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Ist timers: Why did you choose Crystal?

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I have noticed that more than half of the people responding to Roll Calls for my Crystal cruises have indicated that they are new to Crystal. I too am new to Crystal and am curious about why the newbies to Crystal decided to try a new line. I am also new to Crystal, but not new to cruising having more than 150 cruises. DW and I decided that as the price difference between other lines narrowed it would be a good time to try a true luxury line like Crystal. Why did you decide to try Crystal?

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the price was  right 

want to try  a different line  just  for  a change  of pace

 

enjoy

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Blame Keith and his travel blog. That's what got me to finally pick up the phone and book.

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We enjoyed our first Crystal cruise last May, after years of cruising only on Silversea and Seabourn.  This was a short seven day cruise to whet our curiosity.  We found that the ship experience on Crystal is more varied, and that we would rather enjoy longer cruises with many sea days on Crystal.

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I did a Regent Panama Canal trip in 2005 and and Oceania Alaska voyage in 2011. For my first Crystal cruise, I mainly considered the itinerary (Baltics last month) and the fact that Crystal's single supplements are a relative bargain. I might try Seabourn sometime if the price/itinerary are right; otherwise, I will stick with Crystal - now trying to decide between three or four voyages in 2021-22.  

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Posted (edited)

We first sailed with Crystal in 2016. Our third cruise aboard the Serenity is booked for this December. My husband and had previously only cruised with Celebrity. (I have also been on Disney and RCL ships.) While we appreciated many things about Celebrity, we were drawn to the more premium, luxury experience that Crystal offers. The itinerary and timing were also perfect for us. Our first Crystal cruise was a New Orleans to Curacao route that allowed us to visit "NOLA" for the first time and experience some new Caribbean islands. 

 

What wowed us then that keeps us coming back includes the service, the guest to space ratio, the excellent food, quality of wine and spirits on board and and the overall serene vibe compared to the mainstream experience. It may sound funny to some, but I really appreciate the entry level staterooms' storage space and double sinks in the bathrooms! LOL! Oh, and I would be remiss to not mention to crew. They truly are spectacular!

 

That said, we are itinerary-driven and are only able to travel together during certain times of the year and rarely during the summer. Last year, when Crystal's itineraries sadly didn't fit our schedules, we cruised aboard the Paul Gauguin in French Polynesia. While different than Crystal, it was an amazingly beautiful journey. It was a much smaller ship with a more immersive cultural experience. We also enjoy land-based trips too. We recently went to Peru for my husband's 50th.

 

Crystal remains our #1 cruise line of choice, though. Our travel bucket list includes experiencing the yacht and booking a world cruise! 🙂

 

 

 

 

Edited by BeachTunes

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We avoided Crystal for years (suite size, their smoking and dining policies).  Now that there is no smoking in suites or balconies (and in most other places) and there is "true" open seating, we are giving it a try (cannot do anything about suite size other than to book one of the larger suites).

 

We have 33 Regent cruises, 3 Silversea cruises, 2 Oceania, 1 Celebrity and 1 NCL cruise under our belts (NCL was a christening cruise so that may not count).  While we do not expect to change cruise lines at this point as we have a lot of perks on Regent, it would be nice to sail a luxury line that has West Coast departures!

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We were on the Serenity for the first time this past spring - 12 days through Spain, Portugal, France ending in London.  We have been on numerous other cruises all on mid tier lines like Princess and Celebrity.  I found the service to be, for the most part, wonderful but not in all areas.  Same with the food.  We had some wonderful meals and also some meals I would call fair.  

 

Overall I didn't feel the cost, which I view as about double what a line like Celebrity would charge, was worth it.  This is just my opinion as I don't want to offend any of the Crystal lovers out there.  Our next cruise will be in a suite on Celebrity - about the same cost as a balcony on Crystal.

