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Crystal v. Seabourn


Amalek

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Never heard "no" in response to a request in 15 Crystal cruises, might just who and how one asks.

 

I would give more credence to comments given by more seasoned Crystal cruisers. However, comparing cruiselines is a useless exercise at best, since one has no idea of the commenter's likes, dislikes and experiences. Still, this thread will be repeated and repeated on the Crystal Board and others, with comments, often repeated and without any reference point. A far more valid thread might be - What did you like most about a cruiseline (and how many times have you cruised that line)? The are are too many variables to draw any proper conclusion from these tedious comparison threads.

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Never heard "no" in response to a request in 15 Crystal cruises, might just who and how one asks.

 

I would give more credence to comments given by more seasoned Crystal cruisers. However, comparing cruiselines is a useless exercise at best, since one has no idea of the commenter's likes, dislikes and experiences. Still, this thread will be repeated and repeated on the Crystal Board and others, with comments, often repeated and without any reference point. A far more valid thread might be - What did you like most about a cruiseline (and how many times have you cruised that line)? The are are too many variables to draw any proper conclusion from these tedious comparison threads.

 

Very well said.

 

Keith

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It is very interesting, and human, to hear such different responses to similar things. I probably, if I were totally honest, could never say a Crystal Cruise was perfect in every tiny detail but they have been in total the closest to that I've had in my travel experience which doesn't come close to matching many of you folks. I've never experienced an unfriendly member of the crew, never a long checkin line, never not been escorted to my cabin when I come aboard, etc.

I'm sure that there are times when differnt things happen but I have trouble with bad things happening for a whole cruise. Different expectaions probably, but then I don't know what the absolutely proper way to serve caviar is anyway.

 

Sorry your experiences weren't as expected. I expect in somewhere about exactly 2 weeks from right now when I board Symphony that I will have a great trip. I will be welcomed back home.

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Never heard "no" in response to a request in 15 Crystal cruises, might just who and how one asks.

 

I would give more credence to comments given by more seasoned Crystal cruisers. However, comparing cruiselines is a useless exercise at best, since one has no idea of the commenter's likes, dislikes and experiences. Still, this thread will be repeated and repeated on the Crystal Board and others, with comments, often repeated and without any reference point. A far more valid thread might be - What did you like most about a cruiseline (and how many times have you cruised that line)? The are are too many variables to draw any proper conclusion from these tedious comparison threads.

 

I totally agree with your post!

 

Ricki

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Hi!

 

We embarked via tenderboot - no one showing (after security check) where there is check in. We went to deck 5 (where you can find the guest relations desk) there were two tables with with two girls and two laptop-computers. They asked for our names, made a Photo, gave us the card and said goodbye. There was no additional employee, no drinks - no one showed us the way to the elevator or the stateroom. 5 minutes later we arrived in our stateroom. 20 minutes later we asked at the guest relations desk were we can find our stewardess. They told us that she will arrive at 6 pm ( two hours later).

 

I don't want to write too much. After 3 weeks i am still very angry about Crystal and this was boosted receiving that mail yesterday from Crystal.

 

Best wishes

 

Stefan

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Hi!

 

We embarked via tenderboot - no one showing (after security check) where there is check in. We went to deck 5 (where you can find the guest relations desk) there were two tables with with two girls and two laptop-computers. They asked for our names, made a Photo, gave us the card and said goodbye. There was no additional employee, no drinks - no one showed us the way to the elevator or the stateroom. 5 minutes later we arrived in our stateroom. 20 minutes later we asked at the guest relations desk were we can find our stewardess. They told us that she will arrive at 6 pm ( two hours later).

 

I don't want to write too much. After 3 weeks i am still very angry about Crystal and this was boosted receiving that mail yesterday from Crystal.

 

Best wishes

 

Stefan

 

Stefan, yes, this could have been handled better. This was unique for two reasons. One is with very few exceptions embarkations take place when the ship is docked. Two is that most people embarked a few days prior to this and this was one of those cruises that was part of a larger one as this was a five day cruise.

 

Normally, you would arrive at a docked facility and you would give all of your bags to the porters and you would roll your carry ons through terminal security, make you way to the ship, have an opportunity for a photo (if you care for it), make your way onto the ship where there would be twenty or more Crystal crew members to greet you. They would offer to help you with your carry on. You would check in at a desk on board the ship to get your shipboard card, photo for the card and the like and then you would head to one of the dining venues for lunch. They would hold your carry ons for you or you could take them with you. During lunch champagne would be offered and since drinks are now inclusive of course you could order just about anything. Throughout that day as you run into crew members they would welcome you and for those that they recognize they would say welcome back or even welcome home. You would make your way to your cabin sometime between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM. At some point your stewardess would come by to meet you. It might be within minutes from when you entered the room or it might be a few hours later or sometime in between. Normally on the regular embarkation days very few members of the crew are off and certainly not the stewardesses, butlers, or the vast majority of the crew members are off.

 

In your case it was a port day and after the stewardesses finished the rooms they could leave the ship for a few hours except for those stewardesses who had to stay on the ship. I am assuming that your stewardess was one of the ones who was off that afternoon.

