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  1. Crystal Serenity dry-dock began shortly after the last of the guests from the voyage I was just on were off the ship this past Sunday, October 18. Because of weather they left the port of Lisbon on Monday, October 19 and looks to be on schedule as they arrived just a little while ago to the facility in Germany where they will remain until the dry dock work is complete. The work is taking place at one of the shipyards owned by Genting. Photo from Crystal Cruises web site showing live views.
  2. We are booked into cabin 7055 [category C1] on Crystal Serenity in March 2019. Is there a tea kettle in the room of this delux stateroom with large picture window, to make tea/coffee? Thanks, Ben
  3. Looking forward to a gay oldtime !
  4. We are considering a segment that includes Luderitz, Walvis Bay, St Helena, Ascension Island, Dakar & Cape Verde among other ports. I have been reading a review of a Western Africa cruise on another board. Although only some of the ports overlap, this review about that area is very negative and quite disconcerting. If you have traveled Western Africa, perhaps on a previous WC, I would appreciate learning of your experiences. Yes, I know that I can do port by port in another section, but I am seeking general impression. The rest of the cruise goes to Malaga, BCN & Monaco..ports that we do not need to repeat.
  5. Sandraque

    Smoking on Crystal Serenity

    i have searched the forum and board for first time Crystal cruisers and haven't found the information I am looking for. Is smoking allowed in the casino? When sitting around the pool is smoking allowed there? Thank you.

    Serenity Question

    Does anyone know if Serenity's 4 Crystal Penthouses were refurbished during the recent drydock?
  7. curtdesilets

    Returning To Serenity

    We just booked Serenity for a California Coastal Cruise out of San Pedro. It's been a while since we cruised Crystal. What do I need to know about reservations for dinner? I do understand Serenity is quite changed as of her dry dock earlier this year. We like to eat early, will that be a problem? Any other tips will be appreciated. - Curtis
  8. My wife and I are looking at taking the May 17 Cote D'Azur and find that compared to Seabourn, Silversea, Regent, the pricing is significantly discounted. I see read that parts of the ship are being refurbished. We would be looking at a balcony for $2,300 or suite for $3,500 pp. Our only cruise experience is Silversea Shadow (Alaska), Queen Mary 2 (NY-Quebec). Given these 2 experiences which were good, are we going to be disappointed w/ Crystal Serenity? Am I correct that all of the suites have been upgraded but not balcony rooms? We are 54 yrs old and realize that we may be on the younger side of the crowd but understand this itinerary has no formal nights (which is good). Please let me know your thoughts/experiences as I want to manage my expectations and not make a mistake..... Thanks in advance. Anthony
  9. I just posted the following review on the Regent board, and thought it might be helpful here too... We have just completed our first cruise on Regent Explorer, and thought it might be helpful to do a comparison between our several experiences on Crystal Serenity and Symphony and RSSC Explorer. Needless to say, the comparison is our own very personal view and others might not agree. I have confined my comparison to Accommodations, Food, Ship Décor, Excursions, Entertainment/Enrichment and Service, but am happy to answer questions if there is anything I have missed. Accommodations We stayed in a Master Suite, which was wonderful. It was a little over the top for us, having 2 bedrooms which we did not need. The layout was good if anyone wanted to share, with the bedrooms being separated by the living room, to give some privacy. The suite was beautifully decorated (apart from the art!!), spacious and well appointed. The wrap-around balcony was fantastic and is the largest balcony I have ever seen. The only suite on either Symphony or Serenity that could compare is the Crystal Penthouse, which we love, but the cost is significantly higher. Friends of ours were in a Grand Suite which was also very nice and most probably what we would book if we sailed with Regent again. Because of the lack of any comparable suite at a comparable price, Regent wins. Food We enjoyed the variety of food available. All the restaurants were beautifully decorated and spacious, with plenty of separation/privacy between tables which made them very pleasant places to be. We very much enjoyed the food in Chartreuse and Prime 7. Pacific Rim, which we expected to be our favourite, was ‘OK’ and Compass Rose was great one evening and so-so another. One minor niggle was that during dinner, the captain sometimes spoke via the speaker system for several minutes to tell us we had arrived in port. We couldn’t understand this at all. It interrupted conversation and, really, there was no information being imparted which couldn’t have waited. Whilst we enjoyed the food on Explorer, in our view it was a notch or 2 beneath Crystal. Ship Décor/Layout On the whole, we loved the décor and layout of the ship, the only exception being the paintings/wall art which was not at all to our taste. We also have a soft spot for both Crystal and Serenity, even though they are somewhat dated in certain areas. I think it’s close, but Regent probably has to win, simply because it is a new ship and the design is a cohesive palate of colors and textures which were designed from the outset to work with each other. The higher ceilings help also. Excursions I was not expecting much in the way of excursions (because of them being ‘included’) but the few we went on were very well run and enjoyable. For St Petersburg, Regent arranged a private car and guide for us for the 3 days and it was beyond excellent. I don’t think there is anything to pick between Regent and Crystal on excursions. Entertainment/Enrichment This was an area where I felt Regent was a disappointment. Our cruise was 10 days long. There was no show on the first or last night or one other night mid-cruise. 2 acts were repeated over 2 nights, leaving 3 nights when the production cast performed. They were very good, but overall we felt that Crystal offers a significantly better variety and quality of entertainment. So far as enrichment is concerned, again we felt Crystal offers more in terms of variety, delivery and quality of lectures. Crew/Service We find the crew on both lines to be outstanding and it would be hard to pick a winner. Perhaps Crystal by a hair. Bottom Line We would definitely book Explorer again if/when we find an itinerary which appeals. We will also continue to cruise with Crystal. The driver will be itinerary, because Explorer would seem to be pretty repetitive in terms of itinerary during the months we want to cruise.
  10. CruiseFamilyx1215

