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Crystal First-timers review thread


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I thought I would start a thread to have Crystal newbies post their reviews focused on what met or exceeded their expectations and what did not. We will be newbies on the November 19 to December 12th B2B2B Miami RT and interested in your opinions. We are especially interested in the quality of the service, food, included wines, and music.

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Just completed the July 3 - 10 Bahamas cruise out of Nassau.  One thing that exceeded my expectations was the superb efficient and friendly food and beverage service onboard.  Kudos to the whole team !   Many of these employees were new to the team and working with masks under new protocols.  The food was very good however some of the more expensive included food items that I had experienced on Silversea 18 months ago were missing such as lobster tails and caviar.  Berries were minimal.  Ice cream and cookies yummy.

Bimini ports were canceled due to Covid.  All scuba diving was canceled and some other tours canceled due to weather.  Good work on Crystal’s part getting beaches setup with lounge chairs and umbrellas.  
 

Biggest issue in my mind was the Bahamas Health Visa process and Crystal’s handling of the Covid testing.  Sorry not allowing “slack” on this one.  The Bahamas website is not ready for thousands of people many of who are not computer savvy.  The website crashed on me 10 times while trying to apply for visa.  The embarkation process with testing was awful.  After traveling since 4:00 AM in the morning, waiting in line to show the visa, passport, vaccine card 5 times, waiting for the test, managing problems with receiving results…..  And then we are told to wait 3 hours for bus to ship !  No food other than pastries and coffee.  Some people were told that they could get the test at 8:00 AM.  Showed up and sat for 2 hours while tables were being setup !   Then when we got on ship we were directed to Bistro for snacks.  We got off the plane at 11:30 and didn’t get to ship until 4:30.  No full lunch was offered.  Hard to believe that this was supposed to be a top luxury cruise.  The disembarkation with the test had issues as well.  You were required to login to the Bahamas website again and pay the Bahamas $25 for the test even though Crystal provided their employees to perform test.  The computer room was crowded with people having issues trying to pay for test.   There were issues with the internet going down.   
I will give Crystal another chance but won’t go back to Bahamas.

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I am glad to read that your on board experience other than mainly the first day  was very good.   

 

I fully understand your frustration on the first day  but with all due respect I truly believe much of the issues you mention are not Crystal related and many could have  been avoided.  

 

I think  flying in the day  of any cruise is  a big mistake for many reasons and it sounds  like you did just that.  Too risky and often people are tired.  We woke  at Midnight the day we  flew.  Thank  goodness  wee had a pre-cruise stay.

 

Crystal Cruises has nothing  to do with The Bahamas Website and I know  at times the site could be a challenge and even some information provided from the site confusing.

 

I am not sure who would have  been told to arrive  to  the Convention Centre at 8:00 AM since it was stated it didn't open until 11:00 AM and we all had different boarding times ranging from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

 

It was clear.  You have a  boarding  time and if you  arrive  a lot earlier  you have to wait.  

 

Who  performs  the  actual test is irrelevant.  The requirement for the test is the United States of America and we as citizens are required to take the test.  The results are linked to your Bahama Visa. If you can get a test you can do wherever  you want.  Crystal was making the test available realizing many guests are flying home that day.

 

Also, Crystal highly recommended getting  the voucher at home.    I would have made the wording  you  MUST get the  voucher at home but Crystal was just trying not to dictate this.  To wait to be on the ship  to get the voucher is not a good idea IMHO because  the day  you need it the internet can go down.

 

I am sorry this  was a  tough day for you.  I  couldn't have done it the  way you did it.  

 

I realize after all that it must have been frustrating about lunch but when you  arrived in addition to The Bistro lunch was available at the Trident Grill and three is also room service.

 

Keith

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It was Crystals decision to do the Covid testing.  Crystal organized it and it   was poorly organized.   I am not alone in this assessment.   Many people expressed the same.  Sandals in St Lucia included the cost of the return Covid test.  It was easy.  Crystal could have done the same thing and paid off the Bahamas directly if necessary.   
 

