Some free advice for Mr Wolber from the Cruise Critic Community

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#41
2,156 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by DrMLH
Doesn'the Crystal realize that people would rather not spend their vacations in a laundry room?
I agree with you and greatly value the Silversea perk. However, some people apparently rejoice in frequenting the laundry rooms, saying that it's a congenial social center, they make new friends, etc. It also helps remove the mystery as to whether that man several cabins down on your deck wears boxers or briefs. There have been previous discussions of this matter on this board and great celebration of the joys of doing laundry while cruising.
#42
Dubai, U.A.E.
2,464 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by Observer
I agree with you and greatly value the Silversea perk. However, some people apparently rejoice in frequenting the laundry rooms, saying that it's a congenial social center, they make new friends, etc. It also helps remove the mystery as to whether that man several cabins down on your deck wears boxers or briefs. There have been previous discussions of this matter on this board and great celebration of the joys of doing laundry while cruising.
I wouldn't say I get any joy at all from doing my own laundry however, I have no issue with doing it and the facilities provided are easy enough to use for it to be a relatively painless 'chore'. However, ironing (pressing) is another matter, that is a real chore and I would glady welcome any allowance for pressing, be it a CS loyalty award or a WC/Grand Cruise perk or even a regular cruise of X+ amount of days perk, with open arms!!!

Anne...
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#43
Southern California
374 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I don't think anyone may have yet mentioned making sure the new ocean builds continue to have a true Promenade Deck, so I'll mention it here. For me the existence of a full promenade deck is practically a necessity and what makes the difference between being able to enjoy being on a ship at sea vs. being trapped inside a floating condominium. (The smaller, higher windier sports decks atop all those floating condos out there are not, for me, an acceptable substitute.)

I wholeheartedly agree w/ Roland4's recommendation of rethinking the size and design of the new ocean builds (if possible) and scrapping the condo/residence idea altogether while reducing the overall tonnage to whatever degree feasible. In my imagination I'd been wondering whether perhaps the whole 100,000 GRT idea might have had more to do with some multi-purpose Genting corporate hull design (or something like that) than it might have been about what was really needed, or even most appropriate, for the next generation of Crystal ships, but then what do I know? (Please don't answer THAT one!) However, smaller than 100,000 does indeed sound better to me, too.)

So many good ideas, suggestions and other food-for-thought have already been offered by so many commentators above. But I would add one more thing: I hope Mr. Wolber will make a conscious effort to retain, or perhaps even retrieve should it ever become necessary, as much "institutional memory" as possible (from times preceding this last, most-recent management phase) so that all those many things, both large and small, that have for so long gone into what makes "the Crystal experience" so special and so beloved can not only survive, but hopefully thrive, into the future.
#44
2,156 Posts
Joined May 2000
I never thought that the condo plan was realistic, and I trust that the new builds will not include them. It is perhaps telling that we never received any details on that proposal.

I might add another desideratum in the new build: that fares be affordable. Edie stated that the new builds would have 1000 crew for 1000 passengers, the highest ratio in the industry. This would probably also imply the highest fares. I hope the new builds will be such that guests will not be drawn exclusively from the group that always flies in seat 3A and carries Hermes bags.
#46
Sydney
469 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Originally posted by DrMLH
Free Laundry as a loyalty perk.

I just came off a Silversea cruise this morning and it was wonderful to have terrific free laundry service. Crystal is our cruise line of choice, but we hate spending time in crowded laundry rooms. On Silversea you get free laundry after only 100 days. At a minimum, they should offer some cost effective laundry packages for purchase. On the world cruise last year, it was $2,000 for laundry (and you had a limited number of articles per day). The other luxury lines are much more generous in their loyalty programs. Doesn'the Crystal realize that people would rather not spend their vacations in a laundry room?
I too would love to see free laundry and pressing as a loyalty perk. Regent also offer this and it is for much less than 100 days I believe.
#47
290 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by peapod2
I don't think anyone may have yet mentioned making sure the new ocean builds continue to have a true Promenade Deck, so I'll mention it here. For me the existence of a full promenade deck is practically a necessity and what makes the difference between being able to enjoy being on a ship at sea vs. being trapped inside a floating condominium. (The smaller, higher windier sports decks atop all those floating condos out there are not, for me, an acceptable substitute.)
YES Yes Yes! This is a major point and thx for thinking of it. A real Promenade Deck, low and protected.

And the needlepoint kits - it would not be Crystal without getting the kits and sitting around and needle pointing with other passengers. So much of my day includes those kits and the Promenade Deck.

And, just to repeat myself - Solo fares that are reasonable and a way for Solo travelers to be seated with other solos at dinner - and know that this is taken care of before even boarding - so that they do not have to worry about eating alone, night after night...
#48
1,536 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by jeax


YES Yes Yes! This is a major point and thx for thinking of it. A real Promenade Deck, low and protected.

And the needlepoint kits - it would not be Crystal without getting the kits and sitting around and needle pointing with other passengers. So much of my day includes those kits and the Promenade Deck.

