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thixson

Review of Symphony from first time Crystal cruiser...

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Not that I'm a penthouse of any sort person - don't think I have ever done a Crystal PH but from what I've seen and heard the regular PH on 10 have larger rooms that the SB penthouses.

 

On recent cruise I found most of the lectures great but the evening show type entertainment not great and not up to what they used to have years ago.  Performers were great but the shows not so much.  I'm a Broadway shows fan - growing up in NYC with the opportunity to see all the great ones many decades ago.

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1 hour ago, thixson said:

 

Well.... needlepoint, bridge, and computer lessons won't do it for the 40s crowd... Fun can be had even by those who don't like or can't afford caviar... A tad elitist some of you may be... One of the reasons we didn't like the comedian... (1) he wasn't funny, and (2) he acted elitist and snobby..

 

I'll skip your needlepoint and you can skip my love and marriage show, but I guarantee, the theater would be packed.

 

As a fellow 40's Crystal passenger I can totally relate to this.  I understand and agree with everyone's concerns about diminishing the upscale atmosphere, but I think that's a red herring here.  No 40-year-old wants to participate in a belly flop contest, regardless of the industry segment.  Likewise, no one reads the needlepoint listing in Reflections and thinks, "oh WOW, this _IS_ a six star line!"  Having only quiet-time activities does not define luxury.

 

There have to be activities that would appeal to younger luxury passengers without offending Crystal's loyalists -- even if the loyalists don't choose to participate in them.  IMHO, everyone should feel free to suggest whatever they can think of to Crystal, and see if their entertainment team and cruise directors see an opportunity to adopt or adapt those ideas so they work with the clientele.

 

Vince

 

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I’m 72, and have enjoyed playing bridge since learning at age 22. Ordinarily, however, we don’t opt to play bridge on a cruise ship, as we can do that at home. Other cruisers are delighted to spend two hours enjoying one of the best mental exercise games ever invented.

 

We DO really enjoy the lecturers/enrichment on Crystal, including the very special ones we do NOT have at home. Here are just a few examples:

 

*astronaut (fascinating talks plus a lovely star-gazing session)

*Medal of Honor winner (gave two great talks — do you know how the prisoners survived solitary confinement at the Hanoi Hilton?)

*Luke Zamperini (interviewed by Scott Peterson back when Scott was a CD)

*experts on Broadway shows and entertainers, plus a Broadway producer

*expert on nuclear war and terrorism

 

But that’s us (Mr. B and me). A whole ship full of the same type of people as we are would be boring and would result in some venues/offerings never being used at all! E.g., there wouldn’t be anybody to do needlepoint or take the art classes.

 

Choice is good!

 

Thank you to the OP for this great report and awesome photos. 

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, May B said:

I’m 72, and have enjoyed playing bridge since learning at age 22. 

 

OMG! A brave lady to reveal her age. Jim & I have sailed many cruises with you....cruising keeps you young...we would have never suspected you were a septuagenarian! 🤩😀😁

 

Rob

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5 hours ago, thixson said:

 

 

I'll skip your needlepoint and you can skip my love and marriage show, but I guarantee, the theater would be packed.

Uh, no it wouldn't. I've been to plenty of L&M shows on Carnival, Royal, Princess and no thank you. I'd go to one if John Heald were running it, though. Heald cracks me up!

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1 hour ago, fyree39 said:

Uh, no it wouldn't. I've been to plenty of L&M shows on Carnival, Royal, Princess and no thank you. I'd go to one if John Heald were running it, though. Heald cracks me up!

 Love and Marriage Shows are always more entertaining with older couples who have been together a very long time.  Anything comedy related would be welcome...  Including trivia with someone who has some spirit/sense of humor... Not everyone cruises to just relax.

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1 minute ago, thixson said:

 Love and Marriage Shows are always more entertaining with older couples who have been together a very long time.  Anything comedy related would be welcome...  Including trivia with someone who has some spirit/sense of humor... Not everyone cruises to just relax.

