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Onboard Serenity - Never Again


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Having read this thread and several others (and our recent past experiences) We've booked with two other luxury cruise lines (SS and SB) to try their product.

 

We've also encountered a lack of service and quality on our past few Crystal cruises (35 total Crystal cruises). Yes, we informed the appropriate staff while on board (and on land) of our dissatisfaction but it is what it is! In our opinion Crystal has lowered their quality of food and service from before the change in management.

 

I'm sure we will feel welcomed on these other luxury cruise lines especially since they know we are leaving Crystal. These other cruise lines want our business and have exhibited so.

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I hesitated to post anything negative for fear of it being challenged and i really feel no need to waste my time defending my position.

 

I'm constantly baffled by this line... We all have an opinion, and we all post them. Different people have different experiences, and will share those. Why does everyone take it so personally when everyone doesn't share their opinion???

 

Take it from me, there is no Crystal Gestapo that takes out anyone who has a negative opinion of something. Sure, not everyone had that negative experience, and the majority may have had the exact opposite of the experience of the one you posted, but that doesn't stop ANYONE from posting a negative comment. Just do it.

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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I'm constantly baffled by this line... We all have an opinion, and we all post them. Different people have different experiences, and will share those. Why does everyone take it so personally when everyone doesn't share their opinion???

 

Take it from me, there is no Crystal Gestapo that takes out anyone who has a negative opinion of something. Sure, not everyone had that negative experience, and the majority may have had the exact opposite of the experience of the one you posted, but that doesn't stop ANYONE from posting a negative comment. Just do it.

 

Vince

 

Of course it doesn't stop anyone and it's annoying when one does post only to have the opinion shared in said post be dismissed if it is not all rainbows and unicorns. Go ahead and say it doesn't happen but if you are, to quote you, "constantly baffled" by this the word "constantly" would infer that my comment on the subject is not the first time you heard it. Unless of course you are referring not to CC but to something else.

 

On this cruise I would say the majority are having the exact experience based on the posts in this thread before mine. I am disappointed as I know what Crystal can be and this cruise isn't it. Again, I hope it's an anomaly. I have three future cruises booked and if I have the same experience in the future I will cancel the remaining.

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Vince:

 

No Gestapo...no preventing you from posting an opinion. Granted.

 

How about "No getting argued with" or "No getting rationalizations made" or "No being told your experience is an out of the norm" or the ever-popular "Well, everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but we've always...."

 

I've done 25+ segments on Crystal. They have been a vendor that I have chosen when appropriate. I also choose Seabourn, Silversea, and others. I am not "monogamous", except with my wife. (Sorry Edie)

 

Personally, I'd love to see where someone says "Crystal pooched it this time and here's why" and the only response is on the order of "Damned straight they did...you're right". Not holding my breath for that.

Edited by FlyerTalker
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Of course it doesn't stop anyone and it's annoying when one does post only to have the opinion shared in said post be dismissed if it is not all rainbows and unicorns. Go ahead and say it doesn't happen but if you are, to quote you, "constantly baffled" by this the word "constantly" would infer that my comment on the subject is not the first time you heard it. Unless of course you are referring not to CC but to something else.

 

On this cruise I would say the majority are having the exact experience based on the posts in this thread before mine. I am disappointed as I know what Crystal can be and this cruise isn't it. Again, I hope it's an anomaly. I have three future cruises booked and if I have the same experience in the future I will cancel the remaining.

 

No, I was definitely referring to Cruise Critic. Someone posts at least a couple of times a month that negative comments aren't allowed, or that people feel bullied into saying positive things, or that negative experiences aren't allowed to be posted. Seriously? I've never felt any pressure to say positive things. People disagree with me all the time, and that's great. I'm here to discuss -- and even debate -- issues... Not to talk about how nothing should ever change and how great everything has always been.

 

Bad cruises happen, even on Crystal. I had a similar experience in 2008. I appreciate people posting and sharing their experiences when they happen. I just think it's understandable that other people share background, history, or their own experiences in reply. That perspective is sometimes just as important as people sharing their negative experiences.

 

I appreciate your posts a lot.

