Crystal Serenity Cruise Review to Alaska

Contributor Level: Second Mate

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

The Grand Dame has a little catching up to do

Sail Date: July 27, 2016

Reviewed: 10 months ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Balcony

Overall, this was a typical Crystal experience-  mostly first rate.  But we noticed some things slipping:  the staterooms were getting a little tired- decor frayed around the edges- leaking shower, etc.  Needs some sprucing up.

   The wi-fi on the ship is awful.  They give you "one free hour per day" and charge an outrageous fee beyond that- and then, the wi-fi is so slow, your single hour is spent in frustration trying to connect to anything at all.  They are WAY behind the times with wi-fi, and for what you pay for a Crystal cruise, wi-fi should be free. 

   The Italian dining room "Prego" was by far the best dining experience of the cruise.  Excellent.   However, Silk Road, the Japanese place, needs work.  Soggy and smelly sushi.  Unacceptable.

     In five cruise, all in penthouses, we've admittedly gotten spoiled by the butler bringing the afternoon snacks each day.  Crab claws, shrimp, caviar, cheese, fruit etc etc.  This time, the offerings had sunk pretty far.  We would rather have skipped the snacks altogether.  Pretty bad.

    They have added private laundry rooms on each deck, with several washer and dryers.  EXCELLENT idea.  Very useful and convenient. 

    Now that Crystal allow flexible dining reservations, not just the usual "early and late seating", it makes it much better when planning shore excursions etc.  We very much appreciate the flexible options.

    We booked our own shore excursions throughout the trip, rather than pay the (sometimes ridiculous) prices they charge- for the exact same excursion.  We paid $99 per person for a snorkling-with-the-seals adventure in Nanaimo - Crystal charged nearly $500 per person.  No excuse for this.

     Of the five Crystal cruises we've done, this was the only one that I would give four (not five) stars.   Nothing that can't be improved upon, and we would likely go on another Crystal ship (or more likely, a yacht or river cruise).  And, we are in no way chronic complainers.  Crystal still is miles above most other large-ship cruise lines we've experienced. 


Cabin / Stateroom
Decor needs some sprucing up
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Ship Quality
Destinations and Excursions
Onboard Activities
Children's Programs
Service and Staff
Food and Dining
Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia
Cruise Inside Passage, Alaska
Ketchikan, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska
Just a little seedy, especially at night.
Skagway, Alaska
What's with the awful jewelry stores (owned by the cruise lines), that sell junky jewelry that has nothing at all to do with the local culture?
Cruise Hubbard Glacier
Good weather helped a LOT Fabulous.
Hoonah, Alaska
The town is true native Alaska- that might not be to some tastes- but this is authentic, not the tourist trap crap you find in Skagway.
Sitka, Alaska
Nanaimo, British Columbia


Dine at Prego- the Italian option. By far the best meal we had. Avoid Silk Road.

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