Crystal Cruises’ award-winning Crystal Serenity has emerged from a $17 million redesign with chic new Crystal Penthouses (the coveted top accommodations) and dramatically transformed indoor/outdoor casual dining spaces, including the Trident Grill, Scoops ice cream bar, Tastes Bar, Lido Cafe, and Tastes restaurant, featuring a brand new global-inspired evening menu. Cruise industry-firsts include a chef’s herb garden as part of vibrant “vertical walls” of greenery and 70 new PURE hypoallergenic staterooms.
From the top deck to its hull, Crystal Serenity underwent a comprehensive maintenance, with deep cleaning, mechanical updates, and environmental upgrades implemented throughout the ship’s interior and exterior spaces. Palm Court boasts a new dance floor, specialty restaurant Prego was warmed with new colors, and even the “behind the scenes” Tender Boarding area reveals a welcoming new look. In recent years, Crystal Cruises has spent almost $120 million on the Extreme Makeovers of its fleet, and $52 million on Crystal Serenity alone within the last two years.
“We have completely reimagined spaces to create chic and contemporary public areas and accommodations that are as comfortable and inviting as they are dramatic and stylish,” says Crystal’s President Edie Bornstein. “Fine design is an integral part of our guests’ lifestyles, whether at home or away.”
Lido Deck – Lido Cafe
London’s Adfecto architectural interior design firm was inspired by Santa Barbara’s casual, yet cultured, “California Riviera” vibe for the “Extreme Makeover” of the ship’s spacious Lido deck. The existing Lido Café was demolished and extended forward to increase space for all new service and seating areas. As with Crystal Symphony, Crystal Serenity’s Lido Café has been redesigned with modern food islands (instead of long buffet counters), more tables for two, and a live, open kitchen, which includes a bakery.
Highlighted by floor-to-ceiling windows, the space was reimagined with rich tones of denim blue and ochre fabrics, geometric neutral blocks of bronzes and cream-tile floors, and pale blue glass tiled-walls. Edge-lit geometric fret-cut screens help separate intimate “by-the-window” seating areas from all new light stone island counters. Custom-made ceramics, gold leaf speckled mosaic tile from Italy, decorative internally-lit herb-inspired sculptures and strapped bronze pendant lights add layers of detail. Warmth is introduced with the various shades of wood, including comfortable UK-made timber-framed Morgan furniture. The restaurant’s aft outdoor dining space was refreshed with ochre patterned cushions and umbrellas.
In total, the remodel saw the installation of 17 counters, all new WMF coffee machines, Citrocasa orange juicers, EuroCave wine refrigerators, and two Sveba Dahlen ovens (one in Lido Café for baked goods, one in Tastes for pizzas), enabling Crystal chefs to enhance the preparation and presentation of fresh hot and cold food selections, as well as support beverage service.
While the lighting is carefully designed to showcase the food, the Lido Café is also Crystal’s first fully LED low energy-lit restaurant, demonstrating the line’s commitment and investment in modern energy-saving technology.
Lido Deck – Tastes, Trident Grill, Scoops, and Palm Court
Adfecto’s major remodel saw the removal of the indoor pool and all of its surrounding galleys and eating areas to create new indoor/outdoor casual dining and lounging spaces with expansive ocean views. The Lido Café’s theme is continued, but this space opens up into a light and airy courtyard with a retractable glass roof. Crystal white granite table tops, natural stones, white wicker, tan sofas and an array of blues with pops of tangerine set the resort-like tone. Most striking is the lush greenery in the form of multiple variegated “living walls” of plants, a fresh herb garden for Crystal chefs, and live olive trees under-planted with lavender. A fret-cut, internally-lit sculpture uses thyme and rosemary motifs to reflect the herb and dining concepts.
Mid-ship dining spaces on Lido are all new, including a Tastes restaurant with another open kitchen, Scoops ice cream bar, Tastes Bar, and Trident Grill. The angled living walls, planters and sculpture are used to subtly divide and bookend various seating groups and dining concepts. The lines of the teak decking, sleek stretched taupe canvas ceilings over the waterside tables, and angled blocks of light and dark stone, ceramic and mosaic tiles help define the space.
The Trident Grill and Scoops ice cream bar area on the port side of the wall has large sofa and armchair groups suitable for laid back relaxation and conversation. All new counters, digital signage, and toppings display showcase what is on offer.
The starboard side features Tastes restaurant, bar and custom-built open kitchen that allows guests to watch the food being prepared. While Tastes is open during the day for a “Late Risers Breakfast” and full lunch menu, including specialties such as Chinese noodles and dumplings, after 6:00 PM, the restaurant is transformed into a cool and casual evening eatery with dramatic lighting that showcases the trees, plants, and decorative screens. Its new global-inspired menu was created in association with Sapphire Restaurants in Laguna Beach, CA, where acclaimed Chef Azmin Ghahreman offers cuisine with accents from around the globe. An Alsatian Tarte, Tunisian Crab Warka, California Street Tacos, and North African Lamb Dumplings share the bill with a dozen other inventive small plates that are designed to be shared.
