The Crystal Esprit is the first vessel to become a fully-fledged member of the now ever growing Crystal fleet since the ground breaking Crystal expansion announcements in 2015. Since the yacht’s christening back in December, we have been itching to get onboard here at TCP and experience the extraordinary boutique yacht. When the opportunity to visit the 62 passenger yacht while docked in Venice arose – we were only too excited to book our flights and be on our way.
On arrival at San Basilio Cruise Terminal, we were greeted by a friendly member of Crystal staff who directed us into the cruise terminal where we joined guests waiting to embark on their 7 night Adriatic voyage from Venice to Dubrovnik. After a morning of travelling the welcome champagne we were offered by Crystal hosts in the terminal certainly went down a treat, setting a luxurious atmosphere for the experience ahead.
Once we had passed through security, we were ready to board. The Crystal Esprit was truly breath taking and boasted luxury and relaxation. The bright white exterior and the teal green livery meant it was unmistakably part of the Crystal fleet – perhaps just a little smaller than we’re used to. From ashore, the yacht looked elegant and stylish as it was visibly equipped with zodiacs perched at the forward, multiple jet skis placed along one side and the unmissable submersible comfortably homed at the centre aft of the yacht. We were even greeted before boarding, as two members of Crystal staff were smiling and waving to the guests below as they stood above us on deck.
After walking up the small gangway and receiving our visitor passes, it was evidently clear that we were in for a true yachting experience which was going to be very different from the cruising familiarity we were used to onboard Symphony and Serenity. Our tour guide – Igor – was waiting for us as we boarded on Seabreeze Deck 2. As we walked past the submersible and into reception, we were greeted by a number of warm, welcoming smiles and (more) champagne. The reception itself was beautiful, with sophisticated lighting and a back drop of Crystal droplets, it was quaint and stylish.
First stop was lunch in Patio Café which is located on the aft of Crystal Deck 4. We chose a table next to the automatic sliding doors which lead out to the Patio Café outdoor seating area. Patio Café was bursting with light due to the numerous windows and patio doors which were complemented by the white and light blue décor to give a sophisticated feel. We instantly felt like we were on holiday as we took our seats in Patio Café, the soft modern background music and luxurious leather seats allowed us to sit back and admire the surrounding views.
There was an array of food for us to choose from including salad, fruits, and pastries, hot dishes including pastas and risottos and a tempting selection of sumptuous desserts. We helped ourselves to a medley of dishes and tucked in. We were frequently asked if we required any assistance or any more drinks by one of the many friendly and highly attentive waiters in Patio Café. The café is a casual dining area and is open for both breakfast and lunch.
After lunch, we were taken on a tour of the yacht by Igor. Firstly we visited the Yacht Club Restaurant which presented a mix of relaxation and elegance. This open seating dining room was rich in deep blue décor with beautiful lighting centring the room. The open kitchen added a unique vibe to the Yacht Club Restaurant as we could see chefs working hard preparing for the evening meal. The deep blue seating set a more formal tone as opposed to the light blue seating in Patio Café.
We then proceeded into the Cove which was lined with plush furnishings. Each sofa, chair and cushion was exceptional to touch. Complete with a bar, the Cove marks the perfect setting for sitting down with a drink after a long day of exploring or a pre-dinner cocktail. With a number of windows and the multiple comfortable seating areas, the Cove is the perfect place to relax and watch the world effortlessly drift past.
We then explored Sundeck 5 which was spacious, luxurious and all was complemented by the glorious weather in Venice. With the signature Crystal circle sun loungers you could feel a touch of Symphony and Serenity. The curved sofa loungers made the area very relaxed and sociable. With a mix of shaded and open areas, guests can choose whether they wanted to sit in the sun or shade. There was a very clear décor theme running throughout the yacht and we found this very airy and familiar. The Sundeck bar served cocktails and drinks to guests while they sit and admire the sights around them.
The Grill is situated just next to the Sunset Bar and has a small seating area. The Grill’s menu is globally inspired cuisine from the area in which the yacht is sailing. While docked in Venice the menu included dishes such as oven-roasted cauliflower, baked swordfish and “Chimichurri” steak. The Grill makes the perfect venue for peaceful alfresco dining.
Also on Sunset Deck 5 is the Sunset Gym which includes a number of exercise machines all situated in a small room with glass walls – so even if you’re in the gym you can still see what’s happening on deck and the beautiful views that surround you. Next to the gym is the separate steam and sauna rooms.
Next we explored the Sunset Pool and Deck which oozed the yachting lifestyle. With a splash pool in the centre surrounded by numerous sun loungers, this makes the perfect area for reading a book in the sunshine. There is also a large television just above the splash pool for films under the stars – which would most certainly be magical!
Lastly we walked back down to SeaBreeze Deck 2 to view an S2 grade Yacht Suite. The stateroom was generously sized at 280 square feet, leaving plenty of room to walk around without feeling squashed. With a small living area containing a sofa and coffee table, there was plenty of room to relax and watch the 42” high definition, flat-screen television. The king sized bed was lined with pillows and with a bedside iPad, room service was just a tap away. The iPad could also be used to view the daily programme (Reflections) and guests could use it with their 60 minutes, per person per day, complimentary Wi-Fi.
The bathroom was simply beautiful. With his and hers sinks, back lit mirrors and a built in television in the mirror this was really taking luxury to a whole new level. Etro amenities lined the sinks along with Etro robes and slippers. The shower was glass enclosed and very spacious. With 24 hour butler service, unpacking and packing services upon request, twice daily housekeeping including evening turndown and a concealed mini bar, everything really is at your fingertips on the Crystal Esprit.
Needless to say we could have happily stayed onboard this beautiful yacht exploring the Adriatic Coast, however disembarking wasn’t so bad as we spent the rest of the afternoon getting lost in the beautiful city of Venice.