One Hamburg shipyard, two weeks, several talented designers, 500+ international staffers, 606 crew, and $25 million. Those were the ingredients for the ultra-luxurious redesign of Crystal Cruises' largest ship, Crystal Serenity. Just completed after a round-the-clock remodel at Germany's Blohm + Voss shipyard, the dry dock was the company's longest ever. All 535 staterooms, retail centers, outdoor pool deck, corridors and other spaces received a dazzling facelift, in addition to general sprucing of the entire outside and inside of the vessel.
"In the past year and a half, we have invested well over $50 million in our ships," says Crystal Cruises' President Gregg Michel. "The striking new spaces serve as a stunning backdrop to the incomparable service and choices that always characterize a Crystal vacation."
Interior designer, Keith Rushbrook, principal at the Toronto-based II BY IV Design Associates summarizes the vision, "We wanted modern classic elegance. We wanted Fifth Avenue, creme de la creme New York-inspired living and retail spaces that people love and look forward to spending time in."
Sophisticated Stateroom Remodel
All of Crystal Serenity's luxury accommodations received new appointments. While Crystal Penthouses were refreshed with new soft goods, Deluxe Staterooms, Penthouses, and Penthouse Suites (pictured here) were completely transformed with new, floor-to-ceiling tufted headboards, bedside cabinets, sofas, curtains, pillows and custom carpets in contemporary lines and classic stone, silk, velvet, leather and crisp linen textures. The new sofas also offer more third berths, a nice feature for Crystal's growing family clientele. Blu-ray players and flat-screen televisions were added, and new modern lighting features, plus an electronic "do not disturb" and doorbell system throughout the ship, allow guests greater personalization of their chic accommodations.
Remarkable Retail Space Re-Do
The Apropos boutique was redesigned into three dramatic shopping spaces, against a backdrop of rich Zebrano wood and herringbone rosewood, arresting black-plum-magenta carpeting and tufted leather seating. Massive sculptural aluminum screens graphically pop against gray smoked glass walls. A new area is dedicated to Christian Dior cosmetics. The Dior shop is exclusive to Crystal and is the largest of its kind that isn't land-based. Not be outshone, the Facets fine jewelry store also received a new, private sales area and a new, overall look mirroring a jewelry box, with mother-of-pearl feature wall and beveled chrome vitrines.
Perfectly Posh Pool Deck
Guests can now lounge poolside on bright lime green, azure and mango sofas , lounge chairs, and circular pod beds, a la those recently added to Crystal Symphony's pool area.
Mood Lighting and Retouched Passageways
Lighting played a major role in the Crystal Serenity redesign. Dramatic new mood lighting enhances the romance of spaces, showcases the drama of the headboards, and warms the ship corridors, which also received new, custom carpeting on the floors and engaging art work on newly-textured walls. Thoughtful attention was given to conservation as well as style.
"We were looking to balance the luxurious interiors of Crystal Serenity with saving energy," says Nick Hogget of DPA Lighting Consultants. "Like the Crystal product, even the lighting provides the guest with choices. We wanted to make sure the guest has a wonderful experience in all the different spaces."
Still to come...
Like all remodeling projects, not all materials arrived on schedule. By end of June, the spacious Penthouse and Penthouse Suite verandahs will sport new furnishings and the stateroom design will be augmented with decorative coverlets. Silk Road will also unveil new carpets and fabrics.
Giving to Those in Need
Furnishings, electronics, and accessories removed from Crystal Serenity were donated to needy communities around the world. Donations began during the ship's final, pre-dry dock voyage up the western coast of Africa when bedspreads were donated to Senegal during the ship's call there. An extensive donation plan was instituted in Hamburg, with hundreds of sofas and televisions loaded onto eight 40-foot containers, and shipped to the Salvation Army in New Jersey.
"We not only delivered a show-stopping new look for our guests' home-away-from-home, we delivered much-needed goods to those less fortunate," says Crystal Cruises' President, Gregg Michel.
Crystal Serenity emerged from dry dock to begin a series of Baltic, British Isles, and North Cape cruises. Come August, the ship sails to the Mediterranean for a variety of late summer and fall cruises.
Crystal Cruises' ethos of warm and friendly attentiveness, proffered by top-trained service staff from around the world, has earned the line a reputation for elevating hospitality to an art form with no guest request left untended. For more information, visit CrystalCruises.com.