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We cruise Celebrity for the most part.  We love the line and will be on the Reflection next month in the Med.  We were on Celebrity Silhouette in January 2016 getting our first taste of the suite life on a typical 7-night Caribbean itinerary.  We had a great cruise as usual.  When the vacation website I frequently peruse showed the Crystal Cruises November 2017 9-night itinerary with a couple of new-to-us ports at a surprisingly affordable price along with an attractive on-board credit we gave it a shot.  So value, itinerary, and a taste of luxury basically.  We fell hard.  Loved the smaller, homier ship atmosphere, true promenade (often empty) deck, abundance of available sun beds and barstools, great service, great food and beverage.  Don't care about cabin size.  Well Hurricane Irma hit those new-to-us ports hard, but Crystal successful managed to find new replacement ports which ended up thoroughly enjoying.  More Crystal Cruises will be in our future.

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Long time Celebrity cruisers (suites) wanted to try premium lines.

 

 Did 2 on Seabourn and 1 Oceania (enjoyed them all,) but Crystal had an itinerary this December that fit our schedule.  

 

Looking forward to it!

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We've cruised multiple lines, including Celebrity, HAL, RCL, Cunard, MSC, NCL, Princess, Oceania and Azamara.  So after paying $2,238 for an inside cabin on Celebrity's Edge, why not experience an all-inclusive line like Crystal for $3,564 in an OV cabin, both cruises are 7 nights.  

These two cruises got the better of me, curiosity-wise (is that a real word?).  We cruise frequently and try to keep our budget within reason, but next November is splurge month, and what the heck.  We even added 7 more nights on MSC's Meraviglia in the Yacht Club (inside cabin of course @ $2,902).

There you have it!  

Kel😃

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5 minutes ago, kelmac said:

Crystal for $3,564 in an OV cabin, both cruises are 7 nights.  

Kel😃

What are the cruise areas you are sailing ?

Is that for 2 pax ?

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4 hours ago, LHT28 said:

What are the cruise areas you are sailing ?

Is that for 2 pax ?

All three cruises are Western Caribbean; all the prices listed are total cost for two people in inside cabins, except OV on the Crystal ship.  All are 7 night cruises.

 

Enjoy!

Kel😃

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34 minutes ago, kelmac said:

All three cruises are Western Caribbean; all the prices listed are total cost for two people in inside cabins, except OV on the Crystal ship.  All are 7 night cruises.

 

Enjoy!

Kel😃

good price  for OV  $3500 for 2 

We snagged a good deal also but not that good LOL

$4200 for 2 on 8 night  Caribbean

Enjoy

 

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Since our early days of cruising, my wife and I were looking at the more premium lines wanting to step up from the RCCL and Celebrity ships for the greater cultural/educational experiences, better dining, and unique itineraries.  When we first started cruising, these were out of reach due to our focus on our children and their preferred experiences - we were able to take some Celebrity cruises but RCCL was the primary (both lines treated us well and we have enjoyed all of our cruises).  With our last child heading to college this fall, we are empty nesters and can focus on our preferences.  

 

We looked at Regent, Seabourn, Oceania, Silversea, and Crystal.  Oceania dropped off the list first as the others seemed a cut above.  Once the list was cut down, the experiences for dining and itineraries seemed comparable.  Pricing also seemed similar within a small margin once you adjust for what is included on each.  We finally settled on Crystal since our main focus is enrichment opportunities.  In addition, we have friends who heavily endorsed Crystal and the reviews (and the fine folks on this forum) resonated with us more.  We will always try other lines with the right itinerary but we are looking for our new 'forever cruise home'.  Crystal is the first stop on that journey.  

 

As a plus, from the time we first booked our particular sailing, Crystal has made a few pricing adjustments allowing us to still pay the same amount but go to a higher cabin category. 

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I'm not exactly new to Crystal, but have been sailing on Regent and Scenic rather than Crystal for the past 3 years. However, I've just booked the 2022 world cruise on Crystal, so will be returning in 2.5 years (!).  

 

Why? Itinerary. Each line has its pluses and minuses, and each is strong and weak in different areas. In the end, it's where the ship is stopping that decides which cruise I will take. Crystal's 2022 WC happens to offer a lot of ports I've never experienced, and a lot of the places I've been and have wanted to return.  

