Crystal Low-Water-Level Schedule Changes/Cancellations


Unregistered, just back from your river cruise? Get published on Cruise Critic; Write a Review!
River Cruising
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 01:32 AM.
12 Posts
Joined Aug 2018
Originally posted by txislandlvr
You are very welcome. We are leaning towards staying on the ship & going back to Vienna. Less hassle, more relaxing & no extra packing involved. 7 hours on a bus does not thrill us either. We are flying out of Budapest & will be spending a night there at the end of the trip anyway. We already have train tickets from Vienna to Budapest. We will plan a trip to Budapest at a later date as well.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the cruise overall and that the short time you’ll spend in Budapest will be fun. Taking a train there is a much better option then a bus!

We are new to cruising - how do we locate where the boat is docked in Vienna?

Your updates have been wonderful. Thank you and safe flight home from Budapest.
Canada
4,941 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by M&M travel adventurers
I hope you’ve enjoyed the cruise overall and that the short time you’ll spend in Budapest will be fun. Taking a train there is a much better option then a bus!

We are new to cruising - how do we locate where the boat is docked in Vienna?

Your updates have been wonderful. Thank you and safe flight home from Budapest.
Have your TA contact your river cruise line, otherwise you will have a hard time finding it. We boarded MS Savor (Tauck) this afternoon in Vienna and there have to be at least 30 to 40 boats tied up along the river pier!!
Scottsdale, AZ
25 Posts
Joined Sep 2016
Originally posted by M&M travel adventurers
I hope you’ve enjoyed the cruise overall and that the short time you’ll spend in Budapest will be fun. Taking a train there is a much better option then a bus!

We are new to cruising - how do we locate where the boat is docked in Vienna?

Your updates have been wonderful. Thank you and safe flight home from Budapest.
Taxi driver will know where pier is & it was a breeze. They took us directly to the Crystal dock. Check in was quick & efficient.
We have enjoyed the cruise & the scenery is beautiful. It’s been a lot of fun & Crystal is top notch! They are handling the situation with professionalism in spite of the difficulties. It is disappointing for the passengers & difficult for the employees. We have decided to proceed to Budapest via bus. We voted & since it is my husband’s birthday trip we are going to see Budapest!!!! Bus travel to Budapest is a problem many people would love to have. We are indeed fortunate. Still not sure if we will be bused from Bratislava or Vienna. Water level in Bratislava may be challenging. To be continued...
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Florida
51 Posts
Joined Aug 2018
Originally posted by txislandlvr
Taxi driver will know where pier is & it was a breeze. They took us directly to the Crystal dock. Check in was quick & efficient.
We have enjoyed the cruise & the scenery is beautiful. It’s been a lot of fun & Crystal is top notch! They are handling the situation with professionalism in spite of the difficulties. It is disappointing for the passengers & difficult for the employees. We have decided to proceed to Budapest via bus. We voted & since it is my husband’s birthday trip we are going to see Budapest!!!! Bus travel to Budapest is a problem many people would love to have. We are indeed fortunate. Still not sure if we will be bused from Bratislava or Vienna. Water level in Bratislava may be challenging. To be continued...
Appreciate the updates...keep 'em coming! Enjoy your trip
12 Posts
Joined Aug 2018
Originally posted by txislandlvr
Taxi driver will know where pier is & it was a breeze. They took us directly to the Crystal dock. Check in was quick & efficient.
We have enjoyed the cruise & the scenery is beautiful. It’s been a lot of fun & Crystal is top notch! They are handling the situation with professionalism in spite of the difficulties. It is disappointing for the passengers & difficult for the employees. We have decided to proceed to Budapest via bus. We voted & since it is my husband’s birthday trip we are going to see Budapest!!!! Bus travel to Budapest is a problem many people would love to have. We are indeed fortunate. Still not sure if we will be bused from Bratislava or Vienna. Water level in Bratislava may be challenging. To be continued...
Looking forward to updates - they’re wonderful - thank you so much and happy birthday to your husband.
San Diego, CA
113 Posts
Joined May 2006
The latest: We made it to Bratislava and will be bussed to Budapest in the morning for the overnight. The ship is split into two hotels: The Intercontinental and the Kempinski. We and many others have arranged to stay an additional night in Budapest; we will take a train back later in the day on the day before departure.

