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Crystal Cruises vs. Seabourn Cruises


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2 minutes ago, jenidallas said:

They shared that they were having trouble settling in onboard because they just could not figure out “who their people were”.  Silly me... I thought they were perhaps shy and having trouble meeting others and offered up a few suggestions.  But no... it turned out to be an issue of what they thought were “wealth indicators” that they were having trouble spotting - obvious designers, insignia from private clubs, name-dropping - whatever they thought would help them identify people they thought were on a socioeconomic tier equivalent to or higher than their own.  The husband commented that people made it very difficult to tell their net worth

 

WOW!  That couple would have been more comfortable living 108 years ago and sailing First Class on the Titanic with "their people"!

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As already mentioned, Seabourn and Crystal are our favorite lines and we sail both happily.  I'm by no means a Crystal cheerleader (am seriously ticked off by their response to covid refunds) but I'm surprised to read so many negative comments here about their passenger mix.  Maybe we've been lucky, but I gotta say we've not encountered many snooty, unfriendly or judgemental passengers on Crystal, whether on their ocean or river vessels.  For the most part, our fellow passengers were enjoyable traveling companions.  Sure some acted with a sense of entitlement, but we've seen a few of those on Seabourn as well.  If we spot folks like that, we simply avoid or quietly observe with amusement.

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Sure!    It's sticking out like a sore thumb.   The only one who is not paired up, or with a group, or family.   Kinda, "Gee what must be wrong with her, that's she's on her own?"   I realize that most people are not thinking that at all, but the world often seems to be a Noah's Ark kind of place, and if one is on one's own, it can feel uncomfortable.  

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7 hours ago, MaggyCan1 said:

I have read this thread right from the beginning and I find the comparisons provided by various posters between Crystal and Seabourn to be fascinating.   I have very much appreciated reading them.

 

I have never cruised with Crystal, and based on the consensus that seem to exist among the reviews posted regarding the standoffishness/rudeness of fellow passengers, I never shall.    I am a solo traveler and have cruised now with SB five times, with the sixth booked cruise canceled due to COVID.   One of the most enjoyable aspects for me as a soloist is the friendliness of my fellow cruisers.   I have found, with very few exceptions, that everyone whom I engaged with at the bar, at a meal, around the pool, or during a tour, to be cordial and friendly.   That's very important to me, and the lack of those interactions would completely spoil the cruise, no matter the quality of the food, or drink, etc.   

 

I also really like the notion of the Hosted Tables and have frequently taken advantage of them.   The only time I feel slightly uncomfortable traveling on my own is when going into dinner, and having a lovely printed invitation with my name on it to dine with a member of the entertainment staff or an officer is wonderful.   I have heard some wonderful tales from these folk and had a good many laughs with other passengers seated at these tables as well.   Of course, one does not have to accept the Hosted Table invitation - I always call and either accept or decline the invite before the deadline given on the card.   The most important thing is to have the choice!

 

I have not yet booked a future cruise with SB; just waiting to see how everything pans out before taking the plunge.   But based on my own experiences as a SB passenger, I just cannot imagine cruising with anyone else.   And I would never, ever cruise on a mass-market ship again.   Too many people, too much nickel-and-diming to death.

 

I appreciate your comments about sailing solo on Seabourn.  I’m so glad you mentioned that dinner can be an uncomfortable time for you as a solo.  I completely empathize and agree.  As a solo traveler, I have no problems throughout the day whether on land or sea, but dinner can be an issue.  The dinner invitations for solos are one of the reasons I booked my first Seabourn cruise (next September). It will be nice to have the option to accept a hosted table or not.  I’m so glad Seabourn takes solo cruisers into consideration.

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13 hours ago, MaggyCan1 said:

I have read this thread right from the beginning and I find the comparisons provided by various posters between Crystal and Seabourn to be fascinating.   I have very much appreciated reading them.

