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Some Thoughts For First Time Crystal Cruisers

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Some Thoughts For FirstTime Crystal Cruisers

 

This will serve as the new“Sticky” Thread for this topic.

 

The former thread will no longer be a “Sticky” Thread, but can be found here:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2272970

 

This thread has beenwritten with first time Crystal Cruisers in mind. I believe it can also behelpful to those who have not cruised Crystal in sometime as well and hopefullyto others who may have cruised Crystal a few times or less.

 

While the information ismainly related to the Ocean Vessels, I have incorporated some information onthe River Cruises and Yacht.

 

The information isprimarily focused on cruise preparation, the first day of embarkation with afew additional thoughts as well.

 

In addition to thisinformation I would like to highlight the following.

 

Cruise Critic CrystalCruises Threads

===========================

 

MEET AND MINGLE PARTIES

 

After you have booked yourcruise you can go over to the Meet and Mingle Board to register to attend aparty. If 10 or more people sign hope Crystal Cruises will host a complimentarycocktail party for that voyage which will provide a nice opportunity for you tomeet your fellow Cruise Critic Cruisers. A few days before the party, you willreceive an invitation noting the date/time/location of the party.

 

Here is the link to signup for the Meet and Mingle (M&M) Parties:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=995584

 

After you have signed upfor a party if you need to make a revision/deletion you can update yourreservation by using this link.

 

http://www.cruisecritic.com/rollcall/partylist.cfm

 

 

FUTURE BOOKINGS

 

After you have booked yourcruise you can go over to the Future Booking Thread, which shows all of thosefrom Cruise Critic who are booked on a particular voyage. You can post on thisthread asking that you be added to the cruise you have booked. It also willprovide a nice opportunity for you to see who will be on the cruise with youfrom cruise critic:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...935081&page=42

 

ROLL CALL THREAD

 

Be sure to see if a rollcall has been established for your cruise. There is a roll call thread thatlists all of the roll calls. This link will take you to the first page of thethread and from there click on the last page to see the most current rollcalls.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1236633

 

Pre-Cruise Items

============

 

-Visit the Crystal CruisesWeb Site at www.crystalcruises.com as it provides lots of useful information to assist you inpreparing for the cruise.

 

-Obtain a copy of CrystalCruise Hard Copy Brochures as they do provide a wealth of information. Thislink will take you to the brochure section on the Crystal Cruises Web Site.

 

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/order-a-brochure

 

I would recommend orderingthe Worldwide Atlas. It provides a wealth of information.

 

-For the best availabilityof cabins, book early. Booking early also has other advantages includinggetting your request in for either early or late dining or dining byreservation.

 

-Utilize the shipboarddiagram found in the Hard Copy Brochures or on-line to determine category ofstateroom desired and to develop a prioritized list of stateroom numbers.

 

-At the time of yourbooking be sure to request your evening dining seating preference (main or latedining and table size). If you prefer dining by reservation do not request atraditional dining time. NOTE: You cannot make your dining by reservationchoices until you have made your final payment. Please note that all of this isbased on availability so it is best to book early and to request your diningpreference at the time of your booking.

 

-Dining time for maindining will begin either at 6:00 PM or 6:15 PM depending on the voyage. Latedining begins at 8:30 PM.

 

-Tables available in themain dining room are typically configured for 2, 4, 6, and 8 guests andsometimes there are a few slightly larger tables. If you have any other specialdining requirements have your Travel Agent note them on your bookingreservation at the time of booking. For example, if you have allergies tocertain foods, have that noted on the reservation or for foods such as lowsodium foods or for kosher foods indicate that as well. If you are travelingsolo and prefer to dine with others traveling solo even though the RestaurantMaitre d’ normally takes that into consideration, be sure to have that noted onyour reservation. The same goes for any other preferences for tablemates. YourTravel Agent can also send a note to the on board guest services group at email address obgs@crystalcruises.com about any other special needs.

 

-If you have any specialdietary needs such as kosher, gluten free or low sodium items, be sure thatyour TA notes this information on your reservation at the time of your booking.Also either write to on board guest services or have your TA do this and dothis a minimum of 90 or more before your cruise. They will then send you oryour TA a form to fill out. E Mail for on board guest services is: obgs@crystalcruises.com

 

-Before booking air,compare prices that you can obtain by making your own independent airlinearrangements vs. those offered by Crystal. To obtain specific flights throughthe cruise line, ask for Air Deviation. There is an additional free for customair. Be aware that if you want to purchase economy seats and upgrade them tobusiness or first class that usually cannot be done when you purchase ticketsthrough the cruise line. Keep in mind that the Crystal air program includestransfers, which can save considerable money in certain areas of the world. Iwant to highlight that if you want to get the specific flights to your likingselect custom air

 

-For long flights such asoversea flights, flights within the Continental USA involving long flightsdurations, consider flying in a day or more before. With most flights runningat full capacity, this will help to ensure that should your flight be canceledor significantly delayed that you will not miss the cruise ship and that youwill start the cruise with little to no jet lag. Personally no matter where thecruise begins, we always fly one or more days in advance. As they say, ifsomething can go wrong, it will go wrong. Also, if you have to change planeslook very closely at the connection times. Even those connections that areconsidered legal connections leave very little room for error and if yourflight is delayed and/or you have a long way to get to the next flight you caneasily miss your plane.

 

-Likewise, when you makeflights to return home if you are departing the day that the ship arrives inport give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. Be sure to factor inany delays that could occur including the ship arriving to port late, delays inclearing the ship for disembarkation, delays in claiming your luggage, thelength of time to get from the pier over to the airport and the times requiredto check in for flights. My view is there is no sense in spending half thecruise worrying whether or not you will make your flight so think verycarefully about the flight times.

 

-Look carefully at thecruise pre-hotel and post-hotel program. Remember, that while the hotel staythrough the program is likely to be more costly than if you booked the stay onyour own, the hotel program also includes transfers between the airport and thehotel and then on embarkation day from the hotel to the ship. In some citiesaround the world transportation can be quite costly. We have used the hotelprogram several times.

 

- Be sure to determinewhether or not you need travel/health insurance and what your needs are. If youwant insurance to cover say the impact of a catastrophic event (sometimescalled an act of god) be sure you read the policy carefully so you know what isand what is not covered so there are no surprises.

 

-At the time of yourbooking, determine if your cruise requires any visas that have to be arrangedprior to your cruise and if any vaccinations are required. This information canbe obtained from Crystal. The availability of this information may varydepending on how far in advance you book the cruise. Crystal does anoutstanding job letting its guests know whether or not visas are required andif any vaccinations are required. Usually by around August the information isavailable for the following calendar year. Crystal Cruises will also let youknow if a Yellow Fever Vaccination is required for your cruise. This link willtake you to 2104/12015 Visa Requirements. Always remember this information canbe subject to change so be sure to have your TA verify this for you.

 

http://www.pinnacletds.com/Crystal

 

The information on thatlink is oriented to United States passport holders and there is an e-mailaddress so that those from other countries can check on their requirements.

 

PCPC - Priority Check-in& Planning Center

 

-Sign in to the PriorityCheck-in & Planning Center (PCPC), by clicking on the following link.

 

https://checkin.crystalcruises.com/

 

You will need to enteryour first and last names and your booking number, which your travelagent/specialist should provide to you. You will complete four sections relatedto immigration such as passport information for each traveler, credit card, onboard profile and a transportation section.

 

Make sure your credit carddoesn't expire during or before the cruise ends. The check in system will NOTlet you put in a Credit Card that expires before the cruise. If you use a debitcard to make your initial entries because your CC expires before the cruise,make sure you go back and put in your new Credit Card information.

 

-The PCPC will alsoprovide you with other information about your cruise including a calendar thatshows the itinerary, along with other information such as whether you aredocked or anchored in port, and what the dress attire is for each evening. Besure to print out a copy of this calendar and bring it with you for check infor your cruise on embarkation day.

 

-As you get closer to thecruise if you look for the section above the calendar marked “events” it will showyou the times of the evening shows which may help you with your planning.Please note that the actual times for the shows might be different on yourvoyage and once on board they will be duly noted in the daily ReflectionsProgram

 

-After you make your finalpayment you can use the system to pre book one specialty restaurant reservationper specialty restaurant, a reservation at the Vintage Room, reservations foropen dining by reservation if you did not selected classic (fixed) dining, spaand salon reservations, signups for classes including those taught at thecomputer university and the ability to arrange for transfers from the airportto the ship if you are flying in the day of embarkation and not using theCrystal Cruises airline program or for the day of disembarkation if you areflying home that day and not using the Crystal Cruises air program. From PCPCyou can also go to other web sites such as one to ship luggage from your hometo the ship and/or from the ship to your home. You can also request anotherservice, which provided for a fee additional assistance at the airport. Pleaseremember that reservations are based on availability.

 

-Approximately six monthsbefore your cruise starts you can make shore excursion reservations in PCPCeven if you have not yet made your final payment.

 

-If this is your firstCrystal Cruise I do recommend making one reservation at each SpecialtyRestaurant (Silk Road which serves Japanese Cuisine and Prego which servesItalian Cuisine). If you are sailing Crystal Serenity you can make one dinnerreservation via PCPC for Tastes, which is a casual dining alternative.

 

There is also an iMovieClass being offered on each voyage and you can sign up for that by using PCPC.If you do sign up for the class be sure to purchase and load the iMovie Appthat is listed on the PCPC at the signup screen for this program.

 

Crystal provides variousnewspapers on line, and the ability to watch on demand lectures and movies onvarious devices such as the iPhone, Android and the iPad. Be sure to make sureyou have downloaded the Press Reader App to read newspapers and the dailyprogram Reflections, the movies on demand swank player app to watch movies onyour iPad, and the iMovie by Apple app to make iMovies should you sign upf orthe class while still at home. This link takes you to the Crystal Cruises Appcenter where you can download the apps you require.

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/app-center

 

-After making your finalpayment if you didn’t choose classic (fixed) evening dining then you will usethis system for the open choice dining by reservation for the Crystal (main)Dining Room. For each evening you specify the time you would like to dine alongwith the table size and the reservation system will confirm this for you inreal-time as you make each reservation. Please note that if you book a tablethat is larger than the size of your party (for example if you are two peopleand book a table for six) then you are responsible for inviting that number ofpeople to join you as the Maître d’ does not seat others with you. Do not waitto board the ship to first make reservations. The times and overallavailability are capacity controlled so it’s best to make all of thereservations at the time or shortly after you make final payment.

 

-Approximately two weeksbefore the start of your voyage you will receive an e-mail from Crystal Cruiseswhich will list all of the reservations you have made and will advise that nonew reservations or revised reservations can be made within seven days of yoursailing.

 

-About six months beforethe cruise begins, under your voyage, the Crystal Web Site will list all of theshore excursions and provide the opportunity for you to sign up for theseexcursions. Most shore excursions can be canceled with no penalty. On the nightthat you embark the ship, your shore excursion tickets will be delivered toyour stateroom, and each ticket will note the last day in which the tickets canbe canceled to avoid penalties. Ordering the tickets ahead of time, saves youtime early in the cruise and also helps to ensure that you get the excursionsthat you want as some of the more popular excursions with limited availabilitycan be sold out prior to the commencement of the cruise.

