1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Crystal Cruises
  4. Crystal Cruises Cruise Reviews

50 Crystal Caribbean Cruise Reviews

Too expensive for what you got.food was good, service was good. Shore excursions were expensive and poorly done. Complaints to the excursion desk were blown off. Not much to do on sea days or in down hours. Okay, I have to add more to ... Read More
Too expensive for what you got.food was good, service was good. Shore excursions were expensive and poorly done. Complaints to the excursion desk were blown off. Not much to do on sea days or in down hours. Okay, I have to add more to post. There must be fun things to see on Turks,Antigua and or St Lucia. But we were packed into small Nissan mini buses or rough riding trolleys. Some guides were good,some were poor or even hostile. On St Lucia, our guide referred to each KFC we passed as “Killing Foolish Children.” I have no idea why. Our cabin was very clean room service was fairly quick and good. Table wines served with dinner were okay. Entertainment was meh. Most shows were one third to one half full. Close up magician was good. In my opinion, Princess Cruises was a much better value. Their daily activities were more interesting and much more numerous. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Two years ago I had a cruise with the Crystal Symphony, and my husband valued it with a 10 + !! Fantastic... That is why I chose this year again for Crystal, but this time as a solo-cruiser because my husband passed away. Everywhere ... Read More
Two years ago I had a cruise with the Crystal Symphony, and my husband valued it with a 10 + !! Fantastic... That is why I chose this year again for Crystal, but this time as a solo-cruiser because my husband passed away. Everywhere is advertised that solo-passengers are welcome , there is a meet & greet party, there are hosts and solo passengers tables....etc. Before my trip I even checked that with an email to Crystal. They re-assured me. Well, nothing whatsoever. This cruise was not even worth a 6. A 3 star cruiseline would have done better. I was very disappointed and complained after a few days at the front desk and spoke to the concierge Mrs Arielle Goldstein. I have chosen for a 6 star cruise, paid for a 6 star cruise (plus a high extra solo passenger fee) and expected 6 star service. Was the atmosphere warm and welcome on the Symphony, on the Serenity it was cold and the crew was obviously not interested in the guests. The Asian crew was friendly, the crew from Eastern Europe was not. Captain and Officers were very present on the Symphony - mixing with the guests - on this ship they were invisible. The Captain's party was planned on an impossible hour and when I entered 15 minutes after startingtime, most people had already left... There was NO meet&greet party for solo passengers.* In the first Reflections was announced that there would be 3x a solo table in a specialty restaurant. Yes, but at 1800 !!! Who wants to dine at 1800 in an empty restaurant on a solo table ?? There was no organization, no hosts at the table, nothing. Anyway, I tried it two times. First time there was one lady, the second time the same lady and a man. A very sad situation and I decided rather to dine alone at a table.... Or dinner in my stateroom? Also roomservice was not an option. Ordering a simple pot of coffee had to be explained several times and ordering a meal in my cabin was not a success: it took 35 minutes instead the promised 20 minutes and the food was cold . The waiter dropped my glass of wine and it took him 25 minutes to bring me a new glass. Anyway, you will understand that I will not choose for Crystal again. I cruised many times with Seabourn, Regent, Oceania and Holland America Line and I am not a complainer but this cruise was far below my expectations . Two last remarks: 1. the food was OK but with cheap(er) ingredients. Nothing really luxury 2. Cabin attendant very friendly but sloppy and not alert to service as I had expected and knew form the Symphony. No good night chocolates anymore? Too expensive? Kind regards, Ellen W * After my complaint, yes they organized a 'solo meet & greet party.' You know when? The evening before disembarkation, (when everybody was packing) Saturday evening at 17.15 ! ?? Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We went on this cruise to share time with family, to escape cool weather and visit San Juan. We spent 3 days in San Juan, disappointing in these times where counties we have visited have prospered. True there had been a hurricane, but ... Read More
We went on this cruise to share time with family, to escape cool weather and visit San Juan. We spent 3 days in San Juan, disappointing in these times where counties we have visited have prospered. True there had been a hurricane, but very little signs of real growth on their own, just milking what they could get from the US. Overpriced goods and poor food. To us a cruise is measured by three things: 1) ship and Serenity was at least a 7. Embarking was a 10, debarking was a 4. Ship was well maintained, we have sailed it before and really missed the evening buffet. Our suite, was fine. 2) Service, as usual Crystal was a 10. 3) this was our third, and now, after the horrible food, our last. WHAT happened, did a bean counter insist n lowering costs and food was the only option? Rating - 2, compared to prior Crystal, Regent and Oceania cruises. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was my 60th birthday celebration so we decided to go higher end. We have sailed with Disney with our kids and lately on the newer HAL pinnacle ships. We were overall thrilled with the cruise and are now spoiled. We booked a verandah ... Read More