And, just to repeat myself - Solo fares that are reasonable and a way for Solo travelers to be seated with other solos at dinner - and know that this is taken care of before even boarding - so that they do not have to worry about eating alone, night after night...
i wonder how much they spend on those needlepoint kits. Crystal actually started me doing needlepoint again, which I had not done since I was in my 20's.

Since we will have true open seating, finally, I don't think you will need to worry about dining alone. That is the beauty of open seating on all my other luxury cruises. You meet people during the day and if you wish you can set up a dinner time and enjoy further conversations. My husband and I, and when I travel on my own, have met people that we would have liked to dine with (we were DBR) and were told it wasn't possible. I am 100% happy dining alone in the MDR, at a time I wish, but now other options will be available.

I was on the Seabourn Encore and sadly, no promenade deck and really no place to walk at all. A proper ship should have a proper promenade deck.
#49
Toronto, Canada
4,188 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by cruisr
Since we will have true open seating, finally, I don't think you will need to worry about dining alone. That is the beauty of open seating on all my other luxury cruises. You meet people during the day and if you wish you can set up a dinner time and enjoy further conversations. .
Actually, that's exactly the problem with open seating for solos........maybe we don't meet anyone during the day with whom we want to eat, or who are wanting to eat with us. Essentially we're stuck with the worry about making dining connections, and worry isn't something we want on a vacation cruise. Maybe we don't meet anyone because we're spending time reading and napping on deck, or not striking up conversations while we listen to a lecture. Or maybe we strike up a nice conversation with a person but that person doesn't want a new dining companion, because it's important to them they always dine with just the two or four of them. Et cetera. It's not as easy as just striking up a conversation and assuming that you will a) want to dine in the same place at close to the same time, and b) they will want to dine with you at the same place and close to the same time.


I don't want to feel I'm back in Junior High being the last person chosen for volleyball when the captains were told to take turns choosing kids for their team. I still have nightmares about those days.
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#50
1,536 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by calliopecruiser
Actually, that's exactly the problem with open seating for solos........maybe we don't meet anyone during the day with whom we want to eat, or who are wanting to eat with us. Essentially we're stuck with the worry about making dining connections, and worry isn't something we want on a vacation cruise. Maybe we don't meet anyone because we're spending time reading and napping on deck, or not striking up conversations while we listen to a lecture. Or maybe we strike up a nice conversation with a person but that person doesn't want a new dining companion, because it's important to them they always dine with just the two or four of them. Et cetera. It's not as easy as just striking up a conversation and assuming that you will a) want to dine in the same place at close to the same time, and b) they will want to dine with you at the same place and close to the same time.


I don't want to feel I'm back in Junior High being the last person chosen for volleyball when the captains were told to take turns choosing kids for their team. I still have nightmares about those days.

Well as I said I have no problem dining alone and I know that most people are very uncomfortable dining alone. I also make friends easily so yes I may be more prone to talk to people and then dine with them. I find it very easy to do that and have made many friends, globally, that I still visit, from doing that. If it doesn't work, I dine solo, happily.

I do hope that you will be looked after and I think it's too early to be stressing about this. I guess when it's goes to open seating even if you are at a table for 8 singles what happens if some people want to dine at 6:30 and some at 7:30 and some at 8:30? i see the future for singles as being invited at a set time to an officer or entertainers table. The other luxury lines I have been on do not have tables of only singles. Again, I'm sure Crystal will handle it well once you are aboard.
#51
San Francisco
868 Posts
Joined May 2009
We love having a nice library and we do miss the library quizzes with logo prizes. Enjoy doing the needlepoint kits on board and afterwards the kits keep the "crystal memory" going forward. The social hostesses are kind and patient with anyone who participates. Mama Lee on the Serenity is an avid needle-pointer and support for the staff. -- Crystal's Hollywood movie theater for mid-sized/small group presentations and movies is wonderful.
#52
Toronto, Canada
4,188 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by cruisr
I do hope that you will be looked after and I think it's too early to be stressing about this. I guess when it's goes to open seating even if you are at a table for 8 singles what happens if some people want to dine at 6:30 and some at 7:30 and some at 8:30? i see the future for singles as being invited at a set time to an officer or entertainers table. The other luxury lines I have been on do not have tables of only singles. Again, I'm sure Crystal will handle it well once you are aboard.
Actually, I don't particularly want or care if I dine with other solos......but I do like to have assigned seating so I know I will have dining mates who are willing to share their table with others (rather than those that do so reluctantly).

I don't mind dining alone, but I'm kind of tired of it (I've been dining alone for 95% of the last 30 years) and like to dine with others for a change. It's not about whether you chat easily with others, because chatting casually in the lounge or by the pool is totally different than inviting (or being invited) to dinner. At least for me.

