The world’s newest and most luxurious expedition vessel Crystal Endeavor rendezvoused with Crystal Serenity in a historic meet-up of Crystal ships off the coast of The Bahamas.
Crystal Endeavor is on its inaugural sailing from Miami – a special two-day preview voyage for travel partners and members of the press – while Crystal Serenity is on the last leg of a week-long Luxury Bahamas Escape cruise that departed Miami on Oct. 18. Crystal Endeavor will depart PortMiami Monday on a nine-day cruise en route to San Juan then spend the winter season in Antarctica where it will offer a series of 11- to 19-night Remote Expedition voyages. Crystal Serenity continues her 7-night cruises in The Bahamas through Nov. 8.
With the company’s signature song, “What a Wonderful World,” serenading guests, the new 20,200-GRT expedition yacht encircled Crystal Serenity with guests of both vessels waving enthusiastically during the meet-up as the captains saluted each other via multiple blasts of the ships’ horns.
As the world’s newest and most luxurious expedition yacht, the 200-guest, German-engineered Crystal Endeavor offers a number of industry “firsts,” including the only expedition ship to feature a Japanese restaurant, the first expedition ship to feature a casino, the only expedition ship with a two-story glass-enclosed solarium for nature viewing, largest lead-in suites in the industry, and a staff to guest ratio of one-to-one – the highest in the industry, delivering the personal and genuine service for which Crystal is known.
A leader in unrivaled luxury cruising for 30 years, Crystal distinguishes its ships and its voyages with fine details and nuances that make a big impact for discerning travelers. All-inclusive experiences with globally inspired dining; unlimited pours of fine wines, beers and premium spirits; diverse enriching pursuits both onboard and ashore; and an unwavering standard of genuine, personal service for each guest underscores the Crystal difference.
Today Crystal Cruises announced its highly anticipated 2024 World Cruise, a 105-night epic adventure aboard Crystal Serenity exploring the Southern Hemisphere and beyond from Miami to Rome, January 5 – April 20, 2024. ‘Celebrated Cultures & Treasured Temples’ marks Crystal’s 27th World Cruise and features a near circumnavigation of the globe with 49 ports of call in 22 countries and destinations including the Panama Canal; Mexico; French Polynesia; the South Pacific; New Zealand; Australia; Indonesia; Sri Lanka; India; the Red Sea, the Suez Canal; and the Mediterranean isles of Cyprus, Crete and Sicily.
Guests who were booked on Crystal’s canceled 2022 World Cruise will enjoy an exclusive booking window from September 21 – 30, 2021, and opens for reservations to the public on October 1, 2021. Guests will benefit from 2-for-1 fares including Book Now Savings of up to $17,250 per guest.
“We know our guests will love this new ocean odyssey as it captures just the right mix of luxury, adventure and discovery from the idyllic isles of French Polynesia to the fjords and wine regions of New Zealand to ancient cultures and desert adventures of the Red Sea,” said Jack Anderson, president of Crystal. “The 2024 World Cruise also includes a generous number of days at sea which our guests love and dare I say demand. Sea days are an open invitation to luxuriate in Crystal’s unmatched service, unwind in the spa, lean into relaxation, and enjoy intriguing lectures, incredible dining and glorious, uninterrupted ocean views with no agenda except la dolce vita.”
Showcasing a captivating mix of coastal enclaves less traveled, storied islands and chic cosmopolitan capitals the voyage also features 14 overnight calls in intriguing cities including Panama City, Panama; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Bora Bora and Papeete, French Polynesia; Auckland and Napier, New Zealand; Hobart, (Tasmania), Sydney, and Cairns, Australia; Bali, Indonesia; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Cochin and Mumbai, India; and Eilat, Israel.
Rich with natural and cultural wonders, Crystal’s 27th World Cruise provides access to 45 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from the striking Buddhas of Mumbai’s Elephanta Caves to the intriguing Land of Frankincense in Oman and the famed mosaics of Paphos in Cyprus.
‘Celebrated Cultures & Ancient Temples’ can be enjoyed as a 105-night World Cruise from Miami to Rome, or as an 89-night World Cruise from Los Angeles to Rome, both options affording Full World Cruise benefits. The itinerary is comprised of seven unique 13- to 18-night segments which can be combined for customized regional explorations affording an exclusive five percent savings.
