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ak1004

Impressions from first time Crystal cruiser

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3 hours ago, ak1004 said:

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful and helpful responses!

 

We are back at home. Disembarkation was super quick, took us literally 20 minutes from the moment we left the ship till we arrived to San Diego airport. We paid $12 for the 7 minutes taxi ride (Crystal wanted $42 per person for transfer to the airport - I still have no idea where they are getting those prices and who is willing to pay them).

 

The buffet lunch issue looks much less critical or "unacceptable" from the 4 days distance. The fact that I'm diabetic and was really hungry when we arrive from the shore excursion obviously contributed to my frustration, but we will definitely have Plan B for cases like this.

 

Overall it was a wonderful cruise and a truly 6 star experience, despite some minor imperfections. It is great to become part of Crystal family and this great CC community!


Crystal’s airport transfers are also another oddity with an interesting backstory.  Like anything with three different companies that touch it (Crystal, their destination management company, and the transportation company), the price goes up quickly over just getting a ride directly, but I think the contrast is greater in cities where the airport is as close as San Diego.  Just like Crystal’s air, the value ranges from rip-off to outstanding depending on the circumstance, but it’s always offered as a convenience so people have options.

 

The interesting cost built into the transfer price is the afternoon hospitality venue with heavy refreshments (usually lunch-ish) that the guests with later flights usually get.  The price is the same whether you get a direct transfer or utilize the hospitality.

 

Regarding lunch, I get the frustration and this is definitely one area that I think Crystal regulars  have adjusted to the way Crystal does things.  That doesn’t make it ideal.  I honestly sail Crystal because I DO prefer the short lunch hours in each venue to having multiple shifts in fewer venues or multiple shifts of fewer crew at a time (or longer shifts with more tired/grumpy crew), but that does cause me to do some weird things, especially being hypoglycemic:

 

1) I generally pick tours that return by lunch, and I’m careful to check tour hours if I book a Crystal excursion before specific hours are posted and check back on it once they are.

2) When I do book a tour that operates over lunch, I lean heavily on ones that serve lunch if at all possible.  It’s almost a running joke among my family and friends.

3) For non-lunch tours that return just after 1:30, I consider local dining options and work them into my plans in advance.

4) When number 3 doesn’t work, Silk or room service come into play.  One time afternoon tea actually worked perfectly timing-wise, and sometimes the Bistro fills the need too.

 

Each line’s product has quirks that work great for some people and not others.  IMHO, Crystal’s meal times are one of those quirks.

 

Vince

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4 hours ago, ak1004 said:

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful and helpful responses!

 

We are back at home. Disembarkation was super quick, took us literally 20 minutes from the moment we left the ship till we arrived to San Diego airport. We paid $12 for the 7 minutes taxi ride (Crystal wanted $42 per person for transfer to the airport - I still have no idea where they are getting those prices and who is willing to pay them).

 

The buffet lunch issue looks much less critical or "unacceptable" from the 4 days distance. The fact that I'm diabetic and was really hungry when we arrive from the shore excursion obviously contributed to my frustration, but we will definitely have Plan B for cases like this.

 

Overall it was a wonderful cruise and a truly 6 star experience, despite some minor imperfections. It is great to become part of Crystal family and this great CC community!

Welcome home and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

 

I do understand why you and some wish hours were extended for the lunch buffet.  I think Vince hit the nail on the head, some of us who have sailed Crystal regularly are used to the hours so we do plan accordingly.  I remind myself when sailing other cruise lines that when it comes to dining hours some of those sailing the line regularly are used to it whereas we are not such as on one line where lunch didn't start till 1:00 PM or dinner didn't start till 7:00 PM whereas we are used to each one starting one hour earlier on Crystal.  

 

I am so glad you had a wonderful cruise and that you plan to sail Crystal again.  It sounds like you have been Crystalized.

 

Welcome home and I look forward to your continued posts on this board.

 

Happy Holidays.

 

Keith

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Regarding Silk/Trident, am i correct in thinking that on Symphony the Reuben, Caesar and Pizza are available at Trident and not Silk, whereas on Serenity it's the opposite, available in Silk but not Trident? If so, absolutely no big deal but somewhat curious.

