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We have  2 comedians, a magician & ventriloquist on our upcoming Crystal cruise

Quality entertainment for sure

Different strokes LOL

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My wife and I crossed the Pacific in March of 2018, first on Crystal Symphony (our 2nd voyage on her), 15 days from Auckland to Papeete, then a one night layover, followed by an 18 day passage on Oceania's Marina from Papeete to LA via the Marquesas and Hawaii.

 

We had a standard veranda cabin on Symphony and a Penthouse on Marina. We're not heavy drinkers so we didn't need a beverage package on O.

 

There is no comparison on the entertainment. Symphony wins that one hands down! Lecturers/enrichment, the same, no comparison. Food? On that one I might call it a little closer. While we love Umi Uma and Prego, Silk is terrible in our opinion. Red Ginger on Marina was wonderful. Waterside vs. the MDR on Marina? I think we'd give the nod to Symphony. But as one other mentioned, the evening buffet on O when you can sit outside, is really a nice casual dinner setting as compared with the repetitive and ultimately boring Churrascaria.

 

We'll be returning to Symphony on December 1st for the transit through the Panama Canal and we've got a deposit down on a monster 61 day voyage on Symphony in February of 2021, Hong Kong to Lisbon. 

 

Would we return to O again? Probably not. Not because of cabin size or food. Primarily because of the one key aspect of a cruise that makes all the difference to us and that is Customer Service. That difference is day and night. Remi explained it best to me one evening as something intangible that can't be trained. You have to find employees that have it, that special something that is hard to describe yet you know it when you see or feel it.

 

This is why Crystal wins for us.

Edited by Kaz52
double word

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One reason I doubt I will return to Oceania is at the end of a 28 day crossing as we were sailing into Miami, I witnessed a a berating of the stateroom attendant for our cabin.  The ship was going to be inspected arriving in Miami.  It was the last contract for our attendant. She and her husband worked for 20 years on ships and had enough money to retire. 

 

The door to the service room where the housekeeping staff does whatever they need to do was open.  The supervisor was yelling at her while she was on her knees with a scrub brush. She looked up at me totally demoralized. The terror in her eyes was all I needed to see.

Edited by ChatKat in Ca.

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As my paternal Grandfather used to say about beers, "There are no bad cruises, just some that are better than others." Our one experience on Oceania was Riviera in 2018 for 11 nights in the Med. The itinerary was WAY too port intensive, which is my biggest beef with Oceania, but we knew that going in.

 

Our biggest complaint was the service in general. With the exception of the barkeeps in Horizon, the service throughout the ship was indifferent at best. After somewhere north of 60 cruises on a whole bunch of lines (mass market and luxury), the food and service in the MDR were absolutely the worst we have ever experienced. When I asked to speak to the Hotel Manager, I was told he was "busy", until I said I was going to request a meeting with the Captain, when the HM magically appeared. We were treated with kid gloves after that, but it should not have come to that.

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17 hours ago, LHT28 said:

We have  2 comedians, a magician & ventriloquist on our upcoming Crystal cruise

Quality entertainment for sure

Different strokes LOL

And I will bet that they will all be top notch!!

You will also have great stage productions -- with professional, broadway calibre entertainers, staging and costumes.  

The lounge/bar entertainers might wow you

 

There is no comparison to Oceania.  It's not even close.

I recently convinced two couples who have 35 O cruises between them to join me on Crystal.  They, too, were blown away by everything, especially the entertainment.  They are now Crystallized and we are all booking Crystal together.

 

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I have not sailed O. For those who don’t know or remember one of O’s founders was a former president of Crystal (maybe the first). O was supposed to be like and be an improved version of Crystal but I guess it hasn’t turned out to be quite that. 

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17 minutes ago, ctjon said:

I have not sailed O. For those who don’t know or remember one of O’s founders was a former president of Crystal (maybe the first). O was supposed to be like and be an improved version of Crystal but I guess it hasn’t turned out to be quite that. 

what was Crystal like back in 2003 ?

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34 minutes ago, ctjon said:

I have not sailed O. For those who don’t know or remember one of O’s founders was a former president of Crystal (maybe the first). O was supposed to be like and be an improved version of Crystal but I guess it hasn’t turned out to be quite that. 