On the opposite end of the deck, Palm Court — the ship’s popular evening spot dancing — was refreshed with a new cherry wood dance floor.
Toronto’s II BY IV, the firm that won major design awards for its previous remodel of Crystal Serenity’s staterooms, redefined the ship’s four top suites with clean lines, classic simplicity, and refined elegance in a dramatic ultra-contemporary remodel. Interiors of the butler-serviced, 1,345 square-feet Crystal Penthouse residences were gutted and spaces completely reconfigured. The dining area moved closer to the floor-to-ceiling windows and the private outdoor deck, while the former dining room now holds a den/library/media room with a sleeper sofa and closet. With a new shower added to the guest powder room, the space can function as a second bedroom, ideal for families. A butler’s pantry with private entrance adds to the comfort.
Inspired by the classic flats of London and the sophisticated upscale style of Manhattan, the designers’ goal was to create a home away from home for the sophisticated world traveler, with a high level of comfort and various areas for work and play. Designed to maximize the views throughout, the rooms and seating arrangements are open and flow from room to room. Even the Grand Foyer offers a dramatic cut-work open screen, enabling visibility into the dining room and the ocean views beyond. Custom handmade Italian mosaic tiles and modern Swarovski crystal lighting sconces flank the Grand Foyer’s entrance, inside and out. The rooms’ neutral color palette is accented with distinctive art and accessories that give each suite its own personality. Used throughout are natural marble, natural wood floors, and custom-designed carpet fabricated by Ulster in Ireland.
The master bedroom received luxurious new bedding and window treatments, two entrances, and a new seating area. The walk-in closet’s generous storage space features illuminated clothing rods and custom shelving. The spacious master bath boasts a custom design of hand crafted diamond-shaped Italian marble mosaics on the floor and walls, a heated floor, dual vanity with large glass vessel Kohler sinks, a walk-in glass shower with a heated marble bench, an award-winning Duravit spa flotation tub with ocean views, and a television embedded in the vanity mirror. The powder room offers a mosaic wall of custom glass tiles handmade in Italy.
The Crystal Penthouses were outfitted with the latest in technology, designed to be uncomplicated and intuitive with custom light settings and sound throughout to change the ambiance and maximize enjoyment of the large Bose VideoWave III flat screen televisions, iPod docking stations, and surround sound audio system.
Deluxe PURE Staterooms
In a cruise industry-first, 70 deluxe verandah staterooms were transformed into hypoallergenic luxury accommodations offering a comprehensive, chemical- and odor-free indoor environment solution. PURE® Marine Solutions, a sister company of leading allergy-friendly hospitality innovator PURE Global, implemented a seven-step patented and proven air and surface purification process in each room to remove allergens and reduce the risk of irritants. With a state-of-the-art medical grade air purifier discreetly installed to filter out 99.9% of all airborne impurities on an ongoing basis, guests can expect relief from allergies and more sound sleep, thus enhancing the overall relaxation and recuperation expected from a vacation.
The Best of the Rest
Crystal Serenity’s Tender Landing/Boarding area was redesigned with a new faux timber floor with contrasting inserts and sycamore effect walls. A new ceiling with low energy LED lighting highlights new large-scale, stylized flora and fauna photographic artwork. New digital signage and benches were installed to improve the embarkation and disembarkation experience.
The ship was thoroughly deep cleaned, exteriors repainted, the “port pod” refurbished, and energy-saving LED lighting was added in public areas and crew offices, and more.
In keeping with recent dry dock tradition of “giving back,” old furniture was donated to a local Cádiz organization that supports recovering drug addicts.
In all, 1110+ contractors and crew worked round-the-clock to complete 700 projects, with the majority of the Extreme Makeover fulfilled at the Navantia Shipyard in Cadiz, Spain. DPA Lighting Consultants oversaw the design of the architectural lighting and energy-efficient lighting treatments throughout the ship.
Following her first post-dry dock cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona cruise via the Canary Islands and Morocco, Crystal Serenity is making a Transatlantic crossing to the Americas, a Christmas/New Year’s voyage in the Caribbean, and an annual World Cruise – an 89-day ultimate luxury adventure from Los Angeles to London, starting January 18. Until January 3, “Book Now” fares for a 2014 voyage aboard Crystal Serenity start at $1,215/person.
Crystal’s passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history, including “Best Cruise Line” (Midsize) for an unprecedented 20th year in last month’s Condé Nast Traveler magazine.