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Tarwood3

Esprit concern...?

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Hey all, Looking for opinions from those who have sailed Esprit in the past.  We are frequent Silversea, Seabourn and Celebrity cruisers.  We LOVE our verandas, both to relax and read when we arent feeling social and of course to watch going in and out of ports.  It truly is an extension of the room.  Our first time on Crystal is the Esprit end of October 2019.  We are doing 11 days Cyprus, Israel, Egypt and Jordan.  We are VERY excited about the ports but I have total anxiety that we wont have a veranda.  We had a “Juliet balcony” on the Silver Explorer once and that was super annoying...so wondering how this is going to be...?????

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Total anxiety! As a Seabourn/Silversea regular I think total anxiety is a bit over the top.

 

Yes, it is a shame not to have one but with the Esprit you are going to have a 'total' new cruising experience anyway.

 

You will have no theatre based entertainment after dinner. You will have no lifts to take you from one floor to another. In the evening you only have a choice of one dining room (the Grill does not operate after 8.00 and anyway has a limited menu). You will often be going ashore in Zodiacs and, at time, they are not the easiest of craft to board and leave. If it is bad weather there is only one indoor 'lounge' and I did not count the seats but I bet there are not 70. There are no dancing classes or Trivial Persuit sessions......

 

For all that, and we were on the Esprit across Christmas and the New Year, it is a great experience. If you are lucky you will have Manfred as your CD and he is highly experienced (we first met him when he worked for Seabourn).

 

Oh, and your veranda anxiety! Yes, we love verandas primarly because you can leave the door ajar on a warm night and not rely on the air conditioning. And yes, a cup of tea on awakening is a joy on the veranda - and a sundowner before going up to the bar. But we survived eleven nights without an anxiety crisis. Our cabin/suite was roomy enough and on the Esprit the ambience encourages you to spend more time on deck anyway.

 

Do not worry. If you like smaller ship cruising you'll have a fabulous time.

 

Tony

 

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3 hours ago, T&C Fulham said:

Total anxiety! As a Seabourn/Silversea regular I think total anxiety is a bit over the top.

 

Yes, it is a shame not to have one but with the Esprit you are going to have a 'total' new cruising experience anyway.

 

You will have no theatre based entertainment after dinner. You will have no lifts to take you from one floor to another. In the evening you only have a choice of one dining room (the Grill does not operate after 8.00 and anyway has a limited menu). You will often be going ashore in Zodiacs and, at time, they are not the easiest of craft to board and leave. If it is bad weather there is only one indoor 'lounge' and I did not count the seats but I bet there are not 70. There are no dancing classes or Trivial Persuit sessions......

 

For all that, and we were on the Esprit across Christmas and the New Year, it is a great experience. If you are lucky you will have Manfred as your CD and he is highly experienced (we first met him when he worked for Seabourn).

 

Oh, and your veranda anxiety! Yes, we love verandas primarly because you can leave the door ajar on a warm night and not rely on the air conditioning. And yes, a cup of tea on awakening is a joy on the veranda - and a sundowner before going up to the bar. But we survived eleven nights without an anxiety crisis. Our cabin/suite was roomy enough and on the Esprit the ambience encourages you to spend more time on deck anyway.

 

Do not worry. If you like smaller ship cruising you'll have a fabulous time.

 

Tony

 

Great , thanks Tony! Appreciate your detailed feedback! I know the anxiety seems silly to some, but clearly these arent cheap cruises, so the anxiety comes from spending a lot of money and not being happy with the cabin.  But I think you are right, it’s such a different cruise experience that I think I wont notice it as much.  With only 60 some guests, its not like I’m going to be overwhelmed with a lot of people even if we are in public spaces.  The rest of it I’m fine with.  We dont play bridge, dont do trivia, most shows on the ultra luxury cruise lines aren’t that great anyway.  And half the time they sing songs that are before our time.  We are younger, 46 and 51 and in very good shape, so maneuvering the zodiac things doesnt bother us at all.  I have heard that the crew is over the top amazing.  And I would assume that the excursions are amazing too since the groups are small.  Is there usually an expert of some sort on board doing any kind of lectures about these historical places???

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Yes and to repeat - we thought we would miss the veranda but didn't. We did need to get them to sort the aircon as we don't like it, but that was OK in the end.

