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Has Crystal Gone Downhill


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Hi, apologies for the title but looking for plenty feedback, especially from 2020 travellers. We are Celebrity cruisers and looking for a change, viewed some great reviews on Youtube on Crystal so decided to check out cc. Very disappointed to see almost all reviews from end of 2019 onwards are bad and suggesting significant reduction in quality in many areas.

Our priority items are food and entertainment, not food snobs, just like good quality and choice of standard items. On entertainment we like musical shows focusing on pop idols or musicals.

We are in our late 50's and I guess consider ourselves young 😀, we do like to keep ourselves to ourselves especially at meal times but like to see action around the ship.

See some great Med cruises in 2021 but reviews are making us have second thoughts. Appreciate feedback from recent cruisers.

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6 minutes ago, ScotBrit17 said:

Hi, apologies for the title but looking for plenty feedback, especially from 2020 travellers. We are Celebrity cruisers and looking for a change, viewed some great reviews on Youtube on Crystal so decided to check out cc. Very disappointed to see almost all reviews from end of 2019 onwards are bad and suggesting significant reduction in quality in many areas.

Our priority items are food and entertainment, not food snobs, just like good quality and choice of standard items. On entertainment we like musical shows focusing on pop idols or musicals.

We are in our late 50's and I guess consider ourselves young 😀, we do like to keep ourselves to ourselves especially at meal times but like to see action around the ship.

See some great Med cruises in 2021 but reviews are making us have second thoughts. Appreciate feedback from recent cruisers.

In my humble opinion, I don't think any of us can know when cruising will resume.  Also I think cruising as a whole may change in some way or another in response to this outbreak.  It is very possible that some brands/companies will either change in ownership/character, or go away completely, and there might be an opportunity for new players to enter the industry when cruising resumes in some form.  I personally think it is very premature to make your future cruise decisions now, and it would be rather brave for you to put down any money down for a future cruise at this time..

 

Given that, I can only tell you about our experience on Crystal vs. Celebrity pre-outbreak.  I think the best part of any Crystal cruise was that everyone onboard received outstanding service, regardless of the size/cost of the cabin, which is not the case with Celebrity.  We used to take Celebrity cruises when we were younger, but we took our first Crystal cruise in my mid 30's and we were hooked.   That was about 15 years ago, and at that time, the demographics of a Crystal cruise was much older than us.  I think it is still the case, but Crystal, in the past few years, have been trying much harder to entice younger people to try them, and our most recent (river) cruise had a lot more younger people than our previous (ocean) cruises.  Also, Crystal Esprit is known to have a younger and physically active clientele, for several reasons including the lack of a public elevator onboard and more vertically oriented public spaces (a few more stairs to negotiate than on Symphony/Serenity).

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We have sailed Celebrity on many occasions and wouldn't hesitate to recommend Crystal.  We were thoroughly impressed the first time we sailed on Crystal and found both the food and entertainment excellent.  The experience is thoroughly all inclusive which makes for a very relaxed, enjoyable experience.  The ships are superbly maintained.

 

We have several cruises booked on Crystal in 2021 and 2022 and can't wait to be back on board.

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We took one cruise on Celebrity and even though it was some time ago, we were cruising on more deluxe lines that the time.

 

We too can say we expect changes in the cruising environment after Covid 19.  No one will know how any of the cruiselines will be affected. 

 

If the customer experience and the past crew returns, you could not even remotely consider Celebrity and Crystal on the same wave length. I hope that will be the case again.  Food and Entertainment top notch on Crystal.

 

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Keep in mind that for the most part the only people who post reviews on CC are the people who love the experience or hate the experience!

 

Crystal has been our preferred line since 2000 but we also sail Celebrity on a fairly regular basis when we want a shorter getaway. The best way to describe it is as follows, we book Suites on Celebrity, and with a few exceptions, the Suite experience on Celebrity is the every room on the ship experience on Crystal!  

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My last Crystal cruise was last summer and I don’t think it has gone down at all. The crew is fantastic Symphony although old is better than many newer ships I’ve been on. Couldn’t do my scheduled trip this year but when we feel the time is right it will be Crystal for us

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Crystal has not gone down hill.

 

I have been sailing them since 2002 and feel they are better than ever.

 

If you love food and entertainment you should be very pleased with Crystal.

 

We have taken seven Celebrity cruises and it was our go to line for our first several years of cruising after we sailed Crystal a few times we sailed Celebrity again.  Fond memories of the line and we did enjoy their suites and other aspects sailing them.

