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Click here for Poolside Dining Menu
Click here for Poolside Dining Menu
 
Click here for Crystal Dining Room Gala Dinner Menu
Click here for Gala Welcome on Board dinner in the Crystal Dining Room

 

 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Elaborate five-course a la carte dinners are served nightly in the vast Crystal Dining Room, where passengers dine in two seatings. Crystal Serenity also offers two outstanding specialty restaurants. Prego serves up fine Italian classics, while next door, the innovative Asian dishes of master chef Nobu Matsuhisa at Silk Road & The Sushi Bar leaves guests "foodstruck". But that is not all. Room service is available 24 hours a day and on selected evenings poolside dining is available at Tastes. Anyone hungry?

The large 555-seat Crystal Dining Room is beautifully decorated with lots of warm woods, but during our cruise the room definitely feels crowded. Waiters are running frantically up and down with piles of dishes and sometimes it can be hard trying to listen in to a conversation on the other side of the table. That said, the food quality and presentation proved superb. During a tour of the pristine galley, Austrian Executive Chef Franz Weiss tells us that all food is cooked to order and that he only uses the best ingredients. It shows!   

Spring roll appetizer at Silk Road

Most  luxury cruise lines operate their main dining room on an open seating basis, meaning you can come in for dinner when you like. Not Crystal Cruises. The line sticks to the traditional two dinner seatings; which means you will dine early (6:15 pm) or late (8:30 pm). It also means you will see the same waiters and tablemates for the total duration of the cruise. 

Still, if you want to have dinner at seven or nine, don't worry. On selected evenings, the area adjacent to the Neptune Pool will be transformed into an alfresco restaurant. No reservations are necessary for this low-key but yet elegant dining alternative, offering some nice little dishes, plus a decent wine list.

Dutch waiter Dennis at Prego's Italian Restaurant

Crystal Cruises give new meaning to the term "specialty restaurant" by offering two extremely elegant alternatives to the main dining room. Located aft on deck 7, Prego and Silk Road offer truly exceptional food and superb service. Both restaurants are open nightly and reservations are required. While there is no extra cost to dine here, you are expected to tip the wait staff.

Prego has a casual, fresh and colorful look and sports a small fountain in the middle of the room. Service is very attentive and on par with any upscale Italian restaurant ashore. With all pasta freshly cooked and using only the freshest ingredients, the offerings are simply world class and so much better than the Italian specialty restaurants on most other cruise lines. One tip: order the mushroom risotto for starters - it is divine.  

Next door, Silk Road offers the innovative cuisine of celebrated chef Nobu Matsuhisa. You can order his signature sushi dishes here at a special sushi bar, but the restaurant offers a large formal section, too with a set menu with mouthwatering dishes. Featuring Asian wait staff and dedicated chefs preparing all food, the dining experience in the Silk Road is unlike anything I have ever experienced on a cruise ship. And the food... It's downright sensational. Only the juiciest tuna, salmon and beef are used - you can really taste the difference. Of course I can't resist ordering the "Nobu Box" as a main course, offering a sample of three of Nobu's most celebrated dishes. Exquisite!

Crystal Dining Room

Crystal Dining Room

After dinner petit fours

Crystal Dining Room

Oysters
Crystal Dining Room
Delicious Veal Parmigiana at Prego
Prego Italian Restaurant
Sushi & Sashimi platter at Silk Road

Silk Road

Prego Italian Restaurant

Silk Road & The Sushi Bar

Solk Road & The Sushi Bar
Speciality of the house: The Nobu Box

 

All photos and text: 2004 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on January 2, 2005

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