 

Give it one more thought.  Both Regent and Oceania are owned by the same corporate parent.  A fundamental rule of branding is to keep enough of a difference between your brands so that they don't cannibalize each other.   Oceania is kept as something other than "Regent Lite" -- lots of discussion in the Regent/Oceania boards about that difference.

 

One other thing - Oceania has perfected the Southwest Airlines marketing concept.  Keep telling people you have something (in Southwest's case, it's cheap tickets) and the image will stick in enough folks minds.  So even though Southwest doesn't have the cheapest prices anymore, people still believe that.  Ditto with Oceania and their mantra that they are the "food cruiseline".  Jacques Pepin is promo'ed everywhere, but the food on O is definite disappointment to those who would enjoy the selections at Waterside.  I will say, the one place where O beats Crystal is in their version of Marketplace in the evening, where the grill station prepares some delicious steaks, chops and lobster to order.  But the rest is underwhelming.  (Think of the emperor's clothes - you are supposed to be wow'ed and you're the rube if you don't agree).

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34 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

what was Crystal like back in 2003 ?

 

Crystal was still a more "traditional" line in 2003, with two fixed dinner seatings, three dress codes (Formal/Informal/Casual) and on Formal nights, as someone once described it, "80% of the men will be in Tuxes, which they own".  It was also only partially inclusive after Serenity entered the fleet in July, with all non-alcoholic beverages included, but wine/beer/spirits a la carte. Shows, lectures and activities same/similar to today, they are still running a couple of the production shows to this day. The service was excellent, just as it is today, which makes sense since most of the staff in 2003 are still with Crystal to this day!

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14 minutes ago, FlyerTalker said:

One other thing - Oceania has perfected the Southwest Airlines marketing concept.  Keep telling people you have something (in Southwest's case, it's cheap tickets) and the image will stick in enough folks minds.  So even though Southwest doesn't have the cheapest prices anymore, people still believe that.  Ditto with Oceania and their mantra that they are the "food cruiseline".  Jacques Pepin is promo'ed everywhere, but the food on O is definite disappointment to those who would enjoy the selections at Waterside.  I will say, the one place where O beats Crystal is in their version of Marketplace in the evening, where the grill station prepares some delicious steaks, chops and lobster to order.  But the rest is underwhelming.  (Think of the emperor's clothes - you are supposed to be wow'ed and you're the rube if you don't agree).

 

And let us not forget "2-For-1 Pricing and Free Air", which is two fibs in one tag line!! And it persists to this day with people coming in assuming that $6,000.00 price they saw advertised is $3,000.00/person!

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12 minutes ago, Roland4 said:

 

And let us not forget "2-For-1 Pricing and Free Air", which is two fibs in one tag line!! And it persists to this day with people coming in assuming that $6,000.00 price they saw advertised is $3,000.00/person!

Yes  I disagree  with that marketing  idea

I am sure both lines have their good & bad points  it is  a personal choice  on which one  works  best  for YOU

The production shows on Oceania are better than they were before NCLH  bought  PCH

 

But  it is up to the OP  to decide what works for them

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1 hour ago, Roland4 said:

 Shows, lectures and activities same/similar to today, they are still running a couple of the production shows to this day.

 

I am REALLY curious as to which are still running from 2003.

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31 minutes ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

I am REALLY curious as to which are still running from 2003.

 

The Broadway one that used to include the segment from Les Miz for one (can't remember the name) and the one that ends with Mama Mia. Not saying they have not changed over the years, but they are still around in one form or another.

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I went to Cuba on Sirena last year, as Crystal were not offering this itinerary.  I loved it.  The ship is very small, so very friendly.  The production shows are not important to me, and I have seen ALL of Crystal's multiple times.  I enjoyed the piano bar, trivia and Name That Tune during evenings on Sirena instead.  The food was excellent and they have a "Happy Hour" twice in the evening, when drinks are two-for-one, so good value.  Their cruises are port intensive, but with overnights, so excellent if one wants to explore properly, and few lectures, other than destination talks.    I'm happy on either line, particularly when they're offering a low single supplement.  It will always come down to the itinerary.

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4 minutes ago, ChatKat in Ca. said:

I thought the founder of O came from Renaissance.....

 

Joe Watters  & Frank Del Rio  were co founders of Oceania

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58 minutes ago, Roland4 said:

 

The Broadway one that used to include the segment from Les Miz for one (can't remember the name) and the one that ends with Mama Mia. Not saying they have not changed over the years, but they are still around in one form or another.

