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LIVE - Crystal Symphony (compared to Regent)


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Jackie, FYI-being around salt water doesn't cause swelling.   Don't forget you're eating differently on the ship, a lot more salt then at home which can make ankles swell.  Most likely everything is all right, but why take changes when you have a medical center on the ship.  Don't take chances and be sorry later-play it safe.

 

PS/after seeing the server costumes at tea---Regent has Crystal beat by a mile, no matter how good the tea/food is😂 sorry but true on this one.

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38 minutes ago, ronrick1943 said:

PS/after seeing the server costumes at tea---Regent has Crystal beat by a mile, no matter how good the tea/food is😂 sorry but true on this one.

 

In looking at the photo of the server in costume we notice the passengers pictured are balancing plates of food on their laps.  Is this usual?

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36 minutes ago, ronrick1943 said:

Jackie, FYI-being around salt water doesn't cause swelling.   Don't forget you're eating differently on the ship, a lot more salt then at home which can make ankles swell.  Most likely everything is all right, but why take changes when you have a medical center on the ship.  Don't take chances and be sorry later-play it safe.

 

PS/after seeing the server costumes at tea---Regent has Crystal beat by a mile, no matter how good the tea/food is😂 sorry but true on this one.

 

Thanks to you, I am learning new things every day.  We will be home Tuesday morning (1 hour after getting our car at the airport) and, if the swelling is still bothering him, he will call the Orthopedic Surgeon (he didn't have surgery but is being treated by a surgeon).  We didn't visit the medical center because his foot was swollen before we left - he had another x-ray and was cleared to walk without the "boot" …… this was just a week ago.  It doesn't hurt - only swollen.

 

Sorry to get off track with medical issues but he will be fine.

 

Rick - wish that we were on a cruise together as there is more things that I would love to share but prefer not to do so on a public forum.  

 

Dinner at Prego tonight was better than the first time (photos to be posted tomorrow).  Mark Farris was at least as good as last time.  He knows that our 40th anniversary is next month and he played our favorite song when we entered the lounge (and greeted us by name).  What an amazing performer.  

 

Dinner in Waterside is now up in the air.  Dennis wants Umi Uma again and since he gave me the upgraded suite for my birthday, it is hard to say no to his requests.  If we do not go to the Waterside, I'll do my best to learn how open seating for dinner goes.

 

One thing that bothers me is the fact that people that either booked this cruise late or did not book dining reservations until the last minute will have no opportunity to dine in a specialty restaurant.  Some people we have spoken with really wanted to go to Umi Uma but cannot.  IMHO, one reservation in each specialty restaurant should be guaranteed to each passenger (okay - getting off my soap box).

 

I'm tired and seem to be babbling about nothing.  Looking forward to Ketchikan tomorrow as this will be the first time we have left the ship (and, unbelievably, it will not be raining!).  Have to buy our pet sitter something warm from Alaska for the upcoming winter!

 

 

 

 

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53 minutes ago, Silver Sweethearts said:

we notice the passengers pictured are balancing plates of food on their laps.  Is this usual?

 

It’s unusual - there are tables for each setting of chairs so I can only imagine they’ve just returned from the food area or they are setting a little away from the table and about to start eating 

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1 hour ago, Travelcat2 said:

Dinner at Prego tonight was better than the first time...

 

Dinner in Waterside is now up in the air.  Dennis wants Umi Uma again and since he gave me the upgraded suite for my birthday, it is hard to say no to his requests....

 

One thing that bothers me is the fact that people that either booked this cruise late or did not book dining reservations until the last minute will have no opportunity to dine in a specialty restaurant.  Some people we have spoken with really wanted to go to Umi Uma but cannot.  IMHO, one reservation in each specialty restaurant should be guaranteed to each passenger (okay - getting off my soap box).

