Crystal Announces a Change to Specialty Restaurants

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25,576 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Specialty Restaurants Announcement

Crystal Cruises provides alternative specialty restaurants to enhance the evening dining options and provide the opportunity to enjoy a variety of culinary environments. In order to ensure that each Crystal guest has the opportunity to experience every dining venue on board our ships, beginning in January 2014 a maximum of one reservation per specialty restaurant (one for Prego and one Silk Road) will be confirmed per booking via our Guest Check-in, Priority Check-in and Planning Center (PCPC). All additional reservations will be confirmed on board on a space available basis for a nominal fee of $30 per person. For more information
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London, UK
1,688 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
"a maximum of one reservation per specialty restaurant (one for Prego and one Silk Road) will be confirmed per booking via our Guest Check-in, Priority Check-in and Planning Center (PCPC)"
- there is no change to that policy is there?

Personally, if I know I can get reservations for Silk Road for additional visits, I would happily pay the additional fee without a second thought.
I was never sure what the policy was about getting additional booking while on board.

In April this year, I visited Nobu Park Lane in London less than a month after dining at Silk Road. Silk Road wins hands down both in terms of menu selection and the flavours of the dishes being presented. I also paid about $200 per person for dinner with a some sake and green tea.

Not that much of a Prego fan and would consider it as useful a change of scene from the MDR.
717 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Just received this from my now it begins!!!
Give them a taste and then start charging them....just like the mega ships!!!
Its going to be interesting on the world cruises,where will we eat???
One gets very tired of the same old, same old in the main dining room.
We can have "little plates" in the Bistro....or the limited menu(but very good) at Tastes.

WOW!!! this came out of left field....and we just booked a 30 day cruise for April and May.....may have to reconsider this....

Then there is the 108 days in 2015!!!!that means we can eat there 6 whole times!!!FREE!!!(OK we can afford to pay for the nest 20-30 times)but it rankles!~

Oh god, Keith, these are your favorite dining venues, what do you suggest>?

fort lauderdale, fl, usa
1,128 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
I guess this is another example of "all inclusive" not being all inclusive. Is this the beginning of nickel and diming?
These is not a good change INHO.
London, UK
1,688 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Aha! I just spotted the catch and the real change !

Previously, it was each stateroom could book one reservation at Prego and Silk Road. So 2 solo cruisers in two staterooms chosing to dine together could book twice at Prego and twice at Silk Road. I did this with my parents back in April dining twice at Silk Road and twice at Prego through PCPC bookings.

Now it does not matter if you have booked or are a guest of the booker, it counts as the first visit which is free with a charge for subsequent visits.

I do agree it is a fairer approach, since I always envied large groups of 3-4 staterooms could choose to dine at the Speciality Restaurants regularly.

It is not a matter of nickel and dining. Couples are disadvantaged to large groups through the current booking process. This way, there is a fair chance for all passengers irrespective of solo cruisers, couples or large groups. There is no fee to dine once at Silk Road and Prego. That is still all-inclusive. You just pay if you wish to dine there more often. I still think its good value personally.
Louisville, KY & Boca Raton, FL
500 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Please, Crystal, say it isn't so!!! This is horrible! Please, listen to the people who love you and change this. We have 2 cruises scheduled in 2014 and 2015, but may have to change. Is this the beginning? Please, no!!
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2,216 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
So here we go!! This is really rotten. There is a better way to be sure all get a chance at the alternative dining. Since I cannot eat in Silk Rd. , that means I pay to dine in Prego the second time? I don't think so. This is a bunch of cackamamie bean counting and not something that looks good for Crystal. Guess I really am going to go on Regent again. joyous
461 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
This is NOT nickel and diming, it is FULL BLOWN HIGHWAY ROBBERY! My last cruise, the specialty restaurants were largely empty except for officers! Instead of charging me, maybe they should institute a guests first policy. I too am reconsidering WC 2015 with this announcement, unfortunately I have already bought air tickets for 2014. I have no problem with 1 reservation in advance, I have no problem with no second reservations until day 3 or 4 so everyone gets a chance to make one but why let the seats go empty or be filled by officers? Let the downgrades begin.
461 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
I have sent an Email protesting this to Crystal, suggest everyone else who feels the same do so as well. Loud squeaky wheels do get noticed.
Currently, when reserving a large table in advance, you need the other's booking numbers. I have NO problem with fairness or sharing, this is bean counting, pure and simple!

2,216 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
This is how a luxury line evolves into a mass market line. There are better ways to create equal oppportunity dining. One just involves saying "no" to frequent repeaters!! I have already sent one of many emails to Crystal. joyous
316 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Note that this new policy also includes the Sushi Bar:

. The Sushi Bar will follow the same policy as the specialty restaurants. The first visit is complimentary. Subsequent visits will require a $30 fee.

30 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Here are my jumbled thoughts…

This is very disappointing. In the grand scheme of things, $30 isn’t a lot of money, and I get the behaviour they are trying to drive with this, however there are a number of things that just don’t sit well. I read the FAQ and you will presented with the bill at the end of dinner – isn’t that what “all inclusive” was trying to prevent? We’re all about ambiance, you will never see a bill, etc? Also – even if you want to eat at the sushi bar or just have an appetizer, you will be paying the full price. And if you only like one of the specialty restaurants you’re SOL and cannot transfer the “free reservation” (there it is, talking about what’s free and what’s not on Crystal – that leaves a bad taste in my mouth).

I am also trying to remember how it was before AI – was there a nominal fee for specialty restaurants? I don’t think there was, and I remember discussing back in 2010 why I would pay for a luxury line, and mentioning the lack of nickel & diming, including specialty restaurants.

And as far as letting everyone try a restaurant – wouldn’t instituting a gentle reminder say a couple of weeks before the cruise or on your first day that you can make a reservation work better than taking away privileges that your customers are now used to?

Ultimately what concerns me here is whether this becomes a trend. What’s next?...
fort lauderdale, fl, usa
1,128 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Crystal could create a fair reservation system without the $30 per person fee.
The only "enhancement" here is revenue enhancement.
Carefree AZ
342 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
One question did the new President start yet and is this her doing? I can see where they are trying to discourage numerous visits so everyone has a chance to eat there but to charge.They always made one reservation before and others were done on board. If the Matre'D can't keep track who has been there numerous times they need new people!

Before AI they charged $7. per person gratuity. Now it is $30. Well I am not happy and maybe it is time to start rethinking WC15 and the cruise we have booked in 14.

It is not a matter of affording the $30 it is just annoying that they went AI and now are starting to nickel and dime us. What's next coin laundry, paying in the bistro. This is how it starts to turn into dare I say it Carnival!
Palm Desert, California
1,681 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by marienbad
Crystal could create a fair reservation system without the $30 per person fee.
The only "enhancement" here is revenue enhancement.
Yes, there used to be a $7.00 gratuity in the spec. Restaurants. Does anyone know if PH guests will still be able to order room service from those two menus? Once, on The PG, we saw a woman order room service from the main dining room to be delivered to her in the specialty restaurant . . . She liked that menu, that day, better; it worked
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Palm Desert California
461 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
And so it begins! Furious! Taking the Crystal out of Crystal and going down the Silversea path......
Been there, done that. Changing plans for 2014
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fort lauderdale, fl, usa
1,128 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
I suspect that Crystal expects some degree of blowback on this board, but how can we convince them that this change is not in anyones interest?