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If You Don't Think You're a Cruiser, You May be Missing the Boat!

If you like five-star accommodations, exploring small quaint European villages, dining on delicious food, and all the while experiencing exquisite service, than you may be just like me: a cruiser.

A lot has changed in the cruise world in the last 10 years, gone are the days of shuffle board, bingo and 24-hour buffets. When I stepped on to the Crystal River Mozart, I wasn't sure if I was sailing down the Danube on a luxurious river boat, or checking into a boutique hotel in NYC. The muted color palate and lush décor in the main common areas were anything but common, and screamed “this is not my grandmother’s cruise”.

One of the unique features on the Mozart are the choices you have for dining, there are in fact four. The Bistro (light bites and libations), the Waterside (main dining room), The Vintage Room (private dining up to 12 in which they pair food to the local wine, not the other way around) and my favorite, the Blue restaurant, provide lots of variety.

The Blue restaurant delivers beautiful farm to table dishes that have a slight twist to them. The “twist” can be seen by the different food combinations or the artistic presentation of the dish. I ordered a “traditional” Cobb salad which was presented in a way that was more like a work of art. Marble covers the bar area and the atmosphere felt like an A-lister restaurant from LA. This is definitely not a chicken-fried-steak-mashed-potatoes-gravy type of joint, it is refined with subtle hints of a casual country club vibe.

Artful gourmet cuisine

The service onboard was exceptional, my butler (yes, they have butlers) anticipated my every wish, even providing extras of my favorite treat after he noticed that I had gobbled up the sugar cookies. As a matter of fact, the entire staff is cut from the Crystal Ocean Cruise’s cloth - attentive, proactive and quietly observant.

One of my fellow travelers stated it perfectly, “This is really a five-star hotel. The only difference is you wake up in a new place every day and you don’t have to pack and unpack.” Had I been given the choice, I would have stayed unpacked on the Crystal River Mozart for a very very long time. Sadly, I had to leave my beautiful suite, say goodbye to my butler and venture out onto land once more, but there is no doubt I’ll be back. After all, I love five-star accommodations, exploring small quaint European villages, dining on delicious food and watching the world go by…this is one boat I won’t be missing and neither should you.


Beth Butzlaff, Virtuoso

As the Vice President of Cruise Sales for Virtuoso, LTD, Beth has the unique perspective to be able to sample the best cruise and travel experiences in the world. We invited Beth to be our guest blogger because she was one of the early guests on the Crystal Mozart. With impeccable taste, we trust Beth's feedback and perspective.

Virtuoso has negotiated amenities on Crystal Cruise River voyages we=hen booked with our office.

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