As for service, we have only been on a relatively small number of Crystal cruises but we were surprised to be recognised by some staff members on only our second time on board. Next year will be our first time on Serenity so we will once again revert to being newbies ! No fears for us as we know the service is still likely, as ever, to blow us away.

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1 hour ago, kool kruiser said:

Regarding Silk/Trident, am i correct in thinking that on Symphony the Reuben, Caesar and Pizza are available at Trident and not Silk, whereas on Serenity it's the opposite, available in Silk but not Trident? If so, absolutely no big deal but somewhat curious.

As for service, we have only been on a relatively small number of Crystal cruises but we were surprised to be recognised by some staff members on only our second time on board. Next year will be our first time on Serenity so we will once again revert to being newbies ! No fears for us as we know the service is still likely, as ever, to blow us away.

For Serenity yes that is correct.  Serenity always had a dining venue (originally called Tastes and renamed Silk) whereas Symphony only had Silk a couple of years ago after dry dock. So items such as Pizza were always available on Serenity at the former Tastes so they carried this on when they renamed dining venue and rolled out lots of Asian items.  

Keith

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9 hours ago, Roland4 said:

 

And for the "doubters" out there, this is not an uncommon, or recent, experience. Our first cruise on Crystal was in 2000 with my Better Half's parents, and one of the Lido guys served us regularly, Dio Bal. As far as I know he is still on Symphony. Our next cruise was on Harmony 18 months later, and as we are walking across the pool deck, we see Dio. He greets us by name and asks for my In-Laws by name (they were not with us), and to this day I have no idea how he remembered us! 


Dio is still on the symphony and we saw him in September.  He’s such a lovely man and a wonderful member of team Crystal.  We first met him on our one and only Harmony cruise in 2005.  He transferred over to the symphony when the harmony was retired from the crystal fleet.  we’ve been fortunate to sail with him on most of our symphony cruises.
 

Nancy 

 

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5 hours ago, kool kruiser said:

Regarding Silk/Trident, am i correct in thinking that on Symphony the Reuben, Caesar and Pizza are available at Trident and not Silk, whereas on Serenity it's the opposite, available in Silk but not Trident? If so, absolutely no big deal but somewhat curious.

Yes, that is correct re Symphony. 

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13 hours ago, BWIVince said:


Crystal’s airport transfers are also another oddity with an interesting backstory.  Like anything with three different companies that touch it (Crystal, their destination management company, and the transportation company), the price goes up quickly over just getting a ride directly, but I think the contrast is greater in cities where the airport is as close as San Diego.  Just like Crystal’s air, the value ranges from rip-off to outstanding depending on the circumstance, but it’s always offered as a convenience so people have options.

 

The interesting cost built into the transfer price is the afternoon hospitality venue with heavy refreshments (usually lunch-ish) that the guests with later flights usually get.  The price is the same whether you get a direct transfer or utilize the hospitality.

 

Regarding lunch, I get the frustration and this is definitely one area that I think Crystal regulars  have adjusted to the way Crystal does things.  That doesn’t make it ideal.  I honestly sail Crystal because I DO prefer the short lunch hours in each venue to having multiple shifts in fewer venues or multiple shifts of fewer crew at a time (or longer shifts with more tired/grumpy crew), but that does cause me to do some weird things, especially being hypoglycemic:

 

1) I generally pick tours that return by lunch, and I’m careful to check tour hours if I book a Crystal excursion before specific hours are posted and check back on it once they are.

2) When I do book a tour that operates over lunch, I lean heavily on ones that serve lunch if at all possible.  It’s almost a running joke among my family and friends.

3) For non-lunch tours that return just after 1:30, I consider local dining options and work them into my plans in advance.

4) When number 3 doesn’t work, Silk or room service come into play.  One time afternoon tea actually worked perfectly timing-wise, and sometimes the Bistro fills the need too.

 

Each line’s product has quirks that work great for some people and not others.  IMHO, Crystal’s meal times are one of those quirks.

 

Vince

 

Providing "afternoon hospitality venue with heavy refreshments" for late flights is a great feature. I would gladly use it if I had a late flight - in fact, I would consider $42 a bargain. Still seems odd that the price is the same for transfer only and transfer plus hospitality. Those guests with transfer only basically subsidize the hospitality.