This was my 60th birthday celebration so we decided to go higher end. We have sailed with Disney with our kids and lately on the newer HAL pinnacle ships. We were overall thrilled with the cruise and are now spoiled. We booked a verandah cabin and were fortunate to be upgraded to a Seabreeze Penthouse with butler. I think the word penthouse was a little over exaggerated although very nice it was basically a larger verandah cabin with nice seating area and larger bathroom not a whole lot bigger than our verandah cabin on HAL Konningsdam earlier this year. The butler was awesome and was unobtrusive however there if you needed him keeping our cabin stocked up on wine, beer, soft drinks, water and snacks. every afternoon around 4pm he brought a selection of cheese, fruit , shrimp cocktail etc. Service on the ship was outstanding and the staff seem genuinely friendly and warm. Not having to sign for drinks, specialty coffees and specialty dining was great. As soon as you sat down in bar or Restaurant they were all over you with a welcome smile. I oversee a high end country club so I feel I am more picky than the average guest and I could find no faults. The food was super impressive even the basic dining room Waterside was outstanding. On HAL only the specialty restaurants were excellent the basic dining room was not that good. Prego , Umi Umi were fantastic, Silk was very good we did not try the Brazilian steakhouse. Pastries and Cappuccino were a welcome mid morning and afternoon pleasure in the Bistro. My wife and I are in our late 50's and were amongst the younger crowd , most guests seemed in their 70's however this did not bother us. Not nearly as much wheelchairs and scooters as on HAL. Entertainment for a smaller ship was excellent and exceeded our expectations, the Broadway themed cruise had a broad variety of shows which we enjoyed. The Stardust Dinner show was fantastic 50's style dinner and dancing with band, singers and dancers. Although we payed more for this cruise by the time you pay gratuities, specialty dining, pressing, internet, drinks and specialty coffees it was not a whole lot more than our recent HAL cruise and far superior. We also enjoy the casino and on this ship not was no smoking unlike the HAL ships which we hated. Overall we loved this cruise and will definitely cruise with Crystal again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This ship is elegant and the staff are all wonderful. Lounges are delightful. Entertainment is amazing. They even have a magician aboard who entertains groups of only 20 at a time with very clever tricks. Beautiful live music everywhere. ... Read More
This ship is elegant and the staff are all wonderful. Lounges are delightful. Entertainment is amazing. They even have a magician aboard who entertains groups of only 20 at a time with very clever tricks. Beautiful live music everywhere. Cabins are spacious and excellent. The food is to die for. It is the best cruise line we have ever been on and we have been on most. This was not our first time and it will not be our last. We have done over 150 cruises. Crystal is doing everything right. Anyone who complains about the deck chairs being held unfairly or toiletries not being properly displayed in the gift shop should get a life. This is truly a wonderful cruise line in every way. The specialty dining rooms are fantastic. Our favorite was the Japanese dining. The main dining room was also terrific. The Brazilian Churasceria was very different and we loved it also. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We went on this cruise to relax and get a full service treat and in one. This is our 3rd cruise on this ship and we were not disappointed with the room,service or entertainment. I enjoyed the trip because everything you do is paid for and ... Read More
We went on this cruise to relax and get a full service treat and in one. This is our 3rd cruise on this ship and we were not disappointed with the room,service or entertainment. I enjoyed the trip because everything you do is paid for and they don't nickel and dime you for everything . It is nice to order a new drink and if you don;t like it then you can order something else. It is also enjoyable to have internet service in your room and any where on the ship. The casual attire at dinner is a very comfortable way to enjoy the cruise and yet have great dining experiences . The choices for evening meals at 5 different locations is nice to experience and a change of taste at each one. I will book my next cruise on Crystal even if it cost more the experience is worth it . I have travel on over 25 cruise and this by far is the best cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This is a mixed review for what should have been a stellar cruise experience .... based on the considerable price per person that was charged. It appears that since the Chinese consortium has taken over this line ( last year ), some things ... Read More
This is a mixed review for what should have been a stellar cruise experience .... based on the considerable price per person that was charged. It appears that since the Chinese consortium has taken over this line ( last year ), some things have changed, perhaps not for the better.  We booked this back this  back-to-back "tres cher" 16 day cruise two years ago. We wanted to try what we thought was more upscale than Oceania cruises which we have enjoyed immensely. Unfortunately, we found that Crystal does not compare to Oceania on several important levels. Overall, while the entertainment on board Serenity was terrific, supported by very good and friendly service, the food was a major disappointment, in many venues including some of the specialty restaurants. Food: The food was consistently overly salty, highly spiced and meats were  tenderized ( we itched hours after a meal that had meat) ... with many dishes "smothered" in sauces that contain five spice, coriander or other distinctively tasting spices. Desserts were particularly disappointing, especially since the Executive chef is Austrian. Sadly, we had very few good meals, morning, noon or night in Waterside ( main dining room). Meats were not top quality cuts, along with very infrequent availability of steak. Fish, was abundant but overtly fishy even for fish that is supposed to be mild. Fruit juices ( just about all) highly watered down, and mixed cocktails lacked proper sweetness or condiments. We tried Mojitos, Pina Collada, Daiquiri's of different flavors, none of which tasted like what you would get in any restaurant. They did, however, make a good Bloody Mary. Wine was abundant. Waterside main dining room always had seating availability and service was superb, except for one disastrous lunch when we had no one to service our table. Except for soups, pasta entrees and bread, which were consistently good, most other dishes were lacking.  We had so few fine dishes, whether it be lunch or dinner that we began to wonder how the reputation of this line still exists? One night I had a rib-eye that was chewy and lacked flavor. Hubby had the Monkfish which was very fishy. Pecan pie that was so dense with pecans that it lacked moisture and was very dry. For  the "reported caliber" of this ship, we expected better.  