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The Crystal Serenity: A Huffington Post Travel Cruise Ship Guide

The Huffington Post     Chris Wessling
First Posted: 09/22/11 03:09 PM ET Updated: 10/31/11 06:12 AM ET

Crystal Cruises' Crystal Serenity is a popular floating resort. The waters are crowded with sea-worthy vessels, so to make planning easier, we've done all the prep work for a cruise vacation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on cruise ships, here is a tip sheet offering all the key information one could ever need to know about the Crystal Serenity.


See The World

The Crystal Serenity sails to such destinations as England, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Panama, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand and Tokyo. Cruises can be as short as six nights or as long as 94 nights.


Sail In Luxury

The Crystal Serenity is a midsize ship at 820 feet long and 106 feet wide. It can carry about 1,070 passengers and a crew of 655 on more than a dozen decks. Crystal Cruises prides itself on luxury and grandeur.


Special Features

The Crystal Serenity offers its passengers enrichment and educational programs, including Computer University@Sea and Creative Learning Institute classes. The Ambassador Host Program recruits gentlemen (minimum age: 45) to make sure that single female passengers always have a dance partner. The ship also has a casino, theater, fitness center, library, showroom, spa, 3,000 square feet of shopping space and two pools.


Accommodations

The Crystal Serenity boasts plush and luxurious staterooms -- none of which are interior cabins. More than 80 percent of all cabins have private balconies. The ship offers a variety of cabin categories, including ocean-view and balcony, and a variety of suites. All staterooms are equipped with a shower, telephone, two hair dryers, Internet connection, TV and DVD player.


Cost

Fares vary depending on itinerary, cabin selection and date of travel. On the Crystal Serenity, itineraries range from seven-night Mediterranean cruises in ocean-view staterooms for $8,785 to 94-night world cruises in balcony cabins for $54,800.


Excursion

One Crystal Serenity passenger recommended the excursion to Huatulco, Mexico, an area known for beautiful beaches and shopping. The passenger said the excursion "was delightful, and the dock an easy walk to everything." Another passenger raved about the Secret Itineraries Tour of the Doge's Palace in Venice, Italy. According to this passenger, Venice did not smell awful (as she had been led to believe), and the palace tour was truly memorable because guests get to visit the "secret floors" the general public cannot access. Prison cells and torture chambers are also on display.


Dining Options

Passengers on the Crystal Serenity can choose from the traditional main dining room, a formal setting that has open seating for breakfast and lunch, and two seatings for dinner service. There are also Asian and Italian restaurants that require reservations, the casual Tastes cafe, a buffet on Lido deck, an ice cream bar, poolside dining and afternoon tea in the Palm Court.


Maiden Voyage

The maiden voyage of Crystal Serenity was on July 7, 2003. The ship was christened by performer Julie Andrews four days earlier.


In The News

The Crystal Serenity canceled two planned 2012 cruises to the Middle East in the aftermath of unrest in the region.


WATCH:

A look at the ultra-luxurious Crystal Serenity.


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