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275 Crystal Serenity Cruise Reviews

Wanted a smaller ship - had cruised on Azamara last year and liked the small ship experience. Very pleased with the Crystal experience - food and service were outstanding. So happy we made dinner reservations months in advance - we would ... Read More
Wanted a smaller ship - had cruised on Azamara last year and liked the small ship experience. Very pleased with the Crystal experience - food and service were outstanding. So happy we made dinner reservations months in advance - we would not have been happy if we had to wait on line for the 6:30 (too early) or 8:30 (too late) seating. We were able to get reservations for 7PM - do it early! The only snafu was the Meet and Mingle get together - the invitations were sent to our cabins, but when we all arrived at the designated meeting place, the staff was totally unaware of any get together. They did reschedule for another night, but since that date was near the end of our cruise - we did not attend. Our cabin was 8127 - near the elevators, but we never heard any noise from them - the stateroom was extremely quiet. This verandah cabin was advertised as "slightly obstructed view" - not at all a problem - you had to look down off of your verandah to see the obstruction. Another plus - we had our own somewhat private deck just down the hall at the rear of the ship - made it easy to run from port to starboard when we were cruising the glaciers. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Crystal continue to be my preferred cruise line but there are plenty others nearly as good - and better - in some areas. The big gripe with Crystal has always been the size of their staterooms. I see they are finally addressing that in a ... Read More
Crystal continue to be my preferred cruise line but there are plenty others nearly as good - and better - in some areas. The big gripe with Crystal has always been the size of their staterooms. I see they are finally addressing that in a limited way by increasing the number of penthouses and penthouse suites but, for many, its too little too late. Personally I don't mind the trade off of smaller staterooms for so many large and well thought out public spaces. This cruise was pretty well sold out (we were lucky enough to get an upgrade of several categories from a picture window room to one with a veranda on deck 9) yet the ship never seemed crowded, we never had to queue for anything, the feeling of gracious spaciousness sets this ship apart in my view. Embarkation was a breeze, the greeting was warm and our room was ready pretty well after lunch. We ate at all the eating venues and the quality was consistently good - and sometimes outstanding. The matching wines at dinner were sometimes ordinary but its easy enough to request something different. One thing I noticed in particular (this was my 12th cruise with Crystal) was the quality of the evening entertainment. It has improved markedly from what used to look like amateur high school productions, the Billy Joel tribute show was again outstanding, I'm still not sure about the Illuminate light show, impressive enough in the first 5 minutes and then you are stuck in the dark for another 25 minutes for much of the same thing. I just don't think it matches the type of passenger which Crystal attracts. The staff were consistently friendly and helpful, I was remembered by several of them which I think is always a nice touch. We did a Crystal excursion in each port, they were all overpriced for what they were but pleasant enough. This is an area they could do better in although I like the fact they never completely fill the buses so there's room to spare always. This cruise was originally intended to stop at Monterey, they quietly cancelled that without advising anyone and added another day onto San Francisco - so we ended up being there two nights - great city but a bit lazy on their part. The call to Astoria was a waste of time, we went to a cooking demonstration which was interesting enough but there was clearly very little to do there. So overall a pretty good experience, I am booked again next February on Symphony which will be after their dry dock, looking forward to seeing the improvements. On a separate subject, no surprise to see their recent announcement that the "air cruise" initiative has been cancelled before it even got off the ground. Blind Freddie could see this was never going to fly. "Redeploying" it to charter work is just about saving face. As many others have mentioned, their crazy expansion plans under the new CEO will only lead to tears. They need to stick to their core business, in my humble opinion. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise because it went to places we liked a couple we had not been to for a long time (Santa Barbara & Seattle). We loved the ports we visited & were very impressed with the bus service when the port was a distance ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to places we liked a couple we had not been to for a long time (Santa Barbara & Seattle). We loved the ports we visited & were very impressed with the bus service when the port was a distance from the city. Food was very good, but could use improvement in desserts & breads. We especially enjoyed eating in Tastes. The entertainment far excelled anything we have had on a cruise ship. We were fortunate that there was a jazz tour group on board who brought 20 jazz musicians with them so in addition to the great entertainment provided by Crystal we were able to enjoy the jazz musicians, There was entertainment all over the ship in the evening & into the night. This cruise only at one sea day & that was filled with lecturers, trivia, entertainment, etc. (couldn't do it all). The hot-stone massage I got on the ship was excellent, I was disappointed in the spa as a whole (not very large & massage rooms quite "cozy"). It would be helpful to have known the times of the shows in the Galaxy Lounge in advance, since we had a 7:30 dinner reservation we missed shows that were shown only once at 8:00. The standard veranda cabin is "cozy". It was difficult to get to the closet area; however, the bathroom was nice size. We were surprised at the number of children on the ship & some of them were a bit disruptive. When we have traveled on "upscale" ships, we have rarely seen children. We would recommend this cruise line to anyone who wants a smaller ship with very good service & dining. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was out third Crystal cruise and probably our last for a while . While the service and food were top notch , the average age of our fellow cruisers had to be well in the 80's . I'm not young by any stretch , 59 . But ... Read More
This was out third Crystal cruise and probably our last for a while . While the service and food were top notch , the average age of our fellow cruisers had to be well in the 80's . I'm not young by any stretch , 59 . But anywhere we went walkers , canes , rascals, wheelchairs . I'm sorry but I want to be with someone closer to my demographic. Perhaps Crystal can have themed cruises catering to younger people , eg: classic rocker or jazz performers. Maybe a yoga theme . They are going to need to attract younger people , because soon their client base wont be able to travel or just wont be here any longer . Sorry if this seems cruel and I realize and hope that one day I will be this old man that everyone complains about . Its hard to give up all the great things crystal has to offer , but until I get older I just may have to . Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
As often as we have sailed Crystal Cruises we can honestly say that this entire trip has exceeded our expectations. ​There were several firsts for us including having the grandchildren with us, renewing our wedding vows, and the ... Read More
