Crystal has two ships in her fleet, the Crystal Serenity and the Crystal Symphony which both can accommodate up to 922 passengers.
Despite their small sizes, the ships still offer most of the amenities that you can find on the larger ocean liners and their luxurious service has been consistently winning awards in the luxury cruise sector for many years.
Built in 2003, the younger Crystal Serenity has been awarded by readers of Conde Nast as one of the “best cruise ships in the world”. The ship was completely redesigned in 2013 with a 35 million pound investment. Its retrofit is most noticeable by its enhanced, airy and contemporary Southern California feel. There are plenty of open spaces in muted and natural colours and attractive decor and furnishings.
The Crystal Serenity has a total of 535 staterooms, ranging from opulent suites with items such as flat panel TVs with a Blu-Ray player and a private laundry room to the more basic but still luxurious entry level staterooms.
Over 85 percent of the cabins on the Serenity have balconies, offering spectacular views of the ocean and the soon to be visited ports.
The standard cabins stand at 226 square feet whereas the suites are typically 538 square feet. The largest cabins are the Crystal Penthouses at 1,345 square feet. All rooms contain amenities such as internet access, a bathroom with shower and hairdryer, toiletries and a reclining sofa.
The suites have other perks such as afternoon canapés, in cabin dining with options from the ships restaurants and truffles in the evening. The Crystal Penthouses have many more features such as walk in wardrobes and an exercise area.
The main dining area is the Crystal Dining Room that offers both breakfast and lunch options. The Crystal Dining Room also contains two menus: a classic menu of traditional fare and a “modern” menu that allows the passenger to be more adventurous!
For those that want just a quick bite to eat within a relaxing atmosphere, there’s no better place than the Lido Cafe buffet which has a wide variety of international cuisine and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Part of the ship’s redesign replaced their long buffet counters with food islands to pick and choose the variety of food with more ease.
Tastes, located on the Lido Deck is a California fusion restaurant while a more European flair can be found at Prego. Prego is an Italian restaurant that is filled with romance and contains a bit of difference in the preparation of Italian cuisine than the usual. Nobu was developed and is overseen by master chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa to bring Japanese cuisine to a new level.
For those with a sweet tooth, the dessert bar Scoops has ice cream and frozen yogurt. A more sophisticated type of confectionary can be had at The Bistro with sampler-size of assorted cheeses and a chocoholic’s delight of a chocolate fountain.
Whilst on board, passengers can take part in enrichment programs that will provide an array of newfound knowledge ranging from golf to history. An on-site theatre shows a variety of genres in films from blockbusters to old classics. To appease any knowledge buff there are regular trivia competitions held onboard
At The Galaxy Lounge, there are special performances by accomplished singers and comedians, as well as elaborate cabaret shows. There is a small casino which has a good selection of gaming including slot machines and poker tables.
Live music is offered throughout the ship and you can listen to classical music at teatime and tap your feet to the Broadway show tunes before and after dinner at the Avenue Saloon.
There’s even a karaoke session during dark in the Pulse Disco for those who want to perform. Dancing is always available after dark at the Sunset Bar.
PORTS OF CALL
For 2015, the Crystal Serenity offers 7 to 23 night cruises. Presently, she is sailing in Australia & New Zealand and then on to the exotic ports of the Indian Ocean and South Africa. She will then head north and offer sailings in the Mediterranean from May through to November. A Transatlantic crossing is scheduled afterwards and the ship will spend the remainder of 2015 in the Caribbean.
Images courtesy of Crystal Cruises
Written by Veronica Shine