 

-Be sure that yourpassport will not expire less than six months after your cruise ends. If itdoes expire be sure to get a new passport. Also, check to see if you havesufficient available visa pages in the back. You can have pages added to your existingpassport for a charge. The key is to do this sooner rather than later to ensurethat your passport is back in plenty of time.

 

Notify all of your creditcard and atm card banks of the dates of your vacation and your itinerary sothey do not think transactions from your vacation are fraud related. Make alist of your card numbers and phone numbers in case you need to reach the cardcompany should your cards become lost or should your card not be returned froman ATM machine.

 

Attire

====

 

Often, there are questionsabout the evening attire. The following information about attire comes directlyfrom the Crystal Cruises Web Site.

 

The web site also notesthe appropriate daytime attire for the Crystal Dining Room.

 

 

Crystal Casual

 

For women, Crystal Casualincludes a dress, or a blouse or sweater and skirt or dressy slacks. Men’sCrystal Casual attire includes a sports jacket (optional), dress shirt,buttoned down shirt, open collar or collared polo shirt and dress plants. (Notie required.)

 

Black Tie Optional

 

For men, this includes adark suit with tie or tuxedo. For women, this includes a formal cocktail dress,evening gown, or dressy evening separates. On Black Tie Optional evenings,Crystal requests at least a Jacket to be worn by men and dress, skirts ordressy slacks and blouse or sweater be worn by women.

 

Jeans may NOT be worn inany dining venues or lounges, including the Casino on Black Tie Optionalevenings.

 

Guests can expect thefollowing Black Tie Optional Nights:

 

7 days or less cruises:All Crystal Casual evenings

8 to 10 day cruises: Up to1 Black Tie Optional evening

11 to 13 day cruises: 2Black Tie Optional evenings

World Cruise, HolidayCruises and Crossings may be scheduled differently.

 

Your booking on PCPC willconfirm the number of Black Tie Optional Evenings for your specific cruise aswill your final cruise documents.

 

Visitors

=====

 

Crystal is one of the fewcruise lines, which permit having visitors on board the ship. This link willtake you to the Visitors Authorization Form. Please be sure to fill out theform in its entirety. Visitors are permitted on embarkation day and other daysof the cruise with the exception of the day you disembark the ship. The formnotes the costs to have visitors on board including meals. The visitor requestform is available on line and you can access it via PCPC. Always good to get itapproved sooner rather than later as the number of visitors who can board iscapacity controlled.

 

 

Final Documents, and otherPreparations

=========================

 

 

-Your final documentsshould arrive approximately 30 to 40 days prior to the start of your cruise. Itincludes the cruise passenger ticket, your luggage tags, and other importantinformation to read through including a book titled before you cruise. Be sureto read that book from cover to cover as it includes a lot of usefulinformation which will address many questions that first time cruisers toCrystal undoubtedly have. NOTE: Your final documents will not be sent outunless you have filled out the information on the on line PCPC system. Finaldocuments also include a shore excursion booklet.

 

-You may want to type up alist of any special requests for your stewardess, which you can hand to her theday you first meet her. This could be the type of non-alcoholic beverages thatyou prefer be stocked in your refrigerator, or the type of fruit that you likein your fruit bowl or any other special requests that you have. If you arestaying in a PH or above category your butler will take care of your refrigeratorso you could make a similar list for your butler.

 

-Think through what itemsyou will take with you on the cruise and think through what you will wear thefirst day of embarkation and take into account what you will wear to dinner thefirst evening should your luggage arrive later than expected.

 

- You will receive luggagetags, which you will want to fill out and attach to your luggage right beforeyou go to the pier.

 

Be sure to print out acopy your PCPC document and place it with your final documents.

 

Getting Ready For TheCruise

==================

 

In addition to the eveningattire, think through carefully what you will want to wear on the ship on seadays and what you want to wear while in port. Consider the weather that isexpected based on the time of year and the itinerary you are sailing.

 

If you are on an extendedcruise we bring wire hangers with us, which take up less room in the closet andallow for more clothes to be hung.

 

Complimentary laundryfacilities are available on most passenger decks. They include washer, dryersand an iron and ironing board and complimentary laundry detergent and fabricsofteners are provided.

 

Pressing and Dry CleaningServices are also available on the ship for a charge. Complimentary pressing isavailable for those passengers booked in any of the three penthouse (PH, PS, orCP) categories and complementary dry cleaning and laundry services are alsoavailable for those in the CP Category.

 

Free Internet service isavailable to those in the CP as is 2 hours of free in-suite phone service.Those in the PS received 2 hours of free internet service.

 

Please note that thoseguests sailing in a standard stateroom or Penthouse PH category receive onehour of complimentary internet per day/per guest and you get all of the minutesup front on the first day you board. For those sailing in a Penthouse Suite (PSCategory) you will receive ninety minutes per guest of complimentary internetservice per day.

 

The following providesinformation on internet pricing for those wanting to purchase additionalminutes of internet beyond what is provided comlimentary.

 

You can use the planseither on the computers in the Computer University or on your own devices or ona combination of both.

 

Pay as You Go” access for$0.74/minute

2 hours of access for $55($0.46/minute)

5 hours of access for $127($0.43/minute)

10 hours of access for$220 ($0.37/minute)

 

 

Free Crystal (note onlyCrystal e mail) is available to those in the PH, PS and CP. This involves aspecial Crystal e-mail address that is assigned to you.

 

We also bring some magnetswith us and they can be hung on some of the walls in the cabin, which we use tohang up reminders and various invitations and the cruise ship summary andpictures of the family.

 

Be sure to bring yourcruise ticket with you. Embarkation is done on board the ship.

 

We bring extra passportpictures with us and we also bring a copy of each of our passports. We do thisjust in case we lost our passport either before the start of the cruise orafter the cruise before we fly home. This will facilitate getting a newpassport.

 

There are various apps youcan put on devices such as iPads and selected smart phones. This link will takeyou to the list of apps.

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/app-center

 

 

Embarkation Day

=============

 

-On most embarkation days,boarding of the ship begins at around 12:00 Noon. However, there are someexceptions to this. Usually they are duly noted in your cruise documents.

 

-Your final documentsinclude a document that will be scanned when you arrive to the ship forembarkation. The embarkation process is now handled on the ship including thephoto of you being taken for your shipboard card.

 

-If you embark at thathour, your stateroom will likely not be ready until approximately 2:00 PM to3:00 PM.

 

-Before you board the shipthe ships photographers will be taking photos. This is optional and for thosewho do not want a photo of taken they can just pass on this.

 

-After you embark, stop bythe front desk to get a copy of the Reflections daily program. This program isa keeper and I encourage you to read it thoroughly. While there will be one inyour room, often we read the one we pick up the desk during lunch.

 

The embarkationReflections program not only provides lots of information about the first day’sactivities, but some additional information regarding the overall cruise. Readit cover to cover. You will learn a great deal about the cruise.

 

There will be a one-pagesummary that will list each day, whether it is a sea day or a port day, whatthe attire is for dinner each evening, any theme meals in the Crystal DiningRoom and the type of entertainment for each evening. We keep this page handythroughout the cruise.

 

-Go enjoy lunch. A niceplace for lunch is the Crystal Dining Room where a nice sit-down lunch isavailable along with complimentary flutes of champagne. While you are waitingfor lunch, this might be a good time to read through reflections. You can enterand still be seated in the dining room up until 1:30 PM. A more casualluncheon-dining venue will also be open on the Lido Deck.

 

-If you want to makereservations at the Specialty Restaurants and/or also see where your diningroom table is located for the evening dinner in the main dining room the MaîtreD’s will have hours available in the afternoon when you can meet with them. Thehours and the location will be posted in Reflections.

 

-If you have brought yourown computer with you this is also a good day to go by the Computer Universitywhere they will configure your computer for use in your stateroom. You can alsosign up for an Internet plan whether or not you have your own computer or usethe computers located in the Computer University. If you would like to sign upfor computer classes, stop by the Computer University to do so and to pick up acopy of the computer class schedule.

 

-If you have spa and otherbeauty salon appointments that you need to make, be sure to visit the spa.Also, pick up a schedule of all of the fitness classes that will be offeredduring the voyage at the Fitness Center.

 

-While you are waiting foryour cabin this is a good day to get learn about the layout of the public areason the ship. Take a walk to see what is on each deck.

 

-When your room is ready,go by your room. Some or your entire luggage may already be in the room andthose pieces that are not yet there will be delivered throughout the afternoon.Your room should be ready sometime between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM.

 

-Stop by the library tocheckout books, music CD’s, and DVD’s.

 

-Your stewardess will comeby to see you sometime that afternoon. This is a good time to ask her anyquestions you have. If you like particular types of non-alcoholic beverages lether know. You can order up to two bottles of wines/spirit for your room. A listof what can be ordered is in the back of a Crystal Stateroom Book that can befound in your room. The same goes for the fruit bowl that she will fill eachday. And, if there is any other requests you have you can let her know. If youhave a list that you prepared mentioned earlier then this is a good time togive it to her.

 

-If you are staying in aPH or above category in addition to the stewardess who is also assisted by astewardess in training you will also have a butler. The butler will stock yourrefrigerator with non-alcoholic drinks, will also provide selectedcomplimentary wine, spirit sand beer should you want any.

 

-This is a good time tounpack and later in the day you will also attend the lifeboat drill. The timewill be noted in the Reflections Program and an announcement will be made aboutthe drill well before the start time. On your door there will be a sign notingwhere your muster station is. If in doubt, any of the assigned personnel in thehallways and near the stairways will be able to direct you to the appropriatemuster station.

 

On Board Credits (OBC)

 

All on board credits haveto be used as any unused credits cannot be taken as a credit to your creditcard when the cruise ends. If you are on for more than one consecutive cruisethe credit from the first cruise will continue to rollover to subsequentcruises until you disembark the ship at the final port of call.

 

There are a variety ofways to use your on board credit. This list reflects examples of many ways youcan use your on board credit. I may have omitted some examples but this listshould give you some good ideas as to how you can use your credits.

 

Shore Excursions includingPrivate Crystal Excursions

Private Transfers PostCruise Booked On Board or Shared Transfers booked via PCPC or on board.

Post Card Stamps

Connoisseur Wine &Beer List

Crystal Spa & Salon

Personal Training

Other Paid Services in theFitness Center

Vintage Room

Casino with the followingcaveats:

 

http://legacy.crystalcruises.com/Sup...px?stb=2&fc=15

 

 

Tips

Crew Fund

Cigars

Private Parties

Flowers

Specialty Restaurant Reservationsthat exceed the allotment based on the length of the cruise and the number ofcruises you completed.

Special Silk RoadConnoisseur Menu

Caviar

Dry Cleaning, Pressing andWashing of Garments

Medical Expenses

On Board Stores includingSundries

Hosting Guests On Board

Private Dance Lessons

On Board Visas if there isa requirement for them and the ship arranges them

Internet beyond theComplimentary 1 hour per day per person that is included

Long Distance TelephoneCalls

Photos

Photo items sold on board

Photo Book

 

The Cruise

========

 

-Each time the ship leavesport, if you go outside (on your own verandah, or on any of the outside decksyou will hear what has become a tradition for Crystal Cruises and it’s guestand crew which is a recording of Louis Armstrong singing "What a WonderfulWorld"

 

-The wait staff in theMain Dining Room will include the Maitre d’ who has several responsibilitiesincluding assigning passengers to their respective tables, the Head Waiter whois responsible for an area of the dining room which includes several tables andwho you can see if you would like to order any special items, the senior waiterwho takes your order and ensures that all of the items you ordered are servedto you, and the waiter who assists the senior waiter in serving you your meal.There is also a sommelier that serves mixed drinks and wine and hasresponsibility for a specific section of tables.

