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Keith1010

Some Thoughts For First Time Crystal Cruisers

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Spa and dining reservations have been made. The OBC will be put to good use.

 

 

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-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.

 

Keith ...is this still true ..I'm about 40 days out ... and I see no where to find EVENTS ... thanks in advance for your kind help --eileen

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-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.

 

 

Keith ...is this still true ..I'm about 40 days out ... and I see no where to find EVENTS ... thanks in advance for your kind help --eileen

 

Not sure what cruise you are on but here's a random one to show you what is meant - look at the Entertainment & Programs tab (and try some of the others for good measure)

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/voyage/details/autumn-in-new-england-7324#entertainment_programs

 

The speed with which they are updating this sort of information has decreased (markedly) in recent times - sadly there is a lot of info we're left waiting for on the Crystal website these days

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-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.

 

 

Keith ...is this still true ..I'm about 40 days out ... and I see no where to find EVENTS ... thanks in advance for your kind help --eileen

 

Eileen, you are correct.

 

Crystal has/is making changes to PCPC and to some other areas. This is one of them where they no longer list times on the calendar in PCPC. My plan is to wait for Crystal to implement some additional changes and once that is done I will update my writeup and post it.

 

Then I will need to do it again after Crystal implements dry dock on Symphony and then again when they do Serenity.

 

Keith

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Eileen, you are correct.

 

Crystal has/is making changes to PCPC and to some other areas. This is one of them where they no longer list times on the calendar in PCPC. My plan is to wait for Crystal to implement some additional changes and once that is done I will update my writeup and post it.

 

Then I will need to do it again after Crystal implements dry dock on Symphony and then again when they do Serenity.

 

Keith

 

thanks Keith

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Not sure what cruise you are on but here's a random one to show you what is meant - look at the Entertainment & Programs tab (and try some of the others for good measure)

 

http://www.crystalcruises.com/voyage/details/autumn-in-new-england-7324#entertainment_programs

 

The speed with which they are updating this sort of information has decreased (markedly) in recent times - sadly there is a lot of info we're left waiting for on the Crystal website these days

 

thank you Bodog

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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.

 

Also, some changes will take place on Symphony following its dry-dock this Fall and on Serenity following its dry-dock later next year. This includes open dining which will replace both traditional dining and dining by reservation. The Crystal Dining Room is being renamed Waterside, a new dining venue is being implemented offering casual dining along with a few other changes. Also internet will be complimentary. I will do my best to update this thread as these changes are implemented.

 

For those booked on Symphony and Serenity prior to the dry-docks they will still have a choice of requesting traditional (fixed) dining or dining when their booking is initiated. If one is booked after the new dining changes take place they will not have these choices.

 

One final note. PCPC which is the detailed below and is used to make various reservations and also to provide information to Crystal Cruises about various items including personal information is not fully functional for 2018 and 2019 bookings. Full functionality is targeted for mid-September, 2017.

 

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 is mainly 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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Keith,

 

One of the many things that Crystal only cruisers might forget / overlook is the delivery of cruise tickets. Many of the mainstream lines now require you to print not only your passes but all of your luggage tags. I was quite surprised when the package from Crystal showed up yesterday. Not since my first Disney cruise (countless voyages ago) have I received anything close to this. I imagine in years past that the portfolio was even nicer, but times do change and this has led me to believe that Summer and I have made a correct choice. 7 short weeks (plus a few days) and we will be off. Time to start thinking about doing some shopping.

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Dennis wishing you and Summer an absolutely wonderful cruise.

 

I hope that you will both have a wonderful time.

 

Keith

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PLEASE NOTE:

In late October, 2017 concurrent with its dry dock some changes were made to Crystal Symphony. This includes changing the name of the main dining room from the Crystal Dining Room to Waterside and implementing open dining. The Silk Road Asian Restaurant has been renamed Umi Uma. The Lido Café was renamed Marketplace & Churrascaria. During the daytime Marketplace will continue to serve breakfast and lunch buffets. For dinner a new restaurant has been open called Churracaria serving South American cuisine including meat and ceviches. A new Silk Asian Restaurant was implemented serving breakfast and lunch.

Additional suites have been added to Symphony called Seabreeze Penthouse Suite with Verandah and Seabreeze Penthouse with Verandah. They replaced some of the standard staterooms.

Complimentary unlimited internet has been rolled out onto both Symphony and Serenity.

