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LIVE - Crystal Symphony (compared to Regent)


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Our 7-night Crystal cruise to Alaska will begin tomorrow.  In preparation for this blog, I’d like to share what I know up until this point.  First, my DH accepted a rather expensive upsell to the Crystal Penthouse (highest level on the Crystal Symphony).  He did this for my birthday last month and I’m still blown away by it. When you stay in the Crystal PH, you get included transportation to and from the ship – up to 100 miles as well as included laundry and dry-cleaning.  For us, this will be a good comparison with Regent since those are similar benefits to what we receive for being Titanium Seven Seas Society members.  

 

One interesting thing that I’ve learned is that all OBC’s on Crystal are non-refundable – no matter whom it was from.  While we have no OBC’s for this cruise, I find this point interesting.

 

At the request of a Crystal friend, I will also be posting on the Crystal board – however, since Crystal passengers know what the ship looks like, photos will only be on this board.

 

As we have done in the past, I do not plan on critiquing or comparing everything on Crystal to Regent until the end of the cruise.  I’ll take notes but want to enjoy the rather short time that we have on the ship and want to have the entire experience before doing comparisons.

 

My goal is to post photos of food, the ship, the suite, etc.  I will be taking classes onboard (photos, iPad, etc.) as I am not up to speed with my devices.  So, please be patient with photos as well as typos.  

 

While I much prefer reading blogs from some wonderfully amazing posters, and I know that I’m not as good or as funny as they are, I’ll do my best to make this interesting.  If you are not interested, simply avoid the thread.  I want this to be an easy, non-argumentative thread.  My opinions may be different than yours, our experiences and tastes may also be different.   However, as I always say……. everyone is entitled to an opinion. If I post something that you know to be incorrect, kindly let me know.

 

Thanks much.  Hopefully below is a photo of the Crystal folder that the documents come in and the luggage tags.

 

 

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Edited by Travelcat2
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30 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

One interesting thing that I’ve learned is that all OBC’s on Crystal are non-refundable – no matter whom it was from.  While we have no OBC’s for this cruise, I find this point interesting.

 

Because of this, a number of travel agents will offer Crystal customers their choice of either OBC or an equivalent rebate check after the completion of the cruise.  This wouldn't apply to any OBC from Crystal itself, but is a nice option.  Just FYI.

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A couple of quick recommendations.  Your trip is short, but some highlights:

 

1) Both Jamila Ajibade and Mark Preston are excellent vocalists and worth attending.

2) When you first board the ship, head soon to the library on deck 6.  Get your tickets for one of the Magic Castle shows.  It's a close-up magic show done before an audience of about 16 people in a small setting.  Tickets are first come, so they may run out on a short itinerary.

3) Be sure to enjoy both Prego and Umi Uma.  Truly superb dining.  In Prego, the mushroom soup, lasagna, rack of lamb and osso bucco are highlights.  Plus carpaccio like you've never had.  In Umi Uma, the rock shrimp, Nobu lobster and black cod are standouts, along with the Wagyu beef.  If you are a sushi lover, skip lunch so you have room for a very wide ranging menu from the sushi bar to start your meal in Umi.  (It puts Regent sushi to shame, IMO - all prepared to order with the best ingredients)

4) Sample from the cocktail menus - the extensive "Gin and Tonic" section has some interesting takes on what most think is a simple drink, along with interesting Manhattan menu.  And try the Stepford Sister.  Very innovative compared to my last Regent cocktail menu.

5) Both Ken Walsh and Jay Wolff are entertaining and informative speakers.  Worth the time, IMO.

6) Have fun!!

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I very much enjoyed my first Crystal cruise on Serenity last May.  My highest points go to the on-board activities...much better than those on SS and SB, IMHO.  Sea days, if you have them, will be very entertaining.  I look forward to my first cruise on Regent this coming February.

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Looking forward to your post and hope you enjoy your cruise.  We've only cruised on Crystal once sometime ago (it was nice) and I sure your cruise will be a good one.  Like the folder for the documents, getting kind of tried of the same old one Regent is using---I mean how many can one use, we give them away.  Seems like they could change them once in a while.  Any way have safe travels and a good time--Enjoy-Happy sailing. 

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Two of my favorite cocktails of all time and imho, not to be missed.....Bellini-tini and a Cadillac Margarita. Ask for fresh juice if possible. Keep me posted on the champagne goodies in your suite! mmmm!

Fair winds and following seas!

