Jump to content
bizinsider

Crystal Low-Water-Level Schedule Changes/Cancellations

Recommended Posts

I am new to Cruise Critic postings so not sure exactly how to respond to threads, hoping I got this right....We are scheduled to join Crystal Debussy on the next leg and have not been told WHERE we are going...only that according to an email yesterday our itinerary may change and received this same sentence - "Due to unseasonably dry conditions in central Europe, the Rhine River, specifically in the area upstream of Koblenz, Germany, is experiencing extremely low water levels. . Seeing this post is so distressing as it appears they know that our cruise will end in Koplenz which is our third stop of eight on our ten day cruise....which obviously in a week will not change. This is unacceptable that they have given us NO more information than this.

 

 

 

Dear Cruise Critic Members,

Crystal’s River Operations team continues to monitor the unseasonably dry conditions in central Europe and we are implementing contingency plans across the fleet to deliver the best experience for our guests.

As we make these changes, we are communicating to guests and their travel agents as quickly as possible. I apologize if we have fallen short of your expectations.

For Crystal Ravel’s Majestic Europe voyage (noted in this thread) we offered the following options:

For guests who wished to sail the amended itinerary:

They received a refund of the difference in cruise fare between what they paid and the cost of the amended cruise;

For those with independent flight arrangements, they received up to $1,000 per guest reimbursement for the cost of amending their return flights from Basel/Zurichto Munich International or toward the purchase of a separate ticket from Munichto Basel/Zurich;

For those with flights arranged by Crystal, we worked on alternate flight options at no additional cost;

They received a Future Cruise Credit of $1,000 per guest, valid toward any Crystal Experience (Ocean, River or Yacht Expedition) embarking on or before December 31, 2020.

For guests who did not wish to travel on the amended itinerary they could either:

Switch their booking to any 2018 or 2019 Crystal River cruise (same suite category) and receive up to $1,000 per guest reimbursement toward the cost of amending their independent airline arrangements to match their new cruise itinerary and their original fare was protected; conversely, if the cruise fare was lower, we will refund the difference;

Cancel their reservation and receive a 100% refund of all items charged by Crystal.

While it is never our intention to change our itineraries, the safety of our guests and crew continues to be of the utmost importance. We thank all of you for your patience and understanding during these unfortunate weather conditions.

Sincerely,

 

Walter Littlejohn

Vice President & ManagingDirector

Crystal River Cruises

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nice one!!! As a Californian I can say with certainty we will tell you after the next big one hits![emoji33]

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

bizinsider, have you decided what to do, cruise or cancel?

 

Fyi, (love it when someone still has a sense of humour even under such trying circumstances), it raining alone the Danube (rain expected for the next 5 days) and the Vienna - Budapest should improve in a couple of days.

 

Have a great cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We have been in Lucerne for 3 days. Had a wonderful time and great weather until rain this evening. Flying from Zurich to Frankfurt tomorrow to start our revised Debussy cruise. Crystal paid for the flight. Boarding the ship in Lahnstein. Will try keep you posted on how it goes

Fran

 

Thank you, Fran, for posting...we are on the Debussy out of Amsterdam on Sept. 6th and no one from Crystal has let us know what, if any, changes in our itinerary there will be except for an email saying - at this time we are erring on the side of caution to prepare our guests for a possible change of itinerary on this upcoming cruise -

Would so appreciate it if you could keep us posted on the changes in your itinerary and how it happened that Crystal paid for your flight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bizinsider, have you decided what to do, cruise or cancel?

 

Fyi, (love it when someone still has a sense of humour even under such trying circumstances), it raining alone the Danube (rain expected for the next 5 days) and the Vienna - Budapest should improve in a couple of days.

 

Have a great cruise.

 

 

This is such great news - thanks for the update. May it keep raining and raising the river levels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bizinsider, have you decided what to do, cruise or cancel?

 

Fyi, (love it when someone still has a sense of humour even under such trying circumstances), it raining alone the Danube (rain expected for the next 5 days) and the Vienna - Budapest should improve in a couple of days.

 

Have a great cruise.