 

I have never cruised with Crystal, and based on the consensus that seem to exist among the reviews posted regarding the standoffishness/rudeness of fellow passengers, I never shall.    I am a solo traveler and have cruised now with SB five times, with the sixth booked cruise canceled due to COVID.   One of the most enjoyable aspects for me as a soloist is the friendliness of my fellow cruisers.   I have found, with very few exceptions, that everyone whom I engaged with at the bar, at a meal, around the pool, or during a tour, to be cordial and friendly.   That's very important to me, and the lack of those interactions would completely spoil the cruise, no matter the quality of the food, or drink, etc.   

 

I also really like the notion of the Hosted Tables and have frequently taken advantage of them.   The only time I feel slightly uncomfortable traveling on my own is when going into dinner, and having a lovely printed invitation with my name on it to dine with a member of the entertainment staff or an officer is wonderful.   I have heard some wonderful tales from these folk and had a good many laughs with other passengers seated at these tables as well.   Of course, one does not have to accept the Hosted Table invitation - I always call and either accept or decline the invite before the deadline given on the card.   The most important thing is to have the choice!

 

I have not yet booked a future cruise with SB; just waiting to see how everything pans out before taking the plunge.   But based on my own experiences as a SB passenger, I just cannot imagine cruising with anyone else.   And I would never, ever cruise on a mass-market ship again.   Too many people, too much nickel-and-diming to death.

I have taken 8 Seabourn cruises as a solo traveler.  I was booked for my 9th Seabourn cruise in April but it was canceled.  I have not booked another cruise yet.

I always accept the invitation to have dinner in the dining room at a hosted table. I like that their seating arrangements separate couples so that everyone gets to talk to someone new.  I agree that Seabourn cruisers are friendly and welcoming.

The staff is very accommodating.  I did one Silver Seas cruise and it was pretty good, but then I started with Seabourn and here I will stay.  

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8 hours ago, CabinBoy2020 said:

 

I appreciate your comments about sailing solo on Seabourn.  I’m so glad you mentioned that dinner can be an uncomfortable time for you as a solo.  I completely empathize and agree.  As a solo traveler, I have no problems throughout the day whether on land or sea, but dinner can be an issue.  The dinner invitations for solos are one of the reasons I booked my first Seabourn cruise (next September). It will be nice to have the option to accept a hosted table or not.  I’m so glad Seabourn takes solo cruisers into consideration.

I could not agree more, CabinBoy2020!    I too am completely comfortable doing my own thing, on my own during the day, including have breakfast and lunch on my own.   In fact, it's kind of nice to be able to do what I want, for as long as I want, when I want, without having to consult with anyone else.     And SB really does seem to welcome soloists (as I refer to myself!).   I also appreciate and always attend the first solo gathering for cocktails to meet the other soloists on board.   It's a great chance to meet other people traveling on their own.   In fact, I met two people at that gathering for my Norway SB cruise in 2018 with whom I still keep in touch.   Indeed, I took a SB cruise from Montreal to Miami in Oct/Nov 2019 with one of the folks I met on the Norway cruise.   It was great fun.

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2 hours ago, plane7c said:

I have taken 8 Seabourn cruises as a solo traveler.  I was booked for my 9th Seabourn cruise in April but it was canceled.  I have not booked another cruise yet.

I always accept the invitation to have dinner in the dining room at a hosted table. I like that their seating arrangements separate couples so that everyone gets to talk to someone new.  I agree that Seabourn cruisers are friendly and welcoming.

The staff is very accommodating.  I did one Silver Seas cruise and it was pretty good, but then I started with Seabourn and here I will stay.  

Yes, plan7C, I too appreciate that the couples seated at the Hosted Tables are deliberately separated by the staff.   It really fosters the conversation and puts everyone at the table on a similar footing.   I would imagine that the spouses also appreciate an opportunity to chat with people besides their better half!  

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  • 4 weeks later...