 

And I get it, ship transfers and all kinds of extras will always be more expensive (this is true for any cruise line), but the price difference should not be so big.

 

Regrading lunch - those are great suggestions. In our case, the first excursion was scheduled to arrive by 1pm and was late by 35 minutes, and the second one did not account for tender time, which added the extra 30 minutes. 

 

And you are right, once you are aware of those quirks, you can always find a workaround. 

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I have seen them keep Waterside open late for tours that were supposed to arrive before 1:30 but were running late.  This happened at least twice for us, both on the same voyage and either one or two years ago.  We appreciated it very much, and we made sure to let our waiter know that.  Our thanks were met with smiles, but they did not seem quite as happy ones as usual, which is totally understandable.  On subsequent sailings, we have again had tours that got back late, after 1:30, and we did not see Crystal do this again for either Waterside or Marketplace.  We utilized the alternate strategies already discussed, and were in no danger of starving.

--Karen

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53 minutes ago, SusieQft said:

 and were in no danger of starving.

 

Aside from medical dietary situations, if you are onboard Crystal and you are starving.....??

 

🙂

 

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On 12/21/2019 at 10:21 AM, LHT28 said:

ak1004

you are never going to convince  the regulars that have cruised 20+ yrs with Crystal that things may be different for 1st timers

 

JMO

this would be true in any hospitality venue - airplane, restaurant or hotel.  I am at a top level Marriott level and they generally go out of their way to make reasonable accommodations for me when I travel.  Why wouldn't they?  I have spent a pile of money since 1980 staying at Marriotts and they want to keep that relationship.  Same goes with airlines.  Doesn't mean that others on board are getting less

 

The Crystal baseline of treating customers "well" is very high compared to other cruise lines.  I think that everyone is highly regarded by the service staff and ship managers.  I have spent 1/3 of my business life somewhere else than home, in a whole range of accommodations  - they weren't all Crystal level.  Customer service is what shines no matter if it a $99 Fairfield Inn or a $400 Ritz Carlton.  That requires a high level of training and commitment from corporate pushing down.  I have talked to a few of the Crystal staff along the way ( used to work with onboard cruise concessionaires in a previous business life) and they indicated that getting a job on Crystal and keeping it are very tough.  Crystal is very pax centered and I think it shows

 

I agree with Keith that they service on Crystal is not robotic.  Even my Brother in law (not a real traveler) remarked how genuine the Crystal people were on Debussy last year.  I find the staff to be very engaging in.a personal and friendly way.  Other cruise lines that I have been on were "friendly" but wouldn't call them warm.  I am ok with them not remembering still or sparking.

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3 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

Aside from medical dietary situations, if you are onboard Crystal and you are starving.....??

I was in no way starving.  That was my point.....??

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11 hours ago, tfred said:

this would be true in any hospitality venue - airplane, restaurant or hotel.  I am at a top level Marriott level and they generally go out of their way to make reasonable accommodations for me when I travel.  Why wouldn't they?  I have spent a pile of money since 1980 staying at Marriotts and they want to keep that relationship.  Same goes with airlines.  Doesn't mean that others on board are getting less

 

The Crystal baseline of treating customers "well" is very high compared to other cruise lines.  I think that everyone is highly regarded by the service staff and ship managers.  I have spent 1/3 of my business life somewhere else than home, in a whole range of accommodations  - they weren't all Crystal level.  Customer service is what shines no matter if it a $99 Fairfield Inn or a $400 Ritz Carlton.  That requires a high level of training and commitment from corporate pushing down.  I have talked to a few of the Crystal staff along the way ( used to work with onboard cruise concessionaires in a previous business life) and they indicated that getting a job on Crystal and keeping it are very tough.  Crystal is very pax centered and I think it shows

 

I agree with Keith that they service on Crystal is not robotic.  Even my Brother in law (not a real traveler) remarked how genuine the Crystal people were on Debussy last year.  I find the staff to be very engaging in.a personal and friendly way.  Other cruise lines that I have been on were "friendly" but wouldn't call them warm.  I am ok with them not remembering still or sparking.

I could not agree more with these sentiments, especially as we have generally been closer to the $99 option !

We personally know a crew member currently on board the Symphony, who confirms how valued a position with Crystal is within the cruise industry. We were also told that they will not tolerate any standards slippage  and, as you so rightly state, they are totally ''pax centered''.