As often as we have sailed Crystal Cruises we can honestly say that this entire trip has exceeded our expectations. ​There were several firsts for us including having the grandchildren with us, renewing our wedding vows, and the accommodations we had. In the end, the most important component of the trip was being together for ten days with our entire family. The grand children were exceptional. They are children and from-time-to-time they each had their moments but they got over them quickly and did great. We have made many memories which will last a lifetime. Embarkation: Embarkation was both timely and very orderly. We were fortunate that disembarkation of guests from the prior cruise went as well as it did. Special Arrangements - Wedding Renewal Ceremony: We have celebrated special occasions on board in the past such as a 25th wedding anniversary, a birthday and a 60th milestone birthday but this was the first time we made arrangements ahead of time with on board guest services for something like this which was a wedding renewal ceremony. The ceremony and the reception far exceeded our expectations and we appreciate all of the details that went into it. We had a choice of a couple of different packages. We also are very thankful to the Captain r for officiating the ceremony and for so many officers to be there. The Ship: Serenity is fourteen years old. Although not a new vessel it is extremely well maintained and has gone through several changes since it was first launched in 2003. It will receive another makeover in late 2018 when several rooms on Deck 10 will become suites and similar in size to Penthouses and Penthouse Suites. Like a home, everyone has their opinions on what area should be makeover. One area that is not often discussed would be to update the Crystal Cove Lounge recognizing that this is often the first area that most people see on their first visit to the ship and we think first impressions are helpful. The ship is well maintained. Like any ship or hotel even ones that are a couple of years old there are some items where some additional maintenance is needed and likely is already scheduled. We have sailed smaller and larger ships and believe that size does change the overall experience including what can be offered and even the overall intimacy. For us the size of Serenity is perfect for long voyages as it allows a lot of enrichment programs and a diverse set of entertainment to be offered simultaneously. It also provides other amenities that we appreciate including a fitness center with lots of equipment, the two paddle tennis courts and a large wrap-around promenade deck. Although no children's programs were offered on this voyage, one will see programs on many of the summer cruise and during holidays when many children are off from school. Accommodations: In addition to our room, the family was in three rooms. The maximum number of guests in a room is limited to three so we placed Jennifer and Gui in separate rooms with one child in each room. We considered connecting rooms. However, we went with these rooms which did not connect because the were mid-ship. There are some rooms that accommodate three people because they have a pullout couch. We were unsure whether or not Jackson would require a crib by the time we sailed so we took one of these rooms for Eric and family. It was located right between Jennifer and Gui's rooms. We ended up going with cribs for Emma and Jackson and our children said they worked out well as they were sturdy and a really good size for each of the children. If a family of three wants to spend a lot of time in a standard room the downside might be its size. We often take the smallest of the three suites on Serenity with the exception of a few times when we went with the next largest size and that is the room we initially booked. A few months ago we thought that getting the largest of the suites would add to this voyage as it would provide lots more space for getting together with the family for pre-dinner canapés and drinks, enjoying dinners together and having the wedding renewal vow and reception. The room itself did exceed our expectations. Once inside the room it has the look and feel of being in an apartment/condominium. It has several unique features from the ceiling which looks like a ceiling you find on land and not on a ship and the master bathroom and even the shower. Early the nicest shower we have ever used on any ship or any hotel. We made good use of the dining room table which could be expanded to sit six people and sweeten the dining room table and the coffee table we could easily accommodate the family for dinner and/or canapés/drinks. Laundry Rooms: We normally don't cover these facilities but wanted to take a moment to do just that. A few years ago Crystal began to replace laundry machine and dryers on some of the decks including Deck 10 which we usually stay on. They were an improvement to the original machines but we thought that the washing machines had two drawbacks; one was that it didn't display the expected duration and should you want to speed it up or pause it to add something to the wash that was not possible. Deck 11 received a new version of the machines as it upgrade was not done for a few years and we thought these washing machines were better as they displayed the duration and when you checked back you saw the remaining time and they provide a lot of options. We also wanted to note that we find doing your own wash on Crystal ships to be easier then any other ship we have sailed on including other luxury lines. On the other luxury lines the rooms were very small and even if you favor in their ships are smaller they still were much smaller in comparison to Crystal laundry rooms and the actual machines are smaller as well. As a result we found that we brought more clothes on those cruises because to avoid doing the laundry for those reasons. This is not the case on Crystal Cruises where we can take less clothing knowing that we can do the laundry. The accommodations that we had for this cruise included pressing as they do for the other two suites categories. This accommodation included complimentary dry cleaning and laundry. We didn't send the laundry out for various reasons. One is that we don't want to put workout clothes in laundry bags due to the moisture on the clothes and prefer to wash them frequently ourselves and there are some items that we wash that we do not place in the dryer and hang up on plastic hangers we bring from home in the bathroom. This would have left us with only a few items to have laundered and it was just as easy to do them ourselves with the other items. Cuisine The food was as good if not better then ever. The dining room menus were diverse and offered many choices each evening and we thought portion size was terrific. This extended beyond the Crystal Dining Room to other areas where we ate including the Lido Cafe at lunchtime. Although we didn't eat at Silk Road (our children and spouses did) we thoroughly enjoyed the food that we ordered in from that restaurant as we did the Prego Italian Restaurant. In the case of Prego we tried several items we had either never had or hadn't had in year and found thoroughly enjoy each one. We would like to thank the pastry team for creating three wonderful cakes for us and our family starting with the cake at our reception. Entertainment/ Enrichment: Since we had the grandchildren with us and we wanted to spend maximum time with them and the rest of the family we only went to the welcome on board show and to very little enrichment. With that said the entertainment offering continue to expand. Most nights offer two distinct shows or forms of entertainment and each evening live music is played by different musicians in a minimum of three different venues. There are other forms of entertainment including a movie shown two times in the evening and then a third time the following afternoon. The amount of enrichment offered is similar to what you would find on longer cruises. The challenge for the guest on a short cruise with no full sea days is finding time to experience it. Also on a short cruise there will be fewer lecturers and they don't work every day. Shore Excursions: We didn't take any excursions so we can't comment on the excursions for this voyage. Internet: The internet was up almost all of the time and speeds were mostly good. First couple of days seemed the fastest. Fitness Center: We continue to appreciate that the Fitness Center is open 24x7 which is not the case for most land based Fitness Centers nor most at sea. Some classes were offered each day. Keith was surprised that the indoor cycling classes were offered only at 4:00 PM rather then alternating them as they often have done in the past with one in the afternoon followed the next time in the morning. This is something that we will note on the customer survey. Children Sailing On A Luxury Cruise Line: Although there was no formal children's program on this sailing we found that Serenity worked very well for the children. They do have dedicated children's facilities and even without a junior activity director on-board for this sailing our family made use of the facility from time to time. The selection of children's DVD's was terrific. The children enjoyed the ship and sailing on a voyage with plenty of port stops worked out well for them. We can't say enough of how welcoming the Crystal crew was with the children going out of their way to make each of them feel special. We will never forget Head Waiter Augusto stopping by the dining room table to check on the children, Senior Waiter Lylian carrying Emma and showing her off to some of the other waiters, Butler Jijo finding M&M's for them and bringing other snacks to the room that he knew they would enjoy and the professionalism of the two baby sitters who watch the children the night we went to The Vintage Room. There was a children' menu in the dining room that provided a good selection of items for the children at dinner. Of course while we didn't do this one could special orders for them or find other things on the menu which they might enjoy. Vintage Room: We chose to have our own Vintage Room for the family so only the six adults dined one night. We worked with Head Sommelier Tilmar ahead of time to create an evening which would be special for us and most importantly for our children and their spouses. It truly was and everyone enjoyed it. It was fun and also provided a great learning experience for the family. We also wanted to mention flexibility. When we booked the Vintage Room we were unaware that our daughter in-law was pregnant. Once we found out we realized that she