Edie Rodriguez Outlines Crystal Ship Refurbs: Open Seating, Free Wi-Fi

When Crystal’s two luxury oceangoing ships emerge from drydock this year and next, they’ll offer totally open seating in the main dining room, to be renamed Waterside. It will have an abundance of tables for two and four for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

In addition, the line will introduce free Wi-Fi for all guests on those oceangoing vessels starting October 21, 2017.

Those were two of the newsy tidbits announced today by Edie Rodriguez, Crystal’s chairman, CEO and president, at a press briefing at the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale. It was in advance of the annual Cruise360 conference.

Top news? Crystal Symphony will go into a European shipyard for drydock updates on September 19 through October 21, 2017, and will emerge with a guest capacity of 848, 28 new Penthouses and 12 New Penthouse Suites. The guest-to-space ratio will be 60.2, and in total, the suite capacity will increase by 63 percent.

The ship’s Seabreeze Deck 9 will have two new suite categories – Seabreeze Penthouse Suites (SPS) and Seabreeze Penthouses (SPH). While they’ll have about the same square footage as current Penthouse categories, changes will include large luxury showers with body jets instead of bathtubs and a unique entryway connecting two Seabreeze Penthouses.

Crystal Serenity will go into drydock from October 14 to November 10, 2018, a 28-day drydock that will create a guest capacity of 980, as well as 36 new Penthouses and two new Penthouse Suites. The guest-to-space ratio after the changes will be 70.3 and the total suite capacity will increase by 6 percent. Onboard Crystal Serenity’s Deck 10, several staterooms will be converted to Penthouse (PH) and Penthouse Suites (PS).

Guest capacity will be reduced on both ships, from 922 to 848 on Crystal Symphony and 1,070 to 980 on Crystal Serenity.

In addition, as mentioned above, with the reduction in capacity, now both ships will be “open seat dining” with no reservations in the main dining room, although Rodriguez said that, of course, more traditional guests who so desire will still have the option of scheduling a particular time for dining.

Other changes in dining include the transformation of the former Lido Café to Marketplace and, at night, Churrascaria, a Brazilian steakhouse that’s complimentary on both ships; the replacement of Tastes on Crystal Serenity by Silk, offering Chinese inspired al fresco dining; and the new Umi Uma by Nobuyaki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, replacing Silk Road.

Starting October 17, Crystal also plans to add free Wi-Fi for all guests.

Separately, in talking with reporters, Rodriguez noted that the line’s second Northwest Passage voyage is coming up this August and that will be the final opportunity for guests to sail that route on a ship the size of Crystal Serenity. Instead, for any future Northwest Passage itineraries on Crystal, the line will position its new expedition ship on the route.

We’ll have more on other features in an upcoming story on Cruise360.