You would also expect them to have sorbet, which is always available on the upscale ships. Not so, night after night, Sherbet is listed on the menu ... and Sherbet it is.  Salads are usually overly complected with add-ons like cauliflower, peas, chopped beet cubes. Who wants cauliflower in their salad? Homemade Pastas, sauces are indeed a strong suit. Try the fettucini alfredo or carbonara. One night Prego, specialty restaurant,  offered spaghetti ala vongole which was  very good. If I thought the fish was going to be fishy, and did not want the other entrees listed, I usually opted for pasta. We had a very poor meal at the specialty restaurant: UMI, where I ordered the famed "black cod", their signature dish, which was so terribly fishy. I sent it back after taking  a few bites, and got sick afterwards from the small portion I ate. Marketplace turns into Churriscaria  (Brazilian Rodizio) at night, something to which we looked forward. No reservations are possible. You show up, there is no Maitre'D, at the stand where you are greeted by simply a sign that says stay there and wait to be seated. You learn that the Maitre'D  is way around the bend in another part of the restaurant and he cannot see you/vice versa. We waited 10 minutes for someone to show, and finally walked around to other side of the restaurant and was escorted back to where we started and told to sit and wait for a table. We waited 45 minutes and finally were called.  We could see the chaos of this restaurant, as gauchos carrying meat on skewers scurried about, missing tables, walking to other sections, skipping tables who wanted to try what they were carrying.  The funny thing is that this restaurant probably has some of the best food on the ship, in terms of appetizers, meats only one cut of steak -sirloin) and desserts, but is so poorly managed that people get frustrated and leave because of long waits to be seated. This restaurant should have a reservation system. Our advice, get there a few minutes early for the 6:30 PM opening and know that there is a Maitre'D, but he is somewhere else where you can't see him and he can't see you. Note: We tried this restaurant again, during the second week we were on board, and got there a few minutes early. As people came we explained that someone will eventually come and seat them ... and that it is worth waiting for ... Our last night ( of 16 nights) at Waterside main dining room was the pits. Service was terrible, kitchen was slow, and our meals ... Pork Tenderloin, and what was supposed to be whole duck ( came as two small pieces of duck) were both dry and overcooked. Then, we could not believe our eyes as we saw the table next to us get served  Alaskan King Crab - never on any of the menus the two weeks we were on the ship, and Dover sole, served only once in the two weeks. Apparently the ship, will, if you ask  ... make upscale, off - the -menu meals for you, but you have to know to request them, at least a day before. Who knew??? Apparently not many people. Silk specialty restaurant has Chinese food ... sort of dim sum ... dumplings, egg rolls, terrific hot n' sour soup ( ask that they skip the hot oil added on top), other soups, and mini entrees, all in very small portions and share-able. The food was consistently good. You do need a reservation though, and it does not count against the rules of only two specialty restaurants per week. You can also eat late lunch in Silk, from 1 to 3 PM. It has some non-Chinese ( Reuben - awful, greasy, dripping mess), pizza and different Chinese specialties than at night. Prego, overall,  is the star of the specialty restaurants and does a good job with its offerings .... dense mushroom soup baked in a bread mini tureen; good salads, many interesting apps; wide range of entrees ... fish, veal, steak, all order-able with a side of potato,  pasta or polenta. We had superb service from Petar and Marko at this restaurant. There is also Scoops ice cream in Silk restaurant which offers Ben & Jerry's ice cream during limited day hours. Note: the waffle cones are home made, break apart in your hands and taste very "eggy". Stick to the paper cup serving of ice cream. Around the corner is a burger stand, with all the usual sides. They tend to overcook the burgers, so make your request for rarer cooking, firm. We were very surprised at what was not on the menu. All the major cruise lines usually offer, with regularity,  shrimp cocktail in the evenings, as an appetizer. Not so on Serenity. And only once, in 16 days, did they offer Escargot. The lack of upscale appetizers and steak left us feeling that this line is cutting back, yet not representing this in price. Further, by offering overly salty food it is costing the ship a small fortune in drinks since salty food makes you very thirsty! Pool: The pool is small and so shallow that at best you can walk and do a few calisthenics. The pool area has very nice couches, tables. Get one if you can by getting there early. For some strange reason, there are no bathrooms near the pool area and you have to walk all the way to the back of the ship or front to find a bathroom. Two whirlpools are right by the pool. Shopping Shopping is outrageously expensive. Full price++ for Ferrigamo accessories,  very upscale and overpriced brands of jewelry and watches. Even if you have a $1000++ OBC, it will not go far. The last two days they ran a few sales on Brahmin bags, priced close to full retail, only 15% off. Like us, any couples who had large unused shipboard credits were struggling to find useful items to purchase. Entertainment Entertainment is the star of the ship. They have multiple venues for such: Hollywood theater for movies, presentations. Galaxy theater (main theater) for major shows .... Starlight Ballroom for smaller shows. Serenity offers superb singing, dancing, music that rivals any major cruise line. Do not miss the evening shows which are held twice each night. Stardust ballroom, a small, intimate nightclub,  also transforms on formal nights to a "Supper" club.  On two nights we had Comedians who were excellent. John Joseph kept us laughing continuously with his jaded slice of life commentary. The Billy Joel review with Welshman J. Fox who starred in the UK and Broadway Bill Joel plays was terrific. Lovena B. Fox, songstress was also superb .... did justice to Tina Turner's Proud Mary. Computer room: Computer room is also a high point. It is properly staffed during the day, with two experts. It also has 12 very large screen Apple computers for use for passengers that do not bring IPAD.  