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12 hours ago, SusieQft said:

I was in no way starving.  That was my point.....??

 

Sorry....I guess that I'll use a half-dozen smileys next time.

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Full review posted. It is mostly a summary of my posts on this topic, with some additional comments. 

 

Please let me know if you have any questions/comments.

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So we were on this cruise as well...took my mom and her good friend with us ...We had done one previous Crystal cruise but it was on the yacht, Esprit which was phenomenal. We have mostly sailed on Silversea, Seabourn , REgent and Celebrity. After our experience on Esprit, we were very excited about this trip. In short, I have to say that we were disappointed in the ship. We loved the itinerary which is why we booked this cruise..itinerary is always number 1 for us when choosing a trip.  But compared to Silversea and Seabourn, we felt like it fell short of our expectations.  

Was service good on Crystal? Yes...but it’s good on SS and SB too.  

Was Food good? Yes, but nothing to write home about. In fact, in Waterside, we often had a hard time finding something that sounded good. What we had was good, but for us there wasnt enough variety that WE liked..however on the yacht, the menu was all so good and it was hard to make a decision.  We feel that SS and SB have the edge on food.  We did like Prego...went twice. Umi Uma was excellent.  Silk was good, nothing special. I know there was a lot of talk about the buffet..im pretty simple.  I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day..so for me variety wasnt an issue.  It worked fine for me and was good and fresh.  

Was my room nice? Yes, very nice! We had a Seabreeze penthouse...beautifully decorated, comfortable , plenty of storage, nice bathroom, big shower.  It does photograph larger than it really is. 

 

So what did I feel was lacking? Pool area is a miss.  SS and SB have a mix of live music and music piped in throughout the day.  There was only a live band for one hour , otherwise dead quiet.  There ‘s no pool bar.  Great place for socializing. Will waiters bring you what you want? Yes...just like on SS and SB....however we couldn’t order food from our lounger like on SS and SB. Dont care for Trident Grill being inside..it’s small and misses the Pool Grill feel.  There’’s also NO restaurant out by pool area like on SS and SB for al fresco dinners at night..love sitting outside ...  We asked for a boozy coffee beverage at the Bistro  like an Irish Coffee , Aspen Coffee etc...nope...not available. We can even get that on Celebrity.  Just the regular coffee offerings are limited.   Crystal Cove is way too small to be the heart of the ship’s bar...  The theatre definitely reflects its age.  It barely slopes up, so you always have a head blocking part of the stage.  It’s just an awkward layout of the ship. ...  Plus I have never seen a. Cruise Director be M.I.A. So much.  We would see him briefly at night in his fussy dress whites announce what’s going on after the main show/entertainment.  He did nothing around the pool. He didnt seem to socialize and wander about the ship.  Oh, there were no fun pop up themed lunches by the pool. There were no going away parties or any fun parties on teh pool deck like Chocolate decadent extravaganzas, ...

Not that we like dinners with officers and performers but we saw none of that. We just didnt find the crew very engaging.  

We just felt like it was a very blah cruise...nothing that really set Crystal apart and unique.  It was just very non descript. 

Then we get home and on Xmas Eve, we get an email that Crystal canceled our Endeavor cruise around West Africa because they got a charter instead for that itinerary....it’s only offered once...so cant just change the date.. Very disappointing.  

So then we thought we would give Symphony a second chance and liked an itinerary in Asia for 13 days...only to find out that it’s $22k in a Seabreeze Penthouse Veranda...! Tha’ts $1700 a day, which is around what an expedition cruise is...so we dont feel that old ship is worth that much money per day.  So I would say we are done with Crystal for now....better ships, better cabins, better prices on SS and SB...

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Tarwood, thank you for your candid observations and taking the time and effort to post your thoughts here. Much appreciated. Have a safe, healthy and enjoyable new year and to many future voyages at sea!

 

Rob

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1 hour ago, Tarwood3 said:

So we were on this cruise as well...took my mom and her good friend with us ...We had done one previous Crystal cruise but it was on the yacht, Esprit which was phenomenal. We have mostly sailed on Silversea, Seabourn , REgent and Celebrity. After our experience on Esprit, we were very excited about this trip. In short, I have to say that we were disappointed in the ship. We loved the itinerary which is why we booked this cruise..itinerary is always number 1 for us when choosing a trip.  But compared to Silversea and Seabourn, we felt like it fell short of our expectations.  

