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Crystal Serenity Review

-- / 5.0
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292 reviews
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Crystal Serenity (Photo: Crystal Cruises)

The relaunch of Crystal Serenity in the summer of 2023 marks the return of the luxury Crystal brand. The ship was acquired by the A&K Travel Group in 2022 -- along with older and smaller fleetmate Crystal Symphony -- and underwent a refurbishment that has seen the number of suites reduced and enlarged to carry a maximum of 740 passengers. The ship was first launched in 2003 for the former Crystal Cruises, which ceased trading in early 2022 following the bankruptcy of the Genting Group parent company. Crystal fans can expect all the trademarks of the previous line on an enhanced ship.

Crystal Serenity Deck Plans Feature High Passenger Space Ratio and Multiple Venues

In its previous guise Crystal Serenity carried 980 passengers and on the revamped vessel that number has gone down by nearly 250 to 740. This has been achieved by remodelling and decreasing the number of suites, with some accommodations merged to create larger staterooms. As a result, the ship now has a high passenger to space ratio of one person per 93.1 cubic feet and almost one crew member per passenger.

The cabins, all of them outside, lead in with oceanview single and double staterooms measuring up to 215 square feet. Veranda suites begin at a similar size, plus a 54-square-foot balcony. All of the suite categories from the 323-square-foot Aquamarine Veranda Suite and above have a separate bedroom and living area. The largest suites on Crystal Serenity are the four Crystal Penthouse Suites on Deck 11. Divided into areas including a lobby, lounge, dining room, bedroom and extra-large bathroom, these accommodations measure up to 1,065 square feet with a 107 square feet balcony. The renovation saw all suites on the ship reimagined, with fixtures and fittings including Italian marble and modern furnishings. All sites benefit from butler service.

The Waterside Restaurant is the main dining room, with the Marketplace providing an alternative for passengers preferring buffet-style dining. Specialty restaurants include the upscale Italian Osteria d'Ovido and the exclusive Vintage Room showcasing gourmet menus paired with wines and also offering chef-hosted dinners. Among the casual venues are the poolside Trident Grill, Tastes Kitchen & Bar serving tapas and the Scoops Ice Cream Bar. There is a 24-hour room service menu and passengers staying in the top penthouse suites can also order off the menus in any of the specialty restaurants.

There is also plenty of choice when it comes to bars and entertainment. The top deck Palm Court, a well-loved feature on both Crystal ships, is a social hub for afternoon tea, cocktails and dancing. The Stardust Club and Supper Club is a dual purpose venue. It hosts cabaret acts, music for dancing and themed events before and after dinner, and on select nights there is a supper club with dancing for up to 116 passengers. Revue-style song and dance shows take place in the Galaxy Lounge and for night owls there is the Pulse venue. The Connoisseur Club is the place to smoke cigars and sip cognac and other bars include the Avenue Saloon piano bar.

Crystal Serenity also has a movie theater, lecture room, computer room, shops, photo gallery, library, public laundries and areas for children and teens.

Crystal Serenity Will Include Health and Wellness Options

Wellness areas were also upgraded during the ship's refurbishment at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. They include a 3,000 plus square feet fitness center with panoramic views, which has a separate weight room and aerobics studio. The wellness program includes yoga, Pilates and spinning classes and Crystal Serenity has a dedicated fitness director with one-to-one advice and personal training available.

The Crystal Life Spa offers a variety of treatments and has a sauna and steam room. On the top deck the ship has two full-sized paddle tennis and pickleball courts. A lap pool can be found on Deck 12.

Crystal Serenity's Maiden Sailing is July 2023

Crystal Serenity will set sail from Marseille on July 31, 2023. The 12-night Mediterranean itinerary will include calls at Monte Carlo, Portofino, Barcelona, Ibiza and Malaga before the inaugural voyage ends in Lisbon.

Crystal Serenity Itineraries Will Feature Worldwide Sailings

Following the maiden cruise the ship will sail in northern Europe and the Baltics for the rest of the summer. In September 2023 Crystal Serenity will cross the Atlantic for a winter season sailing out of Canada, the U.S. and Caribbean on 6- to 23-night itineraries.

Crystal Serenity Specs

Crystal Serenity is 68,870 gross tons and carries 740 passengers at full capacity with 655 crew.

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