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New Serenity Bahama Seven Day Cruises & The Future Cruising Thread


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We are booking, but not sure of date yet.  Spoke with TA today and it will depend on cost/ availability of airfare.  Probably July. Carolyn and Mary ( sisters). First time on Crystal.  EM

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9 hours ago, Essiesmom said:

We are booking, but not sure of date yet.  Spoke with TA today and it will depend on cost/ availability of airfare.  Probably July. Carolyn and Mary ( sisters). First time on Crystal.  EM

Wonderful news.  

Please be sure to check out the Sticky Thread I have written for first time Crystal Cruisers.  Once you book if you would like to be listed on the future Cruising Thread please post here and I'll add you on the update after you post.

 

Keith

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On 3/21/2021 at 3:47 AM, MisterBill99 said:

 

This could end up being a much more expensive cruise than originally planned!!!

Maybe the cruise fare in higher on C however once you are on board O it simply is usury  : high gratuities,extremely expensive  prices for special wines - probably the highest on cruise ships -  , spa and excursions  - 

so far 21 done on C , 3 Caribbean on O ( also no more O for sure ) 

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Not sure which thread to post this on

 

NCL has cancelled a whole bunch of cruises on 3 ships through October and those ships will be "redeployed."  I am guessing that they too will be in the Caribbean somewhere in summer and early fall.

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8 hours ago, vistaman said:

Maybe the cruise fare in higher on C however once you are on board O it simply is usury  : high gratuities,extremely expensive  prices for special wines - probably the highest on cruise ships -  , spa and excursions  - 

so far 21 done on C , 3 Caribbean on O ( also no more O for sure ) 

 

First, I was responded to the person who said that once you sail on Crystal you won't want to go back to any other line. Not that it was going to cost me much more on Crystal than I had planned (although the lack of excursions that I thought were included make it a small issue).

 

Second, I do not drink expensive wines, so that is not an issue for me. I usually sail on Celebrity and HAL, so Oceania was high end and Crystal will be a major change for me. Don't use the spa unless we have non-refundable OBC (which we get on Oceania since I still own NCL stock and did not dump it at the start of the pandemic). And I typically do excursions on my own, hopefully that will be allowed going forward (I know it is with Crystal Clean 4.1).

 

And yeah, tips are extra on Oceania and the other lines, but $15 a day is nothing compared to the higher per day fares.

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Posted (edited)

It is all about destination.   For me the Bahamas is the ship and being Crystal.

We cruise all the majors and will occasionally even sail on NCL.

 

Bahamas -- it is the ship and the Cruise line.

 

Antarctica -- Quark and the total solar eclipse.  This is our second trip and first was on the Amazing Silver Explorer.

 

Alaska -- this is free cruise on Oceania -- can't beat free.  No gratuities if you do 5 cruises they go away.  Like others who have been Crystalized - O used to be a favorite but their food and service have decreased as they grew bigger.

 

Japan  on Silversea -- Just booked this and its a pure destination pick, plus the cruise line and ship (Silver Muse) are excellent.

 

Med - Crystal -- again the ship (this time Symphony) is the destination (plus the ports)

 

South Pacific --  again the ship (Serenity), the long sea days plus some new ports.

 

As someone else on this board says "choice is good"

Edited by PaulMCO
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11 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Wonderful news.  

Please be sure to check out the Sticky Thread I have written for first time Crystal Cruisers.  Once you book if you would like to be listed on the future Cruising Thread please post here and I'll add you on the update after you post.

 

Keith

I have already read through your sticky thread, and asked some questions of my TA, who is experienced on Crystal.  It’s the reason I went back to her rather than booking myself.  EM

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We are first time Crystal cruisers as well and are excited to try this new luxury experience!.  We have sailed Royal, Celebrity, Holland, and Disney.   I have read the sticky thread and appreciate the thoroughness of the information. I also appreciate the friendly tone and responses from the seasoned Crystal folks on this forum.

 

We are Michael and Rike    Sailing RT Nassau on July 10.

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32 minutes ago, Va cruising said:

We are first time Crystal cruisers as well and are excited to try this new luxury experience!.  We have sailed Royal, Celebrity, Holland, and Disney.   I have read the sticky thread and appreciate the thoroughness of the information. I also appreciate the friendly tone and responses from the seasoned Crystal folks on this forum.

 

We are Michael and Rike    Sailing RT Nassau on July 10.

