Canaries & North Africa Cruises: RCL vs. Crystal Cruises

This September, Royal Caribbean and Crystal have cruises that stop at ports in the Canary Islands and Morocco.

Why am I comparing a luxury vs. mass market cruise?  The itineraries are not that similar nor is the pricing.  The Royal Caribbean cruise pricing starts at $1714 and the Crystal cruise starts at $5455, both prices are based on an oceanview cabin with double occupancy.

But if I choose to go solo, Royal’s price changes to $3428+ tip+drinks package. Typically Crystal raises the price about 30% for solos.

Not that close in pricing as a solo. Yet worth evaluating whether the differences make Royal no longer attractive to me.

The Cruise Lines

Crystal Cruises, the luxury all-inclusive line has a 13-day Canary Islands cruise aboard the Crystal Symphony leaving on September 6, 2017, and returning September 19, 2017.  This cruise is roundtrip from Lisbon. Also, this cruise is part of the critically acclaimed Crystal Food and Wine Festival. A celebration of the culinary arts, which continues to attract the world’s top chefs, wine experts and mixologists.

Royal Caribbean International the mass market cruise line is offering a Canary Islands cruise, which lasts 14 nights aboard the “Navigator of the Seas”, a Voyager-class cruise ship. The cruise leaves on September 29, 2017, returning on October 13, 2017. The cruise is roundtrip from Southampton, England.


Of the two itineraries, Crystal is more focused on Portugal, Morocco and Canary Islands. Royal Caribbean’s cruise only has one stop in Morocco. The Royal cruise also stops in Spain, Portugal, Canaries and France.

  Crystal RCI
Destination Arrives Departs Destination Arrives Departs
Day 1 Lisbon Day 1 Southampton 4:30 PM
Day 2 Lisbon 3:00 PM Day 2 At Sea
Day 3 Cruising the Atlantic Ocean Day 3 Vigo 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
Day 4 Ponta Delgada 10:00 AM 7:00 PM Day 4 Lisbon 10:00 AM 10:00 PM
Day 5 Azores 8:00 AM 6:00 PM Day 5 At Sea
Day 6 Cruising the Atlantic Ocean Day 6 Agadir 7:00 AM 10:00 PM
Day 7 Funchal 8:00 AM 5:00 PM Day 7 Lanzarote 12:00 PM 9:00 PM
Day 8 Santa Cruz De La Palma 9:00 AM 6:00 PM Day 8 Las Palmas 9:00 AM 9:00 PM
Day 9 Santa Cruz de Tenerife 8:00 AM 6:00 PM Day 9 Tenerife 7:00 AM 4:00 PM
Day 10 Arrecife 8:00 AM 6:00 PM Day 10 Funchal 7:00 AM 4:00 PM
Day 11 Agadir 8:00 AM 4:00 PM Day 11 At Sea
Day 12 Casablanca 8:00 AM 10:00 PM Day 12 La Coruna 1:00 PM 8:00 PM
Day 13 Cruising the Atlantic Ocean Day 13 At Sea
Day 14 Lisbon 6:00 AM Day 14 Le Havre 7:00 AM 9:00 PM
Day 15 Southampton 5:30 AM

Conclusions and Pricing

Crystal hasn’t finalized their shore excursions yet but the ones that are posted seem boring. There is always the option of finding my own tours. But for me, that ruins the entire experience.

Royal Caribbean has many more interesting tour options as well as a better price point, which appeals to me more.

As of today, I am looking forward to booking this Royal Caribbean cruise.







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