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Setting sail from New Orleans
New Orleans is a city with real soul, an exuberant, infectious sort of place where music fills the air every night of the week. Festivals and parades are a regular occurrence, with the highlights including Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. There's also plenty to feast your eyes on, such as the charming historic architecture of the French Quarter and the elegant mansions of the Garden District. Food is another real highlight, with lip-smacking Creole specialties such as gumbo, jambalaya and the legendary po-boy sandwich.
If it’s the music you’re after, go to Frenchmen Street, the "locals' version of Bourbon". Wander into the different venues – there may not even be a cover charge, but if not, don’t forget to tip.
Mexico: Costa Maya
The port at Costa Maya is a purpose-built facility for cruise passengers, with amenities including swimming pools, restaurants and bars. The neighbouring village of Mahahual will give you a slightly more authentic taste of the Yucatán, and the ruined Mayan city of Chacchoben is an hour’s drive away.
Belize: Belize City
Belize’s capital does not enjoy the best reputation, and we wouldn’t recommend spending too much time here; use it instead as a jumping-off point to explore the fascinating Mayan ruins of Xunantunich, Lamanai and Altun Ha, or take a snorkelling trip to the beautiful Barrier Reef, including the famous Blue Hole.
Roatán is the largest and busiest of the Bay Islands, which sit off the coast of Honduras in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. It’s a fantastic destination for divers and snorkellers, with a stunning reef just offshore, and also boasts some lovely beaches.
Cozumel first made its name as an off the beaten track destination for divers, thanks to the crystalline waters and low key beach vibe. These days the cat is very much out of the bag, but get away from the craft shops and jewellery stores of the busy port and you’ll find a welcoming island community that is still authentically Mexican.
Arriving in New Orleans
This is not a place to rush around and see everything – it is somewhere to people watch and get involved. Take it slow – this is the ‘Big Easy’ after all.
Your home from home
Crystal have repeatedly been voted the World’s Best cruise line, and Crystal Symphony is certainly a top level classic, not to be missed.
What we love
Crystal Symphony is not a new ship, but you wouldn't know it, since she is subject to an ongoing refurbishment programme, with constant innovations such as the Outdoor Fitness Garden, which ensures that the environment is always perfect and the style contemporary. This is, in short, a ship constantly honed to perfection. But ultimately it's all about the unmatchable food and service.
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Luxury with a difference: the resort style - with excellent entertainment and facilities, wide range of dining and highly developed on board programme - distinguishes glamorous Crystal from its competitors in the sector.
Tailor-make your trip
Extend your stay in New Orleans
We love the Soniat House, right in the French Quarter.
Recommended tours in New Orleans
Visit one of the Cities of the Dead – the beautiful and extraordinarily ornate cemeteries.