Crystal Cruises Website Part 2

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Crystal Cruises
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 06:18 AM.
#81
4,544 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
We are on the Second and Third segments of the Serenity WC in February. The message on PCPC has been very clear for quite some time now that full functionality will be available by the end of September. It is now September 15, so be patient a little longer.

Has the website roll out been a disaster? Absolutely. Will I be annoyed if PCPC is not up by Sep 30? Probably. Is this the biggest First World Problem temper tantrum I have ever read? Yup. No one has access to these reservations, so as near as I can tell, no one is being negatively impacted.
#82
At 35,000 feet
9,325 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by Roland4
Has the website roll out been a disaster? Absolutely. Will I be annoyed if PCPC is not up by Sep 30? Probably. Is this the biggest First World Problem temper tantrum I have ever read? Yup.
Do I consider this a temper tantrum? No.

I do consider it to be an indictment of flawed decisions by corporated management. There was the decision to roll out a flawed and incomplete and untested website. That was compounded by transparently self-serving (and inaccurate) explanations, followed by a inability to rectify the errors in the new site.

The biggest indictment is the hubris demonstrated by keeping the flawed "new site" along with the legacy site. Ordinary mortals would have said "oops, doesn't work" and switched back to the functioning legacy site until the problems were fixed and tested. But for some reason (and I'll leave it to others to discern their own answer), it was impossible to admit defeat and retreat.

I have issues regarding my future Crystal cruises, both booked and contemplated. The website is of little to no functional use. I am not gnashing my teeth, but quietly muttering under my breath about the frustrations involved.


So, not a temper tantrum. More of a cold, rational recognition of corporate decisions gone bad.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
"Government Certified Expert"

"Anybody who believes they can out-think the airlines' revenue/yield management computer algorithms is, in my view, delusional." -- Gardyloo

"It doesn't really make a blind bit of difference what other people are paying since they're traveling from different airports, on different days, at different times of the year." -- fbgd

"Daddy he hates airplanes, Baby loves to fly. The Lady wants to know the reason why." -- Michael Franks

My standard response to all the questions of "Can I make that early flight home?" or "Can I take a bag that is oversized without paying?":
"Well, you gotta ask yourself....do you feel lucky? Well do you?" -- Inspector Harry Callahan
#83
Florida
4,103 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by Roland4
We are on the Second and Third segments of the Serenity WC in February. The message on PCPC has been very clear for quite some time now that full functionality will be available by the end of September. It is now September 15, so be patient a little longer.

Has the website roll out been a disaster? Absolutely. Will I be annoyed if PCPC is not up by Sep 30? Probably. Is this the biggest First World Problem temper tantrum I have ever read? Yup. No one has access to these reservations, so as near as I can tell, no one is being negatively impacted.
Well said, Roland. My sentiments exactly.
#84
1,988 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by Roland4
No one has access to these reservations, so as near as I can tell, no one is being negatively impacted.
I can raise my hand as someone who is "negatively impacted." I am on a very early 2018 cruise and need to make plans for onboard visitors in one port. If the visitors are to visit, they will need to make advance arrangements, which are not simple in their case. Those arrangements would include arranging flights, etc. Since we cannot get confirmation that they can visit, their/our current inclination is to punt on the visit. This is indeed a First World problem. But I and my guests are "negatively impacted."
#85
Florida
4,103 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by Observer
I can raise my hand as someone who is "negatively impacted." I am on a very early 2018 cruise and need to make plans for onboard visitors in one port. If the visitors are to visit, they will need to make advance arrangements, which are not simple in their case. Those arrangements would include arranging flights, etc. Since we cannot get confirmation that they can visit, their/our current inclination is to punt on the visit. This is indeed a First World problem. But I and my guests are "negatively impacted."
Aha! Perhaps none of us would've imagined a guest flying to visit.

