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Texas Tillie

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13 hours ago, wearesiamese said:

I see so many things that the  Crystal  Is doing- becoming too much  like mass market lines in many ways-what happened to doing better than their competition? There is an old saying :"good enough never is" ,,but mass market cruise lines don't care about anything but the short term profits/bottom line, but that is very short sighted., nor does Crystal anymore it seems:(

I wouldn't necessarily say that Crystal is being "dumbed-down" to a mass market line, but I will agree, in our opinion, in an effort to shadow the offerings/amenities/service/etc. of other premium or luxury lines, Crystal is losing (and in some ways) has already lost some of the features that made it a unique choice among the higher end (or at least the higher priced) cruise lines. We're not totally abandoning the Crystal ship, but our eyes (and discretionary travel budgets) are more open to the offerings on other cruise lines and alternative land-based opportunities than we have typically been in the past.

 

Rob

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Knowing that I had to re-register I got signed in and all of our future bookings are there, even one I put a hold on but we decided not to take and never put the deposit on. Not quite sure how that happens or how one gets it off of there, but if they want us to go for free.....😁

 

While we book for the itinerary, we did like having the "Who Is Onboard" info available to browse, so no longer having that is a takeaway. Of course, I also recall many, many instances (and complaints on this board) of the information being incorrect/out of date, so is no info any better than unreliable info?

 

Like others I am not a big fan of fancy graphics and huge pictures. Give me the information I am looking for at a reasonable speed of response and forget the rest.

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I have 2 cruises listed that I had gotten a quote in the past and never deposited. The cruises have long sailed in the past.

 

They should not show up.

Edited by Coral

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It is no longer easy to see the web cam and that of the computer room is gone gone gone.  I really enjoyed that computer room cam both at home and at sea.   I hope this is just an in transition thing.  I doubt it.

 

I have yet to find out how to register.  I am not much of a fan.  I also think the loss of entertainment folks listed on the website as well as officers a real down turn.  

 

Crystal if you are reading this make it easy for people to see stuff not harder.  The Crystal cruisers who frequent Cruise Critic are likely the ones who most frequent your web site.   I know many cruisers (mostly much older) rarely look at your site.   Please consider your audience.   

 

Now specific personal issue:  At this point for our Norway cruise in 6 months we can book excursions but it doesn't give the price for any of them.  That is not acceptable.

 

Edited by ijkh

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A few comments:

 

There is no webcam that I see in the computer room.  So yes I think it is gone.  My assumption is it was done for privacy reasons.  I am sure that some people were bothered with the idea that they could be scene on the webcam.  

 

The website.  Personally I think it is much improved over the other one.

 

I have not read all of the comments but did people see that you can now do a booking on the website.  I didn't go all the way through on it but did see where you could select room and so forth.

 

Yes there are some issue.  I have identified a couple of them.

 

If you see issues you can post them here as Crystal is reading the posts and/or send an e mail as noted in the post from Crystal Cruises.

 

Please be as specific as you can in the e-mail.  It will help.

 

I have asked about the enrichment/entertainment and if I hear back will let you know.

 

I also suggested that they make finding the live web cams easier such as seeing it list on the bottom of the home page.

 

Again they have some issues to work through but personally I think this is a lot better than the previous website.

 

Keith

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I, too, am finding this new site difficult to navigate....but am willing to give it a chance.  IMHO they should not have rolled this out until the "bugs" (of which there are many) were worked out.

 

I had been looking at a Serenity 14-day cruise in 2020 which was also being sold as two 7-day cruise segments. I could find the the 7-day segments on the new website but not the 14-day one.  I had been told when I called about this 2-week sailing a few weeks ago that I could not book it as 2 btb sailings but had to book it as one cruise, so this was especially frustrating.

 

When I called customer service I was informed "something ain't right about that".  The representative went on to say that his old system showed the 14-day cruise but the new system did not.  He also explained that he would be "learning" how to navigate the new website while he was on the line with me and that bugs of this nature were common with new roll-outs like this and it would take 2-3 days for things to be running smoothly --- very much like when you buy a new car or an appliance....you can't expect them to run smoothly at first either. 

 

Maybe I'm getting too old for these kind of explanations, but I found our conversation to be both amusing and frustrating at the same time.

 

Bottom line....I was told if I wanted to book the 14-day cruise to call back in a few days -- he should be able to book it then. 

 

I found  this to be very strange....am I missing something here?!

 

 

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I am aware of the benefits of booking with a TA and always do so, but I sometimes like to speak with Crystal before calling my TA.

 

The point of my response was to highlight the new website and its problems....something many of us navigate regardless of whether or not booked directly through Crystal or with a TA.  I therefore thought it best to deal directly with Crystal to see what they had to say.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Texas Tillie said:

Why would anyone book directly with Crystal when travel agents offer OBC?

 

Patty

 

Lots of people do. They think they get a better price (they don't), think they have more control (maybe a bit), or just prefer to do it themselves. And OBC is not as big a motivating factor in the higher end, all-inclusive lines.

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26 minutes ago, Roland4 said:

 

Lots of people do. They think they get a better price (they don't), think they have more control (maybe a bit), or just prefer to do it themselves. And OBC is not as big a motivating factor in the higher end, all-inclusive lines.