They worked well and were greatly appreciated. Kudos for having a well supported computer system aboard. Cabin: Our balcony cabin was nicely appointed, but quite small and tight. Only room for a love seat, not full sofa. Bathroom has dual sinks, granite counters. For some insane reason, instead of a walk-in shower, this redesigned ship had a mini-tub-shower. Since the average age of passengers is somewhere around 75, the idea of seniors stepping almost three feet high into a tub and holding on for dear life while showering makes no sense. At least they supplied a rubber mat to prevent slipping. The balcony is small and tight. Here is where Oceania balcony cabins have it all over Crystal. Oceania has spacious balconies, lavish marble bathrooms with both shower and full tub. Embark/Disembark We boarded fairly easily, only waiting 30 minutes to get on board. Disembark was a nightmare. Apparently customs did not clear the ship as expected and getting off the ship was delayed for an hour and a half for everyone? People with early flights were panicking, trying to change their flights. The ship told people to report to Galaxy room ( forward) to sit and wait for their color tag to be called. Because, everything was backed up, there was not enough room in Galaxy, , and so people had to sit and wait elsewhere, and announcements were not being made about exiting by color code. Finally at 10:20 AM, someone came by and verbally told us, "everybody get off the ship". They just wanted us off. Overall, we did not feel we got value for this expensive cruise and probably would not cruise on Crystal again. There is no substitute for fine food that was expected. At best, we got a full notch below good food, certainly not the best possible cuts of meat, fish. Masking food with salt, spices and gravies is not fine dining ... which we expected Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My review of our recent back-to-back on the Serenity Caribbean cruise. Let me say we are not new to cruising and usually sail on Oceania (which is not a Luxury line). We chose Crystal this time because the price was right and we ... Read More
My review of our recent back-to-back on the Serenity Caribbean cruise. Let me say we are not new to cruising and usually sail on Oceania (which is not a Luxury line). We chose Crystal this time because the price was right and we wanted to try a different line but not a mainstream mega ship. We are not foodies nor big drinkers. We normally get an Ocean view or balcony on Oceania so we did book an Ocean view on Crystal (C1). Some will not agree with my opinions but that is OK they are MY opinions Some things we liked before even boarding was the fact that you can book Specialty restaurants right after you pay in full, even in the low cabin categories. You can also book excursions and some of the enrichment classes ahead of time if they interest you. Also, you can choose your bed preference and add credit card info for easier embarkation/disembarkation. Pros: Promenade deck where you can walk around the ship Coffee cafe with snacks all day I like that they list the Officers, guest speakers and entertainment on the website ahead of time. For those on the back-to-back in San Juan they offered a complimentary tour with lunch ..a nice touch Embarkation day they have several venues open for lunch They have a place where you can check your carry-ons so you do not have to carry them around until your cabin is ready Pillow menu Terry robe and lighter weight cloth robe Less public announcements Door bell at the cabin with service required button/privacy The brand of tea was very nice Cons: DH having to wear a jacket for 1 black tie only night ..per segment (takes up space when trying to pack light) Many smoking areas allocated for smokers. Even if 1 or 2 people in the area it is uncomfortable for non smokers to enjoy the area of the aft decks Lectures geared to American Politics Entertainment: Comedians. Magic shows and ventriloquists were not what I expected on a “Luxury” line Photographers Not many choices for the included wines No pillow chocolates or night light in the w/c or even an outlet to plug in your own nightlight Not sure if Crystal has figured out open seating or just Crystal cruisers prefer to dine alone or with those they already know People at meals seem to have cell phone or Ipads at the table texting whoever..very distracting to those around them .They should block internet signals in the main dining room and Specialties. Coffee is hit or miss. The Bistro and Prego were the best places to get a cappuccino or good coffee Embarkation day we usually eat before heading to the port. Regulars of Crystal said “oh go early and enjoy lunch in Waterside “. We decided to go and try it. Reality! We got to the port about 12:20 pm were given a boarding group number and sent to a room full of people waiting to board. By about 1:15pm our number was called and we signed in then boarded the ship. We checked our coats and carry on at the desk by reception then we were herded to the elevator to go to Marketplace for lunch. Only the regulars were taken to Waterside. When our cabin was ready we found they had delivered our coats and bag to the room left them on the bed with the door open so anyone could enter. I had my laptop/camera/phone and other important stuff in the bag .. not good for Crystal. I would have preferred to pick up my bag and had hoped it was kept in a secure area until then. Food is subjective but we found most meals were not quality ingredients. No fresh made pasta except one day they had Gnocchi. Afternoon tea they bring a stand of already plated things ..a waste of food IMO. We asked to just order what we like ..NO. Clotted cream for scones in a prepackaged tub and not freshly made and a small jar of jam. Whipped creme for scones??? We never went back ..the Bistro have the same offerings and you can choose just the items you want. In the dining room some of the choices on the menu were just bizarre. eg: Appetizer =1 tiger shrimp cut in 3 pieces with some corn in garlic sauce sprinkled with popcorn ?? Meatloaf as an entree and cabbage rolls another entree? Cheap peasant food and not “luxury”. Marketplace is a very bad layout with food stations staggered. The tables are on one side and sectioned off by screens which impeded the view of guests and wait staff. So many times coming from the table to go to the food station almost running into people or wait staff with trays of drinks/dishes