World Cruise segments include:
Panama Passage, 16 nights – Highlights include Key West, Cartagena’s UNESCO-listed Old Town, a Panama Canal transit, overnights in Panama City and Cabo San Lucas and calls in tropical San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, and Huatulco, Mexico.
French Polynesian Perfection, 13 nights – Luxurious days at sea and French Polynesian wonders abound including Nuka Hiva’s towering waterfalls, Rangiroa’s world-class dive sites and Mo’orea’s turquoise lagoons, as well as overnights in idyllic Papeete and Bora Bora.
Pearls of the South Pacific, 14-nights – Beginning with an overnight in Papeete, this voyage features the beauty of Polynesia, Rarotonga’s vibrant reefs, the splendor of Fiji, the culture of Tonga, New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, and an overnight in Auckland, “City of Sails.”
Fabled Fjords & Māori Majesties, 17 nights – The glacier-carved wonders of Fiordland National Park highlight this voyage featuring calls in Tauranga, Wellington, Picton, Christchurch and Dunedin, New Zealand; and overnights in Napier, New Zealand; and Hobart (Tasmania) and Sydney, Australia.
Australian & Indonesian Discovery, 14 nights – An overnight in Cairns, Australia offers Great Barrier Reef adventures while Darwin boasts outdoor pursuits in Kakadu National Park. Komodo Island thrills with its ‘dragons’ and an overnight in Bali reveals mystical temples and lush landscapes.
Cultural Kaleidoscope, 13 nights – An overnight in Colombo, Sri Lanka invites options for exotic exploration including the UNESCO-listed Sacred city of Kandy, while overnights in Cochin and Mumbai, India, and calls in Malaysia and Thailand offer incredible temples, wildlife and urban vigor.
The Sands of Time, 18 nights – A call in Aqaba, Jordan is a doorway to ancient Petra and Wadi Rum, while sunny Eilat, Israel, tempts with spectacular reefs and jeep tours in the Negev Desert. A Suez Canal transit, calls in Cyprus and Crete and the timeless beauty of Sicily complete the journey.
Special events on board and ashore will highlight the Full 2024 World Cruise voyage, while dozens of shoreside Crystal Destination Discoveries™ allow guests to visit some of the world’s most remarkable UNESCO World Heritage sites. Optional curated experiences are offered to suit virtually every traveler preference from the architectural treasures of Sydney’s Opera House and Mumbai’s Shri Siddhivinayak Temple to natural wonders including Masaya Volcano National Park in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, and the crystalline lagoons of Bora Bora. Guests with a taste for even deeper exploration may be tempted by an optional overland adventure to India’s Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
Each of the Full World Cruise options include benefits of air credits of $1,000 for the first two guests per stateroom; two complimentary private transfers between port city airport and the ship; an extravagant Gala Dinner event ashore; an exclusive shoreside World Cruise event; themed onboard events; special gifts; “As You Wish” shipboard spending credits of up to $2,000 per guest; and more!
Guests booking Crystal’s full 2024 World Cruise and combinable segments will enjoy 2-for-1 fares plus Book Now Savings, cruise deposits of 15 percent, as well as 2.5 percent Early Full Payment Savings. Crystal Society members will also enjoy an additional savings of 2.5 percent, and new-to-Crystal guests an additional two percent savings.
A leader in unrivaled luxury cruising for 30 years, Crystal Cruises distinguishes its ships and its voyages with fine details and nuances that make a big impact for discerning travelers. The all-inclusive experience features award-winning entertainment; diverse enrichment options; acclaimed Michelin-inspired dining in multiple specialty venues; unlimited pours of fine wines, beers and premium spirits and an unwavering standard of genuine, personal service for each guest.
2022 Grand Voyage Caribbean Idylls & Mediterranean Masterpiecesredesign of previously scheduled 2022 World Cruise
Today Crystal Cruises unveiled its 2022 Grand Voyage, Caribbean Idylls & Mediterranean Masterpieces, a 132-night, ocean-spanning odyssey on Crystal Serenity from Miami to Los Angeles, January 17 – May 29, 2022. The expansive, destination-rich itinerary calls upon 82 ports in 32 countries and includes 11 overnights in some of the world’s most iconic cities including Istanbul, Monte Carlo, Naples and Cannes, as well as the exclusive island enclaves of St. Barts, Madeira, the Canary Islands and more. Rarely repeating a port of call, the 2022 Grand Voyage allows guests to indulge their wanderlust with new destinations and in-depth explorations of each region. This new Grand Voyage replaces the line’s 2022 World Cruise, which was canceled because many countries on the original itinerary remain uncertain in their ability to welcome guests back at this time.
