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Crystal Symphony’s $15m docking finishes 5-year redesign plan

New-look Avenue Saloon
Completing a two-week drydock at Blohm+Voss in Hamburg, Crystal Symphony emerged with redesigned spaces including the Avenue Saloon, Palm Court lounge, Galaxy showroom, Hollywood Theatre, Bridge Lounge, Fantasia and Waves junior cruisers’ areas, along with the tender landing/passenger boarding area. Crystal Cruises said this latest $15m in work marks the culmination of a $65m, five-year plan to redesign every room aboard the ship.

Other new touches include additions to staterooms, paddle tennis court resurfacing, sprucing of tender shuttles, more energy-efficient hull paint, galley updates and general maintenance and detailing of the entire ship, from propellers and boilers to the bridge and lifeboats.

Three interior design companies created the visions for the new spaces. Adfecto and SMC Design of London and KNA Design of Los Angeles were inspired by classic icons like New York’s 21 Club, Hollywood’s Coconut Grove and Palm Beach country club life. With lighting a key creative consideration, Crystal and designers worked with DPA Lighting Consultants to add drama and evironmental friendliness.

KNA’s redesign of the signature lounges Avenue Saloon and Palm Court sets backdrop for Crystal’s newly all-inclusive fine wines and custom-crafted cocktails.

The panoramic Palm Court recalls the glamorous Coconut Grove of Hollywood’s yesteryear, Crystal said, while also delivering a sleek, uber-contemporary look.  More intimate, modern lounge seating in buttery soft leathers surrounds a larger, spiral-design dance floor and slick, stainless and hand-tiled mosaic bar.

Flooring is a mix of white, laser-cut Calacatta marble, soft grey swirling wood and carpeting with a bold, large-scale, graphic. Aqua, chartreuse, ash and cream tones create a light, California ambiance that helps bring the outside in during daytime use. New lighting including faceted Lucite wall sconces and Murano glass table lamps transforms the for evening dancing and drinks.

The palm theme endures in pillow fabric, Sago palm trees and a dramatic rock crystal, branch ceiling feature above the dance floor.  Six-foot-tall, lit alabaster urns, suede wall upholstery, electric window shades and Meyer speaker and audio control systems further accessorize the look and sound.

The Avenue Saloon and piano bar retains its 19th-century gentlemen’s club feel, but incorporates updated colors, furnishings, materials, music and seating configuration. Mahogany-paneled walls, leather upholstery, brass nailhead trim, velvets and thick inset rugs are among the details. Heavily shuttered windows frame burgundies, golds, caramels, moss greens and ivories.

The piano relocation allows for increased seating and conversation areas, including new brass-tack couches, embossed-leaf barstools and tufted booths.  New romantic lighting, crown molding, antique-style trunk tables, custom artwork and audio systems add to the salon atmosphere.

Crystal said old Hollywood panache extends into the Galaxy Lounge and Hollywood Theatre, with an air of British tradition, thanks to the spaces’ two UK designers.

The new Galaxy Lounge entrance has diamond-patterned glass doors, gold fabric panels, black Nero Marquina marble flooring and large LCD digital signage. Through the entry, crystal lighting features reminiscent of a dressing room mirror and starburst-designed carpet and wall lights create an ambiance for the star performers.

Royal purple and old gold curtains in sheer and velvet fabrics envelop the space, including the main stage and side walls. Modern mohair seating, cocktail tables and under-banquette lighting add comfort and drama.  Throughout, SMC Design included artwork niches with abstract figurative sculpture and a harmonized color scheme of lilac, pink and crimson. A new stage extension expands performance space by 30%, and the theatre has a new sound booth, show control systems, high-definition Barco projection, infrared video cameras, stage lighting, and Meyer speaker system.

Classic Art Deco movie palaces and the stars of the silver screen inspired Adfecto’s re-do of the Hollywood Theatre. Smoked woodgrain walls and velvet damson-colored curtains create a sweeping entry, while decorative and underseat lighting provides a warm ambience.  Knife-pleated pendant wall lamps and high-back, ivory-colored leather theatre seating contrast with the circular starburst patterns in the carpet and custom-woven acoustic wall paneling.

New lighting, boosted surround sound audio processing from Bose and Meyer, Barco high-definition projector and enhanced lecture, recording and presentation control systems further transform the space.

Crystal Symphony’s play/games areas for kids, teens and adults have been transformed for family recreation.

And the dedicated junior cruisers’ areas, Waves (teens) and Fantasia (children), have been re-designed by Adfecto. Scarlet, pistachio, denim blue and magenta differ from typical ‘primary’ kids’ colors and inject sophistication. Details include graphic harlequin carpeting; custom, digital-printed wallcovering; Marimekko-patterned, Fatboy bean bags; classic 1970s multicolored Casala Casalino chairs and tables; and multiple oversized sofas, including a huge Walter Knoll Circle sofa.

The areas’ divided layout was reconfigured to create more privacy for teens and more of a welcoming, home den feel for younger children, while also allowing flexibility for the space to be opened up into one.  Different sections for group activities/crafts, storytime, relaxation, video games (Wii, PlayStation, Xbox, Kinect), and screenings (two wide-screen TV’s, Blu-ray players and movie projection system) are included. New lighting features and a Bose speaker system help create different atmospheres and transform the entire space into an exclusive teen hangout at night.

KNA transformed the Bridge Lounge into a classic card room, reminiscent of Palm Beach’s tennis and card clubs during the Gilded Age, with sconces flanking wooden built-ins, frosted mirrors and saffron panel-covered walls. Other new accents include floor-to-ceiling drapes, Roman sheers, modern chandelier, and a 12-karat gold, champagne leaf, dome ceiling. New podium, credenza and audiovisual systems, along with new convertible game tables and armchairs, provide room versatility and expert-level presentation tools.

Adfecto designed a comfortable and welcoming foyer for the tender embarkation area including aged teak, plank-style flooring, a sky blue ceiling, bright lighting and multi-colored, striped canvas curtains.  The area now has contemporary benches and five-foot-tall travel photographs.

Staterooms gained new electronic ‘do not disturb’ doorbell systems and cordless digital telephones. Penthouses also received new glass shower doors.

Other updates included a complete refresh of the paddle tennis court, new stoves and cooking equipment in the main galley, and environmental upgrades with lighting, boilers, and new, energy-efficient hydrogel hull coating. An update to stateroom veranda furniture is scheduled to follow.

After the docking, four 20-foot containers of Crystal Symphony furniture were donated to Hamburger Tafel, a charitable organization.  Thanks to transportation assistance from fellow the goodwill organization, Stilbruch, hundreds of chairs, stools, tables and cabinets will be given directly to needy area residents.

Crystal Symphony is now sailing the first of seven all-inclusive Baltic and Northern Europe cruises this summer before crossing the Atlantic for a New England/Canada season in the fall.