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MYSTIQUE OF THE MAYA

V7302

Miami to Colón on Crystal Serenity
DATES : January 11 - 22, 2017 (11 Days)  CRUISE-ONLY FARES FROM : $3,865 Per Person

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Mystique of the Maya Mystique of the Maya Map

A dream cruise for anyone who loves water adventure and eco-toursim - a Panama Canal transit adds to the allure.

Date Port Arrival Departure
Jan 11, Wednesday
Miami, Florida, USA »   9 pm

It has the largest city population in Florida, is the third most visited American city among international travelers and showcases an Art Deco Historic District encompassing one of the largest neighborhoods entered on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Miami certainly boasts its share of impressive characteristics, even before adding to the list its gorgeous beaches, spirited Cuban population and ritzy enclaves of Coral Gables and Coconut Grove.

Miami wasn't always the glamorous and energetic city you see today. Until the late 1800s, it was mostly swamp, disconnected from the rest of the country thanks to its position on the edge of the continent and lack of the essential link of the day: a railroad. All that changed in 1896, when the railroad in northern Florida was extended to the latent tropical paradise of the south.

The rest, as they say, is history, as Miami has since seen recurrent booms fueled by surges of immigration, perennially good weather and an insouciant refusal to do anything halfway. Admire the full glory of Miami Beach with a stroll along South Beach's famous Ocean Boulevard, where splendidly restored art deco buildings compete with fashion models and sun worshipers for attention. For a taste of Cuban cuisine and culture, visit Little Havana on the mainland (Miami Beach is separate both in its municipality and its geography: it sits on a barrier island four miles off the coast, and is reached by a causeway). Also outside mainland Miami are the acres of rare tropical plants nurtured to their fragrant and beautiful best in Fairchild Tropical Gardens. The aforementioned slice of heaven known as Coral Gables lies to the southwest. A gem of 1920s city planning, the city unfurls impressive boulevards and features the alluring Venetian Pool, where waterfalls and underwater caves offer the chance for a uniquely refreshing dip.

Jan 12, Thursday
Cruising the Caribbean Sea  »

Your Story at Sea

Adventure. Romance. Discovery.

Aboard the most award-winning ships at sea, your story can be written exactly as you wish: pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at our state-of-the-art fitness center or Walk-on-Water along our 360o Promenade Deck; learn how to translate your story into a movie with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Digital Filmmaking class at our Creative Learning Institute ®; or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers with our Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theatre, shop our luxury boutiques, or simply lounge poolside while our attentive crew caters to your every whim. From mat Pilates and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the renowned culinary creations of Nobu Matsuhisa, and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs with new Modern Cuisine and Global Inspired menus, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, breakout new production shows, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or our action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices as always aboard the World’s Best are yours. How will you write your story on board?

Jan 13, Friday
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico » 6 am 7 am

Simply called “Playa” by the locals, this once sleepy fishing village and artists’ colony welcomes visitors with a gracious, laid-back charm. White-sand beaches and gentle waves appeal to sun worshippers looking for a blissful place to relax and soak in the atmosphere, while those wanting to explore the town will enjoy a stroll along Avenida Quinta, or “Fifth Avenue,” a two-mile pedestrian walkway lined with shops, bars and restaurants. When the sun sets, Avenida Quinta gets into full swing as a hot spot to mingle, dine and dance.

 
Cozumel, Mexico » 8:30 am 5 pm

Just 11 miles off the eastern coast of Mexico lies Cozumel, the country's largest island and the gem of the Caribbean for water sports. Relax and bask in the sun on pristine palm-lined beaches or snorkel amid intricate coral formations at nearby Palancar Reef. On the island's west coast lies the bustling town of San Miguel, which boasts deluxe hotels, inviting shops and tempting restaurants.

Off the island of Cozumel is Playa del Carmen, your gateway to the Mayan mysteries of the intriguing Yucatán. Inland lies Cobá, a splendid reminder of a civilization that existed thousands of years ago. Closer at hand lies Tulum, a massive fortress built in 564 AD and the only Mayan site to overlook the Caribbean Sea.

