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Singapore Return (ex Hong Kong-Singapore Feb. 15-Mar. 1


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So here we are on the magical mystery tour.   More thanks to Rob for the heads up about the change to itinerary after day 2.  I’m just happy to be here - firmly in “the ship is the destination” camp.

 

Everything is as Crystal as usual except for the Marie Celeste vibe everywhere.  Apparently there are less than 200 newcomers so the crew outnumber us more than 2:1 and are desperate to be of service all the time!

 

The casino is now open so that’s where you’ll find me!

 

BTW, don’t expect any photos.  I’m technically challenged and No.2 son is not here to help.

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Love the Marie Celeste reference. Since our Flying Dutchman moniker should be permanently retired! Have a wonderful journey (posted from 35000 ft in the air with another 5 hours till we are on the ground in Houston).

 

Rob

 

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So how does it feel to be onboard with so few guests? Has Crystal gone to one evening show? Have they adjusted eating times? Does they crew seem "down?" Anything else that comes to mind, I am interested in. Thanks.

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The programme continues as normal ...2 shows each evening, meal times as usual,  but it was certainly weird having my pre-dinner cocktail in an empty Cove.  The staff are standing around with nothing to do in Waterside and everyone is getting a window seat!

 

There’s a good attendance at the shows and talks, allowing for the total number of guests.  Only enough people for 3 trivia teams yesterday though.  When I’d had enough of the humidity on the lido deck I went into Palm Court mid afternoon and was the only one there.  The staff are as pleasant and friendly as ever.

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We are following with interest. With so few passengers aboard, were there cabin upgrades?  Also, are the staff able to rotate getting some time off? They work so hard, it would be nice if they had some additional rest time.

 

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5 hours ago, Jules1 said:

We are following with interest. With so few passengers aboard, were there cabin upgrades?  Also, are the staff able to rotate getting some time off? They work so hard, it would be nice if they had some additional rest time.

 

Sadly, no upgrade but I didn’t really expect it as most people choose a specific room.

The staff are working as normal but one told me today the days are long and boring with so few to look after.

 

Sandie

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Actually, we were surprised that they refused any upgrades at all. We did not choose our cabin and asked if we could change to a different location in the same cabin category and were told no, unless we paid for it. This was a shoreside corporate decision, we were told, and they are being totally inflexible about it. That is, of course, their right but it seems a bit ungenerous under the circumstances (the latest figure we got from a crew member is 120 guests, plus entertainers and lecturers.) We were also told that about 100 of the crew were let off, but they still vastly outnumber us.

There is a slight adjustment in dining hours (restaurants open at 6:30 for dinner instead of 6). No problem getting into Prego or Umi Uma. Mark is playing to an almost empty Ave. Saloon (at one point we were the only ones there). No magic show this cruise, because we were told the magician didn't show up and they couldn't find a replacement. We were told that only one person showed up for beginners bridge, so I guess they got a private lesson?

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Just want to chime in here too as we are also on this cruise.  I'm enjoying the relaxed feeling with the crew actually having time to stop and chat.  Food is wonderful as usual and service of course is outstanding.   Shane is doing a wonderful job keeping everyone entertained and has scheduled the events/evening entertainment  in such a way that people move from one to another so the ambience is not lost.  Full marks to him.   Tonight is the Captains welcome which is being held in Palm Court.  Can't remember the last time we went to one in Palm Court, and although we haven't attended one for ages I'm certain on this ship they are normally in Starlite, but this cruise is different and we are going to everything to support the efforts by the staff and add to the numbers.  There's a good feeling of camaraderie with other passengers we speak to and jokes about having to fight crowds etc.    Will try to make the Avenue tonight after the 2nd show.  Sandie or late2cruisin, say hello if you come by too.     All is good with the world on board Crystal Symphony and just so glad we didn't cancel.   Cheers, Judith  

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Further to the upgrade discussion.

We were happy to pay a reasonable amount from an ocean view to balcony, but at a quote of over $5000 happy to give it a miss. 

As they are only offering upgrades at full brochure price, they are missing out at recouping some of their lost revenue, and softening the blow for customers that lost through rearranging airfares and accomodation twice.

What a lost PR opportunity

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2 hours ago, traveldayz said:

What a lost PR opportunity

 

We agree. 
$5000 ~ wow, that’s almost another cruise!!

Continue to enjoy the long, lazy days with time to get to know the crew.  We always find them sociable and interesting. 
Ann & Paul. 

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Iif the issue on paying for  an upgrade is they  are  charging what one would have paid if they booked this at home (when one says  brochure rates are you all talking about the lower of the prices they  advertise).   If it is the price you  would have paid than I understand why they  would not have discounted it.  Say  someone wants a PS at a lower price than those who booked a PS to begin with paid that would not sit well with those who paid the full price.  The same would apply to many  of the other categories.    Yes  it is lost  revenue but  at the same time it would  likely upset people who paid the full price.  On top of this the reason why on all sailings if one wants  a higher  priced room they are charged the full price is because of this reason plus  the ship is  not the sales and marketing team and can't just come up with prices.   

