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4 Crystal Serenity Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Europe - British Isles & Western

I choose this because it featured a seminar I wanted to participate in and because of its ports of call (especially Gibraltar). When we started planning our excursions about 3 months prior to departure, the expansive Gibraltar tour was ... Read More
I choose this because it featured a seminar I wanted to participate in and because of its ports of call (especially Gibraltar). When we started planning our excursions about 3 months prior to departure, the expansive Gibraltar tour was waitlisted and never re-opened. I find that to be unforgiveable and unforgettable. But we booked a private tour through Viator and it was the best tour of our trip, and less than half the cost of a lesser quality ship excursion. While many will like the food and dinner requirements (specific time reservations, more formal dressing and very formal on all sea days), we take cruises to experience the ports of call, not to have formal dining experience. So, for us, this is not a positive. Further, we thought the "Tastes" specialty restaurant was way over-rated: marginal food and served in a pool cabana setting which was not a very good atmosphere. Getting on and off were very good experiences. Same for access to excursions; and the free water bottles on the tour buses was very welcome and not standard with our cruises. So pick carefully....if you want to focus on dining, go for it; if you want to focus on ports of call, I would choose another, less expensive alternative. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I have provided a star system with five being the highest as part of this writeup. SUMMARY *****+ After having sailed 160+ days on Crystal Serenity on our most recent adventure, we chose this 14 day Dover Round Trip cruise because of ... Read More
I have provided a star system with five being the highest as part of this writeup. SUMMARY *****+ After having sailed 160+ days on Crystal Serenity on our most recent adventure, we chose this 14 day Dover Round Trip cruise because of its itinerary and, in particular, because of its stop at Liverpool. This is a major birthday milestone year for me and although my actual birthday was not on this cruise, we selected this cruise because of my love of The Beatles. The itinerary was great in spite of missing four ports due to the weather. In lieu of the missed ports, we stopped at one replacement port, had an extra day in Belfast, and picked up two additional sea days, which are always very special due to all of the onboard activities. We especially enjoyed Liverpool, return visits to both Dublin and Belfast and stops at some small towns along the way. We had a wonderful time on board Serenity. Although the ship was relatively full, it never seemed crowded and most venues, including dinner at night, didn’t have the noise levels that sometimes one can experience on a full cruise. The cuisine, service, entertainment, enrichment were outstanding as was the attention to detail and we were so very please with our Crystal Private Adventure Tour in Dublin. EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION *****+ Embarkation was a breeze as we disembarkation. On disembarkation day, since we were to stay overnight at a hotel at London Heathrow we asked if we could be one of the last ones off the ship at the time we arranged for our private transfer via the concierge and they were easily able to accommodate that request. We also booked luggage concierge shortly after we boarded Serenity so that we could send home all of our large bags. The good news is that since customs was not being done at the port, the Chief Concierge was able to turn our luggage over to the Luggage Concierge Representative so we never had to even touch our luggage. We were met by the Concierge at the designated time and were assisted to the vehicle by both the Concierge and the Chief Concierge. ENTERTAINMENT ============== *****+ There was a nice variety of entertainment on board Serenity including entertainers from land, in house entertainment including a couple of production shows, variety shows, and Billy Joel Concert. A highlight for us was the return of the Beatles Celebration group who performed so many songs from The Beatles the evening we left Liverpool. We loved it so much we went to both shows and danced to the last several songs. ENRICHMENT ***** Given that this was a very port intensive cruise there was still a good deal of enrichment with portions of the program held in the afternoon rather than the morning to accommodate those on tour and sufficient speakers on board that when we picked up the two additional sea days more lectures were spontaneously added to the program. CUISINE/WINE ***** The Cuisine continues to be one of the strong points of Crystal Cruises in terms of variety, taste and presentation. We continue to enjoy the additional choices in the Crystal Dining Room resulting from the introduction of the Modern Cuisine Menu in May of 2014, and the variety of cuisine between the Prego Italian Restaurant, the Silk Road Japanese Restaurant and Tastes featuring tapa like items from around the world. We continue to enjoy the inclusive wine. There is a wide variety of wines that are part of the program and new wines are brought on board based on where the ship is sailing. We enjoyed some of the new wines brought on board from France and also one of the new California Wines. Crystal also has some wines of their own brand and they continue to evolve and have been enhanced with some recent wines that have been brought on board. FITNESS CENTER ***** We make use of the Fitness Center throughout the cruise and I was very pleased at the number of indoor cycling classes that were offered given that this was a port intensive. The Fitness Instructors were relatively new to Crystal with one joining in mid-June and the other one at the beginning of this voyage but both were great instructors, very personable, and one would think they have been on Crystal ships for a few years. SHORE EXCURSIONS *****+ We only took one tour which was a Crystal Cruises Private Adventure Tour in Dublin. The tour was exceptional and although we had been to Dublin many times, this tour allowed us to go to some places that we have never visited before and also to get some behind the scenes tours of area of venues that we had been to before but are not accessible to the general public. The tour was very special. Also, complements to the Shore Excursion team and their tour operators for quickly adding tours to the replacement port and for the second day in Belfast in very short order. ACCOMODATION ***** We stayed in the same room category that we normally stay in with the only difference that the room was in the same location where we normally stay but it was on the other side of the ship. Room is perfect for us and complements to our stewardess for being so very responsive. It was the first time she had been our stewardess and she was great. During the world cruise she was on another deck so this is a promotion for