Because of the change, Crystal is compensating passengers $50 for an additional meal in Budapest plus $250 per person toward a future cruise.

Our only quibble is that we would have liked Crystal to allow us to use our shipboard credit for travel back to the ship – and/or even to pay for part of our hotel room. But it is a mere quibble.

The destinations staff and the tireless concierge Andreea have had a ton to juggle and have gone out of their way to help (including helping us with train reservations, if we asked) and yet somehow managed to keep their sanity and smiles.

We learned first hand that this is sometimes an hour-by-hour decision process, based on water levels – not even day-by-day. Crystal did its best in a difficult situation.

The crew has been nothing short of exceptional.

This was our first river cruise; not sure we'll do another. But not because of anything Crystal didn't do right; just because we prefer an ocean cruise. This was an efficient way to hit a bunch of places we wouldn't have ordinarily seen: Prague (pre-cruise), Vienna (don't miss the fine art museum (Crystal provided a great guide, small group - I can't stress how spectacular this was), the summer palace (the gardens are a must see plus we went late enough in the day to have much of the palace to ourselves) and now onward to Budapest.

Enjoy your trip. You can't control or predict the weather (on any trip) or water levels (on this one.) You just have to roll with it.

Herb
12 Posts
Joined Aug 2018
Originally posted by bizinsider
The latest: We made it to Bratislava and will be bussed to Budapest in the morning for the overnight. The ship is split into two hotels: The Intercontinental and the Kempinski. We and many others have arranged to stay an additional night in Budapest; we will take a train back later in the day on the day before departure.

Because of the change, Crystal is compensating passengers $50 for an additional meal in Budapest plus $250 per person toward a future cruise.

Our only quibble is that we would have liked Crystal to allow us to use our shipboard credit for travel back to the ship – and/or even to pay for part of our hotel room. But it is a mere quibble.

The destinations staff and the tireless concierge Andreea have had a ton to juggle and have gone out of their way to help (including helping us with train reservations, if we asked) and yet somehow managed to keep their sanity and smiles.

We learned first hand that this is sometimes an hour-by-hour decision process, based on water levels – not even day-by-day. Crystal did its best in a difficult situation.

The crew has been nothing short of exceptional.

This was our first river cruise; not sure we'll do another. But not because of anything Crystal didn't do right; just because we prefer an ocean cruise. This was an efficient way to hit a bunch of places we wouldn't have ordinarily seen: Prague (pre-cruise), Vienna (don't miss the fine art museum (Crystal provided a great guide, small group - I can't stress how spectacular this was), the summer palace (the gardens are a must see plus we went late enough in the day to have much of the palace to ourselves) and now onward to Budapest.

Enjoy your trip. You can't control or predict the weather (on any trip) or water levels (on this one.) You just have to roll with it.

Herb
Thank you so much for all of this - very much appreciated.
Florida
51 Posts
Joined Aug 2018
Originally posted by bizinsider
The latest: We made it to Bratislava and will be bussed to Budapest in the morning for the overnight. The ship is split into two hotels: The Intercontinental and the Kempinski. We and many others have arranged to stay an additional night in Budapest; we will take a train back later in the day on the day before departure.

Because of the change, Crystal is compensating passengers $50 for an additional meal in Budapest plus $250 per person toward a future cruise.

Our only quibble is that we would have liked Crystal to allow us to use our shipboard credit for travel back to the ship – and/or even to pay for part of our hotel room. But it is a mere quibble.