 

- Gratuities are includedwith your cruise fare. However, should you wish to you can give gratuities to thosefrom the cruise who you will to thank for the excellent service they haveprovided. You can either do this by giving them cash of if you would like youcan obtain a form at the reception desk so that you can charge the tips to yourshipboard account.

 

-Wine. Complimentary wineis available throughout the day/evening. For those who might want to havesomething other than the complimentary wine you can order it at the time youdine or you can pre-order it. If you would like you can pre-order wine earlierin the day at the Bistro which is staffed with several of the sommeliers. Thatway if you are ordering a red wine it can be opened up ahead of time andregardless of whether you order a red or a white wine or both the table will beset accordingly. If you have a bottle of wine in your room that you would liketo send to any of the restaurants just let your stewardess know or in the PHand above categories just let your butler know. There is no charge for havingwine opened in any of the dining venues.

 

Each night the CrystalDining Room will offer a couple of different wines. In general, there are about19 wines that are offered during the cruise in the dining room so if the twowines are not to your liking ask about these other wines.

 

In the Specialty restaurantsPrego and Silk Road there are a few complimentary wines offered each evening.There are also a few others so ask about those if the ones are offered are notappealing to you. You can also have complimentary sake in Silk Road.

 

On Crystal Serenityanother dining option is Tastes and they also have an inclusive wine list ofseveral wines.

 

-Spirits. The inclusivelist includes a wide range of spirits and also includes other items such asliquors for after dinner drinks or to enjoy other times of the day.

 

-Beer. For those who enjoybeer there are some offerings of beer on each voyage.

 

- Most importantly, startenjoying your cruise knowing that the superb personnel on board the CrystalShip will take care of your every need. Enjoy the ambience of the ship and thefive-star+ services that awaits you from the outstanding cuisine to theoutstanding service.

 

-Enjoy each and everyminute of the cruise knowing that you are in the professional hands of thesuperb Crystal Staff. For those who like to keep busy there is so much to doand to learn. For those who just want to sit back, read a book, enjoy the sea,there are many special places around the ship in which to relax.

 

-In the unlikely eventthere is a concern with some item, be sure that it is addressed. If you are notsure who to speak with, just ask the reception desk for assistance.

 

- At the end of the cruiseyou will be a member of the Crystal Society. As a Crystal Society member youreceive discounts on future cruises and you can achieve additional benefitsbased on the number of cruises taken. Also, this is the time to considerbooking a future cruise, as you will receive an on board-booking discount. Thediscount is on top of the Crystal Society discount and is the same percentage.So, if the Crystal Society discount was 4 percent then you would receive anadditional 4% for the on board booking discount for a total savings of 8%.

 

-Assuming you enjoy yourexperience with Crystal Cruises, you can book another Crystal Cruise with theon-board booking consultant while still on the cruise and this will provide youwith an on board booking discount. If you are unsure what cruise to book youcan do an open booking which you can then apply to a specific cruise within thepublished time frame while back on land.

 

-Once you are home, youwill have the opportunity to complete an on-line questionnaire. Take the timeto fill it out. This used to be a hard copy questionnaire that you had to fillout on the ship. Now you can complete it at home within the established timeframe, which allows Crystal Cruises to capture information on yourdisembarkation process and also allows you to take time to reflect on thecruise. There is lots of room for comments and also to recognize members of thecrew for a job well done. The comments are read by many people includingpersonnel in Los Angeles and on the ship and the results of the questionnaireare taken every seriously.

 

Before you leave the shipyou will receive a letter in your cabin discussing the on-line questionnaireand noting the e-mail address they have on file for each passenger where theinformation will be sent. Sometime the day you disembark the ship you willreceive an e-mail about the survey and there will be an area that you click onthe e mail which will take you to the survey.

 

My wife and I feel so veryfortunate to be able to cruise on a cruise line as special to us as Crystal.Through our many cruises with Crystal we have had the opportunity to learn sovery much about the world we live in. In our humble opinion there is no betterway to see so many places in a relatively short time as on a cruise. And, forus, each and every time we board the Crystal Serenity or the Crystal Symphony,and familiar faces, crew and passengers greet us alike, we know we are back home.

 

Finally, as soon as youboard the ship, just start enjoying the cruise and I hope each of you will makememories that will last a lifetime.

 

YACHT

 

In late 2015 CrystalCruises launched their first Yacht known as Crystal Esprit.

 

This link will take you tothe Crystal Cruises Web Site providing some very useful summary informationabout the Esprit Yacht.

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/yacht/yacht-guidebook

 

RIVER CRUISING

 

Crystal Cruises commencesriver cruising starting in 2016 with the deployment of Crystal Mozart. In 2017,Crystal Cruises will deploy two new River Cruise Vessels; Bach, & Mahler.

 

For information aboutRiver Cruises:

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/river/river-guidebook

 

I hope that each of youhas found this document to be of help.

 

Bon Voyage!

 

Keith

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Keith

A lot of the text has merged together so there are no gaps between words eg no tie becomes notie, when you cut and pasted this content from one thread to another

It makes it awfully hard to read - are you planning to repost a revised version?

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Some Thoughts For FirstTime Crystal Cruisers

 

This will serve as the new“Sticky” Thread for this topic.

 

The former thread will nolonger be a “Sticky” Thread, but can be found here:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2272970

 

This thread has been written with first time Crystal Cruisers in mind. I believe it can also be helpful to those who have not cruised Crystal in sometime as well and hopefully to others who may have cruised Crystal a few times or less.

 

While the information ismainly related to the Ocean Vessels, I have incorporated some information on the River Cruises and Yacht.

 

The information is primarily focused on cruise preparation, the first day of embarkation with a few additional thoughts as well.

 

In addition to this informationI would like to highlight the following.

 

Cruise Critic CrystalCruises Threads

===========================

 

MEET AND MINGLE PARTIES

 

After you have booked yourcruise you can go over to the Meet and Mingle Board to register to attend a party. If 10 or more people sign hope Crystal Cruises will host a complimentary cocktail party for that voyage which will provide a nice opportunity for you to meet your fellow Cruise Critic Cruisers. A few days before the party, you will receive an invitation noting the date/time/location of the party.

 

Here is the link to signup for the Meet and Mingle (M&M) Parties:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=995584

 

After you have signed up for a party if you need to make a revision/deletion you can update your reservation by using this link.

 

http://www.cruisecritic.com/rollcall/partylist.cfm

 

 

FUTURE BOOKINGS

 

After you have booked yourcruise you can go over to the Future Booking Thread, which shows all of those from Cruise Critic who are booked on a particular voyage. You can post on this thread asking that you be added to the cruise you have booked. It also will provide a nice opportunity for you to see who will be on the cruise with you from cruise critic:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...935081&page=42

 

ROLL CALL THREAD

 

Be sure to see if a rollcall has been established for your cruise. There is a roll call thread that lists all of the roll calls. This link will take you to the first page of the thread and from there click on the last page to see the most current rollcalls.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1236633

 

Pre-Cruise Items

============

 

-Visit the Crystal CruisesWeb Site at www.crystalcruises.com as it provides lots of useful information to assist you in preparing for the cruise.

 

-Obtain a copy of CrystalCruise Hard Copy Brochures as they do provide a wealth of information. This link will take you to the brochure section on the Crystal Cruises Web Site.

 

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/order-a-brochure

 

I would recommend ordering the Worldwide Atlas. It provides a wealth of information.

 

-For the best availability of cabins, book early. Booking early also has other advantages including getting your request in for either early or late dining or dining by reservation.

 

-Utilize the shipboard diagram found in the Hard Copy Brochures or on-line to determine category of stateroom desired and to develop a prioritized list of stateroom numbers.

 

-At the time of yourbooking be sure to request your evening dining seating preference (main or latedining and table size). If you prefer dining by reservation do not request a traditional dining time. NOTE: You cannot make your dining by reservation choices until you have made your final payment. Please note that all of this is based on availability so it is best to book early and to request your dining preference at the time of your booking.

 

-Dining time for main dining will begin either at 6:00 PM or 6:15 PM depending on the voyage. Late dining begins at 8:30 PM.

 

-Tables available in the main dining room are typically configured for 2, 4, 6, and 8 guests and sometimes there are a few slightly larger tables. If you have any other special dining requirements have your Travel Agent note them on your booking reservation at the time of booking. For example, if you have allergies to certain foods, have that noted on the reservation or for foods such as low sodium foods or for kosher foods indicate that as well. If you are traveling solo and prefer to dine with others traveling solo even though the RestaurantMaitre d’ normally takes that into consideration, be sure to have that noted on your reservation. The same goes for any other preferences for table mates Your Travel Agent can also send a note to the on board guest services group at email address obgs@crystalcruises.com about any other special needs.

 

-If you have any special dietary needs such as kosher, gluten free or low sodium items, be sure that your TA notes this information on your reservation at the time of your booking. Also either write to on board guest services or have your TA do this and dot his a minimum of 90 or more before your cruise. They will then send you or your TA a form to fill out. E Mail for on board guest services is: obgs@crystalcruises.com

 

-Before booking air, compare prices that you can obtain by making your own independent airline arrangements vs. those offered by Crystal. To obtain specific flights through the cruise line, ask for Air Deviation. There is an additional free for custom air. Be aware that if you want to purchase economy seats and upgrade them to business or first class that usually cannot be done when you purchase tickets through the cruise line. Keep in mind that the Crystal air program includes transfers, which can save considerable money in certain areas of the world. Iwant to highlight that if you want to get the specific flights to your liking select custom air

 

-For long flights such as oversea flights, flights within the Continental USA involving long flightsdurations, consider flying in a day or more before. With most flights running at full capacity, this will help to ensure that should your flight be canceled or significantly delayed that you will not miss the cruise ship and that you will start the cruise with little to no jet lag. Personally no matter where the cruise begins, we always fly one or more days in advance. As they say, if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. Also, if you have to change planes look very closely at the connection times. Even those connections that are considered legal connections leave very little room for error and if yourflight is delayed and/or you have a long way to get to the next flight you caneasily miss your plane.

 

-Likewise, when you make flights to return home if you are departing the day that the ship arrives inport give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. Be sure to factor inany delays that could occur including the ship arriving to port late, delays inclearing the ship for disembarkation, delays in claiming your luggage, the length of time to get from the pier over to the airport and the times required to check in for flights. My view is there is no sense in spending half the cruise worrying whether or not you will make your flight so think verycarefully about the flight times.

 

-Look carefully at thecruise pre-hotel and post-hotel program. Remember, that while the hotel stay through the program is likely to be more costly than if you booked the stay on your own, the hotel program also includes transfers between the airport and the hotel and then on embarkation day from the hotel to the ship. In some cities around the world transportation can be quite costly. We have used the hotelprogram several times.