    Serenity Retreat

    Hi everyone! We are almost all signed up for our 2nd cruise but I have a question about the adults-only area on the Carnival lines... It says 21 and over - do they card people as they come and go? My daughters (20 and 19) and I are cruising together next June and I was hoping the three of us could spend some time laying in the sun and dipping in the pool in the Serenity Retreat. They aren't kids but they aren't 21 either...
  11. http://blog.crystalcruises.com/underwater-adventure-west-indies-cruises/ Keith
  12. bitob

    Live from Serenity

    I hope all ccers on board will post here ship is gorgeous champagne is flowing all staterooms ready immediately of course just had lunch at trident grill great crew seems really excited
  13. Noreen411

    Crystal Blocks

    Hi Can you remind me when you get the crystal blocks? I think it is at 140 points and every 70 points after. Is that correct? Thank you Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  14. I also posted this on the Crystal Serenity Dry-Dock Thread. Press Release from Crystal Cruises about the new Stardust Supper Club on-board Serenity following the dry dock. This will provide another dining venue for Serenity on Black Tie Optional nights. This press release also notes a few other planned enhancements not previously announced. Keith CRYSTAL CRUISES INTRODUCES NEW STARDUST SUPPER CLUB ABOARD CRYSTAL SERENITY Intimate supper club to debut in November following the luxury ship’s redesign MIAMI, October 24, 2018– Today, Crystal Cruises announced it would debut a new Supper Club experience on Crystal Serenitywhen she emerges from dry dock on November 10. The Stardust Supper Clubcombines the impeccable culinary experience and style for which Crystal is known with the glamourous vibe found in dining concepts of a different era. Set in the ship’s Stardust Club, the supper club will be offered on the first and final “Black Tie Optional”* evenings of voyages beginning with cruises of eight days or more. “The Stardust Supper Club highlights the music and vibe of the exclusive clubs of the Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin heyday, and perfectly complements the elegance of a formal evening aboard Crystal ships,” said Toni Neumeister, Crystal’s senior vice president of hotel operations. “In keeping with our commitment to offer guests choices to make the Crystal Experience their own, this new dining and entertainment experience is an intimate alternative to the grand occasions found in the Crystal Dining Room, which will be transformed into Waterside during the redesign.” Guests will enjoy a four-course menu of select Waterside favorites as they dine to performances by Crystal Serenity’sShow Band and featured vocalists. In between performances, musicians will provide non-stop music throughout dinner, while the ship’s Ballroom Dance Quartet takes to the floor to perform a couple of spotlight dances including one during dessert and coffee service where guests can join in on the dancing. The Stardust Supper Club will accommodate up to 108 guests per evening, with reservations available upon embarkation with the restaurant manager aboard the ship. At a later date, reservations can be made via Crystal’s Priority Check-in and Planning Center (PCPC). Seating will begin at 6:30 p.m. giving guests ample time to dine and dance before the night’s 9:15 production show begins in the Galaxy Lounge. Crystal Serenity will sail from Lisbon to Fort Lauderdale on November 10for her first voyage after completing her extensive redesign. With an aim to elevate the onboard guest experience by expanding the space and choices that have been a part of the company’s credo since its inception, the award-winning ship is seeing a transformation of accommodations, dining options, technological advancements and public spaces. Part of her transformation includes a new look for the Stardust Club – a long favored central hub for bridge groups, enrichment speakers and nighttime dancing and drinks. A new dance floor, lighting, bar finishes, and refreshed décor is featured, as well as several enhancements behind the scenes to the overall entertainment experience. Additionally, during the dry dock the Crystal entertainment team is installing a new Broadway-style production show called Crystal on Broadway, The Showfeaturing songs from the hit musicals Rent, Something Rotten!and West Side Story. Open seating dining will debut aboard Crystal Serenity, allowing guests to dine at their leisure with whom and where they choose affording more flexibility for evening activities and entertainment. While the dining concept has evolved, the Michelin-style cuisine and exceptional service remain. The Crystal Dining Room will be transformed into Waterside, with an increased seating capacity with more tables for two and four, and new décor and finishes. Silk Road will be re-branded as Umi Uma & Sushi Bar and will continue to serve Nobu’s famous signature dishes prepared by his trained and hand-picked chefs. Tastes will become Silk Kitchen & Bar serving Chinese comfort food; and Lido Café becomes The Marketplace in the daytime and Churrascaria, a Brazilian steakhouse, in the evening. Prego, Crystal’s Italian restaurant, will continue to serve guest-favorite regional specialties of Italy. The ship is also receiving 36 new Seabreeze Penthouses and two new Seabreeze Penthouse Suites effectively reducing the ship’s capacity from 1,070 guests to 980 guests, while the number of crew on board remains the same. Crystal Serenity’s Palm Court, a favorite spot on board for gatherings of all sorts, will see a dramatic transformation with more intimate seating. The lounge will receive new finishes, carpeting and more tables for two including a combination of cocktail tables and chairs, dramatic wingback chairs with footstools, sofas and coffee tables. The stage will be removed and relocated in an “in-the-round” concept along with a new modernized bar area. The ship’s spacious enrichment facilities are also undergoing a redesign. The Computer University@Sea and adjoining classroom, as well as the multi-purpose Studio will receive new carpeting; seating and equipment, along with 70-inch TVs further enhancing the robust programming offered through Crystal’s Creative Learning Institute and Crystal Visions Lecture Series. *Black Tie Optional evenings are based on itinerary. Eight to 10-day itineraries may have up to one Black Tie Optional evening; 11- to 16-day voyages have two Black Tie Optional evenings; and World, Grand, Holiday, Crossings and voyages of 17 days or more may have additional Black Tie
  15. Suite Travels

    The Crystal Insider

    Maybe some of you who don't get the Crystal Insider....very interesting read. http://blog.crystalcruises.com/crystal-serenity-galley-facts/
  16. xrvlcruiser

    Live View - Serenity????