 

They do - if they or their TA go onto PCPC and make the bookings from the time slots remaining - the can book one reservation in each of Prego, Umi Uma and Silk

 

Now please don’t take this the wrong way but look at what you’ve said in your post - from what I see you have been to Prego twice and plan to do likewise at Umi Uma - so with people such as yourselves taking 4 bookings rather than 2 on a full ship on a 7 day cruise available slots may run out. I’m not saying you shouldn’t given you are paying top $$$ in a CP and are entitled to unlimited “subject to availability” (I’ve never heard of those in PH and above being declined) - and those missing out only need have taken a couple of minutes to book via PCPC once they made final payment 

 

The Specialty Restaurant maître d does their best to accomodate everyone but there’s only a finite number of tables and therefore reservations available 

 

With regard to not getting to Waterside this cruise - that’s ok - after all you do need something new to look forward to for your next Crystal Cruise 🙂

Edited by Stickman1990
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Just wanted to  add a couple of comments.'

 

A Japanese restaurant is on some of the Silversea Ships.  We experienced it on Spirit so it sounds like it is on some of the luxury lines since Stickman1990 mentioned its was on Seabourn.  Our experience on Spirit was the restaurant was intimate as it was small so this was a positive.  The downside was  it was hard to get reservations.  The food was very different.  They brought you one set dish of sushi/sashimi.  I believe five to eight items and you could not select what you want.  So ambience was nice and service was nice too but we prefer Umi Uma for the quality and taste of the items and having more selection.

 

Evacuations are handled in many different ways depending on where the ships are sailing and the circumstances including weather conditions.  For those involving helicopters often they are done overhead when out in the Ocean and far from land.

 

Cherry picking.  It was mentioned that it is too bad that you can't choose what you like best from each cruise line.  It sounds good but two things.  One is each line has their own identify and if you pick the very best of all lines be careful what you wish for as the cost could go up greatly.  I remember having a discussion many years ago with someone about another cruise line and they said why can't Crystal do x, y and z as the other line does?  The other line pales in comparison when it comes to things like enrichment.  I said would you be OK if to do this things Crystal cut the enrichment in half and the entertainment in half?  They said no.  I said to do those extra things it would undoubtedly cost more money.  Would you pay more money?  Answer was no.  

 

Each line tries to differentiate itself.  Yes, they know what the others offer and sometime they do match some of the items but there is a revenue and a cost factor so if you take the best of all lines it will likely get costly and if the fare is too high, you lose business.

 

Keith

 

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Regent also allows people in Master and Grand suites to eat in the restaurant of their choice every night.  Oceania does the same thing for those in Owners and Vista suites.  I am pretty sure what happens is that a number of tables are held back from the reservation system to accommodate those guests should they choose to go.  Then once the butlers know what the guests dinner plans are, tables are released so that anyone can walk up and ask for one.  Now I do not know this for sure.  But it does seem to make sense to me based on what I have been told by butlers in the past.   In other words - those in the high end suites have "first right of refusal" and then reservations are opened to all.

 

If you book a cruise late and are using a TA surely the TA should have the sense to request the reservations for the client?   I know mine certainly would...

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7 hours ago, saminina said:

Drinking ship's water and swollen ankles not uncommon.     You've posted great comments about your trip.

Anyone know if Mark remains on board for next segment?

 

Thanks!

I have the same problem with any ships water, and always drink bottled. I know that some people think it is something else, but for me it does make a big difference. Really enjoying your post. We will be in one of the “small” cabins on the Senerity Jan 7, and I don’t like small..but the price difference is so dramatic that we will cope. Just kidding .   Looking forward to being pampered. 

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Still looks like you're both having a good time and that is what's important.  No matter which line you enjoy more for what ever reason, that is your choice.  I've only cruised Crystal once, had a good time.  I did like some things better, other things less.  As you know I really liked Oceania for a lot of reasons, once I tried Regent and now have cruised them a few times it's my prefer line.  Will I cruise other lines, yes-but I'm comfortable with Regent as cruisers that cruise Crystal would be with Crystal.  Is one better than the other, maybe--but it's really what one prefers.  If it fits your budget with the amenities you want and the service you except--that will be the line you cruise with.  As you know we don't agree on everything, however I think the more I cruise with Regent the more I agree with you on few things.  Enjoying the read and the photos are good-makes it easier to image what it's like to be on Crystal now.

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10 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

 

 

One thing that bothers me is the fact that people that either booked this cruise late or did not book dining reservations until the last minute will have no opportunity to dine in a specialty restaurant.  Some people we have spoken with really wanted to go to Umi Uma but cannot.  IMHO, one reservation in each specialty restaurant should be guaranteed to each passenger (okay - getting off my soap box).

