Tuesday, 26 June 2012

New-Look Crystal Symphony

Crystal Cruises has just finished a major $25million refurbishment of their Crystal Symphony, completing a five-year redesign plan for their luxury vessel.

The two-week extreme makeover reveals chic new major public spaces, including the Avenue Saloon, Palm Court lounge, Galaxy showroom, Hollywood Theatre, Bridge Lounge, Fantasia and Waves “junior cruisers” areas, plus the Tender Landing/passenger boarding area.  

This latest dry-dock marks the culmination of their $65 million overall project to redesign every room on board. Other new touches include enhancements to all staterooms, paddle tennis court resurfacing, sprucing of tender shuttles, more energy-efficient hull paint, galley updates and general maintenance and detailing of the entire ship. 

“In keeping with our tremendous focus on design, we wanted to create something both highly contemporary and yet extremely accessible,” says President Gregg Michel. “The ultimate result is all our guests’ favourite gathering places now feel even more welcoming, while also offering the sophistication and elegance luxury travellers look for in a holiday setting.”

Three interior design companies created the visions for the new spaces: Adfecto and SMC Design from London and KNA Design from Los Angeles, with inspiration culled from classic icons like New York’s 21 Club, Hollywood’s Coconut Grove and Palm Beach country club. With lighting being such a key creative consideration, Crystal also worked with DPA Lighting Consultants to add to the design’s drama, ambiance and environmental-friendliness.

Elegant Tea, Tunes, Cocktails, and Vistas

KNA’s redesign of signature lounges Avenue Saloon and Palm Court sets the perfect, lively backdrop for enjoying Crystal’s newly all-inclusive fine wines and custom-crafted cocktails. 
The panoramic-view Palm Court sparkles as the jewel in the crown on top of the ship, recalling the glamour-filled Coconut Grove of Hollywood’s yesteryear. A more intimate, modern lounge seating in buttery soft leathers surrounds a larger, spiral-design dance floor and slick, stainless and hand-tiled mosaic bar. Together, aqua, chartreuse, ash and cream jewel tones create a “light” California ambiance that helps bring the outside in during daytime tea and view-gazing. New lighting, including stunning, faceted Lucite wall sconces and shimmering Murano glass table lamps, then help to transform the space into a dreamy destination for evening dancing and drinks.  

Avenue Saloon and piano bar retains its 19th-century gentlemen’s club feel, but incorporates updated colours, furnishings, materials and music and seating configuration.  Rich mahogany-panelled walls, leather upholstery, brass nailhead trim, sumptuous velvets and thick, lush inset rugs remind one of a days-gone-by country house. The inviting piano relocation allows for increased seating and conversation area choices, including new brass-tack couches, embossed-leaf barstools or tufted booths. New romantic lighting, sumptuous crown molding, antique-style trunk tables, custom artwork and audio systems add to the salon atmosphere.

Exquisite Theatres

Old Hollywood panache also extends into Crystal’s entertainment showrooms, the Galaxy Lounge and Hollywood Theatre, with an air of British tradition, thanks to the spaces’ two UK designers. 
With diamond-patterned glass doors, lustrous gold fabric panels, black Nero Marquina marble flooring and large LCD digital signage screens, a new, contemporary entrance to the ship’s live performance showroom highlights the Galaxy Lounge. Through the entry, crystal lighting features, reminiscent of a dressing room mirror and starburst-designed carpet and wall lights help create a home fitting for Crystal’s star guests and performers. New, modern mohair seating, cocktail tables and under-banquette lighting add comfort and drama. A new stage extension expands performance space by 30 per cent while tech enhancements include a new sound booth, show control systems, high-def projection, infrared video cameras, stage lighting and speaker system.

Classic Art Deco movie palaces inspired Adfecto’s re-do of the Hollywood Theatre, Crystal’s elegant space for feature films and presentations. New smoked wood-grain walls and velvet damson-coloured curtains create a sweeping entry, while decorative and underseat lighting provides a warm ambience and soft glow.  

Family Fun

Whether playing together or alone, Crystal Symphony’s play/games areas for kids, teens and adults have been transformed for family recreation. 
The dedicated Junior Cruisers’ areas, Waves (teens) and Fantasia (children), have been re-designed by Adfecto to provide versatility for a wide range of ages and activities. The areas’ divided layout has been reconfigured to create more privacy for teens and more of a welcoming, home den feel for younger children, while also allowing flexibility for the space to be opened up into one. Different sections for group activities/crafts, storytime, relaxation, videogames (Wii, PlayStation, Xbox, Kinect) and screenings (two wide-screen TVs, Blu-ray players and movie projection system) encourage personal expression. New lighting features and Bose speaker system help create different atmospheres and transform the entire space into an exclusive teen hangout at night. 

KNA has also transformed the Bridge Lounge into the classic card room, reminiscent of Palm Beach’s tennis and card clubs during the Gilded Age, with ambient sconces flanking wooden built-ins, frosted mirrors and saffron panel-covered walls.  

Best of the Rest

New electronic “do not disturb” doorbell systems -- a big success after installation on Crystal Serenity last year -- were added to all staterooms, as were new cordless digital phones.  Penthouses also received new glass shower doors. Smaller-level updates included a complete refresh of the paddle tennis court, new stoves and cooking equipment in the main galley, environmental upgrades for lighting and boilers and a new, energy-efficient hydrogel hull paint that mimics the low-friction characteristics of a shark’s skin. An update to stateroom veranda furniture is also scheduled to follow shortly after the dry dock’s end.

And Now...
Symphony is now sailing her first of seven all-inclusive Baltic and Northern Europe cruises this summer before sailing across the Atlantic for a New England/Canada season this autumn. Until June 30, Book Now fares for a 2012 voyage start from £2,364 per person (based on a seven-night New England/Canada cruise departing October 14), with seven- to-18-night options also offered in the Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand.

For bookings, be sure to see this link for The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's leading luxury cruise experts.