On the one hand, I don't want you to read this review, because we want to go on Crystal again, and don't want the ship to be sold out. On the other hand, the cruise was so nice, so special, that we feel we owe it to Crystal, and to potential cruisers to tell the truth. It was our first cruise in 20 years, and it was great.
First, the service. Perfect. Everything you read on here is true. I've never met so many hard-working, friendly, efficient people in my life. Our on-ship experience was contrasted by the horrible service we had on our flight to Europe on American Airlines -- and we were flying business class. Richie, Clark, Benjamin, and our stewardess Malikova were too good to be true.
Second, the food. Fabulous. I lived in Italy for six months, but the meal I had in the Italian restaurant, Prego, was better than any Italian restaurant I have ever eaten in -- and that includes all of Italy.
Third, the spa. Fabulous. Enough said.
Was everything perfect? Of course not. The classes on board --piano, computer, Italian language, bridge -- were so basic, as to be of little or no value to all but the absolute beginner. I would have liked some more intermediate and advanced classes, and I'm hardly an expert in any of those fields.
Also, the report we received from fellow cruisers was that some of the shore excursions could have been better. Also, in the restaurant, when we asked for champagne, I thought it was a little tacky that they brought us the most expensive champagne, without giving us an option for the more "moderate" choice champagne.
But these are minor quibbles. This is a truly great cruise line, that really knows how to do it right. If you take a Crystal Cruise, and you are bored, or unhappy, it is not the fault of Crystal. Look inside yourself.
This is a first-class operation all the way. Enjoy!