“Our guests are extremely seasoned travelers who crave worldwide discovery, cultural immersion and the allure of exotic global destinations,” said Jack Anderson, president of Crystal. “This expansive 2022 Grand Voyage has been artfully crafted to showcase rare ports of call and unique experiences that offer our guests a new twist on even the most well-loved destinations, while inviting them to enjoy the indulgences of Michelin-level cuisine, personalized service, unmatched spaciousness and luxurious all-inclusive amenities and comforts that remain the hallmarks of the Crystal Experience.
“We know our guests, especially our extended voyage guests, consider Crystal their second home and that both our guests and crew are part of one large Crystal family. Captain Birger Vorland and his crew are excited to welcome these guests back home to Crystal since having said goodbye to the World Cruise guests in Perth last year,” Anderson continued.
The 2022 Grand Voyage’s curated 132-night itinerary was designed for travelers with a pent-up desire for longer cruise vacations, while also offering those with more limited time for globetrotting the option to choose from 11 cruise segments ranging from nine to 16-nights – perfect for today’s busy luxury traveler. With unique itineraries for each voyage segment and featured destinations including the Caribbean, Morocco, the Cote d’Azur, the Amalfi Coast, the Greek Isles, the Black Sea, the Holy Land and more, the options to create customized combinations for regional exploration are virtually endless. Reservations for the 2022 Grand Voyage will be open to 2022 World Cruise booked guests for an exclusive 10-day booking window from September 14 – 23 and to the public on September 24, 2021.
A standout feature of the 2022 Grand Voyage is the number of islands on the itinerary, 45 in total, including 19 calls in the Caribbean, and a rare immersive exploration of the Canary Islands with calls in six out of seven of the main islands and an overnight call in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Other island explorations include the Cape Verde Islands, the Azores, Madeira, Gibraltar, the Balearic Isles, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Crete, Cyprus, the Greek Isles and Bermuda.
Collectors of rare port experiences will enjoy several seldom visited ports of call showcasing incredible natural beauty and fascinating history including San Blas Islands, Panama; St. Croix, USVI; Ile des Saints, Guadeloupe; Cagliari, Sardinia; Praia and Santo Antão, Cape Verde Islands; Gaeta, Italy; Syracuse, Sicily and more.
Port-rich trans-Atlantic crossings, an abundance of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a transit of the Panama Canal, and explorations of ancient empires, legendary art, magnificent architecture and natural wonders round out this all-encompassing grand ocean voyage.
Caribbean Idylls & Mediterranean Masterpieces departs Miami on January 17, 2022, bound for the warmth of the Caribbean on voyages exploring aquamarine waters, lush landscapes and cultural riches from the ABC isles of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao to the eco-wonders of Costa Rica. Designed to follow the sun and the seasons the 2022 Grand Voyage offers guests the chance to enjoy the best weather of each destination from the sun-washed shores and balmy breezes of winter in the Caribbean to the welcoming climate of the Canary Islands, springtime in the Mediterranean and beyond.
When Crystal Serenity sets sail on the 2022 Grand Voyage, all guests (who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine) will be fully vaccinated as a requirement of the company’s Crystal Clean+ protocols, established in response to COVID-19. Guests 12 and older must be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccination at least 14 days prior to departure for all 2022 Ocean voyages including those guests embarking in Miami. One hundred percent of Crystal’s officers and crew fleetwide will continue to be vaccinated in 2022 as a requirement for employment.
A leader in unrivaled luxury cruising for 30 years, Crystal Cruises distinguishes its ships and its voyages with fine details and nuances that make a big impact for discerning travelers. The all-inclusive experience features award-winning entertainment; diverse enrichment options; globally inspired dining, including Nobu Matsuhisa’s only seagoing restaurants; unlimited pours of fine wines, beers and premium spirits and an unwavering standard of genuine, personal service for each guest.
Miami added to meet demand for close-to-home voyages and unique itinerary leaving from the U.S.
