Crystal Cruises has completed the most extensive refurbishment ever of Crystal Serenity after a near four-week dry dock in Bremerhaven, Germany. The reimagination mirrors upgrades to sister ship Crystal Symphony carried out last year.
Crystal Serenity now boasts an array of new dining options and open-seating dining, butler-serviced Seabreeze Penthouse and Seabreeze Penthouse Suite accommodations and more.
The overhaul involved 1,200 people – including more than 30 contractors and approximately 650 members of Crystal’s own staff – who have been working 24/7 in nearly every area of the ship. This amounts to more than 400,000 hours of labour. In all, 38 new Seabreeze Penthouses and Seabreeze Penthouse Suites have been installed; four new and refreshed dining experiences; six entertainment and enrichment spaces have been redesigned; as well as many other enhancements throughout the ship.
“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 travellers but will always be rooted in the cornerstones of genuine, personalised service, abundant space, superb quality and numerous choices,” said Crystal President and CEO Tom Wolber.
“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 flavours 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 personalised butler service. And the redesigned lounges will make spaces that are already favourites among our guests even more versatile and inviting.”
Crystal President and CEO, Tom Wolber
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 decor, 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 cosier 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 barbecue 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 favourites are on the menu for dinner, while lunch options include favourites from the noodle bar, wok dishes, traditional dumplings and Chinois soup. 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 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 men and 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 cosy, authentic atmosphere guests have come to love.
Palm Court, a favourite 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 modernised 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, and 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: The popular nighttime spot for drinks and dancing features a new dance floor, new bar finishes and a refreshed decor, resulting in a lighter and more spacious feel, with new lighting and technological upgrades as well. New seating configurations allows 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 7 December “Pacific Coast Panorama” cruise, is a result of the partnership with Kevin McCollum, the multi-Tony-Award-winning producer of the above musicals.
Pulse and the Resorts World Casino at Sea have also been updated with new modern and warm-toned coloured 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 veranda). Customised, contemporary design and decor are featured throughout, with gemstone-coloured 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.
The transformation effectively reduces the ship’s capacity from 1,070 guests to 980 guests, while the number of crew on board remains the same. A hallmark of Crystal’s onboard experience has long been a focus on copious amounts of space throughout its ships and one of the highest per-guest space and service ratios in the industry.
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 complimentary global newspapers and entertainment library. Crystal Serenity’s spacious enrichment facilities also were redesigned. The Computer University Sea has received new carpeting, seating and computer equipment, along with 70-inch TVs. The multi-functional 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.