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Crystal Announces a Change to Specialty Restaurants


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:) Now I have to Google "Barolo", sigh...

 

So, what is the name of the place where we dined, with the singing servers?

It seemed rather down to earth inside the restaurant, though there were many valets outside parking cars. (We don't usually use a valet, but it seems you "Palm" people can't park your own cars very well and need these guys) ;)

 

P.S. The restaurant may not be there any more, or they may have lost their voices. The year was 1997.

 

Could be gone. 1997 was a long time ago to some :). It may have enn Castellis? I dont know any place with singing waiters except our house. And believe me, when its 121 you want a valet. Besides, its SO Sinatra and Rat Pack :)

 

I have never heard of officer families taking precedence over guests, but if it happens I would oppose. On a recent cruise the Captain's daughter had a verandah stateroom next to ours, but the ship was half full anyway.

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The elitist is the family member who bragged about dining on triple servings of caviar daily, don't you think?

.

 

No, I dont think they were being elitist, just ignorant, unsophisticated, or both.

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Late to the party, as I've been away. I am really upset with the extra charge, making Crystal a non-inclusive trip. It's not the money as much as it is the philosophy. I don't want to pay another $30 to dine at Silk Road, but what I don't want even more is the slow roll-out of "extras".

 

If it's supposed to be a reservation fee, how does it apply to the reservation-free sushi bar? Can I give up my right to a reservation at Prego and get two at Silk Road instead? Maybe passengers can work up a barter system, LOL.

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my DH loves the sushi bar!! We booked our 4th Crystal cruise to Burma for 2015 instead of Seabourne. The two cruises were almost the same itinerary and price. Maybe he can bribe someone to slip him a takeout box. I'm allergic to shell fish, so he eats early at the sushi bar and joins me in the MDR for desert for late seating! I guess we should work on getting more shipboard credit!

 

Sheila

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WOW!!! Approaching 200 posts in just over 24 hours. New record?

 

I'd bet it is!

 

When I saw the title of the thread this morning, combined with the fact it was already multi-pages, I thought to myself "how did I ever miss this thread previously?" I was shocked when I saw the thread just started yesterday! :eek:

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Did you notice how Cruise Critic in their news article followed the rules of Journalistic Fairness: despite comments running solidly negative on this thread, they carefully chose an equal number of positive and negative comments. And then let the Crystal exec get in 2 quotes, so that the whole thing sounds like a positive development...

Edited by jazzbeau
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LOVING the exchanges between the two of you (whilst sipping a nice cabernet to unwind from the day)!!! ;)

 

A tense thread such as this needs injections of a little fun and humor along the way, while at the same time making some relevant points! ;)

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LOVING the exchanges between the two of you (whilst sipping a nice cabernet to unwind from the day)!!! ;)

 

A tense thread such as this needs injections of a little fun and humor along the way, while at the same time making some relevant points! ;)

 

Beav, you can come, too, but you're buying the antipasto and desert. And no singing!

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Time out for a chuckle in an otherwise serious debate.....??

 

Since Crystal has indicated the $30 charge isn't for the food, but rather a reservation fee to dine in the restaurant, I hope we don't see people coming into the Hollywood Theater at night carrying take-out sushi in a Styrofoam box! We don't want the Specialty Restaurant maitre'd to spend his time fielding "to go" orders over the phone from the Smith's in stateroom 9025!! :D:eek::D

 

Now on the serious side, I firmly believe this is an experiment, and if it doesn't work to Crystal's favor, they'll modify as necessary. I choose to remain positive until I'm forced to believe otherwise.

 

My dear friend Beav--the voice of reason. Thanks for defusing the situation as far as I'm concerned.

 

xoxo

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LOVING the exchanges between the two of you (whilst sipping a nice cabernet to unwind from the day)!!! ;)

 

A tense thread such as this needs injections of a little fun and humor along the way, while at the same time making some relevant points! ;)

 

Beav, you should have continued on with us . . . The best was yet to come. Better yet, join us Miami to Rio . . . You can treat us in Silk Road :)

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Beav, you should have continued on with us . . . The best was yet to come. Better yet, join us Miami to Rio . . . You can treat us in Silk Road :)

 

We will buy the drinks :)

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Here’s a solution to avoid paying the $30 per person reservation booking fee. Book a suite and you can have food from Prego or Silk Road delivered to your room every night without an additional fee. Oh, the room might cost you an extra $10,000 + but what the heck, at least your getting a bigger room.

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I have been told by a major executive at one of Crystal's competitors that Crystal is a money losing enterprise for NYK and has been forever.

Perhaps they have decided that it is time to attempt to earn a profit.

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Here’s a solution to avoid paying the $30 per person reservation booking fee. Book a suite and you can have food from Prego or Silk Road delivered to your room every night without an additional fee. Oh, the room might cost you an extra $10,000 + but what the heck, at least your getting a bigger room.