Jan 14, Saturday
Costa Maya, Mexico » 8 am 6 pm

Adventure, archaeology, water, sun and beach. These are all to be found in and around Costa Maya, the Caribbean's first port planned solely for cruise guests. Designed to resemble an ancient Mayan city, Costa Maya features three grand pavilions, where you can see folkloric shows, observe local artisans creating their works of art, and witness cultural and culinary events.

Within easy reach of the port are ancient cities boasting impressive temples and fascinating archeological sites. And you needn't venture far from port to enjoy a range of water sports, including diving and snorkeling amid the world's second-largest coral reef.

Jan 15, Sunday
Belize City, Belize » 8 am 9 pm

While you wouldn't necessarily associate a Central American city with Victorian architecture, Belize City indeed offers some striking examples. Several Victorian mansions have been restored and converted into inns, museums, galleries and restaurants. Other structures in the city range from British Colonial to the oldest Anglican cathedral in Central America, St. John's Cathedral.

The appeal of Belize's buildings extends to their interiors. The Marine Terminal, for instance, is a beautifully refurbished former fire station dating to 1923. Inside are two museums-the Coastal Zone Museum with displays highlighting the local reef ecology, and the Maritime Museum with a collection of paraphernalia centering on Belize's seafaring history.

Finally, and not insignificantly, is Central America's remarkable wildlife, which Belize has made a point of preserving. A short distance from the city is the Belize Zoo, which is actually more of a wildlife preserve. Its exotic species live happily in roomy, natural-looking accommodations with dense vegetation. Keep the camera ready for jaguars, as they spend much of their time hunkered down in the shade, slinking out into the open for only a momentary stretch.

Jan 16, Monday
Santo Tomás de Castilla, Guatemala » 8 am 6 pm

Only recently outfitted for calls by cruise ships, Santo Tomás de Castilla retains a down-to-earth atmosphere, with off-the-beaten-path adventures appealing to travelers looking for an authentic slice of Guatemala. This particular slice is tucked along the Caribbean coast in the elbow between Honduras to the south and Belize to the north. Like its Mexican and Central American counterparts, Guatemala boasts remnants of the ancient Mayan culture, with enigmatic ruins scattered about the country. Closest to your port of call are the remains of Quiriguá, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other wonders that exude from this tropical locale are, naturally, a great variety of colorful foliage and exotic wildlife, such as toucans and howler monkeys. Santo Tomás also is home to the Omagua Banana Plantation, where Chiquita bananas are grown and packed for market. Kayaking, horseback riding, snorkeling, diving, and a simple stroll in coastal towns and along the beach are just some of the ways you can immerse yourself in Caribbean bliss.

 



Jan 17, Tuesday
Roatán Island, Honduras » 9 am 6 pm

On Central America's Roatan Island off Honduras, you can aim a point-and-shoot camera in almost any direction and get a beautiful picture. Skies are wide expanses of blue. Water is a transparent turquoise. Beaches are the classic smooth white, edged by lush growths of palms.

Even if you are no shutterbug, you will find many things to do. Water activities include diving, snorkeling and swimming with the dolphins. If you prefer to stay dry, you can tour the reef in a glass-bottom boat, go into town to shop for island crafts, or see the butterfly and floral gardens.
Jan 18, Wednesday
Trujillo, Honduras » 8 am 6 pm

On his fourth and final voyage to the Americas, Christopher Columbus stepped ashore here, naming the area Golfo de Honduras, or the Gulf of the Depths. The bay is in fact deep, or hondo, and therefore accommodates not only the ship of a certain 16th-century explorer but also the vessels of modern-day travelers, such as you. Only in the last few years has the new cruise terminal been open for business, inviting visitors into a relatively unexplored Caribbean oasis. Something you will notice right away is the majestic landscape, with the city on a bluff overlooking the bay and mountains rising in the background. Fishing villages dot the coast, white-sand beaches beckon swimmers, divers and shell collectors to spend some time in the sun, while an old fort, a mélange of languages and luxurious beachfront homes remind travelers that this is a vibrant community on the cusp of discovery, this time by seasoned adventurers seeking a new world of natural beauty and local hospitality.