 

 

 

 

 

Actually it is guaranteed.We couldn't get a reservation online for Prego on our last cruise, and after our butler screwed up (long story), we went to the concierge and she made sure to get us our one reservation in Prego for ourselves and our kids.

 

If they couldn't get in, they should talk to the Maitre'd or if that doesn't help, go to the concierge and they'll fix it for the people. In fact, I was under the impression that we all had to abide by the rule that everyone else gets a chance at the specialty restaurant before those in the PH and above could dine there a second or third time? Maybe it's different for the CP though?

Also if they can't get a reservation for Umi Uma, they can always go in and try and get a seat at the sushi bar since those are not reserved.

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34 minutes ago, AtA said:

Also if they can't get a reservation for Umi Uma, they can always go in and try and get a seat at the sushi bar since those are not reserved.

 

And the full Umi Uma menu is available if you are sitting at the sushi bar.

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44 minutes ago, AtA said:

Actually it is guaranteed.We couldn't get a reservation online for Prego on our last cruise, and after our butler screwed up (long story), we went to the concierge and she made sure to get us our one reservation in Prego for ourselves and our kids.

 

If they couldn't get in, they should talk to the Maitre'd or if that doesn't help, go to the concierge and they'll fix it for the people. In fact, I was under the impression that we all had to abide by the rule that everyone else gets a chance at the specialty restaurant before those in the PH and above could dine there a second or third time? Maybe it's different for the CP though?

Also if they can't get a reservation for Umi Uma, they can always go in and try and get a seat at the sushi bar since those are not reserved.

It is rare that they couldn't get someone in the first time.  

 

The only issue is they might not get their desired time or date but the odds are they will get in.  Flexibility is key.

 

Keith

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11 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:

 

They do - if they or their TA go onto PCPC and make the bookings from the time slots remaining - the can book one reservation in each of Prego, Umi Uma and Silk

 

Now please don’t take this the wrong way but look at what you’ve said in your post - from what I see you have been to Prego twice and plan to do likewise at Umi Uma - so with people such as yourselves taking 4 bookings rather than 2 on a full ship on a 7 day cruise available slots may run out. I’m not saying you shouldn’t given you are paying top $$$ in a CP and are entitled to unlimited “subject to availability” (I’ve never heard of those in PH and above being declined) - and those missing out only need have taken a couple of minutes to book via PCPC once they made final payment 

 

The Specialty Restaurant maître d does their best to accomodate everyone but there’s only a finite number of tables and therefore reservations available 

 

With regard to not getting to Waterside this cruise - that’s ok - after all you do need something new to look forward to for your next Crystal Cruise 🙂

 

I did not take your comment the wrong way.  We do advise our butler that we will be happy to dine in-suite if there was not availability.  The important thing is that, again, there are only two CP suites on this ship and this should not affect other passengers.  On Regent, there are more Master/Grand suites - the ships are considerably smaller yet people can dine in each specialty restaurant at least once (and more times on longer itineraries than 7 nights).  I do not have the details of the two couples that were unable to get any reservation in Umi Uma or Prego.  It is possible that they simply were not flexible. 

 

1 hour ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

And the full Umi Uma menu is available if you are sitting at the sushi bar.

 

You brought up a hot button for us.  We tend to hang out in the computer room, Avenue Saloon and Starlight Lounge which are all in the same area as Umi Uma.  Every night we notice the same group of passengers camped out before Umi Uma opens every night so immediately upon opening, the sushi bar is full.  If someone wanted to dine there, it would require a wait until the group is finished.

10 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Cherry picking.  It was mentioned that it is too bad that you can't choose what you like best from each cruise line.  It sounds good but two things.  One is each line has their own identify and if you pick the very best of all lines be careful what you wish for as the cost could go up greatly.  I remember having a discussion many years ago with someone about another cruise line and they said why can't Crystal do x, y and z as the other line does?  The other line pales in comparison when it comes to things like enrichment.  I said would you be OK if to do this things Crystal cut the enrichment in half and the entertainment in half?  They said no.  I said to do those extra things it would undoubtedly cost more money.  Would you pay more money?  Answer was no.  