Was service good on Crystal? Yes...but it’s good on SS and SB too.  

Was Food good? Yes, but nothing to write home about. In fact, in Waterside, we often had a hard time finding something that sounded good. What we had was good, but for us there wasnt enough variety that WE liked..however on the yacht, the menu was all so good and it was hard to make a decision.  We feel that SS and SB have the edge on food.  We did like Prego...went twice. Umi Uma was excellent.  Silk was good, nothing special. I know there was a lot of talk about the buffet..im pretty simple.  I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day..so for me variety wasnt an issue.  It worked fine for me and was good and fresh.  

Was my room nice? Yes, very nice! We had a Seabreeze penthouse...beautifully decorated, comfortable , plenty of storage, nice bathroom, big shower.  It does photograph larger than it really is. 

 

So what did I feel was lacking? Pool area is a miss.  SS and SB have a mix of live music and music piped in throughout the day.  There was only a live band for one hour , otherwise dead quiet.  There ‘s no pool bar.  Great place for socializing. Will waiters bring you what you want? Yes...just like on SS and SB....however we couldn’t order food from our lounger like on SS and SB. Dont care for Trident Grill being inside..it’s small and misses the Pool Grill feel.  There’’s also NO restaurant out by pool area like on SS and SB for al fresco dinners at night..love sitting outside ...  We asked for a boozy coffee beverage at the Bistro  like an Irish Coffee , Aspen Coffee etc...nope...not available. We can even get that on Celebrity.  Just the regular coffee offerings are limited.   Crystal Cove is way too small to be the heart of the ship’s bar...  The theatre definitely reflects its age.  It barely slopes up, so you always have a head blocking part of the stage.  It’s just an awkward layout of the ship. ...  Plus I have never seen a. Cruise Director be M.I.A. So much.  We would see him briefly at night in his fussy dress whites announce what’s going on after the main show/entertainment.  He did nothing around the pool. He didnt seem to socialize and wander about the ship.  Oh, there were no fun pop up themed lunches by the pool. There were no going away parties or any fun parties on teh pool deck like Chocolate decadent extravaganzas, ...

Not that we like dinners with officers and performers but we saw none of that. We just didnt find the crew very engaging.  

We just felt like it was a very blah cruise...nothing that really set Crystal apart and unique.  It was just very non descript. 

Then we get home and on Xmas Eve, we get an email that Crystal canceled our Endeavor cruise around West Africa because they got a charter instead for that itinerary....it’s only offered once...so cant just change the date.. Very disappointing.  

So then we thought we would give Symphony a second chance and liked an itinerary in Asia for 13 days...only to find out that it’s $22k in a Seabreeze Penthouse Veranda...! Tha’ts $1700 a day, which is around what an expedition cruise is...so we dont feel that old ship is worth that much money per day.  So I would say we are done with Crystal for now....better ships, better cabins, better prices on SS and SB...

 

Thank you for sharing your observations.

 

Obviously different people care for different things. We found the cruise excellent, but we haven't sailed on SS or SB, so cannot compare. 

 

Would you mind to collaborate about "better prices on SS and SB"? We just booked a 11 nights cruise on Crystal from Dover to Lisbon for $3,550 USD. This was the cheapest category, but we don't really care about the cabin, and I didn't see any entry level cabins on SS or SB that come even close in price. 

 

On related note, some people might say they would not cruise on a luxury line that charges extra for internet (SS) - but again, different people, different priorities.

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2 hours ago, Tarwood3 said:

Not that we like dinners with officers and performers but we saw none of that.

 

"This thing, about which we do not care, we found to be lacking on Crystal."

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Tarwood....Appreciate your review.

 

In the end only one opinion matters and it is our own.

 

Thank goodness for choice and that each line is not a clone of one another.

 

Wishing you Happy Holidays and Happy Cruising.

 

Keith

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9 hours ago, ak1004 said:

 

Thank you for sharing your observations.

 

Obviously different people care for different things. We found the cruise excellent, but we haven't sailed on SS or SB, so cannot compare. 