Crystal Cruises today announced it has added Miami as a port of call and a port of embarkation for Crystal Serenity’s Luxury Bahamas Escapes* voyages. The addition of Miami begins with the Saturday, August 7 voyage from Nassau with embarkation from the Port of Miami commencing on Monday, August 9. This update to the itinerary will allow travelers to enjoy a U.S. city departure affording ample flight options as well as another port of call for guests sailing on this unique itinerary. The seven-night round-trip Luxury Bahamas Escapes have been extended to early November and now include three ports of embarkation: Nassau on Saturdays, Bimini on Sundays, and Miami on Mondays. In addition, a new 4-night Luxury Bahamas Getaway sailing on November 15 round-trip from Miami has been added that will visit San Salvador and Exuma while also featuring one day at sea. The voyages featuring Miami opened for reservations today.
As part of its Crystal Clean+ measures, Crystal guests 12 and over must be fully inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to boarding a Crystal ship, however, due to Florida state law, the company will adjust this policy for the Miami port of embarkation and will highly recommend, but not require, that all guests be fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated guests must be pre-approved after initial waitlist, are subject to capacity control, and proof of valid travel insurance is required. Unvaccinated guests will need to adhere to specific protocols and further testing requirements in addition to certain restrictions during their journey, which can be found here. Some of these restrictions for unvaccinated guests include mandatory mask requirement in all public areas except when eating and/or drinking, no access to certain public areas including specialty restaurants, lounges and night clubs, Crystal Life Spa and Crystal Life Fitness and they may not be able to go ashore at certain ports or attend gatherings onboard such as the Crystal Society party, etc. Dining will be assigned in a socially distanced area. Unvaccinated guests will be identified by a red bracelet while vaccinated guests will be identified by a green bracelet to assist the officers and crew in enforcing restrictions. These details will also be communicated in advance and must be agreed upon as a condition of travel.
“The terrific response to our deployment of Crystal Serenity’sLuxury Bahamas Escapes showcases the pent-up desire in cruising and we are thrilled to have resumed cruising on July 3 in The Bahamas,” said Jack Anderson, Crystal’s president. “By adding Port of Miami, we are giving travelers another convenient way to join these popular Bahamas cruises that provide vacation escapes both close to home and yet a world away, with amazing outdoor options from snorkeling and diving to eco-tours and deep-sea fishing, to just relaxing on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
“These itineraries are truly unique because they offer guests the chance to experience exclusive places usually only accessible by seaplanes or private yachts and sailboats. We are delighted that The Bahamas has welcomed us to explore their beautiful Family Islands and we look forward to sharing their natural wonders and authentic, up-close experiences with our guests.”
“We’re working hard to bring back safe cruising at PortMiami stronger than ever,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “I am so excited that Crystal Cruises’ new passenger service to The Bahamas from the Cruise Capital of the World will offer visitors a new travel destination from Miami and generate economic opportunities across our community. Thank you, Crystal Cruises, for choosing PortMiami as a homeport.”
For guests embarking in Nassau and Bimini, the call in Miami offers exciting options for exploring including the chance to stroll among the glamourous Art Deco landmarks in South Beach and a flavorful sampling of Cuban specialties on a tasting tour of Little Havana. Those wishing to experience Florida’s wild side can venture 45 minutes west of Miami to Everglades National Park where airboats skim the “River of Grass” at thrilling speeds and showcase a spectacular ecosystem highlighted by great blue herons, egrets, roseate spoonbills, and the only place on the planet where gators and crocodiles exist side by side.
The Luxury Bahamas Escapes explore the “Out Islands” also knowns as the “Family Islands” with calls in Great Exuma, San Salvador and Long Island, exclusive enclaves of pristine natural beauty featuring gorgeous beaches, incredible ocean reefs for snorkeling and diving, and a relaxed vibe all their own. Optional excursions offer guests the chance to experience the world-famous swimming pigs on Big Major Cay, snorkel the clear waters and colorful reefs of San Salvador and more.
Best Available fares for the Luxury Bahamas Escapes sailings start at $1,999 per guest, including $500 Book Now Savings and $500 air savings. Guests will receive a $125 per person As You Wish shipboard credit with Crystal Society Savings doubling to five percent; new-to-Crystal guests saving 2.5 percent; and solo fares starting at just 125 percent. Best Available fares for the Luxury Bahamas Getaway sailing start at $1,199 per guest. Travelers with Future Cruise Credits and Future Cruise Payments may redeem them on this itinerary. Guests will also enjoy $100 reduced deposits and an extended final payment date of 60 days prior to sailing providing flexibility and ease in the return to travel.
