We believed the PR about Crystal's ultra luxury image, and were expecting to be wowed. Well, whilst overall we enjoyed our cruise, we were somewhat underwhelmed.
We were surprised at how dull and dated many areas of the ship were (we struggled to identify what the much heralded refit had done - not having seen the ship before), and had a real issue with the antiquated and permissive smoking policies operated on this ship, which meant we were often unable to find a location for a drink or indeed a sunbed that was not smoke affected. The small amount of sun we did experience on deck always seemed to be in the smoking area! And the nicest bars /lounges were smallish areas which did not enable satisfactory separation of smokers and non-smokers.
Perhaps we have been spoilt by recent cruises on newer smarter ships (notably Riviera) - but investment appeared lacking to maintain what we were expecting to be a top end premium product. Christmas decorations were overpowering and tacky beyond belief.
Not all bad news though. Food, and the evening dining experience was mostly very good - and very good indeed in Prego. Staff were mostly lovely and service very good. Caberet style entertainment was enjoyable. The pool deck was comfy, apart from the smoking issues. The room was comfy, although the bed could have been better. All inclusive worked well for us too, and offered some super cocktails.
Think the competition is overtaking this somewhat dated product. Needs some serious investment in the fabric of the ship, and some proper interior design - and most importantly a smoking policy appropriate to the 21st century.