In 2015 Crystal Cruises celebrates its 25th anniversary. Over the years, Crystal has and continues to win top awards from not only leading travel groups but top consumer travel magazines. With a fleet that consists of two ships, it’s a relatively small luxury cruise line, but continues to revamp, renovate and update, to “raise the bar.” What are the latest innovations and updates?

Crystal Cruises’ new menu concept in the Crystal Dining Room

Crystal Dining Room

Crystal Dining Room on Crystal Serenity
(Photo Courtesy of Crystal Cruises)

Culinary trends continue to evolve, and after more than four years of development, Crystal Cruises just unveiled their new nightly dinner experience which debuted this spring in their main dining rooms. Guests dining in the Crystal Dining Rooms onboard the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony can now enjoy more that 100 new dishes. These new artful dishes are prepared using the doctrines of molecular gastronomy, where chefs break down ingredients including contrasts like hot and cold, crunchy and soft, using new high-tech gallery equipment, creativity and expanded local sourcing.

The new Crystal Dining Room dinner menu now actually offers two menus. The “Modern” menu is located on the left side, and the traditional “Classic” menu is on the right side. Guests can then select their preferences from each side. A few other key things? Both menus change daily, vegetarian selections are noted, and the back side of the “Classic” menu provides a more extensive selection of desserts.

At the cornerstone of Crystal Cruises’ new dining approach? They have top rated galleys that include high tech galley equipment, along with their chefs, who spend months studying food science and are committed to using seasonal farm-driven ingredients.

A few examples of new dishes that showcase their modern epicurean artistry include a re-imagined Strawberries Romanoff. It’s comprised of a Cotton Candy dome that melts immediately when a strawberry consommé is poured over it. And then reveals a flourless fresh berry-almond cake with vanilla anglaise hidden beneath. Another is a scallop and tuna tartar, flavored with citris foam. White miso soup is poured over, and olive oil “caviar” balls explode with cold flavor.

Another Crystal Serenity Dining Venue -Tastes

sample Dish from Tastes

Tastes onboard Crystal Serenity
(Photo Courtesy of Crystal Cruises)

Earlier this year, Crystal also introduced a brand new dining venue the Crystal Serenity, called Tastes. Located on an area of the Crystal Serenity’s pool deck that had been an indoor pool area. Tastes is open for light breakfast, lunch and dinner, and features a tapas-like international cuisine. Part of its décor includes three “living” walls of olive trees and plants.

Crystal Symphony’s New Outdoor Fitness & Redesigned Indoor Fitness

Fitness center

Crystal Symphony Fitness Center before Fall Makeover & Redesign
(Photo Courtesy of Crystal Cruises)

A 19 day, $20 million-plus dry dock of the Crystal Symphony starting September 9 includes a new Outdoor Fitness Garden, as well as upgrades to the Indoor Fitness Center. New equipment provided by Technogym, which is the official supplier of the World Cup events and Olympic Games, will be added, making its cruise industry debut, along with the cruise industry’s first circuit training program. And decks 7, 8 and 12 aft are also going to be redesigned into a multi-level outdoor “garden” of fitness, with more than a dozen glass-blasted, stainless steel pieces of equipment available from Norwell Outdoor Fitness. Beginner, intermediate and advanced-level exercisers can familiarize themselves with these high-tech amenities via a self-guided “Movement Journey.”

Expansion of Crystal’s “You Care, We Care” Voluntourism Program

First launched in 2011, Crystal Cruises’ “You Care, We Care” program offers at least one volunteer excursion on each of their cruises. Crystal covers all the costs for participation as well as the logistical arrangements, In 2014, Crystal volunteers (guests and staff) will provide assistance to more than 15 communities throughout the world via dozens of the “You Care, We Care” excursions. Three new shore-side aid opportunities include helping the environment, animals and orphans in Iceland, the Channel Islands and Ghana.

A New Craft Beer Theme Cruise this fall on Crystal Serenity

Crystal Serenity

Crystal Serenity at Sea
(Photo Courtesy of Crystal Cruises)


Yes, Crystal Cruises is offering new beer-focused Boutique Adventures, which will include expert presentations along with tasting sessions, cocktail and cooking classes. These will be onboard the Crystal Serenity voyage starting November 5, sailing from New York to Miami via the East Coast, and the Caribbean. These two new microbrew Boutique Adventures, created just for this sailing take guests to micro and nano-breweries around and in New York as well as Charleston, South Carolina.(Costs for the microbrew Boutique Adventures start at $179 per person.

More about Crystal Cruises and fits for groups

As mentioned, Crystal Cruises’ two ships provide high quality, choices and extraordinary space for their guests. And they are all-inclusive as far as gratuities and all liquors. Along with continuing to “raise the bar,” Crystal continues to be an innovator, and with expansive itineraries along with active experiences, might be one for your group to consider.