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RMS Olympic

Crystal cruise line thoughts

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I just booked my first cruise on Crystal, one of the few lines I have yet to experience.

i would like to hear opinions from those that have sailed on Crystal. I chose a 7 night cruise the week of Thanksgiving, on the Symphony. 

Your thoughts on overall service, cuisine, beverage service?

i am assuming this line is gay friendly....

thanks

Tom

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Hi Tom.  

We did a 9-night “Mind Body Spirit” themed Caribbean cruise on Crystal Serenity in 2017 and really enjoyed it.  Service, cuisine, and beverage service were all wonderful.  Lots of enrichment opportunities on sea days.  We encountered friendly and welcoming fellow passengers many of which had cruised on Crystal before.  There were only two children on board.  Looking forward to cruising on the line again.  The Crystal boards have a wealth of information at your disposal.  I would be happy to answer any other questions.

Paul

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I just booked my first cruise on Crystal, one of the few lines I have yet to experience.
i would like to hear opinions from those that have sailed on Crystal. I chose a 7 night cruise the week of Thanksgiving, on the Symphony. 
Your thoughts on overall service, cuisine, beverage service?
i am assuming this line is gay friendly....
thanks
Tom


Hi Tom

My husband and I will be on the cruise just before yours. This will be our third cruise on Crystal. And we have two more booked. After our first Crystal cruise my husband said, I don’t think I want to sail on any other line but Crystal. Service, food, fellow passengers, enrichment programs, were all well executed. not much of night life, but still lots to do!
I’m sure you will have a good time.
Jorge Z


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Thanks for the two responses. I’ve been fortunate to have sailed way too many lines and avoided Crystal. I was booked on the new NCL Encore on its first Caribbean run. Surprise they cancelled the cruise for travel agents. By dumb luck I looked at Crystal and liked to price.., sailing single can be pricey these days. But I also believe you get what you pay for. My cruises on Regent were superb, along with star clippers and windstar👍 

So now Crystal. I’m also considering a 7 day cruise on Dec 5 2021. I already have 3 trips planned in 2020 so no Crystal that year. I limit the number of days away because of my dog....the most important part of my life.

after reading these responses I think I’m going to seriously consider the Dec 2021 as it’s on the Serenity... to check her out.

thanks for the responses 🤓

Tom

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37 minutes ago, RMS Olympic said:

Thanks for the two responses. I’ve been fortunate to have sailed way too many lines and avoided Crystal. I was booked on the new NCL Encore on its first Caribbean run. Surprise they cancelled the cruise for travel agents. By dumb luck I looked at Crystal and liked to price.., sailing single can be pricey these days. But I also believe you get what you pay for. My cruises on Regent were superb, along with star clippers and windstar👍 

So now Crystal. I’m also considering a 7 day cruise on Dec 5 2021. I already have 3 trips planned in 2020 so no Crystal that year. I limit the number of days away because of my dog....the most important part of my life.

after reading these responses I think I’m going to seriously consider the Dec 2021 as it’s on the Serenity... to check her out.

thanks for the responses 🤓

Tom

 

We have also sailed Regent, but the service and the food were not consistent. We had some great meals and some not so great. Same with the service. Our experience with Crystal is that it is more consistent. The food has been superb, and the specially restaurants are just outstanding.

We have not sailed on Celebrity for a while, but the last time we sailed on them, their specialty restaurants were expensive, although very good. On Crystal as you know is all inclusive for the first visit, the second visit is only $30 pp. Also, the last time we were on Celebrity the drink packages were fairly a new thing, when I would go to the bars the attendants didn't want to serve me because I had a drink package, which mean no tips for them, I think that has changed. Oh! and specialty martinis were not included on the package. It was irritating. On Crystal and/or Regent, no worries is all included and don't have to keep showing the card. 

Other than that we, have sailed Princess, Holland America and Silversea. We had the same issues on Silversea (in 2006) as the ones with Regent (in 2015), un-consistent service and food quality. So we have not been back to either line. If they have the right itinerary at the right time and price, we would not hesitate to book'em. Hope this give you some perspective. 