 

Each line tries to differentiate itself.  Yes, they know what the others offer and sometime they do match some of the items but there is a revenue and a cost factor so if you take the best of all lines it will likely get costly and if the fare is too high, you lose business.

 

Keith

 

 

Agree with you - I was basically joking about "cherry picking".  Agree that other lines pale in comparison when it comes to enrichment.  And, this is important to some people (especially on longer itineraries).  On a 7 night itinerary such as this, we have attended two class lectures and cancelled two hands-on classes.  Just not enough time to do everything.  Have not been to even 1 lecture.  The show that I saw was great but we prefer hanging out in Avenue Saloon with Mark Farris.  The early show (in the lounge) has seats available but by 9:30 p.m., it is standing room only (and some passengers are standing by the doorway listening). 

 

OTOH, during sea days on Regent, there are also some great lectures, wine tastings, games (Regent likes to have a bit of fun with guests and have officers vs. passenger games) and various other things.  Not saying that one is better than the other ...... just different.

 

Still enjoying the cruise and realize that there will not be some big reveal in my final review.  If Crystal had been not up to the standards that we expect, it would have been easier to review.  However, this is not the case and we truly are enjoying our experience on the Symphony. 

 

As I mentioned on the Regent board, we did not take this cruise with any thoughts of leaving Regent for another cruise line.  I simply wanted to learn more about other luxury cruise lines so that I could better answer questions on Cruise Critic.  Instead, we found that Crystal (and Silversea) are other options for us if/when the itinerary is right. 

 

Sorry that I have missed some questions.  With threads moving around and time being so limited, I am just doing the best that I can.  My iPad needs to be recharged before I can post photos (still only posting photos on this thread). 

 

After lunch we need to shop and buy something warm to wear this winter for our pet sitter.  Wish that we had taken advantage of the 50% off Alaska products earlier in the cruise.  Lots of scarves, jackets and sweatshirts.  Fortunately, there are always good winter wear in Ketchikan.

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4 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

And the full Umi Uma menu is available if you are sitting at the sushi bar.

 

But I would hope people occupying space at the Sushi bar used the opportunity to enjoy a good range of sushi and sashimi rather than focusing on ordering the dishes from the menu - although I do understand people ordering one or two dishes to complement their meal - I’m partial to some tempura with my sashimi 

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5 hours ago, AtA said:

Actually it is guaranteed.We couldn't get a reservation online for Prego on our last cruise, and after our butler screwed up (long story), we went to the concierge and she made sure to get us our one reservation in Prego for ourselves and our kids.

 

In fact, I was under the impression that we all had to abide by the rule that everyone else gets a chance at the specialty restaurant before those in the PH and above could dine there a second or third time? Maybe it's different for the CP though?

 

Sorry but I disagree - It’s not guaranteed - it’s subject to availability 

 

Strange you went to the Concierge to make a Prego booking - did you try the Maître d of the Specialty Restaurants? We’re they not able to work it out for you?

 

Re PH and above having to wait til everyone else had their 1 booking - once onboard it’s open slather for bookings - otherwise people would be waiting forever for some people (like those TC encountered) to get around to making a booking. They have their chances pre cruise to book via PCPC so once onboard why should others wait in the anticipation that the others might eventually get around to it?

 

That’s one of the reasons you have the maître d available on embarkation day so that people can book their second reservations. I suspect he does hold a few tables back still to accomodate “special” guests during the cruise. I don’t stay in PH’s but I’ve never had a problem getting multiple bookings at the specialty restaurants - but you do have to let them know early and be flexible  

 

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46 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

 

Sorry but I disagree - It’s not guaranteed - it’s subject to availability 

 

Strange you went to the Concierge to make a Prego booking - did you try the Maître d of the Specialty Restaurants? We’re they not able to work it out for you?

 

Re PH and above having to wait til everyone else had their 1 booking - once onboard it’s open slather for bookings - otherwise people would be waiting forever for some people (like those TC encountered) to get around to making a booking. They have their chances pre cruise to book via PCPC so once onboard why should others wait in the anticipation that the others might eventually get around to it?