And that's also why they have different ships for different folks. Some folks prefer Crystal. Some prefer Seabourn, Silversea or Regent. And some prefer Oceania, Azamara, Celebrity, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean or Carnival. 

 

I personally would much prefer to go to a lecture to learn something new from an expert, than to go to a game where they ask embarrassing and silly questions of married people. I honestly don't really want to know that much info about my fellow guests.

 

Personally I also happen to like the needlepoint as it's a relaxing prelude in the afternoon, and when we were on our Australian cruise we had a combined knitting/needelpoint group with women from in their 40's on up. Others enjoy their bridge games or majong games. Lots of folks seem to enjoy the jewelry classes and the art classes as well as all the computer classes. There are others on who spent lots of time in the gym taking fitness classes, playing pickle ball or ping pong outside, or taking dance or golf lessons.

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1 hour ago, ryndam said:

 

OMG! A brave lady to reveal her age. Jim & I have sailed many cruises with you....cruising keeps you young...we would have never suspected you were a septuagenarian! 🤩😀😁

 

Rob

 

Thx, Rob! I actually like that age, and will miss it when I have a birthday. The one that bothered me the most was when I turned 26. 

 

😁

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I do agree that trivia can be a ton of fun ... with a large dose of frustration thrown in!

 

One couple we cruise with are super duper music trivia experts. That’s when it’s most fun of all!

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I do want to mention that there are several activities if one likes sports/fitness that are active on the ship including Paddle Tennis, Table Tennis, Golf, group fitness (Spinning, Yoga, Stretching, Piltates), Fitness Equipment, Shuffleboard, Walking/Running on the Promenade Deck, Swimming to name a few.

 

The other thing is that every cruise is different in terms of the lecturers, topics they cover as well as the entertainers that come on board.  Some have more appeal than others.  Those that don't have appeal tend to not come back.  

 

But like most things in the end the only opinion that matters is our own so what makes one person happy might not be of interest to someone else.

 

Keith

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3 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

I do want to mention that there are several activities if one likes sports/fitness that are active on the ship including Paddle Tennis, Table Tennis, Golf, group fitness (Spinning, Yoga, Stretching, Piltates), Fitness Equipment, Shuffleboard, Walking/Running on the Promenade Deck, Swimming to name a few.

 

The other thing is that every cruise is different in terms of the lecturers, topics they cover as well as the entertainers that come on board.  Some have more appeal than others.  Those that don't have appeal tend to not come back.  

 

But like most things in the end the only opinion that matters is our own so what makes one person happy might not be of interest to someone else.

 

Keith

 

I would like to add the dance classes with Beverly and Curtis as a favorite active option.  I have participated in these in other cruise lines but Crystal's have been the best and most fun, in my opinion.

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Excellent point about dance classes including both the complimentary ones and private ones should someone want private and of course nighttime dancing.

 

Again we all have different interests.  I know some people who come on board to not do anything.  I know others whose major focus is say bridge.  In fact I know many who say bridge is the major draw. For others it is trivia.  For some Paddle Tennis.

 

For me, it is the inclusive wine and all you can eat French Fries followed by Portuguese Tarts .    JUST KIDDING.  :classic_laugh: 

 

I do appreciate the Fitness Center being open 7x24 though.  🤗

 

Keith

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I must say we enjoyed the daily mini golf putting and Baggo bean bag throwing competition on Seabourn - and they had great prizes 

I fear given Crystal pathetic prize offering for trivia the budget wouldn’t be able to cope with the addition of these activities 

Why did we like them? Largely because they gave us the opportunity to meet other guests and some of the crew who ran it and enjoy many laughs

It’s not for everyone but it did add value to our “luxury” cruise

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15 hours ago, thixson said:

 Love and Marriage Shows are always more entertaining with older couples who have been together a very long time.  Anything comedy related would be welcome...  Including trivia with someone who has some spirit/sense of humor... Not everyone cruises to just relax.

