Bolsover Cruise Club’s Marketing Manager, Fran was invited to join all-suite luxury yacht, Crystal Esprit in Venice, for a taste of what it’s like to live the luxury cruise lifestyle.
When we arrive, Crystal Esprit is berthed in Venice’s San Basilio Cruise Terminal, directly on the Grand Canal. But this is one situation where we can dodge the conversation about ships in
Venice’s waters altogether. Because of her size, Crystal Esprit can reach ports and destinations that so many other ships simply can’t and she looks right at home alongside the playthings of the Venetian Rivera’s rich and famous.
Many of Esprit’s destinations are places I’d either never heard of or was unaware a ship could reach, and as Karen, the onboard wellness pro said, “we don’t share”, explaining they’re almost always the only ship wherever they go, moored alongside sailboats and local craft.
Karen had spent her morning leading a yoga and stretch class on the Sunset Deck as the iconic sights of St Mark’s Square and Santa Maria Della Salute slid slowly by. Frankly, I can see her point about not wanting to share!
Initially feeling slightly scruffy, despite my best cruise season get-up, I boarded but was immediately made to feel at ease – formal is not a word you’d use here, allowing you to luxuriate in the sense you’re holidaying on your very own luxury yacht. This is further emphasised by the open kitchen approach in each restaurant an incredibly friendly crew who clearly love their ship and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Private luxury yacht experience, large ship amenities
At just 62 passengers, in 32 suites spread across 2 accommodation decks, she epitomises boutique cruising, but that doesn’t mean she’s lacking. With 3 restaurants ranging from formal to casual, 24 hour in-suite dining, a splash pool with movie screen, gym, spa, library, conference room, laundry and much more, Esprit is stacked with the facilities you’d expect to find on any cruise ship. But with the addition of six-star butler service and complimentary excursions in every port you visit.
Something Crystal Esprit has in common with private luxury yachts is her marina platform, which extends from her aft. Equipped with her very own submersible, kayaks, jet skis and many more nautical toys, Esprit is designed to make your sea exploration as comfortable but also exciting as possible. With onboard experts to train and guide you, surely there’s no better way to explore the aquiline waters you’re berthed in?
Dining aboard Crystal Esprit
So, to the food. We’d initially planned to eat in the Patio Café, an incredible looking buffet available for both lunch and breakfast with floor to ceiling windows offering views of wherever you’ve found yourself today, but we’d become so comfortable on the Sunset Deck that we decided to order al la carte from the Sunset Grill. With Lauren, our new best friend and mixologist, championing the Oven Roasted Cauliflower but my heart leaning toward the Snapper, the deal was sealed by her colleague Luigi and his “Just have both!” So, I did. And my, who knew cauliflower could be so tasty?! The snapper was excellent, as you’d expect from a luxury yacht whose Executive Chef Maximillian was everywhere, but the cauliflower was a revelation! Topped only by the following ice cream delight that appeared to be bottomless.
Crystal Esprit walks a wonderful line between offering everything you could want from a luxury cruise ship and the experience of owning a private luxury yacht, with social spaces and entertainment you can throw yourself into and quiet corners to hide away and relax; coupled with a crew who really, really know and love their ship and guests.
I think what I’m saying is, the reality of a private yacht experience isn’t that far away, it’s currently in Rovinj, Croatia. And her name is Crystal Esprit.
Find out more about luxury yacht, Crystal Esprit