etc. Evening buffet /Brazilian is a farce. You get your hot or cold items then sit and wait for the skewers of meat to be brought to the table. If you want 2 pieces of meat ..NO. You have to wait for that item to come back around. Took us 45 mins to get 2 items .. we gave up and left. We found some things at the Bistro to fill our tummies Prego was good and the offerings were similar to Oceania but some not as good. Silk was interesting but sharing plates were very small. Yes you can order more no problem. Trident Grill for lunch was good. The burgers are huge so we did not have more than one as it would spoiled us for dinner. We need not have worried as dinner was not that good most nights anyway. Grilled cheese sandwiches were nice option to have on a day when you did not want too much to eat. A couple of the production shows were very good and of course Lovena Fox was excellent. A classical pianist did 2 shows and both very good. We did not attend the lectures as they were of no interest to us. I did watch a bit of one on the TV but it was so boring. The pool area was a nightmare. People would be out very early and building their “nests” for the day. The staff did not seem to do anything about the hogging problem until many complaints and then the hogs complained so the staff backed off. Went to the aft decks but because it is for smokers it just stunk back there and always a couple of smokers on each deck. It seems a waste to have the 4 aft deck spaces dedicated to smokers. The artwork when compared to Oceania is tacky and more like Walmart art. Not appealing to the eye at all. The crew: Like all lines it is the front line staff who make the cruise good or bad and the staff were very good, pleasant & eager to please (most of them). Overall the cruise was fine and we did get a discounted rate. The old adage “you get what you pay for “ is true for this cruise experience. We were not Crystalized! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Beautiful ship. Excellent crew. We wanted a holiday getaway. Haven’t been back to Caribbean for many years. Friends highly recommended Crystal so decided to give it a try. This is mostly a ship for people who like food, alcoholic ... Read More
Beautiful ship. Excellent crew. We wanted a holiday getaway. Haven’t been back to Caribbean for many years. Friends highly recommended Crystal so decided to give it a try. This is mostly a ship for people who like food, alcoholic beverages, Bridge, Mah Jongg & computer classes. Short on sports activities. Dining: was rather disappointing. Aside from speciality restaurants, choice is Waterside, the main dining room which could be noisy & chaotic with mixed reviews on the menu and Churrascaria a Brazilian Steakhouse which is very good, part buffet & serves the same food every night. The best is The Bristo which has great coffee & light meals throughout the day & evening. Many days we enjoyed a light lunch here away from the chaos of The Marketplace Prego is excellent, the only speciality restaurant we attended. The Trident Grill serves burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches & is usually very crowded. The ice cream bar is a big hit. Liked the Avenue Saloon. Entertainment: Enjoyed the card magician and the Billy Joel show. Enrichment talks were mixed. Nice movie theater but poor choice of movies. Enjoyed an art class offered on several days. Complementary needlepoint kit offered first day in Palm Court. Wonderful violinist & pianist. Did not use Casino or pool area, small nice library. This back to back cruise was port heavy with only two sea days each leg. Ports: Biggest disappointment Over priced for length of time & quality. Poorly researched by set up person. Feel we wasted our money on most tours. Train trip on St Kitts was very good. Many islands recovering from recent hurricane damage. Loss of agricultural industry has increased tourism business & turned ports into Duty Free tourist shopping areas. Grand Turk had small beach crowded with chairs & umbrellas plus lots of shops. Nelson’s Dockyard on Antigua worth a visit. Service: the highlight for Crystal. Service crew is exceptionally good, friendly & helpful. Captain & Officers not very friendly or assessable Shops: very high end with only jewelry, watches & upscale clothing/accessory shops. Probably will not cruise with Crystal again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
One of the major reasons was they marketed as a wine and food cruise, and there were only two wine tastings in 12 days. They were very limited to 4 two ounce pours each and that was it. Additionally I would suggest more on board ... Read More
One of the major reasons was they marketed as a wine and food cruise, and there were only two wine tastings in 12 days. They were very limited to 4 two ounce pours each and that was it. Additionally I would suggest more on board activities for port days. Many of us have been to the islands many times and we picked Crystal for the ship. I also feel three evenings of magician entertainment was too much. However, after all is said and done I will definitely be going Crystal again. When you market a cruise as a Wine and Food cruise we expected you to live up to your description. To only have two wine tastings, each with only four two ounce pours is less than a reasonable person would expect. Their specialty restaurants were very good! I would highly recommend dinner in Prego and the late breakfast in the Grill. Those two rooms were lovely with great food and service. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We are die hard Crystal fans. After many cruises, 40+, we experienced issues on board. Frist the terrific 1. Embarkation and Disembarkation are a breeze 2. Entertainment was top notch. Any time Christine Andreas is on board you ... Read More