 

I suppose I'm feeling so adamant about this because the last thing I want is a luxury line to start adopting mass market audience participation entertainment. I've seen more and more of the audience participation replacing paid entertainers on mass market lines. I'm trying a luxury line with the idea that we'll actually see some talent.

 

Princess has wonderful entertainment, or at least it did the last time we were on board. Carnival's entertainment is becoming the absolute worst.

 

So, imo, leave the audience participation to the mass market lines, thanks very much.

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47 minutes ago, fyree39 said:

 

I suppose I'm feeling so adamant about this because the last thing I want is a luxury line to start adopting mass market audience participation entertainment. I've seen more and more of the audience participation replacing paid entertainers on mass market lines. I'm trying a luxury line with the idea that we'll actually see some talent.

 

Princess has wonderful entertainment, or at least it did the last time we were on board. Carnival's entertainment is becoming the absolute worst.

 

So, imo, leave the audience participation to the mass market lines, thanks very much.

 

First from some other's comments above, I want to clarify, I'm not proposing taking away the needlepoint activities, just supplementing them with things appealing to a different age bracket.  I have nothing against needlepoint, my point was that it doesn't equal luxury any more than an audience participation activity means budget line.

 

Now on to audience participation, IMHO this can be done in a way that's consistent with luxury standards.  Crystal ALREADY does this.  There are plenty of activities already hosted by the social staff -- bingo, trivia, napkin folding, etc..  I'd propose we can swap the napkin folding for some kind of younger social-based activity, and no one is really going to be so offended that they book away from Crystal.  Trivia and bingo are already about as multi-generational as Crystal gets, so we're good there.

 

Younger does not equal tacky.  I know some people have that connotation in their head, but the two are not connected.

 

Terry -- that's a good point about the giveaways.  Fortunately right now I don't think operations is even budgeting for the prizes so they have an almost unlimited pool of swag to pull from...  Last time I noticed they were mostly giving away trade show and industry relations swag, which is usually on the marketing department's dime.  Giving away a few more of those a week isn't going to make a dent -- but that's not to say that system is working either.

 

Vince

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I am reminded that on some voyages there is additional opportunity for participation in the evening.

 

On some voyages there have been comedians and some have asked (well encouraged) members of the audience to participate. Same was true of having magicians in the Galaxy where some members of the audience were brought on stage (that is when I learned not to sit up front for a comedian or magician) but now we have Magic Caste so rarely would you have a Magician at the Galaxy Lounge.  Of course Magic Castle has some audience participation.  On some cruises such as a World Cruise segment you might find a newlywed type of game but this is not something you would find most times of the year.  From time to time you have the mind reader or pick pocket and there is some audience participation.  And there is Karaoke on most evenings which is audience participation.  I would say more on Crystal than other luxury lines we've been on as they have larger public spaces.  You'll see fashion shows as well on some cruises with lots of guest participating and on the World Cruise the World Cruise Choir sings one or two times a segment and is made up of many guests.  You will also see some sing alongs in the Avenue Saloon on selected holiday nights.    And on some cruises you have the local shows that come on board and yes some guests end up on the stage.  Another mistake I made on one cruise sitting to far up in the Galaxy Theatre and ended up dancing on stage.  Ugh!  I really have learned my lesson when it comes to where I sit.  😀 Back row.  😁

 

But game shows are just not something you will see very often.  And you won't see those events around the pool as we saw on Celebrity years back or a passenger talent show as we also saw on Celebrity.  Not even sure if they do those on Celebrity.

 

A lot has to do with offering things that the majority of the guests will enjoy when it comes to evening entertainment as there is only so much you can offer and you wouldn't want to tie up an entire venue with something that very few would enjoy.   And with two shows if they tried to offer something much later you likely would have very few people attending.  With that said they have DJ's on most sailings and the Karaoke and years ago you didn't have DJ's on most sailings.


