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Crystal cruise directors return for the line's relaunch

From left, Rick Spath, Raphael Derkson and Russ Grieve
Veteran cruise directors Rick Spath, Russ Grieve and Raphael Derkson will be returning when Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony resume service.

Spath will bring out Crystal Serenity when the ship begins sailing July 31, and Grieve will be aboard Crystal Symphony starting with its Sept. 1 inaugural voyage. Derkson will first serve as the start-up musical director for Crystal Serenity then take over as cruise director following Spath.

Cruise director is 'one of the most important roles onboard, and we are so excited to have this group rejoin our team,' said Keith Cox, VP entertainment. 'They each bring their own unique style which guests have come to know and love when sailing with Crystal.'

Rick Spath

Spath has been at sea for more than 40 years, first becoming a cruise director in 1984. He has been with Crystal for 18 years. The 2024 world cruise will be the 17th such voyage he has led. Originally from New Jersey, Spath now makes his home in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he spends vacations with his wife and four children and playing golf.

Russ Grieve

Another industry veteran, Grieve served as Azamara Quest cruise director for several years before joining the Crystal family in 2018. His background is in singing and acting, including a 7.5-year stint in the Broadway musical 'Mamma Mia!' A California native, he enjoys working out and spending time with friends and family when not onboard.

Raphael Derkson

Derkson joined Crystal in 1999, first as musical director and eventually becoming cruise director. Raised in Montréal, he graduated from the Montreal Conservatory of Music and continued his education at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the Herbert Bergof Acting Studio in New York.