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Cabins on Symphony Level D - The Crystal Deck, 5


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As most here probably know, on Crystal Symphony, on the Crystal Deck, Level D (the same level that has the Crystal Dining Room), there are a few Deluxe Staterooms--19, to be exact. None of them offer a veranda--it is very close to sea level. The good news: There are no obstructed views.

 

I was drawn to booking this level because if we don't have a veranda, we still want a sweeping view, and I like to be close to the dining room. I need to eat gluten-free and will probably have most of my meals there.

 

My husband and I are fine without a veranda. We are also fine with a small room since we don't spend much time in our room when we cruise. Since embarking and disembarking seems pretty seamless on Crystal, we thought we'd opt for a lower room to minimize rocking. This is something we've avoided on other cruise lines since long lines often form in front of lower-level rooms when passengers disembark.

 

Cabins on D are a little more expensive than those on the higher level with obstructed views.

 

For those of you who have stayed in Level D cabins, I'd love to hear about your experience.

 

I also have a question. We booked a guaranteed room, which, as I'm sure you know, means if Crystal doesn't sell out, and they deem there is a better room for us, we may be "upgraded." I won't have a problem with this if we're given a true upgrade--veranda or higher (which since we are first time Crystal cruisers, I don't expect to happen), but I will have a problem if they bump us up to a higher room with an obstructed view. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

 

I also don't want to be "upgraded" to a Level D handicapped accessible room because it is larger. I want a bathtub, and the handicapped accessible rooms do not have them. My travel agent tell me that Crystal seldom, if ever, gives those out, so I should not worry. Your thoughts?

 

Thanks.

Edited by TravelKnitter
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but I will have a problem if they bump us up to a higher room with an obstructed view. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

 

Can't happen - the upgrade, if it happens, would be to a Cat C or better - none of which have obstructed views (they are all Cat E)

 

Only issue I could see with D is that they are forward - which in rough seas would mean you might feel the motion more than mid ships cabins (which is btw where the E cabins are located)

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Of course! That makes sense. Thanks.

 

I rather enjoy a little rocking at night, so I hope I'll be okay. Big waves, not so much, although I guess I'd feel those anywhere. On previous cruises, we've always slept midship--I have nothing to compare.

Edited by TravelKnitter
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The one concern for an upgrade is that you might be put in a cabin very far forward (or aft) and could experience significant motion. Since all the regular non-veranda staterooms are essentially the same in layout and size, the only difference is location. My husband is sensitive to motion, so for us, a mid-ship cabin on a lower deck is most important. For that reason we would never book under a Guarantee.

 

If motion is not an issue for you, then a guarantee should be fine.

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TravelKnitter, I just booked a category D room for one of the people in my party for similar reasons. Only in her case she was able to get the last assigned room and not have to worry about getting upgraded (which would defeat her agenda).

 

The location can't be beat -- it's just a few steps away from just about everything, and either the forward of the midships elevators can be used to get anywhere quickly. Even Prego, the Avenue, etc. aren't far. Only the Spa and the Lido are a little more of a trek, and we hardly ever eat in the Lido.

 

The cabins are forward, but they're not as forward as would seem to be. They're all aft of the forward elevators (and some are well aft of them), so that puts them aft of 20-30% of the ships cabins. Their lower location also reduces some of the roll too, so there is some stability to be gained down there.

 

I've never stayed in one of those rooms, but I've been in them several times. Even though they are under the casino and theatre area, all the reports on here would seem to indicate they are generally quiet. The only downside for me is the foot traffic from the forward elevators, but again that doesn't seem to cause a noise problem.

 

Regarding upgrades, if you'd like to stay in the category you booked on a guarantee, your agent can request you not get an upgrade. No guarantees that they will be able to keep you in a D since there are so few of them, but at least then they won't think they're doing you a huge favor by putting you in a category C room (which I personally like less than D) if one is available.

 

Just a couple of thoughts...

 

Vince

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The one concern for an upgrade is that you might be put in a cabin very far forward (or aft) and could experience significant motion. Since all the regular non-veranda staterooms are essentially the same in layout and size, the only difference is location. My husband is sensitive to motion, so for us, a mid-ship cabin on a lower deck is most important. For that reason we would never book under a Guarantee.

 

If motion is not an issue for you, then a guarantee should be fine.

 

This is excellent advice that Rhonda has provided.

