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rafinmd

2018 Crystal World Cruise as seen by a 4-Star Mariner

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Thanks bennybear, Jacqui, Denise, erewohn, and Krazy Kruizers.

 

I looked back at my 2011 world cruise segment on the covered pool issue. I don't have a REALLY good picture of that pool but found a couple of things. The first has the pool in the background during a buffet lunch:

 

1701977305_neptune1(Custom).jpg.7fd2c94508d556491db969411bd11010.jpg

 

On world cruises, Crystal has some special events for full world cruisers which may be either on or off the ship. One of the events was done in that area, but they built a stage platform for the performers over the pool:

 

1810311821_neptune2(Custom).jpg.bc514dffcaa1e6de72db8e15ec9b413f.jpg

 

The third view is that area today as viewed from the same vantage point as the photo with the scaffolding:

 

900088217_neptune3(Custom).JPG.9d4772eccbac878e5d784712c8097e57.JPG

 

Roy

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Good morning Roy!

 

Thanks for the pictures! I am really intrigued by Crystal’s layout. The chairs and umbrellas I feel I’m at a resort hotel. Nice design and set up.

I got on Crystals board and saw your blog and also do you do the Bon Voyages like Jacqui

On HAL? Saw your posts.

Coffee in hand hope your walking the promenade this would be about the time.

Denise:)

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Thank you Denise.

 

Open House

 

I had hoped to post some of the Questions and Answers from today’s trivia here but my timing was off due to a buffet today and I was too late (I’ll post about buffets tomorrow)

 

Cruise Critic roll calls on some cruise lines occasionally organize “Cabin Crawls” where cruisers get together on an hour or so journey where people show off their cabins in various categories. I have never seen that on Crystal because they often (usually) set up an afternoon or 2 where cabins in different categories are opened up for people to view. That happened on Tuesday. I haven’t shown pictures of my own cabin yet so I’ll start with that:

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/7065c2.jpg

 

It’s a limited view cabin, identical to other ocean views except for the gangway somewhat limiting my view over head. Next is a regular oceanveiw:

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/7045c1.jpg

 

Next is an entry level verandah. A B3 cabin, the 3 is a subtype. B1 is the most desirable cabins, B2 is a slightly limited view, and B3 is least expensive due to a far forward location.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/8012b3.jpg

 

Deck 9 is pretty similar to deck 8, but there are no A3 cabins. The far forward cabins are A2, since there are no limited view cabins on that deck. Making the categories A1 and A3 might have been a clearer option.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/9032a2.jpg

 

The P1 cabins on deck 10 are pretty much like other verandahs except they have a hypoallergenic (“Pure”) treatment. Up to now all the cabins are pretty much identical except for the lack of a verandah on the oceanview cabins.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/10012p1.jpg

 

Beyond the identical cabins there are 3 additional levels, one of which was not open to viewing. The Penthouse with Verandah is the next step up. From this level rooms start to come with a butler:

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/11006ph.jpg

 

At the Penthouse Suite level the number of cabins drops seriously, there are just over 30 of these:

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/11012ps.jpg

 

There are only 4 Crystal Penthouses on the ship and they are VERY nice but not on display.

 

KK, my apologies for the comments made on the Crystal forum. I thought the “Alert the Media” comment was snarky and out of line. I invited people over to the Crystal Forum and you expressed an opinion.

 

I do think that comparisons by picture may be a bit difficult. Here are some comparisons of sizes of various cabin sizes:

Crystal Ocean View 226 sq ft, HAL 175-283

Crystal Verandah 269 sq ft, HAL 228-420

Crystal Verandah 269 sq ft, HAL Vista Suite 292

Penthouse 403 sa ft, HAL Signature Suite 273-456

Penthouse Suite 538 sq ft, Neptune Suite 506-590

Crystal Penthouse (only 4 of these between 2 ships) 1346 sq ft, Pinnacle Suite 1150

 

Does not seem to me to be a lot of difference in the Cabin sizes. There has been a trend in the Luxury cruise industry to go to ever larger rooms but Crystal’s ships were built before that started, and the emphasis is on generus public rooms.

 

Roy

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Thank all Roy, beautiful cabins! Are you at sea now?

A single sea day. Acapulco yesterday, Puerto Vallarta tomorrow.

 

Roy

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Hi Roy!

Wow really enjoyed the pictures of the staterooms.

She is a really nice ship. I enjoyed your comparisons that you made with HAL. Have a good time in Puerto Vallarta.

Take care Roy.

Denise:)

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Enjoying your reports.