 

Would you mind to collaborate about "better prices on SS and SB"? We just booked a 11 nights cruise on Crystal from Dover to Lisbon for $3,550 USD. This was the cheapest category, but we don't really care about the cabin, and I didn't see any entry level cabins on SS or SB that come even close in price. 

 

On related note, some people might say they would not cruise on a luxury line that charges extra for internet (SS) - but again, different people, different priorities.

Hi there....Crystal’s smallest room is 207 sq ft, and Silversea Muse, their largest ship so closes in size to Symphony, has a 334sq ft vista suite as their smallest room...so if I’m comparing suite size apple for apple....the itinerary I was looking at for $22k is very steep in comparison to a similar on SS.  We have a spreadsheet off all the cruises we have done that breaks down cruise cost, excursions , what we spent onboard , total vacation cost of it ..etc...and so we have a per day amount that we have spent so we can compare the value of a particular cruise (even comparing on same line) but also comparing to other lines and ships to see if it’s really worth it for us to book it.  So $1700 Is on the steep end for a non expedition ship in just a normal size suite.  Hope that clarifies what I was trying to say.  Of course there are deals and steals on every line...but we dont book last minute, we are planners and book 1-2 yrs out ....

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8 hours ago, KenzSailing said:

 

"This thing, about which we do not care, we found to be lacking on Crystal."

Yes, we dont care, but part of making observations is saying what is different from another brand...some people care about these things that might be looking at trying Crystal from xyz cruise line and want to know how they compare...so there you go...

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4 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Tarwood....Appreciate your review.

 

In the end only one opinion matters and it is our own.

 

Thank goodness for choice and that each line is not a clone of one another.

 

Wishing you Happy Holidays and Happy Cruising.

 

Keith

Thanks Keith! Always appreciate your kindness and information on here! If you havent tried Esprit, you must!! Sensational!

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10 hours ago, Tarwood3 said:

So we were on this cruise as well...took my mom and her good friend with us ...We had done one previous Crystal cruise but it was on the yacht, Esprit which was phenomenal. We have mostly sailed on Silversea, Seabourn , REgent and Celebrity. After our experience on Esprit, we were very excited about this trip. In short, I have to say that we were disappointed in the ship. We loved the itinerary which is why we booked this cruise..itinerary is always number 1 for us when choosing a trip.  But compared to Silversea and Seabourn, we felt like it fell short of our expectations.  

Was service good on Crystal? Yes...but it’s good on SS and SB too.  

Was Food good? Yes, but nothing to write home about. In fact, in Waterside, we often had a hard time finding something that sounded good. What we had was good, but for us there wasnt enough variety that WE liked..however on the yacht, the menu was all so good and it was hard to make a decision.  We feel that SS and SB have the edge on food.  We did like Prego...went twice. Umi Uma was excellent.  Silk was good, nothing special. I know there was a lot of talk about the buffet..im pretty simple.  I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day..so for me variety wasnt an issue.  It worked fine for me and was good and fresh.  

Was my room nice? Yes, very nice! We had a Seabreeze penthouse...beautifully decorated, comfortable , plenty of storage, nice bathroom, big shower.  It does photograph larger than it really is. 

 

So what did I feel was lacking? Pool area is a miss.  SS and SB have a mix of live music and music piped in throughout the day.  There was only a live band for one hour , otherwise dead quiet.  There ‘s no pool bar.  Great place for socializing. Will waiters bring you what you want? Yes...just like on SS and SB....however we couldn’t order food from our lounger like on SS and SB. Dont care for Trident Grill being inside..it’s small and misses the Pool Grill feel.  There’’s also NO restaurant out by pool area like on SS and SB for al fresco dinners at night..love sitting outside ...  We asked for a boozy coffee beverage at the Bistro  like an Irish Coffee , Aspen Coffee etc...nope...not available. We can even get that on Celebrity.  Just the regular coffee offerings are limited.   Crystal Cove is way too small to be the heart of the ship’s bar...  The theatre definitely reflects its age.  It barely slopes up, so you always have a head blocking part of the stage.  It’s just an awkward layout of the ship. ...  Plus I have never seen a. Cruise Director be M.I.A. So much.  We would see him briefly at night in his fussy dress whites announce what’s going on after the main show/entertainment.  He did nothing around the pool. He didnt seem to socialize and wander about the ship.  Oh, there were no fun pop up themed lunches by the pool. There were no going away parties or any fun parties on teh pool deck like Chocolate decadent extravaganzas, ...