wouldn't be able to drink but knew she would still enjoy the experience which she did. There was one seafood item that we requested that for someone pregnant there might be a concern. Our son noticed it as soon as we sat down and we mentioned it to Tilmar and without a hesitation he quickly contacted the chef and a substitute item was made for our daughter in law when it was time for that course. Service: We often say that you can take the newest ship and with the wrong crew the experience could be a disaster. There is a unique culture at Crystal and it is instilled in the crew and translates to service that is delivered professionally at all levels while also being personable and not robot like. Even if this is your first cruise you will find that after a few days that some of the crew begin to learn your names and become familiar with you as you do with them. The bonds that more experienced Crystal Cruisers develop with the crew do not come from one voyage but like all bonds comes in time. For us given the amount of time we have sailed Crystal those bonds are strong and some members of the crew we have known for close to fifteen years. For us they are our Crystal family. The crew is one of the main reasons that our go to cruise lines is Crystal Cruises. As we have said in the past, we will sail on other cruise lines and have done just that based on itinerary. However, if the itinerary that Crystal offers in the time frame we want to sail is what we are looking for we will choose Crystal Cruises over the other lines. Each time we return we have that feeling of being home and enjoy being with our extended Crystal family. On this cruise we spent more time with our "own" family but on other cruises we do spend more time with our "extended" Crystal family. ​The crew was amazing with our own children, their spouses and the grandchildren. They helped out with the grandchildren at dinner and at other times. The stewardesses were terrific not only in our room but in the other three rooms. This was also true in other areas including reception, concierge, crystal society and on board bookings, our butler, the bar team, the waitstaff, the fitness center and in other areas of the ship including the officers and the entertainment/enrichment personnel. For either the entire cruise or a portion of the cruise there were several people from Crystal Cruises corporate office and we were glad to introduce them to our family. ​Collectively we have never experienced the professionalism, warmth and passion on any other cruise line or at any other hotel that comes close to what we have experienced on Crystal Cruises. That is not a knock against other companies because several do a nice job but collectively we have found Crystal works best for us in the levels of service that are offered and the bonding with the crew. Yes, familiarly helps and you don't make complete bonds on one cruise or even a handful of cruises. It's not different then making friendships on land. They develop overtime. Disembarkation: Disembarkation was very orderly. Since Keith had booked private vehicles with each family directly with Crystal Cruises all of this was coordinated by the concierge once we boarded Serenity. Each of the families received a letter from the concierge with our disembarkation package providing additional instruction including what time and location to meet for our private transfer. We were met at the designated time/location and escorted off the ship to the pier in Los Angeles. After collecting luggage, clearing immigration and customs each family was taken to their respective vehicle to the drive to the airport. We have made memories which will last a lifetime on this family get-away including an amazing cruise on Crystal Serenity. For us, Crystal cruises is the cruise line we enjoy the most. Keith Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We wanted to relax and enjoy the services on the ship.We wanted to do some wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley and were fortunate to hook up with another couple through a Cruise Critic posting and to arrange a private wine tour with ... Read More
We wanted to relax and enjoy the services on the ship.We wanted to do some wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley and were fortunate to hook up with another couple through a Cruise Critic posting and to arrange a private wine tour with Savoir Faire. As to the food we found the food in the main dinning room to be fine but not outstanding. The service was good but our tow female servers were inexperienced . The female wine steward was very attentive and kept our glasses full. However, we were never shown or asked if we wanted to see a wine list. We found the the first two courses in Prego to be excellent and the main courses to be poor. The service was average on the first night but excellent on the second when we ate with a couple who had cruised several times before on Crystal. The service in the Lido buffet was excellent and the food for breakfast was above average. The dinner at Tastes was unusual and good and the service was very good. Our room was small but adequate space for clothing for a short cruise and our attendant was excellent. Overall we found the service to be outstanding but everything else just average. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
A concise review here, we chose this cruise as just a nice one week getaway. I am a California native and my dear wife is just about, having lived here for the past 40 or so years. We have been to all of the port cities several times, so ... Read More
A concise review here, we chose this cruise as just a nice one week getaway. I am a California native and my dear wife is just about, having lived here for the past 40 or so years. We have been to all of the port cities several times, so for us, not too much to explore. We were basically taking this cruise to unwind, have some great food and drink and be treated in luxury. Crystal satisfied that need for us. In fact we have done this (or a very similar itinerary) on Crystal twice before. So we did no shore excursions, but did wander a bit at the port cities. We were upgraded from an Ocean View to a nice 9th floor Veranda. The stateroom was excellent as was our stateroom attendant (waitress). Food and Service were impeccable throughout. Prego was especially good this time and my wife was very impressed with the Mushroom Soup in a bread bowl. At Silk Road (Nobu's Joint), we ordered a ton of appetizers, the popular Black Cod and the Steak. Mushroom soup here as well was a treat. Overall very tasty, but apparently the same meal at Nobu's NYC restaurant would set us back $400. It was not $400 worth of food, but it was quite nice! The surprise here was TASTES! What a great concept and delivery. We ate there every other night other than the two aforementioned specialty restaurants. We also loved to snack at the Bistro. Good stuff in there. My wife loved the Casino! She actually won. I was neutral. Bingo was a bit lame and we did not care for the Afternoon Tea sandwiches. Those need improvement. The Mozart Tea was a bit more impressive though. Entertainment was good, but I do miss the String Quartet! The Piano players and the violinist were good, but a Quartet would have been quite nice. The show that played in the dark with flashing lights was quite an experience. Do see it! The price was right and the week was great. No complaints! Well done Crystal. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our second cruise on the Serenity and I would rate it very highly again, with a couple of areas for improvement. The food is consistently wonderful. Last October we thought that Prego was good, but not better than the dining ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Serenity and I would rate it very highly again, with a couple of areas for improvement. The food is consistently wonderful. Last October we thought that Prego was good, but not better than the dining room. This cruise we felt that the food was improved, with more selections that were different than what was served in the Main Dining Room. Silk Road was delicious again. The Main Dining Room and the Buffet were both impressive, as was room service. The second-to-last evening's Dover Sole meal was truly spectacular. Wait service was impeccable as always, with the exception of the second evening's dinner in MDR. Then, it was slow almost to the point of being ridiculous. I attribute this mainly to the fact that almost every seat was filled for the special lobster/chateaubriand dinner. They really do need to try to stagger people more on that evening. Our cabin attendant, Natasa, was very attentive. The room was always serviced at a convenient time, and extra items supplied quickly when requested. I loved our cabin, a veranda stateroom. Even though it is pretty small, it is well-designed and cozy. If only it were about six inches wider, it would be easier to get around the bed, and my hubby wouldn't keep banging into the waste can in the middle of the night. There is plenty of storage for a one-week cruise and huge amounts of space that we left unused in the bathroom. The one thing that disappoints sometimes on Crystal is the entertainment. We are 50-somethings, quite a bit younger than the