Millions spent on ship upgrades

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Crystal_Serenity_Mykonos1.jpgIt’s not just Princess and Celebrity who are spending millions on refurbishing their cruise ships and keeping them up to date. Crystal Serenity (above) was launched only eight years ago, but already it is having a $25 million (£15.5 million) upgrade.
The 1,070-passenger vessel, which originally cost $350 million (£215 million) to build at the Chantiers d’Atlantique yard in France, will be going into drydock in Hamburg in May.
Within 14 days, a team of 400 technicians and engineers will fit new lighting and carpets throughout the ship. The 531 staterooms and suites will be upgraded with new floor-to-ceiling tufted headboards, bedside cabinets, wallpaper, sofas, curtains, pillows, and custom carpets. There will be no need for passengers to hang a “do not disturb” card on their door – an electronic system, complete with doorbells, is also on the list of improvements.
Corridors throughout the ship will be transformed with new, custom carpeting, inspiring artwork and mood lighting. Dramatic new lighting will also be installed in the Crystal Dining Room, as will new furniture on all stateroom verandas.
Most noticably, and inspired by recent improvements to sister ship Crystal Symphony, the Seahorse Pool teak deck will be refashioned with circular pod beds, plush sofa groups and lounge chairs in a kaleidoscope of lime green, azure and mango colours.
Crystal Cruises‘ president says the work on Serenity brings to $50 million the cost of improvements to the fleet in the past two years.
Following the dry dock, Crystal Serenity will embark on a series of Baltic, North Cape and British Isles cruises before heading to the Mediterranean for a late summer and autumn cruise series.
Even more luxury than Crystal, the Hebridean Princess will be back in action on March 1 after a winter re-fit on the Clyde at Greenock. When the ship sets sail for a cruise around the Lochs of Argyll, it will have three new single cabins, while two rooms which were previously for singles have been “upgraded” to double occupancy.
New itineraries this year include an 8-night East Coast Adventure, visiting Invergordon, Inverness, Macduff, Peterhead, Aberdeen and Dundee; a 10-night Grand Cruise to the north and St Kilda, and a 10-night Celtic cruise, taking in Wales and Ireland.
The ship’s calendar is also showing a week-long private charter in July. I wonder if the Queen is planning another cruise following her family holidays on the ship last July, and for her 80th birthday in 2006.
Even Fred Olsen has been getting in on the act, upgrading 38-year-old Boudicca to provide 17 new cabins and replacement survival craft. The shopping area has also been improved (below) with a jewellery outlet selling Clogau Welsh gold, and a bigger Port Shop for clothing and all sorts of essentials.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:10+00:00 18 February 2011|Cruise News, Cruise Ships|0 Comments

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John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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