    I'm looking forward to "Live View" being reactivated for the ship. Any idea when this will happen? Peggy
  17. SEPTEMBER 23, 2018 - NINETEEN MEDITERRANEAN PORTS-OF-CALL IN TWENTY ONE DAYS - CRYSTAL SERENITY HERE WE COME Welcome to the live thread I will use for our upcoming adventure. We return to Crystal Serenity for three seven-day Mediterranean cruises starting September 23. The first cruise commences in Civitavecchia, Italy. This voyage includes stops at three ports of call in Italy, an overnight in Monte Carlo and stops at two French ports. Voyage two starts in Marseille, France and includes stops in France, Italy and Spain before ending in Barcelona, Spain. The third voyage starts in Barcelona with stops at three additional ports-of-call in Spain, a stop in Gibraltar before concluding with an overnight in Lisbon, Portugal. These are port intensive cruises with no sea days. Although we have sailed the Mediterranean on several voyages, we visit seven ports of call for the first time. We plan to pace ourselves and on occasion will enjoy a short visit in-port and enjoy the rest of the day on Serenity. The vast majority of our visits to the Mediterranean with Crystal Cruises have been as part of World Cruises or when we remained on-board beyond the conclusion of World Cruises for additional voyages as we did in 2014 and 2015. Our first time on Serenity was on two back-to-back Mediterranean Voyages in 2005 for a total of 24 days which at that point represented our longest time on one consecutive sailing on Crystal or any cruise line. We were last on-board Serenity earlier this year for one day in February as visitors. Our last sailing on Serenity was May of 2017 when we were joined on board by our family. While our fourth grandchild was not yet born our daughter-in-law was a few months into her pregnancy so to some degree all family members were present and accounted for. LOL. ;p This voyage itinerary is very different than our recent one on Symphony. Crystal Symphony May, 2018 Voyage: Total of 16 days; (9 sea days, 6 days in port, 5 unique ports-of-call) Crystal Serenity September/October, 2018 Back-to-Back Voyages: Total of 21 days; (0 sea days, 21 days in port, 19 unique ports-of-call) Crystal Serenity goes into dry-dock on October 14 when we disembark the ship. This was also the case the last time Serenity was in dry-dock when we disembarked Serenity in May of 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia. As most know, when Serenity emerges, it will have a new dining venue; Churrascaria, the conversion of Tastes to Silk, the change from traditional (fixed) dining at the Crystal Dining Room to open dining in Waterside. They will transform Stardust Lounge and Palm Court lounges. Overall passenger capacity will be reduced with the replacement of several staterooms on Deck 10 with suites. As I have done in the past, I will post live on this thread and also maintain a Blog. The following URL will take you to the Blog. To view the blog, click on the tab that says current blog on the navigation bar at the top of the home page. http://www.followourtrips.com Some of the roll calls have been active. We look forward to sailing with CC members who we have sailed with before and meeting several for the first time. My fellow cruisers are most welcome to post their thoughts on this thread. We are thrilled and excited to return to Serenity and to sail the Mediterranean. We welcome comments and/or questions from our Cruise Critic Community. Keith
  18. bitob

    Computers on Crystal

    quick question If i recall Crystal has Macs in its computer room. Is that correct? Can anyone tell me if those computers have Microsoft Word on them? I may have to do some work and I do not want to bring a laptop
  19. almostretired