 

Zodiacs. I was not going to mention it first time round but it does mean there are no zimmer frames on board.

 

Crew are over the top amazing and helpful.

 

Experts doing lectures? There were certainly none at Christmas but we were in the Caribbean. Maybe the trip you have planned is different. But that means they have to have one on board the whole time and whether the maths of that make sense I cannot judge. On our trip we had at least one free activity trip and one less agressive one offered FOC every day. There is plenty of info from the crew about those but if you are looking for lectures on why the Romans pillaged the village of 'X' I guess you'll be unlucky. In those cases Google is your friend.

 

Come back for anything else that you feel will help build the excitement....

 

Tony

 

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3 hours ago, T&C Fulham said:

 

Yes and to repeat - we thought we would miss the veranda but didn't. We did need to get them to sort the aircon as we don't like it, but that was OK in the end.

 

Zodiacs. I was not going to mention it first time round but it does mean there are no zimmer frames on board.

 

Crew are over the top amazing and helpful.

 

Experts doing lectures? There were certainly none at Christmas but we were in the Caribbean. Maybe the trip you have planned is different. But that means they have to have one on board the whole time and whether the maths of that make sense I cannot judge. On our trip we had at least one free activity trip and one less agressive one offered FOC every day. There is plenty of info from the crew about those but if you are looking for lectures on why the Romans pillaged the village of 'X' I guess you'll be unlucky. In those cases Google is your friend.

 

Come back for anything else that you feel will help build the excitement....

 

Tony

 

Hmmm...well, to be honest, I dont think I have ever been on a ship that didnt have an expert on the area, culture, wildlife etc in which we were cruising .  So I guess I dont feel like its an unreasonable expectation.  And since folks always say Crystal excels in enrichment activities, I guess I assumed there would be a lecturer especially since we are traveling to some of the world’s most historic places.  I guess I will just have to wait and see what they have in store for us.  Thanks again for taking the time to reply to my questions! 

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Crazy coincidence...after I hit send on last message, I checked my emails and my travel agency is hosting an evening with Crystal next Tues...so I rsvp’d and will be able to learn even more about both Esprit and Symphony...definitely good timing!

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Interested to hear how you enjoy this itinerary on the Esprit at that time of year - we are considering a similar cruise on Esprit but slightly later, in November (in a couple of years time). My main concern is that Esprit has always seemed to me to be a cruise one would go on in warm weather climates with nice swimming waters to enjoy all the water toys and swimming off the back etc. To go to Jordan, Israel and Egypt at that time of year would be the exact opposite of that. So we'll be paying the high premium for the Esprit for an itinerary where we're not going to be able to enjoy a lot of what you are paying the premium for. Would love any thoughts from anyone who has done similar itineraries late in the year.

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We were on the Esprit from 23 December to 3 January.

 

In the Caribbean. Temperatures around eighty degrees.

 

We saw the jetskis out three or four days.

 

We never saw anyone swimming off the marina.

 

Maybe the odd kayak  - maybe not.

 

They were never able to use the submersible.

 

Any help?

 

Tony

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We'll be boarding the Esprit in a week for a cruise around the British Virgin Islands and French West Indies.  Apparently the jet skis and submersible can't be used in the BVI, so they'll only be available one day on our itinerary.  I'm hoping for a lot of kayak and paddle boarding time.  I'm also hoping they zodiac us over to interesting points of some of the islands.  On some islands, there is no excursion offered at all.  There is one free of charge option at some others, safari bus tour of the island highlights.  Lots of excursion options for divers.  Mostly the offer is "independent exploration", which I'm fine with, as long as I'm not dropped far away from the area worth exploring.  And as long as the water toys are available, I think I may be fine not leaving the yacht some days.  We are looking at this not as a cruise, but more a yachting experience, so the lack of a veranda isn't concerning to us.  I'm happy to report back in a couple of weeks, or perhaps while we are on board if you have specific questions and I happen to log on.  