 

That’s one of the reasons you have the maître d available on embarkation day so that people can book their second reservations. I suspect he does hold a few tables back still to accomodate “special” guests during the cruise. I don’t stay in PH’s but I’ve never had a problem getting multiple bookings at the specialty restaurants - but you do have to let them know early and be flexible  

 

Terry first longer cruises are no problem getting into the specialty restaurants. It's the 7 day cruises that can be an issue. And I've never heard of anyone not getting into the specialty restaurants before but maybe that's because we normally do longer cruises?

 

And of course I defer to you as you do know better. I do know they will do everything in their power to try and get you into the restaurants though. 🙂

 

As for what happened to us is as soon as we boarded and met our butler, we asked him to make a reservation for 4 of us and gave him two dates and a range of times. The next day he came to us and asked us if we wanted 4 or 6 (we were originally a party of 6 but two of our kids had made reservations for Prego on their own and we had told the butler that). We told him 4 and didn't think anymore of it.

 

The next morning the butler called us and asked us why we didn't show up for our reservation the night before? Um what reservation? The butler never told us it was a guaranteed reservation that night, never gave us a time and we never got a paper or a phone call telling us we had a reservation.

 

So we asked the butler to try and get us another reservation for one of the other nights we were free. On Thursday we went and double checked with the Maitre'd and he informed us there was nothing available. When on Friday night (after having dinner on shore) we still hadn't heard back, I went downstairs to speak to the concierge.

 

We only could do Prego on Saturday night because we had a reservation in Umi Uma on Sunday night and on Monday night, our last night, we wanted to be with our family. 

 

IF the butler and/or Prego hadn't messed up by not informing us of our previous reservation, I would have certainly understood that we didn't get lucky and would have just accepted we were too late. However it was because of the screwup that I went to the concierge to explain what happened and explained the only day we had available at that time was Saturday night. 

 

We got a call an hour later that there was a 7:30 reservation held for us the following night and the four of us had an amazing dinner.

Edited by AtA
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12 minutes ago, AtA said:

 

We got a call an hour later that there wa s a 7:30 reservation held for us the following night and the four of us had an amazing dinner.

 

Wow, after reading about the total mess your butler created, great to see Crystal managed to come thru with a  happy ending.

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11 minutes ago, AtA said:

Terry first longer cruises are no problem getting into the specialty restaurants. It's the 7 day cruises that can be an issue. And I've never heard of anyone not getting into the specialty restaurants before but maybe that's because we normally do longer cruises?

 

Thanks for clarifying 

 

We are normally long cruise segment folks as well and have never had issues getting additional reservations except when I jokingly ring and ask for a table of 8 the same evening 🙂 (although sometimes they can even accomodate that!)

 

Next year we’re doing 7+7+12 day cruises in Europe with a group of cruising friends (our first 7 day cruises so I’m in a little trepidation of what that will be like) - but I’ve already booked tables of 8 in each of the Specialty restaurants for each segment for our group so it just takes a little advance planning. I think it reality were unlikely to go to the specialty restaurants that often over 26 days given all the other dining options and a few special dinners ashore but it’s easier to book and release them closer to the time 

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Maybe more photos - likely from dinner last night.  Should be a delicious roll with the dipping sauces (garlic, olive oil and sea salt).  Crystal seems to do many things with sauces on the side.  Very nice touch.  

 

Then there is the appetizer portion of halibut (appetizer portion suggested by the server - Mickey (whose name is really long so people call him Mickey - he is from Serbia - one of our favorites.  Last photo on this post is the minestrone soup.

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Dennis had Osso Buco (great marrow bone - not as good meat as Regent) and I had Veal Parmesan with veal more tender than Regent.  We both had chocolate gelato for dessert (no photos).  I gave this as example where Regent was better for one dish and Crystal for the other.

 

I stuck in a photo from this morning.  Crystal does really small dessert “tastes” which we love.  It is better than having to cut a large piece of cake (or whatever) or wasting part of it.  The last photo is a mini creme brûlée.

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Glad you made it back to Prego - theres some lovely dishes on offer there

 

You had me at the Parmma - it’s actually a staple comfort food on offer at pretty much every pub restaurant in Australia but I have a feeling the Prego one is a little bit special. I’ve never had it there but it’s definitely on the list now

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