At the same time things change.  Years ago there were no magic shows.  When it was announced that Crystal would have Magic shows I remember some of the response on the board but I would say the vast majority of the people who attend enjoy the experience.  Of course I remember some laughs when knitting was announced and that turned out nice for those women and men who knit.

 

I do think a few years from now you might see Zumba offered regularly.  Still waiting for cruise ships (I think one does it already) to offer Pickle Ball as at least in the USA it is becoming a very popular sport with the age group Crystal attracts and where we live they can't build enough of these courts and it has far exceeded tennis for those say 50 and older in our community.  The good news is Crystal is one of the few lines that offer Paddle Tennis.  

 

The reality is things change over time and in the end they will offer those things that appeal to the clientele who they are catering to.  I am reminded that there are things that my generation does at our current ages that our parents didn't do and I suspect the next set of generations will do things we don't do at our ages and thus the hospitality arena both at sea and on land will continue to evolve as they have in the past.

 

Keith

 

 

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18 minutes ago, BWIVince said:

that's a good point about the giveaways.  Fortunately right now I don't think operations is even budgeting for the prizes so they have an almost unlimited pool of swag to pull from...  Last time I noticed they were mostly giving away trade show and industry relations swag, which is usually on the marketing department's dime.  Giving away a few more of those a week isn't going to make a dent -- but that's not to say that system is working either.

 

Theres definitely a budget - or more correctly a lack of one 

 

For standard daily trivia they give away discount vouchers for the ships, photos and spa -with many restrictions on when and on what they can be used for - so basically you have to spend something to receive any benefit - I seriously doubt just how many are redeemed 

 

On the World Cruise the prizes are awarded after a series of rounds - around 5 rounds from memory and run to Crystal branded simple bags, caps, USB sticks and luggage tags - my understanding is that stocks are limited and there is a cap on the spend for prizes 

 

One other customer participation event I haven’t seen mentioned is the morning quiz on the Morning Show during the World Cruise - that’s a lot of fun with similar prizes to Trivia

 

Of course people aren’t playing for the prizes - it’s the fun of participating and the bragging rights that can be claimed as the victors 

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I find  having  magicians & comedians (good or bad)  was  not my idea of what a Luxury line  would have as entertainment

Just saying

 

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1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

I find  having  magicians & comedians (good or bad)  was  not my idea of what a Luxury line  would have as entertainment

Just saying

 

Do get tickets to the Magic Castle show when you're on Crystal. It actually is a fun and interesting 20 minutes.

And comedians are part of the entertainment that is brought onboard and most are quite entertaining. 

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1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

I find  having  magicians & comedians (good or bad)  was  not my idea of what a Luxury line  would have as entertainment

Just saying

 

I really don't think luxury has anything to do with whether or not comedians or magicians should be part of the entertainment.  I have seen them across other luxury lines.  I do agree that finding the right magicians and the right comedians is the challenge and can determine whether the shows are a success or not.

 

In terms of Crystal the Magic Castle Magician shows are done very well on the most part.  This is not to say that every Magician is superb but I would say that the vast majority of them are done very well.  It's not a nighttime type of show.  Rather you go to the library to sign up for one of their shows which are offered in the afternoon into early evening.  Each one is 30 minutes.  Initially they were keeping it to 20 guests so some people could participate and everyone would have a close look at the tricks.  On our last cruise they had some voyages with high demand and short duration so they upped the number a little beyond 20 to I think up to 30.  I highly recommend going to one so you can judge this for yourself and would sign up the first day you board.   

 

Since they began this in general there are not other magic shows so they are not tying up one of the evening shows with a magic show.

 

In terms of comedians Crystal has had some exceptional ones while they have had some duds.  The exceptional ones return often.  The duds are usually gone after one voyage. 

 

The challenge though is that what one person loves, another person might not and another person might find offensive.

 

A side benefit of the comedians is that on some selected voyages they have a Liar's Club.  The success of that is clearly the three or four people who participate.  Once in awhile one of the comedians (if he is good at this) is part of the Liar's Club.

