Gina Kramer
Cruise Critic Contributor
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Entertainment

Celestyal Crystal Entertainment & Activities

Theater

A big show takes place every night in the main theater, the Muses Lounge, on Deck 8. It's a large space that feels like a hybrid lounge/theater, with seating for 400 downstairs and a more intimate seating area for 40 upstairs (which you access from inside the theater itself). Seating arrangements vary from single chairs to lounge-like booths with cocktail tables. A few of the booths toward the back, on the first level, have obstructed views due to support beams -- but we only found this to be an issue with large groups that tried to squeeze together.

Shows generally include a cabaret or dance show interspersed with aerial acrobatics. There are two showings per night, every night. On some nights, one of the showings might be replaced by a different event. For example, on our Greek Islands cruise, local dancers came onboard to perform during our overnight stop in Mykonos.

The quality of the shows is average, but we were impressed by how much the cruise line was able to do on such a small ship. The show "Hellenic Voyage," for example, incorporates dramatic visuals of Greek gods and goddesses (projected on a back screen) while dancers utilize trapezes and other unique props as they depict each deity onstage. Other headlining shows include "Abba's Dreams", which is an homage to the Swedish band and a riff on the Broadway stage show, set in these islands. "Cabaret" is a PG-rated Parisian-themed show, "Mythologia" is inspired by Greek mythology and "Fiesta" is a Latin America-themed musical; other musical performances involve aerial acrobatics.

Daily Fun

There is a packed program of daytime activities, including a morning walkathon and stretching session; Greek language lesson; Greek and Latin dance classes; arts and crafts, including postcards from Greece and paper hair flowers; fruit and vegetable carving demonstrations; a towel folding demo and themed trivia in different languages. New for 2019 is wine tasting with the enthusiastic head sommelier Andy, who for nine euros will take you on a Greek wine tour from prehistoric times to the present day -- including four tastings of local wines (two white, two red) plus nibbles.

At Night

It's all about music and dancing -- every night -- on Celestyal Crystal. Entertainment ranges from live music (both Greek and international tunes) to dance parties and late nights at the disco. There also are different themed parties/nights, which are actually just more music and dancing; on our cruise, they included a Jazz Night, a Latin Party, a Greek Party and a "Dance Around the World" party. All themed soirees are hosted by the ship's theater performers in t Muses Lounge.

Every night, a live band also plays on the pool deck during dinner hours (a little incentive for a casual buffet dinner one night).

You'll find karaoke every night, starting at 9:30 p.m., in the Horizons Bar.

The casino is is in a windowless room off the Eros Lounge and opposite the Sports Bar on Deck 8, packed with slot machines and a few gaming tables. Drinks can be ordered here.

Celestyal Crystal Bars and Lounges

There are four bars, two outside and two inside, one of which doubles as the disco (Horizons). The Greek climate means the outside bars are always full, particularly the Thalassa Bar at the back of the ship. There's a good buzz, day and night, in both the outdoor bars; Eros is best in the early evening when a band plays live music; Horizons Bar tends to be livelier after 10 p.m.

Thalassa Bar (Deck 5):This popular spot overlooking the back of the ship is full, for most of the day (since it's also where you'll find the ship's only hot tub) and until late at night, with plenty of seating. There is smoking on the port (left) side.

Eros Lounge (Deck 8): An oddly un-atmospheric bar, that doubles as a cafe during the day. There is a small stage at one end, where a band play nightly (they occasionally decamp to the Riviera Pool Bar for events like sail-aways), and tables and chairs spread throughout the rest of the space.

Helios Bar (Deck 9): The main pool deck bar is full throughout the day as it also serves as an overspill area for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's busiest here during the day, and also sets the stage for dance lessons and spa demos.

Horizons Bar (Deck 10): Whether this is completely full or completely empty depends entirely on the type of fellow passengers you're traveling with. During our three previous times onboard, it has been empty but on our most recent sailing in the Greek Islands, it was packed every night. This is also where karaoke is held every evening.

Celestyal Crystal Outside Recreation

Pools

There is only one pool on the ship, located on Deck 9. It's a small saltwater pool that we saw used by only a few people during our cruise (perhaps because it fills up quickly). One odd feature of the space is that there are no lounge chairs surrounding the pool. (They're one deck above, overlooking the pool.) All that surrounds the pool are tables and chairs, which are used primarily by buffet diners. There is a retractable roof over the pool that closes during inclement weather.