    The Supper Club - Serenity

    I saw this and thought of interest. A little more detail on the Supper Club with comments from Tony Neumeister. https://www.travelweekly.com/Cruise-Travel/Cruise-lines-bringing-back-the-supper-club
  20. Can anyone advise please what the debark process is with Crystal in Barcelona? We have an early evening flight, will be in no rush to leave the ship, and are wondering what the latest disembark time is likely to be. Or is it even possible to have vacated the cabin, keep luggage with us, and stay on for a few hours as others embark....I know that is highly unlikely, but MSC Yacht Club allow that hence my reason for asking! Thanks in advance.
  21. We will be boarding Crystal Serenity in a couple of weeks, and it has been two years since we last sailed on that line, so I don't remember much about the wines they served (perhaps because Crystal is so generous with its wine service), but I would appreciate hearing any thoughts from recent Crystal cruisers on the complimentary wines and champagnes the cruise line is currently serving. We love champagne, and I'm curious what the "house" champagne is these days? We also do not much care for California chardonnays (we like the ones from France and Italy), and we are particularly fond of New Zealand sauvignon blancs, Austrian whites and Italian reds. Any insights on those types of wine? Even though we live in California, we rarely drink wines grown in our state, not because they aren't well made. It is because they have become very high in alcohol. When we first started drinking California wines 50 years ago, they generally were around 12.5 percent alcohol; now many of them are pushing 15 percent, and we find that they not only make you more inebriated, they totally overwhelm the food your eating with those very hot wines. As any math expert will tell you, the difference between a 12-percent wine and the 15-percent variety is about 25 percent more alcohol, not 3 percent higher. We met a California vintner on a cruise once, and when we asked him why the state's wines are so high in alcohol these days, he first said that was because of the California weather, but when we challenged that (we know alcohol content is not just based on weather, but on when you pick your grapes), he got a little testy and said, "Look you boomers aren't going to drink any more than you already do. We have to go after younger drinkers, and they want a glass of wine to have a very bold taste like a cocktail. We call it the Red Bull effect.'' Any information on Crystal's current complimentary wine list would be appreciated. I know we can just wait until we board the ship, but part of the fun of cruising for us is to enjoy the anticipation phase of the journey by thinking about what we plan to do on Serenity, and that includes lots of wining and dining.
  22. Hello all, After our last cruise on the Vista, I told my husband I'd never go on another cruise without an adults only pool.... No need for that to become a debate in this thread. I'm simply stating what my criteria is for our next cruise.... I thought based on that we would be done cruising with Carnival and we'd be moving over to Viking Ocean cruises. But as I'm starting to research for our cruise next year, I think I've found that there are a few Carnival Serenity decks that have pools! I DID know about the pool on the Sunshine and that pool looks amazing. But I started really digging and I need to know if I am correct that in addition to the Sunshine, the Miracle, Pride, and Legend also have a pool in their Serenity area? Some of the pictures I saw may not be up to date. So hopefully people who have recently been on these ships can confirm. Although I've read some threads that state there are adults only pools on some ships (that are NOT in the Serenity area), I'm not willing to take the risk that we'll book on one of those ships, and then Carnival will change the policy before we sail. We're platinum and like the perks that come along with it on Carnival, plus, Carnival usually is the best value, so we'd love to be able to find a few ships that still work for us with them! Any info anyone has is much appreciated!
  23. Leejnd4