Jan 19, Thursday
Cruising the Caribbean Sea  »

Your Story at Sea

Adventure. Romance. Discovery.

Aboard the most award-winning ships at sea, your story can be written exactly as you wish: pamper yourself at the Feng Shui-inspired Crystal Spa, work-out at our state-of-the-art fitness center or Walk-on-Water along our 360o Promenade Deck; learn how to translate your story into a movie with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Digital Filmmaking class at our Creative Learning Institute ®; or learn about art, history and worldly destinations with our engaging celebrity entertainers and speakers with our Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program; sneak away to watch recently-released movies in the Hollywood Theatre, shop our luxury boutiques, or simply lounge poolside while our attentive crew caters to your every whim. From mat Pilates and yoga to PGA golf instruction and paddle tennis on full-size courts, today is all about you. As evening arrives, dine on the renowned culinary creations of Nobu Matsuhisa, and Crystal’s own acclaimed chefs with new Modern Cuisine and Global Inspired menus, enjoy special wine-makers dinners, breakout new production shows, intimate lounges, a pulsing dance club or our action-packed Crystal Casino. The choices as always aboard the World’s Best are yours. How will you write your story on board?

Jan 20, Friday
Puerto Limón, Costa Rica » 8 am 5 pm
Puerto Limón, located on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, boasts a rich combination of sights, sounds and smells. Once ashore, embrace these elements as they surround you, filling your senses with the essence of this delightful port city. The growth of the coffee market prompted the Costa Rican government to search for an Atlantic port to facilitate shipping coffee to Europe and beyond. In 1871, the port of Limón was established and what was once a migrant fishermen's village of five huts grew into an important center of commerce. With the introduction of a rail service the following year between San José and the Atlantic coast, Limón became a thriving railroad and banana town.
Jan 21, Saturday
Colón, Panama (overnight) » 7 am  
The history of Colón is punctuated by busy years of construction to facilitate travel. First were the Panama Railroad and the carving out of a quick route for the California Gold Rush. Then, most enduringly and famously, came the Panama Canal, begun by the French in 1881 and completed by the Americans in 1914. In recent years, Colón has been energized by two more commercial endeavors: the Zona Libre, or Free Zone, established in 1948 and still the largest free-trade zone in the Americas, and Colon 2000, the multi-million-dollar cruise-ship port that welcomes visitors with shopping and dining amenities. Just six miles south of Colón are the impressive Gatún Locks and Gatún Dam, where ships enter and exit the Panama Canal on the Caribbean side. Natural wonders include what is perhaps the Caribbean’s best-known and most appreciated attribute: turquoise waters that offer outstanding diving and snorkeling.
Jan 22, Sunday
Colón, Panama » Disembark am  
The history of Colón is punctuated by busy years of construction to facilitate travel. First were the Panama Railroad and the carving out of a quick route for the California Gold Rush. Then, most enduringly and famously, came the Panama Canal, begun by the French in 1881 and completed by the Americans in 1914. In recent years, Colón has been energized by two more commercial endeavors: the Zona Libre, or Free Zone, established in 1948 and still the largest free-trade zone in the Americas, and Colon 2000, the multi-million-dollar cruise-ship port that welcomes visitors with shopping and dining amenities. Just six miles south of Colón are the impressive Gatún Locks and Gatún Dam, where ships enter and exit the Panama Canal on the Caribbean side. Natural wonders include what is perhaps the Caribbean’s best-known and most appreciated attribute: turquoise waters that offer outstanding diving and snorkeling.
All itineraries and times are subject to change. Click on ports for detailed information.
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