 

Jorge Z. 

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On 1/24/2019 at 11:00 AM, RMS Olympic said:

I just booked my first cruise on Crystal, one of the few lines I have yet to experience.

i would like to hear opinions from those that have sailed on Crystal. I chose a 7 night cruise the week of Thanksgiving, on the Symphony. 

Your thoughts on overall service, cuisine, beverage service?

i am assuming this line is gay friendly....

thanks

Tom

We will just miss you.  We are on the Symphony on December 11 for 10 days.  We have never done Crystal before...our first one though will be Oct 29th on the yacht, Esprit .  We have heard awesome things about them, so looking forward to it.  We have done Silversea, Seabourn, Regent, Celebrity, HAL, RCCL, Azamara and Paul Gauguin.  

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Hi Starwood! You mentioned the Paul Gauguin.....,sailed her twice and loved her . Tried Seabourn once and was not happy. Toured a Silverseas vessel.... not impressed with the crew not the lunch... and I was being shown around by one of the Vice Presidents who I had met previously on the MS deustchland. I’m not an uptight snob, but the atmosphere on the Silverseas vessel was unwelcoming. Love Regent, sailed them 5 times but that was before they were bought. Their prices for a solo are way too pricey for me. So it’s time for Crystal. Hope the bartenders are excellent, friendly and cute 😁🤓👀

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I just placed a deposit for an Alaskan cruise with Crystal.  Although I am not much help now, I will let you know what we thought of the ship when we get back.  We were going to sail on the Silver Muse but the Crystal Symphony was $2K less for similar room, itinerary, and dates.  I was shocked to see how much less Crystal was and decided to give them a try.  We were on the Silver Spirit in December and much of it looks like the Muse, so we wanted to try a different product.

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Just be aware that unless you have booked a penthouse on Crystal the cabins are not similar at all. Regular cabins on the symphony are 246 sq. ft of interior space. Regular suites on the Muse are almost 400 sq ft with a separate living area and much larger bathroom with tub and separate shower. 

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It can happen on any ship - a really terrible sailing.  For me the two worst were Costa and Crystal.  The Crystal sailing was on the Harmony so it was many, many years ago but the bad taste has lingered for years.  Meanwhile we have sailed many lines.  In the mass cruise category we prefer Celebrity but mostly we stick to the small ships unless there is a unique itinerary - Seabourn, Silversea, Oceania, Regent, Azamara, etc.  Our last Regent cruise three months ago was fantastic.  Their new menu in the main dining room is much improved.   As for Crystal, we are finally going to give them a try again since the refurbishment of the Symphony and Serenity have made a big visual improvement and it is now somewhat inclusive.  But it does not include air and excursions.  We will be on the September 17 to 28 itinerary from Vancouver to Los Angeles.  Anyone else? 

 

Jay and Al in Tucson

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Any suggestions on clothing....specifically in the evening. The term country club casual means different things to different people. Sports coats, suits, tux or dinner jackets? Knit casual shirts? Do Crystal passengers dress differently for a Caribbean itinerary? The last thing I want is to be under dressed and stick out like a sore thumb. But I do draw the line on June Cleaver pearls....just not me 🤪

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Any suggestions on clothing....specifically in the evening. The term country club casual means different things to different people. Sports coats, suits, tux or dinner jackets? Knit casual shirts? Do Crystal passengers dress differently for a Caribbean itinerary? The last thing I want is to be under dressed and stick out like a sore thumb. But I do draw the line on June Cleaver pearls....just not me

No tux needed, a dark suit and tie is optional for BTO (black tie optional) the rest is a dress shirt and sport coat optional. Pearls are optional as well, but not the high heels



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Thank you.....since I am driving down to Ft laladale I can drag luggage! Tux, check....double breasted black suit...check....silk sports jacket....check. Heels.....don’t own them. I got use to boots while in the Marine Corps.....so no heels for me. Joan Crawford’s on a rolling deck.....danger danger!!! 😜 I did have black pearls from Tahiti....but they were taken when the house was ransacked in 2013. Maybe a return To Papeete is in order. 😈😈😈

really curious if Crystal is a good choice for me......anxiously waiting to board The Symphony.