Michael and Rike, great news.  It is so nice you are going to give Crystal a try and I hope you have a wonderful time.

Keith

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July 3, 2021 Crystal Serenity Seven Day Bahama Cruise. We are Mark and John from Fort Lauderdale.

 

This will be our first Crystal Cruise! I am familiar with the line from working for Condé Nast Traveler many years ago. Crystal won the Reader's Choice award every year. But since we moved from New York to Florida in 2004 we have mostly cruised on Celebrity and Holland-America. We don't drink alcohol, so I've never felt comfortable with the fares for the all-inclusive luxury lines. However, Celebrity is now including drinks, WiFi, and gratuities in their fares, which have risen significantly. At the same time, the fares for this Bahamas cruise appear to me to be less than most Crystal Cruises. Can anyone confirm? We have an A1 verandah stateroom and the total cost is $736 a night for both of us. I priced a Crystal Cruise out of Miami for later in the year and the same category of stateroom was about $1,000 a night for two. Different itinerary, of course.

 

Celebrity just announced 7-day cruises out of St. Maarten, and I believe the cost of those for a verandah is likely to be comparable, if not more expensive, to the Crystal cruise. I suspect the food and service will be much better on Crystal. (Looking forward to the delicious cookies I keep hearing about, and the afternoon tea.) 

 

We are stoked about the Bahamas itinerary. I doubt we'll ever see this itinerary again so we have at least one thing to thank Covid-19 for. We will be traveling to Bimini via the large catamaran ferry out of Port Everglades and staying at the Hilton for two nights prior to the cruise. The resort is also owned by Crystal's owner, Genting. (Unfortunately, the hotel's reviews are not all glowing like Crystal's.) From what I can tell, the ferry and the local airline, Silver Airways, don't come over to Bimini on Saturdays, so I wonder if most everyone will be coming in on Friday, July 2, or waiting to come over Sunday, July 4. 

 

One question: I'm a very early riser. Is there a place to get coffee, and preferably espresso, at 5 am on the Crystal Serenity? If not, I suppose I could order room service, but my spouse sleeps in and I prefer to be out and about in the early morning.

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1 hour ago, MarkWiltonM said:

July 3, 2021 Crystal Serenity Seven Day Bahama Cruise. We are Mark and John from Fort Lauderdale.

 

One question: I'm a very early riser. Is there a place to get coffee, and preferably espresso, at 5 am on the Crystal Serenity? If not, I suppose I could order room service, but my spouse sleeps in and I prefer to be out and about in the early morning.

I am a very early riser as well.

 

Things could change with the new COVID-19 protocols but in the past you could get coffee at Marketplace at 5:00 AM and at the Bistro at 6:30 AM.

 

Keith

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Spoke with TA again today.  Her fingers have been busy...  Scheduled for July 10 from Nassau.  Doing the basic OV cabin.  Flights are still being researched.  Will stay at Colonial Hilton using points.  EM

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26 minutes ago, Essiesmom said:

Spoke with TA again today.  Her fingers have been busy...  Scheduled for July 10 from Nassau.  Doing the basic OV cabin.  Flights are still being researched.  Will stay at Colonial Hilton using points.  EM

I will see you on board!!

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Keith maybe you can update/clarify what we are getting with a pre-cruise hotel arrangement. I have only used a Crystal hotel plan once before and it worked out well for me and my friend arrived Nice airport at different times but still each of us got private transfer from the airport (we were doing a hotel as a "Classic Plus"). For Nassau and Bimini hotels, it shows on the website descriptions they are "Classic Plus" but on my booking it shows as "Classic". I am curious if we will have the private transfer. I did put the question in email to my TA, but in my thinking these two levels of airport/hotel transfer are the main difference between Classic and Classic Plus. Can you clarify for me?

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1 hour ago, mskatiemae said:

Keith maybe you can update/clarify what we are getting with a pre-cruise hotel arrangement. I have only used a Crystal hotel plan once before and it worked out well for me and my friend arrived Nice airport at different times but still each of us got private transfer from the airport (we were doing a hotel as a "Classic Plus"). For Nassau and Bimini hotels, it shows on the website descriptions they are "Classic Plus" but on my booking it shows as "Classic". I am curious if we will have the private transfer. I did put the question in email to my TA, but in my thinking these two levels of airport/hotel transfer are the main difference between Classic and Classic Plus. Can you clarify for me?

mskatiemae, best to have your TA run this down as you are doing.  On the Crystal website it lists just one type of program which they call classic plus.