A leader in unrivaled luxury cruising for 30 years, Crystal Cruises distinguishes its ships and its voyages with fine details and nuances that make a big impact for discerning travelers. All-inclusive experience with award-winning entertainment; diverse enrichment options; globally-inspired dining, including Nobu Matsuhisa’s only seagoing restaurants; unlimited pours of fine wines, beers and premium spirits and an unwavering standard of genuine, personal service for each guest underscores the Crystal difference. Crystal Serenity’s social spaciousness has been further increased with a commitment to reduced guest capacity.
Crystal Serenity Sets Sail for the First Time Since 2020
Ship to Homeport in Nassau July – November 2021 For Seven-Night Luxury Bahamas Escapes Voyages
Today, Crystal Cruises celebrated the resumption of its ocean cruise operations asCrystal Serenity set sail from the Port of Nassau on her Luxury Bahamas Escapes, a seven-night voyage exploring the islands of The Bahamas. Crystal Serenity will now homeport in The Bahamas through November for her series ofLuxury Bahamas Escapes cruises, featuring a unique all-Bahamian itinerary.
After more than a year of anticipation and planning, the long-awaited return to cruising was celebrated with a Homeporting Inauguration Ceremony in Nassau by Crystal executives, Bahamian government officials including the Honorable Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar and Director General Joy Jibrilu from The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, and dignitaries from the Port of Nassau.
Guests boarded Crystal Serenity for the first time since spring of 2020 and were enthusiastically welcomed back by the joyous and eager officers, staff and crew of Crystal’s flagship. A Junkanoo parade entertained guests in a lively Bahamian tradition of music, dancing and colorful costumes at the pier. The ship received a water cannon salute as she left the harbor with the sounds of Crystal Cruises’ signature sail away song “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong as the musical backdrop for this milestone moment.
“We are delighted to celebrate this historic day in Nassau as Crystal Serenity resumes sailing and welcomes our guests, who we consider our Crystal Family, back on board,” said Carmen Roig, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Crystal who was in The Bahamas for the festivities. “We thank the Honorable Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism & Aviation for The Commonwealth of The Bahamas and Director General Joy Jibrilu, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism for their partnership in helping to accomplish these special voyages and for the warm welcome Crystal has received.
“This is a historic moment for Crystal, our employees, and especially for our officers and crew and we are happy to be back where we belong, sailing the oceans of the world and creating experiences that become cherished lifelong memories. We want to thank our travel partners for their support during this long journey back to sailing and our loyal Crystal guests for standing with us and cheering us on to this joyful moment,” Roig said.
Luxury Bahamas Escapes opened for reservations to record demand in March, representing the biggest single day of bookings in the company’s history within the first 24 hours of its release.
“It’s a momentous day in Nassau as we bid bon voyage to eager passengers and crew aboard Crystal Serenity. It’s our great pleasure to welcome Crystal Cruises back to The Bahamas after months of anticipation, collaboration and tremendous planning,” said the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation. “The thrilling itineraries that await travelers will help refuel our local economy while also providing an unforgettable experience for guests.”
“Our exceptional partnership with Crystal Cruises has brought an entirely new experience to the market. Never have travelers had the opportunity to explore so much of The Bahamas on one vessel. From the lively downtown of Nassau to the secluded escapes found across the beautiful Out Islands,” said Director General for Ministry of Tourism, Joy Jibrilu. “We’re confident that these special voyages will prove why ‘It’s Better in The Bahamas!’”
Beginning with today’s voyage Crystal Serenity will homeport in Nassau through November 13, 2021, departing round-trip every Saturday for the line’s Luxury Bahamas Escapes. Guests will also have the option of sailing round-trip from Bimini for Luxury Bahamas Escapes. The seven-day voyages feature a unique all-Bahamian itinerary exploring the island nation’s “Out Islands” also knowns as the “Family Islands” with calls in Great Exuma, San Salvador and Long Island.
Exclusive enclaves of pristine natural beauty, the Out Islands feature gorgeous beaches, incredible ocean reefs for snorkeling and diving, and a relaxed vibe all their own. Crystal has partnered with more than 30 local Bahamian businesses to offer guests small group experiences that are both local and authentic, with the additional goal of contributing to the reinvigoration of tourism in these island destinations.