The destinations staff and the tireless concierge Andreea have had a ton to juggle and have gone out of their way to help (including helping us with train reservations, if we asked) and yet somehow managed to keep their sanity and smiles.

We learned first hand that this is sometimes an hour-by-hour decision process, based on water levels – not even day-by-day. Crystal did its best in a difficult situation.

The crew has been nothing short of exceptional.

This was our first river cruise; not sure we'll do another. But not because of anything Crystal didn't do right; just because we prefer an ocean cruise. This was an efficient way to hit a bunch of places we wouldn't have ordinarily seen: Prague (pre-cruise), Vienna (don't miss the fine art museum (Crystal provided a great guide, small group - I can't stress how spectacular this was), the summer palace (the gardens are a must see plus we went late enough in the day to have much of the palace to ourselves) and now onward to Budapest.

Enjoy your trip. You can't control or predict the weather (on any trip) or water levels (on this one.) You just have to roll with it.

Herb
Thanks so much, Herb
Alberta, Canada
41 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Day one on Debussy and loving it! Exceptional food, wine, cabin and crew. We were in Strasbourg this morning and completed our morning excursion. The ship was to depart Strasbourg at 10 this evening. We were scheduled for tours this afternoon, to return at 715pm. After our morning tour we were advised that the Captain wanted to sail at 1 pm as the water level was going to be going too low later today. Crystal was excellent in extending choices to all. We could go back to the ship and sail at 1, or for those that wished to complete the afternoon activities Crystal kept staff behind with them and arranged a bus to meet up with Debussy later tonight. That was terrific, as it was a quick deviation and I thoughtful. Thank you Crystal!
456 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by M&M travel adventurers
I hope you’ve enjoyed the cruise overall and that the short time you’ll spend in Budapest will be fun. Taking a train there is a much better option then a bus!
We have done both the bus and the train (specifically, Railjet in First Class) and have to agree that the train is a MUCH better option!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Upcoming:
2018 - Uniworld SS Maria Theresa - Danube Holiday Markets, Budapest - Passau
Past:
2016 - Uniworld SS Maria Theresa - European Holiday Markets - Vienna to Nuremberg
2015 - Uniworld SS Antoinette - Castles Along the Rhine - Amsterdam to Basel


Florida
51 Posts
Joined Aug 2018
Originally posted by bubbulz
We have done both the bus and the train (specifically, Railjet in First Class) and have to agree that the train is a MUCH better option!
From where did you take train? How long was train trip and did anyone help with luggage?
Thanks!!
Scottsdale, AZ
25 Posts
Joined Sep 2016
Originally posted by Ceilknits
From where did you take train? How long was train trip and did anyone help with luggage?
Thanks!!
We flew in/out of Budapest. We took Railjet, booked specific train time & booked first class. It was 2.5 hours from Budapest to Vienna. It was a very nice trip. We left from Keleti train station & had help with our luggage. However, when getting off the train in Vienna we had to do it ourselves. We then took a cab to our hotel.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
California
350 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
Originally posted by Happy2trvl
Day one on Debussy and loving it! Exceptional food, wine, cabin and crew. We were in Strasbourg this morning and completed our morning excursion. The ship was to depart Strasbourg at 10 this evening. We were scheduled for tours this afternoon, to return at 715pm. After our morning tour we were advised that the Captain wanted to sail at 1 pm as the water level was going to be going too low later today. Crystal was excellent in extending choices to all. We could go back to the ship and sail at 1, or for those that wished to complete the afternoon activities Crystal kept staff behind with them and arranged a bus to meet up with Debussy later tonight. That was terrific, as it was a quick deviation and I thoughtful. Thank you Crystal!
I'm impressed, it seems that Crystal really went out of their way to accomodate the passengers.