 

Yes, even though this was a subdivided cruise some of what I mentioned should have been in place. I am sure this is a good lesson learned and I do chalk it up to the cruise being subdivided.

 

I remember saying the first time you posted that in some ways this five day cruise is like a sampler cruise that some from Cruise Critic went on with Seabourn and I think because it was short and a sampler it had some issues as well.

 

We have cruised Crystal extensively and have never had this issue so yes it is isolated to this.

 

And in all of our cruises with Crystal we have not heard the word no and usually the response is my pleasure.

 

I realize that no matter what any of us say will not change your views. I just wanted to share with you why this embarkation was unique and that I am sure there are some lessons from it.

 

Keith

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We (my wife, daughter and I) did our very first cruise last month on Crystal Serenity from Istanbul to Monte Carlo and it was beyond all expectations - in fact, it was the best vacation of my life by far. I had none of the issues of the O.P. We did arrange for the hotel in Istanbul and the embarkation tour so that may have made things a bit smoother.

 

I did want to thank Keith for all of his time on this board and for all of the valuable information for the first time cruisers on Crystal as it was our "guide" for the first couple of days.

 

I know that many are tired of these comparison threads but I did want to ask one thing. I have seen your posts regarding your experiences with Silversea and Seabourn, Keith, but was wondering what your thoughts were on Regent, if any. Thanks again.

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We (my wife, daughter and I) did our very first cruise last month on Crystal Serenity from Istanbul to Monte Carlo and it was beyond all expectations - in fact, it was the best vacation of my life by far. I had none of the issues of the O.P. We did arrange for the hotel in Istanbul and the embarkation tour so that may have made things a bit smoother.

 

I did want to thank Keith for all of his time on this board and for all of the valuable information for the first time cruisers on Crystal as it was our "guide" for the first couple of days.

 

I know that many are tired of these comparison threads but I did want to ask one thing. I have seen your posts regarding your experiences with Silversea and Seabourn, Keith, but was wondering what your thoughts were on Regent, if any. Thanks again.

 

I am so thrilled that you and your family enjoyed a wonderful cruise on the Crystal Serenity. Your description matches my experience on our first Crystal Cruise in 2002 on board the Crystal Harmony and on that one our two children accompanied us. It was the best vacation we had up until that point.

 

Thank you also for the very nice comments.

 

As you correctly noted, I have sailed Seabourn and Silversea but I have not sailed on Regent.

 

My recommendation is three-fold. I would read comments on the Regent board and go with what I call the 80/20 rule. If about 80% of the people say certain aspect are positive and if an almost equal number say certain aspects are not so good accept that as fact unless you experience it yourself.

 

I would also read some of the cruise member reviews.

 

Finally, if by doing these two things I did not feel that I got a good handle on the cruise line I would post on the Regent board something similar to what almostretired said. I would ask those who have sailed Regent five or more times to tell me what they like most about the cruise line (top five items) but at the same time I would ask them to list the top couple of items that they don't care for. Then you can match all of that up with what is important to you.

 

I hope that you will also sail Crystal again. As a Crystal Society member you will receive discounts on each and every cruise. And before that second cruise ends, each of you will receive a Crystal Society Tote Bag (we have ours and still use them) and luggage tags.

 

Keith

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Stefan, yes, this could have been handled better. This was unique for two reasons. One is with very few exceptions embarkations take place when the ship is docked. Two is that most people embarked a few days prior to this and this was one of those cruises that was part of a larger one as this was a five day cruise.

Keith

Hi Keith!

 

Thank you!

 

best wishes

 

Stefan

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I am so sorry Stefan had such a bad experience. I, too, think it must have been unique to the short, divided segment sailing. Should not have happened, but it is what it is. I just sailed Regent and I posted my review, that was requested, on the Regent board . "They" were interested in my comparison. I think I was more than fair and objective. joyous

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Interesting that they boarded by tender. We boarded Serenity by tender once. Of course we had missed the sailing due to flight delays and were boarding at the first port of call. Our experience was essentially the same as Stefan's, with no greeting, no escort and no stewardesss. But then, we didn't expect any under the crircumstances. BUT, if this was one of those "subdivided" cruises, then Crystal PLANNED for these people to board by tender. In that scenario Crystal, IMHO, was wrong in not providing an identical boarding experience to what would be experienced in a "normal" embarkation. While I think Stefan's expectations were a bit out of line, if the circumstances were as they have been presented, then he has a valid complaint.

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Stefan has any serious complain, I totally agree with Roland4 on

 

"if this was one of those "subdivided" cruises, then Crystal PLANNED for these people to board by tender. In that scenario Crystal, IMHO, was wrong in not providing an identical boarding experience to what would be experienced in a "normal" embarkation."

 

All regular cruises should offer the same experience. If somebody desagrees, I'd like to know why.

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That additional information from Stefan was helpful and what he experienced should not happen and since this short portion of a longer cruise is more in Crystal's plans they need to fix that issue. This attempt to bring more into the fold will lose customers if not done correctly.

