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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We are still in disbelief as to what happened to us at the hands of Crystal. More unbelievable is the uncaring, disregard they have exhibited since our return. We were assured this would be handled with the utmost attention. That has not ... Read More
We are still in disbelief as to what happened to us at the hands of Crystal. More unbelievable is the uncaring, disregard they have exhibited since our return. We were assured this would be handled with the utmost attention. That has not happened almost five months later. I could write pages describing this ordeal but will try to keep it concise. Our cruise documents we received had no information regarding the embarkation for our cruise. We figured maybe they did not have this information when they sent our tickets, and we would be hearing from them by text, cellphone, or email giving us this vital information. How else would we know how to find the Ravel ? They certainly have no problem contacting you when they want your money. We were in Budapest 6 days at a 5 star hotel prior to our cruise so we asked our concierge if he had this information. We thought it must be routine for them to know, although the ultimate responsibility was Crystals. He gave us the information he had and we went out to find the pontoon where our boat would be. We found it and were confident in his information. We never heard from Crystal. On the morning of our cruise we had arranged for a cab to take us and our 3 - 50+ bags and 4 carry ons to the pontoon (dock). There was a marathon with hundreds of runners that we were unaware of which closed the street we needed to be on. We did not know this until our cab could not get through. The cab had to let us out as he could go no further. We had no choice but to walk the 1/4 of a mile to the pontoon (5), the road was going to be closed till late evening. I was really worried because I was still recovering from major shoulder surgery I had in December but we had no choice. The race had ended so we dragged our bags through the street. It was littered with cups and debris which was getting caught in the wheels of our bags, not to mention almost being run over by the street cleaning truck spewing water everywhere, we barely got out of their way. When we got to the pontoon there was NO Ravel there. My husband called Crystal and they put him through to the Ravel. They were clueless as to what was going on outside on the street and told us to get a cab. They were at another pontoon 5 way down in the other direction. My husband told them of the dire straits we were in and asked them to send someone by foot to help us. I saw what looked like a dock master office and went in. They barely spoke English but pointed in that same direction. We tried to walk fearful that more festivities were starting soon and we would really be in trouble. That is when the Budapest police came along and told us we could not be in the street. We told them of our situation and asked them to please drive down and verify that the Ravel was indeed where we were told, which was almost a mile away. They did and came back and said it was there. We asked them to please help us. They took us, one at a time with our luggage to the boat. Their car was so small that only one officer, one of us and some of our luggage would fit at one time. No one from Crystal ever came to help. Thank god for the wonderful Budapest police. You can only imagine how embarrassed we were arriving with the police. We filled the survey they sent right away. We heard from various Crystal employees promising a swift response. It mostly fell on deaf ears until we received an offer of $125.00 each toward another cruise with a lot of stipulations. Still no answer as to how they were going to tell us where the boat was. We finally heard from the manager of cruise relations she said "the river boat industry is very different than ocean cruising and that Crystal must find a better way to inform guests as to where the boat is located. She went on to say they are currently doing that with the assistance of their IT and marketing department and hope to have a solution soon. One would think a company that touts themselves as five star would have had this important aspect figured out long ago She wished me a full recovery of my shoulder. That was it. I asked her in an email who in corporate was aware of this situation and she never responded. I am still seeing my doctor for the pain I have had since dragging our bags and may need another MRI to see if I did any damage. I agree with Radar 65's comments. Also know if there is a drought like they had in 2018 your expensive river cruise (ours was $10,000) could easily turn into a bus tour. Not exactly what you envision when wanting to cruise the Danube or other European river. We heard the details from our cruise director and they sounded bad. Through all my conversations with our cruise consultant in 2018 she never mentioned one thing about this drought that was so adversely affecting Crystal. More cons than pros with this form of travel. Breakfast only served till 9 AM in the main restaurant, limited other choices if you are a late riser. Cooked to order pancakes, waffles were only available by special request, very tight quarters in the suites, drought or too much water means boat cannot sail. too much water and they cannotget under the bridges. Small spa treatment room with one esthetician and almost impossible to reschedule. One of our excursions was changed and Crystal did not tell us so we had to change our treatments to a time that was not good. They also are getting rid of the Mozart. The river boat they touted as the Grand Dame of their fleet, the Queen of the Danube. It is NOT going to be a luxury river boat in 2020 and is going to Asia. They spent a lot of money refurbishing this boat not that many years ago, so who knows what is going on with Crystal. I also think this company has been sold maybe a few years ago. I would be very careful booking with Crystal. Read all the other reviews especially the lack of reimbursement due to the drought. If you don't mind spending big bucks on a bus trip, you might be fine with it. We have traveled all over the world and this was by far the most harrowing, dangerous experience we have ever had. Our first and last river cruise. Never again for us !! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because of its reputation as a high end company and wanted to experience the benefits of a high end river cruise. In the end, sadly, not any better than AMA or Avalon. Everything was good. But, you know, just good ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its reputation as a high end company and wanted to experience the benefits of a high end river cruise. In the end, sadly, not any better than AMA or Avalon. Everything was good. But, you know, just good isn't great and I was looking for a wow factor each day. (And whether anyone else chooses to write a review from our cruise, my comments were repeated by a number of guests.). Other guests who have travelled extensively with Crystal on their oceangoing ships rave out that. We may give that a try. We did feel very well looked after. The crew were very professional, enjoyed them every day. The tours were fine, the food was fine. Our bed was fine. Storage was fine. A disapointment for me was the fact that there was no option to dine from a menu at breakfast and lunch. Our previous river cruises offered that option. I didn't pay extra to eat buffet every day. And if you are not an early riser, forget having breakfast in the dining room. It Finishes at 9:00a.m. We are on vacation and we may be ready to dine shortly after 9 but that is already too late. We were able to help ourselves on the upper deck to breakfast items so we certainly didn't go hungry! The captain, first mate, chef all made themselves available throughout the cruise and they were all very personable. Our room was nice. The toilet configuration is a little odd. I feel badly that I can't be more positive about our trip. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip but it wasn't unlike our other river ship experiences and I expected more. So, a very subjective view but it is how I feel. I certainly wouldn't dissuade someone from taking a Crystal river cruise. Read Less
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