 

Thanks, GMT. Life's too short NOT to have a sense of humor! We were not given the option to cancel; it seems the only issue will be bus vs boat to Budapest and Bratislava. Our bags aren't yet packed but by the end of this weekend they will be. We fly out Monday from LAX to Prague, which we are doing on our own. Then on the train down to Vienna for a few days. Then, hopefully on the Danube for 10!

 

Herb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks, GMT. Life's too short NOT to have a sense of humor! We were not given the option to cancel; it seems the only issue will be bus vs boat to Budapest and Bratislava. Our bags aren't yet packed but by the end of this weekend they will be. We fly out Monday from LAX to Prague, which we are doing on our own. Then on the train down to Vienna for a few days. Then, hopefully on the Danube for 10!

 

Herb

Enjoy yourself.

 

Let us know how you get on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two posts from early this a.m. on another board. Looks like things may be improving.

"We have had 12 hours of continuous heavy rain in and around Passau and along the Danube and more forecast for the next two days at least.

Yesterday, at the beer festival we were at, it rained so hard that water started to flow under under the beer tent, people were amazed when their sandaled feet became waterlogged. Walking home with squelching sandles was fun after some really good beers.

This morning the ex-lawn (now only grass and weeds) looked more green that brown."

=================

 

"Sailing along on the S.S. Beatrice up the Danube. We passed the Iron Gate this afternoon. Captain expecting no problems as we head to Budapest. We haven’t seen any rain yet, but welcome all that Germany can put into the river.

Up from Bucharest, on Wednesday, we had as little as 25 cm clearance between our hull and the river bed!"

River levels are rising. I have a feeling that the end is nigh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Two posts from early this a.m. on another board. Looks like things may be improving.

 

 

You could at least give credits for the passeges that you quoted.:beer-toast:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You could at least give credits for the passeges that you quoted.:beer-toast:

 

I tried but I couldn't forward/share from one board to another one. I'm sorry it wasn't intentional.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I tried but I couldn't forward/share from one board to another one. I'm sorry it wasn't intentional.

Just a bit of light hearted banter - with the rain vacation can start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It appears that the Crystal Bach and the Crystal Mahler are docked side to side in Amsterdam currently.

In fact, it seems that if you're on the Mahler currently, you will need to walk through (or over) the Bach to get to the pier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could anyone who is on the September 10th Mozart sailing from Vienna please share what the status of the cruise is.is it sailing the normal itinerary or are parts of it being done by bus? We sail Sep 20 and as yet have not heard fro Crystal about conditions so wondering what is happening on the cruise before us. Any I formation we.d be greatly

appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Could anyone who is on the September 10th Mozart sailing from Vienna please share what the status of the cruise is.is it sailing the normal itinerary or are parts of it being done by bus? We sail Sep 20 and as yet have not heard fro Crystal about conditions so wondering what is happening on the cruise before us. Any I formation we.d be greatly

appreciated.

We are on the Mahler two weeks later and are feeling discouraged about this trip. Any info you receive would be appreciated. We don’t want to fly into Amsterdam and discover the itinerary has been changed into one we’re not interested in

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I’m on the Mahler now. What would you like to know.

 

Susan

Is it sailing? have there been itinerary changes? There have been so many messages on Cruise Critic re: ships unable to sail, swapping boats, bus trips. Thanks so much.

Barbara

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are sailing on an amended itinerary. Look back through this thread and you will see the amended itinerary I posted. We were supposed to sail from Amsterdam to Budapest. We are now doing round trip Amsterdam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting in learning about what is actually happening to the itinerary for the Sept 10th Treasures of the Danube cruise. What will be the itinerary and what has Crystal communicated to clients. We are on the Sept 20th cruise and we have heard NOTHING from Crystal - they need to learn to do better!

 

Crystal is getting ahead of the curve. We received this today. (Thanks, Crystal!) We figure it will be a bus to those two ports, with an overnight in Budapest. Not ideal, but a great option.

 

<<Dear xxxxx,

We look forward to welcoming you aboard Crystal Mozart’s "Treasures of the Danube" river cruise departing on September 10, 2018.

