Founded in 1998, Crystal Cruises possesses two medium-sized, luxury class ships that carry about 1,000 passengers apiece. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, the luxury cruise line operates the Symphony and Serenity for passengers who seek to relax in a highly stylish ambiance that features several amenities not found on mass-marketed cruise line ships. Both ships undergo frequent refurbishing, including constant technology updates that allow passengers to get away from it all, but still have the world at their fingertips. Conde Nast Traveler selected Crystal Cruises as the Best Midsize Cruise Ship Line for 21 consecutive years.
Best Cruise Destinations
Both of the ships operated by Crystal Cruises travel to virtually every notable tourist destination in the world. The luxury cruise line company offers guests several destination options by breaking down the cruises by duration. For example, guests can select a popular destination from the Crystal Serenity itinerary for voyages that last between 7 and 10 days. The best destinations for both luxury ships book quickly during peak tourist seasons. Alaska cruises during July take passengers through a weeklong excursion that passes some of the most breathtaking scenery found in the world. Crystal Serenity offers a multiple weeklong cruise option to the gorgeous Mexico Riviera during the colder months of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The Serenity also takes guests on a 110-day long cruise that travels the world.
Dining invariably lands near the top of the praiseworthy list for the luxury cruise liner, as both the Serenity and Symphony ships specialize in providing world-class culinary experiences in the Italian and Japanese dining niches. Valentino restaurants owner Piero Selvaggio operates high-end Prego, while notable Japanese chef, Nobu Matsuhisa runs Silk Road. Crystal Cruises offers a unique hybrid-style cruise experience by combining luxury amenities and entertainment activities typically offered by larger, more downscale cruise ships. As one of the most popular luxury cruise lines, Crystal Cruises has one of the highest passenger to staff ratios, which means guests can expect highly attentive, yet unobtrusive personal service. Crystal Cruises also promotes its high passenger to cabin space ratio as a major strength.
Critics have noted the two set dinner seating style presented by Crystal Cruises is a prominent feature of mass-market lines that do not appeal to upper class customers. Crystal Cruises has addressed the run of the mill dining room seating style by introducing Perfect Choice Dining. The luxury cruise line company has implemented an advanced online reservation system that ensures most guests enjoy their preferred seating requests. Crystal Cruises also receives some negative feedback for offering limited dining choices outside of its highly reputable Italian and Japanese restaurants. Lower-level category cabins tend to feel cramped for a luxury cruise line, which means guests should try to garner cabins that sit at the upper end of the price range. Some passenger reviews complain about the formal dress code required for formal dining nights.
In addition to the renowned upscale dining options offered by Crystal Cruises, the luxury cruise line company also provides guests with Olympic size pools, state-of-the-art movie theaters, and lectures presented by scholars. Passengers can sign up for Yamaha keyboard lessons and enroll in classes offered by Berlitz language instructors. Crystal Cruises provides passengers with several shopping options that appeal to high-end fashion customers. Huge wine cellars give guests a wide range of varietals to dazzle their palates. Crystal Cruises offers the best children’s program in the luxury cruise line niche.