 

- Be sure to determine whether or not you need travel/health insurance and what your needs are. If youwant insurance to cover say the impact of a catastrophic event (sometimes called an act of god) be sure you read the policy carefully so you know what isand what is not covered so there are no surprises.

 

-At the time of yourbooking, determine if your cruise requires any visas that have to be arranged prior to your cruise and if any vaccinations are required. This information canbe obtained from Crystal. The availability of this information may vary depending on how far in advance you book the cruise. Crystal does an outstanding job letting its guests know whether or not visas are required andif any vaccinations are required. Usually by around August the information is available for the following calendar year. Crystal Cruises will also let you know if a Yellow Fever Vaccination is required for your cruise.

 

PCPC - Priority Check-in& Planning Center

 

-Sign in to the PriorityCheck-in & Planning Center (PCPC), by clicking on the following link.

 

https://checkin.crystalcruises.com/f

 

You will need to enteryour first and last names and your booking number, which your travelagent/specialist should provide to you. You will complete four sections relatedto immigration such as passport information for each traveler, credit card, onboard profile and a transportation section.

 

Make sure your credit card doesn't expire during or before the cruise ends. The check in system will NOTlet you put in a Credit Card that expires before the cruise. If you use a debit card to make your initial entries because your CC expires before the cruise, make sure you go back and put in your new Credit Card information.

 

-The PCPC will also provide you with other information about your cruise including a calendar that shows the itinerary, along with other information such as whether you aredocked or anchored in port, and what the dress attire is for each evening. Besure to print out a copy of this calendar and bring it with you for check infor your cruise on embarkation day.

 

-As you get closer to thecruise if you look for the section above the calendar marked “events” it willshow you the times of the evening shows which may help you with your planning.Please note that the actual times for the shows might be different on your voyage and once on board they will be duly noted in the daily ReflectionsProgram

 

-After you make your finalpayment you can use the system to pre book one specialty restaurant reservationper specialty restaurant, a reservation at the Vintage Room, reservations foropen dining by reservation if you did not selected classic (fixed) dining, spaand salon reservations, signups for classes including those taught at thecomputer university and the ability to arrange for transfers from the airportto the ship if you are flying in the day of embarkation and not using theCrystal Cruises airline program or for the day of disembarkation if you are flying home that day and not using the Crystal Cruises air program. From PCPC you can also go to other web sites such as one to ship luggage from your home to the ship and/or from the ship to your home. You can also request another service, which provided for a fee additional assistance at the airport. Please remember that reservations are based on availability.

 

-Approximately six months before your cruise starts you can make shore excursion reservations in PCPCeven if you have not yet made your final payment.

 

-If this is your first Crystal Cruise I do recommend making one reservation at each SpecialtyRestaurant (Silk Road which serves Japanese Cuisine and Prego which serves Italian Cuisine). If you are sailing Crystal Serenity you can make one dinner reservation via PCPC for Tastes, which is a casual dining alternative.

 

There is also an iMovieClass being offered on each voyage and you can sign up for that by using PCPC.If you do sign up for the class be sure to purchase and load the iMovie Appthat is listed on the PCPC at the signup screen for this program.

 

Crystal provides various newspapers on line, and the ability to watch on demand lectures and movies onvarious devices such as the iPhone, Android and the iPad. Be sure to make surey you have downloaded the Press Reader App to read newspapers and the daily program Reflections, the movies on demand swank player app to watch movies on your iPad, and the iMovie by Apple app to make iMovies should you sign up for the class while still at home. This link takes you to the Crystal Cruises App center where you can download the apps you require.

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/app-center

 

-After making your final payment if you didn’t choose classic (fixed) evening dining then you will use this system for the open choice dining by reservation for the Crystal (main)Dining Room. For each evening you specify the time you would like to dine along with the table size and the reservation system will confirm this for you in real-time as you make each reservation. Please note that if you book a table that is larger than the size of your party (for example if you are two people and book a table for six) then you are responsible for inviting that number of people to join you as the Maître d’ does not seat others with you. Do not wait to board the ship to first make reservations. The times and overall availability are capacity controlled so it’s best to make all of the reservations at the time or shortly after you make final payment.

 

-Approximately two weeks before the start of your voyage you will receive an e-mail from Crystal Cruises which will list all of the reservations you have made and will advise that no new reservations or revised reservations can be made within seven days of your sailing.

 

-About six months beforethe cruise begins, under your voyage, the Crystal Web Site will list all of the shore excursions and provide the opportunity for you to sign up for these excursions. Most shore excursions can be canceled with no penalty. On the night that you embark the ship, your shore excursion tickets will be delivered to your stateroom, and each ticket will note the last day in which the tickets can be canceled to avoid penalties. Ordering the tickets ahead of time, saves you time early in the cruise and also helps to ensure that you get the excursions that you want as some of the more popular excursions with limited availability can be sold out prior to the commencement of the cruise.

 

-Be sure that your passport will not expire less than six months after your cruise ends. If itd oes expire be sure to get a new passport. Also, check to see if you have sufficient available visa pages in the back. You can have pages added to yourexisting passport for a charge. The key is to do this sooner rather than later to ensure that your passport is back in plenty of time.

 

Notify all of your credit card and atm card banks of the dates of your vacation and your itinerary sothey do not think transactions from your vacation are fraud related. Make alist of your card numbers and phone numbers in case you need to reach the cardcompany should your cards become lost or should your card not be returned froman ATM machine.

 

Attire

====

 

Often, there are questionsabout the evening attire. The following information about attire comes directlyfrom the Crystal Cruises Web Site.

 

The web site also notesthe appropriate daytime attire for the Crystal Dining Room.

 

 

Crystal Casual

 

For women, Crystal Casualincludes a dress, or a blouse or sweater and skirt or dressy slacks. Men’sCrystal Casual attire includes a sports jacket (optional), dress shirt,buttoned down shirt, open collar or collared polo shirt and dress plants. (Notie required.)

 

Black Tie Optional

 

For men, this includes adark suit with tie or tuxedo. For women, this includes a formal cocktail dress,evening gown, or dressy evening separates. On Black Tie Optional evenings,Crystal requests at least a Jacket to be worn by men and dress, skirts ordressy slacks and blouse or sweater be worn by women.

 

Jeans may NOT be worn inany dining venues or lounges, including the Casino on Black Tie Optionalevenings.

 

Guests can expect thefollowing Black Tie Optional Nights:

 

7 days or less cruises:All Crystal Casual evenings

8 to 10 day cruises: Up to1 Black Tie Optional evening

11 to 13 day cruises: 2Black Tie Optional evenings

World Cruise, HolidayCruises and Crossings may be scheduled differently.

 

Your booking on PCPC willconfirm the number of Black Tie Optional Evenings for your specific cruise aswill your final cruise documents.

 

Visitors

=====

 

Crystal is one of the fewcruise lines, which permit having visitors on board the ship. This link willtake you to the Visitors Authorization Form. Please be sure to fill out theform in its entirety. Visitors are permitted on embarkation day and other daysof the cruise with the exception of the day you disembark the ship. The formnotes the costs to have visitors on board including meals. The visitor requestform is available on line and you can access it via PCPC. Always good to get itapproved sooner rather than later as the number of visitors who can board iscapacity controlled.

 

 

Final Documents, and otherPreparations

=========================

 

 

-Your final documentsshould arrive approximately 30 to 40 days prior to the start of your cruise. Itincludes the cruise passenger ticket, your luggage tags, and other importantinformation to read through including a book titled before you cruise. Be sureto read that book from cover to cover as it includes a lot of usefulinformation which will address many questions that first time cruisers toCrystal undoubtedly have. NOTE: Your final documents will not be sent outunless you have filled out the information on the on line PCPC system. Finaldocuments also include a shore excursion booklet.

 

-You may want to type up alist of any special requests for your stewardess, which you can hand to her theday you first meet her. This could be the type of non-alcoholic beverages thatyou prefer be stocked in your refrigerator, or the type of fruit that you likein your fruit bowl or any other special requests that you have. If you arestaying in a PH or above category your butler will take care of yourrefrigerator so you could make a similar list for your butler.

 

-Think through what itemsyou will take with you on the cruise and think through what you will wear thefirst day of embarkation and take into account what you will wear to dinner thefirst evening should your luggage arrive later than expected.

 

- You will receive luggagetags, which you will want to fill out and attach to your luggage right beforeyou go to the pier.

 

Be sure to print out acopy your PCPC document and place it with your final documents.

 

Getting Ready For TheCruise

==================

 

In addition to the evening attire, think through carefully what you will want to wear on the ship on seadays and what you want to wear while in port. Consider the weather that isexpected based on the time of year and the itinerary you are sailing.

 

If you are on an extended cruise we bring wire hangers with us, which take up less room in the closet and allow for more clothes to be hung.

 

Complimentary laundry facilities are available on most passenger decks. They include washer, dryers and an iron and ironing board and complimentary laundry detergent and fabric softeners are provided.

 

Pressing and Dry CleaningServices are also available on the ship for a charge. Complimentary pressing isavailable for those passengers booked in any of the three penthouse (PH, PS, orCP) categories and complementary dry cleaning and laundry services are also available for those in the CP Category.

 

Free Internet service isa vailable to those in the CP as is 2 hours of free in-suite phone service.Those in the PS received 2 hours of free internet service.

 

Please note that those guests sailing in a standard stateroom or Penthouse PH category receive onehour of complimentary internet per day/per guest and you get all of the minute sup front on the first day you board. For those sailing in a Penthouse Suite (PSCategory) you will receive ninety minutes per guest of complimentary internet service per day.

 

The following provides information on internet pricing for those wanting to purchase additional minutes of internet beyond what is provided comlimentary.

 

You can use the plans either on the computers in the Computer University or on your own devices or ona combination of both.

 

Pay as You Go” access for$0.74/minute

2 hours of access for $55($0.46/minute)

5 hours of access for $127($0.43/minute)

10 hours of access for$220 ($0.37/minute)

 

 

Free Crystal (note onlyCrystal e mail) is available to those in the PH, PS and CP. This involves a special Crystal e-mail address that is assigned to you.

 

We also bring some magnetswith us and they can be hung on some of the walls in the cabin, which we use tohang up reminders and various invitations and the cruise ship summary andpictures of the family.

 

Be sure to bring your cruise ticket with you. Embarkation is done on board the ship.

 

We bring extra passport pictures with us and we also bring a copy of each of our passports. We do this just in case we lost our passport either before the start of the cruise orafter the cruise before we fly home. This will facilitate getting a new passport.

 

There are various apps you can put on devices such as iPads and selected smart phones. This link will take you to the list of apps.

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/app-center

 

 

Embarkation Day

=============

 

-On most embarkation days,boarding of the ship begins at around 12:00 Noon. However, there are someexceptions to this. Usually they are duly noted in your cruise documents.

 

-Your final documents include a document that will be scanned when you arrive to the ship for embarkation. The embarkation process is now handled on the ship including the photo of you being taken for your shipboard card.

 

-If you embark at thathour, your stateroom will likely not be ready until approximately 2:00 PM to3:00 PM.

 

-Before you board the ship the ships photographers will be taking photos. This is optional and for those who do not want a photo of taken they can just pass on this.

