Crystal Serenity emerges with open-seating dining, supper club, Seabreeze Penthouses

From top left, clockwise, Palm Court, Stardust Club, Silk Kitchen & Bar, Waterside entrance (click on imags to enlarge) From top left, clockwise, Palm Court, Stardust Club, Silk Kitchen & Bar, Waterside entrance (click on imags to enlarge) PHOTOS: Crystal Cruises

Emerging from an almost four-week dry dock in Bremerhaven, Crystal Serenity is ready to welcome travelers after its most extensive refurbishment ever.

Mirroring the changes implemented aboard Crystal Symphony a year ago, Crystal Serenity now offers new dining options and open-seating dining and new butler-serviced Seabreeze Penthouse and Seabreeze Penthouse Suite accommodations. Redesigned lounge and entertainment venues include the Stardust Club with its supper club and Palm Court, plus a new production, 'Crystal on Broadway, The Show,' and new interactive technological amenities.

Crystal Serenity will set sail from Lisbon Nov. 10.

New dining options

Waterside takes the place of the Crystal Dining Room and reflects the look of the main dining spots on Crystal River Cruises and Crystal Symphony. The venue continues to serve daily changing menus of international classic and modern cuisine, paired with unlimited fine wines, spirits and beers.

The restaurant now features more intimate seating with tables for two and four, as well as contemporary finishes, integrated lighting, a new ceiling feature and 'tile; treatment to create a cozier atmosphere. Breakfast and lunch service times continue as they were previously, while diners can arrive for dinner any time they choose. The dinner menu continues to be offered for room service dining during dinner hours.

The Marketplace and Churrascaria are the new daytime and evening identities of the former Lido Café, respectively. Both venues feature an open-kitchen concept with dishes made to order. The Marketplace serves expansive buffet-style breakfast and lunch options and transforms into Churrascaria for dinner.

This Brazilian-style barbecue begins with a traditional Caipirinha cocktail, then offers a selection of tapas and ceviche, salads and soups, vegetables and freshly grilled meat and seafood brochettes, served by Crystal 'gauchos' on sword-like skewers for tableside carving. Churrascaria offers open seating and does not require reservations.

Silk Kitchen & Bar

In the Trident area of the ship that was formerly Tastes, this Asian-inspired venue serves traditional Chinese comfort food in an elegant alfresco atmosphere. Family-style favorites are on the menu for dinner, while lunch options include a noodle bar, wok dishes, traditional dumplings, Chinois soup and a small selection of favorite menu items from Tastes. Silk also serves Crystal’s late risers breakfast service. Breakfast and lunch are open seating, while reservations are required for dinner.

Umi Uma, rebranded from Silk Road & The Sushi Bar, continues to serve the Japanese-Peruvian specialties of master chef Nobu Matsuhisa by his personally trained chefs. Dinner reservations are required for Crystal’s specialty restaurants, including Prego, which continues to serve Italian specialties.

Stardust Supper Club

The Stardust Club, a nighttime spot for drinks and dancing, features a new dance floor, new bar finishes and a refreshed décor, resulting in a lighter and more spacious feel, with new lighting and technological upgrades. A new seating configuration allows the room to be easily transformed into a multifunctional space to host the Stardust Supper Club and large gatherings from bridge tournaments to live evening entertainment.

This new dining experience reminiscent of the Rat Pack era debuts on black-tie-optional evenings in the Stardust Club. A four-course menu and live musical performances from Crystal’s Ensemble and string quartet are featured. The cuisine reflects specialties served in Waterside, with wine pairings and desserts as well as a vegetarian menu.

Palm Court has been reimagined with an intimate atmosphere. The stage has been relocated to an 'in-the-round' concept, with a new, modernized bar. More tables for two and intimate seating areas, new finishes, lighting, carpeting and furniture reflect the understated modern luxury of Palm Court on Crystal Symphony. New touches include a combination of cocktail tables and chairs, dramatic wingback chairs with footstools, sofas and coffee tables. For traditional afternoon tea, the previous stage area has become a dedicated culinary space with fresh pastries and snacks.

In the Galaxy Lounge, the Crystal entertainment team is installing a new Broadway-style production, 'Crystal on Broadway, The Show,' featuring songs from the hit musicals 'Rent,' 'Something Rotten!' and 'West Side Story.' The show, which debuts on the Dec. 7 'Pacific Coast Panorama' cruise, springs from the partnership with Kevin McCollum, the multi-Tony Award winning producer of 'Rent,' 'Something Rotten!' and the most recent Broadway revival of 'West Side Story.'

Pulse and the Resorts World Casino at Sea have also been updated with new carpet and furnishings in warm tones.

New Seabreeze Penthouses

On Deck 10, 36 new Seabreeze Penthouses and two Seabreeze Penthouse Suites - all delivered by ALMACO Group - now occupy the space of former deluxe staterooms with verandah. Thes offer the same specialty services including butlers, walk-in closets, spa-like bathrooms and square footage as the other Penthouses on board (367 square feet and 491 square feet respectively, including the verandah).

Custom, contemporary design and décor are featured throughout, with gemstone-colored velvets, natural materials and brushed brass touches with marble details. The Seabreeze Penthouses also feature entries that are shared between two suites and recessed from the hallway, facilitating connecting accommodations. In-room specialty dining and unlimited reservations at specialty restaurants are among the enhanced services.

The transformation reduces Crystal Serenity's capacity from 1,070 to 980 passengers, while the number of crew remains the same.

Technology enhancements

In all public areas and suites, new, HD flat-panel televisions have been added, enabling access to shipboard folios, Crystal Life Spa & Salon menus, the Connoisseur Wine menu and daily restaurant menus. The new on-demand system also offers a vast library of blockbuster films and entertainment, live views from the ship, broadcasts of lectures, presentations and destination information. Upgraded, pervasive Wi-Fi coverage throughout the ship is delivered via dedicated antennae in every suite and all public areas and open decks.

The new 'Crystal Connect' portal is also live and accessible via smartphones, tablets and computers with shipboard and itinerary information, menus, shore excursions and port maps, the 'Reflections' daily newspaper, complimentary global papers and an entertainment library.

The Computer University@Sea received new carpeting, seating and computer equipment, along with 70-inch TVs. The multifunctional enrichment room, The Studio, has been divided to offer a classroom for language, art and other instruction and a separate dance studio for private lessons.

Posted 09 November 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review