 

Over the years Crystal has had a few very unique comedians who were favorites of many who didn't just do comedy but put it in song.  Two that come to mind would write parts of their show based on places we visited and funny incidents that occurred.  We really enjoyed this.  One still performs from time to time but one has not been back in many years.  

 

My view is like most things choice is good so that you appeal to as many people as possible.  I know some people who will only attend performances that are more classical in nature such as a classical vocalist or pianist.  But some people don't like that and they might prefer a production show or maybe a comedian or a more contemporary artist.  So the more things offered hopefully increases the odds that things you or I or someone else like will be part of the entertainment.  Choice is good.

 

Keith

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2 hours ago, AtA said:

Do get tickets to the Magic Castle show when you're on Crystal. It actually is a fun and interesting 20 minutes.

And comedians are part of the entertainment that is brought onboard and most are quite entertaining. 

It was just not the first thing  that came to mind  when you think Luxury cruise

YMMV

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5 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

It was just not the first thing  that came to mind  when you think Luxury cruise

YMMV

I realize that. 🙂 However it's worth trying at least once. I continue to like the Magic Castle. My partner could take it or leave it. Our kids (ages 27,31, 44 and 46) definitely enjoyed the Magic Castle show.

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On 9/11/2019 at 10:53 AM, Texas Tillie said:

I do believe that entertainment is a generational issue and that we will see more for the "youth" in the future. For us old coots it's already started getting out of our (well, my) comfort zone. For example, the new show has songs from 2 shows that I have never seen. I know Rent is a modern La Boheme (seen the opera 5 times), but have no idea what Something Rotten might be. Fewer of us each year, unfortunately!!

 

Patty

 

Think positive.  Baby Boomers likely have up to 20 years of sailing ahead of them and a lot of the music that is being played on Crystal and other luxury lines are the classics that will be around for a long time!  

On 9/11/2019 at 7:37 PM, fyree39 said:

 Copied wrong post in error.   Meant to respond to the poster than mentioned a slippery slope.

 

The only slippery slope that I found on Crystal is the dress code that was not adhered to.  Some other luxury lines were thinking of allowing "dress jeans" which, is what I believe is permitted on Crystal".  However, what we saw were backyard type type jeans with t-shirts at dinner (one table had matching t-shirts - very Carnival-like).  This was extremely surprising.  With some people, the old saying still goes.... "if you give them an inch, they will take a mile".  

Edited by Travelcat2

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5 hours ago, BWIVince said:

I'd propose we can swap the napkin folding for some kind of younger social-based activity,

This made me smile. At 52, I know nothing about napkin folding. However, when my oldest son was about 16, I asked him to set the table for Thanksgiving. He went online and learned a few cool napkin folds. I joked that it would really impress the ladies. After dinner, he got back online and learned a few more.

 

Fast forward to other meals when he had a guest: he is careful never to finish setting the table before she arrives, so he can fold the last few napkins in front of her. Guess what? Mom was right; the young ladies are always impressed. 

 

Napkins are in boring rectangles now, but I do like when he comes home for holidays and I get pretty napkins again.

 

We now return you to your regularly scheduled comment thread. 

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On our cruise on Serenity a few years back, the did have a "love and marriage" game.  It was later in the evening (I think at least 10pm) in the small lounge that now has the Supper Club.  It certainly wasn't packed.  The found a newly married and a couple 50 years plus pretty easily.  No one in the mid range was jumping at it but when they said everyone would get a prize bag and one of the prizes was a casino voucher, I raised my hand.  We won!  It was a really nice gift bag each couple received plus we got a certificate and photo of the ship in a cover.  I think offered at this time on shorter cruises, it can work.  

I love that I'm in my 40s and part of the "younger" crowd.  That makes me feel good.  But as far as entertainment, I traveled last summer with my then 15 year old and we both enjoyed all the evening shows.  I love dancing so Crystal is the best for that in my opinion.  True, the late night crowd is sparse but in my two sailings, they are a fun bunch.  

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