 

-After you embark, stop by the front desk to get a copy of the Reflections daily program. This program is a keeper and I encourage you to read it thoroughly. While there will be one inyour room, often we read the one we pick up the desk during lunch.

 

The embarkation Reflections program not only provides lots of information about the first day’sactivities, but some additional information regarding the overall cruise. Read it cover to cover. You will learn a great deal about the cruise.

 

There will be a one-page summary that will list each day, whether it is a sea day or a port day, what the attire is for dinner each evening, any meals in the Crystal Dining Room and the type of entertainment for each evening. We keep this page handy throughout the cruise.

 

-Go enjoy lunch. A niceplace for lunch is the Crystal Dining Room where a nice sit-down lunch is available along with complimentary flutes of champagne. While you are waiting for lunch, this might be a good time to read through reflections. You can enter and still be seated in the dining room up until 1:30 PM. A more casual luncheon-dining venue will also be open on the Lido Deck.

 

-If you want to make reservations at the Specialty Restaurants and/or also see where your dining room table is located for the evening dinner in the main dining room the MaîtreD’s will have hours available in the afternoon when you can meet with them. The hours and the location will be posted in Reflections.

 

-If you have brought your own computer with you this is also a good day to go by the Computer University where they will configure your computer for use in your stateroom. You can also sign up for an Internet plan whether or not you have your own computer or use the computers located in the Computer University. If you would like to sign up for computer classes, stop by the Computer University to do so and to pick up acopy of the computer class schedule.

 

-If you have spa and other beauty salon appointments that you need to make, be sure to visit the spa. Also, pick up a schedule of all of the fitness classes that will be offered during the voyage at the Fitness Center.

 

-While you are waiting foryour cabin this is a good day to get learn about the layout of the public areason the ship. Take a walk to see what is on each deck.

 

-When your room is ready, go by your room. Some or your entire luggage may already be in the room and those pieces that are not yet there will be delivered throughout the afternoon.Your room should be ready sometime between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM.

 

-Stop by the library to checkout books, music CD’s, and DVD’s.

 

-Your stewardess will comeby to see you sometime that afternoon. This is a good time to ask her anyquestions you have. If you like particular types of non-alcoholic beverages lether know. You can order up to two bottles of wines/spirit for your room. A list of what can be ordered is in the back of a Crystal Stateroom Book that can be found in your room. The same goes for the fruit bowl that she will fill eachday. And, if there is any other requests you have you can let her know. If you have a list that you prepared mentioned earlier then this is a good time togive it to her.

 

-If you are staying in aPH or above category in addition to the stewardess who is also assisted by astewardess in training you will also have a butler. The butler will stock your refrigerator with non-alcoholic drinks, will also provide selected complimentary wine, spirit sand beer should you want any.

 

-This is a good time to unpack and later in the day you will also attend the lifeboat drill. The timewill be noted in the Reflections Program and an announcement will be made aboutthe drill well before the start time. On your door there will be a sign noting where your muster station is. If in doubt, any of the assigned personnel in the hallways and near the stairways will be able to direct you to the appropriate muster station.

 

On Board Credits (OBC)

 

All on board credits have to be used as any unused credits cannot be taken as a credit to your credit card when the cruise ends. If you are on for more than one consecutive cruise the credit from the first cruise will continue to rollover to subsequent cruises until you disembark the ship at the final port of call.

 

There are a variety ofways to use your on board credit. This list reflects examples of many ways youcan use your on board credit. I may have omitted some examples but this listshould give you some good ideas as to how you can use your credits.

 

Shore Excursions including Private Crystal Excursions

Private Transfers PostCruise Booked On Board or Shared Transfers booked via PCPC or on board.

Post Card Stamps

Connoisseur Wine &Beer List

Crystal Spa & Salon

Personal Training

Other Paid Services in the Fitness Center

Vintage Room

Casino with the following caveats:

 

http://legacy.crystalcruises.com/Sup...px?stb=2&fc=15

 

 

Tips

Crew Fund

Cigars

Private Parties

Flowers

Specialty Restaurant Reservations that exceed the allotment based on the length of the cruise and the number of cruises you completed.

Special Silk RoadConnoisseur Menu

Caviar

Dry Cleaning, Pressing andWashing of Garments

Medical Expenses

On Board Stores includingSundries

Hosting Guests On Board

Private Dance Lessons

On Board Visas if there is a requirement for them and the ship arranges them

Internet beyond theComplimentary 1 hour per day per person that is included

Long Distance TelephoneCalls

Photos

Photo items sold on board

Photo Book

 

The Cruise

========

 

-Each time the ship leavesport, if you go outside (on your own verandah, or on any of the outside decks you will hear what has become a tradition for Crystal Cruises and it’s guest and crew which is a recording of Louis Armstrong singing "What a WonderfulWorld"

 

-The wait staff in theMain Dining Room will include the Maitre d’ who has several responsibilities including assigning passengers to their respective tables, the Head Waiter who is responsible for an area of the dining room which includes several tables and who you can see if you would like to order any special items, the senior waiter who takes your order and ensures that all of the items you ordered are served to you, and the waiter who assists the senior waiter in serving you your meal. There is also a sommelier that serves mixed drinks and wine and has responsibility for a specific section of tables.

 

- Gratuities are included with your cruise fare. However, should you wish to you can give gratuities to those from the cruise who you will to thank for the excellent service they have provided. You can either do this by giving them cash of if you would like you can obtain a form at the reception desk so that you can charge the tips to your shipboard account.

 

-Wine. Complimentary wineis available throughout the day/evening. For those who might want to have something other than the complimentary wine you can order it at the time you dine or you can pre-order it. If you would like you can pre-order wine earlier in the day at the Bistro which is staffed with several of the sommeliers. That way if you are ordering a red wine it can be opened up ahead of time and regardless of whether you order a red or a white wine or both the table will beset accordingly. If you have a bottle of wine in your room that you would like to send to any of the restaurants just let your stewardess know or in the PHand above categories just let your butler know. There is no charge for having wine opened in any of the dining venues.

 

Each night the CrystalDining Room will offer a couple of different wines. In general, there are about19 wines that are offered during the cruise in the dining room so if the two wines are not to your liking ask about these other wines.

 

In the Specialtyrestaurants Prego and Silk Road there are a few complimentary wines offered each evening. There are also a few others so ask about those if the ones are offered are not appealing to you. You can also have complimentary sake in SilkRoad.

 

On Crystal Serenity another dining option is Tastes and they also have an inclusive wine list of several wines.

 

-Spirits. The inclusive list includes a wide range of spirits and also includes other items such asliquors for after dinner drinks or to enjoy other times of the day.

 

-Beer. For those who enjoy beer there are some offerings of beer on each voyage.

 

- Most importantly, start enjoying your cruise knowing that the superb personnel on board the Crystal Ship will take care of your every need. Enjoy the ambience of the ship and thefive-star+ services that awaits you from the outstanding cuisine to the outstanding service.

 

-Enjoy each and every minute of the cruise knowing that you are in the professional hands of thesuperb Crystal Staff. For those who like to keep busy there is so much to doand to learn. For those who just want to sit back, read a book, enjoy the sea,there are many special places around the ship in which to relax.

 

-In the unlikely event there is a concern with some item, be sure that it is addressed. If you are not sure who to speak with, just ask the reception desk for assistance.

 

- At the end of the cruise you will be a member of the Crystal Society. As a Crystal Society member you receive discounts on future cruises and you can achieve additional benefits based on the number of cruises taken. Also, this is the time to consider booking a future cruise, as you will receive an on board-booking discount. The discount is on top of the Crystal Society discount and is the same percentage. So if the Crystal Society discount was 4 percent then you would receive an additional 4% for the on board booking discount for a total savings of 8%.

 

-Assuming you enjoy your experience with Crystal Cruises, you can book another Crystal Cruise with the on-board booking consultant while still on the cruise and this will provide you with an on board booking discount. If you are unsure what cruise to book youcan do an open booking which you can then apply to a specific cruise within the published time frame while back on land.

 

-Once you are home, you will have the opportunity to complete an on-line questionnaire. Take the time to fill it out. This used to be a hard copy questionnaire that you had to fill out on the ship. Now you can complete it at home within the established timeframe, which allows Crystal Cruises to capture information on your embarkation process and also allows you to take time to reflect on thecruise. There is lots of room for comments and also to recognize members of thecrew for a job well done. The comments are read by many people including personnel in Los Angeles and on the ship and the results of the questionnaire are taken every seriously.

 

Before you leave the ship you will receive a letter in your cabin discussing the on-line questionnaireand noting the e-mail address they have on file for each passenger where the information will be sent. Sometime the day you disembark the ship you will receive an e-mail about the survey and there will be an area that you click on the e mail which will take you to the survey.

 

My wife and I feel so veryfortunate to be able to cruise on a cruise line as special to us as Crystal.Through our many cruises with Crystal we have had the opportunity to learn sovery much about the world we live in. In our humble opinion there is no better way to see so many places in a relatively short time as on a cruise. And, for us, each and every time we board the Crystal Serenity or the Crystal Symphony,and familiar faces, crew and passengers greet us alike, we know we are back home.

 

Finally, as soon as youboard the ship, just start enjoying the cruise and I hope each of you will make memories that will last a lifetime.

 

YACHT

 

In late 2015 CrystalCruises launched their first Yacht known as Crystal Esprit.

 

This link will take you tothe Crystal Cruises Web Site providing some very useful summary informationabout the Esprit Yacht.

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/yacht/yacht-guidebook

 

RIVER CRUISING

 

Crystal Cruises commencesriver cruising starting in 2016 with the deployment of Crystal Mozart. In 2017,Crystal Cruises will deploy two new River Cruise Vessels; Bach, & Mahler.

 

For information aboutRiver Cruises:

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/river/river-guidebook

 

I hope that each of you has found this document to be of help.

 

Bon Voyage!

 

Keith

Edited by Keith1010

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You will also receive with your documents Before You Sail which has valuable information. It is really not that difficult to learn about Crystal and what they offer in the Cliff Note version.

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Thank you for the comprehensive guidance. We have sailed Crystal multiple times and learned quite a bit more from your post. A follow up question for you: When do "Events" typically post to the PCPC?

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Thank you for the comprehensive guidance. We have sailed Crystal multiple times and learned quite a bit more from your post. A follow up question for you: When do "Events" typically post to the PCPC?

 

I am glad that you found the writeup to be helpful. While I write it with first time Crystal Cruisers in mind I also consider things that others who have taken Crystal might want to know about.

 

Shore excursion typically will be available for booking on PCPC six months prior to the cruise. That is the goal but sometimes the target is not made.

 

On PCPC where it might show the time for entertainment I would not take that as a true time as often it changes.

 

For your voyage if you go to the Crystal Web site but not into PCPC and find your voyage and then click on the entertainment section that will show some of the senior officers who will be on board along with entertainers and lecturers.

 

Unfortunately due to challenges with respect to updating the new site most of this is not up to date and even the legacy site is not up to date either.

 

Just keep checking as your cruise nears.

 

Keith

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Our first Crystal Cruise is in June. Do they really offer a decent lunch on embarkation day? We dont really leave the port until after 6 pm, and I just did not know if we should have lunch before getting to the port. Any thoughts welcome.

