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Luxury Bahamas Escape to MIAMI


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Posted (edited)

This latest change in the Bahamas Escape itinerary adding a day docked in Miami is the most confusing and disheartening decision Crystal has taken just when changes to our travel would cost a substantial loss.   If I wanted to see the port of Miami I would have driven but instead I have purchased airfare, health visas, tests and run the risk of being marooned in Nassau.   I know they can but really? 

Edited by murphywolfe
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Posted (edited)

Has Crystal announced that they are embarking passengers in Miami (at this point), or are we just jumping to conclusions?  More than a couple of things would have to change in order for them to sell Miami departures.  They could make those changes, but this could also be a bunkering and provision stop (at least until it becomes feasible to sell cruises from Miami).

 

We’ve all read reports about the challenges they’re having with the chandlers in the Bahamas.  Just saying…
 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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We are in fact departing on July 31 from Nassau. My problem is Crystal taking advantage of the rules to make changes that diminish the Luxury Bahama experience at the last minute when cancellations lead to a significant loss.   This latest change also cuts the visit to San Salvador in half with a new arrival time of 1:00pm and with tendering it's almost a lost day.

 

Making Miami a destination rather than point of departure is a disappointment but we're betting once we get on board the anger and frustration will fade away.  

 

Florida Cruise Traveler - Navy: Port of Miami cruise ship ...

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We are on the aug 7 departure and just checked the PCPC and noticed that the overnight in Bimini has been replaced with a call in Miami on Monday. No official communication from Crystal yet. So we are still going to Bimini, just departing at 6pm Sunday and spending Monday in Miami.  We were planing to have a “ship” day on Monday anyway, so NBD from our perspective. I’d rather be sitting on the Serenity with a drink in my hand at dock then doing work at home, so no complaints here!
 

i doubt they will let passengers embark, because of the whole vaccine issue there. Like others have said, it’s probably a restocking stop. 

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1 hour ago, BWIVince said:

 They could make those changes, but this could also be a bunkering and provision stop (at least until it becomes feasible to sell cruises from Miami).

 

We’ve all read reports about the challenges they’re having with the chandlers in the Bahamas.  Just saying…
 

Vince

 

I would bet on the provisioning purpose but since such things are normally done on TAR day this effectively reduces cruise time, a significant amount on a 7 nighter.  I am also guessing that passengers will be ship-bound by ICE.

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1 hour ago, murphywolfe said:

We are in fact departing on July 31 from Nassau. My problem is Crystal taking advantage of the rules to make changes that diminish the Luxury Bahama experience at the last minute when cancellations lead to a significant loss.   This latest change also cuts the visit to San Salvador in half with a new arrival time of 1:00pm and with tendering it's almost a lost day.

 

Making Miami a destination rather than point of departure is a disappointment but we're betting once we get on board the anger and frustration will fade away.  

 

Florida Cruise Traveler - Navy: Port of Miami cruise ship ...

There is nothing on San Salvador. You are not going to miss a thing. We took the tour. Lol

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, murphywolfe said:

We are in fact departing on July 31 from Nassau. My problem is Crystal taking advantage of the rules to make changes that diminish the Luxury Bahama experience at the last minute when cancellations lead to a significant loss.   This latest change also cuts the visit to San Salvador in half with a new arrival time of 1:00pm and with tendering it's almost a lost day.

 

Making Miami a destination rather than point of departure is a disappointment but we're betting once we get on board the anger and frustration will fade away.  

 

Florida Cruise Traveler - Navy: Port of Miami cruise ship ...

 

I'm sort of lost on what rule Crystal is taking advantage of?  Also, if they suffered such a significant loss by losing the passengers that didn't want to rebook to depart from Nassau, what financial benefit do they have for extending that for most of the rest of the season (and making everyone after a certain point board in Nassau)?

 

 

1 hour ago, flyingshoes said:

 

I would bet on the provisioning purpose but since such things are normally done on TAR day this effectively reduces cruise time, a significant amount on a 7 nighter.  I am also guessing that passengers will be ship-bound by ICE.

 

In an ideal world, for sure...  But there is nothing ideal about the paradigm the travel industry operates in these days -- we're doing lots of unconventional things.  😕

 

I will say that Crystal has frequently done mid-cruise bunkering and provisioning on most of my cruises -- this would just vary in they would do less on turnaround than usual.  Honolulu is an example of a port that almost always takes on significant provisions and fuel.  I've even seen parts and such shipped there for loading.

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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I am sure we will not be able to get off the ship in Miami, or else we would have to go through customs and immigration and get a Covid test to enter the US.  Makes no sense.  If we don't get to San Salvador until 1:00, I guess Crystal will cancel my morning snorkeling adventure.  Geesh.

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Why are people so sure passengers won’t be able to get off the ship in Miami?