We are die hard Crystal fans. After many cruises, 40+, we experienced issues on board. Frist the terrific 1. Embarkation and Disembarkation are a breeze 2. Entertainment was top notch. Any time Christine Andreas is on board you will have a wonderful evening. 3. Enrichment was interesting. The timing of lectures was poor and interfered with other classes. 4. Service is always top notch and this cruise did not disappoint. The Lido staff is always working to make a great experience. Now onto the not so great 5. Cabins are in dire need of updating. Our 9th floor veranda experienced a flood due to pipe bursting in hall. I had to call the front desk before any assistance, and never did the hotel manager come to our room. We had noisy fans running for 2 days, and who knows if mold is growing. One other mention the movies available for viewing in the passenger rooms is awful, talk about dated, and the selection of TV channels is little better. We found the internet to be adequate. 6. Public spaces are showing their age with ragged carpet in Starlite Club. The renovations are an added benefit to many rooms but in the end this is an old ship and despite being very clean she is showing her age. 7. Ports are never spectacular in the Caribbean ; we did not leave the ship in Grand Turk or Tortola. I was lucky to experience the Volunteerism group and it was the highlight of the cruise. We do not use the Shore excursion desk as traveling in a large bus for hours is not attractive to us. 8. Dining was the spot that confused us as Crystal cuisine is usually a 6 star experience. Trident Grill, Bistro, Uma Uma and the best Italian restaurant, Prego, were spot on in every respect. Water side was a hit or miss. Broths and pastas were the same as always; it was the mains that were disappointing with little to no seasoning (maybe salt was omitted due to the age of passengers:), bizarre menus that many found difficult to choose an entree (king crab legs at black tie night tons of venison, duck and lamb), and a dessert menu that just needs a total update. Silk is better with each cruise, and the Brazilian steakhouse was nothing short of inedible. Tapas bar was the normal salad bar, and the vegetable area housed the same boring steamed veges, gummy cauliflower au gratin, and poorly executed roasted broccoli. We tried 4 mains and only the lamb was edible. My short rib oozed grease and the chicken was dry as a bone. In fact all the poultry on board was tough and dry. Another ? as crystals poultry is usually moist.Wish management would consider an American steak house to replace Churiscuria. The captain was the most inconspicuous captain ever. Expect for the Captain's reception he remained out of site. We heard many new passenger comment on the age of the majority of passengers. The average age was well into 80s and greater; many wheelchairs and assisted mobility devices were in halls. I also heard several passengers discuss the entitlement shown by some passengers especially to the staff who work tirelessly. Someone once wrote that some passengers leave their manners at home. I think they have no manners to leave. It will be interesting to see how Crystal moves ahead attracting a younger clientele. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Had an enjoyable cruise but it was not 6 star. Cabin was as small as, or even smaller than I have had on 4 star ships No bottle of ‘bubbles’ in the cabin on arrival. I have come to expect this on even 4 star lines. Light over ... Read More
Had an enjoyable cruise but it was not 6 star. Cabin was as small as, or even smaller than I have had on 4 star ships No bottle of ‘bubbles’ in the cabin on arrival. I have come to expect this on even 4 star lines. Light over the bed was unusable and was very uncomfortable as I could not find a way of moving it away. I kept hitting my head on it, and I am short. I don’t know how tall men cope. Most of the tours were sold out before the ship sailed and you could not book a tour less than one week out. Why? Tours were not really well matched to the ratings. I did a snorkeling and stingray encounter on Grand Turk. You did not have to snorkel if you didn’t want to. The stingray encounter was just in a couple of feet of water - no need to swim. Yet it was rated ‘strenuous’ and I did hear at least one elderly couple say they decided to cancel because they were worried it might be too difficult for then. Perhaps you need someone with an excellent knowledge of each tour to be available to talk people through what they will need to be able to do. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Like some people, I read negative reviews before I read positive ones. Given, that I have already made a selection, I want to see what I failed to notice when I first made my choice. I read the previous negative reviews of the Symphony, ... Read More
Like some people, I read negative reviews before I read positive ones. Given, that I have already made a selection, I want to see what I failed to notice when I first made my choice. I read the previous negative reviews of the Symphony, and they were rubbish. This was the best cruise I have ever sailed. The ship was impeccable and up to date. The wifi service was flawless. The staterooms were roomy and well-appointed. The public rooms were beautifully adorned. The staff was cheerful and attentive. One-fellow passenger quipped, I have never seen such a happy crew. The shows were perfect, and the food was divine. My only complaint was that I wish they had a later dining option. The dining rooms all close at 9 pm, and this bumps against the shows, which are typically at 7:30 and 9:15 pm. Also, the absence of towel origami was a big positive. The ship and the passengers reek of class, and that made for a very pleasant experience! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Overall one of our best cruises, the real rating is 4.5 stars due to a bout of food poisoning and the filthy condition of our stateroom on arrival and the lack of response from the Hotel Director. The service of the staff outshine their ... Read More
Overall one of our best cruises, the real rating is 4.5 stars due to a bout of food poisoning and the filthy condition of our stateroom on arrival and the lack of response from the Hotel Director. The service of the staff outshine their managerial staff. I think if it had been a short cruise it would have been our first and last time on Crystal but with 19 nights the good times well and truly outshone these early mishaps. Anyway onto the review: My wife and I are an Australian couple in our 40's who are early retirees and now wander the globe with no home base. We have progressively added more cruises to our itinerary over the last couple of years. We booked this cruise to celebrate my wifes birthday and to help us relocate to our next destination - South America. After booking this cruise early we booked several other cruises and this became the final leg of a 6 cruise 91 days at sea odyssey! I am pleased to report we ended on a high (despite 2 major hiccups - more to follow). This was our first Crystal cruise and we also tried Seabourn and Viking for the first time in the months preceding. We spent several days in NOLA