 

Susan

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Thanks T & C Fulham and SuzCruise for your insights. The cruise we're looking at the average daily temperature would be around 60F so too cold for any kind of swimming. We would basically be using the Esprit as though it were an ocean ship as the itinerary is port intensive and I assume in those locations the Esprit would be anchoring in pretty much the same areas as were the ocean ships would dock i.e. I don't think we can access better areas because of the size of the Esprit. So the question we're asking ourselves is do we just wait until Crystal has one of their ocean ships cruse this area again or is it worth it to pay the extra for the Esprit? I'm actually interested to know why Crystal have decided for the Esprit to sail these itineraries - there must be some upside I'm not seeing?

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7 hours ago, ClefsDor said:

Thanks T & C Fulham and SuzCruise for your insights. The cruise we're looking at the average daily temperature would be around 60F so too cold for any kind of swimming. We would basically be using the Esprit as though it were an ocean ship as the itinerary is port intensive and I assume in those locations the Esprit would be anchoring in pretty much the same areas as were the ocean ships would dock i.e. I don't think we can access better areas because of the size of the Esprit. So the question we're asking ourselves is do we just wait until Crystal has one of their ocean ships cruse this area again or is it worth it to pay the extra for the Esprit? I'm actually interested to know why Crystal have decided for the Esprit to sail these itineraries - there must be some upside I'm not seeing?

 

I would be reluctant to cruise Esprit in those temperatures. We did 14 nights Athens to Venice a year ago September. The first 7 days it was sunny and hot and Esprit was great. We spent most of our days and evenings on the aft outside lounge/bar and had a great time. The weather turned the second week and temps dropped to the 60s by day and cooler in the evening. You couldn't sit on the aft deck, though it was staffed and the bar was open, the staff huddling behind the bar for warmth. The inside lounge is nice, but not really big enough for all 65 guests. Esprit is truly a warm weather ship and I am a little surprised they are keeping it in a cool/cold weather area that late in the season. The itinerary sounds interesting, but I suspect you will only be able to use half the facilities.

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Roland4, thanks for confirming what I was thinking - and I agree, weird that they are using the Esprit in that location at that time of year.

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41 minutes ago, ClefsDor said:

Roland4, thanks for confirming what I was thinking - and I agree, weird that they are using the Esprit in that location at that time of year.

 

They are just making the most of their asset!!!  It isn't a regular itinerary for Esprit but they seem to be utilizing it for part of the repositioning trip from the Eastern Med/Adriatic to Dubai by selling the first half and then deadheading it from Aqaba through the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Straits of Hormuz, etc..  I agree with Roland4 that is definitely not the optimum time to be doing that itinerary on the Esprit...

 

Anne..

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6 hours ago, Jayayeff said:

 

They are just making the most of their asset!!!  It isn't a regular itinerary for Esprit but they seem to be utilizing it for part of the repositioning trip from the Eastern Med/Adriatic to Dubai by selling the first half and then deadheading it from Aqaba through the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Straits of Hormuz, etc..  I agree with Roland4 that is definitely not the optimum time to be doing that itinerary on the Esprit...

 

Anne..

Yes, agreed....part of repositioning for their Dubai and Seychelles voyages.  We were originally booked on Silversea Silver Shadow doing the Holy Lands.  We ran across this itinerary and really loved the ports it visits, so we booked for ports not for water toys or sunbathing, so it should be fine for us if its cooler, in fact , it will be a welcome change since we live in Florida and have plenty of heat, sun and beach.  We have always wanted to do the Sues Canal and Aqaba, Jordan, but the only options are the typical sailings from Athens to Dubai and the cruises are too long for us.....so this cruise lets us do Suez and Jordan without having to spend days at sea to reach Oman and Dubai which we have already done.  Hopefully it turns out to be a good choice.  Maybe I should do a “live” report since few folks seem to have done this kind of itinerary on Esprit???

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Actually, after writing my comment above, I decided to check the weather for end of October, beginning of November and looks like it will be absolutely beautiful.  Mid 70s to mid 80s (22c to 30c)....I think that sounds wonderful and not the oppressively hot temps found earlier in the year in Israel, Egypt and Jordan...

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I am looking at the Dubai/UAE cruise on Esprit in December. It seems that that is the only time it would be feasible to visit there, given the temps most of the year.  Has no one here cruised on that itinerary on Esprit? The web site is so lacking in information that it makes it hard to envision the cruise.