average age on this ship. We loved the Billy Joel show. However some of the other entertainment seemed to be aimed squarely at the 80+ crowd. One night it was such a tired cliche presentation, almost like Lawrence Welk, that I walked out. The music that I enjoyed most from the last cruise, the Astoria Strings, were gone. Just the violinist remained, and she played in the Crystal Cove with the pianist Richard Pucci most nights. In fact Richard seemed to be the one remaining of my favorite acts from the last cruise. He is very talented and I could listen to him all night. The excellent lounge pianist in Avenue Saloon from our last cruise was also gone, replaced with another tired, hokey guy who talked constantly and played little of interest. If Crystal wants to bring in the 40 and 50-somethings they are going to have to revamp all this. The movies shown on board in the Hollywood Theater are also bizarre: titles I had largely never heard of. Yet they played new releases on the TV's in the stateroom. Why not in the Theater? Overall I enjoyed the cruise, a 7-day through California which was competitively priced. However I will be watching to see if there is more cost-cutting in the entertainment before I Take a longer cruise on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Good friends of ours convinced my wife and I to book this cruise two months before the sailing. I absolutely was so impressed and felt totally pampered by the team on the Serenity. All the fine staff aboard really do enjoy what they do ... Read More
Good friends of ours convinced my wife and I to book this cruise two months before the sailing. I absolutely was so impressed and felt totally pampered by the team on the Serenity. All the fine staff aboard really do enjoy what they do and go far above and beyond to insure a very high level of guest satisfaction. This was our 7th cruise after six in a row with Royal Caribbean......well Crystal is certainly a much different kind of company. I felt the "Crystal Touch" throughout....from the personal greetings at the start of each day right through to the evening turn down service! Highlights: personal touch everywhere on the ship fantastic food with many choices of dining real room service! prompt and high class. premium cocktails at the various wonderful lounges delivered with a smile and a most professional & personable service team. excursion process was the most organized that I have ever enjoyed! No long waits for anything! constant attention to detail and notifications to insure that nothing is missed and the guests are well informed about everything. anything asked of me was positively dealt with and it seems the guest is always right and gets the benefit of any doubt. Interactions with the staff were met with "it's our pleasure...when you need anything, just ask." Suggestions for improvements? Well my wife and I had to dig deep here.... 1. Galaxy theater seating: could use more angle so the folks in front don't block the view from behind. 2. would be nice if one could order food from the beverage servers on the pool deck. 3. Except for when the quartet band (and they were fantastic by the way) played on the pool deck, there was no music. Please allow background tunes on the pool deck speakers. I could go on and on with the highlights...suffice to say I would recommend a cruise aboard the Crystal Serenity for anyone who really enjoys the ship life. They seem to specialize in providing many venues, entertainment and much to do for those at sea days. Be prepared to be pampered and feel like you are among family! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We are still on the Serenity and having a fantastic time. We came across from NZ on the Queen Victoria in the Queens Grill to join the Serenity and there is no comparison to the two ships with the Serenity being so superior in every way . ... Read More
We are still on the Serenity and having a fantastic time. We came across from NZ on the Queen Victoria in the Queens Grill to join the Serenity and there is no comparison to the two ships with the Serenity being so superior in every way . The service and the staff throughout the Serenity are absolutely outstanding and the food in all the restaurants is beautifully presented and served hot and served with style. We ate in the MDR by reservation which worked perfectly with us always getting a table for two no matter what time we turned up and the wait time for meals was minimal. After having a suite on the Victoria we booked a standard window on the Serenity and found the room very light and very comfortable with beautiful linen and thick white towels. The window looking on to the promenade we thought would bother us but in fact it was perfectly fine and since the weather was very hot we wouldn't have used the balcony as we are not sun worshippers. The ship overall is beautifully maintained but the Palm Court lounge is very dated and lets the ship down compare to the Symphony which has been beautifully refurbished and looking very stylish. The age of the passengers were mixed and we are in our 50' s and found everyone friendly and very sociable ( I think the inclusive cocktails help). We have travelled previously on Crystal and were a little worried after reading some of the negative reviews on CC but our opinion is that Crystal is still the best value for money in the premium cruise lines and the staff are the best we have had and we have done in excess of 100 cruises so have something to compare them with. So go ahead and book your cruise and you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We'd been to most of the places this itinerary went, before and several were not even worth getting off the ship, so the ship was the main reason to go on this cruise. We just wanted to relax. Crystal Serenity did not disappoint! We ... Read More
We'd been to most of the places this itinerary went, before and several were not even worth getting off the ship, so the ship was the main reason to go on this cruise. We just wanted to relax. Crystal Serenity did not disappoint! We arrived in Barbados and jumped in a cab for the 20 minute ride to the pier. The Pier in Barbados is a crowded area and after a few moments we figured out where to go. Luggage was collected from us to be delivered to our cabin and we were shuttled to the actual ship. Upon arrival onboard, we checked in ( took like 5 mins--so fast) and were told ( even though it was only 1PM) that the cabins were available. So we went to our suite. WOW, is all I can say. What a way to spend 10 days. The Deluxe Penthouse was awash with light from not only the sliding door to the oversized balcony, but the window in the bedroom area as well. Huge Tub and a separate shower was a nice feature. Walk in closet and the entire thing was immaculately maintained by Themyo, our stewardess, who was AMAZING! Our Butler, Richard, always seemed rushed. At one point I asked how many suites he managed and he said 14 in total. Compared to our cruise on Silversea where the butler did all kinds of things for us without being asked ( noticed we needed shoes shined- Made a bookmark as I was using a boarding pass as a bookmark). We really didn't ask much of him other than one night we had a few friends we'd met aboard over and he brought some extra snacks and some Champagne. Most of our interactions were signing for things Wine/Strawberries sent to us. . We never had a meal in the suite nor sent out any laundry. We were pretty low maintenance. However, he was always in a hurry so I guess others were more demanding of his services. I'd suggest Crystal consider a few more butlers per deck, if this indeed is the norm. We ate all of the breakfast and Lunch meals at the beautifully renovated Lido dining area. It was spectacular. We found the food to be hot, fresh and just fabulous. Breakfast was overwhelming, all the choices. Lunch too! The Bugers in the Trident Grill were amazing and despite the complimentary Ben and Jerry's I only gained a pound on the cruise. Dinner in the main dining room was ok, not great but ok. We found the best meal on the ship to be Prego, their Italian restaurant followed closely by Silk Road. The service in all venues including the main dining room was spectacular but we just found the food in the MDR to be a bit off. Tough steaks ( Improve the quality of beef) and somewhat bland flavors led to a few disappointments. However, we never left hungry, that's for sure! Portion sizes were perfect. We also tried Tastes and that was pretty good too. I'd give that a 7 out of 10. Shows were pretty good and quite varied but found the production shows to be a bit hokey. While very talented folks were in them, I think they could have better material to work with as the voices and dancing were just amazing. Seemed geared to a really old crowd. Speaking of which, I found that this was not nearly as old as I thought it would be. Since this was the last 10 days of the world cruise we thought it would be full of 85 plus year olds, but on the contrary I'd say the average age was 50 something with a smattering of young couples who looked to be on a honeymoon. Everyone seemed to really be enjoying themselves and meeting new friends daily. I'll not go into the ports suffice to say the ship was the reason we came and probably is the reason we will come back to Crystal. It was just lovely! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our 12th Crystal cruise, and we found this cruise to be superb in so many ways. 10 days is a long cruise for us and we found enjoyment in each day. The ship, its décor, the size of the suites, have been discussed so no ... Read More