Not that we like dinners with officers and performers but we saw none of that. We just didnt find the crew very engaging.  

We just felt like it was a very blah cruise...nothing that really set Crystal apart and unique.  It was just very non descript. 

Then we get home and on Xmas Eve, we get an email that Crystal canceled our Endeavor cruise around West Africa because they got a charter instead for that itinerary....it’s only offered once...so cant just change the date.. Very disappointing.  

So then we thought we would give Symphony a second chance and liked an itinerary in Asia for 13 days...only to find out that it’s $22k in a Seabreeze Penthouse Veranda...! Tha’ts $1700 a day, which is around what an expedition cruise is...so we dont feel that old ship is worth that much money per day.  So I would say we are done with Crystal for now....better ships, better cabins, better prices on SS and SB...


Thanks for taking the time to write-up a review of your Symphony sailing.  I’m sorry that it fell short of your expectations but I think coming even close to your phenomenal Esprit experience just a few weeks earlier was always going to be a big ask.... Having cruised the Symphony more than any other cruise ship, a couple of things surprised me a little but others not so much.  I also wish there were more opportunities to have a drink, or dine outdoors on the Crystal ships, other than the poolside drinks service.  I have to say I am looking forward to taking advantage of the open-air opportunities to do so onboard the Esprit in a few weeks time.   It’s a shame your planned Endeavor cruise has now been cancelled due to the charter, I’m sure from your comments here and from your earlier Esprit trip that would probably have been a better fit in meeting your expectations - hopefully you will come up with a suitable alternative....

 

Anne...

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9 hours ago, ak1004 said:

 

Thank you for sharing your observations.

 

Obviously different people care for different things. We found the cruise excellent, but we haven't sailed on SS or SB, so cannot compare. 

 

Would you mind to collaborate about "better prices on SS and SB"? We just booked a 11 nights cruise on Crystal from Dover to Lisbon for $3,550 USD. This was the cheapest category, but we don't really care about the cabin, and I didn't see any entry level cabins on SS or SB that come even close in price. 

 

On related note, some people might say they would not cruise on a luxury line that charges extra for internet (SS) - but again, different people, different priorities.

Oh and regarding internet....I think Crystal has to give it for free because it was so terrible.  It went down A LOT and for long periods.  So many were complaining.  I thought maybe because it was an older ship and they just cant provide the most modern technology?? I was told later by an avid Crystal cruiser that is currently on Symphony that Crystal changed providers and now it is more problematic. I also have a friend who is a crewmember and he said it’s really bad....even worse for the crew.  If they charged for it, I’m sure it would create a lot of complaints..so best to give it for free....which is why I didnt say anything about it in my review, since it was free and I was happy about that.  

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6 minutes ago, Jayayeff said:


Thanks for taking the time to write-up a review of your Symphony sailing.  I’m sorry that it fell short of your expectations but I think coming even close to your phenomenal Esprit experience just a few weeks earlier was always going to be a big ask.... Having cruised the Symphony more than any other cruise ship, a couple of things surprised me a little but others not so much.  I also wish there were more opportunities to have a drink, or dine outdoors on the Crystal ships, other than the poolside drinks service.  I have to say I am looking forward to taking advantage of the open-air opportunities to do so onboard the Esprit in a few weeks time.   It’s a shame your planned Endeavor cruise has now been cancelled due to the charter, I’m sure from your comments here and from your earlier Esprit trip that would probably have been a better fit in meeting your expectations - hopefully you will come up with a suitable alternative....

 

Anne...

Yep,Esprit was hard to beat and definitely set the bar high for Crystal.  It was also the best food (consistently every night) of any cruise we have ever done.  But for the comparison I did on here, it was really more about our experiences with SS, SB , Regent and even Celebrity Suite Class.  

We WILL try Crystal again, just havent been able to find an itinerary. We might just do another Esprit in the Adriatic....funny thing though...I was VERY skeptical about the Esprit before boarding..I wasnt sure how I would feel about no veranda, being so small...no entertainment etc...but those fears were quickly put to rest ....

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