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Crystal Serenity emerges from comprehensive $25m upgrade

Crystal Serenity emerges from comprehensive $25m upgrade
The 2003-built Crystal Serenity completed a $25m, two-week upgrade at Blohm+Voss, the longest docking Crystal Cruises has ever executed. All 535 staterooms, retail centers, the pool deck, corridors and other spaces received a facelift, in addition to general sprucing of the vessel inside and out.

Crystal president Gregg Michel said the line has invested more than $50m in its two ships in the last year and a half.

Interior designer Keith Rushbrook, principal at the Toronto-based II BY IV Design Associates, described the vision for Crystal Serenity as ‘modern classic elegance. We wanted Fifth Avenue, crème de la crème New York-inspired living and retail spaces that people love and look forward to spending time in.’

All accommodations received new appointments. Crystal penthouses were refreshed with new soft goods, while deluxe staterooms, penthouses and penthouse suites 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 add third berths, a feature for Crystal’s growing family clientele.

Blu-ray players and flat-screen televisions were installed, along with modern lighting features plus an electronic ‘do not disturb’ and doorbell system.

The Apropos boutique was redesigned into three shopping spaces against a backdrop of Zebrano wood and herringbone rosewood, black-plum-magenta carpeting and tufted leather seating. Massive sculptural aluminum screens pop against gray smoked glass walls. A new area is dedicated to Christian Dior cosmetics. The Dior shop is exclusive to Crystal.

The Facets fine jewelry store also received a new, private sales area and a fresh look mirroring a jewelry box, with mother-of-pearl feature wall and beveled chrome vitrines.

Passengers can now lounge poolside on bright lime green, azure and mango sofas, lounge chairs and circular pod beds, similar to those recently added to Crystal Symphony’s pool area.

Crystal said lighting played a major role in the redesign, with mood lighting enhancing spaces, showcasing the headboards and warming the corridors, which also received new, custom carpeting and artwork on newly textured walls.

‘We were looking to balance the luxurious interiors of Crystal Serenity with saving energy,’ noted Nick Hogget of DPA Lighting Consultants.

Crystal said that, like all remodeling projects, not all materials arrived on schedule.

By the end of June, the 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.

Furnishings, electronics and accessories removed from Crystal Serenity were donated to needy communities around the world. Donations began during the ship’s final, pre-drydock voyage up the western coast of Africa when bedspreads were donated to Senegal during the 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.

Crystal Serenity emerged from drydock to begin a series of Baltic, British Isles and North Cape cruises. In August, the ship sails to the Mediterranean.