Guests will enjoy the exuberant and distinctly Bahamian sendoff by a 15-member Junkanoo band on everyLuxury Bahamas Escapes voyage as the ship departs the port of Nassau.
Crystal has implemented new Crystal Clean+ protocols that address the unique challenges of COVID-19 with measures that include mandatory vaccination for guests and crew, COVID-19 testing at embarkation, and more. Because of the mandatory vaccination requirement, guests will be able to explore ashore independently. As a reminder, Crystal Clean+ protocols are under continual review based on scientific data and evolving recommendations from local and global authorities.
Through the Crystal Pristine program, Crystal maintains a commitment to following, and in some instances exceeding, worldwide environmental regulations and preserving the beauty of the oceans in which Crystal ships travel. In fact, the company was recently awarded the Blue Circle Award from the Port of Vancouver, which acknowledges cruise lines that voluntarily implement sustainability measures and practices that go above and beyond those required by port regulations.
Best Available fares for Crystal’s Luxury Bahamas Escapes cruises start from $1,999 per guest, including $500 Book Now Savings and $500 air savings along with Best Available Savings by category. Guests can take advantage of $100 reduced deposits per person and will receive a $125 per person As You Wish shipboard credit with Crystal Society Savings doubling to five percent; new-to-Crystal guests saving 2.5 percent; and solo fares starting at just 125 percent. Travelers with Future Cruise Credits and Future Cruise Payments may redeem them on these sailings.
Nach der Crystal Symphony wurde nun auch die Crystal Serenity in Bremerhaven komplett renoviert und technisch upgedatet. Michael Wolf schaute sich die Neuerungen bei einer Fahrt an der US-amerikanischen Westküste an.
Ein Wintertag in Los Angeles präsentiert sich erfreulicherweise wettermäßig meist anders als hierzulande. Bei strahlendem Sonnenschein bietet sich heute von den Hügeln der Halbinsel bei San Pedro aus ein herrlicher Blick – in der einen Richtung auf die Skyline der Metropole mit den dem von hier aus winzigen Hollywood-Schriftzügen und den schneebedeckten Bergen. Auf der anderen Seite auf den Hafen von Los Angeles, im Hintergrund ist sogar Long Beach mit dem Kultschiff Queen Mary erkennbar, das hier als Hotelschiff sein Dasein fristet. Im Industriehafen liegt das World Cruise Terminal, das seinen großen Namen sicher irgendwann verdienen wird, hier wartet bereits die weiße Crystal Serenity auf ihre letzten Gäste. Das Terminalgebäude hat den nostalgischen Charme einer Gepäckhalle aus anderen Zeiten. Das Ankommen auf dem Schiff ist dafür dann spektakulär: Im Rezeptionsbereich ist ein gutes Dutzend von mobilen Eincheck-Stationen aufgebaut, an denen freundliche Mitarbeiter nur auf uns zu warten scheinen. Ein guter Einstieg in den Luxus des Schiffes, dezent begleitet von einem Glas Champagner. Das Atrium mit seinen Freitreppen, dem Wasserfall unter der beeindruckenden farbigen Glasmosaik-Kuppel präsentiert sich an diesem Dezembertag wie eine Weihnachtslandschaft: Verschneite Tannenbäume, Rentiere, Schlitten mit Geschenken, Märchenfiguren und natürlich Weihnachtsmänner in allen Variationen sind mit unglaublicher Liebe zum Detail hier und an allen öffentlichen Räumen des Schiffes platziert. Kaum eine andere Cruise Line bietet seinen Passagieren eine derart fast verschwenderische Weihnachtsdekoration wie Crystal Cruises. Aber nicht nur wegen des weihnachtlichen Touches präsentiert sich die Crystal Serenity heute anders: Das Schiff wurde nach der Crystal Symphony im Rahmen des Erneuerungsprogrammes der Reederei komplett upgedatet. (Unsere letzte Schiffsbeschreibung finden Sie in an Bord 2-2016). 28 Tage dauerten die umfangreichen Renovierungsarbeiten auf der Lloyd-Werft in Bremerhaven, die wie Crystal Cruises zur malaysischen Genting Gruppe gehört.
