By Michael Coleman
One of the world’s top luxury cruise ships will receive a $23 million stem-to-stern makeover this fall during a two-week dry dock at BAE Shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia.Â
The 940-guest, 50,000-ton Crystal Symphony, a perennial favorite among well-heeled cruise travelers, will enter the shipyard October 31 through November 12. Emerging, say Crystal officials, will be a “decidedly sophisticated and contemporary” ship.
The facelift includes work on some 150 projects, highlighted by the transformation of Tiffany Deck, the ship’s main entertainment area. As the hub of social activity, shopping and casually elegant dining, it will be transformed with the addition of new color schemes, construction and contemporary lighting that will create different moods as day moves into night. Look for a reconstructed social lounge (Starlite Club), new casino and a new nightclub.
Elsewhere, look for the redesign of shipboard boutiques, shops and cafe – Symphony’s bistro, a favorite venue, will be enhanced with new decorative tiles, new wall finishings and fresh upholstery – as well as dozens of other behind-the-scenes improvements.
The ship’s Computer University@Sea, expanded just two years ago to accommodate the increased demand for its growing portfolio of courses, will also be upgraded with new equipment and wireless access.
Even the staterooms are getting a makeover. The ship’s 416 staterooms will be redesigned and appointed with new Murano glass bedside lamps, Rubelli fabrics and leather headboards. A reconfigured space includes state-of-the-art features, from special LED reading lights to new 20-inch LCD flat screen televisions. Bathrooms will be reconstructed as well, with a contemporary style, showcasing oval glass sinks atop granite countertops.
The makeover follows on the heels of a multi-million dollar renovation two years ago that debuted a brand-new Feng Shui-inspired spa, a new Vintage Room, the redesign of specialty restaurants and a refurbishment of all shipboard penthouse accommodations.
Since its debut in 1995, the ship has enjoyed a decade of accolades, consistently earning the industry’s highest honors. Earlier this year, readers of Conde Nast Traveler voted Crystal Symphony one of the top two “Best Ships in the World” – a distinction it shares with fleetmate Crystal Serenity, launched in 2003.