 

Due to unseasonably dry conditions in central Europe, and a record heat wave, the Danube River, specifically the stretch of river between Bratislava and Budapest, is experiencing extremely low water levels.

 

Even though water levels may improve with just one hearty rainfall, at this time we are erring on the side of caution to prepare our guests for a possible change of itinerary on this upcoming cruise. We have well thought-out contingency plans prepared to ensure you enjoy a fabulous vacation with us.

 

The safety and comfort of our guests are of the utmost importance to Crystal, and current forecasts for water levels along the route are being monitored continuously. Any necessary updates to the itinerary will be provided as they are confirmed.

 

While this act of nature is beyond our control, all of us at Crystal apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We are all committed to providing our guests with a memorable vacation experience.

 

 

Sincerely,

Crystal

Guest Services>>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently on board Crystal Mozart for the Sep 10- 20 sailing. We have been told they are able to sail the posted itinerary. I will gladly update as we go along. I too was wondering the status prior to leaving.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone on the Debussy and can report? We are to sail Sept 16 and are feeling a bit in the dark.

 

Thanks :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on the August 30 - Sept 6 cruise that had the itinerary changed. When we were leaving the ship in Amsterdam, my husband met one of the new passengers coming onboard who told him that their cruise was going all the way to Basel. So I think you will be OK! We still had a fabulous time on our cruise and got to see more of The Netherlands than I had expected. The ship is beautiful and the service and food are top notch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the update - much appreciated. If you could post along your journey that would be wonderful.

 

I am currently on board Crystal Mozart for the Sep 10- 20 sailing. We have been told they are able to sail the posted itinerary. I will gladly update as we go along. I too was wondering the status prior to leaving.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I will be happy to update. Last night “meet the officers” get together the Captain said when we get to Linz there will be “decisions made”. I take that to mean that the water level could be an issue going forward. He wouldn’t elaborate. I’m hoping it doesn’t end in a bus tour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the update. Looking forward to hearing about the decision at Linz

 

Yes I will be happy to update. Last night “meet the officers” get together the Captain said when we get to Linz there will be “decisions made”. I take that to mean that the water level could be an issue going forward. He wouldn’t elaborate. I’m hoping it doesn’t end in a bus tour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update on Crystal Mozart - currently in Linz. Forecast is showing rain tomorrow for the Austrian Danube region. The Captain would like to make the decision tomorrow evening whether conditions will allow us to proceed to Budapest. We will be sailing to Passau this evening. So....we wait & continue to pray for rain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once again thank you for the update. We will doing the rain dance here as well and hopefully if we all keep dancing the rain will come and make a difference, I hope despite the uncertainty you are enjoying life o. The Mozart.

 

Update on Crystal Mozart - currently in Linz. Forecast is showing rain tomorrow for the Austrian Danube region. The Captain would like to make the decision tomorrow evening whether conditions will allow us to proceed to Budapest. We will be sailing to Passau this evening. So....we wait & continue to pray for rain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for all the useful info!!! I’m on Mahler in October. Any updates on Mahler?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m on the Mahler, leaving Amsterdam on Oct 3. Spoke to TA yesterday, who stated Crystal will be sending out letters describing options . Unless the itinerary remains what we signed up for, we might cancel or reschedule

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I’m on the Mahler, leaving Amsterdam on Oct 3. Spoke to TA yesterday, who stated Crystal will be sending out letters describing options . Unless the itinerary remains what we signed up for, we might cancel or reschedule

Thank you for your response. I’m on the 10/19 Budapest to Amsterdam and are relying on all of you for info. If your trip on 10/3 gets altered... there will be no way the ship will be in Budapest on 10/19. We will need to begin making travel adjustments at that time. We have privately arranged hotel and guides in Budapest plus our flights. Thanks again for the update.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bigrhode, I’m so sorry to hear of your cruise plans being changed. I hope Viking gives us as much advance notice if there is a change of itinerary & compensated as well as Crystal has done even though I feel they could do better especially if one does not want to take another river cruise. $500 is not enough all things considered. I hope you have a great time regardless. We are supposed to start our cruise in Trier with Viking on September 24.

