The best advice I was given is get there the day before that way you are well rested and ready to begin your cruise it is worth the extra 60.00 we spent for a hotel. I will strongly advise the group to get there the day before. There was a lady I met on the cruise that got delayed out of Boise missed her connection and had to catch the ship in Key West. So we drove out the day before and were well rested and ready for our cruise.
The cab drops us off at the pier and at that point I found out where my balcony room was. Haveing a balcony made a HUGE difference in the cruise. The was nothing greater than wakeing up everyday drinking coffee on our balcony, watching the ship as it pulled into port, and those nights you don't feel like staying up till all hours of the night being able to return to a nice room and open up the balcony door and just relax. So don't let anyone tell you it doesn't matter what kind of room you have because I will be the first to say you don't know till you have one. The room isn't all that big though it seemed that way.
First stop was Key West all I can say is cabs are expensive there, the water is dirty if you want to walk around or get your picture taken at the southern most point in the U.S.A. then that is good (on a side note the real southern most point in the U.S. is Guantonomo Bay.)
Next stop was Cozumel the jewelry shopping capital of the world. Now the boat doesn't dock the so you must catch a tender to get to shore. Every place you walk someone is trying to get you in the shop it is quite harassing at times the best two options would be to ignore them act like you have a hearing promblem, or this was my favorite. In one shop they had a bunch of eggs and other things this man was trying to get me to buy this egg for 80.00 he then asked how much was I willing to pay I offered him 20.00 he quickly showed me the door.
Next stop was Nassau and the best stop on our cruise. If you want to get your hair braided and become a Bahama Mama this is the place otherwise it is just like Cozumel except for there is a religious aspect there. So if you turn right after you get off the ship you can your hair braided, have someone pray for you, buy a sea shell in the market and hit Senior Frogs for a beer. We went on a glass bottom boat tour and this was a complete waste of money I won't recommened that to anyone.
Finally Freeport was our last stop. this island was completely destroyed by the huricane and we felt like a complete waste of time to go there. A few hours later we were back in Fort Lauderdale ready to head home.
Crystal is not a cheap cruise. Crystal is one that is for people that have lots of money and want to relax by the pool read a book and be waited on hand and foot . There was probably about six kids on this ship. Most people were over 45 and from New York and Florida. So if wantsomething cheap and to be doing something active from 8 a.m. untill midnight this isn't your cruise line. But if you want to just relax put your feet up and be waited on hand and foot this is the cruise line for you. One final thing I will mention Crystal doesn't charge for any non alcholic drinks, not sodas not non alcoholic beers if it don't have alcohol in it you don't pay. Also I did the pre-paid gratuties and I will recommened that because it is one less thing to think about at the end of your cruise when you are thinking about how much money you have left. Oh yes and the food was excellent except for one day and they are very big on thier dress code I believe this is the way the Titanic was.