Gastronomie mit neuer Philosophie
Das bisherige an manchen Ecken etwas schwülstige Hauptrestaurant, der Crystal Dining Room mit seinen zwei Sitzungen, hat ausgedient. Es präsentiert sich jetzt in hellen frischen Farben mit blauen und beigen Akzenten, anderer Beleuchtung und mehr kleineren Tischen als zuvor, mehr Individualität ist gefragt. Der Name Waterside entstand zuerst auf den Flussschiffen von Crystal, ist jetzt flottenweit für die Hauptrestaurants mit ihren internationalen Menüs eingeführt. Ebenfalls übernommen wurde auch die Open Dining Politik: Innerhalb der Öffnungszeiten können die Gäste jetzt zu jeder Zeit ohne Reservierung essen.
Das ehemalige Lido Café hoch oben am Heck auf Deck 12 beherbergt in seinen Räumen mit dem schönen Außenbereich jetzt zwei Gastronomiekonzepte. Tagsüber bietet es als Marketplace großzügige Buffets sowie frische Küche. Abends verwandelt es sich in das brasilianische Restaurant Churrascaria mit südamerikanischen Cocktails, Tapas und Grillspezialitäten. Auf demselben Deck mittig entstand das Silk Kitchen & Bar (zuvor Tastes), wo unter anderem frische chinesische Wok-Gerichte und Suppen serviert werden. Getrennt durch eine living wall aus Grünpflanzen liegt auf der anderen Seite unverändert (gut) der Trident Grill für das späte Frühstück und Tagesgerichte oder Snacks sowie die umfangreiche, immer gut umlagerte, Eiscreme-Bar. Umi Uma ist der neue Name für das neu designte asiatische Restaurant (ehemals Silk Road & The Sushi Bar). Es serviert als einziges Restaurant auf See die Küche des mittlerweile fast global bekannten japanisch-peruanischen Master Chefs Nobu Matsuhisa. Sicher eine der besten Sushi-Küchen, die es derzeit gibt. Hier wie im italienischen Restaurant Prego besteht Reservierungspflicht, ein Besuch pro Fahrt ist kostenfrei, nur die Bewohner der größeren Suiten dürfen mehrfach gustieren. Sehenswert und ideal für die Kamera: das Grand Gala Buffet, das einmal pro Fahrt im Atrium von der Crew um den österreichischen Executive-Chef Franz Weiss in einer unglaublich aufwendigen Art aufgebaut wird. Sushi, Hummer, Austern – an mehr als zwanzig Stationen haben die Passagiere die Qual der Wahl.Auch hier wie in allen Restaurants und Bars wird eine große Auswahl von inkludierten Getränken angeboten, von Champagner bis zu unterschiedlichsten lokalen Weinen. Der deutsche Chef-Sommelier Tilmar Pfefferkorn aus Hamburg versteht seinen Job als Glücksfall. „Ich komme hier mit Weinen in Kontakt, die man sonst nie sehen würde“, sagt er. Und er kennt natürlich die eigenen Weingüter der Reederei in Kalifornien, deren Produkte auch an Bord ausgeschenkt werden. Einmal pro Jahr macht er in einem Weinland Urlaub, um sich neue Anregungen zu holen. „Besonders interessant wird es, wenn die Weine noch unbekannt sind. Deshalb geht es dieses Jahr für mich nach Polen.“
Intimität und Individualität
Teil des neuen Gastronomiekonzeptes ist auch der Umbau des Stardust Club, eine beliebte Lounge für Drinks, Livemusik und zum Tanzen auf Deck 6. Hier wurde nicht nur mit beige-braunen Farben und neuen Möbeln Akzente gesetzt, sondern auch ein komplett neues Licht- und Bühnensystem eingebaut. Der für Tischgruppen geschaffene Platz verhelfen der Lounge zu einer neuen Multinationalität: vom Bridge-Event bis zur Dinner-Show im dann neubenannten Stardust Supper Club. Dabei werden dieselben Menüs und Weine serviert wie im Waterside, dazu gibt es Unterhaltung vom bordeigenen Entertainment-Ensemble, in den Servierpausen kann dann zu den Klängen eines Streichquartettes getanzt werden. Da der Supper Club nur an ein bis zwei Abenden pro Fahrt performt, kommt allerdings nur ein Bruchteil der Passagiere in den Genuss der neuen Attraktion…..