In the past 3 years we have sailed with Silversea 4 times, with Regent 3, with Oceania 1 and with Seabourn 2 times. We had heard excellent comments about Crystal when their Mediterranean cruise caught our attention. We booked a penthouse suite and it was an overwhelming experience. After the other cruise lines we had become familiar with our expectations of Crystal were high, but the Crystal exceeded our expectations by far. For us no other cruise line comes even close. They are simply the best! If you really want to spoil yourself to a cruise of a lifetime, book a penthouse suite on Crystal. Before we left on this cruise we had already booked a cruise with Seabourn in January, but now that we have experienced Crystals Serenity, we are no longer excited to cruise with any other cruise line. Crystal is a whole new experience. Embarking with the penthouse suite ticket is like flying first class, within minutes your are on board, you are accompanied to your suite. All is ready and our luggage was delivered before we had a chance to admire the tastefully designed suite in delightful light colors, wow! We choose to have our lunch not in the main restaurant Waterside but in the Marketplace where a sumptuous buffet awaited us. This was the way to travel. Announcements over the public address system were practically non existent. We always were annoyed by the frequent PA announcements on other lines, too often in a phoney British accent. Soliciting for future cruises was prohibited, if you are interested in future cruises you were of course welcome to so on beard. This all added to a totally relaxed and comfortable and unique cruise experience. The food was divine, there were options for everybody, even for health food nuts like us. Personally we are vegetarians but do eat fish. There was always something new and delicious on the menu. Starting with the amazing breakfast buffet at the Marketplace. The fresh fruit selections, especially mangoes, papaya, pine apple and strawberries were of the highest quality and always perfectly ripe. What a better way to start a day. The lunch buffet at the Marketplace was always a special treat, unfortunately we were mostly on an excursion at lunch time and too often missed the feast. We always had the choice of freshly steamed rice and vegetables. If you prefer the buttered kind, of course that was offered too. After our first nights dinner in the Waterside restaurant, where we were spoilt by the best waiters Raj and Ewa we knew that was going to be our dinner table for the entire cruise. There was absolutely no reason to try a different table we were so much at home. Soon we started talking that this was the only ship so far, where we could imagine to sail into the perpetual sunset. Seriously, instead of moving into an old folks home, why not spending the last years aboard Serenity. We are still talking about it, maybe one of these days. This was the only ship we have ever felt we could sail on forever. Our Med. Cruise had so many interesting landfalls that we couldn't really appreciate all the amenities. One of the great pluses on the Serenity are the possibilities to move and walk a around freely. On deck 7 there is a wide teak deck all around the ship offering the best walking in addition to the possibility to walk on the top deck. There was an internet lounge with iMacs and a differnt lectures could be followed about working with apple computers. Of course internet was free and of a good quality considering the fact that we were on a moving vessel with a satellite link. The entertainment on board was first rate, we missed most of the shows as we were very busy during the days and went to bed early. But our fellow cruisers were enthusiastic about the shows. Often I had watched other people soon falling asleep during lectures, not on board Serenity. The lecturers captured their audience and even you could watch the lectures on live TV in the privacy of your suite, most guests went to the lectures including ourselves to enjoy the lecturers. Ken Walsh, a long time White House correspondent and Dr. Jim Rowe talking about our destinations more than enriched our cruise experience. Booking a Med. Cruise at the end of October is always picking a wild card, the weather can change suddenly and summer just a memory. Still the touristic hot spots during our cruise like Santorini, Sorrento, Rome, Florence, Monaco, Marseille and Barcelona were still extremely crowded by fellow tourists. Still it is more pleasant to experience the world famous sights without the heat of summer but, rainy and cool days are not rare late in the fall. Much too soon our 13 day cruise came to an end, we hated to leave. The disembarking process was so perfectly organised, not one P.A. announcement, no pushing or shoving, just a relaxed walking off the boat and the luggage so cleverly arranged that finding our luggage was so easy. Thank You Crystal. We can't wait to come back.
Generous and lightly colored suite, all lights could be dimmed just like we have at home. Lots of hangers, more than enough storage space. Great bathroom with generous shower and jacuzzi. Couldn't have been better.
Athens is always a pleasure to explore on your own.
Our 3rd time with a cruise on Santorini this year. Did again the hike up the Donkey trail to Thira, on over the crater rim to Oía and all the way back to Thira and down the Donkey trail. Total walking distance 25 km, altitude difference 1050 m. We do love this hike, it has become a must for us.