    Crystal cruisers in CA

    Hi everyone, Yes I know this is off-topic, but I've made some friends in this forum and I just wanted to pop in and let everyone know that we made it through one of the worst, and most tragic, times of our lives. We live in Thousand Oaks, which many of you probably know has been burning for the past week. 75% of our city was evacuated, and are just now returning to their homes. We're lucky - our neighborhood was never evacuated, although we are a half-mile from a mandatory evac zone. We stayed in our home, for many reasons - not the least of which was that for several days there was literally no way out! The freeway was closed in both directions due to fires on both sides (the Hill fire to the north, the Woolsey fire to the south), and all but one route out of our neighborhood was closed as well. And that route out is a narrow surface street that was choked with traffic from people who were in mandatory evac zones, so we figured we'd stay and leave the road to them until we got evacuated. We almost left two days ago, when a hot spot flared up right at the end of our road. But our hero firefighters launched an astonishing aerial assault on it, and we were told to shelter in place to keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles. So again we stayed. As of this morning the devil winds are finally down, and the fires are being contained. (Not out, but containment will be possible now.) Our cars are both still packed to the gills with our most precious possessions, but we're thinking we can finally unpack today. I'm just so grateful we did not lose our house, as so many people I know did. And it's even worse up in Northern CA, where thousands upon thousands of people lost their homes, and we don't even know yet how many lost their lives. (It's more than is being reported.) And all of this started the very next day after the horrific shooting at Borderline, which is only a couple miles from our house, and is a place we've gone ourselves many times. This is now the SECOND time a hometown of mine has suffered such a tragedy - I grew up in Newtown, CT, and maintain very close ties with my hometown, and yes, I know families who lost children. So as you can imagine, this has been just an indescribably terrible time. My Symphony cruise to South America is coming up in two months, and it cannot get here soon enough. I just don't really feel safe right now...as ironic as this sounds, I think I'll feel safer in Rio de Janiero right now than I do here!
  24. Crystal ocean cruisers who have been considering dipping their toes in Crystal river waters might be interested in this little review I've put together comparing and contrasting the two experiences. My husband and I love Crystal and ocean cruising; this was our first-ever river cruise. We were on a 10-day Danube cruise on Crystal Mozart, round-trip from Vienna. We began our trip in Prague, traveled by train to Vienna for several nights and then boarded the boat. (I'm still not certain if the proper term for a river vessel is ship or boat!) The Crew & Staff Absolutely outstanding! We were delighted to find the same friendly attitude and atmosphere that we've always loved on Symphony. Our cabin attendant, excursion team and dining room staff were simply wonderful. We enjoyed our waiter Sev from the first night so much that we requested his section – which included the same assistant and sommelier – every night. The Food Another wow, and as superb as what we've experienced on Crystal ocean voyages. We really appreciated the staff's willingness to accommodate dietary requests and make substitutions (changing a cream sauce to a lighter marinara, for example). We also loved the similar experiences of the Bistro and casual grill venues we've enjoyed on ocean voyages. Excursions The main difference here is that excursions are all included on the river. You simply sign up online and show up for the excursion. There is no pre-printed ticket to hand to the guide. The trip was extremely port-intensive, and the tours enabled us to see as much as