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Some Thoughts For First Time Crystal Cruisers


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TIA, I don’t do the casino, but I can tell you that Crystal, like every other line I’ve been on, is cashless. Your iD/key card works like a credit card for onboard purchases and I assume it would work that way in the casino. You’ll find Crystal much different from Carnival, but in that regard, I expect they’re the same. Enjoy your trip!

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I don't do the casino either. but I do know that the way things are done in the Crystal casinos have changed since Genting (owner of Resorts World) bought Crystal. One thing I've "heard" is that the slots are tighter than before. Also there have been other changes that favor the house! :eek:



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  • 3 weeks later...
Keith - Any thoughts on a President’s Cruise? Evidently our voyage on 2019 serenity through the canal is a President’s cruise. Any details you can offer for this 2nd time Crystal cruiser?



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Dennis & Summer,


Often there will be a special President's Excursion (there is a charge) that you may want to consider. The President will do a Q&A on board the ship. He may host some dinners from time to time to meet guests and often some of the other executives are on board. This cruise going through the canal should have some very good lectures and other enrichment.


Best to you both.


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  • 3 weeks later...

This has been a very helpful post and thank you for taking the time.



When we first started cruising back in the early 1970's I remember being told I should never pay the brochure price and that I should price voyages with several providers. I have done that and have also booked several cruises directly with the cruise line. We are strongly considering taking a Crystal cruise for the first time and I am considering using a travel agent after years of not doing so.



I am not expecting much of a discount, if at all, if I do so but will I be surprised?



I would normally ask if there is any one (or perhaps two) reason(s) why you may personally prefer Crystal (assuming you do) as compared to other companies but I realize your "better" may not be the same as mine but just in case you care to comment and again, thank you.

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Keith, just re-read your excellent summary. Thanks again and I have, in fact, sent an email message to a particular agent.


I am glad that you found the summary to be helpful. I will be updating it right after Serenity goes through its upcoming dry dock.


I am glad that you are having a travel agent help you out.


Good luck with all of this.



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Thank you Keith for the great information. After reading through it all we booked our first cruise without Crystal yesterday to go to Grand Prix in Monaco next May. Previously sailed mostly with celebrity and this year with Silversea. Your information was just brilliant and we are very excited about experiencing the Crystal Cruise. Thank you.

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Thank you Keith for the great information. After reading through it all we booked our first cruise without Crystal yesterday to go to Grand Prix in Monaco next May. Previously sailed mostly with celebrity and this year with Silversea. Your information was just brilliant and we are very excited about experiencing the Crystal Cruise. Thank you.


You are very welcome and congratulations on booking your first Crystal Cruises.


Before we sailed Crystal many of our cruises were on Celebrity.


Our Crystal Cruise in 2015 included the Grand Prix in Monaco and we had a wonderful time. Amazing experience.


Wishing you the very best.



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  • 1 month later...
7 hours ago, captjohn said:

We are new to Crystal. Guess that's why I am here.

My question is about air. Can you get a better price using Crystal Air ?

We will be flying Business to Vienna for a river cruise from PHX.


Thanks, John

John, sometimes you can get better pricing for business class and sometimes you can do better on your own.  My recommendation is to have it priced out by Crystal (you can request specific flights) and compare that to the pricing you could get.



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I have updated this document to reflect changes that have been implemented in the most recent dry-docks of Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity (currently in dry-dock)with respect to open dining in the evening and new restaurant dining venues.


This includes:


Changing the name of the main dining room from the Crystal Dining Room to Waterside and implementing open dining. 


Renaming the Silk Road Japanese Specialty Restaurant to Umi Uma. 


Renaming The Lido Café to Marketplace (daytime dining) & Churrascaria (evening dining)  During the daytime Marketplace continues serving breakfast and luncheon foods at food stations.  In the evening, Churracaria serves South American cuisine including meat and ceviches.  The hot items are served table-side.


A new Silk Asian Restaurant was implemented serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Additional suites have been added to both ships by converting staterooms.  This has lowered the overall passenger capacity for both ships.


This thread has been written with first time Crystal Cruisers in mind and to those who have not sailed Crystal for along time.


The information is mainly related to the Ocean Vessels, I have incorporated some information on the River Cruises and the Yachts.


The information is primarily focused on cruise preparation and the first day of embarkation.


In addition to this information I would like to highlight the following.


Cruise Critic Crystal Cruises Threads





After booking your cruise be sure to visit the Meet and Mingle Board to register to attend a party for the Ocean Vessels.   If 10 or more people sign up 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 couple of days before the party, you will receive an invitation to your room noting the date/time/location of the party.


The following link will take you to the Meet & Mingle Signup Page.




After you have signed up for a party the following link can be used to make revisions.







After you have booked your cruise you can go over to the Future Booking Thread, which shows voyages that other members of Cruise Critic are signed up for and request to have your details added to this 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.




Pre-Cruise Items



-Visit the Crystal Cruises Web Site at www.crystalcruises.comas it provides lots of useful information to assist you in preparation 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.