This was our 12th Crystal cruise, and we found this cruise to be superb in so many ways. 10 days is a long cruise for us and we found enjoyment in each day. The ship, its décor, the size of the suites, have been discussed so no need to reiterate. Yes the cabins are small by today's standards; they are well maintained with much storage. Our stewardess Hong was a super star and you needed a magnifying glass to find dust. Internet was just ok; I find it as slow as dial up. Cuisine: Outstanding . There were many choices and while I was not enamored with every meal( beef is just not as good as in past) I think Crystal does a superb job in their main dining room and specialty restaurants, Prego being our favorite. In fact if we are ever imprisoned and need a last meal it will be the Carpaccio served in Prego. The Lido was well maintained and always offered multiple choices for breakfast and lunch. The Ice cream bar, Trident Grill, Tastes and the Bistro were open to offer light snacks to full meals. Our only concern is the amount of food that is wasted, and especially in light of some of the ports that are inhabited by lesser fortunate. We realize Crystal does everything to eliminate waste; sadly it is part of the experience. I commend Crystal for reducing portion size; you can always request 2nds, 3rds, et al. Entertainment was varied. The shows by the special performer were outstanding and to think Crystal brought on 13 extra musicians. There were an abundance of lectures, classes, you name it. We used 2 new services, Luggage Free, which brought our large case to the ship in record time. We also used EMO Taxi to pick us up at the Barbados airport and give us a tour of the Island. Crystal has the reputation of being a ship with older aged passengers. This cruise certainly lowered the age range with a great deal of younger families, and singles. We met many new Crystal cruisers who were over the top with the cruise. Disembarkation in Miami was a breeze and we were able to fly home on an earlier departure. Thank you Captain Giske and your staff. Kudos to the Lido guys and many new faces such as Benz who went out of their way to make the 10 day cruise enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We decided on this itinerary since no other cruise line seems to be doing it. Flew into Manaus Brazil on AA #1265 non stop from Miami. Leaving the airport our cab was stopped at a military checkpoint, papers please. We stayed at the ... Read More
We decided on this itinerary since no other cruise line seems to be doing it. Flew into Manaus Brazil on AA #1265 non stop from Miami. Leaving the airport our cab was stopped at a military checkpoint, papers please. We stayed at the Wyndham Garden Hotel overlooking the Amazon. Beautiful location and hotel was OK for the one night. Took a cab to the port the next day and boarded the ship around noon. No line at registration and were in our cabin in about 10 minutes. We had booked a Manaus city tour through Crystal prior to the cruise and it was done very well. Tour included the city zoo, opera house and a native museum. There were a number of tours to choose from but this gave us a good overview of the city. Our first stop was Boca da Valeria, a small native village along the Amazon. More kids than adults here. The kids all had their exotic pets that they were holding and wanted you to take pictures in exchange of dollars. Next stop was the River city of Santarem. Went on a ship's tour that featured piranha fishing and a trip through amazon tributaries. Well worth it, great native guide. After leaving the Amazon we came to the Sanctuary Islands. There were 3 islands in close proximity of each other the most famous being Devil's Island. This was where a French Penal colony once stood and the movie Papillion was based on. The islands buildings still stand but most are in ruin. I found this to be a fascinating place to visit. Next stop Granada where we did a tour of a spice factory, rum distillery, and beach time at the Radisson Hotel which was very nice. The ship docked in Bridgetown Barbados where we disembarked for our flight home. Having sailed with Crystal before we knew what to expect with regard to dining and service. Everything was excellent although we prefer the Serenity over the Symphony only because she is a little bigger. The onboard lectures and guest speakers we great. A word of caution, if you plan on doing this itinerary you will need to get a Visa from Brazil. Even though Crystal recommended a passport service it was expensive. Also yellow fever vaccination is required and hard to find a local health facility who would provide it and again quite costly. Taking Malaria pills was also highly recommended and we did manage to get this medication. Even though these issues were problematic it was well worth the effort once we were in the Amazon and on our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was our second Crystal Cruise and was part of the World Cruise. Once again Crystal did not disappoint! We boarded in Valapariso, Chile, Traveled the Fijords of Chile , spent 2 days crossing Drake passage arriving for 2 days cruising ... Read More
This was our second Crystal Cruise and was part of the World Cruise. Once again Crystal did not disappoint! We boarded in Valapariso, Chile, Traveled the Fijords of Chile , spent 2 days crossing Drake passage arriving for 2 days cruising Antarctica ....what a once in a life time experience and Crystal did it right, bringing on board 16 scientists from the USA Palmer station on Antarctica to give us a briefing on what these scientists do while stationed there. They also had enrichment speakers who spoke to the great explorers who went to the South Pole ,he was a real story teller supported by history. The Captain took the ship into the areas of Georges Island which was not scheduled due to the great weather we enjoyed. The service on the ship was excellent as usual staff is like family after 23 days at sea. ,they truly are the best. Food was fantastic, we couldn't think of anything we wanted that we weren't already served or offered. The chefs had two major lunch gala's ,they filled the atrium....all great food ,almost too much! The entertainment was also very good, even though one Billy Joel show we had seen on our last trip two years ago. It was mixed from singers, dancers, comedians, ventriloquists, opera, etc. A Madri Gras and Valentines day celebration were held with Roses to the lady at dinner. The enrichment programs were great two to three per day and included Former Ambasodors, Michael Hayden former director of CIA,NSA, etc ..as well as destinations speakers. The trip was worth the money and would recommend Crystal to anyone. In fact we are already planning our next Crystal trip. S.Mullen Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
When you can pay $10,000 for an 11-day cruise as we did vs. $4000 for a lower level brand, the difference is luxury and exceeding expectations. On the positive The spa services were exceptional I had the best haircut of my life which ... Read More
When you can pay $10,000 for an 11-day cruise as we did vs. $4000 for a lower level brand, the difference is luxury and exceeding expectations. On the positive The spa services were exceptional I had the best haircut of my life which cost $40 and two great 90 minute massages which cost $300. So when you were spending extra money, service was impeccable. On our arrival the driver was brusk, not a good first impression. After we were allowed to get off the bus the porters did not give us instructions we did not know where to walk, very confusing. I found room service to be especially poor. Many mistakes on our food orders including delivering the same order twice. The days of being able to make "special requests" is over! Though the staff is not fully aware of this fact. This was especially frustrating since 1/2 of the staff told us we could make a special request for dinner or for room service. The cabins are very small even with a balcony. Most guests have traveled previously with Crystal. Crystal relies on these passengers repeat business. But this posses a problem for cruisers like us that are new to Crystal. The staff is very vague with directions or when answering a specific question. I see most of these negatives as a reflection of a poor management. You know there are "issues" when the president has a memo in the newsletter asking passengers to contact him with issues rather than give a negatve rating. I requested to speak to the maître d' about some of my concerns but Leo is too busy. I then requested to speak to the food and beverage manager but i was I told he was busy and I had to wait till the next day to make an appointment to see him. I just grew weary of "let me talk to my manager about your request" which was another way of saying no. I don't mean to be over critical since there are many pluses with Crystal but you should expect many