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Posts posted by latsyrc

  1. Taste' lunch hours were in fact 1 - 3 on 3331. There was seemingly confusion on who was delivering the drink orders. Several times we received our food before our beverages even though we could see them sitting on the bar a few seconds after we had placed the order. Service was much better in the evening in my experience. I'm sure they'll get thinks running smoothly soon.

  2. Echoing Nancygp E1's midships on 7 are great if you can get one. I also have stayed on 5 when that was all that was available for an adjoining family cabin we needed. There was no noise whatsoever from the Cove area. I heard the first extraneous noise ever on a Crystal cruise last week in the laundry room on the Serenity. They were rehearsing downstairs in the Galaxie. Interestingly I went out into both hallways and couldn't hear a thing so I guess there is sound insulation in those areas. Says something about how nice and quiet the laundries are though.

  3. One other difference between Symphony and Serenity but only of interest to those of us who travel in steerage on deck 7. The view is better on Symphony because the staterooms are elevated above the deck (and railings) and the railings aren't solid. On Serenity your view while seated in your stateroom is largely of the steel panels between the deck and railing.

    I too can't seem to warm up to the Avenue on Serenity, seems stilted somehow.

  4. What! No free Caviar, no free second visit at specialty restaurants, no free shutle buses on all ports, no chocolates on the pillow? :( Well I think I will not read these boards anymore. We are kind of getting dissappointed before we do our cruises. Actually we were very much looking for he Crystal experience but after reading about changes, about things that used to be included and now they are not, etc we kind of ask ourselves what would be the value added from Crystal to other lines for example Celebrity.


    Rule #1: Some people just don't like change, period! Rule #2: Those who don't like something are far more vocal than those who do. Crystal is not Celebrity, although of the mass market lines I always liked Celebrity best. Crystal exceeds all other lines in entertainment, enrichment, cuisine, service. Can't think of anything others do better except maybe the very firm (for my taste) beds. That said I still sleep better at sea than at home. The differences are hard to quantify but IMHO Crystal is true luxury; the others, wanna be's. I think many of these changes we lament can be attributed to greedy travelers. I once saw a couple abandon a caviar service they had presumably ordered by the pool almost untouched. At the current cost of caviar I can imagine it would only take 1 or 2 of those to inspire the change. Truth is if people don't have to pay for something they rarely value it. I think Crystal's decision re Specialty Restaurants was poorly planned and presented even worse. If it was truly necessary to limit demand, which I still doubt, at least they shouldn't have told me it was "for your convenience." I am sick of people telling me something I don't like is for my convenience or comfort or enjoyment.

    Just so you don't start your cruise disappointed, the addition of included drinks has resulted in a much more lively ship, people out and about rather than sitting on their own balcony with their smuggled bottles. The cuisine is the best at sea hands down. The service is truly amazing. In short if you board with an open mind it will be wonderful; if you board looking for short comings, I'm sure you will find some.


  5. Does anyone know if travel insurance covers your losses for incompetent/ petulant foreign service employees?


    Might be the best reason to purchase it if you are going to Brazil. We first traveled to Brazil about 15 years ago, it was Zinser (?sp) then but same old story, never changes. I remember the airline at JFK checking that we had Brazilian visas when we were flying to Buenos Aires/

  6. I've always had a weak spot for desserts, so I created a special "Crystal Diet": no desserts at all during Week 1, and selective desserts during Week 2. Of course, "selective" was up to some interpretation and I had 3 cinnamon rolls with generous amounts of crème anglaise at the American Buffet on the last day. But, still, that's only 1 dessert, right??


    Very laudable but what happens weeks 3, 4, 5??? :)

  7. Interestingly, I keep seeing ads for Oceania at the top of this very page touting (in large print) no fee specialty restaurants!


    Just 1 little problem: Red Ginger is nowhere near as good as Silk Road and Toscana is about Olive Garden level. Jacgues is pretty good but Polo Grill was boring. Just my opinion but I didn't think the food overall was as good on Oceania as it is on Crystal and the service was downright terrible. Not the fault of the waiters they tried so hard but just extremely slow I guess due to overcrowding at all venues.

  8. I did it in SanFrancisco and it was very easy. I think the form is on the Crystal Web site or your TA can get it. Crystal is now charging a flat fee (because of AI drinks) in addition to meal charges but it is quite reasonable. You must submit the form with the person's name and passport number quite a while in advance and then they send you back an approval. Good luck.



  9. I've already prepaid the fare for the Tokyo to LA - May 1 2014 voyage. It has dropped $800.00 for the two of us. Is it possible to get a refund or an OBC?


    Just a little encouragement to add to Keith's, you should certainly be able to have your travel agent request a refund. I had the same thing happen twice after I paid for V3331 and both times the fare was adjusted. Refund to your CC, then you can spend it as you wish. Good luck.



  10. Except for school vacation and holiday sailings you will rarely see kids on Crystal and those that are there have always been well supervised in my experience.


    I'm sure you will love Crystal, welcome home.



  11. I think my objection to this whole thread, as an operations person, is that we as a group keep throwing around phrases like "this could be easily solved without a fee," and "it's not my job to come up with better ideas and do Crystal's job for them." Yet somehow, in hundreds of messages, we have yet to come up with one viable suggestion to address the DEMAND side of the equation.


    I have suggested on this thread that Crystal limit the pre reservations at Silk Road and Prego to 1 for each 5 days on board until the second day when the venues will be opened for additional reservations on a space available basis.


    Others have suggested after the 2 pre reservations seats be made available for additional reservations one at a time. In either case names and stateroom numbers are required for the reservation.


    Walk ups (evening of) if space is available should not be assessed a charge. Officers and entertainers should not be using the venues as an officers mess.


    I'm sure there have been other suggestions that I don't remember but please STOP saying no one has suggested anything. We have.


    I have not been on Crystal since October 2012 but on that rather full cruise we ate in SR 3 times and Prego twice by the simple expedient of walking by on the way to the dining room and asking if there were any available reservations for that evening. Did it 4 times, 3 we were seated. Where is the problem?


    What really hasn't been demonstrated is anyone saying I was on cruise xxxx and 6 months before sailing I could not reserve a seat in Silk Road or Prego. I have not even heard anyone saying I had my once each and asked for a second reservation at xxxxx and was told there were none available on day 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 of a 10 day cruise. I think this was largely a non problem trumped up by Crystal to cover up revenue enhancement or so they didn't have to say no to the elite.

  12. On the final Formal Night of our transatlantic cruise last month, the menu included an item called (if I remember correctly) "72 Hour Beef".


    When I asked our head waiter about it, he said that one of the guest chefs on a recent Food and Wine themed cruise had prepared it for the guests and everyone loved it so much that Crystal decided to use it to replace the usual Beef Wellington. (But whether permanently or temporarily, I forgot to ask.


    At any rate, it was absolutely delicious!


    I hope it will be permanent (or at least semi permanent) because I don't love Beef Wellington.

    On our 3 day tour of Beijing with Crystal many years ago, one evening was an elegant banquet with entertainment. They served us course after course of wonderful Chinese dishes, then came the grand finale - Beef Wellington! Nothing wrong with it but out of place and not in keeping with the rest of the menu. We were on the bus with the guide who had been Master of Ceremonies the previous evening so we asked him why Beef Wellington. He said the Chinese considered it the quintessential western luxury dish and served it when they were trying to show guests that the were sparing no expense to please them. Interesting.

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