Last Monday Will and I disembarked in Miami off the best cruise we have ever experienced! We were on a week long Caribbean cruise on the Crystal Serenity. Normally I would do a day by day review of our experience but I thought I would do this blog a little differently. Since I experienced so many unique differences on my Crystal cruise from all the other cruises I have been on, I thought I would make a list of all of my favorite things about the Serenity.

1. We were greeted by a crew member who took my backpack and escorted us to our cabin.
Not only were we personally escorted to our cabin but he also mentioned that he worked at the pool. From than on every time we went to the pool we were greeted by Robert by our last names. This may have been the first time that a crew member remembered our names but not the last. We truly felt like part of the Crystal family our entire time on board. For example every day when we went to breakfast Clark was there to greet us and take my tray from me to carry it to my table. Than we were asked if we would like coffee and fresh squeezed Orange Juice. I personally like the half orange and half grapefruit and they were glad to accommodate me.

2. Special requests at the dinning room
When at dinner I liked the side of bok choy that Will had on his dish and I mentioned that to my waiter. He came back with a serving dish of bok choy for me. I was told that from then on if I wanted to swap out side dishes or make special request to please do so.

3. Afternoon tea at the Bistro

We went to the Bistro for our complimentary latte and cappuccino one afternoon and they had set up a spread of cheeses, crackers, meats, scones and cream, and all sorts of deserts. What I loved most was the quality of cheeses that were offered!
4. Aft deck area
One of our favorite spots on the ship was the aft deck area. Our cabin was in the aft and was a short walk to a back patio area provided on each deck. There were deck chairs with area for shade or sun and a table with four or five chairs. This was a nice area where we could sun tan when we felt like more privacy. We also sat out there with our set of binoculars to watch ships passing by … or just to read a book.
5. Cold towels and Mineral Water at the gym

When I went to the gym I was able to cool off with a cold towel and bottled water provided for me. There was also both spring water and mineral water being offered. I always finished my workout with the complimentary use of the steam room in the women’s locker room and grabbed a mineral water.

6. Casino at the very forward of the ship
This was nice because I did not have to pass through the casino every time I needed to get somewhere on the ship. Plus if I was in the casino gambling we are offered complimentary drinks.

7. Green Tea Ice Cream

My favorite ice cream flavor on the cruise was the green tea. Scoops was open almost all day and evening with complimentary ice cream. They had different flavors each day, and fresh waffle cones. One day we got ourselves and waffle cone and savored it while we watched a movie (500 Days of Summer) in their Hollywood Theater. Once we were seated we were offered a popcorn! I just love going to the movies! The couple in the row in front of us turned around and smiled at us and just simply said “Date Night”.
8. Real silverware even for room service

I thought what a nice touch to have real silverware even when ordering from room service. For our last night we chose to order room service for dinner. Our stewardess brought us the dinner menu from the main dining room where we selected what we would like to have for dinner. She set up our table with a tablecloth and we were served course by course in the privacy of our stateroom. If we chose to have room service for breakfast there was quite an extensive menu to choose from. We opted out on this cruise as we loved dinning on the outside patio on the aft of the ship.

9. Two choices of robes in our cabin

I was able to use the light kimono robe when I had just gotten back from the steam room or was drying my hair, and when I needed some extra warmth I put on the cozy Frette robe. Speaking of drying my hair they had both the drier on the bathroom wall and an extra drier in the vanity drawer so I didn’t have to crowd the bathroom to do my hair.

10. Oversized bathroom towels

This was the first cruise where we truly had oversized plush towels. Love it!

11. The bathroom amenities

I walked in to notice Aveda products in bottles large enough to last the week. The shower head was an adjustable massaging shower head, which is nice in case I did not want to get my hair wet each time I got in the shower. I also loved the dual sinks and room enough for us both to be in there at the same time.
12. Complimentary Self Serve Laundry Room
Will and I actually did our laundry twice on this cruise. We did it once in the middle of the week and again the day before we left so we could come home with all clean clothes. Anything that helps us when we come home to reality is much appreciated. I forgot to take a photo of that but I’m sure you get the idea.
13. Perrier and Diet Coke
We just loved the fridge that magically refilled itself with our favorite drinks! Each day we found a full fridge of diet cokes for Will and Perrier for me. And to top it off they were all complimentary…do we see a pattern yet? COMPLIMENTARY…no signing my name all over the ship.
14. Comfortable pool chairs waiting for me when I am ready
How do you like the idea of getting up at 4am to put a towel on your pool chairs to be sure to have a chair when its time to get some sun? Yeah, me neither! I noticed on our cruise that not only were their open seats by the pool each time I went to the pool, but our friend Robert was there to ask us if we prefer seats in the sun or the shade and had fresh towels laying on them for us.
15. Outdoor shower by the pool
I just hate the feeling of saltwater drying on my skin after getting out of a salt water pool or the ocean. I got out of the pool looking for somewhere to rinse off. I not only found an outdoor shower but a shower with shampoo, conditioner, and refreshing body soap! Like I said…the little things 🙂

16. Renting movies for the room
Will and I like to get up real early and are active for most of the day. So we are not big on the nightlife while on vacation. I was happy to see that the Library had a very large complimentary selection of movies we could rent and bring back to our room to watch. We were able to pick two at a time so Will picked one he wanted and I got my pick. Than I mentioned to Will that I wished “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” was available and the very nice woman working the library said she would call me when it came back in. Sometimes we watched a movie in the afternoon before we had ourselves a short nap. There is something wonderful about being on vacation and being able to take a nap (something I rarely am afforded at home)
17. Pregos Roasted Garlic Cloves
I think my favorite part of our dinner at Prego was the roasted garlic. That might sound silly considering I tried the mushroom soup which was amazing, and the butternut squash ravioli also to die for….but I cant remember the last time we went out for Italian and had that freshly roasted Garlic to spread on my breadsticks.

18. Sunsets from my balcony
I think we watched every sunset this week from our balcony. This was quite a fluke that the sun set on our side of the ship each night, and what a treat! Will even woke me up one morning to watch the most beautiful sunrise on our balcony. It will be difficult for me to pick just one picture as I must have hundreds!

19. Cold towels coming back from port

When we got back on the ship in St. Barts hot from the Caribbean sun we noticed a cooler full of cold towels. Details people…..

20. The Crew
I wanted to leave the best for last! The crew on the Serenity adds something to the cruise that can not be calculated into the price. They are like a family and treat you as part of their family. We felt genuinely welcome everywhere we went on the ship, and this was what made our experience so special.

As I am writing this list, I keep coming up with more examples such as the Walk on Water program, sushi at Silk Road, and my excellent spa treatment. I don’t have room to write about everything we loved, you will just have to cruise on Crystal to experience it all for yourself.