 

If motion is a problem that is a down side of an upgrade since you do not know which cabin you will be in.

 

Keith

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Good advice. Thanks. Can she request that I get upgraded from D only if a veranda room is available? (Which, as I said, I don't expect to happen--but that's okay.)

 

You can but it's unlikely you would get an upgrade to a balcony cabin and many of them are forward. As others have already mentioned, all of the balcony and non balcony cabins are the same size, just the location and deck will vary.

 

Nancy

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Here's the latest update from my travel agent:

 

You are the only one on the wait list for a balcony, so not to worry. At this moment, there are no more cabins in the d category or c. The ship is sold out in all but only a few ocean views on the other deck with no obstructions, but more money. Let me know if you want to do that."

 

My travel agent was very nice to email me back so quickly. She is on a cruise right now.

 

So, until I can talk to her at greater length, please tell me if I'm right:

 

Without factoring in unforeseen cancellations, at this point, if I stay with a guaranteed room, I'll get either a D, which I've booked guaranteed (which is fine with me, as long as it is not a handicapped room, which my agent says won't happen) or a B, or better, if they upgrade me?

 

If I'm right, which do you think might be more enjoyable: A veranda aft cabin, or no veranda, slightly aft and on a lower, more stable level?

 

Am I correct in assuming that I still have a D if I want one? Or, since I'm "guaranteed," does that mean that, all the D's are gone, I'm already B or better? Again, not factoring cancellations.

Edited by TravelKnitter
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TravelKnitter, with 11 months to go it's really too early to speculate what room you will get. A lot can change. I would go into this saying you may get a category D which is fine but you may get a C category and if you are lucky you may get a B. So, think of it this way.

 

If you were lucky and could get an Aft with a verandah that would be great.

 

Keith

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Thanks, Keith!

 

Right now, the real fun for me is understanding exactly how a guaranteed room works. I'm a gal who loves strategy and logistics.

 

I'm still confused about this one:

 

Unforeseen cancellations aside, am I still in a D if I've guaranteed a D, or, if all the D's are booked and all the C's are booked, then am I, as it now stands (which could change depending on cancellations over the next 11 months--even at the last minute), a B or better?

 

Fun. Weird, I know.

Edited by TravelKnitter
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A guarantee is "You will sail" a D guarantee is you will sail at D or better. Since the only bad cabins on Symphony are the few with NO view due to lifeboats on 8 (which are "E's") Stop worrying. You will love it, all is good.

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Thanks, Keith!

 

Right now, the real fun for me is understanding exactly how a guaranteed room works. I'm a gal who loves strategy and logistics.

 

I'm still confused about this one:

 

Unforeseen cancellations aside, am I still in a D if I've guaranteed a D, or, if all the D's are booked and all the C's are booked, then am I, as it now stands (which could change depending on cancellations over the next 11 months--even at the last minute), a B or better?

 

Fun. Weird, I know.

 

A guarantee means you will sail with a D or better. You just never know what it will be.

 

I would not over analyze this because it is possible that someone will be offered an upgrade from even one of the other categories who is not in a guarantee.

 

You just don't know and you won't know until you get your room assignment.

 

Keith

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it is possible that someone will be offered an upgrade from even one of the other categories who is not in a guarantee.

 

Good point.

 

Well, with all the D's gone, it looks as though I have no choice but to pay more for a B or better (do not want to do this or I would have booked a veranda in the first place) . . . or hold tight and see what happens.

 

I've learned a lot about guaranteed rooms here, for which I thank everyone most dearly. My travel agent explained it, but not as well as all of you. Next time, I don't think I'd book a guaranteed room--time will tell. It may be too much of a crap shoot for me.

 

However, the up side is that I'm not going to have an obstructed view, no matter what. I have no doubt it will all be good.

 

Keith, you're right. I'm over-thinking this thing, but I love over-thinking, so I'm still happy! :)

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[This is yet another of my long and rambly posts, but it's a little more background on guarantees, which may make you feel better about booking them, or just help explain how the process works possibly.]

 

Another way to think about guarantees, is that they are the overbook factor. Crystal accepts more reservations on a guarantee than there are cabins to assign, by a factor that historically matches their wash on a particular booking. Although you can book on a guarantee while cabins are still available for assignment, typically guarantee reservations are still taken for a bit after people have taken the assigned cabins.