 

I would highly recommend giving Crystal a shot.

 

Unfortunately many people who sail Crystal regularly and enjoy it don't write reviews.  However they return year after year and that says it all.

 

Keith

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13 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

I disembarked the Serenity on March 3.  As of then Crystal had NOT gone downhill in the least. 

 

Roy

 

I agree. I disembarked the Symphony Feb 16 after what has been come to be know as the Flying Dutchman cruise and I can say that everything on the ship was as good as ever, maybe even better, as we sailed through the South China Sea looking for refuge! (That's a little bit exaggerated, but only slightly!)

 

Patty

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2 hours ago, Texas Tillie said:

 

I agree. I disembarked the Symphony Feb 16 after what has been come to be know as the Flying Dutchman cruise and I can say that everything on the ship was as good as ever, maybe even better, as we sailed through the South China Sea looking for refuge! (That's a little bit exaggerated, but only slightly!)

 

Patty

 

Since a perceived downfall is being discussed here, speculative assumptions ought to be expected. 

 

With respect to Crystal’s reliable excellence prior to COVID-19, I fully agree with preceding comments.  After the devastating impact of the pandemic, Crystal’s resources and opportunities for restoring reliable excellence are not self-evident.

 

A simple message contained in a childhood nursery rhyme came to mind:          “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.  Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.  All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.”

 

Unfortunately, major events can be transformative and catastrophic.  Resources and opportunities matter.

Time will tell!

 

Edited by Jim9310
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My general analysis is that every cruise line in every segment have instituted cost cutting since 2015 due to the good business environment, some cruise lines more obvious than others.  But cost cutting and downgrading has been everywhere since 2015, including many of my local restaurants that I no long patronize.

 

Celebrity is one of the most obvious cost cutters together with their belligerent harassment of guests for extra charge services along with their hyper advancement of class segmentation.  

Oceania was busy, busy, cutting with their new menu offering in August 2018, wow, what a decline in offerings, food ingredient offerings, combined with their excessive port changes, always quoted with "due to operational reasons". Their afternoon tea had frozen cheap white bread (former rye etc) tea sandwiches which we photographed and took to the front desk, only to get kicked to the curb (a sign of nervousness). Humm, going up the cruise line food chain does not guarantee anything.

 

One can only realize the larger trend if you have a) cruised many lines b) cruised many lines for many years and c) are not loyal to one line and focus only on the value to the customer. That is me.

 

 

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I have been cruising Crystal's ships since 1990 and the last cruise was in 2019. There have been many changes over the years and the only negative thing I noticed was the missing chocolates on the pillow at bed-time.

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I think Crystal is terrific. IMHO Crystal has gotten better in terms of terrific enrichment/educational programs, going pretty much all inclusive, except for tours, (a while ago), and, more recently, the move to anytime dining. The service continues to impress. While the lack of prompt refunds during this Covid shutdown is certainly disappointing  (and a dealbreaker for many), I believe that Crystal will be a great option as things start back up due to the relatively smaller number of passengers and crew, compared to Celebrity. I will feel more comfortable on a ship with a lot less people. Up to now we have been pretty  diverse among categories of cruise lines we have chosen, sometimes HAL, sometimes Celebrity and more often Oceania, Regent and Crystal. All depends on timing and itinerary. However, since Covid we will choose among the latter three due to smaller ship size. Would possibly consider going even smaller with Seabourn, except "can't sit still DW" insists on a walking track that is available at all times.

Ed

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35 minutes ago, sasejm said:

There have been many changes over the years and the only negative thing I noticed was the missing chocolates on the pillow at bed-time.

I don’t necessarily think that was a cost-saving measure. We never ate our chocolates (sure way to not sleep) and they all just piled up in a corner.  But maybe we’re the exception! 

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6 hours ago, ABoatNerd said:

Oceania was busy, busy, cutting with their new menu offering in August 2018, wow, what a decline in offerings, food ingredient offerings, combined with their excessive port changes, always quoted with "due to operational reasons". Their afternoon tea had frozen cheap white bread (former rye etc) tea sandwiches which we photographed and took to the front desk, only to get kicked to the curb (a sign of nervousness). Humm, going up the cruise line food chain does not guarantee anything.

 

One can only realize the larger trend if you have a) cruised many lines b) cruised many lines for many years and c) are not loyal to one line and focus only on the value to the customer. That is me.