I would recommend ordering the Cruise Atlas. It provides lots 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. Before you book, be sure to understand the administrative cancellation fee which applies to all 2020 voyages and when cruises can be cancelled without incurring any cancellation fees.


-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 booking If you have any special dining requirements have your Travel Agent note them on your booking reservation.  For example, if you have allergies to certain foods, have that noted on the reservation or requirements for foods such as low sodium foods, gluten free foods, or for kosher foods indicate that as well.  Your Travel Agent should also notify on board guest services so that this information is passed over to the ship.  Their email address 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. I want to highlight that if you want to get the specific flights use 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 the start of the cruise.   With most flights running at full capacity, this will help ensure you do not miss the ship, should your flight be canceled or significantly delayed  and help to start the cruise with little to no jet lag.  Personally no matter where the cruise begins, we always arrive one or more days in advance of the sailing.   As they say, if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. Should you have to change planes look very closely at the connection times. Even some connections that are legal  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. Remember airport security guideline can change at the last minute.  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 compared to booking  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.  The program can be good for those who need extra care and/or are traveling solo.  


-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.  This link will take you to the webpage showing visa requirements.




PCPC - Priority Check-in& Planning Center


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




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 showing the itinerary, along with other information.  


-After you make your final payment you can use the system to pre book one specialty restaurant reservation per voyage and a reservation at the Vintage Room.  If you are on a back to back cruise(s) you can make one reservation at each venue per voyage. This applies to Umi Uma, Prego and Silk.


     PCPC can be used to make spa and salon reservations reservations and to book computer classes.  There is also an iMovie Class offered on each voyage and you can register for that program via  PCPC. If you do sign up for sure to purchase and load the iMovie App that is listed on PCPC at the signup screen for this program.


     From PCPC you can be taken to other sites such as a site should you wish to submit a visitor approval form to have friend(s)/family visit you. You can also be taken to the Luggage Concierge website should you wish to utilize that program (at a cost) to ship luggage between your home and the ship. 


-If this is your first Crystal Cruise I do recommend making one reservation at each Specialty Restaurant; Umi Uma which serves Japanese Cuisine, Prego which serves Italian Cuisine), and Silk which serves Chines Cuisine.  No reservations are required at Churrascaria.


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.




You will also be able to watch on-demand movies and lectures on the interactive televisions located in all guest staterooms/suites.


-There is a calendar on PCPC that you can print which shows all of your reservations which I recommend printing.


-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. This information will also be shown on PCPC along with the pricing.  You can make reservations even before making your final payment.


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.


For those shore excursions which require cancellation before boarding these will be noted on PCPC at the time the reservation is made.  Be sure you carefully read the terms.


-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.


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.





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 Waterside.


In general daytime attire is very casual.  Shorts and other casual clothing is permitted in all of the dining venues during the daytime.  




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. (No tie required.)   Jeans are allowed but should not have holes.


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. On voyages with only one Black Tie Optional evening you will see far fewer people dressed in formal attire.   With that said, with each passing year less people wear formal attire.  


NOTE: 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 no black tie optional nights with 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.


On Board Shopping



Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony have some on board shops.  This includes Fine Jewelry, Cosmetics, Clothing (Mainly Women with some clothing for Men). Sundries and some logo Crystal items for purchase.  In your room there will be a list of sundries and their prices.





Crystal is one of the few cruise lines, which permits having visitors on board the ship. As mentioned earlier there is a link on PCPC which will take you to another vendor site where you can fill out this request and submit it on-line.  Please be sure to fill out the form in its entirety. Visitors are permitted on embarkation day and other days with the exception of the day you disembark the ship. The form notes the costs to have visitors on board including meals. All of the costs will be charged to your shipboard account.


Always wise 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.


-If booked through a travel agent your final documents will be sent to them directly and they will need to send them to you.


-You may want to type up a list of any special requests for your stewardess, (butler and stewardess in Penthouses) which you can hand to her the day you first meet her. This could be the type of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages 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.


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. The stewardess can also provide them for your use.


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


Internet is complimentary and two devices per guest may be used simultaneously.  For two people that equates to a total of four devices, but two per user simultaneously.  


We also bring some magnets with us and they can be hung on some of the walls in the cabin.  We use them 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 which comes with your final documents.   Check-in is done on board the ship.


We bring extra passport photos 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.




Preparing For Your Port Visit



Embarkation Day



While at home I make good use of the shore excursion information provided by Crystal Cruises as part of the port research.  I also utilize other sites such as Wiki, Trip Advisor and Google for port research.


Once on board the ship I speak with members of the shore excursion team should I have additional questions about Crystal Sponsored Tours and also to learn more about the port.  The concierge desk can be helpful and I may ask other cruise members about their experiences.


I go to the destination lectures to learn more about what to do in port and about its history.  I also watch the broadcasts by members of the on-board Shore Excursion team providing more information about tours, shuttles and the port.


-On most embarkation days, boarding of the ship commences 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 or close to noon, your stateroom will likely not be ready until approximately 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. An announcement will be made when all rooms are ready.