We sail on the 20th on Rhine Getaway Viking Vidar. We haven't had any communication so far about water levels or changes. I'm hoping this is a good sign. I'll post update if we hear anything.

Steve

sclewis1@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are on the October 14th cruise on the Bach. Frankfurt to Amsterdam. Anyone else on this cruise? What's wrong with the bathroom

layout on the Bach? Would love to know. I did order a travel clothesline with suction cups to use in the shower.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you for your response. I’m on the 10/19 Budapest to Amsterdam and are relying on all of you for info. If your trip on 10/3 gets altered... there will be no way the ship will be in Budapest on 10/19. We will need to begin making travel adjustments at that time. We have privately arranged hotel and guides in Budapest plus our flights. Thanks again for the update.

 

We, also, have private arrangements in both Amsterdam and Budapest and will have to cancel if the ship doesn't go to Budapest; we chose this river cruise for the itinerary. I will keep you updated!

We are on pins and needles....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We, also, have private arrangements in both Amsterdam and Budapest and will have to cancel if the ship doesn't go to Budapest; we chose this river cruise for the itinerary. I will keep you updated!

We are on pins and needles....

 

Just keep in mind that Crystal only have 4 long ships of identical size (Mozart is extra wide so it won't fit in a number of locks) so they don't have the luxury or extra ships to do ship swaps like Viking and other river boat companies are doing currently. Their only option is to either continue the journey by bus or turn the one way cruise into a round trip or simply cancel. We were on the Crystal Bach in June doing the Rhine and our voyage was interrupted by a damaged lock on the French side causing huge backup in river traffic and we ended up not being able to complete our sailing to disembark in Frankfurt but Crystal Bach did manage to still provide most excursions and made arrangements to take all passengers to the Frankfurt airport. In August, we were on the Viking doing a Grand European voyage from Amsterdam to Budapest, Our original ship never made it to Amsterdam to pick us up due to low river level but Viking had another identical ship in Amsterdam already waiting for us to board. A week later we had to swap ship because of the low water condition. About 2 or 3 days before arriving Budapest we were told ship couldn't sail there due to low water level and Viking transferred us to Budapest by bus to stay at the Ritz Carlton and Hilton. Viking was still able to offer the bulk of the excursions despite this difficulty. Since this river level condition is extremely fluid, we hope the river level will rise high enough to ensure smooth sailing for all of you with upcoming trips. Our August sailing was the first time passengers including us were actually praying for heavy rain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update on Sept 10 - 20 Mozart sailing. Good news/bad news. We will sail tomorrow to Bratislava & do scheduled Shore excursions. Bad news is we will not sail to Budapest. Several choices - Plan A - go by bus to Budapest & stay one night in hotel & bus back to Vienna OR Plan B - skip Budapest, cruise back to Vienna & have an extra night on ship in Vienna. The water level is not looking good for the next 6/8 days at this time. The rain in Linz today didn’t help the area going into/out of Budapest. We will have final revised shore excursions & travel plans tomorrow at 2:30. There are 120 ships in the same situation on the river right now. It is a logistical nightmare for the cruise lines. You just can’t fight Mother Nature. Hope that the cruise on Sept 20 doesn’t have to deal with this but it is what it is & we have to go with the flow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How disappointing but as you say it is what it is. I am sure the situation will not change for our cruise. I have been looking at the long range forecast and it appears the temperatures are still unusually high and there is no rain in the forecast.

 

Thanks for advising what options were given - if we get the same, we will opt for a return trip to Vienna as we really do not like buses. It just means a trip to Budapest at a future date.

 

I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip - which option will you take? If you choose the bus to Budapest can you post about the experience?

 

My husband and I really appreciate all the updates you have provided.