 

And a spa tub :)

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Although paying an extra $60 per couple for a specialty meal is significant to most of society, many Crystal passengers can afford this, given the high basic cost of the cruise that they can already afford. What is bothersome....actually, alarming....is the trend that this will initiate. First, Crystal converted to AI, in exchange for a higher up-front cruising price. Now, the take-aways begin in earnest. What's next? Either you are AI or you aren't.

 

If this change, which has been accurately labeled "nickel-and-diming" by many previous posters, is "successful" (i.e., there is no decrease in bookings over time), this will only encourage more erosion into the AI character of Crystal. It's anyone's guess what is next.

 

Given the fact that many people make reservations more than a year out, it will be impossible to anticipate what changes may occur in the interim between booking and cruising. Why tie up the deposit (which, by the way, very recently increased from 10% to 20%) when the rules of the game can change by the time you embark?

 

I travel with Crystal for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest is the freedom and comfort I feel when I'm in an all-inclusive environment, as though I'm in the warm confines of a good friend's home. Sure, it's a fantasy (nothing wrong with that!), but it is achievable in Crystal's current iteration. Martini, please....."My pleasure!". Reservations for Prego at 8:30PM....."My pleasure!". It just won't be the same when I hear the distant sounds of "cha-ching, cha-ching."

 

Time to investigate other luxury cruise lines.

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Can't imagine it will do ANY good but I just sent this to all of the Crystal addresses listed on their website:

 

"Please DO NOT send me the press release in response to this email.

 

You have screwed up BIG TIME with this ridiculous $30.00 per person 'reservation fee' for the second visit to the specialty restaurants. BIG TIME.

 

I have been a HUGE Crystal fan and advocate through all of the recent changes. THIS one however is SO beyond acceptable that it crosses the line into ludicrous.

 

I am looking at other cruise lines now, something I thought I would NEVER do. And I am seriously thinking about canceling our 2014 booking (our 4th sailing on Crystal).

 

It's not the $60.00 dollars that it would cost us (which is NOT chicken feed to us by the way) for the second reservation... it is the betrayal.

 

I can understand the extra charges for premium alcohol and caviar, but THIS?!?!? Come on, Crystal!!!

 

“All Inclusive” my Aunt's fanny.

 

Very hurtfully and disappointed,

Scott XXXXXXX

(Formally A Crystal Cheerleader)

 

 

 

:(:(:(,

Scott

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Can't imagine it will do ANY good but I just sent this to all of the Crystal addresses listed on their website:

 

"Please DO NOT send me the press release in response to this email.

 

You have screwed up BIG TIME with this ridiculous $30.00 per person 'reservation fee' for the second visit to the specialty restaurants. BIG TIME.

 

I have been a HUGE Crystal fan and advocate through all of the recent changes. THIS one however is SO beyond acceptable that it crosses the line into ludicrous.

 

I am looking at other cruise lines now, something I thought I would NEVER do. And I am seriously thinking about canceling our 2014 booking (our 4th sailing on Crystal).

 

It's not the $60.00 dollars that it would cost us (which is NOT chicken feed to us by the way) for the second reservation... it is the betrayal.

 

I can understand the extra charges for premium alcohol and caviar, but THIS?!?!? Come on, Crystal!!!

 

“All Inclusive” my Aunt's fanny.

 

Very hurtfully and disappointed,

Scott XXXXXXX

(Formally A Crystal Cheerleader)

 

 

 

:(:(:(,

Scott

very well said !

do you think mr Anderson and mr Mazloum will take a regular taxi instead of a private giant limousine to the airport now? :mad:

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That is very true for the lower echelon of crew onboard (who get next to nothing), not so much for those with officer status. People with officer status stay onboard for a shorter period of time, get more frequent and longer vacations and also get to bring onboard their "family and friends." (I am 100% certain of this, though I will not name my source.) People I know see each other at least every other month or two, sometimes for a very long cruise.

 

The amount paid for the family member(s) is (or was) $25/day on Crystal and for that amount the best cabin available up to an "A" balcony (or maybe even "AA" on Serenity) would be offered and the "family member" gets everything that a regular passenger gets (at least) and with no restriction, including (when it was offered regularly) triple servings of caviar daily, obviously liquor now, etc.

 

And people wonder why the prices have gone up so much for the paying passenger?!!

 

First off, it is the opposite of elitist. We couldn't afford the balcony cabin at the time; we stayed in a Category E obstructed view cabin. The elitist is the family member who bragged about dining on triple servings of caviar daily, don't you think?

 

As for the unused stateroom comment, Crystal could have upgraded a paying passenger (free or at a reduced price to upgrade) to the balcony and the family member and officer could have stayed in the obstructed view cabin, but no, the officers get the special treatment.

 

You're certainly entitled to your own opinion, and I respect you tremendously, but I have to completely disagree with this whole line of thinking.

 

1) Officers may get "more frequent" vacations than other crew members, but they are still at sea for months at a time -- it's not that much less than other crew members. This is pretty much the same as any other job or company, especially in transportation. If you look at pilots, they work fewer hours than flight attendants. One job has more mental fatigue, the other more physical, but both are stressful. In the end though jobs with a lot of stress and responsibility have mental breaks built into their schedule, that's just the way it is.

