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Crystal Bach and Mahler Cancellations (through Nov. 2021)


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There was a bizarre news conference by the head of Genting the other day in which he outlined another set of grandiose plans [building a series of ocean ships for 1,000 to 4,000 passengers, branding them with hotel names, and having Crystal as the management company for them all] – and no mention of the long-promised replacement Crystal ocean ships.  I have been blaming Edie Rodriguez for the previous disaster, but now I think she was just the mouthpiece for this wild and crazy guy.  And I fear that Crystal in all its guises is doomed.

 

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7 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

There was a bizarre news conference by the head of Genting the other day in which he outlined another set of grandiose plans [building a series of ocean ships for 1,000 to 4,000 passengers, branding them with hotel names, and having Crystal as the management company for them all] – and no mention of the long-promised replacement Crystal ocean ships.  I have been blaming Edie Rodriguez for the previous disaster, but now I think she was just the mouthpiece for this wild and crazy guy.  And I fear that Crystal in all its guises is doomed.

 

I still think Edie is to blame.

 

Too bad Genting doesn't sell Crystal off somehow - I wish they could be their own entity.

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5 minutes ago, Coral said:

Too bad Genting doesn't sell Crystal off somehow - I wish they could be their own entity.

I think that would be a harder sale than Azamara.  Azamara has a clear focus and its ships are still beloved [both at Azamara and at Oceania], whereas Crystal's ocean ships have been viewed as beneath its luxury status for a long time and there is no 'Pacific Princess' available to give them a quick leg up.  Their yacht is another old ship repurposed from a non-luxury line.  Private jet? 

 

The one thing they did right was with the river ships, but even there the track record is a head-scratcher:  Mozart on-off-on again; two longer ships for German waters and two shorter ones for France – no make it four long ones and forget France. 

 

There hasn't been a time in the last five years when you could book a Crystal cruise and be sure that the ship you booked would still be sailing when your cruise set off.  And Crystal was clearly the weakest financially through the Covid pandemic.  I'm pretty adventuresome with my deposit money and planning time, but I wouldn't risk either on Crystal at this point.

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12 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I think that would be a harder sale than Azamara.  Azamara has a clear focus and its ships are still beloved [both at Azamara and at Oceania], whereas Crystal's ocean ships have been viewed as beneath its luxury status for a long time and there is no 'Pacific Princess' available to give them a quick leg up.  Their yacht is another old ship repurposed from a non-luxury line.  Private jet? 

 

The one thing they did right was with the river ships, but even there the track record is a head-scratcher:  Mozart on-off-on again; two longer ships for German waters and two shorter ones for France – no make it four long ones and forget France. 

 

There hasn't been a time in the last five years when you could book a Crystal cruise and be sure that the ship you booked would still be sailing when your cruise set off.  And Crystal was clearly the weakest financially through the Covid pandemic.  I'm pretty adventuresome with my deposit money and planning time, but I wouldn't risk either on Crystal at this point.

I can't disagree with anything you are saying. 

 

Their river ships were beautiful. 

 

My deposit was minimal and supposedly refundable. 

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The long-term lease or in other words charter for more than a season is a very typical structure in river cruising. I would love to think that this is the plan and be great for freeing Genting/Crystal from a financial problem and all that but I can't. I am getting a bad feeling from this article.

 

Many ships are bank or broker owned, or owned by another company that then leases the ships. Viking owns the ships after the bank loan has been paid (several years' contract), online source available for that info. Scylla is a typical lease company. I find it completely understandable to offer the ships to another owner, but the recapturing of the history, thanks @Host Jazzbeau, and the words of the Crystal people that do not match in my mind, I am sorry to say makes me sceptical about seeing a Crystal river cruises brand continuing the way it has so far.

 

notamermaid

 

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I just feel so sad about this.  Of all the lines, I think Crystal has the most passengers who will put them first over other lines.  They have earned the loyalty through what I have read was superior service, and outstanding product.  I feel for the crews and those who have worked so hard to bring the brand to a well loved one, and the clients who will be missing out.  

 

The last 2 paragraphs in that story do not sound good.  Sorry to all Crystal lovers.

 

 

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I agree, despite all of the crazy drama during the introduction of the river cruising, and the whole flip-flop situation with Mozart, I think Crystal has done an admirable job on providing an excellent river cruise experience, despite the fact that this was their first rodeo on rivers.

 

Perhaps Crystal and their products (river and ocean cruise products) could survive this crisis somehow, but it may require a little more transparency in their corporate communications to their loyal customers for us to know exactly what we are buying from them right now.  They have done a great job of creating more confusion and doubt among the customers (and probably, the investors) regarding their future.

