LOS ANGELES — Crystal Cruises has unveiled plans for Crystal Symphony’s and Crystal Serenity’s multimillion dollar renovations including new suites, dining venues and guest services. The dry dock transformations will be the most comprehensive makeovers to date for the two vessels, says the cruise line.
In what the company is calling the ‘Evolution of Crystal Luxury’, this year and next Crystal is investing millions of dollars into new spaces for the ships, and “new standards of innovative luxury”. The plans for Crystal’s two ocean ships are the latest in its brand expansion, which will also see new river yachts, new ocean-going vessels and a privately-owned B777 joining the fleet in the next three years.
Crystal Symphony’s redesign is set for Sept. 19 – Oct. 21, 2017 and Crystal Serenity’s for Oct. 14 – Nov. 10, 2018.
Crystal CEO and President Edie Rodriguez called Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity “the foundation” of the cruise line. “These ships have earned us not only acclaim from the world’s most eminent entities and publications for more than two decades, but more importantly, the loyalty of the world’s most discerning travellers and travel partners,” she said. “We are committed to continuing their reign as the most luxurious ships at sea by investing in changes and updates that will far exceed our guests’ wishes.”
As part of the extensive redesign, several staterooms will be converted into brand new luxurious penthouse categories to take the place of smaller staterooms. There will also be new dining options, “high-tech perks” and what Rodriguez says will be modern, elegant décor updates in many public spaces.
New Penthouses and Penthouse Suites
Both ships will gain more of the spacious, butler-serviced Penthouses and Penthouse Suites. Crystal Symphony will see two new categories of accommodations altogether: Seabreeze Penthouse Suite with Verandah (12 new suites added) and Seabreeze Penthouse with Verandah (28 new suites added), both occupying Deck 9, Seabreeze. The new accommodations will boast the same square footage as existing Penthouses and Penthouse Suites (367 square feet and 491 square feet respectively), while Seabreeze Penthouses will be connected by a shared an entryway recessed from the hall.
Aboard Crystal Serenity, the 36 additional Penthouses and two additional Penthouse Suites will occupy the current Penthouse Deck 10, and will also offer the same square footage as existing Penthouses and Penthouse Suites (403 square feet and 538 square feet respectively).
Penthouse accommodations offer guests enhanced all-inclusive Crystal amenities, including butler service and in-room specialty dining. Penthouse guests will also now receive unlimited complimentary dining at the onboard specialty restaurants.
The conversion of staterooms into the new penthouse accommodations effectively reduces the ships’ guest capacities – Crystal Symphony to 848 and Crystal Serenity to 980 – and increases the per-guest space ratio aboard the ships to 60.2 and 70.3 respectively. Rodriguez says abundant space throughout its luxury ships has long been a cornerstone of Crystal’s platform, and a key distinction between its ships and competitors.
Refreshed Dining Options
The Crystal Dining Room, the ships’ centrally located main dining venue, will become Waterside, reflecting the décor and ambiance of the main dining room aboard Crystal River Cruises’ Crystal Mozart. Additional tables for two and four guests will offer expanded options for intimate dining while a new open seating concept invites guests to dine at leisure between 6 and 9:30 p.m., eliminating Crystal’s previous format of assigned seating and reservations. Waterside will also continue to serve breakfast and lunch during current timeframes.
The Lido Café on both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will take on new life as the Marketplace by day and Churrascaria by night. Both venues will feature an open kitchen concept with dishes made to order. The Marketplace will continue to serve casual buffet style breakfast and lunch options, and will transition to Churrascaria, a stylish casual dinner venue, from 6 to 9 p.m., creating an additional evening option for guests. Churrascaria will feature a Caipirinha as a welcome cocktail and serve a selection of Brazilian-inspired tapas, ceviche, salads and grilled seafood and meats presented by Crystal ‘gauchos’ on sword-like skewers.
New to the Crystal menu of onboard restaurants on both ships will be Silk, located in the Trident area of their respective Lido Decks. The contemporary space will offer modern Chinese-inspired fare with family-style dinner plates ideal for sharing, and self-service options for breakfast and lunch that include dumplings, Chinois salad, a soup and noodle bar and other Asian favorites. For the dinner hours between 6 and 9 p.m., reservations will be recommended, although open seating will be accommodated. The Trident Bar & Grill will remain in the adjacent space, serving casual grilled options including burgers and sandwiches.
Silk Road and The Sushi Bar, the specialty dining venues by famed Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, will be rebranded as Umi Uma – reflecting the Japanese word for Crystal’s seahorses, so prevalent in the cruise line’s branding. The venues will still serve the inspired cuisine of Nobu, prepared by his personally trained chefs, and will remain the only Nobu restaurants at sea.
All specialty dining reservations for Umi Uma and Prego will be complimentary for Penthouse guests, while all other guests will enjoy one complimentary evening of specialty dining, with additional reservations available for a modest charge. Reservations are always required for specialty dining venues.
Upon completion of Crystal Symphony’s dry dock in November 2017, guests will receive unlimited free WiFi throughout any Crystal voyage aboard all Crystal vessels. Crystal’s investment in technological amenities for guests will include hardware and software enhancements to enable expanded Internet connectivity and doubled satellite speed. A new guest portal – Crystal Connect – will be launched and featured on the landing page of onboard Internet connections. The portal enables guests to easily access the Internet, as well as shipboard information including daily menus from each restaurant, daily Reflections, day and evening activities, Crystal Adventures shore excursions and daily port maps. A number of international newspapers will also be available for digital viewing, as well as a library of box office hit movies and Crystal lectures on demand. Crystal Connect will also be available in a mobile application for use on guests’ personal devices.
In all rooms throughout the ships – in each stateroom and in all public areas – ultra-thin 42” interactive flat-panel TVs will enable guests to conveniently access their onboard folios, view the Crystal Spa & Salon, Connoisseur Wine Selection, and dining menus, with the ability to make any onboard reservations, reserve shore excursions and order room service. These new interactive TVs will also showcase the latest Hollywood movies and hit TV series. Crystal’s acclaimed Computer University@Sea classrooms will also undergo updates and makeover, further enhancing the technological experience and enrichment for guests.
Reimagined Public Spaces
The top-deck, forward Palm Court lounge aboard Crystal Serenity will be entirely redesigned to feature more intimate seating, while Crystal Symphony’s mid-ship Starlite Club, a hub for evening dancing and cocktails, will also be refitted, still with panoramic sea views.