Caffeine Free diet coke addict here- even for breakfast. Yes, they have Coke products. They do their best to keep me happy, and on most cruises they manage to provide CFDC.  Our stewardess usually hides a cache under our bed to replenish our fridge.  If they don't have CFDC in one venue, they send people other places to scrounge it up for me.  On some European itineraries, they have only coke zero - yuk - but they are so apologetic, I can't get too annoyed. On one cruise, they told me I was the only one on board drinking CFDC, and as soon as they saw me coming, they made sure to crack out the CFDC. They even kept a supply in the Colonnade for me.  We would grab a table at breakfast, and by the time we returned to our seats from the buffet, there it was.

 

I love the crew.

 

Linda

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Unfortunately, my last Seabourn cruise was around three years ago, and since we decided to try Crystal and Regent.  My best highlights from Crystal were the enrichment activities, the dancing classes, the theatre shows, the Magic Castle, and Waterside, their main dining room.  What I personally disliked was Marketplace, their buffet venue for breakfast and lunch.  It felt extremely cramped!  My best takeaway from four Seabourn cruises was the passenger mix.  I met so many lovely, funny, happy people, who helped make those cruises delightful!  Contrary to Silversea, you are not allotted a butler with every cabin.  I found myself missing many services that the Seabourn attendant could not offer.  Crystal offers butlers in PH and higher, and we splurged to gain this wonderful service.  Another negative for us is the lack of a walking/jogging promenade on Seabourn.  However, once we decide to cruise again post-Covid, we will certainly consider Seabourn.

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Thank You so much for your response whystayathome in regards to the Coke Products on Seabourn.  I am an addict like you but for Diet Coke.  I detest Coke Light and am not a big fan of Coke Zero.  I have never tried Caffeine Free Diet Coke but if they have that on board I know they'll have Diet Coke.  Like you I drink it from the time I get up until I retire at night.  I need the caffeine I guess like some people need regular coffee.  Given the cruise I am taking on Odyssey is after the Alaskan Cruise Season I know they will most likely not have any Coke Light given that is usually available in Europe and in South America.

 

And Thanks to Camillus112 for your comparisions between Crystal, Silversea and Seabourn.  I have never cruised on Silversea and as a single could not see splurging on a Penthouse on Crystal so I have never experienced butler service.  Since I have never had it I probably will not miss it.  But like you stated I will miss Crystal's walk around promenade deck but will not miss trying to find a table during breakfast and lunch at their buffets--especially their "themed" buffet lunches when it was impossible to find a table unless you sat at one around the outside of the swimming pool and sometimes even they were taken.  I will looking forward to Seabourn's passenger mix.  It sure sounds like it's a great bunch of people who cruise on Seabourn.

 

 

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20 hours ago, Camillus112 said:

Contrary to Silversea, you are not allotted a butler with every cabin.  I found myself missing many services that the Seabourn attendant could not offer.

 

If you care to do so, I would appreciate learning what services you requested from your butler.  In Yacht Club on MSC Meraviglia, I had a Butler along with a Stateroom Attendant.  I really didn't request much from my Butler; really didn't know of anything more that I really wanted or needed.  My most important request was on Embarkation late afternoon when my luggage had yet to be delivered.  He went searching for it, finding it, and delivering it.  

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4 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

If you care to do so, I would appreciate learning what services you requested from your butler.  In Yacht Club on MSC Meraviglia, I had a Butler along with a Stateroom Attendant.  I really didn't request much from my Butler; really didn't know of anything more that I really wanted or needed.  My most important request was on Embarkation late afternoon when my luggage had yet to be delivered.  He went searching for it, finding it, and delivering it.  

 

I'll answer with pleasure.  DH and I enjoy an afternoon snack in the veranda.  In Seabourn or in a non-PH cabin in Crystal, you will order from from Room Service every day and specify your wants every time.  A butler will ask your range of tastes and will surprise you with exquisite snacks, not always in the room service menu.  Also, should there be any issue in your stateroom (we've had stuck glass doors; not enough waste baskets, etc.), a call to your butler will avoid calls to the engineer, to the room attendant, etc.  The butler will collect men's shoes for polishing, laundry to be sent out, etc.  The butler will make reservations to specialty restaurants, change/cancel excursions, etc.  These are just a few of the services offered and, very importantly, a cordial and professional relationship can be established as most are very well trained.  