Thanks for the update, and enjoy the rest of your cruise!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
10-31-2012 Crystal Symphony
09-16-2013 Crystal Symphony
10-26-2014 Crystal Serenity
11-06-2014 Crystal Serenity
05-25-2015 Crystal Symphony
11-24-2015 Crystal Symphony
05-28-2016 Crystal Serenity
11-22-2016 Crystal Serenity
09-30-2017 Crystal Mahler
04-30-2018 Crystal Symphony
10-03-2018 Crystal Mahler
06-17-2019 Crystal Symphony
06-25-2019 Crystal Symphony
10-10-2019 Crystal Serenity







Save


Save


Save
Alberta, Canada
41 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
I am posting this to calm nerves (mine were slightly...okay ....totally frayed prior to embarkation)

Crystal has been beyond amazing in dealing with the low river levels. I could go on with details but rest assure if it is possible to keep you on the ship they DO IT! We have stayed on the ship for our sailing, and will now make it to Amsterdam without major issues. The biggest change they have made, is to dock in safer water levels which have been chosen close to excursion sights. The bus picks us up, off we go to the excursion, and bring us back to the ship. Again, anyone wishing to deviate from their chosen tour can stay on board without any problem. The captain is brilliant in his way of making this work. Staff....I sincerely don’t know if they sleep... they share all information clearly for us. Crystal, a big thank you to all, from the bottom of our hearts! Your staff makes the impossible POSSIBLE! No unpacking...we have stayed onboard and enjoyed all services offered!!!
Florida
51 Posts
Joined Aug 2018
Originally posted by Happy2trvl
I am posting this to calm nerves (mine were slightly...okay ....totally frayed prior to embarkation)

Crystal has been beyond amazing in dealing with the low river levels. I could go on with details but rest assure if it is possible to keep you on the ship they DO IT! We have stayed on the ship for our sailing, and will now make it to Amsterdam without major issues. The biggest change they have made, is to dock in safer water levels which have been chosen close to excursion sights. The bus picks us up, off we go to the excursion, and bring us back to the ship. Again, anyone wishing to deviate from their chosen tour can stay on board without any problem. The captain is brilliant in his way of making this work. Staff....I sincerely don’t know if they sleep... they share all information clearly for us. Crystal, a big thank you to all, from the bottom of our hearts! Your staff makes the impossible POSSIBLE! No unpacking...we have stayed onboard and enjoyed all services offered!!!
Could you please share which ship you're on and what was your itinerary? Thanks...so glad things are going well!
Ponte Vedra, FL, USA
308 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Just received this email about our Sunday, September 23rd Rhine cruise on the Debussy. Looks like it's not going to Basel but will end near Frankfurt instead. There is going to be some considerable effort going into changing return flights booked with award miles.

Dear Valued Travel Partner,
We look forward to welcoming yourclients aboard Crystal Debussy's "Splendors of the Rhine" river cruise departing onSeptember 23, 2018.
Due to unseasonably dry conditions incentral Europe, the Rhine River, specifically in the area upstream of Koblenz,Germany, is experiencing extremely low water levels. Based on these circumstancesand the forecasts for the near future, we are obliged to confirm a reviseditinerary as follows:
Original Itinerary:

Day
Location
Arrive
Depart
Sep 23
Amsterdam, Netherlands
-
Embark
Sep 24
Amsterdam, Netherlands
-
-
Sep 25
Amsterdam, Netherlands
-
2 pm
Sep 26
Cologne, Germany
1 pm
Midnight
Sep 27
Koblenz, Germany
9 am
-
Sep 28
Koblenz, Germany
-
7 am
Rüdesheim, Germany
2 pm
10 pm
Sep 29
Speyer, Germany
11 am
8 pm
Sep 30
Kehl, Germany
9 am
10 pm
Oct 1
Breisach, Germany
9 am
9 pm
Oct 2
Basel, Switzerland
8 am
-
Oct 3
Basel, Switzerland
-
Disembark

NEW Itinerary:

