Founded in 1988 by parent company NYK Lines of Japan, Crystal Cruises’
elegant double seahorse logo has become synonymous to discerning
travelers as the pinnacle of luxury at sea. Crystal Harmony, Crystal
Symphony and the newer, slightly larger Crystal Serenity are among
the world’s cushiest, most spacious vessels, with expansive
decks, generous amenities and elegant quarters -- more than half
with private verandas. Crystal’s six-star liners have grand
lounges, a sybaritic spa outfitted within Feng Shui principles,
extensive exercise options, complimentary golf, yoga and Pilates
instruction, Asian and Italian specialty restaurants, and the only
Caesars Palace at Sea Casino afloat. Computer University@Sea, helping
trailblaze 24-hour e-mail and Internet access at sea, has hands-on
instruction to boot. In 2004, highlights include 28 round trip sailings
from domestic ports, 33 cruises beginning or ending in domestic
ports, new seven-night sailings for all three ships in the Mediterranean,
Canada/New England and the Caribbean, and new 10-day cruises round-trip
from Honolulu. Crystal Serenity’s inaugural World Cruise sails
from Los Angeles to New York.
With more dining options, more veranda staterooms,
and more exquisite penthouses of equally exquisite proportions,
plus expanded venues for entertainment, fitness and educational
endeavor, Crystal Serenity ups the ante on six-star luxury traditions.
The ship, built at Chantiers de l’Atlantique in St. Nazaire,
France, boasts an even greater space-per-guest ratio than sisters
Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony, and has a magnetic new penthouse
category -- the Penthouse Stateroom With Veranda -- increasing butler
service by 300 percent over sisters Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony.
Noting that tipping is personal, Crystal does not include gratuities in fares.
Guidelines, per person per day, are $4 for room stewards, $4 for waiters, $2.50
for assistant waiters, etc. Guidelines for specialty restaurants are $6 per guest,
per dinner. Bar drinks have a 15 percent tip added. Gratuities may be charged to
the shipboard account.
With 64,583 square feet of teak for expansive outside decks and 32,292 square feet
of teak for private verandas, Crystal Serenity reflects many classic qualities of
yesteryear’s grand liners. Exceptional service, a Crystal Cruises hallmark, is
assured by one of the highest crew-to-guest ratios in cruising, with Crystal Serenity
boasting 635 staff members catering to 1,080 guests.
Serenity accommodations, 548 in all, reflect more size and choice with 85 percent of
all outside staterooms and suites with private verandas. On a deck and a half, 100
Penthouse accommodations (56 percent more than sister Crystal Symphony) include four,
1,345 square-foot Crystal Penthouses. Serenity nearly doubles the number of Penthouse
Suites (32 vs. 18 on Crystal Symphony), and has more Penthouses (64 vs. 44 on Crystal Symphony).
Crystal Serenity’s entirely new category, the Penthouse Stateroom With Verandah,
increases butler service by 300 percent over sister ships. There are also 366 outside
staterooms with verandah, 80 outside staterooms with large picture windows, and eight
wheelchair accessible staterooms and penthouses.
Spacious sitting area, large closet with shoe rack, showers, tubs, double sinks and phone
in bath, 14-channel remote control color TV and DVD, personal safe, phone with private
voice mail/automated wake-up calls, refrigerators with mini-bars, make-up mirror and
24-hour room service. Penthouses, in addition, have butler service, binoculars, slippers,
Riedel glassware, personalized stationery, welcome champagne and fully-stocked complimentary
in-room bar, flat screen television, walk-in closets, and more.
Kid & Teen Stuff
Fantasia is the main venue for the supervised Junior Activities Program, while Waves
offers a teen center/video arcade. Babysitting is available. On holiday cruises and
selected sailings, Junior Activities Program Directors supervise additional fun, tiered
for ages 3 to 7, 8 to 12, and 13 to 17. Parents must sign waivers for children under
six months to board.
While Harmony and Symphony have two alternative specialty restaurants, Crystal Serenity
has three: Prego, offering a “Valentino at Prego” menu alongside its own,
featuring cuisine and wine of Los Angeles’ Valentino restaurant; Silk Road, an elegant
pan-Asian restaurant, and (for the first time) The Sushi Bar, with Nobu Matsuhisa selections.
Also among five evening venues are the main Crystal Dining Room and an indoor/outdoor poolside
area for casual meals. Additions to daytime dining on Serenity include Tastes, a permanent hot
food counter aft of the ship’s second pool offers international fare, as well as themed
luncheon buffets and casual evening dining. Also awaiting are The Bistro, the popular
European-inspired coffee and wine bar, for snacks, the country-club style Lido Café
for breakfast and lunch, the Trident Bar & Grill for casual poolside lunches through the
afternoon, and Scoops Ice Cream Bar, in addition to 24-hour complimentary room service.
Sports / Health / Fitness
The 8,200-plus square foot Crystal Spa, designed to principles of Feng Shui, is 60 percent
larger than spas aboard Harmony and Symphony, with more treatment rooms, a larger
Fitness Center and separate Weights Room/Aerobics Studio for high/low impact classes,
including complimentary yoga and Pilates instruction. Popular Wimbledon Court has a second
paddle tennis court on Crystal Serenity. Seahorse Pool, an outdoor lap pool, is flanked by two
outdoor Jacuzzis and the indoor/outdoor Neptune Pool is covered by a magrodome roof. A full,
exterior Promenade Deck accommodates walkers and joggers, and a Sports Deck has a golf
driving range for complimentary instruction by PGA pros, a shuffleboard court and table tennis area.
Crystal Serenity assures opportunity for rich entertainment, social, and learning experiences.
Galaxy Lounge, the venue for production shows, features improved sight lines and upgraded
sound and lighting. The Stardust Club, a second cabaret lounge, hosts dance classes and wine
tastings by day. The Palm Court/Sunset Bar, a signature top deck lounge for afternoon tea,
has floor-to-ceiling 180° panoramic windows and extensions with views of the glass-enclosed
bridge wings one deck below. The Studio hosts creative, educational classes and The Vintage
Room is a classic boardroom with wine cellar. Caesars Palace at Sea Casino offers one of the
largest luxury casinos afloat. Avenue Saloon has a “clubby” atmosphere, and
Connoisseur Club, a refined cigar lounge, has a private club atmosphere. Also aboard are Pulse
disco and nightclub and Hollywood Theatre cinema and conference center with theater seating
for movies, lectures and religious services.
A trained physician and medical staff are on call 24 hours.