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Crystal Serenity Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
286 Reviews

Pre-Cruise Buildup Bound to Disappoint

Crystal Serenity Cruise Review by SCTPU

14 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2018
  • Destination: the Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah

My wife and I chose this cruise to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We had been to both Spain and Portugal previously and had a great time. The ports of call of the Iberian Sojourn were exactly what we were looking for. We spent 3 nights in Barcelona before we left and had a blast. The embarkation was smooth and the staff was excellent throughout. Our room with a veranda was larger than our hotel room in Barcelona. The first morning in Valencia they would not let "independents" off the ship until those who had made Crystal excursion reservations were allowed to leave. So we could have walked to our tour but because they would not let us leave so we had to race for a cab with other "independents." That was the only morning where leaving the ship was a problem. What needs to be added is that the Crystal excursions were priced way over the top-2 to 3 times as much as privately booked tours. I guess if you can afford it and you value seeming security then you might pay for the Crystal excursions but I did not see any extras booking that way since they were the same tours.

For the most part people who write reviews have something very negative to say. I want to laud the staff and crew for wonderful service at every level. That being said, it is still hard to justify the amount of money that was spent for the cruise. All of our table mates raved about the food throughout every meal-perhaps leading to impossible expectations. At the main Crystal dining room the food was very good for cruise food, but it wasn't nearly as fresh or flavorful as the food we ate in each port city. At the end of the day, it was cruise ship food. The exception would be the Silk Road restaurant. We had a wonderful meal there but the Prego restaurant was only so-so. The breakfast buffet was good and the sit down cafe Tastes had excellent breakfasts also.

For a ship this size the entertainment was good. There were many activities for people that did not want to leave the ship at each port but the are definitely geared to an older clientele. This is not a cruise for young couples or children. The cruisers were mostly affluent, white Americans who liked the America-centric aspect of an international cruise. Why you would travel 7000 miles to have the same experiences that you get in the USA is baffling to me.

SCTPU's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah
Cabin B3 8072

Great large cabin. We did not use the veranda as much as we though we would since we were off the ship so much. Very comfortable bed. The bathroom was large for a cruise ship.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Wonderful, fun city with great affordable food, bars, and wine.


Took a harrowing bike tour with Tapas. Got to see all of the highlights of the city on the tour.


Fun city. We wandered into a festival celebrating the routing of the Moors in 1238. That's why you travel!

Great Tapas tour. If you Have guide Adrianado consider yourself lucky!!

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Pretty poor experience with multiple cruise ships in port. My least favorite port of call. If I were the British I would try to get Spain to take it back.


Nice beach walk to a good lunch on a beach.


Another great city with tons of things to do and see. Palaces, castles, museums were all interesting. The aquarium was packed.

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