Day
Location
Arrive
Depart
Sep 23
Amsterdam, Netherlands
-
Embark
Sep 24
Amsterdam, Netherlands
-
-
Sep 25
Amsterdam, Netherlands
-
1 pm
Sep 26
Cologne, Germany
1 pm
Midnight
Sep 27
Koblenz/Lahnstein, Germany
9 am
Midnight
Sep 28
Cochem, Germany
7 am
9 pm
Sep 29
Bernkastel, Germany
8 am
Midnight
Sep 30
Mehring/Trier, Germany
8 am
-
Oct 1
Mehring/Trier, Germany
-
7 pm
Oct 2
Koblenz, Germany
3 pm
-
Oct 3
Koblenz/Frankfurt, Germany
-
Disembark

*Please note that due to congestion along the river, the times and order of ports are subject to change.
It is possible that one hearty rainfall can restore water levels to a safe, navigable level and so we will continue to monitor the situation in hopes of restoring our original itinerary as much as possible. The revised itinerary will allow guests to enjoy great ports on the Rhine and Moselle rivers and we will now disembark the ship in Koblenz, Germany. Frankfurt International Airport is the closest airport, located about 1.5 hours from the port. Complimentary motor coach transfers will be provided between the ship and the airport on the day of disembarkation.
Return Flights
As the amended cruise now ends in Koblenz, rather than Basel, we are pleased to provide
guests with independent flight arrangements up to $750 per guest reimbursement for the cost of amending the return flight from Basel (BSL) or Zurich (ZRH) to Frankfurt (FRA). Alternatively, the same allowance can be used towards the purchase of a separate economy-class ticket from Frankfurt to Basel or Zurich on October 3. So that we can arrange transfers from the ship to the Frankfurt airport, please email any new or revised flight information to [email protected] (please include your clients' booking number). Please send complete documentation of your clients’ out-of-pocket cost and proof of payment to [email protected] so that we may process reimbursement. Kindly allow four to six weeks for processing.
For guests with flights arranged by Crystal, we will adjust those flights (same class of service) to match the new itinerary at no additional cost. Please note: stopovers and custom itineraries on the new flight arrangements are subject to additional charges. Alternatively, we can provide a separate economy-class ticket from Frankfurt to Basel or Zurich on October 3. Please contact Guest Support Services at [email protected] or (800) 290-0032 with your clients' preference.
Shore Excursions
Our onboard and shoreside teams are diligently preparing for the alternate itinerary, including setting up new shore excursion opportunities. Registration forms will be delivered to guest suites on board the ship.

Although this situation is beyond our control, we wish to apologize for any inconvenience your clients might experience, and as a gesture of goodwill, we are pleased to extend them a
Future Cruise Credit in the amount of $750 per guest, valid towards any Crystal Experience (Ocean, River or Yacht Expedition) embarking on or before September 30, 2020.
Please inform your clients of the revised itinerary as soon as possible.
Thank you for your partnership. It will be our pleasure to welcome your clients aboard Crystal Debussy for a lovely river journey.
Sincerely,
Crystal
Guest Services

Alberta, Canada
41 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by Ceilknits
Could you please share which ship you're on and what was your itinerary? Thanks...so glad things are going well!

We are on the Debussy, arriving Amsterdam on the 22. It is raining in Cologne so fingers crossed for success on the next cruise out!
Rhine, Germany
2,787 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Happy2trvl,

Thank you for taking the time to post. I am curious. Why did you have a short stop at Andernach?

notamermaid
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
Rhine, Germany
2,787 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
giustot,

This is the amended itinerary that Crystal offered earlier during the drought. You will find it mentioned previously in this thread.

The Moselle is lovely but the drawback of this itinerary is that you will not see the castle stretch on the Rhine. Unless Crystal has booked you onto an excursion boat. You could DIY this but it needs careful planning.

Whatever you decide, have a great cruise.

notamermaid
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
10 Posts
Joined Jul 2018
its not a bad looking Plan B.


Missing the Rhine Gorge is a shame, but those alternate ports look good - its not like you are sitting off an industrial area for a few days