Crystal Serenity

Any Cruise, Anywhere, Any Time

Crystal Serenity

Reviewed by: Michael Davis-Smith

Date: 13 January 2019

Cruise line and ship: Crystal Serenity

Itinerary: Mexican Riviera from LA to LA

Passenger capacity: Only 980 – a low number for a ship of this size so the result is spaciousness. There are 655 crew so the guest-crew ratio is excellent too.

Year built: 2002 (refurbished 2018)

Size of the ship: 68,870 Gross Tonnage / 250 metres long

Where the ship cruises: 115 voyages exploring various parts of the world

Currency onboard: USD

Main features/highlights: Outstanding food, 6-star service, ridiculously beautiful public areas, entertainment all class and something for everyone.

Most suited to: 60+ year olds but everyone should experience this for pure indulgence.

Atmosphere: Guests look to relax and unwind in true style. There isn’t a party atmosphere onboard.  The Avenue Salon is the main late night attraction as well as Pulse nightclub.

Encounters with service staff: Exceptional. I don’t think there is another word in English that can give as much credit as is deserved. They are professional yet familiar without being over-the-top.

Staterooms: The cabins are spacious with really comfortable queen beds that can split into twins. The bathrooms are large with a hair-dryer. The room has a safe, bathrobes, a sofa and a desk. The mini-fridge contains complimentary water (still and sparkling). If you prefer to stock your fridge with alcohol, that is also available on request. 

Entertainment: I met many of the cast. They were extremely pleasant and always willing to give up their time, even after a strenuous performance. The Crystal shows were thrilling – always entertaining with loads of variety and genres. When the Crystal team were not performing, there were guest performers brought onboard – the solo organist, Hector Olivera, was spellbinding.

Dining: The specialty sushi restaurant, Umi Uma, showcases the inventive Japanese-Peruvian cuisine of masterchef, Nobuyuki Matsuhisa. The experience blew me away.  The talk of the ship was their lobster tempura. You need to indulge at least two servings! Everything else on the Umi Uma menu is a wonderful dream.  It’s complimentary for one visit each 7-night cruise. Being on a 14-night cruise, I was entitled to two visits. However, that wasn’t enough and I paid the additional (unbelievably reasonable $US30pp) for a third visit. This is what food must be like in heaven.  

Prego, the other speciality restaurant (Italian fare), was also very nice. Waterside – the main dining area – was innovative with fellow passengers always hovering out the front to view the daily lunch and dinner menus. Silk (now complimentary), offers traditional Chinese comfort food, adding variety with dumplings and a few other yum Asian dishes.  Trident (from juicy ordinary burgers to salmon burgers, tuna melts, hotdogs and fries/sweet potato fries) was always a reminder that Americans like the comforts of home food. Ice cream was hosted by Ben & Jerry’s, I think they could do better such as Connoisseurs from Australia!

Activities:  I could not keep up to the program – there was always so much to do.  I particularly enjoyed the daily afternoon tea extravaganza – it’s an eloquent, must-do. The staff dressed in tails and it was an indulgent pleasure I will always remember at 3.30pm wherever I am in the world

In terms of shore excursions, we decided on taking the whale shark experience and it was incredible to share the waters with these mammoth creatures. We arranged our own Los Cabos catamaran experience and loved it.  It is at your own discretion to arrange excursions onboard or separately. Most passengers, I would say, thought it easier to stick to the ship arranged tours – I heard mostly good feedback from my fellow guests.

Family facilities:  There are kids clubs but on my cruise, there were only about six children amongst 700 passengers.

Inclusions: Fares include fine wines, champagne, premiums spirits, gratuities, unlimited Wi-Fi and 24-hour room service.

Exclusions: Shore excursions, all the superior branded gift shops and some vintage level spirits and bottled wines.

Self-service laundry: Available on each floor – free and plentiful with two ironing boards.  They even had a TV to pass the time.

Insider tips: US plugs.  In terms of dress codes, there are three formal nights on a 14-night cruise. I like to dress up so this didn’t bother me.  Most guests dressed stunningly with diamonds, pearls and gorgeous dresses and suits.

Uniqueness: If you haven’t been on Crystal, you are missing a lifetime opportunity to be spoilt beyond compare. I so want to return and will do so. Think lobster fountains, caviar, fabulous entertainment, perfect service, a beautiful stateroom and did I mention Umi Uma? – my palate is still in heaven! Great memories.