I hope it works out for you, and them.
#86
Sydney, Australia
4,779 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Originally posted by Roland4
Is this the biggest First World Problem temper tantrum I have ever read? Yup..
You clearly need to get out more if that is the case - and think it is not a nice comment to make - look at poor Observer and their potential onboard guest who needs to travel to visit her - is that really an unreasonable expectation

I don't actually agree it's a first world problem temper tantrum either - but a "yes it is - no it isn't" debate isn't going to add a lot to the situation

and yes I too definitely have an expectation that PCPC is available to those us cruising in early 2018 by early October
#87
4,544 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by Bodogbodog
You clearly need to get out more if that is the case - and think it is not a nice comment to make - look at poor Observer and their potential onboard guest who needs to travel to visit her - is that really an unreasonable expectation

I don't actually agree it's a first world problem temper tantrum either - but a "yes it is - no it isn't" debate isn't going to add a lot to the situation

and yes I too definitely have an expectation that PCPC is available to those us cruising in early 2018 by early October
I get out lots, thanks, rather than spend hours on CC. I stand by what I said. Crystal has been clear on the timeline for PCPC implementation since late-June and yet how many pages of angst have poured out on this thread since then? Yes, Observer has a legitimate problem, and hopefully it will be resolved quickly when PCPC is fully rolled out. The rest, to quote a well known author "is much sound and fury symbolizing nothing", or words to that effect.

FWIW, I received an agent advisory from Crystal this morning that all of the new functionality will be migrated to the NEW website (only) over the next several days, so it would seem they will meet their stated objective.
#88
1,487 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by FlyerTalker
Do I consider this a temper tantrum? No.

I do consider it to be an indictment of flawed decisions by corporated management. There was the decision to roll out a flawed and incomplete and untested website. That was compounded by transparently self-serving (and inaccurate) explanations, followed by a inability to rectify the errors in the new site.

The biggest indictment is the hubris demonstrated by keeping the flawed "new site" along with the legacy site. Ordinary mortals would have said "oops, doesn't work" and switched back to the functioning legacy site until the problems were fixed and tested. But for some reason (and I'll leave it to others to discern their own answer), it was impossible to admit defeat and retreat.

I have issues regarding my future Crystal cruises, both booked and contemplated. The website is of little to no functional use. I am not gnashing my teeth, but quietly muttering under my breath about the frustrations involved.


So, not a temper tantrum. More of a cold, rational recognition of corporate decisions gone bad.

Well said Flyer Talker. My sentiments exactly.
#90
304 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
I am on the first cruise in 2018, on January 7th. It is truly remarkable that there is no listing of performers or lecturers, or even the cruise director.
I cannot access PCPC, which I have been trying to do ever since I paid in full 3 months ago.
There is no excuse they can give me that can forgive this. I really don't want to hear again that they are rolling out a new platform. Nothing should have been changed until it was completely ready. It is really embarrassing to think that a major cruise line could be this incompetent. Couple this with the misinformation I have gotten time and time again from Crystal when I have called to ask about updates.
#91
2,961 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by doglover214
I am on the first cruise in 2018, on January 7th. It is truly remarkable that there is no listing of performers or lecturers, or even the cruise director.
I cannot access PCPC, which I have been trying to do ever since I paid in full 3 months ago.
There is no excuse they can give me that can forgive this. I really don't want to hear again that they are rolling out a new platform. Nothing should have been changed until it was completely ready. It is really embarrassing to think that a major cruise line could be this incompetent. Couple this with the misinformation I have gotten time and time again from Crystal when I have called to ask about updates.
It's a migration. It's not that it was rolled out before it was ready, it's that we haven't reached the launch date on the timeline they provided yet, as Roland4 indicated.

In fairness, could another vendor have done it faster? Perhaps. But there are a lot of different ways to migrate systems, and I can testify that sometimes faster -- and especially flip-the-switch-all-at-once type scenarios where you don't debug components and modules as you go -- increase risk exponentially. I certainly can't say that Crystal's passengers and agents would have been better off if Crystal's vendor had kept all systems on the old platform and then one day just had everyone start using all of the new systems at once for everything.

Vince
#92
Sydney, Australia
4,779 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Originally posted by BWIVince
It's a migration. It's not that it was rolled out before it was ready
The website wasn't a migration - they could have rolled that back once they realised they weren't ready - or kept it up to date

I assume you are saying the PCPC is a migration - that's correct but I've never understood why a migration would take months to achieve

I guess they pressed on - but it does seem to be a poor planned and executed project
#93
Maine
1,315 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Agree with migration of PCPC shouldn't take this long - it is filling data into a system that is up and running - could have hired some temps to do the data migration once the system was up. Taking days not months.