 

Typically as you noted classic plus would have as part of its components private transfers from airport to hotel, breakfast and an upgraded room and shared transfer from hotel to ship whereas the classic program would have shared transfers between airport and  hotel and hotel to ship, often no breakfast but this would vary by city/hotel and a  room they might call deluxe.

 

The writeup which the following link takes you to does not breakfast included, a superior room (what you find in classic plus) but doesn't mention whether or not the transfer is private.  So yes best to see what the TA can find out including whether one or two packages are available and, if so, what the costs and differences are.

 

https://www.crystalcruises.com/docs/default-source/default-document-library/nas---sls-baha-mar-2021.pdf

 

Keith

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4 hours ago, mskatiemae said:

Keith maybe you can update/clarify what we are getting with a pre-cruise hotel arrangement. I have only used a Crystal hotel plan once before and it worked out well for me and my friend arrived Nice airport at different times but still each of us got private transfer from the airport (we were doing a hotel as a "Classic Plus"). For Nassau and Bimini hotels, it shows on the website descriptions they are "Classic Plus" but on my booking it shows as "Classic". I am curious if we will have the private transfer. I did put the question in email to my TA, but in my thinking these two levels of airport/hotel transfer are the main difference between Classic and Classic Plus. Can you clarify for me?


My experience mirrors Keith’s description.  I’ve booked Crystal hotels a handful of times over the years (Classic only) and the main difference in the transfers between Classic and Classic Plus is the guarantee of private transfers for Plus.  That said, while I’ve had group transfers from the hotel to the pier every time, I’ve all but once had private transfers from the airport to the hotel because there was no one else arriving when I was.  That one group airport pickup was in Sydney years ago, where we had a minibus of people that all landed at exactly the same time.

 

Vince

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3 minutes ago, BWIVince said:


My experience mirrors Keith’s description.  I’ve booked Crystal hotels a handful of times over the years (Classic only) and the main difference in the transfers between Classic and Classic Plus is the guarantee of private transfers for Plus.  That said, while I’ve had group transfers from the hotel to the pier every time, I’ve all but once had private transfers from the airport to the hotel because there was no one else arriving when I was.  That one group airport pickup was in Sydney years ago, where we had a minibus of people that all landed at exactly the same time.

 

Vince

Good to know! I was thinking that my real preference is to have shared rides, and prefer that Crystal get us quickly to the hotel in whatever is efficient for the transfers they are doing that day.

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1 minute ago, mskatiemae said:

Good to know! I was thinking that my real preference is to have shared rides, and prefer that Crystal get us quickly to the hotel in whatever is efficient for the transfers they are doing that day.

Even though you would be vaccinated if you could avoid a shared ride and do private I would opt for private.  I supposed if it is shared there would be some form of social distancing but the way things stand if it was me I would prefer private.  JMO.

 

Keith

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i have also independently booked a stay at the same hotel that Crystal is using (sometimes booked up so you can't).  Then I do independent from airport to hotel and book the Crystal transfer from hotel to ship.  Cheaper that way if you can do it.  As expected the Crystal staff at the hotel treats you just the same as ones who booked  all through Crystal.

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On 3/21/2021 at 5:36 AM, Keith1010 said:

I decided to update the Future Cruising Sticky Thread found towards the top of the Crystal Cruises Board and added those of you to the thread which requested being added.

 

Should you wish to be added simply post here and this is an example of what to post.

 

July 3 - Nassau R/T - JohnDoe121 (John/Jane)

 

Keith

 

 

Oct 16 - Nassau R/T - Catherine 

 First time on Crystal after long time on Oceania. Like MisterBill99 said

it could end up being more expensive than planned 😁

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We are also trying Crystal for the first time after Regent and O, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to cruise my "backyard" Bahamas.  I am concerned about the ferry over to Bimini, though, as I have read some iffy things about the reliability.  Also, it looks like it doesn't leave until late Sunday evening. 

We will head over to Bimini a few days early as well to soak in the water.  

 

And. . . I'm a super early riser as well, and will be seeking the coffee bar!  What brand of coffee does Crystal use? 

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2 hours ago, cruisingxpert said:

Oct 16 - Nassau R/T - Catherine 

 First time on Crystal after long time on Oceania. Like MisterBill99 said

it could end up being more expensive than planned 😁

So glad you are giving Crystal Cruises a try.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

Keith

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