This fall, I spent a pleasant night aboard the Crystal Symphony in Boston Harbor. The ship was berthed for the night, so I sampled its many amenities and was lulled to sleep in my spacious stateroom on my own “water” bed.

Weighing in at 51,000 tons and 781 feet in length, the Crystal Symphony has a 1.73-to-1 guest-to-crew ratio — the industry's highest. The ship's 480 elegantly appointed staterooms all face outward, and of these, 278 have private verandas.

Crystal's innovative (and complimentary) Creative Learning Institute partners with organizations such as Berlitz, the Society of Wine Educators, The Cleveland Clinic, and the Tai Chi Cultural Center to bring expert instruction to the ship's learning labs. Complimentary classes are also offered through Computer University@Sea — from a digital video editing course to classes in Microsoft Word or Excel.

If cabin fever sets in, Crystal offers shore tours ranging from a trip to Boston's Fenway Park to coastal kayaking along Maine's Frenchman Bay. The ship's itinerary takes it up and down the East Coast.