 

This works kind of like an airline flight. Airlines sell more seats than they have to assign, so the assignments usually disappear a week or so before the flight. But as the original reservations cancel/change/misconnect/no-show, the people without assignments back-fill the openings.

 

In the case of a cruise, there are a lot of moves that usually need to be made across the entire ship to get everyone where they need to be, so the guarantee system works nicely because then you have a sizeable number of people who you can flexibly shuffle, without affecting most people who have a fixed assignment, and still evenly distribute the passengers.

 

Some of the people they may have to accommodate in that final shuffle include wheelchair accessible passengers who weren't able to secure one of those cabins originally, families unable to secure a connecting cabin, certain contract talent that get passenger cabins (in whatever category they were promised), etc.

 

As these moves cascade through the ship, and cancellations are added in, they create holes in the map in all categories, and these guarantees are assigned these cabins. Sometimes (specially if requested) they are assigned in the category in which they were booked, but frequently they will be in the next category up.

 

The factor of oversell in category D, for example, takes into account that Crystal can always assign them a C room (or a B room if something goes wrong with their projection), and balances it against demand for people that just want a lower price point than a C room (which is usually a good number of people.) The same works for E -- a lot of people book it because it's the cheapest way to get on Symphony, Crystal likes selling them because some people will book a different cruise if they can't that lowest fare, and Crystal knows they can cascade enough people up to accommodate the E guarantees in C/D/E as the moves are made.

 

Clear as mud? :-)

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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[This is yet another of my long and rambly posts, but it's a little more background on guarantees, which may make you feel better about booking them, or just help explain how the process works possibly.]

 

Clear as mud? :-)

 

Vince

 

I think it's pretty straightforward at present - although all those sub-categories being introduced in 2014 are sure to muddy the waters!!!

 

Anne....

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When we first started sailing on Crystal we took a D cabin and I really liked being so close to the sea. Unfortunately, you have to enjoy it while standing up. I think I used to sit on the "window sill" 0r try to! As everyone has stated, guarantees are iffy and there is a chance you won't like what they assign.

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BWIVince: Good post -- thanks. This is all so interesting.

 

So, just as airlines occasionally overbook flights and need to offer passengers incentives to fly at another time . . . does this ever happen on cruise lines?

Edited by TravelKnitter
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BWIVince: Good post -- thanks. This is all so interesting.

 

So, just as airlines occasionally overbook flights and need to offer passengers incentives to fly at another time . . . does this ever happen on cruise lines?

 

Rarely ever, but it could happen.

 

Keith

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BWIVince: Good post -- thanks. This is all so interesting.

 

So, just as airlines occasionally overbook flights and need to offer passengers incentives to fly at another time . . . does this ever happen on cruise lines?

 

Keith is spot-on... It could, but I think Crystal generally plays pretty close to the overall capacity of the ship, or at least that's my impression. So while they may heavily oversell E, and lightly oversell D and B, there are usually rooms available in C and A to balance that oversell. There is a tipping point where they cut off the lower categories, when the inventory depletes in the middle categories that sell last, and they always seem to be good at not landing upside down on those totals.

 

Jayeyeff: Good point.

 

Hmmm . . . I wonder if "C2-Deck 7, Deluxe Stateroom with Large Picture Window Slightly Limited View" is considered an upgrade from D.

 

That's a good point you both make. Technically it IS considered an upgrade, but depending on which attributes each passenger personally values, it may not always be considered to be one.

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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Jayeyeff: Good point.

 

Hmmm . . . I wonder if "C2-Deck 7, Deluxe Stateroom with Large Picture Window Slightly Limited View" is considered an upgrade from D.

 

I think so (but don't tell Crystal!) The obstructions on 7 are minimal and you can always get out onto the deck if something interesting is going by. I was on 5 last summer (because the cabins we needed weren't available on 7) and did not think it was an upgrade.

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BWIVince: Good post -- thanks. This is all so interesting.

 

So, just as airlines occasionally overbook flights and need to offer passengers incentives to fly at another time . . . does this ever happen on cruise lines?

 

This happened to me a few years ago on Royal Caribbean. They called a few weeks before our cruise to Hawaii from LA and asked if we would be willing to give up our rooms. We were offered a full refund plus the same cruise for free later in the year. Since we live in LA and our vacation time was flexible, we took this offer, as it saved us a considerable amount of money. This is a relatively rare occurrence.

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