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On 10/20/2020 at 4:39 PM, Camillus112 said:

These are just a few of the services offered and, very importantly, a cordial and professional relationship can be established as most are very well trained.  

 

Thank you very much for your response.  I appreciate it.  

 

Some of the services that you described I have received when I had a Neptune Suite on HAL from the Concierge and from my Stateroom Steward.  On MSC Meraviglia, I sent a bag of laundry, leaving it on my bed as is my custom.  I assumed my Stateroom Stewardess took care of that and not the Butler.  

 

The things that I now recall that were probably "Butler" supplied on Meraviglia were maintenance of the huge bowl of fruit on the coffee table, supplying plates of macaroons and chocolates on some evenings, and keeping a supply of more Prosecco available with an ice bucket than I could reasonably drink.  A YC Butler, not my own, was available to escort me to the Main Theater for seating in the YC section for evening performances.  Once at that section, there was another YC Butler who was acting as a host for that section in keeping other guests from using those seats.  One, again not my own, escorted me to the aft showroom for a Cirque du Soleil and seated me in my assigned seat.  I am now starting to realize that I utilized the services of a "Butler" more than I thought.     

 

I think your post has provided clarity for me and caused me to really consider:  what was my YC experience with a Butler like.

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21 hours ago, Camillus112 said:

I'm glad I was able to help.  You were certainly pampered with escorts in the Meraviglia!  

 

 

I didn't use the Butler escort very much, but it was nice to have a section of reserved seats waiting for YC guests.

 

The Butler escorts are a service that many YC guests enjoy because the Butler takes his group (or an individual) to the front of the line waiting to get into a Theater.  For evening performances in the Main Theater, there is a dedicated line for YC guests.  Reservations for performances are "required"--so they say--but, I never had a reservation and just walked into the Theater via that route.  None of the staff in the vicinity said a word.  Upon embarkation, a special wrist band was given to each guest that activated the locked entrance doors to the YC, one's Suite, and called an elevator for Express Service to whatever deck (when that feature worked).  It's possible that the staff noticed the wrist band and that prevented any challenge.  Based upon the staff's reactions outside of YC, when a bartender or Steward noticed the wrist band, the good service became even better.  I ordered a Bloody Mary at a bar next to the mid-ship's pool.  Watching the bartender prepare the drink, the amount of vodka that went into that Bloody Mary was at least 3x the normal amount.  (It was a great Bloody Mary!)

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You will find that neither in Seabourn nor in Crystal there will be a need for reserved seats in the theatre.  There are ample opportunities for good seating, especially if you arrive a bit before showtime.  I think both these lines cater to a lot fewer passengers than MSC.  Contrary to bigger lines, there is actually no difference on how you are treated or serviced by the staff, regardless of you cabin category.  Since Seabourn does not have butler service, and their basic stateroom is comfortably spacious, I would recommend a decision based on your desire or not for a veranda.  I understand Crystal's basic cabin are much smaller than Seabourn's.  You may take this in mind.  Both are great lines, however.

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I never had a problem on Seabourn with our wonderful attendant.    She kept the fruit bowl filled with our favorite fruit and brought snacks when asked.   She also left other treats as surprises for us.   I absolutely loathe being paraded around by a butler especially to be put first in a line or seated in a special area of the theater.   Seabourn treats everyone equally no matter which suite you have.   Cunard does not feel the need to parade you in front of other passengers.   You have your own dining room and a separate boarding area.    You are not escorted by butlers to a seat in the theater.   You leave the ship when you want to leave and do not push ahead of other passengers.   Does anyone actually enjoy that?