 

The Covid test requirement is for flying into the US on a commercial flight. US citizens can’t usually be denied entry into their own country. 

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57 minutes ago, BWIVince said:

 

😕Crystal has frequently done mid-cruise bunkering and provisioning on most of my cruises

 

Vince

 

Mine too but they are longer than 7 nights.  The last Hawaii cruise I was on was 14 nts R/T San Diego.

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1 hour ago, BWIVince said:

 

I'm sort of lost on what rule Crystal is taking advantage of?  Also, if they suffered such a significant loss by losing the passengers that didn't want to rebook to depart from Nassau, what financial benefit do they have for extending that for most of the rest of the season (and making everyone after a certain point board in Nassau)?

 

 

 

In an ideal world, for sure...  But there is nothing ideal about the paradigm the travel industry operates in these days -- we're doing lots of unconventional things.  😕

 

I will say that Crystal has frequently done mid-cruise bunkering and provisioning on most of my cruises -- this would just vary in they would do less on turnaround than usual.  Honolulu is an example of a port that almost always takes on significant provisions and fuel.  I've even seen parts and such shipped there for loading.

 

Vince

Vince.. crystal did not lose money on passengers embarking in Bimini on the sundays.. crystal called it a change not a cancellation. So insurance didn’t help nor did crystal!

We were  told to get to Nassau on our $$ the day before or reschedule at a later date.

all with 12 hours notice of our flight for the pre package.

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And yet ... Crystal is still advertising the Bahamas cruises, without showing the Miami stop.  Interesting!  If they have made the change, then they need to advertise the change.  What the is the phrase when a company advertises one thing, but delivers something else?

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5 minutes ago, njguy_south said:

And yet ... Crystal is still advertising the Bahamas cruises, without showing the Miami stop.  Interesting!  If they have made the change, then they need to advertise the change.  What the is the phrase when a company advertises one thing, but delivers something else?

Not that I disagree with your comment. But this particular day (i.e., day 3 from Nassau or day 2 from Bimini) is the only one that has changed, & that has been repeatedly. I grant that that affects the timing for other stops & probably feels crazy to Bimini boarders, esp. those who traveled FROM Miami or Ft.L just a day or 2 before.

As Pacific Northwesterners Miami would actually be an "exotic" port stop for us but if things continue to go poorly in FL Covid-wise we would probably stay on the ship.

 

Crystal would have travel agents' heads & websites spinning like a top if they advertised anew with each itinerary change they are making. I haven't been following what other cruise lines sailing in Bahamas has been doing/changing. Has it been this chaotic?

 

All that said, we are looking forward to our first try at a luxury brand cruise & hope all goes well & safely for everyone traveling & posting!

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, happy5 said:

Vince.. crystal did not lose money on passengers embarking in Bimini on the sundays.. crystal called it a change not a cancellation. So insurance didn’t help nor did crystal!

We were  told to get to Nassau on our $$ the day before or reschedule at a later date.

all with 12 hours notice of our flight for the pre package.

 

That is 100% correct.  That was a PORT cancellation, not a CRUISE cancellation, and it wouldn't matter to the insurance company if they had called it a port change or not.  You essentially get the same three options either way though if the embarkation port gets cancelled before you start traveling -- trip interruption isn't dependent on verbiage by the cruise line, it depends on timing and the specific insurance coverage.

 

1 hour ago, njguy_south said:

And yet ... Crystal is still advertising the Bahamas cruises, without showing the Miami stop.  Interesting!  If they have made the change, then they need to advertise the change.  What the is the phrase when a company advertises one thing, but delivers something else?

 

The change is not yet published or official yet -- we are just speculating based on pieces of information some people are seeing in the PCPC.  This is the cruise equivalent of seeing something inconsistent between you airline reservation online and an availability search during the week a legacy airline loads a schedule change.  Crystal will likely officially publish the change in the coming week.

 

Vince

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Let us all keep a level head about this.  I am cruising on this voyage on 31st July.  I am a first time Crystal Cruiser. At first, Monday was another port.  The people living in the port did not want a cruise ship so Crystal change it.  The second port did something similar.  Then Monday allowed for an over night in Bimini (Sunday) leaving early Monday morning.  Giving us a Sea Day On Monday.  Those are the facts as I can remember them.  Why did all this happen.  Root Cause, Covid-19 has the world in Flux. 

 

Then, due to Covid-19 concerns in Bimini, the first two (2) sailings did not go to Bimini creating a hardship for those coming on board in Bimini.  Reason for change? Root Cause Covid-19 has the world in Flux.

 

Now the over night in Bimini is no more.  Monday is stopping in Port of Miami.  One stop is mid-day again effect full day at that port.  Why stopping in Miami?  No clue and unwilling to guess.  Root Cause once again Covid-19.