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Our first Crystal Cruise is in June. Do they really offer a decent lunch on embarkation day? We dont really leave the port until after 6 pm, and I just did not know if we should have lunch before getting to the port. Any thoughts welcome.

 

Best to start a new thread over in the main Crystal forums with questions like this

 

The answer is depending on what time you board the Crystal Dining Room will be open and you can get a full meal there up to around 2-2.30pm - better to be earlier than that though - if you board at 3pm though it will be closed

In most cases boarding commences at 12 noon

Other dining options would be at the Trident Grill for grill food incl salads or the Bistro for coffees and cakes and cold cuts

 

 

According to Keith's document above these are your options

"Go enjoy lunch. A niceplace for lunch is the Crystal Dining Room where a nice sit-down lunch isavailable along with complimentary flutes of champagne. While you are waitingfor lunch, this might be a good time to read through reflections. You can enterand still be seated in the dining room up until 1:30 PM. A more casualluncheon-dining venue will also be open on the Lido Deck"

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Our first Crystal Cruise is in June. Do they really offer a decent lunch on embarkation day? We dont really leave the port until after 6 pm, and I just did not know if we should have lunch before getting to the port. Any thoughts welcome.

 

It really is a personal decision as to whether you board early or not.

 

For many they will board early and enjoy lunch. The dining room lunch is quite extensive on embarkation day.

 

We like to get on board and start to get settled. For example, while not required we will go to the computer room after lunch to get our computers set up for the internet. Again you can do this on your own but sometimes I like the added assistance including them putting on additional icons on by desktop. If you want to see the Crystal Dining Room Maitre d' about your table assignment they have office hours as does the Specialty Restaurant Maitre d' should you want to make additional specialty restaurant reservations or change existing ones. Same goes for spa/salon appointments and also just walking around the ship. If the ship leaves the port at 6:00 PM you will likely have your lifeboat drill at 5:15 PM and will have to be on board the ship around 2 hours before the ship.

 

In my case, we definitely board to get settled on the ship (including unpacking) and to enjoy prior to that our first meal on the ship along wit toasting to the voyage with a flute of champagne.

 

Keith

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Keith: We have made main dining room reservations by individual times a couple months ago after our final payment. Our Cruise docs just came in which says "main dining early waitlisted". This is in direct conflict with the reservation page I just printed from the PCPC (sp?) that states that we have confirmed individual times for main dining. Which is it? Thanks in advance - Curtis (May 3rd Serenity)

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Keith: We have made main dining room reservations by individual times a couple months ago after our final payment. Our Cruise docs just came in which says "main dining early waitlisted". This is in direct conflict with the reservation page I just printed from the PCPC (sp?) that states that we have confirmed individual times for main dining. Which is it? Thanks in advance - Curtis (May 3rd Serenity)

 

Curtis, I think you mean you have Dining By Reservation. That is where you made reservations for each and every night that you plan to dine in the Crystal Dining Room. I would have your TA contact Crystal Cruises to find out why the Cruise Documents didn't state that you have dining by reservation.

 

Keith

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Thanks Keith. We will contact the TA.

 

You are very welcome. The cruise will be here before we know it. :)

 

Keith

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If I may, I have a few newbie questions about the Sushi Bar and Silk Road. On the deck plans, there is a Sushi Bar in the proximity of Silk Road. I don't find much about it on the Crystal web site.

 

How does the Sushi Bar work? Is it stand-alone?

When I make reservations for Silk Road, is it only for Silk Road, the Sushi Bar, or both? I saw someone talking about having sushi for a dessert course in place of something sweet (an interesting idea, I must say).

Is it truly a bar where you sit on a stool and sample what the chef creates or is it a sit down at a table affair?

Can I take advantage of the Sushi Bar for cocktail hour appetizer(s) without a reservation and then dine elsewhere (MDR, Prego, etc) for dinner?

Can I order sushi from the Sushi Bar for Room Service?

 

Thanks in advance,

Paul

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The sushi bar is inside Silk Road and operates only in the evening during regular hours of Silk Road. No reservations are taken to sit there but once seated it counts as if you were dining there. So once you exceed the complimentary reservations there would be a cost of $30.00 per person. They do not offer takeout nor room service. On many cruises there is an Asian Buffet on one of the luncheon days at the Lido Cafe and there will be some sushi and sashimi there

 

Keith

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That's a surprise. I thought there was only a suggested gratuity of $7 pp to eat at the sushi bar and it did not count towards your quota of complimentary dining reservations. BTW, I feel like that is nickel and diming for sure to even have the upcharge for specialty restaurants or gratuity charges. Seems silly. Just build it into the cruise price.

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That's a surprise. I thought there was only a suggested gratuity of $7 pp to eat at the sushi bar and it did not count towards your quota of complimentary dining reservations. BTW, I feel like that is nickel and diming for sure to even have the upcharge for specialty restaurants or gratuity charges. Seems silly. Just build it into the cruise price.

 

$7.00 suggested gratuity dates back before inclusive rolled out. After inclusive rolled out there was no charge for the restaurants including the sushi bar. Unfortunately, it caused too much demand for the restaurants and they were not designed for it. So a few years ago it was revised. On cruises less then 14 days each person can go one time to each restaurant (sushi bar counts) and it is complimentary. For cruises of 14 days or more each person gets two visits per restaurant. If space allows in either scenario then one could go to one two times and the other zero and same concept if you get four visits. Those who have sailed with Crystal 50 or more times do not pay the fee nor do those taking the world cruise. It was not rolled out to nickel and dime but rather to try to control the demand. There was one or two very long threads on this quite some time ago.

 

Keith

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They could have still found a way to allow all pax one rez in advance and book more space available once boarding. No need to charge a nominal fee. $30 is not a disincentive to try to go more than once. Silly.

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They could have still found a way to allow all pax one rez in advance and book more space available once boarding. No need to charge a nominal fee. $30 is not a disincentive to try to go more than once. Silly.

 

They already do it that way, Gal. Whether it's a shorter cruise or a longer cruise, you can only book one visit per each restaurant.

 

Evidently some guests just tried to "hang out" in one or the other of those restaurants, through the entire cruise, making it quite difficult for the rest of the cruisers. Most of those cruisers who were finding it difficult don't think it's silly. But, as Vince likes to say, YMMV.

 

 

Personally, we don't understand it, as, other than the black cod and a few other items in Silk Road, we prefer the CDR. Even the halibut was better in the CDR than in Prego. Perhaps we just have bad karma with Prego. It was good, but just not as great as we had hoped.

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They could have still found a way to allow all pax one rez in advance and book more space available once boarding. No need to charge a nominal fee. $30 is not a disincentive to try to go more than once. Silly.

 

Let me recommend that you take this to the thread on the very subject.

 

This thread is really to answer questions for first time Crystal Cruisers.

 

There were 1,300 posts on the thread where this was discussed starting in late 2013.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1929695

 

Keith

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NOTE: Since Cruise Critic implemented the redesign of their web site certain documents when posted on Cruise Critic will wrap some of the words. Until this is correct some words in this document will be wrapped together into one word.

 

This thread has been written with first time Crystal Cruisers in mind. I believe it can also be helpful to those who have not cruised Crystal in sometime as well and hopefully to others who may have cruised Crystal a few times or less.

 

While the information ismainly related to the Ocean Vessels, I have incorporated some information on the River Cruises and Yacht.

 

The information is primarily focused on cruise preparation, the first day of embarkation with a few additional thoughts as well.

 

In addition to this informationI would like to highlight the following.

 

Cruise Critic CrystalCruises Threads

===========================

 

MEET AND MINGLE PARTIES

 

After you have booked yourcruise you can go over to the Meet and Mingle Board to register to attend a party. If 10 or more people sign hope Crystal Cruises will host a complimentary cocktail party for that voyage which will provide a nice opportunity for you to meet your fellow Cruise Critic Cruisers. A few days before the party, you will receive an invitation noting the date/time/location of the party.

 

Here is the link to signup for the Meet and Mingle (M&M) Parties:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=995584

 

After you have signed up for a party if you need to make a revision/deletion you can update your reservation by using this link.

 

http://www.cruisecritic.com/rollcall/partylist.cfm

 

 

FUTURE BOOKINGS

 

After you have booked your cruise you can go over to the Future Booking Thread, which shows all of those from Cruise Critic who are booked on a particular voyage. You can post on this thread asking that you be added to the cruise you have booked. It also will provide a nice opportunity for you to see who will be on the cruise with you from cruise critic:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...935081&page=42

 

ROLL CALL THREAD

 

Be sure to see if a rollcall has been established for your cruise. There is a roll call thread that lists all of the roll calls. This link will take you to the first page of the thread and from there click on the last page to see the most current rollcalls.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1236633

 

Pre-Cruise Items

============

 

-Visit the Crystal CruisesWeb Site at www.crystalcruises.com as it provides lots of useful information to assist you in preparing for the cruise.

 

-Obtain a copy of Crystal Cruise Hard Copy Brochures as they do provide a wealth of information. This link will take you to the brochure section on the Crystal Cruises Web Site.

 

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/order-a-brochure

 

I would recommend ordering the Worldwide Atlas. It provides a wealth of information.

 

-For the best availability of cabins, book early. Booking early also has other advantages including getting your request in for either early or late dining or dining by reservation.

 

-Utilize the shipboard diagram found in the Hard Copy Brochures or on-line to determine category of stateroom desired and to develop a prioritized list of stateroom numbers.

 

-At the time of your booking be sure to request your evening dining seating preference (main or latedining and table size). If you prefer dining by reservation do not request a traditional dining time. NOTE: You cannot make your dining by reservation choices until you have made your final payment. Please note that all of this is based on availability so it is best to book early and to request your dining preference at the time of your booking.

 

-Dining time for main dining will begin either at 6:00 PM or 6:15 PM depending on the voyage. Late dining begins at 8:30 PM.

 

-Tables available in the main dining room are typically configured for 2, 4, 6, and 8 guests and sometimes there are a few slightly larger tables. If you have any other special dining requirements have your Travel Agent note them on your booking reservation at the time of booking. For example, if you have allergies to certain foods, have that noted on the reservation or for foods such as low sodium foods or for kosher foods indicate that as well. If you are traveling solo and prefer to dine with others traveling solo even though the RestaurantMaitre d’ normally takes that into consideration, be sure to have that noted on your reservation. The same goes for any other preferences for table mates Your Travel Agent can also send a note to the on board guest services group at email address obgs@crystalcruises.com about any other special needs.

ONE FNAL NOTE: Open dining will be rolled out on Crystal Symphony following it's dry dock later in the fall of 2017 and on Crystal Serenity following its dry dock later in October of 2018.