 

My impressions is that Genting Berhad and Genting Hong Kong is doing everything for the entire empire to survive right now. What is not clear to me is how disposable Crystal is to them.  The marketing of the river vessels is very concerning that the Genting empire is willing to let go of some of the assets critical to Crystal.

9 minutes ago, Daisi said:

I just feel so sad about this.  Of all the lines, I think Crystal has the most passengers who will put them first over other lines.  They have earned the loyalty through what I have read was superior service, and outstanding product.  I feel for the crews and those who have worked so hard to bring the brand to a well loved one, and the clients who will be missing out.  

 

The last 2 paragraphs in that story do not sound good.  Sorry to all Crystal lovers.

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, AttilaTheFun said:

The announcement of our sailing being canceled was posted on June 18 and yet neither party has contacted us with this information - I only found out by reading these message boards!

Sorry to read that, not good communication from Crystal.

 

notamermaid

 

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35 minutes ago, Coral said:

If you book with an agent - it is the agent's responsibility to inform you of the cancellation. I have had several cruises cancelled and in all cases, the information went to the travel agent and they forwarded this on. 

 

Not defending Crystal but this is policy when you book with an agent. I do know Crystal does send out cancellations to agents from reading the Crystal boards. Now if the agent wasn't informed by Crystal - then I understand the frustration.

I think that’s how it should happen (TA’s receiving cancellation notices from Crystal), but the recent flurry of drip-by-drip cancellation of river cruises appeared to have not gone well in terms of communication.  For example, our cancellation notice came to us but not to our TA.  My TA tells me that this was not the first instance this month of cancellation notices not going to the TA.

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18 hours ago, Coral said:

My guess is to sell.


They haven’t owned the ocean ships in years, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t do the same things with the river boats, sell and lease back. This is not unusual in many industries. 

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The Travel Weekly article says "According to an email that a Florida ship broker sent to other European river lines, the five all-suite river ships built by Crystal between 2016 and 2018 are currently 'trading on the Rhine' and can 'be developed for sale.'  The letter also notes that 'the owners are very serious sellers.' "

 

That does not sound like an offer to sell and leaseback (and you wouldn't look for such a deal with a ship broker).  If this report is correct it can only mean that Crystal wants to exit the river cruise business.

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1 hour ago, Texas Tillie said:


They haven’t owned the ocean ships in years, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t do the same things with the river boats, sell and lease back. This is not unusual in many industries. 

I hope this is it. I really do. I wish they would state their intentions. I just couldn't let one leg of this trip be in limbo.

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3 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

If this report is correct it can only mean that Crystal wants to exit the river cruise business.

Unfortunately, I have to agree. Too bad, we had a great cruise on the Mozart in 2019. ☹️☹️

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20 minutes ago, CruiserFromMaine said:

Unfortunately, I have to agree. Too bad, we had a great cruise on the Mozart in 2019. ☹️☹️

I read somewhere that the Mozart had the highest satisfaction scores of all of Crystal's ships.

 

I hope there will be more info provided soon. 

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It wouldn’t be a surprise as technically they are the newest kids on the block maybe they didn’t want to get any deeper. We cruised past Crystal moored up twice because of water depth. As they’ve only been trading, river wise for a short period they’ve decided to as it where jump ship. I hope not for your sakes, fingers crossed. CA

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I would be curious if anyone gets any answers if they call Crystal. The person I spoke to had no idea when I called the other morning.

 

It maybe as simple as a sale and lease back. I really hope so. They have an excellent product. They also didn't copy what other lines did. If anything - they took their cruise experience and adapted it to the river cruise. 

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5 minutes ago, Coral said:

I would be curious if anyone gets any answers if they call Crystal. The person I spoke to had no idea when I called the other morning.

 

It maybe as simple as a sale and lease back. I really hope so. They have an excellent product. They also didn't copy what other lines did. If anything - they took their cruise experience and adapted it to the river cruise. 

Obviously, Crystal is not very open about this issue, so anything is possible.  However, if Crystal was planning to find a buyer of these boats for leasebacks, and if that's the only reason they are up for sale, I would think that they would not be this cagey about this.  Whatever Crystal is planning to do, at least Crystal thinks it is not the best time for them to make it public.

 

Also, saying that all five boats are "trading on the Rhine" is not really true.  At least three of these boats are not going to be used for its intended purpose at least through December of this year...though I'm sure anybody with a clue would just ignore that false statement.

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My travel agent called Crystal yesterday and asked whether they were selling their 5 river ships.  She was told "That's not true".  But she sounded a little skeptical when she was reporting the conversation back to me.

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