possible. Crystal did its usual fine job of keeping tour groups small. There were two guides on each bus, and we were divided into two groups upon arrival at our destination. Interestingly, we found the same experience that seems to ring true on every cruise: One over-the-top extraordinary guide, one not-so-great and everyone else just fine. The Cabin This is where the trip fell down for us. The Mozart standard cabins are, of course, much newer, technologically advanced and more beautifully decorated than Symphony's, but they are really cramped. I have a feeling this is typical for river boats, so maybe I'm comparing the proverbial apples and oranges here. What I really didn't like was the lack of storage in the bathroom. Unlike on Symphony, there were no shelves with protective bars by the sinks where we're used to storing toiletries. A large vessel sink takes up the entire vanity, with no room to set things by. There is a drawer in the vanity, but it's incredibly shallow. One of the perks of cruising is the ability to unpack once rather than carting items from suitcase to bathroom. This was a disappointment. Our cabin had a Juliette balcony (we typically book verandah staterooms on Symphony), which we envisioned we would open and enjoy. It was great during our limited daytime cruising, but most of the time our view was blocked by another boat docked next to us. We also had the unfortunate experience of consistently being docked next to a boat from another line whose kitchen vents were near our cabin, blowing exhaust fumes into our space that made it smell and feel like we were living in a vat of oil! And to add insult to injury, we were often awakened in the middle of the night by carts rumbling overhead from the staff hard-at-work in the kitchen above our cabin. Overall Impression This is a beautiful part of the world, and we're both happy we tried a river cruise, especially with Crystal. But we missed being on the ocean. The movement, the adventure, the days at sea. River cruises are completely at the mercy of water levels, and itinerary changes are fairly common and almost always at the last minute. It's different than missing a port on the ocean because of weather. I found it stressful not knowing whether we'd make it to Budapest or even Bratislava. Crystal ended up bussing us to Budapest and provided hotel and meal accommodations for one night. They moved the last day to Vienna, offering additional excursions, but Herb and I had been in Vienna three nights pre-cruise plus an overnight on Mozart. Instead, we stayed a second night in Budapest on our own and took the train back to Vienna before disembarking the next morning. It was an unexpected additional expense, but the only solution that met our needs. I'm not sure we'd ever do another river cruise, but I've also learned never to say, "never." A Footnote Mark Farris fans will be happy to know that he is alive and well and working on Crystal Ravel. On our final day, Herb & I were settling our account at the front desk and saw Mark walking from the Mozart to the Ravel, which was docked next to us. We embarrassingly and simultaneously semi-shouted out loud, "Mark Farris!" (because that's what fans do :)) Mark smiled and came over to talk, said he remembered meeting us (unbelievably kind) and could not have been more gracious. Louis Armstrong fans will be happy to know that although his "What a Wonderful World" isn't played on river sail-aways, his version of "Moon River" is. For anyone interested, I have my first blog post up from Prague and will be posting photos and stories from every port on the voyage. Mary Travel Blog: http://www.themodernpostcard.com
  25. SandJCruiser

    Oceania vs. Crystal

    We have just come back from our first Crystal cruise and loved it. We are thinking about also trying Oceania as wel!. Our interests are in service, food, itinerary, and onboard entertainment/enrichment. Don't care about casino, are not picky about cabins, and don't usually do ship excursions any more. Would love to hear from those who have experience with both lines.