WHY IT RATES: The luxury ocean vessel boasts new dining options, technological enhancements, new penthouses and upgraded public spaces, among other highlights.—Patrick Clarke, TravelPulse Senior Writer
Emerging from an almost four-week dry dock in Bremerhaven, Germany, Crystal Serenity is ready to welcome luxury travelers aboard after its most extensive refurbishment ever.
Mirroring the changes implemented aboard Crystal Symphony in fall of 2017, Crystal Serenity now boasts new dining options and open-seating dining; new spacious, butler-serviced Seabreeze Penthouse and Seabreeze Penthouse Suite accommodations; redesigned lounge and entertainment venues including the Stardust Club and Palm Court; a new production show called Crystal on Broadway, The Show; and new interactive technological amenities. Crystal Serenity sets sail from Lisbon tomorrow (November 10) on her first voyage since the completion of her redesign.
“The scope of this redesign is truly remarkable. Our ocean ships remain at the heart of our brand and our commitment to their continued excellence and success is unwavering,” said Crystal President and CEO Tom Wolber.
“The changes aboard Crystal Serenity are a beautiful reaffirmation of Crystal’s timeless style and luxury, which continues to evolve with the preferences of luxury travelers but will always be rooted in the cornerstones of genuine, personalized service, abundant space, superb quality and numerous choices.”
Every aspect of the ship’s redesign is intended to anticipate guests’ needs and exceed their expectations while adding luxurious touches and conveniences that will enhance their experience even further.
“The new open-seating dining gives our guests the freedom to dine when, where and with whom they want, while the new restaurant options uniquely showcase and celebrate the flavors of the world we travel in,” Wolber continued.
“The new Seabreeze accommodations are in direct response to guest demand for more suites that, of course, include our personalized butler service. And the redesigned lounges will make spaces that are already favorites among our guests even more versatile and inviting.”
The dry dock, which began in Lisbon on October 14 as Crystal Serenity made her way to the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven, marks the latest milestone for the expanding Crystal portfolio. Details of the new spaces and experiences guests will find on board include:
New Dining Options
As open-seating dining debuts aboard Crystal Serenity, guests can dine where, when and with whom they choose, allowing them to indulge as they wish and affording more flexibility for evening entertainment. New venues are also debuting, offering a refreshed selection of globally inspired cuisine with reimagined décor, including:
Waterside—Taking the place of the Crystal Dining Room and reflecting the chic elegance of the main dining venues aboard Crystal River Cruises and Crystal Symphony, this centrally located restaurant continues to serve daily changing menus of international classic and modern cuisine, paired with unlimited fine wines, spirits and beers.
The restaurant now features more intimate seating with tables for two and four, as well as contemporary finishes, integrated lighting, a new ceiling feature and “tile” treatment that creates a cozier atmosphere. Breakfast and lunch service times continue as they were previously, while guests have the freedom to dine in Waterside for dinner any time they choose. The dinner menu continues to be offered for room service dining during dinner hours.
The Marketplace and Churrascaria—The new daytime and evening identities of the former Lido Café, respectively. Both venues feature an open-kitchen concept with dishes made to order. The Marketplace serves an expansive menu of buffet-style breakfast and lunch options and transforms into Churrascaria during the dinner hours.
This Brazilian-style bar-be-que welcomes guests with a traditional Caipirinha cocktail, then offers a selection of tapas and ceviche, salads and soups, vegetables and freshly grilled meat and seafood brochettes, served the traditional way with a “Crystal” twist. Crystal gauchos take meats directly from the grill to carve them tableside from sword-like skewers. Churrascaria offers open seating and does not require reservations.
Silk Kitchen & Bar—In the Trident area of the ship that was formerly Tastes, this Asian-inspired venue serves traditional Chinese comfort food in an elegant al fresco atmosphere.
Family-style favorites are on the menu for dinner, while lunch options include favorites from the noodle bar, wok dishes, traditional dumplings, Chinois soup and a small selection of favorite menu items from Tastes. Silk also serves Crystal’s late risers breakfast service. Silk offers open seating for breakfast and lunch and requires reservations for dinner.
Umi Uma—The rebranded Silk Road & The Sushi Bar continues to serve the Japanese-Peruvian specialties of Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa by his personally trained chefs and remains the only Nobu restaurants at sea. Dinner reservations are required for Crystal’s specialty restaurants, including Prego.
