By Don George
In this, our newly minted “Crystal Moments” blog series, we share snippets, glimpses — moments — of luxury, adventure and enrichment that are unique to the Crystal Experience. We invite you to share your own Crystal Moments with us and your fellow travelers in the comments section, as we continue the journey together. Don George, renowned global expert, author and ‘National Geographic Traveler’ Editor at Large, pens the first of this series…
Crystal’s shore tours and excursions are invariably enriching; but for me, some of the finest moments of any cruise take place on the ship itself. I rediscovered this on my last voyage, when I returned from an afternoon exploration of Tallinn’s Old Town, napped for an hour on the aptly named Sun Deck, then watched wistfully as the spires of the city receded into the distance and the ship sailed slowly into the Baltic.
The dress theme that night was black tie optional, and it was cinematic to watch the swirl of passengers in festive formal gowns, suits and tuxedos at the Captain’s Welcome Reception. After the Captain warmly welcomed us on board, all assembled and raised a flute or two of
Champagne. Then, my wife and I eagerly moved on to our table-for-two celebratory dinner at Asian-flavored Silk Road. There, we feasted on Nobu Matsuhisa’s signature creations, including intensely flavorful mushroom soup, lobster spring rolls, yellowtail tuna with caviar, grilled wagyu beef with a selection of sauces, stir-fried lobster in a truffle-yuzu sauce, and some superlative salmon, tuna, shrimp and yellowtail sushi.
By the end of the evening, we had ascended into culinary heaven. Later that night, as we strolled the ship with two final flutes of Champagne in hand, we toasted the moon and the stars and the ineffable sense of Crystal ecstasy that now surrounded — and swaddled — us at sea.