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Crystal recommendations


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Hello all,

We are experienced cruisers with Oceania but are thinking about using Crystal but would love to hear from cruisers who have experienced both lines with comparisons.

Thanks 

conom

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We did what your thinking of doing and NEVER LOOKED BACK.

Crystal has the best service, food and most importantly great lectures.

Yes our suite on Crystal was smaller than on O but the amazing butler service and great comfort easily made up for size.

 

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38 minutes ago, orchestrapal said:

We did what your thinking of doing and NEVER LOOKED BACK.

Crystal has the best service, food and most importantly great lectures.

Yes our suite on Crystal was smaller than on O but the amazing butler service and great comfort easily made up for size.

 

Ditto.

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the service is a lot better and for sure friendlier  on Crystal  , also the quality of the food 

O does not serve fresh orange juice_ 

you do not have to buy very expensive drinks on Crystal - it is all inclusive with a great choice of brands 

I am a wine addict  : the complimentary wines on Crystal are far better as those on O in the beverage packages. 

ok the special wines on Crystal are not cheap , however not so onerous as on Oceania and you do not have to pay 18 % service "for your convenience" and some local taxes on it

entertainment is also a lot better on Crystal , despite some of the lecturers are overthere for ages ...

unfortunately  - there is not a French speciality restaurant on Crystal and maybe the croissants are not so crispy as on O 😄

there are also no "recommended gratuities " put on your bill on Crystal 

 O does have Bulgari bathroom amenities but I am not going on a ship for those. 

Passengers in PH do receiev advantages on Crystal but is less obvious as on O  with - one example - various embarkation times. 

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We've been cruising Crystal for about 12 years now. Last year we tried Oceania Regatta (one of the smaller ships) because the itinerary worked with our schedule. The cruise was fine but it didn't come close to any of our ~15 Crystal cruises on any measures (food, service, facilities, entertainment, enrichment, etc.). Happy to give you specifics.

 

We have never stayed on anything higher than a verandah cabin on Crystal and have never found it lacking. We stayed in a PH on Oceania and appreciated the extra room considering we spent quite a bit of time in our cabin due to weather and because there was so little to do around the ship. The PH comes with a butler. He was a lovely gentleman but the only way in which he was of any use was to bring us a snack mid-afternoon when there is no food to be found on the entire ship (sometime between tea and dinner). This was particularly useful when coming back from shore excursions. We are not big eaters but having several options for food/snacks any time on Crystal is great. I hope you give Crystal a try.

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I have never been on Oceania but have heard it is not friendly to solo cruisers and no entertainment . Went over to Crystal 10 years ago as a newly solo cruiser and am hoping it can survive due to the COVID and financial distress of parent company.

In past  sailed Cunard, Princess, Holland American, Royal Caribbean and Carnival - all  are worlds away from the service , food, entertainment, lectures , ambience and wonderful personalities of the staff on Crystal.  Cunard and Princess had newer larger cabins but that was minimal compared to the other issues. 

Also one never feels crowded except at breakfast in Lido on early tour days and rush for lunch after tours.

Have scheduled some future trips and hope Crystal is still there for me and you can enjoy it also !!

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There is NO comparison

We have 15 cruises on Oceania

We tried Crystal and it was "never again" on Oceania.

We encouraged our Oceania cruising friends to try Crystal and for them it's Crystal or nothing.

Everything is better on Crystal -- food (yes food) entertainment, guest speakers, ambiance, coffee, venues

The suites are a little smaller but with all that's going on you will never stay in  your cabin.

 

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I am an Oceania cruiser converted to Crystal.  There is a world of difference.

 

Food, Entertainment, Multiple Venues for entertainment, Rooms well appointed, Service on Steroids.

No nickel and diming, an active Casino most of the time, a movie theater, amazing enrichment program, We are wine snobs and the included wine is quite good.  The Vintage Room was spectacular.

The only thing we like better on Oceania was the dinner buffet  with lamb chops and lobster, but, you can preorder that anynight in Waterside.  Many of the dishes in Jacques are available in Waterside by special order also. The specialty restaurants are amazing on Crystal are all a step above. 

You can generally get off the ship with a ZERO bill....other than Spa, shopping.  For us on Oceania, we not only had tipping, our bar/wine bill was outrageous and we are moderate drinkers. We found the wine package wines undrinkable.

 

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I am a wine snob as well - and especially Champagne but I was simply too avaricious to buy a better Champagne on O 

except for once : i had half a bottle of Rosé Pommery what was around 70 $ 

I took 2 bottles of wine from home for a corkage fee on O and bought another 2 when in St Barths and I drank those in my suite on O 

i only did 3 cruises on O all Caribbean - all in PH  , all special offers  , reduced fare or reduced single sup. 

I did 20 on Crystal however only 2 in PH  and one on the Esprit - the butlers on C were great.

I want to add disembarkation on O was a disaster and for a coach transfer to Miami airport O did charge nearly 3 times the fare of a taxi with a decent tip. 