I think the statistics say that over 90% of people use travel agents to book cruises. I am thinking when they say travel agents, it means anything (online) but direct booking.

 

So yes, some people do but most do not.

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The new website is dissapointing and once again Crystal have released a product that is not fit for purpose and ready for prime time. Perhaps we should have just resurrected the previous thread which ran for a year bemoaning the poor execution of that upgrade - I still chuckle when I recall one member saying we should be patient and that it would improve when we dared to question its functionality and improvement - then we watched for over a year as they struggled to fix the new site

 

How anyone can describe it as an improvement over the old one surprises me - it appears some people will accept pretty much anything from Crystal these days 

 

A few glossy pictures and wordy descriptions is not what people are looking for from the site. I thought we’d moved on from the effusive marketing speak to a more practical and down to earth approach led by the, now not so new, President

 

As for requesting that we assist in reporting bugs bugs and issues - well at least they’ve asked this time, but I for one have much better things to do with my time in the lead up to the holidays than file bug reports. If Crystal want testing of the site then it should be done professionally and prior to release

 

It seems that once again they have failed to test the new site before release and failed to listen to what people want from it eg easy navigation, list of officers and entertainers for cruises etc - haven’t they heard of focus groups or even hosting a discussion on Cruise Critic to solicit responses and as for testing (seems they’d spent the budget by the time they got to that point)

 

There are so many obvious issues including inaccurate voyage descriptions (all my future cruises are described with the same title), inaccurate records of past and future cruises when extracting “personalised” information as well (nice idea but poor execution) as well as navigation issues making it difficult, if not impossible, to find information. Then we could start to detail the missing (lists of officers and entertainers for each voyage) or well hidden things (live cams) - who knows it they’re deliberate or not 

 

Being able to book cruises on the site is nothing great to me - you can simply talk to your travel agent to book (who are now grappling with the poor functionality of the new site as well I should add and who will now field more enquiries from customers as people can’t find info on the website) or if you really want to book direct just rung Crystal - so putting any priority on booking online doesn’t seem right to me at this point

 

So if this is Crystals holiday gift to us then I’m dissapointed. Have we been naughty and this is our “lump of coal” gift perhaps 🙂 ? I guess they’ll be shutting up shop for a week or two now forthe holidays - so I don’t expect to see any improvement or fixes for a while 

 

It seems that between Cruise Critic and their recent “upgrade”, which they’re trying to fix and Crystals latest effort that the world of web design and the functionality sites deliver has a long way to go yet 

Edited by Stickman1990

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1 hour ago, Roland4 said:

And OBC is not as big a motivating factor in the higher end, all-inclusive lines.

 

Interestimg assertion but not sure what basis it has - it’s completely at odds with every luxury line traveller I speak to, and that’s quite a few from CP guests to those on Deck 7

 

in my experience the people who are cruising luxury lines are in that position as they are astute in managing their finances, including not paying more than they need for items such as cruises

 

People are very interested in the benefits, including OBC and/or rebates they receive 

 

The OBC on a luxury line fare can quickly become a significant amount, much more than on a commodity line where fares are often discounted heavily up front to secure the business 

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I just logged in and our number of "past voyages" is incorrect.  Our 2017 California Coastal Cruise is not listed.  Anyone else missing voyage(s)?  I can't find the number of milestones we've achieved.  Has anyone found that?

Julie

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7 minutes ago, Jules1 said:

I just logged in and our number of "past voyages" is incorrect.  Our 2017 California Coastal Cruise is not listed.  Anyone else missing voyage(s)?  I can't find the number of milestones we've achieved.  Has anyone found that?

Yes - missing past voyages for me too, I’m not so sure it’s particularly useful anyway as you can’t get any info on them and they’re only used to suggest “similar” cruises to you 

 

No - milestones achieved are not included, maybe they’ll add that at a later date 

 

As an aside you can get a full list of past cruises and milestone status from the Crystal Society - if onboard just ask the host/hostess and they will print one off for you otherwise send them an email 

Edited by Stickman1990

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One other point I omitted from my earlier post 

 

It is good how they are working to have all future cruise bookings included under your profile so you don’t have to log into a new PCPC instance for each

 

I note that it currently takes you to the existing PCPC so nothing’s changed in that system for the moment - I guess we’ll have to wait and see if there are changes to come for that - I hope they don’t break or “improve” negatively on what is a good working system at the moment 

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2 hours ago, Texas Tillie said:

Why would anyone book directly with Crystal when travel agents offer OBC?

 

Patty

Patty exactly what I was thinking 🤔.  Also, why did not Crystal Beta test before the rollout?

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3 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

A few comments:

 

I didn't go all the way through on it but did see where you could select room and so forth.

 

It is probably a good idea you stopped as if you go further - you do receive an error.

 

This is definitely beta version .0001.

 

I guess we consider this a starting point and I agree that any info we can post that helps Crystal improve the website will benefit all of us.