In the meantime....Star Flyer and their Mama Mia cruise.....Greece here I come.

Thanks for the response!!!

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My husband and I love to cruise and have been on many different lines. We have sailed on Crystal about 15 times over the years. The last time was the 2018 16 night holiday cruise to Hawaii leaving from Los Angeles.  Crystal is our favorite line for many reasons. We love the fact that it is more or less all inclusive.  We usually book the the lowest cost outside cabin as a guarantee and have actually been assigned balcony cabins.  Just enjoy the size of the ship with less passengers on board. Service is top notch. The line is extreamly gay friendly as far as the employees go. Crystal attracts a sophisticated crowd of well traveled passengers who I have found have no issues with a person being gay.  They always have a wide selection of guest speakers on sea days if that would be of interest to you.  I think trying out a 7 night cruise on Crystal is the way to go to find out if it might be a good match for you.   All I can tell you is after my first Crystal cruise 13 years ago I was hooked.  Still love going on other lines but I am always happy to return back to Crystal.

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Thanks movie buff!

everything sounds wonderful. I’m not high maintenance... just need a clean bed hot shower some bacon at breakfast and a bartender that looks like Jason Statham to serve me lemontinis (lemon drop martinis). Me, I’ll be the creature in the back of the room looking looking like the character Wanda on In living color🤪😜👹 to quote her... I got you and I’m red ta go! 😈

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I'm afraid my posting is going to be negative on Crystal.  We've sailed with them twice.  The product is very good, excellent service and beverages, and with the best enrichment program on the sea.  You will be well taken care of.  But our problem was with our fellow passengers, on our second Crystal trip, 25 days across the Indian Ocean, we barely met anyone and often felt shunned.  People walked past us in the corridor and did not respond to our "good morning" greeting.  We sat in the bar smiling and greeting fellow passengers and they walked right past us.  Well at least the bar tender spoke to us.  There are probably some acceptable reasons why some of the PAX were so stand-offish, but this experience was extraordinary, unlike anything we've experienced on any other line, and we've been on a bunch.  It was so bad that we cancelled the Crystal world cruise that we booked for the following year.  Never say never, but I'm not sure if we would return to Crystal.  BTW, in the luxury category, we've had far superior experiences with super-friendly people on Seabourn.

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Tv 24, thanks for the comments. I have avoided Crystal for decades because I felt it would be stuffy upity and lots of attitude. I’m hoping a week cruise might be a good choice to test the waters. The only cruise I ever experienced attitude was on Seabourn..... have not returned. But I have always heard the cruise experience can differ greatly from cruise to cruise on the same ship. Even reviews can be totally opposite for the same sailing.

so I will give the Symphony a shot, even the price is right for a single.

happy sailings😎

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RMS:  Happy sailings to you as well.  Yes, a week cruise on Crystal is an excellent test drive.  See what you think of it.  I always like to try something new.  I was actually sad with my post as it brought up some bad memories and I did not want to be a downer.  Oh well, what is done is done.  I wish you a great cruise!

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As I said in the prior post I think a 7 night cruise is a good way to try Crystal and then make your judgement call.  Not every cruise is going to be the same. I will say this. On every Crystal cruise we have been on they have had a LGBT get together listed in their daily newsletter on the second evening of the cruise. Crystal attracts a nice amount of gay passengers and it would be worth your while to try to attend at least the first get together to meet some fellow gay passengers. That being said I think in all the cruises we have taken on Crystal we have bonded with more straight couples then gay couples.

With some we have become life long friends who have stayed in our home in San Francisco or we were invited to stay in there home in various places in the United States and beyond. Some we have actually planned other cruises to be on together.  You never know who you will meet and bond with.  I will say one thing and that is when we are sitting next to another couple being gay or straight we make the effort to break the ice with conversation. Someone needs to do it and people can just be plain shy at first. No guarantee you will make a life long friend but at least you will have other passengers acknowledge when you see them as the cruise progresses.  Hope you have a positive experience that will make you want to cruise on Crystal again after your first cruise.

