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Sampling the six-star dining aboard Crystal Serenity's Waterside restaurant

On the night of 12 March 2019, we had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dine aboard the Waterside restaurant while the Luxury Collection's Crystal Serenity was docked at the Cruises Terminal of the V&A Waterfront. Here's a taste of the experience.
The Crystal Serenity at Mo'orea Beach, French Polynesia.

The invite could not have been more enticing:
Step into a floating event on starlit waters aboard Crystal Serenity. Expect world-class service and prepare your palate for a six-star dining experiences ended in contemporary elegance at the famous Waterside restaurant.
“Six-star dining? Surely not,” commented my husband. But we were indeed treated to a dining experience beyond belief...

The cruise terminal was buzzing excited guests as we spotted various kilted Scottish bands and sequined gymnasts as we were swiftly whisked aboard and ushered into the Hollywood theatre for a speedy overview presentation by Helen Beck, VP of international sales and marketing for the world of Crystal Cruises, before heading off for a personal tour of the six-star life.

With capacity for 980 guests – each of which gets their own personal butler – as well as the likes of an onboard casino, feng-shui inspired spa-at-sea, gym with treadmills facing the ocean, large outdoor pool with two jacuzzis, library stocked with print and audio books, a cigar bar, numerous shops and entertainment and enrichment options ranging from nightly shows to piano and computer lessons, it’s no wonder that luxury cruising is on the rise and Crystal in particular is the most-awarded cruise line, as voted by consumers over the past 20 years.

Living the six-star luxury life for a night

Beck explained that the Crystal family also includes five river ships, two yachts and their Diamond class option, launching in 2022. The Symphony and Serenity follow the sun, as sister ships but not identical twins yet they have the same DNA running throughout, as well as open-seating dining and now offering free, unlimited Wi-Fi 24/7 – that’s a big bonus.

Both went into dry dock at the end of last year, with new restaurant like master chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa’s Umi Uma and Sushi Bar as well as a fine-dining Italian option, with an exceptionally high crew-to-guest ratio.

Speaking of dining, we chose between the two menu options for the night at Waterside – the traditional offering and the Crystal exclusive modern option, with both featuring ingredients sourced at the current destination.

Expect the likes of executive chef Werner Brenner’s pheasant consommé, oxtail potjie and rabbit loin if you’re feeling more adventurous, or the comfort of a grilled Black Angus rib-eye steak and whole roasted duckling, with the generous all-inclusive wine selection of France’s Loire Valley 2017 Petit Le Mont Sauvignon Blanc or the French Bordeaux 2014 Chateau Macquin.

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��Food, glorious food...�� Be prepared for sumptuous delicacies while sailing the seven seas with @crystalcruises On our recent voyage we were left wanting more, more, more from the vast number of dishes and experiences available on board Crystal Serenity. Some of our favourites were the Yellowtail Sashmi with Jalapeños • Smoked Salmon Tomato Octopus at Umi Uma | Lobster Ravioli • Lasagna alla Casalinga (Layers of Fresh Pasta, Porcini Mushrooms, Tomato, Bechamel & Mozzarella Cheese) at Prego | Caviar at the Stardust Supper Club | Sea Bass and Meringue at Waterside | But make sure you bring your gym gear and some sneakers. You’ll need to work up a sweat in a class or stride out some steps doing laps of the ship to burn off some of the extra calories you in jest! #CrystalCruises #CrystalSerenity #luxurycruise #cruising #fivestar

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Deliciously full by then, we were surprised to hear that there are no hidden costs onboard – premium beverages are complimentary, as are transfers in most ports, the latest movies to view in the privacy of your own suite or the floating cinema, and even gratuities are included in this all-inclusive package. We disembarked with stars in our eyes and vowed to experience a full cruise, soon.

This is a floating luxury hotel experience that needs to be experienced to be believed.

Visit the Crystal Cruises website and follow their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts for more updates on why you should #choosetocruise.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 2018 nominee, and can be reached at ...