Crystal versus Seabourn: Crystal Serenity Cruise Review by 76mike
Overall Member Rating
Crystal versus Seabourn
Embarkation: Monaco (Monte Carlo)
For a comparison, you might want to see the Review I wrote on Seabourn in May of 2012 under the name of 76mike.
The food aboard the Crystal Serenity was fantastic--very similar to that on Seabourn. It would be hard to "pick a winner." However, here are some differences with other details of each cruise line:
1. Our room was larger--substantially--on the Seabourn ship. We had a basic room with a balcony on each cruise. However, the Seabourn room was more of a suite--with a separate room. My wife and I kept getting in each other's way in our Crystal stateroom. To be fair, I assume that both were of the same "price category."
2. On Seabourn, the selection of wines and champagnes was much better. No Rose Champagne on Crystal. The hard liquor selection appeared to be similar on both cruise lines. And, it's included on both.
3. The specialty restaurants on Crystal are better than those on Seabourn. Crystal has a Nobu onboard--with a limited More menu. You can eat as much sushi as you want! And their Italian restaurant, Prego, served one of the tastiest meals I've ever had. Be sure to make reservations for both when you book the cruise. They sell out quickly and may have no seats even when you are boarding!
4. Crystal has about 1000 passengers; Seabourn around 500. A definitely older (mostly retired) and more American crowd on Crystal.
5. The friendliness of the staff is about equal--but with less passengers on Seabourn, you have a more intimate relationship with the staff.
6. We didn't do many excursions on Seabourn; we did on Crystal. They are of a very high quality. No complaints.
7. Not that the "Sail Away" parties were that great onboard Seabourn, but they were absent on Crystal.
8. Shows: maybe a bit larger and better on Crystal. But I guess that depends upon what you like (e.g., Magic or Broadway Shows), and what happens to be booked on your cruise.
9. Coffee: Seabourn had a far better selection of chocolates and pastries in the coffee shop. Also, if you want filtered--American coffee--on Crystal, they only have the same type of machine in every restaurant. It does grind the beans, but the taste is very bad. I forget the type of American coffee on Seabourn; both do have the Espresso machines for "designer" coffee drinks.
10. It might have just been the promotion we used for each cruise, but the Seabourn cruise was quite a bit cheaper.
Well, it does appear that Seabourn rates higher according to my criteria, but you can't go wrong on either cruise line. I don't understand the negative reviews for these ships. Maybe bad luck, or disgruntled passengers. I'd like to stress that my wife and I had a superb time on both cruises. And yes, how lucky are we all to be facing such a decision: Crystal or Seabourn!!
i hope this is helpful.
New York City
October 2013 Less