 

Vince

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There were three ships in port on the day of embarkation. The Crystal Serenity sat in the harbour waiting for the first one to sail and they took the berth. Only three ships can dock at Canada Place at one time. It was not the fault of the cruise line but the lack of space at the cruise terminal.

 

The only alternative is Ballentyne Pier a few miles east and it's a horrible pier for a cruise ship. Crystal made the right decision to wait for the first ship to leave.

 

Canada Place

Sunday May 22, 2016

 

Celebrity Infinity 07:00-16:30

MAASDAM 07:00-17:00

Crystal Serenity 18:00-23:59

Zaandam 07:00-17:00

 

I was on the May 6th sailing from San Francisco to Vancouver and our service, entertainment and food was excellent.

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It was not the fault of the cruise line but the lack of space at the cruise terminal

 

Of course if there are limited berths then Crystal need to fit in with that limitation however the question is when did Crystal know about this delay? If it was sometime ago, which I suspect is the case, then they should have been on clear on that when listing the cruise so people had the correct expectations and could plan accordingly

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Someone posts at least a couple of times a month that negative comments aren't allowed, or that people feel bullied into saying positive things, or that negative experiences aren't allowed to be posted. Seriously?

 

Yes - seriously.

 

If it was one or two people saying it then that would be different but it's not just one person who feels they have to post that sort of comment so as is often the case perhaps perception is reality

 

There are lots of people who lurk in the forums without posting. That's 100% fine and they should be able to visit and learn from others posts as there's a wealth of information here. I understand many don't like conflict or negative situations and therefore don't get involved in threads which have the potential to turn in that direction. When they do venture out and post we should be conscious that not everyone is comfortable with robust debate

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Of course if there are limited berths then Crystal need to fit in with that limitation however the question is when did Crystal know about this delay? If it was sometime ago, which I suspect is the case, then they should have been on clear on that when listing the cruise so people had the correct expectations and could plan accordingly

 

In fairness, I believe I read Crystal did that, in the other thread. I think the listing was updated months out, and it was called out to everyone's agents.

 

Vince:

 

No Gestapo...no preventing you from posting an opinion. Granted.

 

How about "No getting argued with" or "No getting rationalizations made" or "No being told your experience is an out of the norm" or the ever-popular "Well, everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but we've always...."

 

I've done 25+ segments on Crystal. They have been a vendor that I have chosen when appropriate. I also choose Seabourn, Silversea, and others. I am not "monogamous", except with my wife. (Sorry Edie)

 

Personally, I'd love to see where someone says "Crystal pooched it this time and here's why" and the only response is on the order of "Damned straight they did...you're right". Not holding my breath for that.

 

Heaven knows I do that... I think if you scroll up you'll see an example of that from me.

 

I don't think they really pooch it that often though, compared to the much more common case where someone has a bad experience with one or more employees that they don't care for, or have a bad experience that isn't the result of a failure at the line-level... Which is where people tend to chime in with other information.

 

Terry -- I can understand that on some of the more omni threads where things get more heated (dress code, development, executive personalities, etc.), but I think posting a review is sort of a two way street. On the one hand the "cheerleaders" have the responsibility not to turn someone's negative review into accusations that the reviewer is Frank Del Rio's secretary (which I honestly don't see much of on the board), but I think likewise the reviewer has to have a thick enough skin to understand that others might not agree with them. Worse yet, others might actually share information on how the reviewer may be able to avoid that issue in the future... Since -- lets face it -- sometimes we have some role ourselves in our own negative experiences. I think we've all read complaints along the lines of an angry passenger who repeatedly went to the Bistro looking for early coffee and complaining that coffee wasn't available early enough, all the while it was available in the Lido at the hour the reviewer was looking for it.

 

Good on the reviewer for sharing their experience, but fair enough for someone to reply and point out, politely, that they were in the wrong venue and that they should check Reflections in the future.

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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I was on the May 6th sailing from San Francisco to Vancouver and our service, entertainment and food was excellent.

 

Agree, an excellent cruise. And it had NOTHING in common with the one being discussed on this thread. My opinion is that this was an organized work action by the crew. Combined with dreadful management decisions, it truly was a once in lifetime experience.

 

I predict the cruise to Hawaii will be smooth sailing and have nothing in common with what we've had to put up with on this one.