pluses. Reviewing A luxury cruise line relative. A rating of three would be paying that expectations for the price. I will not be traveling again with Crystal, I'll find another cruise line who will exceed my expectations for $10,000 Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise for a much needed break after a busy holiday season. We flew to Miami on the 2nd and stayed at the Trump Doral. They provided a very nice cruise package which included transportation to the pier. Beautiful hotel ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a much needed break after a busy holiday season. We flew to Miami on the 2nd and stayed at the Trump Doral. They provided a very nice cruise package which included transportation to the pier. Beautiful hotel with great service! We had a bit of a wait when we arrived at the Port of Miami, which irritated a lot of people. Once onboard, everything was fine. Champagne and lunch in the dining room--Cobb salad. The first of many excellent meals on the ship! Maybe our favorite was dinner in Silk Road--such amazing food and service. We had decided this would be a "lazy cruise." The ports were not so exciting to us, except for Key West (we had not been there before). The ship was the most important destination this time. We didn't book excursions, just did the ports on our own. There were all the usual activities to do on sea days. We enjoyed two of the three speakers --Dr. Jay Wolfe (destination) and Bob Ray (special interest --Motown and Beach Boys). The world affairs speaker had two interesting topics, but such poor delivery. The entertainment was very good. Really enjoyed the comedians and the magic show! This cruise was full, but really didn't feel crowded. I felt the embarkation was super smooth. The food and service keep up coming back! We love being spoiled. I realize this review is not chock full of information, but just wanted to comment on our very relaxing getaway. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We went on our second Crystal Cruise after taking a trip on Crystal Symphony a year ago. Our experience a year ago was so wonderful that we booked for the next year right away. What happened Crystal? The food was mediocre, though the ... Read More
We went on our second Crystal Cruise after taking a trip on Crystal Symphony a year ago. Our experience a year ago was so wonderful that we booked for the next year right away. What happened Crystal? The food was mediocre, though the service was good. The staff it seems were equivalent to any other cruise line where with our last experience the staff were extraordinary. The food was the biggest let down. Breakfast & lunch remained the same but the dinners were awful. Everything served to us was luke warm and of poor quality. Menu choices were very limited which seemed to be similar every night. The daily "Reflections" scheduled advertised a film to be shown, when arriving at the theater, there was no movie and no notice that it wasn't being shown. We needed to go to the concierge desk to ask and got a blank stare saying, it must not be showing. For the price that line charges, it was ridiculous. That was our last cruise on Crystal. Frankly, I think we are done with cruises in general. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Beautiful ship. The rooms were just fine. Great entertainment. The song and dance troupe did a fabulous job. Terrific enrichment and seminar programs. Food was quite good, as well. The passengers were more lively than I had expected. I ... Read More
Beautiful ship. The rooms were just fine. Great entertainment. The song and dance troupe did a fabulous job. Terrific enrichment and seminar programs. Food was quite good, as well. The passengers were more lively than I had expected. I thought it would be a bit of a stuffy atmosphere. I was wrong. The itinerary was more than forgettable: Costa Maya, Cozumel, Belize, Key West and two days at sea. Costa Maya, sans excursion, must have had 75 tee shirt shops. The included one hour daily of wifi was welcomed, as well as the online PressReader which offered a free selection of magazines (how about the NYT and Wall St. Journal). However, the service just seemed to fall flat too often for a cruise line of this stature. Thus a loss of one rating level. Just my opinion. I'm far from a demanding individual, but did notice that the service level was better on another cruise line (Oceania). Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose a seven day Caribbean Cruise leaving Miami on January 3, 2017 as it worked for our schedule. The sailing was on-board Crystal Serenity a ship that we have sailed numerous times. While the cruise was sold out, one never ... Read More
We chose a seven day Caribbean Cruise leaving Miami on January 3, 2017 as it worked for our schedule. The sailing was on-board Crystal Serenity a ship that we have sailed numerous times. While the cruise was sold out, one never had that feeling as we went around the ship. Two friends who never sailed Crystal joined us for this cruise and had a wonderful time. Highlights of the cruise included: The outstanding service provided by the Crystal Serenity crew, the wonderful cuisine we enjoyed at each of the dining venues, along with the enrichment program and evening entertainment. Since our last sailing in August and September of last year, the evening entertainment program has been expanded providing more choices each evening. We chose the cruise to enjoy the ship and as mentioned as it worked for our schedule. We stayed on board the ship at a couple of ports we have visited in the past which worked out very well for us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Yes this is cruise critic and yes I am a harsh critic. This was a first Crystal Cruise and we hoped to make it a habit. We are regulars on Oceania and Silversea and did not find Crystal any better -- in fact in some cases below the ... Read More
Yes this is cruise critic and yes I am a harsh critic. This was a first Crystal Cruise and we hoped to make it a habit. We are regulars on Oceania and Silversea and did not find Crystal any better -- in fact in some cases below the standards of O and Silversea. The cruise was a rather simple one – pretty much a western Caribbean with stops in Cozumel, Costa Maya, Belize and Key West. I will not spend much time talking about the ports. Both my DW and me had bronchitis as it seemed to being going around the ship so our off ship activity was limited. Embarkation: First impressions were not good. We departed from Terminal B (same as Norwegian uses). The line was long. The hold time was unacceptable. This is at 1:30pm. Took almost 45 minutes from the entrance to the Terminal until we had our room card. The ship was built in 2005 and recently refurbished. It did look new – sharp style and not a blemish anywhere. Very well maintained. The Room: Were Crystal really fails is their staterooms in Veranda class. Since most guests travel this way – I will do the comparison here. Size is 246 sq feet which includes the veranda. What makes this feel smaller is the fact that the bathroom is large, including a tub and a double sink. This makes the room extra small. Closet space was good. TV was actually good with more choices including the NFL Playoffs and the NCCA Finals. Bed for me was comfortable. One BIG negative was the stateroom service. Just plain bad. We returned to the cabin generally around 8pm and room was still unmade. Unacceptable -- room attendant was told we generally come back quickly from dinner. The food: The best part of Crystal is its food. Some very unique menus are offered, plus also a classic menu. The classic menu also has a steak entrée nightly (whether Filet, Rib Eye or Sirloin strip). I suppose you can ask for any of the three, nightly -- just ask as they were very accommodating to our table mates, who did a special order on some nights. MDR has main and late seating – you can also op for dining by reservation. Service was prompt and well executed but generally was at least a 90 minute seating. Specialties – Prego is an Italian restaurant and food quality was excellent -- Osso Buco was good. Silk Road had a fusion Japanese menu plus excellent Sushi/Sashimi. In fact the Sashimi was so good ,I could make a meal out that alone – but I had the pepper Lobster which was excellent. Specialties are included. But additional bookings are $30 pp – done in order to make sure everyone has a chance to book a least once. They do not have an evening buffet like many ships. Their light meal is by reservation but we saw many on the last night come without a reservation. Place is called Tastes – but they should rename it Tasteless. The style is a Tapas menu where you can order many small items, Maybe the chef had a bad night – but the fish, chicken and lamb we had were all dry and overdone. The Ahi Tuna was done properly – raw. Trident Grill – is similar to Waves and serves the same fare. Exception is no lobster. Burgers were better than O, but the Fries on O are much better. They also have a ice cream bar next to the Grill. Bistro – a coffee bar. Good coffee plus food (fruits, cookies, cakes, cold cuts) throughout the day (late breakfast through late lunch. The Drink: Beer, house wines, and drinks (top shelf) are included. House wines were OK nothing special, no worse/better than O or Silversea. Drinks were strong and smooth – no water in these and they were large. No mini Martini’s like on Oceania. Service: Outstanding. Even the officers are always visible and friendly Enrichment: Love the term and their lectures were really good. Bob Ray was one which gave talks on Motown and also the Beach Boys with little heard recording takes and items that belong on trivia. Some negatives: The new Crystal web site is bad. Difficult to navigate and to book restaurant and shore excursions. So bad is it the after trip survey crashed. Shipboard Wi-Fi was slow and not free. They give you 60 minutes free. Inclusive certainly does not apply to the wifi with Crystal. As noted above -- the embarkation was really disorganized. Crystal does all of the work on board the ship so there were multiple queues at security, in the port hall where they checked the passenger heath and passport exam, then in the holding pen (Norwegian style), at the gangway, and then on the ship at the registration tables. So was I Crystalized?? Maybe, with the right itinerary yes. But they really need to up their game with some new builds with bigger staterooms which have become common with new builds from Seaborne, Silversea, Oceania and Regent. