Number of Cruises: 2 D
Cruise Line: Crystal
Ship: Crystal Serenity
Sailing Date: January 18th, 2006
I read Tom Ogg's review of his
cruise (which was was just before mine), and I must say that I agree with every
word. For this reason I will try not to repeat his review, but rather add my own
impressions, favorable and otherwise.
What impressed my wife and me right from the moment we came to the dock, that we were treated like welcome guests, and not like just more bodies as some cruise lines have been doing lately. We also appreciated the fact that so many things were included, and that we were not constantly two-bitted to death for every soft drink, scoop of ice cream or even bottled water to take on shore excursions. Frankly, I much rather pay for these little things "up-front". Even if all cruises tend to be cash-less processes, it turns me off if I have to grab my ship ID card every few steps in order to a news bulletin, a drink of water or such. Not on Crystal Serenity!
We both felt that entertainment and cultural events were exquisite. The shows were on an adult level (and by "adult" I do not mean smutty!). Even though I am close to an expert in personal computing, I found that I could lean from the "University @Sea" (or something like that), and it was included.
About the only thing I could find fault with was the shower facility near the ship's pools. All I found was a very un-private small shower to get the chlorine off. My wife and I solved this by simply covering each other from view. Not a big deal really, we could always get to our cabin with the state-of-the-art bathtub/shower combination, and our two sinks.
There were places for groups to meet, something I have missed on most cruise ships. And there was plenty of space, we never had the feeling of being crowded, even at show time. No need to wolf down your dinner in order to occupy a seat for a show later -- there were always good seats to be had.
We found the people at the business offices extremely helpful, whether it was getting a shore excursion, a news bulletin, money changed - whatever. Completely the opposite of what we had to experience with another cruise line (which shall remain nameless here) at a later date.
Right now I am looking for a good excuse for taking another "Serenity" cruise -- provided that the itinerary fits our objectives. The good reviews that I have seen in my opinion are well deserved.