 

Let us all be clear, most of us are upset because of the timeliness of the communication from Crystal.  Nobody likes change myself included.  We find out about important items on CruiseCritic.com some times hours/days before we get official correspondences.  It gives a sense of not being in control and knowing what is happening so we can make good business decisions.  

 

Do you REALLY think this is Crystal Cruises fault?  Do you REALLY think they are going out of their way to not communicate with us?  Do you think they want to get us upset, cancel ports, or say NO to anything a guests wants?  We all choose to cruise in the first weeks.  We knew it might be hairy.  Well, it was and will continue to be.  Let's just let things play out and stay calm.  

 

So you know I am not being condescending which is NOT my nature.  I have been cancelled three times so far, once less then a week prior to my cruise.  That cruise brand makes Crystal communication look like perfection.  Neither is acceptable however we need to know this is unchartered seas.  Cruise well everyone.

 

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17 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

I agree.  🤨

 

+1!!  At the end of the day, this could go a LOT of very different ways (including options around vaccination, covering penalties, law exceptions, etc.), and we simply won't know more until Crystal announces the change,

 

I know everyone wishes there was a magic change button that you just clicked and everything just happened at once, but in reality an itinerary change has a LOT of dependencies that can't start until something else is finished.  It seems like a reasonable ask for the cruise line to just notify guests in advance of the change and tell them that they are processing the change and guests will be able to take action on the change in a week and everything will match online then, but as we've seen from changes in years prior the cruise line gets even more heat for "not having everything ready before they notified passengers".  It's lose-lose either way, as we've seen over and over again.

 

Time will tell, and either way it's not much time at this point.

 

Vince

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Level heads and magic buttons is not the point.  If Crystal has changed the itinerary by including a port in the US and not the Bahamas -- when advertising a "Luxury Bahamas Escape" -- then they are really selling one cruise, but delivering another.  There may be those who booked and will book, thinking they are visiting ports in the Bahamas that are often missed by the average cruiser or tourist.

 

This would be no different than ordering lobster thermidor at an upscale restaurant and having the waiter serve fish stew in a thermos -- only to state, "Sorry, because of COVID, this was all we could deliver."

 

I already sailed the July 3rd cruise. I took the port changes (including missing Bimini and the Harbor Island/Spanish Wells/Cat Island/Day at Sea changes) in stride, knowing they were COVID related and the islanders did not want the ship in port. But the company should not keep advertising a product that it will no longer deliver, a "Luxury Bahamas Escape," and be honest with the customer or potential customer. (Regardless if "official" or not, Miami is coming up on passenger PCPCs.)

 

My concern is I am also booked on a Bermuda cruise in November -- because I love the Crystal experience and am loyal -- but am concerned that either the port of embarkation/disembarkation will be changed or we won't be sailing to Bermuda, but to Nassau! Perhaps what Crystal should be selling are "Cruises Roulette," where the customer purchases a week's cruise, and just sails to the ports of the company's choosing, rather than advertising itineraries that keep changing and whole cruises that keep getting cancelled.

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Just a quick note:  I noticed our August 21 cruise is now going to Miami on Day 3.  No notice from Crystal, just  happened to go on the "already booked" section & saw it.  No notice from Crystal.  Can't wait to see where we are really cruising to in 34 days.  First timer on Crystal.  Not impressed so far.

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My understanding when I booked my luxury Bahamas cruise July 11-18 was it was on those days and to and from Bimini.  Totally understand when different ports on the cruise had to be changed for various reasons… although I do believe Crystal should have figured things out before selling the cruise.

My problem is being told my embarkation and debarkation and THE DATE changed but my cruise was not cancelled..

so what is to stop them from changing to embarking in NY??

so I am supposed to change my air with 12 hours notice??

I was given the choice to rebook for a later date but now I am paying MORE for my air and having to get a new Visa which will cost me another $80.

and all of this with no assurance that the cruise will be as described when I originally booked.

very disappointed in Crystal who we have cruised with for years. Customer service and compassion seems to be non existent.

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6 hours ago, bz said:

Just a quick note:  I noticed our August 21 cruise is now going to Miami on Day 3.  No notice from Crystal, just  happened to go on the "already booked" section & saw it.  

 

Ditto for my October 16 sailing! Maybe I'll have Florida friends drive down to see us.

 

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11 hours ago, Sthrngary said:

Let us all keep a level head about this.  I am cruising on this voyage on 31st July.  I am a first time Crystal Cruiser. At first, Monday was another port.  The people living in the port did not want a cruise ship so Crystal change it.  The second port did something similar.  Then Monday allowed for an over night in Bimini (Sunday) leaving early Monday morning.  Giving us a Sea Day On Monday.  Those are the facts as I can remember them.  Why did all this happen.  Root Cause, Covid-19 has the world in Flux. 

