Crystal Cruises is a luxury cruise line that elicits a high level of loyalty among cruisers who return to the ships again and again for long all-inclusive voyages. The line’s two ocean ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, are especially beautiful and have long had plenty of features, entertainment and amenities to please travelers seeking an upscale cruising experience.
Well, Crystal has taken an amazing cruise ship and made it even better with its re-imagination of Crystal Serenity. This ship was overhauled in late 2018 to give passengers even more comfort and additional options for dining and entertainment.
Check out these changes to Crystal Serenity and why we think passengers will love a voyage on this ship.
Expanded Dining Options
Longtime Crystal Cruisers probably will continue to call the main dining room, The Crystal Dining Room, by its old name. But this open-seating restaurant that seats about 500 people is now Waterside, with a whole new look.
The venue serves international classic and modern cuisine, paired with unlimited fine wines, spirits and beers. Menus change daily, and cruisers don’t have assigned dining times. Waterside now features more intimate seating — with tables for two and four — as well as contemporary finishes, integrated lighting, a new ceiling feature and “tile” panels that cut down on noise and creates a cozier atmosphere.
The focus is on offering a more flexible meal experience throughout the ship. Passengers can eat when they want and where they want with additional eateries now on the ship.
The ship buffet, formerly called Lido Café is now The Marketplace. This venue becomes Churrascaria at night, a Brazilian steakhouse with unlimited choices of meats and buffet options. It’s open seating, and you don’t need a reservation.
Also, on Deck 12 in the ship’s Trident Area adjacent to the pool area is a new restaurant called Silk Kitchen & Bar. This eatery replaces Tastes and now serves lunches and dinners offering Asian-inspired dishes, primarily Chinese comfort food. Reservations are required for dinner, which is served family style.
Umi Uma (rebranded and replacing the former Silk Road) is the magnificent restaurant and sushi bar in collaboration with celebrity chef Nobu. Umi Uma is one of the great culinary delights at sea, with Nobu creating his popular Japanese-Peruvian fusion dishes. The menu offers numerous courses and choices. I ate with a group of eight, and we shared items like lobster tacos, Wagyu beef rib-eye steak, stir-fried shrimp and scallops, grilled Chilean sea bass and udon noodles until we could eat no more – even though we wanted to.
You also need reservations for Umi Uma and Prego, the ship’s Italian restaurant.
Crystal Serenity features its usual lineup of enrichment talks from a wide range of expert speakers who touch on all kinds of topics of interest, such as history, photography, politics, finance, nature and geology.
The ship also offers several live-music performers who play in the lounge venues of the ship, rotating among The Cove, Stardust Club, Palm Court and Avenue Saloon. Crystal also has added a bold new production show to Crystal Serenity. “Crystal on Broadway” is a three-part musical that combines songs from “Something Rotten,” “West Side Story” and “Rent.”
With the ship redesign and refurbishment, Crystal Serenity’s capacity dropped to 980 passengers from 1,070. The crew complement stayed the same, however. This means you get a higher crew-to-passenger ratio (for even better service) and more space per person on the ship.
More Cabin Choices
Crystal Seabreeze Penthouses (36 cabins) and Crystal Seabreeze Penthouse Suites (two cabins) are new stateroom categories located on Deck 10. These staterooms feature butler service and contemporary design touches, with gemstone-colored velvets, natural materials and brushed brass finishes with marble details. The Seabreeze Penthouses also feature unique entry vestibules shared between two suites and recessed from the corridor. This allows cruisers two connect two suites for traveling with family and friends. In-room specialty dining and unlimited reservations at specialty restaurants are among the enhanced services enjoyed by Penthouse guests.
The Seabreeze Penthouse cabins offer large walk-in closets and huge walk-in showers with three water-flow settings, including rainfall.
Palm Court has a lighter and more-spacious setup, with a new bar and the stage area now set up for an “in-the-round” concept next to the dance floor. This space located at the top of the ship on Deck 12 also has new lighting, carpeting and furniture with a more intimate configuration. The former stage area is now a culinary space for serving pastries and snacks. Palm Court now offers a more dramatic feel for its daily afternoon tea time and music event.
Stardust Club has been reworked with a new dance floor and updated bar. The club now offers a special Stardust Supper Club events on black-tie-optional nights onboard. This is a dinner with live music and dancing that is available by reservation and seats just more than 100 people.
Pulse, the ship’s disco, and Resorts World Casino at Seas also received new modern warm-toned carpets and finishes.
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