-If you have any special dietary needs such as kosher, gluten free or low sodium items, be sure that your TA notes this information on your reservation at the time of your booking. Also either write to on board guest services or have your TA do this and dot his a minimum of 90 or more before your cruise. They will then send you or your TA a form to fill out. E Mail for on board guest services is: obgs@crystalcruises.com

 

-Before booking air, compare prices that you can obtain by making your own independent airline arrangements vs. those offered by Crystal. To obtain specific flights through the cruise line, ask for Air Deviation. There is an additional free for custom air. Be aware that if you want to purchase economy seats and upgrade them to business or first class that usually cannot be done when you purchase tickets through the cruise line. Keep in mind that the Crystal air program includes transfers, which can save considerable money in certain areas of the world. Iwant to highlight that if you want to get the specific flights to your liking select custom air

 

-For long flights such as oversea flights, flights within the Continental USA involving long flightsdurations, consider flying in a day or more before. With most flights running at full capacity, this will help to ensure that should your flight be canceled or significantly delayed that you will not miss the cruise ship and that you will start the cruise with little to no jet lag. Personally no matter where the cruise begins, we always fly one or more days in advance. As they say, if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. Also, if you have to change planes look very closely at the connection times. Even those connections that are considered legal connections leave very little room for error and if yourflight is delayed and/or you have a long way to get to the next flight you caneasily miss your plane.

 

-Likewise, when you make flights to return home if you are departing the day that the ship arrives inport give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. Be sure to factor inany delays that could occur including the ship arriving to port late, delays inclearing the ship for disembarkation, delays in claiming your luggage, the length of time to get from the pier over to the airport and the times required to check in for flights. My view is there is no sense in spending half the cruise worrying whether or not you will make your flight so think verycarefully about the flight times.

 

-Look carefully at the cruise pre-hotel and post-hotel program. Remember, that while the hotel stay through the program is likely to be more costly than if you booked the stay on your own, the hotel program also includes transfers between the airport and the hotel and then on embarkation day from the hotel to the ship. In some cities around the world transportation can be quite costly. We have used the hotel program several times.

 

- Be sure to determine whether or not you need travel/health insurance and what your needs are. If you want insurance to cover say the impact of a catastrophic event (sometimes called an act of god) be sure you read the policy carefully so you know what isand what is not covered so there are no surprises.

 

-At the time of your booking, determine if your cruise requires any visas that have to be arranged prior to your cruise and if any vaccinations are required. This information canbe obtained from Crystal. The availability of this information may vary depending on how far in advance you book the cruise. Crystal does an outstanding job letting its guests know whether or not visas are required andif any vaccinations are required. Usually by around August the information is available for the following calendar year. Crystal Cruises will also let you know if a Yellow Fever Vaccination is required for your cruise.

 

PCPC - Priority Check-in& Planning Center

 

-Sign in to the PriorityCheck-in & Planning Center (PCPC), by clicking on the following link.

 

https://checkin.crystalcruises.com

 

You will need to enter your first and last names and your booking number, which your travelagent/specialist should provide to you. You will complete four sections related to immigration such as passport information for each traveler, credit card, onboard profile and a transportation section.

 

Make sure your credit card doesn't expire during or before the cruise ends. The check in system will NOTl et you put in a Credit Card that expires before the cruise. If you use a debit card to make your initial entries because your CC expires before the cruise, make sure you go back and put in your new Credit Card information.

 

-PCPC will also provide you with other information about your cruise including a calendar that shows the itinerary, along with other information such as whether you are docked or anchored in port, and what the dress attire is for each evening. Be sure to print out a copy of this calendar and bring it with you for check infor your cruise on embarkation day.

 

-As you get closer to the cruise if you look for the section above the calendar marked “events” it will show you the times of the evening shows which may help you with your planning. Please note that the actual times for the shows might be different on your voyage and once on board they will be duly noted in the daily ReflectionsProgram

 

-After you make your finalpayment you can use the system to pre book one specialty restaurant reservationper specialty restaurant, a reservation at the Vintage Room, reservations foropen dining by reservation if you did not selected classic (fixed) dining, spaand salon reservations, signups for classes including those taught at thecomputer university and the ability to arrange for transfers from the airportto the ship if you are flying in the day of embarkation and not using theCrystal Cruises airline program or for the day of disembarkation if you are flying home that day and not using the Crystal Cruises air program. From PCPC you can also go to other web sites such as one to ship luggage from your home to the ship and/or from the ship to your home. You can also request another service, which provided for a fee additional assistance at the airport. Please remember that reservations are based on availability.

 

-Approximately six months before your cruise starts you can make shore excursion reservations in PCPC even if you have not yet made your final payment.

 

-If this is your first Crystal Cruise I do recommend making one reservation at each SpecialtyRestaurant (Silk Road which serves Japanese Cuisine and Prego which serves Italian Cuisine). If you are sailing Crystal Serenity you can make one dinner reservation via PCPC for Tastes, which is a casual dining alternative.

 

There is also an iMovieClass being offered on each voyage and you can sign up for that by using PCPC.If you do sign up for the class be sure to purchase and load the iMovie Appt hat is listed on the PCPC at the signup screen for this program.

 

Crystal provides various newspapers on line, and the ability to watch on demand lectures and movies onvarious devices such as the iPhone, Android and the iPad. Be sure to make surey you have downloaded the Press Reader App to read newspapers and the daily program Reflections, the movies on demand swank player app to watch movies on your iPad, and the iMovie by Apple app to make iMovies should you sign up for the class while still at home. This link takes you to the Crystal Cruises App center where you can download the apps you require.

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/app-center

 

-After making your final payment if you didn’t choose classic (fixed) evening dining then you will use this system for the dining by reservation for the Crystal (main)Dining Room. For each evening you specify the time you would like to dine along with the table size and the reservation system will confirm this for you in real-time as you make each reservation. Please note that if you book a table that is larger than the size of your party (for example if you are two people and book a table for six) then you are responsible for inviting that number of people to join you as the Maître d’ does not seat others with you. Do not wait to board the ship to first make reservations. The times and overall availability are capacity controlled so it’s best to make all of the reservations at the time or shortly after you make final payment.

 

-Approximately two weeks before the start of your voyage you will receive an e-mail from Crystal Cruises which will list all of the reservations you have made and will advise that no new reservations or revised reservations can be made within seven days of your sailing.

 

-About six months before the cruise begins, under your voyage, the Crystal Web Site will list all of the shore excursions and provide the opportunity for you to sign up for these excursions. Most shore excursions can be canceled with no penalty. On the night that you embark the ship, your shore excursion tickets will be delivered to your stateroom, and each ticket will note the last day in which the tickets can be canceled to avoid penalties. Ordering the tickets ahead of time, saves you time early in the cruise and also helps to ensure that you get the excursions that you want as some of the more popular excursions with limited availability can be sold out prior to the commencement of the cruise.

 

-Be sure that your passport will not expire less than six months after your cruise ends. If itd oes expire be sure to get a new passport. Also, check to see if you have sufficient available visa pages in the back. You can have pages added to your existing passport for a charge. The key is to do this sooner rather than later to ensure that your passport is back in plenty of time.

 

Notify all of your credit card and atm card banks of the dates of your vacation and your itinerary so they do not think transactions from your vacation are fraud related. Make a list of your card numbers and phone numbers in case you need to reach the cardcompany should your cards become lost or should your card not be returned froman ATM machine.

 

Attire

====

 

Often, there are questions about the evening attire. The following information about attire comes directlyfrom the Crystal Cruises Web Site.

 

The web site also notes the appropriate daytime attire for the Crystal Dining Room.

 

 

Crystal Casual

 

For women, Crystal Casual includes a dress, or a blouse or sweater and skirt or dressy slacks. Men’sCrystal Casual attire includes a sports jacket (optional), dress shirt,buttoned down shirt, open collar or collared polo shirt and dress plants. (Notie required.)

 

Black Tie Optional

 

For men, this includes adark suit with tie or tuxedo. For women, this includes a formal cocktail dress,evening gown, or dressy evening separates. On Black Tie Optional evenings,Crystal requests at least a Jacket to be worn by men and dress, skirts or dressy slacks and blouse or sweater be worn by women.

My experience is that the number of people in traditional formal attire such as Tuxedos and Gowns will vary. Sometimes on longer cruises you will see a greater percentage of people in formal attire then on shorter cruises.

Jeans may NOT be worn in any dining venues or lounges, including the Casino on Black Tie Optional evenings.

 

Guests can expect thefollowing Black Tie Optional Nights:

 

7 days or less cruises:All Crystal Casual evenings

8 to 10 day cruises: Up to1 Black Tie Optional evening

11 to 13 day cruises: 2Black Tie Optional evenings

World Cruise, HolidayCruises and Crossings may be scheduled differently.

 

Your booking on PCPC willconfirm the number of Black Tie Optional Evenings for your specific cruise aswill your final cruise documents.

 

Visitors

=====

 

Crystal is one of the fewcruise lines, which permit having visitors on board the ship. This link willtake you to the Visitors Authorization Form. Please be sure to fill out theform in its entirety. Visitors are permitted on embarkation day and other daysof the cruise with the exception of the day you disembark the ship. The formnotes the costs to have visitors on board including meals. The visitor requestform is available on line and you can access it via PCPC. Always good to get itapproved sooner rather than later as the number of visitors who can board iscapacity controlled.

 

 

Final Documents, and otherPreparations

=========================

 

 

-Your final documentsshould arrive approximately 30 to 40 days prior to the start of your cruise. Itincludes the cruise passenger ticket, your luggage tags, and other importantinformation to read through including a book titled before you cruise. Be sureto read that book from cover to cover as it includes a lot of usefulinformation which will address many questions that first time cruisers toCrystal undoubtedly have. NOTE: Your final documents will not be sent outunless you have filled out the information on the on line PCPC system. Finaldocuments also include a shore excursion booklet.

 

-You may want to type up alist of any special requests for your stewardess, which you can hand to her theday you first meet her. This could be the type of non-alcoholic beverages thatyou prefer be stocked in your refrigerator, or the type of fruit that you likein your fruit bowl or any other special requests that you have. If you arestaying in a PH or above category your butler will take care of yourrefrigerator so you could make a similar list for your butler.

 

-Think through what items you will take with you on the cruise and think through what you will wear thefirst day of embarkation and take into account what you will wear to dinner thefirst evening should your luggage arrive later than expected.

 

- You will receive luggage tags, which you will want to fill out. Attach to your luggage right before you go to the pier.

 

Be sure to print out acopy your PCPC document and place it with your final documents.

 

Getting Ready For The Cruise

==================

 

In addition to the evening attire, think through carefully what you will want to wear on the ship on sea days and what you want to wear while in port. Consider the weather that is expected based on the time of year and the itinerary you are sailing.

 

If you are on an extended cruise we bring wire hangers with us, which take up less room in the closet and allow for more clothes to be hung.

 

Complimentary laundry facilities are available on most passenger decks. They include washer, dryers and an iron and ironing board and complimentary laundry detergent and fabric softeners are provided.

 

Pressing and Dry Cleaning Services are also available on the ship for a charge. Complimentary pressing is available for those passengers booked in any of the three penthouse (PH, PS, or CP) categories and complementary dry cleaning and laundry services are also available at no charge for those in the CP Category.

Please note that those guests sailing in a standard stateroom or Penthouse PH category receive one hour of complimentary internet per day/per guest and you get all of the minutes up front on the first day you board.

Free Internet service is available to those in the CP as is 2 hours of free in-suite phone service. Those in the PS received 1 hour of of free phone service.

The following provides information on internet pricing for those wanting to purchase additional minutes of internet beyond what is provided comlimentary.

 

You can use the plans either on the computers in the Computer University or on your own devices or ona combination of both.

