Jump to content

A couple of newbie questions?


vada_9
 Share

Recommended Posts

We will be first time Crystal cruises on v4309 and I have a couple of questions that I can't find the answers to in the first time cruises info and other threads.

 

Thanks in advance to those who give lots of info on these boards.

 

Firstly, as we embark in Istanbul but do not depart till next evening (overnighting) can we come and go from the ship as we please after we check in?

 

Secondly, we are booked dining by reservation - I have signed into PCP? and am aware that I can make 2 specialty dining reservations and should book dining times for the main dining room. If we decide we want to eat more casually or room service - how much notice is required to cancel a MDR reservation?

 

thanks again

 

Jan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We will be first time Crystal cruises on v4309 and I have a couple of questions that I can't find the answers to in the first time cruises info and other threads.

 

Thanks in advance to those who give lots of info on these boards.

 

Firstly, as we embark in Istanbul but do not depart till next evening (overnighting) can we come and go from the ship as we please after we check in?

 

Secondly, we are booked dining by reservation - I have signed into PCP? and am aware that I can make 2 specialty dining reservations and should book dining times for the main dining room. If we decide we want to eat more casually or room service - how much notice is required to cancel a MDR reservation?

 

thanks again

 

Jan

 

Hi Jan, sorry we won't get to meet you as we will be disembarking the Serenity in Istanbul on the day you are boarding.

 

Yes, after you check in you can come and go as often as you want. The ship will be docked fairly close to the city centre. We like to walk so we do just that and it is about a 30 minute walk into town. A shuttle will run during specified times and likely drop you off near the Grand Bazaar.

 

Even like those who select traditional (fixed) dining there is no specific time to let the dining room know you won't be there. It is not required to do so but it is very kind of you to do that as we also let them know. If you happen to know the day before just let your Head Waiter know. There will be one Head Waiter who will be responsible for the section of the dining room you will be seated at. If you don't know until sometime that day you can either stop by the dining room sometime that day during the hours they are open to let the Maitre d' know or your Head Waiter or even one of the other Head Waiters or you can call the reception desk and leave a message that they will hand over to the Maitre d' or even call the Maitre d'. It's always nice to do this so that someone else can be seated at your table.

 

Keith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info Keith, you are a wealth of knowledge. We are in Istanbul for a couple of nights mid April then again before the cruise so hoping to use the last day to retrace or do extra things we may have missed out on. Know we can't see everything.

 

good to know the protocol re dining as it seems a hot topic LOL!!

 

Jan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As first-time Crystal cruisers (on this same cruise!) we don't yet know anyone on board, so we will be setting up our PCPC reservations for 2 persons.

 

If we want to dine with people we meet on board, will the Maitre d' be able to expand our booking to a larger table?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As first-time Crystal cruisers (on this same cruise!) we don't yet know anyone on board, so we will be setting up our PCPC reservations for 2 persons.

 

If we want to dine with people we meet on board, will the Maitre d' be able to expand our booking to a larger table?

 

It will depend on capacity but should you meet others just see the Maitre d' who will be available each day from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM to assist with reservations.

 

Keith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a point for the First Time cruisers

If you think the Main Dining Room looks quiet and lacks atmosphere on the first night while the ship stays on at Istanbul, dont let that fool you.

 

Quiet a few passengers do did not get to arrive in Istanbul early will be still touring on embarkation day and will choose to dine on-shore.

 

Its the same with the Avenue Saloon with passengers seeing the Istanbul nightlife or going to bed early after a long flight.

 

Everything picks up the next day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are trying to figure out when to book our free chances to try Prego and Silk Road.

 

Someone just said in another thread that the MDR is extra loud on formal nights. What else is different then? On some mass-market lines they put out their best menu on formal night.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are trying to figure out when to book our free chances to try Prego and Silk Road.

 

Someone just said in another thread that the MDR is extra loud on formal nights. What else is different then? On some mass-market lines they put out their best menu on formal night.

 

Menus tend to be very nice on the Black Tie Optional Nights. On first Black Tie Optional Night if you like it one of the highlights is Fresh Lobster. Lots of other nice choices as well. For most of the items served other than say the Fresh Lobster should you not go that evening you could ask the Head Waiter if you can have it on another evening.

 

It can be on the louder side because the majority of the guests dine there that night. The serving of the meal can also take a little longer.

 

Specialty Restaurants are usually a little quieter on those evenings.

 

Keith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are trying to figure out when to book our free chances to try Prego and Silk Road.

 

The best MDR menus are when there are sea-days. These are normally formal nights or semi-formal nights.

 

I tend to book a Speciality Restaurant on days when sail away is about 5pm. We book for a late reservation which means that we have time to shower and rest up after a day's exploring before dinner.

 

Our very first Crystal cruise, we booked Prego on a non-formal night sea-day. We missed out on "French night".

 

Other dining tips.

Look for the Mozart Tea; held on a sea-day once during the cruise. Also keep an eye for Asian Day lunch at the Lido, again held on a sea day.

Edited by JohnKen3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best MDR menus are when there are sea-days. These are normally formal nights or semi-formal nights.

 

I tend to book a Speciality Restaurant on days when sail away is about 5pm. We book for a late reservation which means that we have time to shower and rest up after a day's exploring before dinner.

 

Our very first Crystal cruise, we booked Prego on a non-formal night sea-day. We missed out on "French night".

 

Other dining tips.

Look for the Mozart Tea; held on a sea-day once during the cruise. Also keep an eye for Asian Day lunch at the Lido, again held on a sea day.