 

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Crystal Serenity

Reviewed by: Michael Davis-Smith

Date: 13 January 2019

Cruise line and ship: Crystal Serenity

Itinerary: Mexican Riviera from LA to LA

Passenger capacity: Only 980 – a low number for a ship of this size so the result is spaciousness. There are 655 crew so the guest-crew ratio is excellent too.

Year built: 2002 (refurbished 2018)

Size of the ship: 68,870 Gross Tonnage / 250 metres long

Where the ship cruises: 115 voyages exploring various parts of the world

Currency onboard: USD

Main features/highlights: Outstanding food, 6-star service, ridiculously beautiful public areas, entertainment all class and something for everyone.

Most suited to: 60+ year olds but everyone should experience this for pure indulgence.

Atmosphere: Guests look to relax and unwind in true style. There isn’t a party atmosphere onboard.  The Avenue Salon is the main late night attraction as well as Pulse nightclub.

Encounters with service staff: Exceptional. I don’t think there is another word in English that can give as much credit as is deserved. They are professional yet familiar without being over-the-top.

Staterooms: The cabins are spacious with really comfortable queen beds that can split into twins. The bathrooms are large with a hair-dryer. The room has a safe, bathrobes, a sofa and a desk. The mini-fridge contains complimentary water (still and sparkling). If you prefer to stock your fridge with alcohol, that is also available on request. 

Entertainment: I met many of the cast. They were extremely pleasant and always willing to give up their time, even after a strenuous performance. The Crystal shows were thrilling – always entertaining with loads of variety and genres. When the Crystal team were not performing, there were guest performers brought onboard – the solo organist, Hector Olivera, was spellbinding.

Dining: The specialty sushi restaurant, Umi Uma, showcases the inventive Japanese-Peruvian cuisine of masterchef, Nobuyuki Matsuhisa. The experience blew me away.  The talk of the ship was their lobster tempura. You need to indulge at least two servings! Everything else on the Umi Uma menu is a wonderful dream.  It’s complimentary for one visit each 7-night cruise. Being on a 14-night cruise, I was entitled to two visits. However, that wasn’t enough and I paid the additional (unbelievably reasonable $US30pp) for a third visit. This is what food must be like in heaven.  

Prego, the other speciality restaurant (Italian fare), was also very nice. Waterside – the main dining area – was innovative with fellow passengers always hovering out the front to view the daily lunch and dinner menus. Silk (now complimentary), offers traditional Chinese comfort food, adding variety with dumplings and a few other yum Asian dishes.  Trident (from juicy ordinary burgers to salmon burgers, tuna melts, hotdogs and fries/sweet potato fries) was always a reminder that Americans like the comforts of home food. Ice cream was hosted by Ben & Jerry’s, I think they could do better such as Connoisseurs from Australia!

Activities:  I could not keep up to the program – there was always so much to do.  I particularly enjoyed the daily afternoon tea extravaganza – it’s an eloquent, must-do. The staff dressed in tails and it was an indulgent pleasure I will always remember at 3.30pm wherever I am in the world

In terms of shore excursions, we decided on taking the whale shark experience and it was incredible to share the waters with these mammoth creatures. We arranged our own Los Cabos catamaran experience and loved it.  It is at your own discretion to arrange excursions onboard or separately. Most passengers, I would say, thought it easier to stick to the ship arranged tours – I heard mostly good feedback from my fellow guests.

Family facilities:  There are kids clubs but on my cruise, there were only about six children amongst 700 passengers.

Inclusions: Fares include fine wines, champagne, premiums spirits, gratuities, unlimited Wi-Fi and 24-hour room service.

Exclusions: Shore excursions, all the superior branded gift shops and some vintage level spirits and bottled wines.

Self-service laundry: Available on each floor – free and plentiful with two ironing boards.  They even had a TV to pass the time.

Insider tips: US plugs.  In terms of dress codes, there are three formal nights on a 14-night cruise. I like to dress up so this didn’t bother me.  Most guests dressed stunningly with diamonds, pearls and gorgeous dresses and suits.

Uniqueness: If you haven’t been on Crystal, you are missing a lifetime opportunity to be spoilt beyond compare. I so want to return and will do so. Think lobster fountains, caviar, fabulous entertainment, perfect service, a beautiful stateroom and did I mention Umi Uma? – my palate is still in heaven! Great memories.

 

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