Roy

There are all different sizes of Pinnacle Suites m-- for example.

R class -- 1181 sq ft

Signature class -- 1357 sq ft

S class -- 1273 sq ft

Vista class -- 1150 sq ft

Pinnacle class -- 1290 sq ft

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Thank you Denise, Krazy Kruizers, and erewhon. I must say I'm surprised that there's a size difference between the R & S class suites and the Vista vs Signature class.

 

Crystal Buffets

 

Some people love buffets but many don’t. I typically enjoy looking at them but usually don’t partake. This year they are putting out menus of what is included, and when I saw carrot cake I was trapped.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/lunch0118.pdf

 

I think the Crystal Grand Gala Buffet could happen on very few ships and I doubt it would be possible at all on HAL. It’s a matter of ship layout, where every choice has some positives and negatives. Crystal’s dining room is on the very first deck above the tender platforms. Starting from the back on that deck we have the mooring station, the galley, the dining room, and then the Crystal Plaza, a 2 story area almost like an atrium that runs the entire width of the ship and is almost square. The design of course prohibits the possibility of aft windows in the dining room but is the smoothest riding area of the ship, and also facilitates these buffets.

 

The Crystal Plaza is bounded at the back by the midship stairs and dining room and at the front by the guest relations and shore excursions desks. On the starboard side are desks for the Future Cruise Consultant and Crystal Society hostest as well as a seating area. On the port 20 feet or so there’s a small bar, both the port and starboard areas are used by a few guests for dining.

 

The whole remainder of the Plaza is set up with lavish displays of food. The layout opens at 11:30 for photos and here are a few views from the deck above:

 

galatop.jpg

 

And here are a few views from down on the buffet floor.

 

galacove.jpg

 

While a very few people will have their lunch in the Plaza area, most proceed into the dining room where an army of waiters stands by to escort you to a waiting dining room table. Lunch is normally my light meal and the buffet was a bit of an oddity. I chose a roll, skim milk, simple salad, and a bit of mashed potato to complement my carrot cake addiction. A healthy lunch? Probably not but I thought a reasonable way to allow my special treat.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/lunch0118.jpg

 

Also in the afternoon we had a galley tour. On the way out I snapped a photo of a section of the dinng room.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/dining.jpg

 

Earlier in the day I also took a quick shot from inside the casino.

 

http://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/casino.jpg

 

Roy

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🤔hmmmmm... Roy I’d eat more carrot cake and would do lots of laps around the promenade 😉

I like the set up of the grand buffet. Your right it would not work on HAL.

I liked the menu a lot! Appitizers looked good especially lobster with cocktail sauce! It’s evening and I’m hungry 😞 getting ready to go out to dinner.

Our weather here on Monday 22 will be partly cloudy with sun. Should be a nice day for you coming to port here!

Take care Roy

Denise:)

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Thought about this blog this morning. I live in Puerto Vallarta in the winter months, and this morning I was out for my usual long walk at about 6am...when I watched the Crystal Serenity slowly ease into our local cruise port. As I walked by the Marina (what they call the cruise port) I watched them securing the ship and saw some folks already at breakfast :). As a very frequent cruiser (and cruise lover) I was thinking, "would I rather be on the Crystal Serenity doing a world cruise....or here in Puerto Vallarta?" Must admit that DW and I would not give up PV for a World Cruise (at least not now)...but that Crystal ship sure looked tempting. So here is hoping that the OP (and all their ship mates) have a great World Cruise...and we shall be watching for further posts.

 

Hank

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Great pics Roy:)

 

So nice that Crystal organizes cabin tours.

 

Wondering if those cabins are empty or if they get permission to show occupied cabins?

 

The buffet looks very nice.

 

And, there's nothing wrong with a bit of carrot cake ;)

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Roy

The Neptune Suites have gotten smaller on the larger ships.

HAL isn't consistent with anything. Smaller cabins -- means more cabins and more passengers.

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Great pics Roy:)

 

And, there's nothing wrong with a bit of carrot cake ;)

 

Well, yes, there is - the problem is "a bit!"

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Roy,

 

Yours is carrot cake, mine is brownies in any way, shape or fashion. Bare, frosted, with or without nuts [as long as they use walnuts for the nuts - not peanuts :eek:] I'm always tempted and usually give in.

 

Carole

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Roy

The Neptune Suites have gotten smaller on the larger ships.

HAL isn't consistent with anything. Smaller cabins -- means more cabins and more passengers.

