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Crystal Serenity undergoes a sea of changes highlighted by lavish penthouses

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Crystal Cruises’ 68,870-ton, 1,050 passenger Serenity just emerged from a $17 million makeover with a sea of changes that makes the already sterling ship more attractive than ever with lavish trimmings, additions and improvements from stem to stern.

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“We have completely reimagined spaces to create chic and contemporary public areas and accommodations that are as comfortable and inviting as they are dramatic and stylish,” says Crystal’s President Edie Bornstein. “Fine design is an integral part of our guests’ lifestyles, whether at home or away.”

For the Lido Deck was demolished and redesigned by London’s Adfecto architectural interior design firm with a Santa Barbara casual, yet cultured “California Riviera” vibe. Like her sister, Crystal Symphony, Crystal Serenity’s Lido Café now features modern food islands (instead of long buffet counters), more tables for two, and a live, open kitchen, which includes a bakery.

The indoor pool is now gone replaced by casual dining and lounging spaces with expansive ocean views. The Lido Café’s theme is continued, but this space opens up into a light and airy courtyard with a retractable glass roof. Crystal white granite table tops, natural stones, white wicker, tan sofas and an array of blues with pops of tangerine set the resort-like tone. Most striking is the lush greenery in the form of multiple variegated “living walls” of plants, a fresh herb garden for Crystal chefs, and live olive trees under-planted with lavender. A fret-cut, internally-lit sculpture uses thyme and rosemary motifs to reflect the herb and dining concepts.

The starboard side of ship hosts Tastes restaurant, a bar and a custom-built open kitchen that is open during the day for a “Late Risers Breakfast” and full lunch menu, including specialties such as Chinese noodles and dumplings, but changes after 6 p.m. into an inviting casual evening eatery with dramatic lighting that showcases the trees, plants, and decorative screens. Taste’s new global-inspired menu was created in association with Sapphire Restaurants in Laguna Beach, CA, where acclaimed Chef Azmin Ghahreman offers cuisine with accents from around the globe. An Alsatian Tarte, Tunisian Crab Warka, California Street Tacos, and North African Lamb Dumplings share the bill with a dozen other inventive small plates that are designed to be shared.

The coveted Penthouse was redone by Toronto’s II BY IV, and included the relocation of the dining area closer to the floor-to-ceiling windows and the private outdoor deck, while the former dining room now holds a den/library/media room with a sleeper sofa and closet. Natural marble and wood floors were also added along with a new shower, butler’s pantry and grand foyer done with a dramatic cut-work open screen, enabling visibility into the dining room and the ocean views beyond. Custom handmade Italian mosaic tiles and modern Swarovski crystal lighting sconces flank the Grand Foyer’s entrance, inside and out. The rooms’ neutral color palette is accented with distinctive art and accessories that give each suite its own personality. Used throughout are natural marble, natural wood floors, and custom-designed carpet fabricated by Ulster in Ireland.

Crystal Penthouses were outfitted with the latest in technology, designed to be uncomplicated and intuitive with custom light settings and sound throughout to change the ambiance and maximize enjoyment of the large Bose VideoWave III flat screen televisions, iPod docking stations, and surround sound audio system.

In a cruise industry-first, 70 deluxe verandah staterooms were transformed into hypoallergenic luxury accommodations offering a comprehensive, chemical- and odor-free indoor environment solution. PURE® Marine Solutions, a sister company of leading allergy-friendly hospitality innovator PURE Global, implemented a seven-step patented and proven air and surface purification process in each room to remove allergens and reduce the risk of irritants. With a state-of-the-art medical grade air purifier discreetly installed to filter out 99.9% of all airborne impurities on an ongoing basis, guests can expect relief from allergies and more sound sleep, thus enhancing the overall relaxation and recuperation expected from a vacation.

Crystal Serenity is schedule for a Transatlantic crossing to the Americas, a Christmas/New Year’s voyage in the Caribbean, and an annual World Cruise – an 89-day ultimate luxury adventure from Los Angeles to London, starting January 18. Until January 3, “Book Now” fares for a 2014 voyage aboard Crystal Serenity start at $1,215/person.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

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