The Crystal Serenity dry dock is planned to begin 10/14/2018. Until that happens traditional dining will continue in the Crystal Dining Room along with dining by reservation and the names of the venues and the other changes will not be implemented so for first time Crystal Cruisers please keep this in mind as you read the writeup.

I have tried to update this thread with all of the new information. I may have missed a couple of items and if so I will get to them when I do the next update.

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 is mainly 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 information I would like to highlight the following.

Cruise Critic Crystal Cruises Threads

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

MEET AND MINGLE PARTIES

After you have booked your cruise 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 roll call 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 roll calls.

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

Pre-Cruise Items

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

-Visit the Crystal Cruises Web 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 (Serenity only for voyages prior to the October, 2018 dry dock (main or late dining 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 on Serenity are typically configured for 2, 4, 6, and 8 guests and sometimes there are a few slightly larger tables. On Symphony the majority of tables at Waterside are now configured as two and four person 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 Restaurant Maitre d’ normally takes that into consideration, be sure to have that noted on your reservation (Serenity only) 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 flights durations, 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 your flight is delayed and/or you have a long way to get to the next flight you can easily miss your plane.

-Likewise, when you make flights to return home if you are departing the day that the ship arrives in port give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. Be sure to factor in any delays that could occur including the ship arriving to port late, delays in clearing 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 very carefully 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 is and 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 can be 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 and if 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 Priority Check-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 travel agent/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 NOT let 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 in for 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 Reflections Program

-After you make your final payment you can use the system to pre book one specialty restaurant reservation per specialty restaurant, a reservation at the Vintage Room, reservations for open dining by reservation if you did not selected classic (fixed) dining, spa and salon reservations, signups for classes including those taught at the computer university and the ability to arrange for transfers from the airport to the ship if you are flying in the day of embarkation and not using the Crystal 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 Specialty Restaurant (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 iMovie Class 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 on various devices such as the iPhone, Android and the iPad. Be sure to make sure 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 for Crystal Serenity 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 it does 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 card company should your cards become lost or should your card not be returned from an ATM machine.

Attire

====

Often, there are questions about the evening attire. The following information about attire comes directly from 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’s Crystal 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 a dark 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 the following 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, Holiday Cruises and Crossings may be scheduled differently.

Your booking on PCPC will confirm the number of Black Tie Optional Evenings for your specific cruise as will your final cruise documents.

Visitors

=====

Crystal is one of the few cruise lines, which permit having visitors on board the ship. This link will take you to the Visitors Authorization Form. Please be sure to fill out the form in its entirety. Visitors are permitted on embarkation day and other day so if the cruise with the exception of the day you disembark the ship. The form notes the costs to have visitors on board including meals. The visitor request form is available on line and you can access it via PCPC. Always good to get it approved sooner rather than later as the number of visitors who can board is capacity controlled. You must make your final payment to be able to submit the visitor form.

Final Documents, and other Preparations

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

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

-You may want to type up a list of any special requests for your stewardess, which you can hand to her the day you first meet her. This could be the type of non-alcoholic beverages that you prefer be stocked in your refrigerator, or the type of fruit that you like in your fruit bowl or any other special requests that you have. If you are staying in a PH or above category your butler will take care of your refrigerator 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 the first day of embarkation and take into account what you will wear to dinner the first 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 a copy 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.

As mentioned earlier, Complimentary/Unlimited internet rolled out on Crystal Serenity on October 13, 2017 and Crystal Symphony on October 21, 2017.

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 and pictures 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 a copy 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 each day. 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 to give 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 about the 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 of ways to use your on board credit. This list reflects examples of many ways you can use your on board credit. I may have omitted some examples but this list should give you some good ideas as to how you can use your credits.

Shore Excursions including Private Crystal Excursions

Private Transfers Post Cruise 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 Road Connoisseur Menu

Caviar

Dry Cleaning, Pressing and Washing of Garments

Medical Expenses

On Board Stores including Sundries

Hosting Guests On Board

Private Dance Lessons

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

Internet beyond the Complimentary 1 hour per day per person that is included

Long Distance Telephone Calls

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 the Main 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 wine is 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 Crystal Dining 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 Specialty restaurants 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 Silk Road.

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 as liquors 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 the superb Crystal Staff. For those who like to keep busy there is so much to do and 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 the cruise. There is lots of room for comments and also to recognize members of the crew 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 questionnaire and 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.

