By Rachel Holt

BOSTON (CBS) – The first cruise ship from Boston since the pandemic began finally departed on Monday. The Crystal Symphony was scheduled to depart for Bermuda Sunday afternoon, but was delayed because of Tropical Storm Henri.

The crew has been busy preparing the ship for guests for the first time since 2019.

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“A lot of crew has been out of work for a year and a half. They had it very tough so to see them coming back and start to work again, that’s really, really nice,” Captain Niklas Peterstam told WBZ.

Amenities like fine dining and entertainment will look the same, with Cruise Director Russ Thomas Grieve explaining, “You can find Broadway-style shows, you can find piano players, you can find magicians, you can find violinists.”

Crystal Symphony cruise ship departs Boston (WBZ-TV)

Safety precautions will be the biggest change for the 200 guests and 460 crew members, all in the hopes that it’s smooth sailing aboard the first cruise ship to leave from Boston since the industry pause. The cruise will return to Boston next Sunday.

“All the crew is vaccinated. All the guests have to be vaccinated. And the guests before they come, they do a PCR test. Once they come to the terminal, then they do an antigen test. They are given a bracelet for tracing should there be a positive case,” said Hotel Director Herbert Jaeger.

Crews admit after the long wait, there are some added nerves.

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“I have some butterflies going on in my stomach because you want everything to be great,” said Grieve.

But they say they’re confident in their plan to provide a safe voyage.

“I don’t think many places in the world have taken so many precautions and have so many protocols in place than a cruise ship,” said Jaeger.

Sunday’s cruise will kick off a series of four weeklong trips to Bermuda, all departing round-trip from Flynn Cruiseport Boston in the Seaport.

“This is really really nice to be back in business again, and especially here in Boston,” said Peterstam.

Following the Boston trips, the Crystal Symphony will make nine trips from New York’s Manhattan Cruise terminal starting on September 24.

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For more on Crystal Cruises, visit the companies website.

Rachel Holt