 

 

My experience too with Oceania and Regent as well. I moved to Crystal and found it perfect for us.

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1 hour ago, Cruise-y said:

I don’t necessarily think that was a cost-saving measure. We never ate our chocolates (sure way to not sleep) and they all just piled up in a corner.  But maybe we’re the exception! 


You’re not the exception!!!!
 

Nancy

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1 hour ago, sasejm said:

I have been cruising Crystal's ships since 1990 and the last cruise was in 2019. There have been many changes over the years and the only negative thing I noticed was the missing chocolates on the pillow at bed-time.

I did not start cruising with Crystal until after the era of pillow chocolates.  (I was very unimpressed by a cruise with Carnival, and it took me 30 years to get over it and try a better cruise line.)  I would be one who eats the pillow chocolates, although I find it easy to walk down to the Bistro and get a truffle there.  Maybe having to walk a bit even burns off a very small percentage of the chocolate calories consumed.

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After cruising mass market lines (many Celebrity cruises), we tried Crystal in 2009. It’s been our favorite cruise line since then. We disembarked the Symphony in February 2, 2020. All was well, without any downhill aspect. The food, service, entertainment and enrichment activities are beyond what any other cruise line offers. Of course, as others have noted, things will be different in the new era, but I don’t think those aspects will change.

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Glad to hear that so many of you comment on the stability of the Crystal product.

 

Sigh, hoping this will continue in the future. Was just ready to make my first Crystal booking when the virus hit. 

 

Fingers crossed.

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2 hours ago, ChatKat in Ca. said:

My experience too with Oceania and Regent as well. I moved to Crystal and found it perfect for us.

 

ChatKat, thanks. So many people I know are increasingly disappointed with Oceania over the past couple of years. I was treated awful on a Panama cruise in October 2018 (10 negative reviews on the CC review boards, a record for a single voyage, check it out re: Regatta). So will not ever patronize Oceania again. 

 

It is rather like Celebrity, who trades on their past reputation, but the reality is much less.

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We last sailed over the 2019 holidays. We think that Crystal has improved in recent years.  Both ocean ships have had relatively large capital improvements made.  We still call “Waterside” the “Dining Room,” but that is just one example of the investment.  I think that Crystal has, in fact, removed cabins on the ocean ships rather than adding them, thus creating more space per passenger.

We very much liked the move not too long ago to be all-inclusive.  We think the food, service, and entertainment are all still very well done.

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10 hours ago, Halfmoonfan said:

We last sailed over the 2019 holidays. We think that Crystal has improved in recent years.  Both ocean ships have had relatively large capital improvements made.  We still call “Waterside” the “Dining Room,” but that is just one example of the investment.  I think that Crystal has, in fact, removed cabins on the ocean ships rather than adding them, thus creating more space per passenger.

We very much liked the move not too long ago to be all-inclusive.  We think the food, service, and entertainment are all still very well done.

And i still refer to Marketplace as the buffet (except, of course, in the evening !).

Our first cruise on Crystal was just before the Symphony refit and the move to open dining. Our take is that everything continues to get better and better every year. Our two regrets...this year will be the first since we found Crystal that we have been unable to cruise on the line. The second...that we did not discover Crystal earlier !! 

 

Our one hope...that Crystal survives.

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1 hour ago, kool kruiser said:

And i still refer to Marketplace as the buffet (except, of course, in the evening !).

Our first cruise on Crystal was just before the Symphony refit and the move to open dining. Our take is that everything continues to get better and better every year. Our two regrets...this year will be the first since we found Crystal that we have been unable to cruise on the line. The second...that we did not discover Crystal earlier !! 

 

Our one hope...that Crystal survives.


+1, Colin!

 

this year will be the first time we will not be able to cruise on crystal since 2004!!!  Also, I regret not being able to finally met up with you on our cancelled late October cruise.

 

Nancy

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7 minutes ago, kool kruiser said:

Me too Nancy.

 

Your photo inspired me to create mine, fellow dog-lover😀


what a beautiful dog...a schnauzer, correct?  Unfortunately, our precious Malone left us 2 years ago.  He was so special and we miss him terribly.  However, we have great memories and I see his pics pop up on Facebook often.  Not sure when we’ll get another dog but if we do, it will be another rescue dog.

 

hope our paths will cross in person someday.

 

best,

 

Nancy

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