-Before you board the ship the ships photographers will be taking photos. This is optional and for those who do not want a photo 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 at 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, 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 Waterside 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 Waterside up until 1:30 PM. More casual luncheon-dining venues open include Waterside, The Trident Grill, Silk and The Bistro.  Opening times will vary and will be listed on Reflections.  Waterside may be open as early as 11:45 AM.


-If you want to make additional reservations at the Specialty Restaurants the Specialty Restaurant MaîtreD’s will have hours available in the afternoon when you can meet him.  The hours and the location will be posted in Reflections.  The office hours usually commence at 1:30 PM.


-If you have brought your own computer with you this is also a good day to stop by the Computer University where they will configure your computer for use in your stateroom. While you can do this on your own for those needing help I recommend you stop by the Computer University if this is your first time on-board.   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 all of your 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 as mentioned above.


-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 let her 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 attend the lifeboat drill. The time of the drill will 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.


-Stop by the library to checkout books.


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


Crew Welfare Fund


Private Parties


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

Special Umi Uma Connoisseur Menu


Dry Cleaning, Pressing and Washing of Garments

Medical Expenses

On Board Stores including Sundries

Private Dance Lessons

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

Long Distance Telephone Calls


Photo items sold on board

Photo Book


If you are expecting on-board credit, sometime after boarding the ship I recommend stopping by the reception desk to have a copy of your shipboard account printed out.  This way you can verify that the amount of on board credit matches up to what you expected and if it does not this will allow to have sufficient time to have any discrepancies reconciled.


Meet & Mingle Party



If you signed up for the party you will receive an invitation to your room one or two days before the party.  If you want to know the date/time/location sooner than that stop by the reception desk on deck 5 to inquire about it.


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"


- 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. 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 penthouse categories let your butler know.  There is no charge for having wine opened in any of the dining venues.


Each night the dining venues will offer a few different wines. They will rotate in Waterside each evening.  


-Spirits. The complimentary 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 the five-star+ services that await 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 earn. 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 disembarkation 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 very 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.




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.




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


This link will take you to the Crystal Cruises Web Site providing some very useful summary information about the Esprit Yacht.




In 2020 Crystal Cruises is launching the new expedition ship, Endeavor and the following link will take you to the Crystal Cruses website with information on Endeavor.







Crystal Cruises began river cruising in 2016 with the deployment of Crystal Mozart. Since that time they have added several new River Cruise Vessels to the fleet.


For information about River Cruises:




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


Bon Voyage!









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  • 5 weeks later...
22 minutes ago, PaulMCO said:

One comment Swank player is no longer used.  Crystal asks you to download Cruise Companion video player when accessing the movies on demand from your iPad.

Thanks Paul.  The link I provide does take folks to the Crystal Apps page where the Cruise Companion video player app is shown.  Paul I'"ll go ahead and post this right now on a new thread so those who have sailed Crystal before  know this.



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  • 2 months later...

Keith, thanks for all of this information and keeping it updated. One suggestion: Can you (or a moderator) edit the top of the opening post to include a link or reference to the most current iteration of the information (currently post 91)? It was a bit disconcerting to read the lengthy full opening post only to find that it has been revised many times over with material changes. Not super-important, but this would be helpful for new or prospective Crystal pax clicking this thread looking for the most current information. Thanks again. Cheers!

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  • 1 month later...
1 hour ago, Orator said:

Can I access flights so that I can see options and prices for my cruise?


No, I don't think so. Don't think very many book their flights through Crystal. That's something you'll need to have your travel agent get from Crystal.



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24 minutes ago, Texas Tillie said:


No, I don't think so. Don't think very many book their flights through Crystal. That's something you'll need to have your travel agent get from Crystal.




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  • 1 month later...

From time to time some people have asked about examples of evening attire so I thought I would share some of them.


Back Tie Optional has two types of recommended attire.


One is Black Tie and examples that Crystal provides for a gent is a dark suite with tie or a tuxedo.  For ladies this includes formal cocktail dress, evening gown, or dressy separates.


The optional meaning allows for  something dressy but  not  as formal as the Black Tie.   For gents this would a Sports Jacket (tie is optional), dress shirt and dressy slacks.  For ladies examples includes a dress, dressy slacks and  blouse or sweater.


Crystal Casual


Men’s Crystal Casual attire includes a sports jacket (optional), dress shirt, buttoned down shirt, open collar or collared polo shirt and dress plants. (No tie required.)   Jeans are allowed but should not have holes.  In general the majority of men do not  wear a sports jacket and many men wear khaki pants with some wearing dress pants.  


For women, Crystal Casual includes a dress, or a blouse or sweater and skirt or dressy slacks. 


For Crystal Casual I will do a range from short sleeve shirts to long sleeve shirts to sports jackets.  





For Black Tie Optional I do a suit, or  tuxedo  or dinner jacket.  But I could have gone with a sports jacket, collared dress shirt with our without a tie ( In my case I would do a tie) and dress pants.  Some examples of what we wore for BTO night.  








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