- CRYSTAL CRUISE
The sun was setting over Venice as we sailed quietly along the Grand Canal towering high over St Marks Square, Glass of champagne in hand with the dulcet tones of Louis Armstrong singing “what a wonderful World”. What a wonderful start to a weeklong Med Cruise on Crystal Serenity, having long been hailed one of the world’s best luxury cruise lines so I was interested to find out why.
The 68,800 ton Serenity is one of the larger of the Luxury category ships and carries a maximum of 1070 pampered guests in All Inclusive luxury, she has contemporary interior design and because of her size and relatively low passenger numbers has lots of open spaces both inside and out,quiet spots to soak up the sunshine and swim in one of the pools.
We had a deluxe stateroom with Veranda which at 269sq ft is quite small compared to some ships but very comfortably appointed with luxury Aveda bathroom amenities, a stocked minibar and an extremely comfortable queen size bed with Egyptian linen. The private veranda is the perfect place to sit and watch the passing scenery or enjoy pre-dinner drinks.
What can I say about the food? It’s one of the highlights on most Cruise ships and Crystal have mastered the art of fine dining. The Crystal Dining Room offers international cuisine and world renowned wines which are described by your sommelier. Breakfast Lunch and Dinner can be taken here in most agreeable surroundings; however there are so many other venues to choose from. Celebrity Chef Nobu’s Silk Road & Sushi Bar is extraordinary Eastern inspired cuisine; I can thoroughly recommend the Wagu Beef, whilst Prego the Tuscan inspired Italian restaurant is famed for its Mushroom soup and freshly made Pasta. If you prefer casual al fresco dining there is Tastes for anything from noodles to Ceasar Salad, The Trident Grill for burgers and Pizza and an Ice Cream Bar on the Lido Deck, not forgetting Afternoon Tea when dainty sandwiches, cakes and a selection of Teas are served by gloved waiters in the Palm Court, so beautifully traditional. On Tiffany Deck there’s a Bistro serving pastries and coffees and of course after all this choice there is always 24 hour room service if you are still peckish!
Apparently there’s a gym too!!
Evenings are a grand affair.. You can enjoy cocktails & canapés in The Avenue Saloon a sumptuously decorated Bar with soft leather sofas and dimmed lighting, The Connoisseurs Club where you can enjoy a fine cigar and a Brandy or piano music and cocktails in the Crystal Cove. There’s also The Casino to chance your hand. The dress code is casual elegance , I would describe it as what you would choose to wear to go out for dinner here, there are usually one or two formal nights too when Ladies can wear long dresses or cocktail length if preferred
In every venue the staff & Crew are exceptional. According to Crystal their staff are first selected for their friendly ‘can do’ attitude and smile then trained to Crystals very high standards. It is very apparent that they are all very happy to be there and the unobtrusive quiet service feels comfortable and friendly. There’s no clicking of fingers here, thankfully! Because Gratuities are included you know that the service is genuine.
The Guests were mainly 50+ and tended to be very well travelled and dynamic, probably about 50% American. Obviously Luxury is important but we felt that the various ‘learning at sea’ enrichment programmes including keyboard lessons, renowned speakers and foreign language courses are a huge draw. Coupled with award winning Broadway style theatre productions, cabarets, a dance club and Hollywood theatre you’re spoilt for choice.
Would I change anything – NO.