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary - visiting places I had not visited before in the Caribbean. This was my first time sailing on Crystal Serenity and the ship was as elegant and well appointed as I expected. I did not feel as ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary - visiting places I had not visited before in the Caribbean. This was my first time sailing on Crystal Serenity and the ship was as elegant and well appointed as I expected. I did not feel as comfortable with its size, however, though this is no fault of the ship. I prefer the size and guest number of Crystal Symphony. The embarkation was not as quick and trouble-free as my previous two. This sailing did not have a pre-cruise hotel program and so the air/sea program flew me in on the morning of embarkation, which made for a long day. Upon arrival at the cruise terminal we had to wait an hour to be allowed to board, and we were not given any information as to why we could not upon arrival. Upon embarkation things settled down, with the service from the crew being lovely as I have experienced before. My cabin was well appointed and even though I do get motion-sickness the majority of the cruise caused me no discomfort, it being between two decks with staterooms and near the middle of the ship. The exception was one particular night when the waves were very high and the wind was fierce, which made it necessary for me to take medication for motion sickness. One thing I did not expect was the the wind making it very uncomfortable going out on the balcony. The few times I was able to utilize it I had to hold down the items brought by room service. In addition, I noticed some wear and tear on the balcony bulkheads, which surprised me, as Crystal Symphony was immaculately kept from what I could see on my sailings aboard that vessel. The dining was, as always, wonderful. The service and cuisine in the main dining room were such that I almost did not want to dine in the specialty restaurants, though I did. The dining at Silk Road was superb - the lobster and shrimp tempura were wonderful. The mushroom soup served at Prego was delicious. I did have lunch at Tastes one afternoon, and was very impressed with the stir-fried dish I ordered. On one occasion at breakfast at the Lido Cafe a large flock of pelicans flew by the ship - it was splendid to see the birds in flight, not to mention surprising. The shore excursions were very well staffed and fascinating. I visited three different archaeological sites and an incredibly beautiful cenote. The guides were well informed, as I expected, and very humorous. The only complaint I can make regarding two of the excursions was that they were too rushed. We visited multiple sites on each excursion and, because of the distances traveled, did not get enough time at each site due to having to return to the ship for departure to the next port. I chose the volunteer excursion on this itinerary and was very satisfied with the amount of hands-on work we were able to do while at the site, a soup kitchen for the elderly. We did everything from washing dishes to calling out a bingo game for the residents to singing with them. On this itinerary I did not attend many activities on board, as I preferred to take advantage of the sun and beautiful weather, coming from a city that was experiencing temperatures a few degrees above zero at the time of the cruise. I did attend one of the Broadway shows and it was very enjoyable, though I did feel that though the performers were professionals, they did not appear to me to be as engaged as those who work on Crystal Symphony. Regardless, they were great performers and very entertaining. Disembarkation was very straight forward with no hiccups. Just a few points: I did not attend any movies in the Hollywood Theater as the viewings were very scarce and not very interesting, at least to me. As I mentioned the wait at the cruise terminal, after my horribly early flight to get to Miami, was very taxing. Not knowing what the delay in embarkation was about made it seem longer. I feel it would have helped to make it less tiring if we had been informed why we were waiting to be allowed to board. Needless to say, I look forward to my next cruise with Crystal next year. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
My 2nd time on Crystal, and the first since the new owners Genting took control, I did not check reviews beforehand and am not looking at any now, I just feel compelled to share my thoughts on how things have changed subtly in some areas, ... Read More
My 2nd time on Crystal, and the first since the new owners Genting took control, I did not check reviews beforehand and am not looking at any now, I just feel compelled to share my thoughts on how things have changed subtly in some areas, and obviously in others. My aha moment for writing this came when I overheard a conversation about Genting always wanting to be the Number One cruise line in the world (having previously owned NCL) and rather than keep working it, “they bought their way to supremacy” Today is the last day of this trip a sea day and a gentle cruise to Miami. There is no television this afternoon on the ship, we did have pictures and no sound, now nothing, a day when news of tragedies in Berlin and Turkey make it important to know what is going on, It seems frivolous to be writing this review at all in reality so please forgive this. Tastes restaurant is closed “for maintenance” tonight, why would that be other than to push people into the main dining room or the $30 PP extra at the specialty restaurants. Nobody is working on maintenance, it closed at 2:30 pm as it does every day. The verandas were unavailable last night and all day today as they hosed them down, no notice just a guy and a hosepipe suddenly watching me get dressed (more sickening for him in fairness) It seems like there is constant maintenance going as generally, the first three days had internet that was unavailable, (while they fixed something) The first two days the casino was closed (as they were installing all new slot machines and did not complete the job on time. The main dining room is dirty, there is no other word for it. Walking to the table last night there was some pasta and a French fry on the floor, it was still there an hour later. It is clear that there are a huge % of people in training, that is fine, but the ship is far from full and when you ask a question as simple as “where is the nearest restroom, erm..toilet, sorry” you might expect something other than “I can get you a map of the ship” then the colleague next to the young man slaps him (literally) and says "show him where" Our room is very nice, 10079, spacious wardrobe, nice and quiet, lovely full bathroom, great butler and very pleasant room attendant. The front desk was excellent, very helpful with my many requests for print outs of documents that I could sign and scan back, nothing was too much trouble for them, a great team all round. A high point of the trip was spending evenings at the sushi bar with the superb Executive Chef called Toku, the Toro was incredible, his culinary skills superb and the atmosphere perfect. Prego was much better this trip than last, I had lamb rack twice and it was perfect both times. The expansion that is underway is clearly challenging the business and its most important resource, its people. The push into river cruises, air cruises and mega ships with residences is removing the focus that is laser like still at Seabourn and Silversea, luxury cruise lines that have stood the test of time. In some respects, it feels like a company in transition, we might have been the unlucky ones that had to suffer disruption to get the ship ready for the next guests out of Miami on the 20th December, but having lived in Hong Kong and see what Star Cruises is like I get the distinct impression that the focus is moving from a focus on serving the ultra-luxury market to one focused on the ultra-wealthy, there is a clear difference. I run a business, we have happy customers and some of the time we also let people down, it’s hard to be on top of your game all of the time and I will take things away that will help me in my own company for sure. One huge takeaway is you can not expect your customers to get less than they expected just because you are doing maintenance however you disguise it. If the ship needed so much work, it should have been taken out of service, or as hotels do, tell you in advance that they are renovating the pool/lobby etc and book if you don’t care about those things. Yes, I am disappointed with the trip but I have had a rest, met some nice people one of which taught me to play craps properly rather than my terrible way, in that respect the educational part of the trip was a winner! Ultimately when you are paying top dollar, you should get the best, nothing less and if you do not, you have the option to vote with your wallet and spend money elsewhere, for me that will be back to Seabourn with the whole family this summer. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Lots of puzzle pieces to put this voyage in motion! The adventure all began because my brother-in-law wanted to embark from New Orleans, add that to the fact my husband and I wanted to sail over our anniversary (December 17) and on ... Read More