her. INETRNET**** The Internet experience at sea can vary quite a bit and is even trickier for those lines such a Crystal that sail the world. For example, for those cruise lines that sail the Caribbean on regular cruises that repeat cruise after cruise there is now new options such as lower flying satellites that have been deployed in recent years that allow for very quick internet. That is not possible for the itineraries that Crystal sails. Other factors that come into play are where the ship is sailing relative to the satellite footprint, equipment issues either on the ship, at the satellite station on land or even with the satellite, or other factors such as handoffs between satellites and interference from even military installations on land. On top of this are other factors including your location on the deck and even interference from fire doors on each passenger deck. Also the reality is that newer ships have the advantage of being built with the latest technology in mind. Finally, even ones own devices come into play as some devices are quite a bit faster than others, some internet browsers are faster too and how one operates their system including how they upload photos all is a factor in ones individual experience. On this particular voyage we experienced very good to excellent internet experience except for two days where there were some issue which is why I gave this category three stars. On the majority of the days I would have given a four star/four star+ rating. DISEMBARKING THE SHIP IN PORT *** I would have given it a five but there was one port where we had some delays and similar to a couple of delays during the world cruise I think that the process could be enhanced with either some additional announcements keeping everyone up to date on the situation and/or more presence by an officer or two when long lines are encountered. In this case it was not at a tender port but rather at a port where we were docked. SERVICE *****++ I thought I would save the best for last. The Crystal Crew continues to amaze us as they always have. As is the case on land, relationships do take time to develop so our experiences are based on sailing Crystal many times with so many sailings on Crystal Serenity. For us, this sailing like our other sailings is like returning home as the crew has become our extended family. We can’t say enough about their professionalism, attention to detail and their kindness. To me the crew is like the software of IT related products. In other words you can have the best and most advanced hardware but without the software, the devises will not work well. Similarly, at sea you can have the most advanced and newest ships but without a strong crew the experience will be lacking. In my opinion, Crystal has the best crew of any cruise line we have ever sailed and one, if not the major reason we keep returning back to Crystal for almost all of our cruises. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We chose this itinerary because it was the golf theme (my husband's passion) and he did have a wonderful experience golfing at 3 great courses. We spent 5 days in Oxford and 2 in London before we embarked. Oxford was fantastic. ... Read More
We chose this itinerary because it was the golf theme (my husband's passion) and he did have a wonderful experience golfing at 3 great courses. We spent 5 days in Oxford and 2 in London before we embarked. Oxford was fantastic. Would return in a heartbeat. We loved the cruise ship very much and especially all the other passengers. All were fun and interesting. Unfortunately because of weather we were unable to dock in 4 scheduled ports and spent many more days at sea than we were supposed to. This has its good and bad points. We stayed in a veranda cabin on the 8th deck close to the elevator and laundry room. Loved our cabin and the location. Absolutely adored all meals. The food was simply unbelievable and I am very picky. Our meals at Silk Road were unforgettable. Service is outstanding everywhere at all venues. We also had many meals at Tastes, the outdoor dining area located near the Trident Grill. I asked to be able to accompany my husband on his golf outing at Glen Eagles and because of a cancellation, I got go along, take photos and was charged absolutely nothing. What an amazing perk. All in all, I'd say Crystal is very classy without being stuffy and intimidating. Can't wait for our next adventure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our fourth/fifth Crystal Cruise (this was a back to back cruise) sailing from and back to Dover, so no flying. Do wish that Crystal would sail south from the UK without flying. Embarkation at Dover was very smooth. Once onboard ... Read More
This was our fourth/fifth Crystal Cruise (this was a back to back cruise) sailing from and back to Dover, so no flying. Do wish that Crystal would sail south from the UK without flying. Embarkation at Dover was very smooth. Once onboard our picture was taken and we were issued with our cabin cards. We then went up to the Bistro, on of our favourite places, for champagne and a light lunch. Our stateroom was available early afternoon and it was just as expected, with everything one could want. We were familiar with the ship so knew our way around. It is very well maintained. I read some reviews saying since Crystal had gone all inclusive that service had deteriorated, well, we didn't experience any drop in service in any department. The service in the restaurant was superb as was the food, and the choice of wine was more than adequate. Prego was wonderful too. We never experienced a lowering of service anywhere. We were always greeted with a smile and welcome from all of the crew - officers included! There were two things which disappointed us. The first was the evening entertainment. We always look forward to, and go to, the shows. It is obvious to us (and many others) that Crystal is trying to attract a younger guest. We didn't enjoy any of the production shows as we didn't recognise hardly any of the songs - what happened to Cole, Million Dollar Musicals etc, all shows with numbers we are familiar with. Perhaps the content of the shows will be more suitable in ten years time when the younger guest Crystal is hoping for would have grown up with them. Also we don't like the show to be before dinner - who wants to go to bed on a full stomach! We were blessed with good weather for the entire cruise with just a little drizzle first thing in the morning on a couple of days. The shore excursions, although a bit pricey, were well organised. Disembarkation was very well organised and we were very sad to be leaving the ship. If it wasn't for the entertainment it would be 5+ all the way. Will we be booking another - you bet! Read Less
Sail Date August 2013

Top Crystal Serenity Itineraries

Crystal Serenity Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 5.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.3
Family 4.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 5.0 4.2
Service 4.5 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 5.0 4.1

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