Crystal Serenity Cruise Review by ricki
- Sail Date: December 2014
- Destination: Western Caribbean
We easily found parking close to the designated terminal and our wait time once in the terminal was less than 20 minutes. The embarkation process was simple and well executed.
The Main Dining Room was open for lunch, and the choices were varied. DH and I both chose the Cobb Salad and a glass of champagne. Just a word about the All Inclusive nature of Crystal--all gratuities are included and there is no charge for any alcoholic beverages, soft drinks or specialty coffee drinks. At no time did we feel that the wine pours were poor offerings, nor did we feel that the sommelier's were less attentive. If we did not prefer the selections of the evening, the sommelier graciously provided alternative.
Or Penthouse stateroom was beautifully appointed with lots of storage, a walk-in closet, a full sized couch and a large bathroom with separate tub and shower. We were continually spoiled by our excellent butler, Krunch.
Crystal is known for its service, enrichment and food. We are happy to report that Crystal delivered in all of those areas. Service in the Main Dining Room, Specialty restaurants (Silk Road is our favorite!) and the Lido Deck is intuitive and gracious, with a very friendly staff and crew who quickly called us by name. The only area where service was less than friendly was in the Bistro.
Crystal's Main Dining Room menu offers both Modern and Classic cuisine. At times it was difficult to make a choice since everything was so appealing. I often asked for a half portion of two different items, so that I could sample both. Tastes, Crystal's casual dining experience, is perfect for al fresco dining. With the trees and lighting, one forgets that you are on a ship, it feels more like a charming European restaurant. The food at Tastes is a variety of small plates, perfect for sharing. The food is inventive and delicious. We enjoyed both Prego, the elegant Italian restaurant and Silk Road, Nobu's Asian restaurant. The quality of the sashimi and sushi is excellent, and the dishes are prepared by Nobu trained chefs, using Nobu's recipes and suppliers. The end result is a terrific experience! There are multiple options for lunch: the Main Dining Room, the Lido Cafe, Tastes for Lunch, the Bistro and the Trident Grill. The Lido Deck waiters are so personable and so hardworking. They are Crystal's "Secret Weapons!" Everyone commented on their amazing service. Of course there are other calorie challenges: The Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Bar and a lovely afternoon tea in the Palm Court.
Sea days were favorites with knowledgeable speakers on a variety of topics, Art at Sea classes, computer classes, bingo, needlepoint, knitting, etc., plus a well-stocked library and a very helpful librarian. The pool area is very comfortable with no shortage of chairs and lounges. Additionally, there are lots of quiet areas inside to read or watch the sea. The Fitness Center is open 24 hours a day, and there is a Promenade Deck that encircles the ship.
The evening entertainment was on a high level with energetic, talented performers. Mark Ferris, the pianist in the Avenue Saloon had the room packed until 1 am! He's a gifted performer who learns everyone's name and shows real warmth in his performance. The audience adored him, as did we!
Disembarkation was smooth and quick. We found our luggage easily, and were in the car and out of the terminal area very rapidly.
We look forward to our next Crystal Cruise with great anticipation! It was a wonderful experience that combined the comfort of a small ship, but the activities and options of a larger vessel. Hooray for the best staff and crew in the cruise industry!
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