Lots of puzzle pieces to put this voyage in motion! The adventure all began because my brother-in-law wanted to embark from New Orleans, add that to the fact my husband and I wanted to sail over our anniversary (December 17) and on Crystal! Not to mention friends who wanted to join in on the fun, could not sail over Christmas. What was the likelihood?!?! A year and a half later, all I can say our time together on and off the Crystal Serenity during those two weeks was the best of best times! From one who is totally into Christmas and has sailed on various cruise lines enjoying many holiday cruises, this ship was decked out in absolutely the most gorgeous decor that I had ever seen while on the seas. We were even able to have our butler set up an artificial Christmas Tree in our suite. Trimmed by the staff, it was beautifully decorated, lights and all! Throughout the various ports, my husband and I would purchase a hand made Christmas ornament relective of the islands we explored. Talk about being spoiled...the food, the entertainment, the daytime enrichment classes, ... everything excelled. We loved reviewing our French from a Berlitz instructor who gave both morning and afternoon classes. The practice was fun and we were able to speak French on two Caribbean islands. Learning how to create I Movies was also a plus as both my husband and I have continued making short videos. Having taught school for thirty years, all instructors deserved an A+. That is what Crystal is all about. The finest in everything. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Had been on Serenity before, so our expectations were high and fully met. Staff everywhere were attentive and helpful. The bar tenders can actually make a cocktail--not just pour wine or make a mojito from a mix. (Seabourn, please note.) ... Read More
Had been on Serenity before, so our expectations were high and fully met. Staff everywhere were attentive and helpful. The bar tenders can actually make a cocktail--not just pour wine or make a mojito from a mix. (Seabourn, please note.) This may seem like a small matter, but clearly not as social time spent at the various bars reflected many more requests for a specific cocktail than for , example, scotch on the rocks. Beyond their capabilities, the three mixologists at the Crystal Cove bar--Riccardo, Maria and Johnathon--from 3 different countries--were charming and personable. Our cabin on Deck 10 was a Pure, meaning standard size bit with various features to make the space as allergen free as possible. (Again, we had a similar cabin on a previous cruise.) The chef happened to be Austria, and one night I asked Mario, the venerable controller of all things that occur in the main dining room, whether it might be possible to request saurbraten on a subsequent evening. A bit later i was informed by one of the head waiters that the dish would be available in 3 days as (with an unnecessary apology) the dish requires 3 days of marinating. And when it did arrive, ift did so with all the appropriate trimmings. Looking for things to carp about--and reallt does have to search--I would note that itb was impossible to get hot pancakes or french toast in the Lido. They were there, but the buffet process pretty much guarantees that hot food will never be hot when you get there. One clear exception was the custom egg station, manned by a smiling egg artists who flipped eggs with uncanny grace. Carp, carp. Well, the sweet potato fries in the Trident buffet were not very good, and the chili on offer was so mild as to disdain its description. And one last whine. One night the dinner menu offered curry, which I eagerly chose. The condiments offered were many, but the main attraction had no heat, no spice. Yes, I understand that many older folk have sensitive tummies, but curry must be offered at something approaching full strength--perhaps with a warning about its spiciness. Crystal is a very expensive and cossetting experience. I only wish I could afford it more often. A last comment: should your cruise include Grand Turk, I enthusiastically recommend the tour which takes you to Gibbs Cay, and a special gathering with stingrays. These noble creatures are not penned, they appear from the ocean while you stand in knee high water. seemingly as curious about you as you might be about them. It doesn't hurt that Gibbs boasts a tiny but perfect white sand beach, the ocean is a magical turquoise, and the December sun bright and warm. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My wife and I took this cruise (Ft. Laudedale to New Orleans via several Caribbean islands) through a university alumni association group offer. We thought the cruise would be a great opportunity to experience the company before taking ... Read More
My wife and I took this cruise (Ft. Laudedale to New Orleans via several Caribbean islands) through a university alumni association group offer. We thought the cruise would be a great opportunity to experience the company before taking another planned cruise from Mauritius to Cape Town next year on Crystal's sister ship, Symphony. While I had been on one brief cruise (Princess), my wife had never experienced the process, and she immediately appreciated the convenience and luxury of the experience. The "all exclusive" marketing message lived up to reality -- excellent food in the dining room, plus four free meals in speciality restaurants, and several room service meals. We asked for some wine with our dinner in the room once. The steward brought a full bottle unopened -- without the hint of a bar tab. I enjoyed the ship's library (some truly good and recent books) and its full fitness centre, not fully used -- in part because the cruise demographic is old, very old. (Symbolically, perhaps, as we joined the early deborders to catch our flight, paramedics were boarding with a stretcher, presumably for a passenger who could not make it out on two legs.) We had read less-than-enthusiastic reviews about the excursions, and so only took one, on Bonnaire. It was fine but not great. So we visited the towns and in one case, rented a car for a bit of island exploration. The free shuttles to town helped keep costs down. Since everything is included, and shuttle/tender service were frequent, there was a temptation not to eat anything on shore and instead head back to the boat for more of its excellent food. I found the staff were truly attentive and competent; and they seemed to be enjoying their work. The cabin was spacious, well-maintained and the two-sink bathroom certainly helped. As we enjoyed the cruise, I checked the price on the cruise I had booked for Dec. 2017, thinking we might extend it. I noticed the price currently was lower than we had committed to pay (though the deposit is fully refundable until 3 months before the cruise.) I questioned the ship's sales consultant and she said I would need to check with the travel agent, which I did, using some of my free internet time. Then I discovered more strange things. There was a special offer on for higher categories in the planned cruise, but for some reason the listed rates were LOWER than we had agreed to pay for our mid-range cabin. These included $999 business class airfare (not insignificant when you are flying to places like Mauritius and Cape Town from North America) and additional savings -- plus a fare base 25 per cent lower than we had confirmed. More emails to the travel agent -- and within hours Crystal confirmed we would indeed be getting much more for much less. This money-savings experience brightened my mood as the ship headed up the Mississippi River to New Orleans on the final day -- a truly amazing experience and certainly a great place to end a cruise. Two days home, and we are already looking forward with anticipation to our next Crystal adventure Read Less
Sail Date November 2016

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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