beforehand (2nd visit), loved the WW2 museum. Embarkation: 2 parts to this experience. Firstly, we boarded at a makeshift terminal but this was no issue and the process was very good as we were met by an abundance of on ground staff and quickly ushered onto the ship where processing was very quick. A glass of champagne and into the dining room for the first off many excellent dining experiences. We then self toured the ship and this is when our first major problem occurred. We passed our room and thought we might drop our hand luggage off (still 60 minutes until rooms were ready), we noticed our luggage was in the room so asked a passing stewardess if this meant the room was ready reiterating that we did not want to rush them and were happy to wait, she replied it was. We entered the room and immediately noticed bits of rubbish on the floors in both the bathroom and room so we left assuming the cleaning had not been completed. We returned at the designated time and found it in the same condition, our stewardess arrived and we pointed this out and she assured us it had been vacuumed but would do it again. She left and as we started unpacking we noticed the air conditioner was not working, we also noticed rubbish in several drawers and in the cupboard, that the hair dryer had not been packed away, we also began to notice that we could not breathe properly and I started having an asthma attack within 30 minutes. We called her back and she noticed the broken a/c, we also noticed there was dust on every surface. She attempted to clean up but after the drill we noticed the hallway was also dusty and difficult to breathe in (we noticed that repair work was constant in the ceilings on this level and the one above for the entire cruise but never received an explanation). We immediately went to Concierge who were apologetic and offered to move us rooms. We waited until 7.30pm for the room to be ready (I didn't mind as requested a deep clean). We were told it was an upgrade, seemed exactly the same to me. The concierge was apologetic but I requested an explanation as to how a cabin could be inspected and be made available but none was forthcoming, I also requested to speak to the Hotel Director but was instead sent a letter and chocolates, this is nice but a telephone call or meeting should have occurred. An email to guest relations was also unanswered. Luckily my asthma attack only lasted 2 days and didn't destroy our cruise experience. Ship: noticeably older than our recent experiences on Seabourn and Viking but nevertheless a lovely ship. Very impressed by the amount of space (enhanced by the fact the ship was only half full). Enjoyed all the available spaces on the aft decks, walking availability via the promenade and the upper deck, loved paddle tennis and table tennis. Crows nest bar was gorgeous, enjoyed the Cove, loved the dedicated movie cinema, great library with a wonderful dedicated librarian. The theatre was an intimate venue with no line of sight problems as encountered on her competitors. We are not pool people on cruise ships although we did like the design of the pool deck with couches, loungers, tables etc providing a good variety of lounging choice. One glaring problem is the showers are a long way from the pool and hence no one used them, we noticed many people come straight from jogging and gym workouts and jump straight into pool and jacuzzi in sweaty gym wear, also heard multiple guests complaining of stomach upsets while in the jacuzzi - so did not even contemplate using pool or spa which was a shame on such a hot cruise. Overall we love the size and design of this ship. Cabin: We booked an oceanview guarantee and were assigned an E1, which I have discovered is a one category upgrade after the above incident we were moved to a C1 (apparently a 2 level upgrade). There was no difference in the cabins themselves and in fact the location of the upgrade was at the very rear of the ship as opposed to the other which was mid, I later found out our first cabin had a slightly obstructed view (we never noticed). The cabins are probably Crystal's weak point, they are not bad but in comparison to Seabourn and even Viking they are small and basic. The bed was very comfortable, the TV system excellent (except no access to daily menus), the small sofa and desk were typical of major lines. Storage was sufficient but well short of Seabourn and Regent. The airconditioning was very basic and a little inconsistent. The cabin overlooked the promenade. The bathroom was small (very narrow) but the double sinks were nice. The shower doubles as a bath with a curtain, water temperature and pressure were excellent. We noticed the toilet often needed multiple flushes, probably just the age of the ship. Our room attendant was excellent! Dining: Phenomenal. The restaurant managers were great and our experiences were always excellent. This was the best food we have had at sea. The dining room for dinner was superb with great service, interesting menus, tasty food with great presentation. Unlike on the other lines we were treated very favourably, we found preference was often given to more mature passengers on those lines but the staff on Crystal gave us the 5 star treatment. We loved the fact service was always professional but the staff could still be personal and funny. Umi Uma was first class Japanese, simply surperb. Prego was very good but it did depend on what you ordered, too many dishes were "deconstructed". We also loved the variety and casualness provided by the 2 other major restaurants, Churrascaria and Silk. There was plenty of variety and choices for lunch with the main restaurant (the best choice but not as good as at night), the grill (we tended to use more for snacks), the buffet (good without being great), Silk (only ate once). A special mention for the room service, this became our go to option for breakfast, we never had to pre-order, we simply called and it was always there in less than 30 minutes (often much faster), it was always correct and it was always hot, easily the best we have encountered. We had a special breakfast for my wifes birthday in the mdr and it was incredible, really got her special day off to a grand start. Unfortunately, we had one major miss when I suffered food poisoning after my second dinner at Silk (on night 4), 24 hours holed up in my bathroom, followed by another 2 days to fully recover. At this point I thought I was cursed and that Crystal was trying to kill me. The maitre D was very professional