Also we were new to Crystal and was told that the Bistro was the only option.  
 

You continually make excuses for Crystal.   I understand.  But if you discourage any negative feedback, people will just respond by taking their business elsewhere.   

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, lhcruzin said:

You continually make excuses for Crystal.   I understand.  But if you discourage any negative feedback, people will just respond by taking their business elsewhere.   

 

You noticed 🙂

Don't be put off by some people trying to counter a review of your experience and thoughts on it

and most certainly don't be put off Crystal by that behaviour as they are not Crystal staff and don't speak for or on behalf of Crystal - there's plenty of others on these boards and onboard the ships who have different views and approaches - and are happy to help out with advice if asked

Edited by Stickman1990
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2 hours ago, lhcruzin said:

You continually make excuses for Crystal.   I understand.  But if you discourage any negative feedback, people will just respond by taking their business elsewhere.   

 

Let me make sure I understand what you're saying here.

 

1) you, a passenger on a particular cruise posted to a public message board (that's about cruising) about your experience

 

2) another passenger on that same cruise replied to your post, again on a public message board that's about cruising

 

3) this other passenger had an experience somewhat at variance with yours, and explained in detail why that might have been so

 

4) this single reply on a public message board, made by someone in no way connected with the cruise line, other than also being a passenger, so affronts you that you will never sail said cruise line again

 

Well, ok then. 

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3 hours ago, lhcruzin said:

It was Crystals decision to do the Covid testing.  Crystal organized it and it   was poorly organized.   I am not alone in this assessment.   Many people expressed the same.  Sandals in St Lucia included the cost of the return Covid test.  It was easy.  Crystal could have done the same thing and paid off the Bahamas directly if necessary.   
 

Also we were new to Crystal and was told that the Bistro was the only option.  
 

You continually make excuses for Crystal.   I understand.  But if you discourage any negative feedback, people will just respond by taking their business elsewhere.   

 

I appreciate your honest review even if it started off wrong. I was hoping only newbies like you would post their experiences on this thread instead of regulars that have been Crystalized since we already know how they feel.

 

How did you like the included wines or beverages and quality of the musicians compared to other luxury lines like Silverseas?

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20 minutes ago, Jimmycruiser said:

 

 I was hoping only newbies like you would post their experiences on this thread instead of regulars that have been Crystalized since we already know how they feel.

 

 

 

Wouldn't those be most appropriately posted to the general cruise review section of CC?  If you post to the Crystal thread 1) you'll get less visibility than the general readership on the global review section and 2) you're going to get replies from prior Crystal cruisers.   

 

That's just how CC works.

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17 minutes ago, KenzSailing said:

 

Wouldn't those be most appropriately posted to the general cruise review section of CC?  If you post to the Crystal thread 1) you'll get less visibility than the general readership on the global review section and 2) you're going to get replies from prior Crystal cruisers.   

 

That's just how CC works.

In my experience and talking to others most people I know go to the cruise line brand they are sailing to see who has to say what good , bad , or ugly 

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4 hours ago, lhcruzin said:

It was Crystals decision to do the Covid testing.  Crystal organized it and it   was poorly organized.   I am not alone in this assessment.   Many people expressed the same.  Sandals in St Lucia included the cost of the return Covid test.  It was easy.  Crystal could have done the same thing and paid off the Bahamas directly if necessary.   
 

Also we were new to Crystal and was told that the Bistro was the only option.  
 

You continually make excuses for Crystal.   I understand.  But if you discourage any negative feedback, people will just respond by taking their business elsewhere.   

I do not.

 

When people  post  a review  of the cruise good or bad  my  response is always the same.  Thank you for posting your comments.   In the end  the only opinion that counts  is each of our own.

 

I do think most of what you are posting about  had nothing to do with Crystal.