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51 minutes ago, Jules1 said:

I just logged in and our number of "past voyages" is incorrect.  Our 2017 California Coastal Cruise is not listed.  Anyone else missing voyage(s)?  I can't find the number of milestones we've achieved.  Has anyone found that?

Julie

 

All of my 2017 cruises are missing. That's 2 on the Mozart and a B2B on the Symphony.  Also, there is one that I canceled way in advance that is listed. All the rest seem to be right.

 

Patty

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I do like the capability to do on line booking (when It works correctly) for a couple of reasons and they have less to do with making the on board booking.

 

1.  I can see if a particular room is available before I contact my TA to make the booking.  This way I can identify the room I like.

 

2.  If we are already booked but would like a different room location I can look to see if it is available.  While our TA will gladly do this, I could if I would like, check each day to see if the room we desire becomes available.

 

3.  Finally, let's say it is a Sunday and a new cruise is announced or say I am just concerned that the room we want might be taken I could place the room on hold and then contact my TA.

 

For me the biggest benefit is seeing rooms that are available.  We do have our TA do our bookings.

 

As I mentioned earlier I have not had a lot of time to spend looking at the new website and won't for awhile.

 

I do think it is an improvement over the old one IMHO.  No, it's not because I think everything Crystal does is perfect.  

 

Yes there are things that need to be fixed and have already flagged a couple of them.

 

Keith

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

I do like the capability to do on line booking (when It works correctly) for a couple of reasons and they have less to do with making the on board booking.

 

 

Me too. I travel single and it was impossible to tell how much Crystal was charging for single supplement per cruise. When this works - it will help quite a bit. The Crystal Solo fares website turned into something that wasn't that helpful with this new re-design.

 

I will continue to use my TA but won't send her checking a dozen prices when I can look for myself and decide and have her finalize pricing once I decide on one. 

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27 minutes ago, Coral said:

Me too. I travel single and it was impossible to tell how much Crystal was charging for single supplement per cruise. When this works - it will help quite a bit. The Crystal Solo fares website turned into something that wasn't that helpful with this new re-design.

 

I will continue to use my TA but won't send her checking a dozen prices when I can look for myself and decide and have her finalize pricing once I decide on one. 

 

As a solo cruiser I agree. Was able to check a cruise for next summer on the Serenity. The non balconies were "call for availability" and the lowest level available was the B2. Did determine that the single supplement on it was 50%. Did decide it was too much for the date, etc. It was nice to be able to determine that without bothering my travel agent.

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Patty,

 

Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

 

I will go out on a limb (walk the plank?) to say I actually like the new format and functionality of the website. I have been super frustrated using the previous one just browsing future voyages. This one allows a good selective search and then picking three voyages to compare. I like to peruse visually to ponder a number of possibilities and this is much easier!

 

I haven't yet found account set up or live views or online booking, but am pleased that I could search and find the Panama Canal trips as my coworker wants to do that - I can recommend the site to him.

 

Maybe it is better to me because I am very visual and spatially oriented, but it appears more unique and enticing as an intro describing the Crystal experience. And good marketing is critical, agreed?

 

Catherine

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3 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

I do like the capability to do on line booking (when It works correctly) for a couple of reasons and they have less to do with making the on board booking.

 

1.  I can see if a particular room is available before I contact my TA to make the booking.  This way I can identify the room I like.

 

2.  If we are already booked but would like a different room location I can look to see if it is available.  While our TA will gladly do this, I could if I would like, check each day to see if the room we desire becomes available.

 

3.  Finally, let's say it is a Sunday and a new cruise is announced or say I am just concerned that the room we want might be taken I could place the room on hold and then contact my TA.

 

For me the biggest benefit is seeing rooms that are available.  We do have our TA do our bookings.

 

As I mentioned earlier I have not had a lot of time to spend looking at the new website and won't for awhile.

 

I do think it is an improvement over the old one IMHO.  No, it's not because I think everything Crystal does is perfect.  

 

Yes there are things that need to be fixed and have already flagged a couple of them.

 

Keith

 

 

I agree with Keith here-it isn't so much for making a booking but to save my TA the headache(read:time) of looking for fares, available staterooms etc...things I am perfectly capable of finding myself.

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5 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:

 

Interestimg assertion but not sure what basis it has - it’s completely at odds with every luxury line traveller I speak to, and that’s quite a few from CP guests to those on Deck 7

 

in my experience the people who are cruising luxury lines are in that position as they are astute in managing their finances, including not paying more than they need for items such as cruises

 

People are very interested in the benefits, including OBC and/or rebates they receive 

 

The OBC on a luxury line fare can quickly become a significant amount, much more than on a commodity line where fares are often discounted heavily up front to secure the business 

 

Based on almost 15 years experience in the industry dealing with guests in all segments, and my statement was "not as big a motivating factor". And the basis for your assertion is subjective conversations with............

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6 hours ago, Roland4 said:

 

Based on almost 15 years experience in the industry dealing with guests in all segments, and my statement was "not as big a motivating factor". And the basis for your assertion is subjective conversations with.........…

 

I've been in the industry for over 40 years and I second what you are staying Larry.   Wishing you in snowy Canada, from us in sunny Australia 'downunder',  a lovely Christmas and a safe, healthy and very happy new year.

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