 

That was Curtain Call. It’s been gone on Symphony for about a couple of years now. 

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1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

Joe Watters  & Frank Del Rio  were co founders of Oceania

 

And......Joe Watters was Crystal's 2nd President from 1994  to 2001.

 

Nancy

Edited by nancygp

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1 hour ago, TER777 said:

That was Curtain Call. It’s been gone on Symphony for about a couple of years now. 

 

And it surely wasn't around in 2003.  Or more than a decade ago.

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13 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

Give it one more thought.  Both Regent and Oceania are owned by the same corporate parent. 

 

Ah now, this brings into sharper relief something rolling around in the back of my mind for a while.

 

There have been interesting new perspectives on Crystal dropping in lately. Recently, there was a Regent aficionado who, in great detail, wasn't won over ("could only make do in CP!")

 

Now, to the best of my knowledge, we have a new and frequent commenter yet to travel on Crystal, liberal with preemptive appraisals.

 

Marketing takes many forms...

 

  

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7 minutes ago, KenzSailing said:

 

Now, to the best of my knowledge, we have a new and frequent commenter yet to travel on Crystal, liberal with preemptive appraisals.

 

Marketing takes many forms...

 

  

It may be that some Crystal cheerleader  do not like outsiders

plus  some are so easy to wind up  😁

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12 hours ago, ancientmariner said:

I went to Cuba on Sirena last year, as Crystal were not offering this itinerary.  I loved it.  The ship is very small, so very friendly.  The production shows are not important to me, and I have seen ALL of Crystal's multiple times.  I enjoyed the piano bar, trivia and Name That Tune during evenings on Sirena instead.  The food was excellent and they have a "Happy Hour" twice in the evening, when drinks are two-for-one, so good value.  Their cruises are port intensive, but with overnights, so excellent if one wants to explore properly, and few lectures, other than destination talks.    I'm happy on either line, particularly when they're offering a low single supplement.  It will always come down to the itinerary.

 

Which is very rarely on Oceania!!  My very first cruise was with Oceania on the Insignia and I really enjoyed it, and would have been happy to take another cruise with them if it weren't for the usually onerous single supplement.  The following year I migrated to Crystal on a golf theme cruise with a very low SS and apart from there being more entertainment, etc., a much better MDR and much better standard cabin bathrooms,  I really didn't notice much difference between the two lines or their passengers.....   I have Crystal friends who also cruise with Oceania and enjoy it and I'm sure I still would too, if the price were right!!!  Like Trudi, my cruises are itinerary driven - the ship is not the destination, the places it's going to are....

Edited by Jayayeff

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43 minutes ago, Jayayeff said:

 

Which is very rarely on Oceania!!  My very first cruise was with Oceania on the Insignia and I really enjoyed it, and would have been happy to take another cruise with them if it weren't for the usually onerous single supplement. 

At the risk of being accused of marketing or offending someone

I am not sure  what Crystal's single supplement is or if  it is on all cruises  but Oceania  does offer some cruises  with 50% or less  SS on certain cruise & certain cabin categories

https://www.oceaniacruises.com/special-offers/single-supplement/

 

They may not offer all the things Crystal does but if the itinerary works for you might be worth it

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2 hours ago, KenzSailing said:

 

Ah now, this brings into sharper relief something rolling around in the back of my mind for a while.

 

There have been interesting new perspectives on Crystal dropping in lately. Recently, there was a Regent aficionado who, in great detail, wasn't won over ("could only make do in CP!")

 

Now, to the best of my knowledge, we have a new and frequent commenter yet to travel on Crystal, liberal with preemptive appraisals.

 

Marketing takes many forms...

 

  

They are real people.  I am pretty sure I have met them both in person. That calls for a cocktail in the cove one evening next week.

Edited by ChatKat in Ca.

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Just want to note that it was in 2003 that they included items such as water and soda in the cruise fare.  It was our second cruise and back then our son was still drinking soda so my shipboard account got a break from the sodas he was consuming.

 

There have been lots of changes since 2003 (I could list several dozen changes).  What hasn't changed is the emphasis on the guest, service, cuisine, enrichment, entertainment and diversity of shore excursions offered.  

 

Keith

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