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just posting here again because I failed to click onnotify me of replies before

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Hi Tarwood,

 

Our experience on the Esprit is two years old now (I've posted a link to my blog on a separate thread if you're interested) and I'm sure things may have changed since then. We had a lovely cruise on the Esprit but if there was one negative for us was the lack of a balcony (for the same reasons you mention). We were after all in hot, sunny, tropical weather and we were not on shore all the time during the day. BUT, and it's a big but, we did decide that the ship was perfect for the not-so-hot itineraries and we would sail on her again on the type of itinerary you're looking at or along the Dalmatian coast. There are plenty of lovely outdoor spots to hang out. As for an enrichment program, there was none on our trip. I would get your travel agent to call Crystal directly to see what if anything they offer on your itinerary. 

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4 hours ago, claudiaYVR said:

Hi Tarwood,

 

Our experience on the Esprit is two years old now (I've posted a link to my blog on a separate thread if you're interested) and I'm sure things may have changed since then. We had a lovely cruise on the Esprit but if there was one negative for us was the lack of a balcony (for the same reasons you mention). We were after all in hot, sunny, tropical weather and we were not on shore all the time during the day. BUT, and it's a big but, we did decide that the ship was perfect for the not-so-hot itineraries and we would sail on her again on the type of itinerary you're looking at or along the Dalmatian coast. There are plenty of lovely outdoor spots to hang out. As for an enrichment program, there was none on our trip. I would get your travel agent to call Crystal directly to see what if anything they offer on your itinerary. 

Thanks so much for your input!!

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Hi Tarwood,

Hubby and I and another couple will be joining you in October. This should be a fascinating cruise, with outstanding ports.  Prior to booking this I didn't know too much about Cypress-I thought Egypt or Israel would be the highlight here, but it may just be Cypress.  I'm glad you started this post, hopefully we will garner more information.   Looking forward to meeting you in the fall.

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I don't really understand the purpose of this question.  If you want to do a cruise with a balcony cabin, Esprit is not the right ship.  If you are trying to find out if you can tolerate a non-balcony cabin (OMG!), only you can answer that question after you try that experiment.

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i booked the Dubai Dubai  in December on the Esprit because as a single it is maybe the only chance to cruise on her in view of the fares for singles

i was in Dubai for another cruise in early December a few years ago and the weather was very ok ( only some heavy winds on disembarkation day )  - i did 2 other Dubai Dubai , one end of January  and one  early February  -

i still remember it was extremely hot when we were in Qatar  and cloudy when in Bahrein

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I am watching this with interest.

I have started searching for a cruise that visits a certain port and found one on the Esprit .... wrong time for me unfortunately but, again, one to watch in case of a repeat, or similar itinerary, at a later date.
I too like my balcony but as someone pointed out ... if your cabin is on the port side then you miss out on the starboard side so use a lounge or go on deck instead.
Too many years working in the tropics mean I no longer like to sit in the sun so I will only use the balcony if it is in the shade.
I looked at it dispassionately and realised that on my last cruise we probably spent less than two hours on the balcony, in total, over the course of a week. 
Weighing up the pro’s and con’s I think I can live without one ... we shall see ... pie in the sky at the moment 😀

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On 3/29/2019 at 6:41 PM, guitarcrazy said:

Hi Tarwood,

Hubby and I and another couple will be joining you in October. This should be a fascinating cruise, with outstanding ports.  Prior to booking this I didn't know too much about Cypress-I thought Egypt or Israel would be the highlight here, but it may just be Cypress.  I'm glad you started this post, hopefully we will garner more information.   Looking forward to meeting you in the fall.

Nice to meet you and thanks for replying! I haven’t been on cruise critic in forever, so this is the first time I m seeing your reply...we are flying into Larnaca a day early and after the cruise we are staying for a couple days in Amman...

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On 3/30/2019 at 8:57 AM, Psoque said:

I don't really understand the purpose of this question.  If you want to do a cruise with a balcony cabin, Esprit is not the right ship.  If you are trying to find out if you can tolerate a non-balcony cabin (OMG!), only you can answer that question after you try that experiment.

Kind of a snarky response but I will overlook it since I was born and raised a Hoosier and my mom lives in Fishers...so I will forgive you.....anyway, the reason for the question is that perhaps someone else felt like me before they went on Esprit and so I would find their experience interesting...

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