 

I enjoy comparisons which are helpful but everyone has different needs and expectations. I have sailed Regent, Silversea and Silversea and for the most part they were great but to us, something was missing that we found on Crystal. I'm sure there exists every possible opinion.

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I agree that Stefan's experience should have been better. Crystal should have had greeters for all who got on via tender since they opted to shorten cruises into segments. Each segment should be treated as the initial boarding was. I also think that comparisons can be made between ships/lines if the person doing so is objective and not grinding an ax. joyous

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I agree that Stefan's experience should have been better. Crystal should have had greeters for all who got on via tender since they opted to shorten cruises into segments. Each segment should be treated as the initial boarding was. I also think that comparisons can be made between ships/lines if the person doing so is objective and not grinding an ax. joyous

 

I completely agree. Some of Crystal's new "getaway" segmented voyages begin at the original embarkation port, but some look to be mid-voyage. I can see how this can change the experience, especially if it is a tender port! I also find value in some of the cruise line comparisons I have read on various boards---emphasis on "some"!

 

Joyous--I enjoyed reading your recent review on Regent's board. Our experiences with Crystal over the last couple years have been wonderful. However, we have researched a few other lines (Seabourn, Oceania, Regent, Paul Gauguin) simply because of timing and itineraries. With that said, I think starting our cruising resume with Crystal makes it difficult for us to branch out :)

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I also find value in some of the cruise line comparisons I have read on various boards---emphasis on "some"!

 

 

I do think the operative word is some.

 

Joy's review was excellent.

 

The threads I don't like are which cruise line is better this one or that one. I just find that those end up turning bad.

 

But people who come back from a cruise and post a review and then answer questions as Joy did I think can be very helpful.

 

So, why not book voyage 3301. :D OK, I had to say that. :p There will be lots of paddle tennis, you know.

 

Keith

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In any cruise, 100 things can go wrong and lessen the experience. The key to happiness is not letting 2 or 3 imperfections spoil the overall experience.

 

Some people make the mistake of focusing on the negatives, instead of enjoying the positives. Most of us are guilty of that at least once in a while.

 

But none of this is to suggest that there's anything wrong with bringing up concerns in this forum, whether large or small.

 

It sounds like Crystal failed to create the usual boarding experience on the special shortened cruise, and Stephan simply couldn't get the taste of the initial disappointment out of his mouth, and it colored his experience.

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All too soon...I think you are spot on with your observation of Stefan's experience.

 

And Keith, if you have a secret password you can share with me, we would probably book 3301! When we finally got around to considering it last month, we were told there is a waitlist for sleeping in the lifeboats!

 

We still have a paddle tennis game and dinner with you and Anne Marie penciled in our future calendar :)

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In any cruise, 100 things can go wrong and lessen the experience. The key to happiness is not letting 2 or 3 imperfections spoil the overall experience.

 

Some people make the mistake of focusing on the negatives, instead of enjoying the positives. Most of us are guilty of that at least once in a while.

 

But none of this is to suggest that there's anything wrong with bringing up concerns in this forum, whether large or small.

 

It sounds like Crystal failed to create the usual boarding experience on the special shortened cruise, and Stephan simply couldn't get the taste of the initial disappointment out of his mouth, and it colored his experience.

 

Very good post, ATS!

 

Ricki

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In any cruise, 100 things can go wrong and lessen the experience. The key to happiness is not letting 2 or 3 imperfections spoil the overall experience.

 

Some people make the mistake of focusing on the negatives, instead of enjoying the positives. Most of us are guilty of that at least once in a while.

 

But none of this is to suggest that there's anything wrong with bringing up concerns in this forum, whether large or small.

 

It sounds like Crystal failed to create the usual boarding experience on the special shortened cruise, and Stephan simply couldn't get the taste of the initial disappointment out of his mouth, and it colored his experience.

 

ATS, I agree.

 

Keith

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All too soon...I think you are spot on with your observation of Stefan's experience.

 

And Keith' date=' if you have a secret password you can share with me, we would probably book 3301! When we finally got around to considering it last month, we were told there is a waitlist for sleeping in the lifeboats!

 

We still have a paddle tennis game and dinner with you and Anne Marie penciled in our future calendar :)[/quote']

 

Caryn, with all the talk about the laundry room I am thinking that you and Stan could just book one of those rooms. I wonder if the charge would be different depending on which laundry room you book. :D

 

I had totally forgotten that there is not a cabin to be had on 3301.

 

Anne Marie and I look forward to sailing with you and Stan again and having dinner together as well as joining in on Paddle Tennis.

 

Best to you both.

 

Keith

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On my first Crystal cruise, back in 1996, I remember being met by staff and escorted to my room. I can't remember it happening since then. I think this is one of the things being mentioned here, correct me if I'm wrong.

 

This conversation jogged my memory. At that time, I think I boarded about 3. Recently, I have always boarded shortly after noon, there was no escort, and I checked my carryons by the Cruise Consultants desk and went to the MDR. I believe rooms are "officially" available around 2 or 3 PM, so it seems impossible that I would board early and be escorted to my room. I seriously prefer that MDR lunch to a later arrival with an escort to the stateroom.

 

Am I missing something here?

 

Roy

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