 

As to the test I had mine  I can't tell you how many  people I know who had their test  and were very  pleased that there was not much of a  wait and they could either stay and wait for results  or get them via e-mail.  In fact, I  was playing Paddle Tennis with them and they went  and 15  to 20 minutes later  came back.  My wife and I had our tests and they went  well.

 

Crystal was  very clear.  You are not required to take a test  if you do not want to. For example if  people had post cruise hotels  they  said you may  want to get them at the hotels.  The voucher is not for Crystal.  It can be used at hotels etc.

 

I hope people post reviews good or bad about Crystal and their experience.

 

Keith

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3 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:

 

You noticed 🙂

Don't be put off by some people trying to counter a review of your experience and thoughts on it

and most certainly don't be put off Crystal by that behaviour as they are not Crystal staff and don't speak for or on behalf of Crystal - there's plenty of others on these boards and onboard the ships who have different views and approaches - and are happy to help out with advice if asked

I hope you follow this advice the next time someone posts something you disagree with.

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54 minutes ago, KenzSailing said:

 

Wouldn't those be most appropriately posted to the general cruise review section of CC?  If you post to the Crystal thread 1) you'll get less visibility than the general readership on the global review section and 2) you're going to get replies from prior Crystal cruisers.   

 

That's just how CC works.

 

I do check CC Reviews but no recent posts and I was looking for recent Post-Covid reviews of Crystal. In my experience I learn much more by going to the individual cruise lines boards I am interested in or are cruising on and enjoy the ability to interact with those posts.

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3 hours ago, KenzSailing said:

 

Wouldn't those be most appropriately posted to the general cruise review section of CC?  If you post to the Crystal thread 1) you'll get less visibility than the general readership on the global review section and 2) you're going to get replies from prior Crystal cruisers.   

 

That's just how CC works.


No it’s not - discussions on Crystal cruises belong in the Crystal forums and their request for feedback from those who have just sailed Crystal was very specific

 

Sure people can do formal reviews in the CC Reviews section but many choose not to do so and prefer to post in the forums - in this case they were looking for interaction and feedback so a formal review would not allow for that 

 

If people read the intro they would know what the OP wanted and experienced Crystal cruisers could simply let the discussion proceed without posting 

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40 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:


No it’s not - discussions on Crystal cruises belong in the Crystal forums and their request for feedback from those who have just sailed Crystal was very specific

 

Sure people can do formal reviews in the CC Reviews section but many choose not to do so and prefer to post in the forums - in this case they were looking for interaction and feedback so a formal review would not allow for that 

 

If people read the intro they would know what the OP wanted and experienced Crystal cruisers could simply let the discussion proceed without posting 


Spot on! It amazes me that people weigh in on a thread without regard to what the op requested or asked.

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1 hour ago, Stickman1990 said:

If people read the intro they would know what the OP wanted and experienced Crystal cruisers could simply let the discussion proceed without posting 

 

Yet you, an experienced Crystal cruiser, have posted twice to this thread.

 

Hoist, meet petard.

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7 minutes ago, KenzSailing said:

Yet you, an experienced Crystal cruiser, have posted twice to this thread.

 
Only to point out the inaccurate comments of others who should know better than to disrupt someone else’s thread with off topic comments

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We went on my first Crystal cruise nine years ago, and with 12 segments I guess I am an experienced customer.

 

My first cruise was really great overall and I kept coming back each year. I did have some issues with certain services and yet over time was able to find my needs met by searching for solutions.

 

What is funny to me is that this first-time cruise was lightly booked (only about 250 on Serenity) and one new CC person onboard reviewed the cruise really poorly because they didn't find any friends onboard due to "not enough passengers". They really and  truly blamed Crystal for this.

 

I remember them at our meet & mingle party and from an excursion and they were just not ready to interact with other people. I tried to interact but they really weren't prepared to do it. So the passenger fully blamed Crystal for their own lack of socializing skills.

 

I agree with Keith that most of any "bad" experience you have is about how you approach it and it is extremely critical to try learning to modify your approach to new situations. 

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