples’ retreats, birthday celebrations, surprises of all kinds and on and on.
Such is the case with the recently married Mr. and Mrs. Philip and Lorena Rousseaux of South Florida, who chose to celebrate their honeymoon aboard Crystal Serenity for Crystal’s 2015 full World Cruise, which departed on January 15 from Miami on a course to circumnavigate the globe. The epic voyage not only marks their first with Crystal but also their first adventure as they begin their new story as a married couple. Philip — president and CEO of Everest Wealth Management, who is recognized as one of the nation’s leading financial advisors — and Lorena were kind enough to share some of their new story and the highlights of their Crystal Experience with us.
CRYSTAL CRUISES: How did you and Lorena meet?
PHILIP ROUSSEAUX: We met about four years ago in Miami, Florida. A mutual friend introduced us in a very casual setting. At the time, we were both dating other people casually, so it was months before we saw each other again. But once we started dating, we hit it right off and were inseparable.
CC: How did you come to know about Crystal’s World Cruise, and what made you decide it would make the ideal honeymoon?
PR: We both love cruising and have cruised with many other lines, mostly in the Caribbean. We spent a lot of time online researching cruises and itineraries and we came across the itinerary for the World Cruise 2015. Right away, we fell in love with the ports; and the idea of going around the world really excited us. So we started doing research on the cruise line. We started with Cruise Critic, and the reviews couldn’t be better. Everyone loved Crystal! Plus, all the guests seemed to know each other. It was like a social club, and we wanted to be part of it. We saw Crystal was the number one cruise line in the world. So we knew we had to do it. Ironically enough, back then we weren’t even engaged. So, once I proposed, we planned the wedding around the honeymoon. We knew we had to get married before the cruise, which we did on December 13, 2014.
CC: What were your favorite highlights of your recent wedding celebration?
LORENA ROUSSEAUX: I couldn’t pick one highlight because I loved the whole thing! We put so much time and effort into all these details and surprises for our guests that it was amazing seeing it all finally come together. Phil surprised me with singer Tamra Keenan performing “Angel on My Shoulder (KASKADE REMIIX),” which was the song she performed four years prior during one of the first times we had spent time together in a nightclub in Miami Beach. I was so surprised when I heard him give his speech and she came out singing, I couldn’t control the tears. We also had a really different wedding: Our reception was a winter wonderland theme. Following the reception, we moved the guests to “Club Rousseaux,” a nightclub-themed room with ice bars, all the desserts one could dream of and snow falling from the ceiling. It was the best day of my life, and I’ll cherish it forever.
PR: Personally, the highlight for me was the cathedral. Our ceremony was in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It was the perfect Mass, and our priest had the most beautiful sermon prepared. He said something along the lines of, “if you only take one thing from this today, just remember this: love first.” As the Mass came to an end, we walked toward the cathedral doors toward an awaiting 1933 Packard. 1933 is also the year the Hershey Hotel, where we held our reception, was built.
CC: What are your favorite highlights of your Crystal World Cruise?
PR: The quality and the presentation of the food, the specialty restaurants and the special brunch they do each segment [of the World Cruise] is my personal favorite. I’ve also enjoyed the quality of the entertainment and variety of shows. From the magicians to the in-house movie theatre to the guest lectures, we have been thoroughly entertained.
LR: I personally love the variety of shore excursions. Visiting Machu Picchu was a lifetime experience I will cherish forever. There are so many opportunities for new adventures that, until I sailed with Crystal, I didn’t even consider, like the mud volcano in Cartagena. Additionally, I love how all my cravings can be satisfied overnight. Being able to specially request food nearly any time surely is one of my favorite things. One time, I had a craving for biscuits and gravy, and the next morning, my butler was delivering it to the room for breakfast. We have been highly pleased with the level of service on Crystal.
Featured image: Bora Bora, one of many ports visited on Crystal Serenity’s 2015 World Cruise