Linda and John

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Jackie, have a wonderful cruise!  It will be very interesting to hear your comparisons to Regent, but the main thing is to savor your brief experience on your current cruise and enjoy every moment.

 

I want to second FlyerTalker's recommendation about trying to get tickets to the Magic Castle show, this is something that is unique to Crystal and we have always enjoyed it. Also, if Jay Wolff will be an on board lecturer, he is probably my favorite lecturer on any ship that I have been on.

 

Don't forget to listen for Satchmo singing "What a Wonderful World" at sailaway times. 

 

Cheers,

Bob

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22 minutes ago, boblerm said:

Jackie, have a wonderful cruise!  It will be very interesting to hear your comparisons to Regent, but the main thing is to savor your brief experience on your current cruise and enjoy every moment.

 

I want to second FlyerTalker's recommendation about trying to get tickets to the Magic Castle show, this is something that is unique to Crystal and we have always enjoyed it. Also, if Jay Wolff will be an on board lecturer, he is probably my favorite lecturer on any ship that I have been on.

 

Don't forget to listen for Satchmo singing "What a Wonderful World" at sailaway times. 

 

Cheers,

Bob

I almost forgot about Satchmo....my bad. LOVE THAT!  It's actually the song that John and Elizabeth danced to for the father/daughter dance at her wedding.... sigh....sniff....!!!

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20 minutes ago, Mudhen said:

I almost forgot about Satchmo....my bad. LOVE THAT!  It's actually the song that John and Elizabeth danced to for the father/daughter dance at her wedding.... sigh....sniff....!!!

Can't think of a better one!😊

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Thank you for all of the well wishes.  They are very much appreciated.  

 

FlyerTalker - thank you for taking the time for that informative post.  I have printed it and will take it with us.

 

chuckw - so happy that you will be on Explorer (and a little jealous).   

 

This cruise only stops in Ketchikan, Sitka (both predicting rain) and Juneau.  We have been to all three ports previously and will be happy to stay on the ship (except in Juneau where we may venture out).  The biggest thing that we are looking forward to is Glacier Bay - a place where only some ships are allowed to visit.  Coincidentally, there was a show on Glacier Bay a week or so ago and it really whetted out appetite for this beautiful place.  

 

For those of you that have sailed on Crystal, is the song (one of my favorites ever) heard everywhere on the ship (like in your suite?) or do you need to be outside?

 

Want to give a special thank you to nancygp - I have had such difficulty with posters on the Crystal board but she has been consistently fair and not judgmental.

 

Okay, time to start posting on the Crystal board as promised.  Cannot guarantee what will happen on that board.  I am not sailing Crystal to bash them (any more than we sailed NCL and Celebrity to look for what is wrong).  As I have said for many years, we did not consider Crystal as an option for many years since they had set seating and were amongst the last of the luxury cruise lines to limit smoking (Seabourn was the last to change their smoking policy.). 

 

Cannot wait for this adventure to start!  As many know, Dennis fell off of a very tall ladder 7 weeks ago and fractured his foot.  He can now wear tennis shoes and we packed his dress shoes.  Crossing my fingers that he can actually wear them.  He and I both really need a break - one where we are taken care of.

 

P.S. FlyerTalker - correct me if I am wrong but hasn't Mark Preston performed on Regent?  I seem to remember him as being an excellent performer!

 

 

Edited by Travelcat2
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25 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

For those of you that have sailed on Crystal, is the song (one of my favorites ever) heard everywhere on the ship (like in your suite?) or do you need to be outside?

It can be heard on open decks, but you most likely will be able to hear it from your veranda.

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Just a word of caution, if Dennis needs to wear tennis shoes to dinner let it be-it takes time to heal the right way, never rush something like that as it could cause real damage later.  And what was he doing on a ladder for anyway--that's a NO-NO for all of us as we get older.  Enjoy and don't worry about shoes....Rick

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23 minutes ago, ronrick1943 said:

Just a word of caution, if Dennis needs to wear tennis shoes to dinner let it be-it takes time to heal the right way, never rush something like that as it could cause real damage later.  And what was he doing on a ladder for anyway--that's a NO-NO for all of us as we get older.  Enjoy and don't worry about shoes....Rick

 

You could not be more correct.  I had no idea that he was on the ladder.  The Orthopedic Surgeon indicated that he needs to be careful until he reaches the three month mark.  He only plans on wearing dress shoes for dinner, however, if he has a problem wearing them, I'm sure they will allow him to wear his tennis shoes.  Thanks for your concern (getting older is definitely a challenge).

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