Disembarkation:

About two days prior to the end of the cruise all disembarking guests receive a hard folder that says Your Travel Documents.

Inside the folder:

Luggage tags with a number and color.

Disembarkation instructions similar in design as the daily Reflections program. Information in the write-up includes:

Placing the luggage tags on the luggage and the time to have the luggage outside your room, and customs formalities if applicable along with noting there is a disembarkation briefing.

The write-up also provides arrival information, and notes for your color code and number where you will meet as a group and at what time.

It also notes that Crystal endorses a "no disembarkation announcement policy."

It includes other information such as times by dining venue for the "last" breakfast.

For any guest who has arranged a private Crystal Cruises transfer the document folder includes a letter from the concierge noting what time to meet them in the Crystal Cove area, typically 15 minutes prior to the scheduled arrival time of the private vehicle.

The advantage of going to the assigned public room is that is where they will provide updates on disembarkation and as a group is ready for disembarkation they will announce that in the room. Sometimes disembarkation runs ahead, behind or on schedule and this is where you get the most up-to-date information.

Some guests wait in their rooms and then go directly to the gangway deck when it is time to disembark. Downside is they won't know the current status and it prevents the stewardess from starting to get the room ready for the next cruise and if disembarkation is running behind schedule it can cause unnecessary congestion in the public area.

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 so very 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 Crystal Cruises launched their first Yacht known as Crystal Esprit.

This link will take you tot he Crystal Cruises Web Site providing some very useful summary information about 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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Hi Keith. Thank you for the updates.

Do you know anything more about the change of name for Silk Road?

Is Nobu still involved? Our last cruise on Serenity he was there, working the sushi bar and it was awesome. We will be on the Symphony in May.

I’m praying that the menu hasn’t changed too much.

 

 

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Hi Keith. Thank you for the updates.

Do you know anything more about the change of name for Silk Road?

Is Nobu still involved? Our last cruise on Serenity he was there, working the sushi bar and it was awesome. We will be on the Symphony in May.

I’m praying that the menu hasn’t changed too much.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

Good morning and you are very welcome.

 

Nobu is stil involved with both ships. On Serenity it is still called Silk Road. After next years dry dock late in the year it will be renamed Umi Uma as the one on Symphony has now been renamed but both are still under the direction of Nobu and serve his wonderful cuisine.

 

Keith

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Good morning and you are very welcome.

 

 

 

Nobu is stil involved with both ships. On Serenity it is still called Silk Road. After next years dry dock late in the year it will be renamed Umi Uma as the one on Symphony has now been renamed but both are still under the direction of Nobu and serve his wonderful cuisine.

 

 

 

Keith

 

 

 

I am SO happy to hear that - thank you Keith!

 

 

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Thanks for all the information. We’re booked on our first Crystal cruise in May after many Celebrity and one Oceania cruise, and I’m really looking forward to it. I do have one question: You say we can request up to two bottles of wine or spirits in our A-1 veranda cabin; are those complimentary or is there a charge for the bottles?

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Thanks for all the information. We’re booked on our first Crystal cruise in May after many Celebrity and one Oceania cruise, and I’m really looking forward to it. I do have one question: You say we can request up to two bottles of wine or spirits in our A-1 veranda cabin; are those complimentary or is there a charge for the bottles?

 

Glad you found the information helpful

 

As long as they are on the inclusive list no additional charges

 

Keith

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Thanks for the quick response. Glad I don’t need to carry on wine for the cabin.

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Keith...

 

Thank you for such a robust and helpful resource. My wife and I are taking our first cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary, and needless to say, that has caused some sense of anxiety about the "unknown" surrounding cruising.

 

I have three divergent questions:

1. Is there normal 110 power in the rooms?

2. Do you recommend bringing a laptop, iPad, or using the onboard resources?

3. As I am primarily a beer drinker, are there reasonable options available to cruisers?

 

Thank you!

brian6u

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Keith...

 

Thank you for such a robust and helpful resource. My wife and I are taking our first cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary, and needless to say, that has caused some sense of anxiety about the "unknown" surrounding cruising.

 

I have three divergent questions:

1. Is there normal 110 power in the rooms?

2. Do you recommend bringing a laptop, iPad, or using the onboard resources?

3. As I am primarily a beer drinker, are there reasonable options available to cruisers?

 

Thank you!

brian6u

 

Brian, you are very welcome.