 

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Cruised a lot with Celebrity and just felt food etc wasn’t as good anymore.  Did one cruise with silversea which was really good but the evening entertainment wasn’t great and that put us off.  Had our first Crystal Cruise last May and it definitely was superior to the others.  The food was just amazing , no matter where we ate the food was so good.  we enjoyed the entertainment and just the whole package we felt was worth every penny.  (Apart from a tender journey which is on a separation post)😄😄

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We are destination cruisers.  Getting harder and harder to find cruises to places we have not been to.  Crystal Symphony is going to ports that are new to us.  Also, we are really liking the smaller ships.

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22 May 2020 will be our first Crystal cruise on Serenity.  We mainly chose Crystal for the cruise itself as it is going to the Monaco Grand Prix.  We have only done 2 previous cruises.  One 13 night cruise from our homeland of Australia on Royal Caribbeans Voyager of the Seas and our second was an Eastern Caribbean on Oasis of the Seas.  We are looking forward to some luxury on Serenity. 

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Posted (edited)

oops! Wrong thread.

Edited by kelmac

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We identified the top luxury cruise lines (Regent, Silver Sea, Crystal and Seabourn) and selected the one that offered the itinerary we wanted.  We made all of our subsequent cruise decisions based upon the itinerary we desired because each of these 4 cruise lines offers an excellent product.  The differences between these cruise lines were not important to us because we were more focused upon the destinations - especially in terms for evaluating them for their potential for a return land tour. .  My experience has been that as you age and begin returning to areas a second time the cruise line and ship as a destination becomes more important and more of a consideration in your decision making.  Because people attach different priorities to the features offered by individual cruise lines and ships, one size does not fit all.  I'd encourage you to first identify your priorities before shopping for a particular cruise line and/or ship since my priorities and preferences may be very different than your own reflecting our different personalities and life styles.

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For us, it was numerous factors.  First, they offer different itineraries.  It is not the same circuit over and over again.  Second, the number of passengers.  Ships are getting bigger and bigger.  It is very hard to relax and enjoy a vacation when they are 5000 people on your cruise.  Third, the level of service.  I think that people who work on a cruise ship are some of the hardest workers.  I have always received good service when on a cruise but Crystal takes it to a higher level. Fourth, it is child friendly.  Most luxury cruises lines shy away from children.  Crystal does not and it does it in a manner that is reasonable and does not encroach on fellow passengers.  I will caveat this by saying that the parents need to know their children.  Some children are not suited for a Crystal cruise, as it may not offer what will capture their attention.  Finally, it about the experience.  We have found the food, entertainment, excursions and the interaction with staff truly wonderful and it provided a fantastic experience.  We are at a stage in life where we rather spend money on experiences than new toys for the house, etc.  

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I had cruised several lines before and then no cruises for a while -- when I returned to cruising I jumped into Crystal, primarily because the low solo supplement across the board made me believe that they didn't devalue their solo passengers.  I was not disappointed, by their attitude towards solos or anything else.   My next cruise (transpacific) will be my 5th with Crystal, and I have 2 more booked for 2021. 

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I moved to Crystal in 2002 - the Vistafjord was gone and I was not so fond of the Seabourn Sun , in those days already with complimentary wines what I did not enjoy. I did like the small Seabourns when a port was involved nearly every day - sea days were very  boring for me .

So for me when Crystal became  AI  , it was quite a shock. So I moved to Hapag Lloyd with occasional Crystal, 18 done so far.   

Despite all my comments I find Crystal still the best in the "luxury" section after HL  -  the problem for me is spring - the 2 Hapags are in Asia or Oceania ( the continent:classic_biggrin: )  and Crystal is on World cruise or similar.

In that period I really do search for a bargain .

 

 

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My mother will be taking her first Crystal cruise next month, part of a group tour arranged by the travel agent (group leader). 

 

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