On a Web site positive note - the passenger count for Symphony has finally been updated on at least the 2019 cruises - when you look at a specific cruise there is stuff on the right - has said refit in 2017 for months but still had old passenger size - now has new number.
#94
4,544 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by ctjon
Agree with migration of PCPC shouldn't take this long - it is filling data into a system that is up and running - could have hired some temps to do the data migration once the system was up. Taking days not months.

On a Web site positive note - the passenger count for Symphony has finally been updated on at least the 2019 cruises - when you look at a specific cruise there is stuff on the right - has said refit in 2017 for months but still had old passenger size - now has new number.
I don't think it was so much filling in the shorex info etc as much as it was making sure the passenger info in PCPC is migrated properly from Seaware, the new booking system. I'm not a systems person by any stretch of the imagination, but I suspect it is making sure the linkages to the reservation system work that have taken the most time. I suspect Vince has a better understanding of that issue than I do.
#95
2,961 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Bodogbodog
The website wasn't a migration - they could have rolled that back once they realised they weren't ready - or kept it up to date

I assume you are saying the PCPC is a migration - that's correct but I've never understood why a migration would take months to achieve

I guess they pressed on - but it does seem to be a poor planned and executed project
The website is totally part of the migration.

There are at least three systems that live under the website that drive everything you see -- the CMS (Content Management System), CRM (Customer Relationship Management system), and the reservations system, via whatever portal they have to interface with for that part.

The CMS drives the content on the pages. I don't know for a fact that the CMS wasn't migrated as part of the new website, but if they WERE using the same CMS, the sailing details would match on the legacy site with the new site. To me it appears they are still using the legacy CMS as the primary, since it's functional and tested, and that's why it's the most current. Why the data so infrequently gets pushed from the old system to the new system probably speaks to how different it is, or how antiquated the old system may be, but regardless this is one layer of the migration.

The CRM and the reservation systems together drive the rest of the content, like the "accounts," the PCPC, etc.. This stuff is also bidirectional, or at least should be. Either the reservation system should be connected to the shore excursions from the CMS, or the CMS should be referencing the excursions from the reservation system, for example. The CRM pulls from the reservation system primarily, but also should be able to reference the CMS in order to flesh out what some of the history it holds on a customer. Similarly, reservation system is as dependent on the CRM as the CRM is on it -- the CRM has all of the customer details needed for new reservations, but it also has all of the history on that customer. The reservation system loses that after a short period of time.

ALL of these things drive parts of the website, and there's the challenge. Each of these systems is tricky to migrate, and migrating all of them is a major pain. Again, I'm not saying a year (or whatever it's been) is a reasonable amount of time or not, but there is definitely more to it than I think people acknowledge here.

For frame of reference, AA has been migrating either their or US's various systems (mostly in the US>AA direction) for the past three years, and similarly there were weeks that either internal or customer facing components were unavailable. Granted none of them anywhere near as major as the PCPC, but just like the AA migration, I'm sure these are not the only systems getting modernized and/or integrated in the plan.

Vince
#96
88,609 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Vince, you are correct.

The web site ties to the data migration.

The former system that Crystal used was strung together with bandaids. Even little changes were challenging to make both on land and on board the ships.

To support the expansion plans this was needed.

Keith
#97
minnesota
263 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Vince you explained it well. One of my roles at work is providing data analytics for a CMS migration alone. They had spent a couple of years in planning discussions and decision making before they started the switchover and have about 6 months of overlap time before the old system is decommissioned. More implementation phases are upcoming and it will take at least 6 months after that to "finish". All this is for internal use and has policy and legal requirements but no CRM or reservations are included. The project lead puts in 12 hour days on a regular basis. His vacation time is usually spent scuba diving in the Caribbean!

Sent from my SM-G920V using Forums mobile app
#98
Toronto, Canada
6,769 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Just an update...our Jan cruise is still temporarily unavailable. I will wait until October to try again!