$14.99 per hour

$29.99 per day

$179.94 seven day unlimited

Pay as You Go” access for$0.74/minute

2 hours of access for $55($0.46/minute)

5 hours of access for $127($0.43/minute)

10 hours of access for$220 ($0.37/minute)

 

Free Crystal (note only Crystal e mail) is available to those in the PH, PS and CP. This involves a special Crystal e-mail address that is assigned to you.

 

We also bring some magnets with us and they can be hung on some of the walls in the cabin, which we use to hang up reminders and various invitations and the cruise ship summary andpictures of the family.

 

Be sure to bring your cruise ticket with you. Embarkation is done on board the ship.

 

We bring extra passport pictures with us and we also bring a copy of each of our passports. We do this just in case we lost our passport either before the start of the cruise or after the cruise before we fly home. This will facilitate getting a new passport.

 

There are various apps you can put on devices such as iPads and selected smart phones. This link will take you to the list of apps.

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/app-center

 

Embarkation Day

=============

 

-On most embarkation days,boarding of the ship begins at around 12:00 Noon. However, there are some exceptions to this. Usually they are duly noted in your cruise documents.

 

-Your final documents include a document that will be scanned when you arrive to the ship for embarkation. The embarkation process is now handled on the ship including the photo of you being taken for your shipboard card.

 

-If you embark at that hour, your stateroom will likely not be ready until approximately 2:00 PM to3:00 PM.

 

-Before you board the ship the ships photographers will be taking photos. This is optional and for those who do not want a photo of taken they can just pass on this.

 

-After you embark, stop by the front desk to get a copy of the Reflections daily program. This program is a keeper and I encourage you to read it thoroughly. While there will be one in your room, often we read the one we pick up the desk during lunch.

 

The embarkation Reflections program not only provides lots of information about the first day’s activities, but some additional information regarding the overall cruise. Read it cover to cover. You will learn a great deal about the cruise.

 

There will be a one-page summary that will list each day, whether it is a sea day or a port day, what the attire is for dinner each evening, any meals in the Crystal Dining Room and the type of entertainment for each evening. We keep this page handy throughout the cruise.

 

-Go enjoy lunch. A nice place for lunch is the Crystal Dining Room where a nice sit-down lunch is available along with complimentary flutes of champagne. While you are waiting for lunch, this might be a good time to read through reflections. You can enter and still be seated in the dining room up until 1:30 PM. A more casual luncheon-dining venue will also be open on the Lido Deck.

 

-If you want to make reservations at the Specialty Restaurants and/or also see where your dining room table is located for the evening dinner in the main dining room the MaîtreD’s will have hours available in the afternoon when you can meet with them. The hours and the location will be posted in Reflections.

 

-If you have brought your own computer with you this is also a good day to go by the Computer University where they will configure your computer for use in your stateroom. You can also sign up for an Internet plan whether or not you have your own computer or use the computers located in the Computer University. If you would like to sign up for computer classes, stop by the Computer University to do so and to pick up acopy of the computer class schedule.

 

-If you have spa and other beauty salon appointments that you need to make, be sure to visit the spa. Also, pick up a schedule of all of the fitness classes that will be offered during the voyage at the Fitness Center.

 

-While you are waiting for your cabin this is a good day to get learn about the layout of the public a reason the ship. Take a walk to see what is on each deck.

 

-When your room is ready, go by your room. Some or your entire luggage may already be in the room and those pieces that are not yet there will be delivered throughout the afternoon.Your room should be ready sometime between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM.

 

-Stop by the library to checkout books, music CD’s, and DVD’s.

 

-Your stewardess will come by to see you sometime that afternoon. This is a good time to ask her any questions you have. If you like particular types of non-alcoholic beverages lether know. You can order up to two bottles of wines/spirit for your room. A list of what can be ordered is in the back of a Crystal Stateroom Book that can be found in your room. The same goes for the fruit bowl that she will fill eachday. And, if there is any other requests you have you can let her know. If you have a list that you prepared mentioned earlier then this is a good time togive it to her.

 

-If you are staying in a PH or above category in addition to the stewardess who is also assisted by a stewardess in training you will also have a butler. The butler will stock your refrigerator with non-alcoholic drinks, will also provide selected complimentary wine, spirit sand beer should you want any.

 

-This is a good time to unpack and later in the day you will also attend the lifeboat drill. The timewill be noted in the Reflections Program and an announcement will be made aboutthe drill well before the start time. On your door there will be a sign noting where your muster station is. If in doubt, any of the assigned personnel in the hallways and near the stairways will be able to direct you to the appropriate muster station.

 

On Board Credits (OBC)

 

All on board credits have to be used as any unused credits cannot be taken as a credit to your credit card when the cruise ends. If you are on for more than one consecutive cruise the credit from the first cruise will continue to rollover to subsequent cruises until you disembark the ship at the final port of call.

 

There are a variety ofways to use your on board credit. This list reflects examples of many ways youcan use your on board credit. I may have omitted some examples but this listshould give you some good ideas as to how you can use your credits.

 

Shore Excursions including Private Crystal Excursions

Private Transfers PostCruise Booked On Board or Shared Transfers booked via PCPC or on board.

Post Card Stamps

Connoisseur Wine &Beer List

Crystal Spa & Salon

Personal Training

Other Paid Services in the Fitness Center

Vintage Room

Tips

Crew Fund

Cigars

Private Parties

Flowers

Specialty Restaurant Reservations that exceed the allotment based on the length of the cruise and the number of cruises you completed.

Special Silk RoadConnoisseur Menu

Caviar

Dry Cleaning, Pressing andWashing of Garments

Medical Expenses

On Board Stores includingSundries

Hosting Guests On Board

Private Dance Lessons

On Board Visas if there is a requirement for them and the ship arranges them

Internet beyond theComplimentary 1 hour per day per person that is included

Long Distance TelephoneCalls

Photos

Photo items sold on board

Photo Book

 

The Cruise

========

 

-Each time the ship leaves port, if you go outside (on your own verandah, or on any of the outside decks you will hear what has become a tradition for Crystal Cruises and it’s guest and crew which is a recording of Louis Armstrong singing "What a Wonderful World"

 

-The wait staff in theMain Dining Room will include the Maitre d’ who has several responsibilities including assigning passengers to their respective tables, the Head Waiter who is responsible for an area of the dining room which includes several tables and who you can see if you would like to order any special items, the senior waiter who takes your order and ensures that all of the items you ordered are served to you, and the waiter who assists the senior waiter in serving you your meal. There is also a sommelier that serves mixed drinks and wine and has responsibility for a specific section of tables.

 

- Gratuities are included with your cruise fare. However, should you wish to you can give gratuities to those from the cruise who you will to thank for the excellent service they have provided. You can either do this by giving them cash of if you would like you can obtain a form at the reception desk so that you can charge the tips to your shipboard account.

 

-Wine. Complimentary wineis available throughout the day/evening. For those who might want to have something other than the complimentary wine you can order it at the time you dine or you can pre-order it. If you would like you can pre-order wine earlier in the day at the Bistro which is staffed with several of the sommeliers. That way if you are ordering a red wine it can be opened up ahead of time and regardless of whether you order a red or a white wine or both the table will beset accordingly. If you have a bottle of wine in your room that you would like to send to any of the restaurants just let your stewardess know or in the PHand above categories just let your butler know. There is no charge for having wine opened in any of the dining venues.

 

Each night the CrystalDining Room will offer a couple of different wines. In general, there are about19 wines that are offered during the cruise in the dining room so if the two wines are not to your liking ask about these other wines.

 

In the Specialtyrestaurants Prego and Silk Road there are a few complimentary wines offered each evening. There are also a few others so ask about those if the ones are offered are not appealing to you. You can also have complimentary sake in SilkRoad.

 

On Crystal Serenity another dining option is Tastes and they also have an inclusive wine list of several wines.

 

-Spirits. The inclusive list includes a wide range of spirits and also includes other items such asliquors for after dinner drinks or to enjoy other times of the day.

 

-Beer. For those who enjoy beer there are some offerings of beer on each voyage.

 

- Most importantly, start enjoying your cruise knowing that the superb personnel on board the Crystal Ship will take care of your every need. Enjoy the ambience of the ship and thefive-star+ services that awaits you from the outstanding cuisine to the outstanding service.

 

-Enjoy each and every minute of the cruise knowing that you are in the professional hands of thesuperb Crystal Staff. For those who like to keep busy there is so much to doand to learn. For those who just want to sit back, read a book, enjoy the sea,there are many special places around the ship in which to relax.

 

-In the unlikely event there is a concern with some item, be sure that it is addressed. If you are not sure who to speak with, just ask the reception desk for assistance.

 

- At the end of the cruise you will be a member of the Crystal Society. As a Crystal Society member you receive discounts on future cruises and you can achieve additional benefits based on the number of cruises taken. Also, this is the time to consider booking a future cruise, as you will receive an on board-booking discount. The discount is on top of the Crystal Society discount and is the same percentage. So if the Crystal Society discount was 4 percent then you would receive an additional 4% for the on board booking discount for a total savings of 8%.

 

-Assuming you enjoy your experience with Crystal Cruises, you can book another Crystal Cruise with the on-board booking consultant while still on the cruise and this will provide you with an on board booking discount. If you are unsure what cruise to book you can do an open booking which you can then apply to a specific cruise within the published time frame while back on land.

 

-Once you are home, you will have the opportunity to complete an on-line questionnaire. Take the time to fill it out. This used to be a hard copy questionnaire that you had to fill out on the ship. Now you can complete it at home within the established timeframe, which allows Crystal Cruises to capture information on your embarkation process and also allows you to take time to reflect on thecruise. There is lots of room for comments and also to recognize members of thecrew for a job well done. The comments are read by many people including personnel in Los Angeles and on the ship and the results of the questionnaire are taken every seriously.

 

Before you leave the ship you will receive a letter in your cabin discussing the on-line questionnaireand noting the e-mail address they have on file for each passenger where the information will be sent. Sometime the day you disembark the ship you will receive an e-mail about the survey and there will be an area that you click on the e mail which will take you to the survey.

 

My wife and I feel so very fortunate to be able to cruise on a cruise line as special to us as Crystal.Through our many cruises with Crystal we have had the opportunity to learn sovery much about the world we live in. In our humble opinion there is no better way to see so many places in a relatively short time as on a cruise. And, for us, each and every time we board the Crystal Serenity or the Crystal Symphony,and familiar faces, crew and passengers greet us alike, we know we are back home.

 

Finally, as soon as you board the ship, just start enjoying the cruise and I hope each of you will make memories that will last a lifetime.

 

YACHT

 

In late 2015 CrystalCruises launched their first Yacht known as Crystal Esprit.

 

This link will take you tot he Crystal Cruises Web Site providing some very useful summary informationabout the Esprit Yacht.

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/yacht/yacht-guidebook

 

RIVER CRUISING

 

Crystal Cruises began river cruising in 2016 with the deployment of Crystal Mozart. In 2017,Crystal Cruises will deploy two new River Cruise Vessels; Bach, & Mahler.

 

For information about River Cruises:

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/river/river-guidebook

 

I hope that each of you has found this document to be of help.

 

Bon Voyage!

 

Keith

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