 

Then, due to Covid-19 concerns in Bimini, the first two (2) sailings did not go to Bimini creating a hardship for those coming on board in Bimini.  Reason for change? Root Cause Covid-19 has the world in Flux.

 

Now the over night in Bimini is no more.  Monday is stopping in Port of Miami.  One stop is mid-day again effect full day at that port.  Why stopping in Miami?  No clue and unwilling to guess.  Root Cause once again Covid-19.

 

Let us all be clear, most of us are upset because of the timeliness of the communication from Crystal.  Nobody likes change myself included.  We find out about important items on CruiseCritic.com some times hours/days before we get official correspondences.  It gives a sense of not being in control and knowing what is happening so we can make good business decisions.  

 

Do you REALLY think this is Crystal Cruises fault?  Do you REALLY think they are going out of their way to not communicate with us?  Do you think they want to get us upset, cancel ports, or say NO to anything a guests wants?  We all choose to cruise in the first weeks.  We knew it might be hairy.  Well, it was and will continue to be.  Let's just let things play out and stay calm.  

 

So you know I am not being condescending which is NOT my nature.  I have been cancelled three times so far, once less then a week prior to my cruise.  That cruise brand makes Crystal communication look like perfection.  Neither is acceptable however we need to know this is unchartered seas.  Cruise well everyone.

 

Yes I do! If we can not go to Bimini why am I flying to,Nassau to go to Miami. It will be a nightmare. By law we will have to show up with passports for a face to face at least…maybe be force to leave ship. Been thru this in  St Thomas etc, do not think this will be easy and I am on for a month.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, njguy_south said:

Level heads and magic buttons is not the point.  If Crystal has changed the itinerary by including a port in the US and not the Bahamas -- when advertising a "Luxury Bahamas Escape" -- then they are really selling one cruise, but delivering another.  There may be those who booked and will book, thinking they are visiting ports in the Bahamas that are often missed by the average cruiser or tourist.

 

This would be no different than ordering lobster thermidor at an upscale restaurant and having the waiter serve fish stew in a thermos -- only to state, "Sorry, because of COVID, this was all we could deliver."

 

I already sailed the July 3rd cruise. I took the port changes (including missing Bimini and the Harbor Island/Spanish Wells/Cat Island/Day at Sea changes) in stride, knowing they were COVID related and the islanders did not want the ship in port. But the company should not keep advertising a product that it will no longer deliver, a "Luxury Bahamas Escape," and be honest with the customer or potential customer. (Regardless if "official" or not, Miami is coming up on passenger PCPCs.)

 

My concern is I am also booked on a Bermuda cruise in November -- because I love the Crystal experience and am loyal -- but am concerned that either the port of embarkation/disembarkation will be changed or we won't be sailing to Bermuda, but to Nassau! Perhaps what Crystal should be selling are "Cruises Roulette," where the customer purchases a week's cruise, and just sails to the ports of the company's choosing, rather than advertising itineraries that keep changing and whole cruises that keep getting cancelled.


Context is important here.

 

First, we don’t even know what kind of call Miami is yet because these plans have not been finalized and announced yet — it literally could be ANYTHING at this point because it’s too early.

 

Second, assuming it’s a technical call, then it’s a pretty specific fix that has nothing to do with NYC or Boston.

 

The original Bahamas itineraries were designed with a technical bunkering call in Freeport because none of the other ports have bunkering capabilities.  That’s uncommon because in better times we could embark passengers in Miami without irrational rules, but here we are, and technical calls aren’t unheard of — Crystal has always had some.  From prior reports, the vendor in Freeport didn’t seem to be providing adequate service.  Miami or Port Everglades would be the next closest bunkering terminals.

 

Bunkering in NYC or Boston would be a whole different ballgame.

 

That said, in the era of Covid, lots of things could happen this fall to prevent Crystal from embarking passengers on ANY of their cruises, including the Bermuda ones.  Nothing is guaranteed with this pandemic, as I’ve learned the hard way in the travel industry the past couple of years.

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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16 minutes ago, njguy_south said:


Context is important. I am so happy that you felt the need to play teacher to the rest of us! Please, from your infinite wisdom and high horse, instruct us on our opinions about the issue of advertising an all Bahamas cruise, but including a US port. Perhaps you could also inform Crystal why the cruises are not selling and why they are having passengers cancel. Let them know it has nothing to do with their constant port changes and everything to do with people not properly putting things into context.

Where did it say "All Bahamas Cruise".  To me, "Luxury Bahamas Escape" is fully consistent with an itinerary that features the Bahamas and these cruises certainly do that in spades.  Some things need to be learned with experience and Crystal would likely have had the same problems if they had waited 2 months to start the cruises.  Starting cruises at the end of a pandemic cannot be a sure thing and people who were not prepared should probably not have booked.

 

What happened is certainly unfortunate but the only alternative I see would have been to do nothing for an indeterminate period of time.

 

Roy

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