The View From the Top

Crystal adds penthouses and more

By: By Marilyn Green

Due to high demand, Crystal Cruises is increasing the number of Crystal Serenity’s penthouse accommodations, which can be reserved now on a guaranteed basis. The actual room numbers will be incorporated into Crystal's online travel agent booking engine, Cruisebuilder, beginning Aug. 1.

During a two-week dry dock, beginning Nov. 12, the line is converting 12 category AA Deluxe Staterooms into eight penthouses. Crystal Serenity's 403-square-foot Penthouses have personal butler service, large private verandas, sizeable living areas, bars stocked with complimentary wine and choice of liquor, Jacuzzi tubs, separate showers, walk-in closets, flat screen televisions, DVD players, Riedel glassware and complimentary pressing. In addition to 24-hour in-stateroom dining from the Crystal Dining Room, penthouse guests can order from the specialty restaurants, including signature dishes from Nobu and Piero Selvaggio, during dinner hours.

Following the conversion, Crystal Serenity will have 72 Penthouses (category PH), as well as 32 Penthouse Suites (PS) and four lavish 1,345-square-foot Crystal Penthouses (CP). Four of the new Penthouses connect with the category AA Deluxe Staterooms.

The new penthouses are among the spotlighted features of Crystal’s 2009 174-page Worldwide Cruise Atlas. Now available, the brochure showcases the luxury line's 61 itineraries, ranging in length from seven to 106 days and visiting 185 ports throughout the world.

In 2009, the 940-guest Crystal Symphony and the newly refurbished, 1,072-guest Crystal Serenity cruise through the Caribbean, Middle East, Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Panama Canal, Black Sea, South Pacific, British Isles, Baltic Sea, Mexican Riviera, Arctic Circle, South America, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and New England/Canada.

Among the highlights are: The World Cruise, a 106-day sailing visiting 17 countries along the Pacific Rim; A new fall cruise to Israel and Egypt; a new return to the Amazon for the first time in three years; Asian itineraries with complimentary three-day land programs in Beijing; and Maiden calls to Kotor, Montenegro; Lipari, Italy; Patmos, Greece; Sinop, Turkey; Napier, New Zealand; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; Komodo, Indonesia and Kiel, Germany

On both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, all guest rooms are appointed with such amenities as 100 percent Egyptian cotton sheets, down pillows (and a pillow menu), plush duvets, feather beds, two hair dryers, fresh fruit and flowers. Large closets house padded and wooden hangers, Frette bathrobes, kimonos, slippers, umbrella and English mohair lap blankets. Double sinks, make-up mirrors, shower and bathtub are standard with every bathroom. Other amenities include laundry and dry-cleaning service twice-daily housekeeping, and complimentary 24-hour in-stateroom dining.