Travel Weekly's Rebecca Tobin downloaded the line's free "Storyteller" app before she embarked on a weeklong cruise on the Crystal Serenity. The app enables users to customize iPhone photos with Instagram-style filters, caption them and share them via email or Facebook (either on personal pages or on Crystal's "Never Ending Journal" page), or as an actual postcard using a third-party app. Here she shares "photo dispatches" based on some of the photos she took and converted to Storyteller images. Previous photo dispatches: Arrival and Open Spaces.
My husband got to pick our spots in Rome, so I chose the shore excursions, and they all had a beach element. I wanted to visit Paleokastritsa during our call at Corfu, Greece, because I'd read that the area was simply beautiful. And I wasn't disappointed: The water was crystal-clear amazing, and the views were just breathtaking. Our tour arrived at this amazing bay at 9:30 a.m. What this photo doesn't show is that the water was cold! Once I braved it and plunged in, though, it was worth it. Our guide told us that locals and in-the-know tourists rent boats like these ones here and motor out to a series of otherwise inaccessible beach havens.
I liked the revamp of the Serenity's main pool, the Seahorse, which was completed last year: Bright, fun yet sophisticated colors and round sunbeds -- pod beds, Crystal called them -- couches, deck chairs and loungers. The main downside was that the sun was blazing during most of our cruise (the Mediterranean in August, what do you expect?), and whenever I would get away for an hour or so of poolside relaxing with my Kindle, it was usually 2 p.m. and hot, hot, hot. For a more temperate climate as well as better proximity to the bar and the grill, some folks took up residence by the Trident pool, which was covered by a retractable glass roof.
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