 

Each room does include a standard outlet(s). I do have many things that I charge so I bring a travel power strip with me but you can ask for a power strip on board if you need on.

 

The computer room has several iMac's for guest use. I just always like to bring mind so I can use it in the privacy of my room or in other areas of the ship. What you bring comes down to personal preference. I prefer bringing my MacBook Air and since it is so light I use it not only in the room but around the ship. For me it gives me most flexibility but some people just use smart phones or iPads or a combination of devices.

 

The variety of beer is getting more diverse with each passing year. There is a range of beer available and sometimes what they have on board is based on where you are sailing.

 

 

Keith

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Keith: your posts are very helpful. We're considering our first Crystal cruise after 20 other cruises on Regent, Oceania, Azamara, many on Celebrity, etc. A few questions. Has dress for dinner become more casual ( I prefer no longer to dress formal), and is open dining easy to sign up for ? Are ship excursions on larger buses with 40+ persons? Often it's easier for us to book independent tours that have smaller group limits and at less or similar prices to the ship tours. Any other suggestions for an experience "newbe"?

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Keith: your posts are very helpful. We're considering our first Crystal cruise after 20 other cruises on Regent, Oceania, Azamara, many on Celebrity, etc. A few questions. Has dress for dinner become more casual ( I prefer no longer to dress formal), and is open dining easy to sign up for ? Are ship excursions on larger buses with 40+ persons? Often it's easier for us to book independent tours that have smaller group limits and at less or similar prices to the ship tours. Any other suggestions for an experience "newbe"?

 

dabear, I am glad you have found my posts to be helpful.

 

Overall Crystal Cruises has become a lot less casual than it used to be.

 

On cruises of seven or less days the evening attire is all Crystal Casual with no formal nights. On longer cruises there are less formal nights but there are one or more black tie optional nights depending on the length of the cruise. The word optional is the key. One could dress in formal attire or instead a gent could wear a sports jacket (no tie required) a collared shirt and dress pants and a woman could wear a dress,or some type of pants outfit with nice top. There is at least one dining venue where you could go casual but if you go to a show they would prefer that you are in the optional attire I mentioned.

 

The size of Crystal tours does vary as does the vehicles. For some tours it would be a tour bus but there are others that involve some other type of vehicle that would carry far less guests. There is a good range of tours but booking ones on your own is certainly an option.

 

 

Symphony now has open dining with open dining coming to Serenity later this year. At that point you just show up at Waterside for dinner and you will be seated. There is also a casual Brazilian Restaurant (on Symphony now and coming to Serenity in a few months) which has open dining with no reservations required. Other dining venues just require reservations.

 

I hope this helps and that you will give Crystal a try and if you have other questions please let me know.

 

Keith

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dabear, I am glad you have found my posts to be helpful.

 

Overall Crystal Cruises has become a lot less casual than it used to be.

 

Keith

 

Keith, did you mean a lot MORE casual? ;)

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Keith, did you mean a lot MORE casual? ;)

 

Oops. LeeAnne, thanks for the catch. ;p

 

 

I should have said less formal and/or more casual than before.

 

Thanks,

Keith

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Thanks for all the newbie tips. Enjoyed reading them. I have a question about the casino and didn't want to start a new thread, so hopefully someone can answer here. I haven't booked yet but am considering it. I've only cruised Carnival up til now so looking to branch out, but finding that practices vary from line to line.

 

How do the slots in the Crystal casinos work? With Carnival, you use your Sail & Sign card in them to track your play and you can also draw down money from your onboard account for use in casino. I like to put my casino play on my credit card attached to my onboard account because (1) it helps me keep track of what I've spent, and (2) when it is billed at the end of the cruise, it is billed just as a purchase, not a cash advance. So I avoid cash advance fees. Oh and (3) I carry some money with me when I travel, of course, but I don't like carrying a large amount of cash, so being able to put everything on my shipboard card is convenient - and safer.

 

So I've looked around all over the place and cannot find out whether Crystal uses a similar system or not. Will I need to just use cash in the casino, or can I charge everything to my onboard card? And for that matter, is there an onboard card used to get in and out of cabins, make purchases, etc.? These may seem like annoying questions for experienced Crystal cruisers, but for newbies, it's hard to find answers to questions that everyone seems to take for granted. :halo:

 

TIA

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TIA, I am not a gambler so I can't help on this one. If you don't get a reply just start a new thread.

 

 

Keith

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