Apparently your life (or companion choices) are different than mine. I'm not worried about it, as I'll know a few others on my 2018 cruise and that may be my last Crystal cruise if solo supplements on the cruises I want continue to increase. If I'm going to pay double, I'll consider trying other luxury lines too.
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#53
Sydney, Australia
6,032 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Originally posted by calliopecruiser
I'm not worried about it, as I'll know a few others on my 2018 cruise
Looking forward to catching up again - and hope you're honing your trivia skills - I'm sure there will be some dinners together - those lunches after trivia were fun!
We'll have so many restaurants to choose from - not sure how much time we'll be spending in Waterside - plus we will get 4 specialty restaurant bookings on the 20 day v.8218 cruise
#54
953 Posts
Joined May 2013
Originally posted by calliopecruiser
I don't want to feel I'm back in Junior High being the last person chosen for volleyball when the captains were told to take turns choosing kids for their team. I still have nightmares about those days.

That was me too! I think we have to meet on 8218 and hope you will join us for dinner sometime!
#55
Sydney, Australia
6,032 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Originally posted by suzeluvscruz
That was me too! I think we have to meet on 8218 and hope you will join us for dinner sometime!
Susan - Calliope is a v.7218 graduate - the "this isn't LA cruise" - you may have met them. I can see there's going to be lots of dinner options on this cruise
#57
295 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
IMO, I believe that it is unfair to count the loyalty days by segments instead of by days. which most cruise lines do. Wish Crystal would change their policy. .Just my opinion.
#58
95,440 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Anne Marie and I had a discussion on a cruise in 2015 with another couple about free laundry. My take was that it is easy to cherry pick and select items from each cruise line that one likes that the cruise line they are on doesn't offer.

Laundry is a perfect example. The gent was saying how it was terrible that Crystal didn't offer complimentary laundry as Regent did yet he was raving a few minutes earlier about Crystal's enrichment program over Regent's. So I asked him, if he would be OK if there was less enrichment personnel on Crystal. I mentioned to him that with less enrichment personnel that would allow Crystal to sell more rooms with the additional revenue/profit used to offset the cost of providing the free laundry? Or another option is as many cruise lines have done, I asked what he thought if Crystal eliminated the Ambassador Hosts and take those rooms and resell them and use the profit to provide complimentary laundry for those who have a certain threshold of sailings. Certainly another option would be for Crystal to eliminate most of the Crystal Society program and just provide free laundry or a couple of perks.

In the end the more they provide without cutting back on something else means that fares go up as something has to give.

I have often said that I am glad he cruises lines are not all the same and that they each have one or many areas that differentiate themselves from each other.

This way there are options for people to find those lines that work for them.

On the positive note when it comes to Laundry, I have yet to sail on a luxury line that has laundry rooms as large as Crystal's and some don't have machine that are full size. And over the years we have actually made friends who I don't think we would have met if not for the laundry rooms on Crystal. I think others have had similar experiences.

Yes, I do believe there are some items that cruise lines need to match because of competitiveness. I thought that Crystal had no choice but to implement inclusive and open dining. There are some items that other lines have led on and others have matched and others that Crystal has led on and others have matched. At the same time I think it's great that there are items that set the cruise lines apart.

For example, on Regent your cruise fare includes items that some lines don't include such as airfare, a pre-cruise hotel and standard excursions. For some that is a big plus for their budgeting as it means that there will be very little spending above that. For some it would be a waste as they don't care for group excursions.

On the other hand on Crystal there are those guest who are attracted by solo fares, enrichment, Ambassador Hosts, having an escort on their tours, or even having all three Clergy on certain cruises.

In the end, there is a cost for most services provided and as a business each line makes those tough decisions as to what they provide and what they don't as they face the reality of having to be competitive in the area of pricing.

As good businesses though they will adapt when they think it is warranted.

Another that comes to mind is internet pricing and how if one cruise line does something in that arena others take close looks and that is why many have adapted including Crystal.

At the same time, if enough guests raise an item it certainly gets looked at. For those guests wanting Crystal to offer certain things it doesn't do today such as laundry by all means make the recommendation on the post cruise survey. At the same time recognize that something will likely have to offset some of the recommendations, not all but some of them if there is a cost to it such as in the case of laundry services.

Keith
#59
Toronto, Canada
4,188 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by Bodogbodog
Looking forward to catching up again - and hope you're honing your trivia skills - I'm sure there will be some dinners together - those lunches after trivia were fun!
We'll have so many restaurants to choose from - not sure how much time we'll be spending in Waterside - plus we will get 4 specialty restaurant bookings on the 20 day v.8218 cruise
I'm looking forward to the more options for dinner! The MDR (ahem - Waterside) wasn't my ideal anyway. Yes, you and Kerry were two of the people I would have loved to have dinner with if we wanted to eat at the same time -- maybe we'll find a compromise on v8218.
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#60
La Quinta, CA
1,979 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
I guess I have missed out on the big news. I was on Seabourn for two weeks and away from Cruise Critic. Has Edie Rodriguez`s left Crystal. I assume Mr. Wolber has taken her place ? I am surprised there is not more info here. Maybe it was removed for mean posts ? Heather