From the moment you step on board the Beautiful Crystal Serenity, You enter a state of calm, Peace and Untroubled bliss, a true Oasis of Serenity.
Embarkation on Crystal is incredibly smooth. We were met on arrival at the cruise terminal by Crystal Staff and escorted to Security. Once through we made our way to the Gangway where the Security Staff issued us with a Ships Pass which was to serve as our Key etc. whilst on board. We were then escorted by a Cabin Steward to the main reception area where we then completed the Check in Process. We were given a lovely little Wallet to keep our Cabin Key in for the duration of the cruise. This proved extremely useful as it kept it nice and neat for us.
We were then shown to our Stateroom and met by our own Stewardess who took the trouble of showing us how everything worked and took down any requests that we had regarding pillow types etc.
We were lucky to have been upgraded to an AA Balcony. One thing to note is that the AA balcony cabins have Luxurious Wicker Furniture on the Veranda as opposed to standard plastic furniture on the B and A grade balconies.
Our stateroom was very comfortable and the bed is probably the most comfy I have ever had on a ship. The toiletries in the Bathroom were “AVEDA” and there was a good selection of towels including oversized and flannels. We also had a Towelled Dressing gown and a Kimono each. Slippers were provided too. In our wardrobe Crystal also provided us with an Umbrella, a Crystal branded Tote Bag, A Shoe Horn and plenty of Hangers for garments. The Mini Bar was stocked with Sodas, Water and Beer and we had Ice provided daily in an ice bucket. We were also greeted to a beautiful basket of fresh fruit. Our luggage was delivered within 20 mins of us arriving in our Cabin.
Bars: Avenue Saloon; During the evening there is a Pianist/Singer in here and the Bar is open late. It is located next to the Cigar/Smoking room which stocks a wide variety of Cigars for all over the World but particularly Cuba. Crystal Cove; This is the Bar located in the main Atrium/Lobby area and is particularly popular with pre and post dinner cocktails. You would typically find a Pianist of String Quartet playing in here in the evening. Martinis are the Speciality here. Palm Court & Sunset Bar; This is located at the Top of the ship and at the Very front. It has a large dance floor and during the evening this is where the Gentleman Dance Hosts are to be found for any ladies that wish to Ballroom. A Very popular venue with Guests. During the Afternoon Crystal serve Afternoon Tea in here. Usually accompanied by the String Quartet. Pulse Night Club; This is the late Bar and club on board. It also doubles as the Karaoke Bar early in the evening and is popular with the Japanese Passengers during this time.
Restaurants: Crystal Dining Room; Main Restaurant and the menu changes daily in here. Silk Road; Very Popular and Early booking strongly recommended, Stunning food with the special touch by Nobu. Here you can get Miso Baked Cod, Wagu Beef and of course Sushi and Sashimi. You also have the Sushi Bar where reservations are not necessary. Prego; Italian Speciality serving Pasta Specials and well worth a Visit. Very popular and early booking is strongly recommended. Lido Café; This is the Buffet Restaurant which is open for Breakfast and Lunch. A great place to Dine Al Fresco at these times. Tastes; This is the Burger/Pizza venue on board near the Pool area. You can also get a great Caesar Salad here and the Ice Cream Bar is located next to this. The Bistro; This is the on board Coffee Shop, Just like an upmarket Starbucks, You can get speciality Teas and Coffees and also snacks throughout the whole day are available here.
Crystal also has a great Room Service Menu and this service is quite speedy. We had breakfast on our Balcony a couple of times which I recommend if you wake with an amazing view outside.
The Entertainment on board was varied from the main Dance Troops and singers to a Magician and a West End Headliner. Performances were in either the Main Showroom (Galaxy Lounge) or the Secondary Showroom (Stardust Club). There is also a Cinema on board where Popcorn is provided for anyone wishing to watch a Movie. One of the main signatures of crystal is what happens when the ship departs from a Port. After the 3 blows of the ships Horn, Crystal plays Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong throughout the ship. Giving guests a special moment to reflect on where they have been that day and what they have done. A lovely touching end to what is usually a fantastic day exploring a foreign port.
All in all I was very impressed by Crystal; they offer a fantastic All Inclusive Luxury experience and have a very high repeat ratio amongst Guests. They do not cheapen their product and really look after their guests on board. I can´t wait to go back!