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Agree, an excellent cruise. And it had NOTHING in common with the one being discussed on this thread. My opinion is that this was an organized work action by the crew. Combined with dreadful management decisions, it truly was a once in lifetime experience.

 

I predict the cruise to Hawaii will be smooth sailing and have nothing in common with what we've had to put up with on this one.

 

Oregon50, that's certainly a possibility, and I think/hope you are correct in your second paragraph.

 

I wouldn't be surprised to see a bit more compensation offered to the guests who are debarking today (I think that's Crystal's word?), who suffered the double whammy. It seems like it would be a great PR move.

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I want to assure the OP that his experience on his Crystal cruise is not unique. I am not talking here about about Crystal, but about a terrible experience on a cruise ship that so many people have had so many positive things to say.

 

While on our 2014 World cruise, we were truly surprised to hear so many positive comments about RCCL's Oasis of the Seas. The comments were nearly universal and came from experienced travelers who cruise on Seabourn, Silversea, and Regent as well as Crystal. They were lavish in their praise about the experience; so we decided we needed to try it.

 

On top of being the largest ship with over 6,000 passengers, the itinerary had never interested us because they were places we had been to many times as they traveled to the same ports in the Caribbean, back and forth. However, for the first time, the Oasis was doing a crossing. We love sea days and their entertainment was one of the things Crystal passengers raved about.

 

OMG. This was truly the cruise from H_ll

 

The Oasis was doing a crossing because they were going in for their first dry dock. RCCL didn't come close to anticipating the time needed to complete their dry dock. There were venues closed, jack hammers blasting, dust everywhere, but that was not the worst of it. Apparently the reason the Oasis does the same itinerary is that the ship is so large they had to build special facilities to handle it. On top of that there were actually two "initial" ports - Rotterdam where the dry dock was being done and Southampton. Neither was prepared as each boarding took over 5 hours. It was a total madhouse and RCCL personnel were hiding instead of trying to soothe the situation.

 

I don't need to go into all the other problems we had except to say the people on the ship who travel RCCL and Oasis consistently said this was an aberration. At first they tried to defend the company, but when the problems snowballed and they even had a problem with disembarkation at their specially built facility in Fort Lauderdale (4 hours) they conceded that RCCL blew it.

 

It took a while, but after hundreds of complaints from passengers, travel agents and even their loyal regulars, the company did step up to the plate. Basically we received a free cruise, not a $100 OBC, as they knew the bad publicity would not be a good thing.

 

We did take another RCCL cruise in December and while it is not our cup of tea, we did have a pleasant journey.

 

Will I ever take a cruise after a dry dock again? Probably not? Do other cruise lines make HUGE mistakes, they do. Celebrity lost my luggage on a Fall cruise and never found it until I returned home. It had gone on a different itinerary. No it was not the airlines who lost it but Celebrity downstairs at the dock. What help did they offer me? NONE. Their offer to me was $500 toward a future cruise. Have I ever taken a Celebrity cruise again? NO!

Edited by artbcpa
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To add to the Serenity woes, it appears that Scott Peterson has had to leave and head home due to a family illness. Not sure what Crystal has up their sleeve for a replacement but with the ship departing right now towards Hawaii, it can't be good.

 

Our best thoughts to Scott and family.

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Scott is great. I wonder who will cover for him.

 

Scott, is in our thoughts and prayers as well.

 

 

What capacity does Scott Peterson have with Crystal?

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

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Scott is great. I wonder who will cover for him.

 

Scott, is in our thoughts and prayers as well.

 

Scott was great as a cruise director. Based on what I saw he is not great as a hotel manager.

I do hope things turn out well for him.

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Agree, an excellent cruise. And it had NOTHING in common with the one being discussed on this thread. My opinion is that this was an organized work action by the crew. Combined with dreadful management decisions, it truly was a once in lifetime experience.

 

I predict the cruise to Hawaii will be smooth sailing and have nothing in common with what we've had to put up with on this one.