 

Update on Sept 10 - 20 Mozart sailing. Good news/bad news. We will sail tomorrow to Bratislava & do scheduled Shore excursions. Bad news is we will not sail to Budapest. Several choices - Plan A - go by bus to Budapest & stay one night in hotel & bus back to Vienna OR Plan B - skip Budapest, cruise back to Vienna & have an extra night on ship in Vienna. The water level is not looking good for the next 6/8 days at this time. The rain in Linz today didn’t help the area going into/out of Budapest. We will have final revised shore excursions & travel plans tomorrow at 2:30. There are 120 ships in the same situation on the river right now. It is a logistical nightmare for the cruise lines. You just can’t fight Mother Nature. Hope that the cruise on Sept 20 doesn’t have to deal with this but it is what it is & we have to go with the flow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just keep in mind that Crystal only have 4 long ships of identical size (Mozart is extra wide so it won't fit in a number of locks) so they don't have the luxury or extra ships to do ship swaps like Viking and other river boat companies are doing currently.

 

It only takes 2 ships on a river to be able to do a ship swap – if you plan the itineraries with this in mind [e.g. one ship leaves Amsterdam, the other leaves Budapest, they cross in the middle or swap passengers on either side of the choke point]. That's why river cruise lines with many fewer ships than Viking have been successfully doing ship swaps as needed this year. Hopefully Crystal will take this year's experience into account as they plan future itineraries. I remember a few years ago when Viking was caught unprepared and did lots of bus tours – they have obviously gotten their act together since and are getting a lot of praise this year. Crystal, take note!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It only takes 2 ships on a river to be able to do a ship swap – if you plan the itineraries with this in mind [e.g. one ship leaves Amsterdam, the other leaves Budapest, they cross in the middle or swap passengers on either side of the choke point]. That's why river cruise lines with many fewer ships than Viking have been successfully doing ship swaps as needed this year. Hopefully Crystal will take this year's experience into account as they plan future itineraries. I remember a few years ago when Viking was caught unprepared and did lots of bus tours – they have obviously gotten their act together since and are getting a lot of praise this year. Crystal, take note!

 

 

 

The 2 ships only work if the low point is right in the middle. If not, you need ships leaving at staggered times for the swap to work. For Viking they have so many ships at different dates that they have ships arriving at choke points all the time.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Update on Sept 10 - 20 Mozart sailing. Good news/bad news. We will sail tomorrow to Bratislava & do scheduled Shore excursions. Bad news is we will not sail to Budapest. Several choices - Plan A - go by bus to Budapest & stay one night in hotel & bus back to Vienna OR Plan B - skip Budapest, cruise back to Vienna & have an extra night on ship in Vienna. The water level is not looking good for the next 6/8 days at this time. The rain in Linz today didn’t help the area going into/out of Budapest. We will have final revised shore excursions & travel plans tomorrow at 2:30. There are 120 ships in the same situation on the river right now. It is a logistical nightmare for the cruise lines. You just can’t fight Mother Nature. Hope that the cruise on Sept 20 doesn’t have to deal with this but it is what it is & we have to go with the flow.

 

Just keep in mind the bus ride from Vienna to Budapest or vice versa is 3.5 hours one way depending on traffic and with a short pit stop half way. Your Plan A involves 7 hours on the bus which is too much. Plan B maybe the better alternative--less tiring for the passengers. The bottom line is there's really no good solution to resolving this low water situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just keep in mind the bus ride from Vienna to Budapest or vice versa is 3.5 hours one way depending on traffic and with a short pit stop half way. Your Plan A involves 7 hours on the bus which is too much. Plan B maybe the better alternative--less tiring for the passengers. The bottom line is there's really no good solution to resolving this low water situation.

 

Yes, they provided full disclosure. That is why Plan A is the least desirable to us. I would prefer to spend my time on the ship sailing back to Vienna. No packing involved. We will get final plan at 2:30 today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How disappointing but as you say it is what it is. I am sure the situation will not change for our cruise. I have been looking at the long range forecast and it appears the temperatures are still unusually high and there is no rain in the forecast.

 

Thanks for advising what options were given - if we get the same, we will opt for a return trip to Vienna as we really do not like buses. It just means a trip to Budapest at a future date.

 

I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip - which option will you take? If you choose the bus to Budapest can you post about the experience?

 

My husband and I really appreciate all the updates you have provided.

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Explore the Night. Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win win a free cruise for two with Azamara Club Cruises!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Community Contests
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×