With one small pool also comes only one hot tub. It's found on the back of Deck 5, by the Thalassa Bar, and again, is weirdly surrounded by nothing but tables and chairs.

Sun Decks

One thing the ship does not lack for are sun decks; you'll find them on almost every level, though not always with lounge chairs for sunbathing.

Deck 10, looking down on the pool, is the main sun deck with a decent amount of lounge chairs (our only complaint about this deck is the space can get tight when the chairs are all reclined, making it almost like an obstacle course to walk around). Servers from the pool bar make the rounds on this deck, taking drink orders. From Deck 10, there also is limited space above via a small staircase (unmarked on the deck plans), but it was closed off on our sailing. Additional sunbathing space (but no service) can be found on Decks 6, 7 and 8 aft, though note this also acts as an overspill from the buffet so thhere are tables and chairs, and from 2020 will be partly covered to allow for outside dining..

Celestyal Crystal Services

The hub of the ship is on Deck 5, where you'll find guest services and the shore excursions desk. Note, there is no desk for future cruise sales, but if you speak to thhe Guest Relations Manager (Georgia), you will be able to make a booking. The relatively large boutique sells jewelry, clothes and other accessories (including some locally manufactured products), cookies and candy, duty-free goods and other cruise-related paraphernalia; and the photo gallery, which also sells cameras.

On Deck 8, hidden away in corridor adjoining the Sports Bar with the casino, is the library, which has a small selection of books that you can borrow on an honor basis. It's also home to a kids' play room and a couple of conference rooms.

There are no self-service laundry facilities, but you can get a bag of clothes washed and folded for a reasonable 22.95 euros, or for 5 euros more, pressed too. Both are a one-day service.

Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship, including in cabins, but it's pricy: 7 euros for an hour, 16 euros for three hours and 25 euros for six hours. The connection speed was surprisingly fast, but did cut out sporadically. (Warning: Remember to log off after each session, otherwise you'll burn up all your time.) There are no computer stations.

An extra-fee medical center is available on Deck 4. It's open every day for a couple of hours in the morning and night (on departure days, it's only open at night). The hours of operation vary, so make sure to check your daily program for the opening times on any given day.

Smoking is permitted on the port side of Deck 5 aft (by the Thalassa Bar) and both sides of the Promenade Deck 5.

Celestyal Crystal Spa & Fitness

Spa

Sana Spa (Deck 9) is a small space with seven treatment rooms, but it offers everything you'd expect on a big ship in terms of treatments for both men and women. Facials start at 72 euros for a 45-minute treatment. A variety of massages (Balinese, reflexology, aromatherapy, shiatsu) start at 66 euros for 30 minutes (or 97 euros for 45 minutes, 121 euros for 60 minutes).

There are also lots of offers, such as a Spa Sampler, which you'll see advertised in your daily program or on flyers. Various grooming and hairdressing services are also available for men and women. On the pool deck, you'll find the salon offering various services such as haircuts, and manicures and pedicures.

Next door are the even smaller saunas and steam rooms for men and women, which are a tight squeeze; they have enough space for only two people at once.

Fitness

Adjoining the spa is a small gym with weight machines and free weights, ellipticals, one treadmill, one spinning bike and an exercise bike. There is no trainer or classes; however, Zumba and other dance classes (listed in the daily program) are held in the lounges or on the pool deck.

A daily early morning "walkathon" takes place on the open decks (meeting point is at the Thalassa Bar); and there is also a daily wake up and stretch class in Muses Lounge.

Celestyal Crystal For Kids

Kids

The family offering is extremely limited but there are 36 interconnecting cabins (all outside) on Decks 2, 3 and 4.

In terms of kids' activities, there is one tiny room next to the library that is given over to a couple of hours of programming on select days. This involves either arts and crafts or Lego-type brick building for the younger kids, or, semi-supervised Wii games.

There is a kids' menu available (see Dining).

Teens

There is no special programming or club for teens; instead, they are welcome to take advantage of the regular daily programming, including arts and crafts, dance lessons and educational classes.

Celestyal Crystal Ship Stats

  • Crew: 406
  • Launched: 1980
  • Decks: 10
  • Passengers: 1,200
  • Registry: Malta

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