 

Although this cruise sounds especially horrific, there *are* some listed problems, e.g., noted by cruisr above and others, that *did* overlap with the negatives on the short May 6 cruise I wrote about ( my first Crystal experience) in Keith1010's thread and blog from that cruise and in my official CC review ( e.g., the gaps in dining venues service, the sullen Palm Court bartender, some embarkation problems -- though certainly not as horrendous as here), and that May also referenced. "Across the Pond" was also one of the shows on that cruise and though not my favorite, I did not actually dislike it.

 

I still gave that cruise a 4 on the CC 4/5 scale, despite problems, and indicated I would consider return for another Crystal cruise, though would not do so if the net of what is being described continues. I also get worried hearing about "organized work action by crew" , if correct, as being the tip of the iceberg of bigger management and labor problems, e.g., possibly cutting corners to save money with crew overworked or more cheaply trained, as so many cruiselines are doing.

 

 

 

Regarding the post about the giant RCCL ship: I expect problems to be routine on a mainstream line, even if you may get lucky and have none, but when I pay luxury prices, I do not expect them on a luxury line, or hotel, or restaurant, unless unforeseeable and beyond the cruiseline control.

 

I will try to keep an open mind about Crystal as I monitor this board, and hope others like CC member cruisr continue to post more objective comments and reviews ( positive and negative, and of course fair expressions of their opinions) of upcoming cruises. Keith1010 has said more people should post reviews, and I wholeheartedly support that, let us increase the "n" !

Edited by Catlover54
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Scott was great as a cruise director. Based on what I saw he is not great as a hotel manager.

 

Is there much precedent at Crystal or other luxury lines to promote CDs to the HD position? I think that all of the HDs I have come to know had a hospitality/F&B/culinary background rather than an entertainment background.

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Is there much precedent at Crystal or other luxury lines to promote CDs to the HD position? I think that all of the HDs I have come to know had a hospitality/F&B/culinary background rather than an entertainment background.

 

My thoughts exactly. I have never heard of such a thing. LOL Maybe next the captains can be entertainers. Actually some Captains would be pretty good comedians.

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If you missed Peterson as hotel manager on this cruise, you missed your chance of ever seeing him in this position.

 

Silversea has at least one hotel manager promoted from cruise director. IMO, totally worthless.

Edited by oregon50
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We cruised with Scott on our only Crystal experience. The ship was in perfect form as much as we could tell. We could find no fault with our "hotel" experience a few months back. As he is slated to be the Hotel director on our next cruise in just over 2 weeks, we hope he will be back in time.

 

We have seen people work up from entry to Hotel Director. On Regent one of the employees who was F&B manager 10 years ago is now Executive Director onboard the top of the line ships there. He runs the best of the ships ever.

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Is there much precedent at Crystal or other luxury lines to promote CDs to the HD position? I think that all of the HDs I have come to know had a hospitality/F&B/culinary background rather than an entertainment background.

 

IMHO, that's a pretty unfairly worded question... It's not like he was promoted from lounge pianist to hotel director one morning. Having been an officer for over a decade already, I think it's fair to identify a career path and train towards it. I haven't sailed with him in that role yet, but I don't see any reason he couldn't have learned some of the other aspects of that job he may (or may not, I don't know his whole resume) have been as familiar with after normal career path visioning.

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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IMHO, that's a pretty unfairly worded question... It's not like he was promoted from lounge pianist to hotel director one morning. Having been an officer for over a decade already, I think it's fair to identify a career path and train towards it. I haven't sailed with him in that role yet, but I don't see any reason he couldn't have learned some of the other aspects of that job he may (or may not, I don't know his whole resume) have been as familiar with after normal career path visioning.

 

Vince

 

I have reflected on this question and do not see how it is in any way unfair. It's a simple question, a request for information.

 

Rather than answering the question you have opted to attack the questioner for being unfair in posing the question.

 

This is particularly ironic to my mind because of your insistence (post #52 in this thread): "Take it from me, there is no Crystal Gestapo that takes out anyone who has a negative opinion of something."

 

I had no opinion on anything in my post. I merely asked what I believe on reflection was a reasonable and relevant question. And rather than answering that question you came in for the attack.

 

One person said there was a promotion from CD to HD on Silversea and that the move was (in his/her opinion) unsuccessful. That was a substantive, responsive post.

Edited by Observer
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