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mrlevin

Crystal River Cruises - Financially Sound?

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I booked 2021 Mozart Danube cruise two years in advance only to have Crystal sell the boat (still two years in advance); no big deal, they moved me to Mahler.  Now, I notice that 2020 bookings on Mahler for same Danube itinerary have been discounted; in fact S1 - S5 all the same price; is this a sign that they aren't selling well?  Crystal has issues with low water (or high water) as they don't have duplicate boats doing reverse itineraries that can swap; so they are at a big disadvantage compared to the other companies that have multiple boats on same itineraries.

 

So, my question, what are thoughts regarding Crystal still being in the European River Cruise business come 2021?

 

thanks,

 

Marc

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They didn't 'sell' Crystal Mahler – they transferred it to another brand owned by the same corporate group.  That group is investing large sums in Crystal to build new ocean ships and yachts, so despite some missteps (going too quickly into river cruising, a large jet 'cruise plane') they seem to have righted the corporate ship under the new CEO.  I wouldn't worry about their future in river cruising.  There is 'room at the top' in that category.

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Sailed on a sold out Rhine River cruise on Crystal Bach last month. Wowed us on every level. Booked a Danube cruise for next summer on the Mahler. Prices are not discounted one bit. I think it might depend on the time of year you’re looking at sailing? 

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There is another thread some place on CC but the gist of it is they transferred to a Hong Kong company. The ship will be rebranded to appeal to cruisers from Asia. 

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Crystal is owned by Genting Hong Kong. Genting Hong Kong owns a lot including Lloyd Werft shipyards. The Mozart will be used by Genting (parent company) for most likely Hong Kong travelers.

 

I have to tell you my trip on Mozart "wowed me"! Truly impressive. The Mozart was sort of the odd one out as all the other ships were brand new and identical. I would have sailed Mozart again if given the opportunity.

 

As far as Crystal being at a disadvantage because they can't move people from ship to ship - yes that is true. Though I have a friend who did a Viking 8 night cruise and was on 3 different ships (and way too many bus rides than possible) and will never be on a river cruise again. I did sail Mozart during low water conditions (assuming you will be on the Danube) and had no problems due to the itinerary. We couldn't get to Bratislava but had a short bus ride on a very nice bus with WIFI on the bus. 

 

Crystal doesn't have the name recognition of most people in river cruising. When I mentioned that I was going on a river cruise - all of my friends said "Viking" - when I mentioned there are multiple lines and Viking "isn't the best" - they were surprised. They assumed Viking was the best river cruise line (well, that can probably be debated by many).

 

I would definitely sail Crystal River again in a heart beat. I think the parent company is financial sound and have plans to grow Crystal's brand and their other brands.

 

 

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Cruise Wmn — would love to hear your review as we are on the Bach/Rhine next year (first-ever River Cruise).  We did a lot of research and think Crystal will be the best fit for us — any details you’d like to share would be appreciated!

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On ‎8‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 1:08 PM, Coral said:

Crystal is owned by Genting Hong Kong. Genting Hong Kong owns a lot including Lloyd Werft shipyards. The Mozart will be used by Genting (parent company) for most likely Hong Kong travelers.

 

I have to tell you my trip on Mozart "wowed me"! Truly impressive. The Mozart was sort of the odd one out as all the other ships were brand new and identical. I would have sailed Mozart again if given the opportunity.

 

As far as Crystal being at a disadvantage because they can't move people from ship to ship - yes that is true. Though I have a friend who did a Viking 8 night cruise and was on 3 different ships (and way too many bus rides than possible) and will never be on a river cruise again. I did sail Mozart during low water conditions (assuming you will be on the Danube) and had no problems due to the itinerary. We couldn't get to Bratislava but had a short bus ride on a very nice bus with WIFI on the bus. 

 

Crystal doesn't have the name recognition of most people in river cruising. When I mentioned that I was going on a river cruise - all of my friends said "Viking" - when I mentioned there are multiple lines and Viking "isn't the best" - they were surprised. They assumed Viking was the best river cruise line (well, that can probably be debated by many).

 

I would definitely sail Crystal River again in a heart beat. I think the parent company is financial sound and have plans to grow Crystal's brand and their other brands.

 

 

 

Crystal Mozart is being converted to accommodate mainland China customers, not Hong Kong cruisers since booking is only done in mainland China. Since bulk of Hong Kong travelers are well versed in English, they don't really need to sail ships geared specifically for the China market where English is not used.