Stardust Supper Club—A brand new dining experience reminiscent of the era of the Rat Pack debuts on black-tie-optional evenings in the Stardust Club, featuring a four-course menu, live musical performances from Crystal’s Ensemble and string quartet. Cuisine reflects specialties served in Waterside, with wine pairings and desserts as well as a vegetarian menu.
Prego—The specialty restaurant continues to serve regional specialties of Italy in the cozy, authentic atmosphere guests have come to love.
Palm Court, a favorite spot on board for gatherings of all sorts, has been reimagined with an intimate atmosphere. The stage has been relocated to an “in-the-round” concept, with a new modernized bar. More tables for two and intimate seating areas, new finishes, lighting, carpeting and furniture reflect the understated modern luxury of the Palm Court on Crystal Symphony.
New touches include a combination of cocktail tables and chairs, dramatic wingback chairs with footstools, sofas and coffee tables. As Palm Court has long been a destination on board for traditional afternoon teatime and refreshments, the previous stage area has become a dedicated culinary space to feature fresh pastries and snacks as guests enjoy the sweeping views from the venue’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
The Stardust Club—a popular nighttime spot for drinks and dancing—features a new dance floor, new bar finishes and a refreshed décor, resulting in a lighter and more spacious feel, with new lighting and technological upgrades as well. New seating configurations allow the room to be easily transformed into a multi-functional space to host the Stardust Supper Club and large gatherings from bridge tournaments to live evening entertainment.
In the Galaxy Lounge, the Crystal entertainment team is installing a new Broadway-style production show called Crystal on Broadway, The Show featuring songs from the hit musicals Rent, Something Rotten! and West Side Story. The show, which debuts on the December 7th“Pacific Coast Panorama” cruise, is a result of the partnership with Kevin McCollum, the multi-Tony Award-winning producer of Rent, Something Rotten! and the most recent Broadway revival of West Side Story.
Pulse and the Resorts World Casino at Sea have also been updated with new modern and warm-toned colored carpet and furnishings.
New Seabreeze Penthouses
On Deck 10, 36 new Seabreeze Penthouses and two Seabreeze Penthouse Suites now occupy the space of former Deluxe Staterooms with Verandah. The new accommodations offer the same personal butler service, specialty services, walk-in closets, spa-like bathrooms and spacious square footage as the other Penthouses on board (367 sq. ft. and 491 sq. ft, respectively, including the verandah).
Customized, contemporary design and décor are featured throughout, with gemstone-colored velvets, natural materials and brushed brass touches with marble details.
The Seabreeze Penthouses also feature unique entries, which are shared between two suites and recessed from the hallway. This enables a seamless design for connecting two suites for larger families upon request. In-room specialty dining and unlimited reservations at specialty restaurants are among the enhanced services enjoyed by Penthouse guests.
In all rooms—public and guest suites—new, state-of-the-art HD flat-panel TVs have been added, featuring technology that allows guests to access a variety of information on their TVs including onboard folios, Crystal Life Spa & Salon menus, the Connoisseur Wine menu and daily restaurant menus.
The new on-demand system also offers a vast library of blockbuster films and entertainment, as well as live views from the ship, broadcasts of ship lectures, presentations and destination info. Upgraded, pervasive Wi-Fi coverage throughout the ship is delivered via dedicated antennae in every suite and all public areas and open decks.
A new guest portal—Crystal Connect—is also now live, found on the landing page of onboard Internet service. Guests can access it from their smartphones, tablets or computers and instantly find shipboard and itinerary info, daily menus, shore excursions and port maps, daily issues of Reflections and an array of complementary global newspapers and entertainment library. Crystal Serenity’s spacious enrichment facilities also were redesigned.
The Computer [email protected] has received new carpeting, seating and computer equipment, along with 70-inch TVs. The multifunctional enrichment room, The Studio, has been divided to offer a classroom for language, art and other instruction and a separate dance studio for private lessons.
Crystal’s worldwide itineraries aboard the newly redesigned Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony are now available for booking for 2019, 2020 and 2021, offering travelers more than three years to plan their luxury vacations. Crystal also incentivizes guests who book early with thousands of dollars with its Book Now Savings program.
SOURCE: Crystal Cruises press release
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