We joined Crystal Serenity in beautiful Barcelona, for a favourite cruise, the leaisurely Transatlantic to Miami. We embarked with Crystal's minimum fuss or delay, after luggage was whisked away, and once on board, were quickly helped with our hand luggage and enjoying a delightful al fresco lunch and chilled champagne.
We admired the elegant makeover of the Lido casual cafe, and the charming green living wall and large olive trees decorating the Tastes grill area, now the venue for Tapas style evening dining, under the lit up olives trees,
Our Deck 8 cabin was ready by 2pm, som wen quickly unpacked, met our charming stewardess and enjoyed the city views from the balcony.
Cabins on Serenity are fairly small, but with a well planned layout, comfortably furnished in serene taupe and grey shades , have ample storage space and a lovely marble bathroom . Our small dislikes are the medicinal scented Aveda toiletries, and wardrobe alongside the bed.
We looked over the featured programme for this Big Band themed cruise, and were delighted to discover that the band was to play 2 sets each night, and an excellent show programme and featured artists were going to be on board to entertain guests each evening. We particularly enjoyed the terrific Elton John tribute show, and the guest classical musicians. It was a. delight to see so many dance hosts , happy to dance with ladies who cared to dance, and also the Crystal initiative in having dance hostesses to partner gentlemen. On repositioning cruises, Crystal offer an excellent programme of dance tuition, delivered at 2 skill levels by well qualified and enthusiastic teachers.
Additionally, we were to have excellent lectures and creative activities to keep us entertained and as busy as we cared to be. We both thoroughly enjoyed the quality art and golf tuition, delivered with charm and skill by featured tutors. Crystal Serenity has a superb library with a wide book selection for those quiet moments enjoying the sun, on the comfortable sun deck loungers.
Serenity dining was superb each evening, whether in the lovely main dining room , with its varied menus, beautifully presented food and attentive service, or n the 2 speciality restaurants, Mediterranean Prefo and oriental Silk Road, a Nobu dining experience, with added sushi bar, whose chef prepared fresh delights as diners watched. Both the speciality restaurants require reservation and guests are limited as to the number of times they may dine there, so that all can enjoy these excellent . We did not try dining in Tastes , but it looked charming , intimate and fun.
Daily lunch for us was always in the outdoor area of the lovely Lido, with a superb daily choice and delightful mini desserts to tempt. Waiters quickly offered drinks and were happy to bring preferred wines , even if they were not the daily selection. In fact, we found the wine service to be the best we have had on any cruise line, with knowledgeable sommeliers, helpful waiters, and a superb selection on offer.
A lovely treat on Crystal Serenity was a gorgeous Mozart aftenoon tea, with costumes servers, a string quartet playing , and a fantastic pastry and cake display that would break any diet resolutions!
As we prefer to breakfast in cabin, we enjoyed the full breakfast service available, served hot and promptly by cheerful room service staff.
When we finally reached Miami, after 2 port stops in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and busy St Maarten, we were sad to leave such a lovely ship, and return to reality after such a superb pampering, sybaritic experience.
We feel that a Crystal ship provides a wonderful quality cruise , in elegant , stylish surroundings with superb service levels , provided by well trained, motivated and charming staff.