Just prior to beginning her new season of round Cuba cruises in December, the 24,000 ton Celestyal Crystal had an extra forty three balconies added to cabins on Six and Seven decks.
The work, carried out in twenty days in a Piraeus shipyard, added some twenty six balconies to junior suites on Deck Six, and a further seventeen to junior suites on Deck Seven. Most of these are located on the forward part of the ship’s superstructure, with a few more located right aft.
The new balconies all extend approximately 1.4 metres from the sides of the ship, and vary in length from 2.8 up to a quite substantial 5.8 metres. They represent a significant enhancement for these rooms which, on average, come in at around 170 square feet of interior space each.
In addition, the eight, V-shaped midships balconies on the Deck Eight Penthouse Suites were extended and refurbished, as were those on the two forward facing Imperial Suites overlooking the bow. Those latter two suites also feature a Jacuzzi, located on the balcony.
The total of fifty three balconies now available adds some very welcome, private deck space to what can sometimes feel like a very busy ship. Celestyal Crystal was originally constructed as a Baltic ferry, before undergoing a substantial conversion for full time cruising.
Technical upgrades were also taken in hand during the refurbishment, as well as a general refreshment of the main public areas throughout the ship.
During the winter, the refurbished ship will operate a full programme of seven night, round trip cruises from her home port of Havana, Cuba. Returning to the Aegean in spring, the vessel will then offer a series of three, four and seven night Greece and Turkey cruises from a new home port of Lavrion, just outside of Athens.
An interesting twist on one of the most distinctive and individual small cruise ships in service today. As ever, stay tuned for updates.