This was our fifth Crystal Cruise and possibly our last. In my eyes, it was the classes and fabulous, educational lectures during sea days during our prior Crystal Cruises which distinguished Crystal from other luxery & non-luxury lines. With port days each day of our cruise, there were no lectures. We found the attention of the crew much worse than it had been in the past. There were no beautifully presented luncheon buffets or the final buffet extravaganza that was too beautiful to touch. Our housekeeper didn't refill our refrigerator with items that had been used. She left empty, used glasses and plates so that we had to call Housekeeping to remove them. We needed to flag down waiters to refill our drinks during breakfast. This isn't acceptable on a luxury cruise.
Also, they bill the cruise as providing top shelf liquor however, the wines were only mediocre.
We keep kosher and as always, we found the food extraordinary. We even asked our head waiter to bring out enough of our baby lamb chops to share with the other diners at our table and they devoured them and rated them an A+!
However, my intent when I go on a cruise is to experience the cruise experience which can only be done shipboard. As there is nothing happening on ship when in port, that defeats my purpose. Will I go on Number 6? I don't know. So far I haven't found any itineraries that satisfy my requirement for sufficient sea days.
I didn't see any thing there that would make me come back. The stores on shore were typical tourist traps.
Skip it. Not worth the money.
Sorrento was spectacular. We hired a private driver who spoke English when we got off the ship and he drove us up the Amalfi Coast. There is a booth right when you get off a ship where this can be arranged. Don't take the ship's excursion as it is atleast 3 times the price and is on a bus so you can't stop whenever and wherever you want.
The Amalfi Coast is gorgeous. I have never seen anything so magnificent. Now I understand why some of my friends go back time and time again. The road is extremely narrow and winding so it's best not to do this by yourself. The driver said he has lost many a side-view mirror on that road. We ate at the top of the mountain overlooking th cliffs and water. What a view! We stopped at a limencello factory and received our first taste of limencello. Of course we bought a bottle to bring home which stays in our freezer for any time we want a "taste" of our Italian visit. We didn't have time to explore Taormina or to take a boat to Capri, but that is definitely planned for a future visit because of all of our ports, this is the one I am most likely to return to but not as a day trip.
I fell in love! Taormina was beautiful. The views were spectacular. We walked through the town of Taormina and found shops with beautiful ceramics that had actually been made in Taormina, not in China! I bought some beautiful napkin rings and would have bought more had they not been so heavy. We wandered through the streets to just get a taste of the region.
The square in Venice is beautiful. People walking, cafes surrounding it, musicians playing their instruments. We didn't see much of Venice. We had a hard time communicating with the people who run the water taxis. Venice is comprised of many narrow streets & alleys. It is a real 'walking city'.