 

2) Few people actually get to use the family benefit because, lets face it, not everyone has the time or can afford to just pick up and go overseas even if they have a cheap place to stay. A captain from Norway may get to have his family sail with him when the kids are off school and the ship is in northern Europe in July, but what do you think happens the other 9 months of the year when his (or hopefully soon her) spouse is working, their kids are in school or working, and the ship is in Asia?

 

3) Not all of the cabins on the ship get sold, and this is not new (it's always been this way in the industry.) There are many passenger cabins that are used as comps or discounts for everything from crew use, entertainers, talent, Ambassador Hosts, friends and family, industry guests, supplier partners, you name it. That's just a cost of doing business, and passengers aren't even factored in that thought, nor should they be. If Crystal needs to use that room for a professional reason and not sell it, then who cares what revenue Crystal is or isn't getting for it?

 

4) Related, but a different and important point -- NO, no one was going to get that room as an upgrade. Category A rooms frequently go unused and Crystal has never had a policy of randomly upgrading people just to fill unused rooms. They may need to upgrade people for yield management reasons, they may upgrade guests booked on a guarantee and there are select operational reasons that they may need to upgrade people, but they have a longstanding policy of upholding category integrity by not automatically doing random upgrades as loyalty rewards.

 

5) There are only a few officers on the ship. Just because you see them hosting guests in the restaurants, or even eating together one night, it's not causing a major loss of capacity in either restaurant. There are policies in place to make sure the presence of crew in either restaurant minimizes impact to guests, and I think over the years this seems to have worked well. Just because you see them there doesn't mean they're taking up someone else's seat.

 

6) The crew are entitled to a little variety within those controlled limits. We go onboard for a couple of weeks and we're presented with a variety of fun menus and venues in which to dine so we take the food for granted, but the crew has to eat from the same selection of their more limited dishes for 4-6 months. Even at home you get to change it up a little and decide to go get carry out somewhere. When the ship is at sea, no pizza place delivers, the crew gets the same options every night (unless there's an overnight). You've got to cut them some slack.

 

7) "prices have gone up so much" We say this all the time as an emotional statement, but in reality they haven't. At all. And this is one of Crystal's biggest challenges. Take a look at a brochure from 1991, 1992 or 1993 and you'll see fares that are virtually the same, if not more in many cases. Yet the cost of fuel is triple what it was then, the cost of labor is double and the cost of food is at least half again more. I guarantee that family member's cabin isn't the big problem here.

 

Sorry, I just couldn't let that subject go without sharing those thoughts.

 

Vince

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very well said !

do you think mr Anderson and mr Mazloum will take a regular taxi instead of a private giant limousine to the airport now? :mad:

 

Side note, if you ever see an executive in a limo in a city where a travel company is doing business (either has offices or is a port of call), chances are it's an earned comp and is free (and is cheaper than a taxi). Same thing if you see them in a suite at a contracted hotel -- they're most likely not paying extra (or at all) for that either.

 

Things aren't always what they seem in the travel industry.

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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Just found Crystal's response to my Face Book post:

Crystal Cruises Dear Caryll: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Following guest complaints that it was difficult to get into the restaurants, we designed a policy that we believed to be fairer and would enable every guest to dine in each restaurant. As part of our all-inclusive experience, guests can still enjoy a complimentary dinner in Prego and Silk Road. We believe that $30pp for a subsequent visit, including fine wine and tips, remains a tremendous value for Nobu or Prego cuisine, where a similar meal might cost $200pp on land. That said, we are looking at modifying and clarifying these policies. Until then, there are so many amenities and features included within the Crystal experience, and distinctive to Crystal, that contribute to its luxury value.

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Vince: There may be a few uniformed officers on board but there are more than a few who have "officer" perks - Head waiters and Butlers are two.

 

Still you see the entertainers (dancers and singers) in Prego or SR on a frequent basis.

 

I find it interesting that Crystal's response latsyrc on FB mentions the price of a comparative meal on shore - service, food and drink - yet their stated policy says specifically that the charge is not for food or wine but the privledge to get a second or subsequent "reservation" in Prego or SR.

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Just found Crystal's response to my Face Book post:

Crystal Cruises Dear Caryll: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Following guest complaints that it was difficult to get into the restaurants, we designed a policy that we believed to be fairer and would enable every guest to dine in each restaurant. As part of our all-inclusive experience, guests can still enjoy a complimentary dinner in Prego and Silk Road. We believe that $30pp for a subsequent visit, including fine wine and tips, remains a tremendous value for Nobu or Prego cuisine, where a similar meal might cost $200pp on land. That said, we are looking at modifying and clarifying these policies. Until then, there are so many amenities and features included within the Crystal experience, and distinctive to Crystal, that contribute to its luxury value.

 

Caryll,

 

thanks for posting Crystal's response. Glad to read that Crystal is looking at modifying and clarifying this policy...time will tell.

 

Nancy

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