Concerning tours : those are not cheap on both companies but I heard many complaints of the tours on O

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We have taken 3 Seabourn cruises

I would sail with them again but much prefer Crystal

Cabins are exceptional.  Lots of space and huge bathrooms.

No butlers for those who care  (We do -- it's part of our pampering ourselves).  

Food not as good as Crystal and fewer venues

Superb coffee and Seabourn Square is sensational

Entertainment and speakers do not compare favorably to Crystal IMO

Best trivia at sea

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14 O cruises to date with one booked in the future.   No comparison to the lines as far as food, ambience, service and enrichment.  Crystal wins hands down.  Only thing in O's favor is the Terrace, where you can get a quick meal in the evening after a long day of sight seeing. 

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We don’t care for a butler, but sure like the cabin and closet space. Didn’t care for the food on Crystal..much too salty..the Hamburgers at the Trident grill were outstanding. We like just the socialization and don’t need entertainment. 
 

Our September cruise was obviously cancelled...

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I sallied the Oceania riviera once, and only once.  The food was fine,  but was the most boring cruise.  It was the cruise after a large noro outbreak and maybe the crew was over it,  but the cruise lacked any entertainment,  service or anything memorable.  In fact in over 100 cruises it was the only one I thought of getting off early and flying home.  We had a PH and a great butler,  but he left shortly after for another line.  Crystal is far above Oceania in every way 

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1 hour ago, avalon1025 said:

I sallied the Oceania riviera once, and only once.  The food was fine,  but was the most boring cruise.  It was the cruise after a large noro outbreak and maybe the crew was over it,  but the cruise lacked any entertainment,  service or anything memorable.  In fact in over 100 cruises it was the only one I thought of getting off early and flying home.  We had a PH and a great butler,  but he left shortly after for another line.  Crystal is far above Oceania in every way 

We had that experience too on the Marina.  The walls were wet from sanitizer all the time. Meat overcooked. It was a no touch experience.  No cookies in Barista's, many things unavailable.  No service in the Terrace. Sort of what I think will happen with a Covid cruise - plus masks.

 

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2 hours ago, avalon1025 said:

I sallied the Oceania riviera once, and only once.  The food was fine,  but was the most boring cruise.  It was the cruise after a large noro outbreak and maybe the crew was over it,  but the cruise lacked any entertainment,  service or anything memorable.  In fact in over 100 cruises it was the only one I thought of getting off early and flying home.  We had a PH and a great butler,  but he left shortly after for another line.  Crystal is far above Oceania in every way 

 

Our one O cruise was also on Riviera, which is a very nice ship, and we had an enormous Suite with a jacuzzi on the balcony! While we enjoyed their specialty restaurants, the service in the MDR was about the only thing I remember, it was that bad! Our first night, at about 8:00 PM, they seated us in a section where the servers were resetting the tables for breakfast. Our appetizers arrived promptly, and then we waited almost 40 minutes, during which I actually asked twice to speak to the Maitre D' (who never showed up), for our mains. When they did arrive my wife's duck had magically turned into chicken, and my steak frites arrived without the frites. Both plates were removed from the table. By the time the chicken had turned back into duck, my steak frites now had frites, but obviously had sat at the server station, as it was stone cold, and instead of medium-rare was beyond well done!! We tried the MDR two more times that trip, and it never got much better!

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We have taken one O cruise years ago and didn’t care for the food- quality of food product but things may have changed. Also, found the demographic not to our taste. In the past we have loved its sister company regent(and hoping to retry them soon on either splendor or explorer)

 

We recently in February went on seabourn odyssey loved everything about it except the food. We found all the ice creams too sweet, food in the main restaurant inedible and no where near as good as crystal or even mainstream line. The only exception was Thomas Keller restaurant(good quality produce)and some of the specialty event meals in Colonnnade. The Indian meal was the best at sea(we are of Indian origin). The food was so disappointing that it is the only major hesitation in reconsidering a seabourn cruise. I will say their service was amazing (better than crystal or Pg are two favourite lines).

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22 hours ago, PaulMCO said:

14 O cruises to date with one booked in the future.   No comparison to the lines as far as food, ambience, service and enrichment.  Crystal wins hands down.  Only thing in O's favor is the Terrace, where you can get a quick meal in the evening after a long day of sight seeing. 

 

I agree Paul.  We miss the option of a quick casual dinner buffet after a long day on tour

But we have learned to graze at the Bistro.

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7 hours ago, bitob said:

 

I agree Paul.  We miss the option of a quick casual dinner buffet after a long day on tour

But we have learned to graze at the Bistro.

Lol   bitob . ..I love your choice of the word "graze", as I have seen people stuff their plates like they hadn't     eaten in days or that it was their last meal!  Never mind when the Portuguese custard tarts are rumored to be on board and then magically appear

briefly in the Bistro! LOL

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