 

Two points: food is always subjective: we try to book a spec restaurant on French night.

 

Theme buffets in Lido are posted in Passages and easy to miss! Read Passages! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Keith and all. I'm glad I just had dinner here at home, or those menus would make me very hungry!

 

We only have one BTO night on our cruise. [Probably because Keith will be getting off as we get on ...] And after 35 summers in Maine we won't tempt the fates by ordering Lobster anywhere else (especially not off the coast of Turkey) ;). But there are indeed other menu items that are very tempting.

 

After posting this question I made my PCPC reservations, with 8pm in the MDR on the one BTO night, and Prego and Silk Road on the two "Elegant Casual" nights. [They are the second Sea Day and the 2pm sailing from Korcula which I guess is sort of 1/2 a Sea Day.] Will be miss anything special in MDR those nights?

 

Also, the Santorini day is our 40th wedding anniversary. [We may hike from Fira to Oia and so may be hot and tired when we get back to the ship. That's why we didn't want to risk a specialty restaurant.] But should we tell the headwaiter about the special occasion? What are they likely to do?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

jazzbeau that sounds great.

 

Again, just remember that if you see something on the Crystal Dining Room menu for one of the nights that you will be away that is something that you really would have liked to have had, just ask your Headwaiter if you could have that on another evening. In general, if you give them 24 hours and the items are still on board the ship they are very happy to arrange this for you.

 

Congratulations on your 40th wedding anniversary. That is such as wonderful milestone.

 

First, be sure that your TA has let Crystal know that it is your 40th Wedding Anniversary. They can let on board guest services know. If you would like to celebrate this with a cake, which many people do , they can note this as well. There is a standard cake that they serve but certainly if there is something else that you both would like they would be most happy to prepare that for you. If you know specifically what you would like have your TA note that. However, if you are not sure just speak with your Headwaiter when he comes over to your table early in the cruise and he will help you make the decision.

 

Unless you would rather they not do this, when the cake is served several waiters and often some of the headwaiters who are nearby will sing to the two of you.

 

Also, since your TA will have notified on board guest services about your anniversary date your names will be included in Reflections (the daily program) on your wedding date and also on the Crystal TV channel from time to time that day along with others who are celebrating wedding anniversaries as we as birthday's.

 

Keith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best MDR menus are when there are sea-days. These are normally formal nights or semi-formal nights.

 

I tend to book a Speciality Restaurant on days when sail away is about 5pm. We book for a late reservation which means that we have time to shower and rest up after a day's exploring before dinner.

 

Our very first Crystal cruise, we booked Prego on a non-formal night sea-day. We missed out on "French night".

 

Other dining tips.

Look for the Mozart Tea; held on a sea-day once during the cruise. Also keep an eye for Asian Day lunch at the Lido, again held on a sea day.

 

I have a similar strategy... I try to decipher which nights are the generic "Dinner" (themeless) nights with pretty much the same criteria, and try to book those in advance. Every once in a while the Neptune Dinner gets caught in my net, but generally I've gotten pretty good at picking uneventful nights for reservations.

 

Ditto about the Asia Café buffet -- it's usually one of the first sea days.

 

Vince

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am so glad my newbie question has had some response and positive comments and lots of helpful info. I thought that maybe I was very niave when thinking about this. We are looking at paying our early bird discount fare next week as the Aussie dollar has been rising against the greenback over the last few days/weeks. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jan, you may have done this already but if not be sure to check out the sticky thread written with first time Crystal Cruisers in mind.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1584517&page=5

 

When it comes to some of the other items such as where and when people like to dine to me it always comes down to each persons preference. There is certainly no right or wrong on this. We even find that on some cruises we just change things up.

 

Once you make that final payment you can begin to make reservations such as one reservation per specialty restaurant.

 

About six months before the start of the cruise you can begin booking shore excursion reservations for those you may wish to book through Crystal Cruises.

 

Keith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Keith, I have been reading your posts for first time cruises since early January this year - when we made our booking. We picked this cruise as an extension to our holiday - main purpose to attend the Dawn service at Gallipoli on ANZAC Day (before we get too old and can't handle the sleepless night) and Crystal were the only cruise line departing Istanbul shortly thereafter. (I still often feel it is out of our league (My husband"s only suit is 20+ years old and doesn't fit and the only long dress I have is my wedding dress from 30 years ago). But we are happy to roll with the flow and we do enjoy the little luxuries in life. Our TA (whom is a friend ) has said that all will be OK. We are looking forward to our first visit to Europe and our first "Ocean Cruise" Hope we don't suffer from Sea sickness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lately the fresh oysters on the half shell have sometimes been served on the Captain's Farewell Dinner menu instead of the Captain's Welcome aboard dinner menu (aka Black Tie Optional nights aka formal nights), so don't despair if they are not there on the first such night.

 

And then whichever night it is, lately they have then also been served in the Lido Cafe for lunch the following day in the back section where the smoked salmon is and other cold seafood is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the final Formal Night of our transatlantic cruise last month, the menu included an item called (if I remember correctly) "72 Hour Beef".

 

When I asked our head waiter about it, he said that one of the guest chefs on a recent Food and Wine themed cruise had prepared it for the guests and everyone loved it so much that Crystal decided to use it to replace the usual Beef Wellington. (But whether permanently or temporarily, I forgot to ask.

 

At any rate, it was absolutely delicious!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Holland America Line’s Alaska Exploration Sale
      • Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Q&A with American Queen Voyages
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...