 

I  do realize that  from time to time some people get upgrades and I know this cruise is not  the norm but can see  why  they would  not offer this.

 

Keith

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32 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

Iif the issue on paying for  an upgrade is they  are  charging what one would have paid if they booked this at home (when one says  brochure rates are you all talking about the lower of the prices they  advertise).   If it is the price you  would have paid than I understand why they  would not have discounted it.  Say  someone wants a PS at a lower price than those who booked a PS to begin with paid that would not sit well with those who paid the full price.  The same would apply to many  of the other categories.    Yes  it is lost  revenue but  at the same time it would  likely upset people who paid the full price.  On top of this the reason why on all sailings if one wants  a higher  priced room they are charged the full price is because of this reason plus  the ship is  not the sales and marketing team and can't just come up with prices.   

 

I  do realize that  from time to time some people get upgrades and I know this cruise is not  the norm but can see  why  they would  not offer this.

 

Keith

But at what point in time are they basing it on? As we know prices change so while I understand the concept that they don’t want to give cheap upgrades to upset those already in those categories the fact is not all those people have paid the same price anyway.

That is the luck with cruise and airline pricing, some pay less than others.

If you book early you guarantee your place and your preferred cabin, if you don’t you risk missing out but you also may be rewarded with cheaper pricing and upgrades.

I think it seems strange to miss out on revenue and goodwill at a time when the ship is empty 

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19 hours ago, teamflames said:

But at what point in time are they basing it on? As we know prices change so while I understand the concept that they don’t want to give cheap upgrades to upset those already in those categories the fact is not all those people have paid the same price anyway.

That is the luck with cruise and airline pricing, some pay less than others.

If you book early you guarantee your place and your preferred cabin, if you don’t you risk missing out but you also may be rewarded with cheaper pricing and upgrades.

I think it seems strange to miss out on revenue and goodwill at a time when the ship is empty 

While prices sometimes fluctuate (some  go up and some go down) on the most part if the price goes down most people can have their TA's lock in the lower price.  Yes once in awhile there is a last minute deal that some might get but this is the exception.

 

To do wholesale upgrades IMHO would cause more bad will then good will for the reasons I mentioned such as giving discount upgrades to rooms on the ship where the majority of guest paid the full price.

 

As I mentioned they could have gotten a revenue uplift by giving upgrades at a lower price but again this would have caused bad will for those who paid full.  I think they took the right approach given these circumstances.

 

Keith

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21 minutes ago, Texas Tillie said:

On my upcoming June cruise, I have already been assigned an E2, just what I booked (and paid). So, where do I rate on the better deal spectrum??


I believe that one is a sell out cruise 

We have our cabin assignment for that one and got an upgrade from an E1 guaranty to a non veranda C1 - we’re on three legs so happy with that 

 

I actually tried to book the next leg to Sydney that starts tomorrow on Serenity but it’s fully booked and has a wait list already - so that’s not going to happen - I never even got to the pricing discussion 

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The atmosphere on board at present is great.

Everyone is making the most of a unique situation.

Interaction between officers, crew, guest entertainers and guests is very relaxed and friendly.

Sitting in the Bistro this morning, there were 4 guests in a total of 12 people, all chatting and laughing together.

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5 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

While prices sometimes fluctuate (some  go up and some go down) on the most part if the price goes down most people can have their TA's lock in the lower price.  Yes once in awhile there is a last minute deal that some might get but this is the exception.

 

To do wholesale upgrades IMHO would cause more bad will then good will for the reasons I mentioned such as giving discount upgrades to rooms on the ship where the majority of guest paid the full price.

 

As I mentioned they could have gotten a revenue uplift by giving upgrades at a lower price but again this would have caused bad will for those who paid full.  I think they took the right approach given these circumstances.

 

Keith

 

I totally understand your point that if they had upgraded me from a C2 to a veranda (or suite!) that those who had paid for those cabins would be upset, and rightly so (unless they upgraded everyone to a higher category!) But please explain to me who would have been upset if they had allowed us to move from our current C2  location to a better C2 location? We asked about this and were flatly refused.

 

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23 minutes ago, late2cruisin said:

 

I totally understand your point that if they had upgraded me from a C2 to a veranda (or suite!) that those who had paid for those cabins would be upset, and rightly so (unless they upgraded everyone to a higher category!) But please explain to me who would have been upset if they had allowed us to move from our current C2  location to a better C2 location? We asked about this and were flatly refused.

 

A reasonable request in my opinion.  I can understand your disappointment at being flatly refused.  Maybe you should ask  to speak to a supervisor.  

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