Luxury on the high seas

By Terence Repelente

Images by Noel Pabalate

A LAVISH EXPLORATION : the Crystal Serenity docked in Manila A LAVISH EXPLORATION : the Crystal Serenity docked in Manila

The air is getting warmer, the sun is shining brighter, April is here! Have you drafted your summer escape plan? We’ve got loads of interesting destinations and pristine beaches here in the Philippines—from Luzon to Midnanao, from Batanes to Siargao. But if your heart desires something different, something luxurious, or something that will engulf and indulge you to an isolated paradise, a much-needed escapade from your regular, stressful programming, let the stylish waves of Crystal Serenity lure you in.

Crystal Serenity is one of the top cruise ships owned by Crystal Cruises. Created in 1988, Crystal Cruises is an award-winning American luxury cruise line, constantly dubbed as the world’s finest cruise company. In early 2015, GHK acquired Crystal Cruises from founding parent company,

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), with a commitment to grow the brand with the addition of a third ship. Its first ship, Crystal Harmony debuted in 1990, retired in 2005. With its cruises, two of the best in the world, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, Crystal Cruises boast itself as the king of luxury travel, not to mention its fleet and brand that extends its reach to the rivers and the air.

A LAVISH EXPLORATION : and the stylish lobby of Crystal Serenity A LAVISH EXPLORATION : and the stylish lobby of Crystal Serenity


In its 13 decks of pure bliss, Crystal Serenity, which was launched in 2003, can currently accommodate 1,070 guests, with a total crew number of 665. Crystal’s services and amenities include complimentary select fine wines, premium spirits, champagnes, and beers, as well as custom coffees, soft drinks, juices, and bottled water, 24-hour room service, twice daily housekeeping with nightly turndown service.

Its stateroom categories are the Crystal penthouse with veranda, penthouse suite with veranda and third berth, penthouse with veranda and third berth, deluxe pure stateroom with veranda, deluxe stateroom with veranda, and the deluxe stateroom with large picture window. During your stay in any of the staterooms, you are entitled to two bottles a day of any drink of your choice—vodka, scotch, gin, bourbon, Canadian whiskey, rum, champagne, or wine, an access to the Avenue Salon Cigar Lounge with complimentary drinks, and complementary laundry service available every day.

As leading innovator in the cruise industry for more than two decades, Crystal Cruises is the first cruise line to offer “pure” staterooms at sea. In its pure staterooms, you are given a comprehensive indoor environment solution achieved by treating all surfaces and the surrounding air of your stateroom, giving you an extra sound sleep and a more refreshing morning to wake up to. It is also a innovative solution from allergies and mild respiratory issues, including coughing, sneezing, sniffling, and watery eyes. Every six months, pure specialists will also re-service the rooms, ensuring spaces are kept to the highest of hygiene levels indefinitely. But aside from opting for a pure room, Crystal’s housekeeping staff will be trained in any daily maintenance routines required, leaving every corner spotless.

THE TASTE OF LUXURY From left: lobster spring roll; beef tenderloin and 72-hour prime beef; and risotto con zucca THE TASTE OF LUXURY From left: lobster spring roll; beef tenderloin and 72-hour prime beef; and risotto con zucca

Exceptional dining experiences, including famed chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s only sea-going restaurant, are enhanced by tables exquisitely set with Schott-Zwiesel crystal, Villeroy and Boch and Wedgewood china, Royal Doulton dishware, Sheffield and Sambonet flatware, and table linens by Garnier Thiebaut and Frette. Crystal’s extensive wine cellar offers more than 300 vintages, with a special reserve list, showcasing rarities such as Screaming Eagle and Chateau Lafite Rothschild. From the extraordinary cuisine of celebrity chefs to the inventive menus created by Crystal’s own acclaimed culinary team, dining aboard Crystal Serenity promises to delight and surprise even the most discriminating palate. With its signature focus on choice, the Crystal Dining Room offers two menus each evening: an innovative new “Modern” menu including dishes such as roasted monkfish with tiger shrimp, chorizo and warm aioli, or a re-imagined white chocolate passion fruit delice, alongside a “Classic” menu of traditional favorites. Within the ship is a world of broad dining selections. Its other restaurants are Tastes on Serenity (Chinese restaurant), Lido Café, Prego, Silk Road and The Sushi Bar, and Palm Court among many others.

Crystal Serenity’s other amenities and offered activities include the Galaxy Lounge, which hosts nightly entertainment show; music classes at The Studio; The Crystal Computer University, which offers special classes for basic to advance computer programs; the Hollywood Theater; Fantasia, a fun lounge for kids; Crystal Life Salon and Spa; paddle tennis courts; puzzle and board game rooms; a library; a pool area; and a state-of-the-art gym, which offers yoga classes.

DINING EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER Inside the Crystal Serenity is a wide range of world-class dining choices DINING EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER Inside the Crystal Serenity is a wide range of world-class dining choices


Sharing the global spotlight as World’s Best with her fleetmate Crystal Symphony, Crystal Serenity will embark in a metamorphosis in October 2018, for four weeks of transformation, improving its already grand amenities. Crystal will welcome new penthouses and suites, new dining concepts, specialty venues and open-seating, and an expanded roster of high-tech advancements, including free unlimited Wi-Fi, increased Internet speed and a dedicated guest portal called Crystal Connect. The ship’s already generous roster of luxury accommodations will add two Penthouse Suites measuring 538 sq. ft. and 36 new Penthouses, bringing the total number of lavish suites to 143, with the added amenity of unlimited specialty restaurant dining reservations. With the conversion of previous staterooms to the new suites and penthouses, guest capacity aboard Crystal Serenity will be reduced from 1,070 to 980, thereby increasing the ship’s service and space ratios to rank with the highest in the industry. Crystal Serenity enchants with an unrivaled chic elegance reflecting her expansive redesigns of recent years. Inviting, open public spaces channel the relaxed yet elegant style of the California Riviera, while Penthouses and staterooms boast the sophisticated charms of a Manhattan pied-à-terre and the classic flats of London. Limitless options are the only option.