 

We actually thought the Neptune Suites on the smaller older HAL ships were "too big" - in that there was a lot of wasted space and drawers we could never fill, even on a longer cruise. I can understand the decision to trim that former Neptune Suite size a bit when it came time to design new ships, particularly for the shorter haul itineraries..

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Thanks, everyone.

 

Crystal Shore Excursions

 

Crystal and HAL usually run pretty much the same shore excursions in a port. Prices are comparable; I’ve seen Crystal’s prices both a little less and sometimes a little more than HAL’s.

 

The differences tend to be in the way they are executed. While HAL’s tours usually meet in the theater or another lounge, Crystal’s ALWAYS do. I’ve seen ship’s escorts on many of my HAL tours; it’s pretty much a given on Crystal and they really do get involved with the passengers proactively responding to situations as they develop. Always–well yesterday we had ship’s escorts on one tour with 2 participants and on another with 3. I’ve never been on a tour that small but on one there were only 7 guests and we had an escort.

 

One thing you’ll rarely find on a Crystal tour are stickers. We got one on my Acapulco tour when we went in to see the cave divers but that’s the first time I’ve had one in several years. When a tour is ready to go the escorts for the tour (one for each bus) are standing at the lounge door with paddle signs and lead the group out to the street where we may choose the bus we take or may be escorted to one, depending on the capacity remaining on each bus. Very little regimentation.

 

Another difference is that they always leave extra room on the buses. If it’s a 60 seat bus they’ll probably add a second one when they reach about 50 people. Water is always given out, either on the bus or at the lounge entrance.

 

No real game changing differences but a nice assortment of little touches.

 

Roy

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Thanks, everyone.

 

 

Crystal Shore Excursions

 

Crystal and HAL usually run pretty much the same shore excursions in a port. Prices are comparable; I’ve seen Crystal’s prices both a little less and sometimes a little more than HAL’s.

 

The differences tend to be in the way they are executed. While HAL’s tours usually meet in the theater or another lounge, Crystal’s ALWAYS do. I’ve seen ship’s escorts on many of my HAL tours; it’s pretty much a given on Crystal and they really do get involved with the passengers proactively responding to situations as they develop. Always–well yesterday we had ship’s escorts on one tour with 2 participants and on another with 3. I’ve never been on a tour that small but on one there were only 7 guests and we had an escort.

 

One thing you’ll rarely find on a Crystal tour are stickers. We got one on my Acapulco tour when we went in to see the cave divers but that’s the first time I’ve had one in several years. When a tour is ready to go the escorts for the tour (one for each bus) are standing at the lounge door with paddle signs and lead the group out to the street where we may choose the bus we take or may be escorted to one, depending on the capacity remaining on each bus. Very little regimentation.

 

Another difference is that they always leave extra room on the buses. If it’s a 60 seat bus they’ll probably add a second one when they reach about 50 people. Water is always given out, either on the bus or at the lounge entrance.

 

No real game changing differences but a nice assortment of little touches.

 

Roy

 

Thanks Roy. That is very interesting.

 

 

Sounds like Crystal has it "right" when it comes to shore excursions.

 

 

I hate those stickers. Nothing worse than really advertising "I am a tourist on a cruise ship".

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Thanks Roy. That is very interesting.

 

Sounds like Crystal has it "right" when it comes to shore excursions.

 

I hate those stickers. Nothing worse than really advertising "I am a tourist on a cruise ship".

 

I would be happier with even a couple of minor improvements. Perhaps the stickers really needed for the Vista/Signature/Pinnacle ships with many more people but both Crystal ships both carry more people than the Prinsendam so I wish that was a fleet consistency item that would be dropped.

 

My other gripe is having us sit idly around until the tour is called and then line up for stickers as we leave. We have our tickets to show; why not just give us stickers at our convenience when there's no line?

 

Roy

Edited by rafinmd

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My other gripe is having us sit idly around until the tour is called and then line up for stickers as we leave. We have our tickets to show; why not just give us stickers at our convenience when there's no line?

 

Roy

They do that to keep people from heading out before their tour is called. What happened was that those who obeyed got the bad seats. The only problem with that is for us slower cane users. On the new system you may find the front few rows occupied by the fleet of foot. So we usually ask for a head start and have found decent cooperation on that.

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Since I use a walker, I have had to ask the people in charge of leading the tours of the ship if I can leave a few minutes early so that I can use the elevator (while others are running down the steps to get off as quickly as possible to get those front row seats) since it sometimes takes a while to get one.

I really don't like to be in the very first row as my knees hit that metal partition. I like the second row -- more leg room.

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