Crystal to revive casinos onboard Serenity, Symphony

New deal with Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer sees casinos returning by Q4

Crystal has announced a new collaboration with Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) to introduce the only Casino de Monte-Carlo at sea. This marks an exciting new chapter for the brand, returning the gaming experience back to the brand before year’s end – Crystal Symphony during the Chairmen’s Cruise departing from Venice on 14 November, and on Crystal Serenity this December.

The casino will also be featured on the two future oceangoing ships, and in all the new vessels of Crystal, with the exclusion of Expedition vessels.

Crystal’s decision to return a casino to its ships comes in contrast to comments made by Cristina Levis, A&K Travel Group CEO nearly 12 months ago, who at the time told media on the shakedown voyage of Crystal Serenity that a casino lacked support from guests.

Crystal Symphony at sea | Credit: Crystal

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Last July, Levis said scrapping the former casino “wasn’t an easy decision” but it was determined based on a survey of loyalty guests which indicated “less than 5% of the guests said that they would not sail with Crystal anymore if we were to remove the casino.”

“The ultimate use of that room hasn’t yet been defined,” Levis said, with a potential show kitchen mulled for the space aboard Serenity, but ultimately disregarded as the space was windowless and “fully enclosed in stainless steel”.

Since Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony‘s relaunch last year, the space of the former casino has been used as new lounges, used to host events including art shows.

'The Lounge' aboard Crystal Serenity, as pictuerd in July 2023 - the location of the former casino when Crystal was operated under previous owner, Genting.

Overnight, Crystal said its alliance with Monte-Carlo SBM “brings forth a fusion of expertise and innovation, aiming to redefine onboard entertainment for cruisers worldwide.”

The new casino will offer gaming activities including slot machines, blackjack, roulette and more.

“We are delighted to welcome Casino de Monte-Carlo into the Crystal family as our newest collaborator,” said Manfredi Lefebvre, Executive Chairman of A&K Travel Group on the new arrangement.

“This affiliation symbolises our commitment to offering our guests the finest entertainment and gaming experiences available at sea. Together, we aim to create unforgettable moments and continue to set new standards of excellence in the cruise industry,” Lefebvre said.

Stephane Valeri, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Monte-Carlo SBM, remarked: “We are excited to join forces with Crystal to deliver the unique Casino de Monte-Carlo experience at sea. With our combined expertise, we are confident that we will provide a gaming moment unlike any other in the cruise industry.”

Last July aboard the shakedown cruise of Crystal Serenity are Tony Archbold, Crystal APAC and Deb Fox, A&K Travel Group APAC with Cristina Levis, CEO, A&K Travel Group.

The 300 square-metre Casino de Monte-Carlo will be positioned where the current Bridge Lounges are located on both ships. The Bridge Lounge will then move to the Library on Crystal Serenity and The Lounge (location of the previous casino) on Crystal Symphony.

“We have listened attentively to the feedback from our loyal guests regarding their desire to have casinos back onboard, and we are proud to announce that we will deliver on our promise,” Levis said.

“At Crystal, like at Monte-Carlo SBM, guest satisfaction and enjoyment are paramount, and this alliance with Casino de Monte-Carlo underscores our dedication to fulfilling their wishes and exceeding their expectations.”

“We are confident the reintroduction of casinos will further enhance the overall cruise experience, providing our guests with the entertainment options they crave while sailing with us,” she concluded.

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