CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Crystal Cruises Crystal Serenity Baltic Sea July 29, 2006

We had a fabulous cruise, our second on Crystal line. Crystal is quite simply a top notch line. We love good food and entertainment and wanted a larger stateroom than provided by many lines.

The Food The ingredients used for food on the Serenity are very high quality. Even the pasta was of high quality and very tasty. Beef is flown in from the U.S., and we enjoyed lobster several times during the cruise -- in the main dining room, at a buffet, and at the Silk Road speciality restaurant. Our headwaiter gave us opportunities to make special requests. Want crepe suzette? You have it. I heard that one couple ordered caviar from room service for breakfast every morning. Some of our friends ordered chocolate souffles for their last evening in the dining room.

Both Prego and Silk Road restaurants are lovely and provide a bit of variety on the cruise. The Silk Road was especially fine. Both restaurants are free but a $6 tip per person is suggested.

The Entertainment The entertainment is also top-notch. The musical production numbers are a visual and auditory delight. Highly skilled dancers and fine voices are backed up by a live orchestra. I heard that each show costs $1 million to put into production, and each cruise has about five shows. For variety, a comedian, a dance team and a fantastic classical pianist also entertained. Music is available all over the ship in bars, at teatime, at cocktail parties, etc.

We had excellent and erudite lecturers onboard, and we took advantage of language, computer and piano classes. There is something to entertain every interest.

The Cabins The staterooms are large and lovely and have more than ample storage. We requested juices in our fridge in addition to the free soda and water. Bathrooms have two sinks in the granite vanity and a shower in the tub. Aveda soaps and lotions are provided.

It is hard to find fault with the Crystal experience. It is a happy ship with a crew that falls over itself to please each guest. It is organized, clean, and not crowded. One reviewer talked about noise in the dining room. We did not experience that, and we never had trouble hearing conversation there. We found our stateroom very quiet also.

It costs a bit more to sail with Crystal, but the experience is first-rate.

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