 

We love sailing on Crystal river cruises but the fact that they only have 4 longboats in Europe, their itinerary selections are extremely limited. Crystal river cruises know how to pamper their passengers and we got spoiled by the staff. Their service was considerably better than the Crystal ocean services which we were not impressed with at all. However, we equally love sailing on Viking river cruises. Since Crystal river is considered in the luxury category, their drinks, wines, food, excursions are all high quality but it doesn't mean they are the best. We have found we like Viking's breakfast and lunch better than Crystal's buffet style with more selections. Viking river dinner are actually quite decent and many times we enjoy that better than the dinners on Crystal river especially with French cuisines. For example the very famous French dish Cog au vin (chicken braised in red or white wine) that we love, Crystal river chefs simply don't know how to make it tasty and yet Viking chefs manage to excel in it. Crystal river also serves the expensive seared foie gras (goose or duck liver) but we have not had a good one on a Crystal river boat yet. The one dish that was outstanding on Crystal was the lobster. That was fresh and delicious.

 

Our favorite Crystal river boat is the Crystal Bach, our least favorite is the Crystal Mozart. However, service on all Crystal riverboats were all excellent. Also Crystal riverboats seem to differ in their excursion offerings and the quality. Just our view.

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On 8/9/2019 at 10:42 PM, AllisonJames said:

Cruise Wmn — would love to hear your review as we are on the Bach/Rhine next year (first-ever River Cruise).  We did a lot of research and think Crystal will be the best fit for us — any details you’d like to share would be appreciated!

 

   The cruise was wonderful from start to finish. Boarding was effortless. We were greeted at the ramp and immediately shown to our rooms and handed our keys. No lines, no waiting. This proved to be the rule, not the exception for the trip. Arrive for dinner and you’re shown to a table. Disembark for an excursion, and you simply walk off the ship and on to a bus. Sit down for a drink on the top deck/lounge/palm court and a server immediately approaches and takes your order. The staff know your name and preferences within a day. It’s mind blowing. Service was attentive without being intrusive. 

   Suites are small. We normally get larger rooms or suites and were nervous about the smaller size. However, Crystal’s suites are incredibly well designed. We had plenty of closet space and room for our luggage under the bed. The bathroom is perfect - more than enough counter/shelf space and fantastic under cabinet drawers. Nice size showers, too. If ocean cabins were this well designed, I’d never book a big suite again. 

   Food was outstanding. I have severe food allergies and they were able to accommodate me. 24 hour room service was always available, too. 

   The ports on the Rhine are pleasing, but the ship was the star for us. Strasbourg and Heidelberg were the only places that really stood out for us. Still, we had a great time each day and would sail the Rhine again in a heartbeat. 

   One thing we enjoyed more than we expected to was meeting the other guests. We all became friends and would chat on excursions, at pre-dinner cocktails, etc. I’ve already had lunch with people I met on the cruise who are from my hometown. You don’t have to socialize if you don’t want to, but it was one of the unexpected highlights for my family. 

  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

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The Crystal River Cruises have been a major success this year.

 

Last year was not an ideal year because of the issues with the low levels in the Rivers.

 

We had the most amazing time on Mozart.  First River Cruise after 120 or so ocean voyages and loved it.

 

Have good friends who have now sailed all of the rivers with Crystal that they sail who just returned from Mahler and loved it as they have their other Crystal River Cruises.

 

I also got to visit one of the other Crystal River Cruise Vessels while in Port in Vienna.  Beautiful.

 

The Crystal staff was amazing.  We felt right at home after a couple of hours.

 

We will book more Crystal River Cruises without any concerns.

 

Unfortunately as mentioned Mozart is going directly under Genting to serve the Chinese Market.  They have done their homework and they know they can fill the ship with this market.

 

At the same time with the other four Crystal River vessels being all the same this will make marketing so much easier.  One type of vessel.  The newest set of four in Europe.

 

Keith

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thank you for your comments about your crystal bach cruise.  i'm booked on the bach for a rhine river cruise in november which will be my first river cruise and i'm really excited about it.  your review is very positive and that made me happy.  of course, reviews of food are very subjective and personal so i don't take them too seriously.  i always find something to enjoy.  i've never sailed on a crystal ocean cruise but i'm also booked on the crystal symphony for a mediterranean cruise from lisbon to rome and i'm looking forward to their renowned luxury ocean cruise reviews.  

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