 

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Movie buff,

 

Like you we seem to bond more with straight couples than with fellow gay passengers. I don't know why this happens. We sail mostly on Seabourn and it just works out that way. That said, we have made some great gay friends as well. 

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We, too, had an experience like tv24 on our first ocean cruise with Crystal. We have done over 15 cruises and were excited to sail on Crystal after hearing rave reviews of the line.  Yes the service, food, and ship itself were very good.  The passengers, however, were just as tv24 described.  On several occasions, when walking into the dining room,  people would actually point at us and then whisper to their dining partners something about us.  We are an older gay couple, dress appropriately for the venue and...believe me, there is nothing that makes us stand out in a crowd.  Even on shore excursions, when people tend to comment about the place visited and are generally in a more talkative mood, it was hard to get a response from anyone. 

 

This cruise was over 8 years ago.  Fast forward to when Crystal River Cruises started.  We saw a sailing we really liked and  decided to give Crystal another chance.  The experience was wonderful.....totally different from the ocean sailing.  People were friendly, engaging and had no problem at all with us a gay couple.  We liked it so much, we did another river cruise with Crystal the next year.  The same experience as the first......great!

 

Not sure if our ocean sailing was just a one off or what.  It was a Panama Canal cruise (LA to Miami), so maybe it attracted a different passenger mix than a European sailing perhaps might.  Also, their guest lecturers discussed many political topics that often got passengers "riled" up based on their individual  beliefs --- and  they continued their comments and very strong feelings long after the presentation was over.  This was over 8 years ago, so if they still are going that route, who knowswhat is happening in the current environment.

 

Anyways, good luck with whatever decision you make.  We are now exploring Regent and just about ready to book with them --- have heard many positive comments about that line --- so we'll see

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Just2guys:  Thanks for your comments about Crystal.  Happy to read that the river cruise was a better experience.  Our unhappy Crystal Indian Ocean crossing was in 2015.  We too have looked into Regent but have not yet found an itinerary that works for us.  Happy sailing!

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This is just the thread that I needed to read today....my partner and I just disembarked from Oceania Marina's NYC-Southampton yesterday.  We've been sailing with "O" since 2004, always in a PH or above, this time in a Vista, with a few other forays elsewhere including Silversea (what a difference a decade can make!), Sea Dream & Cunard.  

Up until this last cruise we've always felt comfortable amongst our fellow "O" passengers, one cruise on Regatta in 2012  consisted of 20-25% LGBT passengers, and all cruises until this last one have been with pleasant and well travelled people.  

Oceania, in their wisdom, had upsold lower grade cabins to passengers from sister line NCL, and a large university alumni group from less enlightened parts of the US - this changed the vibe on board considerably.  My partner & I are very unassuming and not at all flamboyant, yet every time we dined alone we were getting looks and whispered comments....we also saw blatant racism towards a very elegant black family, and a group of Colombian ladies.......the fact that the crew fussed over us "minority" regulars even more seemed to rile some of these cretins more.  Along with several other unresolved service issues we experienced on board, we're reassessing our 47 days worth of bookings next year, despite the wonderful itineraries.....maybe it's time to rethink.....

Barcelona to Quebec on Serenity looks really tempting next year, along with a couple of others.  Having read this thread and a few on the main Crystal board I think most of my questions have been answered, but if anyone can think of any hints and tips for a potential Crystal newbie, then thank you in advance!😀

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If you are use to the PH or Vista suite cabin on O then you may want to consider booking a PH on Crystal also. The standard ocean view and balcony cabins are about 200 sq ft. About the size of a average size standard cabins on other lines. They are very nicely appointed and have a double sink and small tub in the bathroom. The suites have a very nice luxury spa type bathroom.  Crystal is all inclusive including all drinks and internet and tips.  I love Crystal and will be doing my 16th cruise with them this coming fall.  The food it wonderful and well as the service. Also if you are in a suite the butler service is over the top,

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