Just off the 8 day 12/6 sailing on the Serenity and thought I’d share my review as a first timer on Crystal:Embarkation: This was the one negative point for the entire trip. It seemed they were overwhelmed with passengers around 11:30-12, which isn’t that surprising, but that’s the time that was on my tickets and suggested that I go. Numbers were handed out and finally when they started embarkation around noon, it was group 1, 2, etc., which seemed to very orderly. Just too much standing/sitting around, and no refreshments offered except for some terminal vending machines. It would have been nice to have a Crystal station with at least some water. Dining:Marketplace - the buffet was excellent everyday. Produce and fruits were fresh and plentiful. Many of the main courses mirrored the menu in Waterside, but without having to sit for a formal meal. Tables were plentiful, never had to wait or even look around for an option. Waiters quickly grabbed plates to escort you to a table so you didn’t have to carry them. Drinks were plentiful and delivered quickly. Staff was extremely friendly, smiles on their faces and seemed happy to be there.Waterside - Only had dinners here and felt the food was outstanding. I’ve been on many mainline cruises, and there’s no comparison. I’ve had the opportunity to dine in some of finest restaurants in the world, and thought the food was overall excellent. Meal pacing was perfect, plates were removed expeditiously, special requests were accommodated, waiter and his team were also excellent, as was the sommelier. I think we had one complaint here for the week, which is that a appetizer fork was delivered instead of an entree fork for on night. I mean, if fork size is the biggest complaint, you know they did an excellent job. Umi Uma - Sat at the sushi bar one night for dinner. Sushi/sashimi was extremely fresh and innovative, things we don’t always find in many places at home in NY. My wagyu filet was also very good. Prego - We arrived earlier than our 7:30 reservation, but were seated immediately. Service was impeccable, as was the theme throughout the trip. Special food requests were again handled perfectly. Avenue Saloon - Denis did a great job as bartender, taking care of our martinis and ensuring that we had a bowl of peanuts some nights when the regular jars had mixed nuts that we didn’t prefer. Would have liked to have seen pigs in a blanket more than just on Friday, but that was a treat. Otherwise, felt the passed apps were lacking in variety and quality. Cabin - We were in a B2, which I believe is the limited view verandah. There’s no limited view, so we were pleased. The gangway takes away nothing from the view. Although smaller than some other ships and much smaller than hotels, the room was completely adequate in size. There was no need for anything larger. Closet space and drawer space was plentiful, and there were sufficient hangers for us. The cabin stewardess was invisible, which is exactly as it should be, except our room was miraculously made up whenever we left. That’s 5-star service and what’s expected. I don’t want to walk down the hallways and always see the big cleaning carts and have to dodge vacuum cleaners. Very impressive. Deck Chairs - This was a treat compared to mainline ships. We never had an issue getting deck chairs and often were able to get the daybeds and couches on the sides, if that’s what we wanted. Yes, there are always some chairs that are reserved with nobody on them, but didn’t see it occur that much and never had an issue getting our own setup. In addition, often saw guests get up and remove their towels so others could take the seats, almost unheard of on other ships unless they charge $25 if you don’t return the towels. Smoking was also at a minimum on deck, which is excellent. Drink service was plentiful with a hardworking staff running around all day to ensure my drink never got empty. One odd complaint, the pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris are made from scratch, no mixes. I actually prefer the artificial taste of the mixes like island oasis, go figure. Casino - Relatively empty and very quiet for the trip. Offered reasonable rules for a BJ player and decent perks if you join the Resorts World at Sea program including OBC.Entertainment - I came in with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. The shows were short, but high energy. The dancers were excellent, as were the singers, and felt there was a bunch of music to appeal to different age groups. Overall, that part was great. Otherwise, I felt the evening entertainment was a bit lacking. I like to listen to live music, but as a younger individual, I know Crystal doesn’t generally cater to me. It would have been nice to have a night or two with the show and playing some light rock music that some of us would have enjoyed listening to. Ports - The itinerary was very good, with some good destination ports. The highlight for us was booking a day pass at the Four Seasons in Nevis and enjoying a beach day, once the rain passed. I do think Crystal needs to reevaluate their itineraries and the use of tenders. We hit some windy weather, which makes for rougher seas. Rougher seas equal more difficulty in boarding tenders. In St Barts, the tender boarding took entirely too long. The average passenger on Crystal skews older, and it makes tendering all that much more difficult. They had 4 Crew members assisting, but it still became dangerous and definitely not ideal. There needs to be a trade off between going to the more attractive islands (that don’t have docks) and the standard clientele where tendering is not a good solution. Debarkation - Best I’ve ever seen. Off the ship and through customs within 5 minutes, and then into a taxi onto the airport. It helps that many passengers were on a B2B, so not many getting off, but still, it was extremely efficient and easy. Overall, just an outstanding trip for our first experience on Crystal. We’d definitely consider another one if itineraries line up with our vacation plans. Almost no complaints whatsoever on the 8 day trip. Going to be hard to get back to reality and the office on Monday.