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23 hours ago, Covepointcruiser said:

  I absolutely loathe being paraded around by a butler especially to be put first in a line or seated in a special area of the theater.   Seabourn treats everyone equally no matter which suite you have.   Cunard does not feel the need to parade you in front of other passengers.   You have your own dining room and a separate boarding area.    You are not escorted by butlers to a seat in the theater.   You leave the ship when you want to leave and do not push ahead of other passengers.   Does anyone actually enjoy that?

 

I understand what you are saying.  Did I "loathe" the few times that used a Butler's services as an escort?  No.  I appreciated it and I appreciated it for personal reasons.  I did feel "a bit uncomfortable" being escorted into the Theater for the Cirque performance ahead of the other guests.  That type of "lifestyle" is not me.  

 

Let me be clear:  if one is a MSC YC guest, one is free to use or not use the escort services by a Butler.  By my observation, a majority of the YC guests that attended the performances in the Main Theater found their way to the venue without assistance by a Butler.  

 

Sailing on a ship the size of MSC Meraviglia, having a section of reserved seats in the Main Theater was an advantage.  Surprising to me was where these seats were located.  Not in the first few rows near the stage, but in a separate section on the deck near the entrance to the Theater.  Easy in and potentially easy exit before the masses of humanity fill the Forward Elevator Foyer waiting for an elevator.  (This is a design flaw in the construction of this Class of ships, in my opinion.)

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On 10/24/2020 at 4:25 PM, Camillus112 said:

Since Seabourn does not have butler service, and their basic stateroom is comfortably spacious, I would recommend a decision based on your desire or not for a veranda.  I understand Crystal's basic cabin are much smaller than Seabourn's.  You may take this in mind.  Both are great lines, however.

 

Butler or no Butler?  No difference to me.  Cabin spaciousness is important to me.  And, I have become "spoiled".  Having a veranda is also important as well.  

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  • 1 month later...

Seabourn Odyssey had Coke Zero and diet Coke. My husband and I did a 14 day Caribbean itinerary. Before you embark, there is a drinks preference you can fill out. He had his Coke Zero. I prefer Pepsi, requested this beforehand, and had our fridge stocked the whole 2 weeks.

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On 9/24/2020 at 10:48 PM, MightyQuinn said:

As already mentioned, Seabourn and Crystal are our favorite lines and we sail both happily.  I'm by no means a Crystal cheerleader (am seriously ticked off by their response to covid refunds) but I'm surprised to read so many negative comments here about their passenger mix.  Maybe we've been lucky, but I gotta say we've not encountered many snooty, unfriendly or judgemental passengers on Crystal, whether on their ocean or river vessels.  For the most part, our fellow passengers were enjoyable traveling companions.  Sure some acted with a sense of entitlement, but we've seen a few of those on Seabourn as well.  If we spot folks like that, we simply avoid or quietly observe with amusement.

Having read through these replies it left me seriously worried about having booked our first 'luxury' cruise on Crystal. So I was pleased to read your reply. The decision was taken on itinerary more than anything as it seemed that the main 4 luxury lines were pretty similar, bar the fact that Regent includes some excursions - which apparently from Summer 2022 Silversea is also offering.  I see that Crystal's cabins are smaller. Which we have accepted. We like the restaurant choices. But to hear about rife snobbery made me quite concerned. The CC Crystal group seem pretty friendly to me, so I hope in 2022 after I have sailed I will be able to report back with some positivity. By the way, I was looking at the  Seabourn group to see if there was any indication of when their 2023 itineraries would be launched.

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I used to always sail solo on the old triplets and always had a great time.  Invitations for dinner were plentiful and it was up to me how to dine.   Since the triplets left the fleet I moved over to Crystal, which was always wonderful (never really encountered any snooty passengers).   Today I booked the Encore in July (fingers crossed Seabourn is sailing by then).   Why the switch?, not happy with the way Crystal handled their shutdown, poor communication and many are still waiting for refunds from April (I had to jump through hoops with my credit card after waiting months for any refund or news from Crystal).  Also, I'm unclear if Crystal will make it out of this, so back to Seabourn for now...

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