on follow up and the F&B manager did chat to me (after I enquired why officers do not follow up on major issues) and assured me they had reviewed it. The coffee bar was a nice place (not a patch on Seabourn Square in feel but much better offerings food and drink wise) and was a nice casual place to grab a snack or late night dessert. The bars were excellent and I think the bar tenders made some of the best cocktails we have tasted. The ship had an extensive G&T menu and Manhattan Menu, I did my best to try each one. Wines were good and we never encountered any resistance if we wanted something different. Table service was good. There was regular canapes and late night snacks being offered. Entertainment/Activities: Another highlight. We tend to find the small luxury lines struggle with entertainment but that cannot be levelled at Crystal. The cruise finished with a special Carnerval group in Rio that was exactly the same as you would witness at the Samba clubs. We had a huge variety of guest acts including: motown group, comedian, comedian ventriloquist, classical pianist, violinst, modern pianist, Broadway siblings (phenomenal); trumpeter and singer, modern vocalist/piano - truly something for everyone. Add in several production shows which were good without being great with the exception of the Imagine/illuminate show which was exceptional. Neil Lockwood did Elton impersonation and own show. Add to this the phenomenal nightly exploits of Mark Farris in the piano bar, you also add latin dance performers, encore presentations, singer from Brazil, guitarist, there was nightly live music for the ballroom dancers, nightly classic piano and violin and a young duet couple - phew! How did we see so much of it? Enrichment involved several lecturers, covering a wide array of subjects from economics, history of places we visited, ocean sailings,geopolitical and military talks etc. Most were excellent however my wife did feel that the lecturers were all mature American white males and there could have been more diversity as we noticed on Viking. Further to this there was art classes, knitting classes, trivia, bridge, ipad and photography courses, golf sessions, wine tasting etc etc etc. My only nit pick would be we like some of those silly activities and games (baggo, putting etc) we noticed on Seabourn and Regent. Also a minor complaint was that Crystal hands out discount coupons as prizes, this is no prize simply an incentive to spend which was even more crass in that they were next to impossible to use due to multiple caveats (we refused to accept them), the CD was clearly embarrassed when the subject was mentioned. Speaking of the CD, we had Russ who has apparently moved from a long standing position at Azamara (apparently well loved by guests there). At first we found him mostly absent but as the cruise progressed had many interactions with him and found him to be one of the most personable CD's we have come across and seemed to know a large amount of passengers by name. He also produced 2 daily shows on the TV which were a lot of fun. If all that was not enough to keep you entertained there was 2 daily fitness classes, paddle tennis, table tennis, daily movies in the cinema (amazing popcorn), the extensive library with books and games and daily puzzles. White night was a great event and it might have been good to have another party event or 2. Oh, I have forgotten the great magic castle show and also dancing lessons! Service: Exceptional, best we have encountered at sea. Great blend of professionalism and joviality. The staff seemed content relative to other cruise lines. Service was very consistent which I hypothesise is due to the many long standing senior staff as they were very visible and active. The officers had mostly changed over at the start of the cruise and this seemingly had no negative impact. Fellow passengers: mostly American and mature which was not surprising given it was a long cruise originating from the US. The cruise was clearly not a popular sailing and was broken into smaller segment at a later stage this did see more passengers from Brazil joining at later stages. The atmosphere early in the cruise felt quiet and uptight but loosened considerably over the course of the sailing. We found the crowd to be more fun and sociable than Viking but not quite as diverse as Seabourn and Regent. We will continue to cruise on a variety of lines including the main stream brands but will always remain on alert for good deals on Crystal and will probably become our favoured brand for luxury experiences. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise for the trip destination and the Crystal reputation. We have been on other Crystal trips and this is the first time we did 3 back to back trips, total 45 days! Embarkation was a piece of cake. Bags we shipped were ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the trip destination and the Crystal reputation. We have been on other Crystal trips and this is the first time we did 3 back to back trips, total 45 days! Embarkation was a piece of cake. Bags we shipped were in our room when we arrived and the bags we brought arrived shortly thereafter. We are hoping the same for disembarkation. The Captains Larsen and Willheim are the best, with rough seas when we had them. They are cautious on all conditions. The rest of the crew are equally praised in every area of the ship. The wait staff are amazing from the Maitr’d down to waiters. It is amazing how they remember names and faces. They anticipate your every need. We are fortunate to have a Penthouse on deck 10. The butler and housekeeping staff all work well together. Because the seas are rough today, our housekeeper wanted to go out and do windows on the veranda. We told her to take that off her list today due to sea conditions. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise based on homeport, itinerary and time of year. To add some context it was our 4th cruise this year, princess - 19 days, Holland America- 15 days and Celebrity - 12 days. Given the per diem rate and our previous ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on homeport, itinerary and time of year. To add some context it was our 4th cruise this year, princess - 19 days, Holland America- 15 days and Celebrity - 12 days. Given the per diem rate and our previous experiences on Crystal we had high expectations some of which were met and some not. Crystal exceeded our expectations in the areas of enrichment, learning and specialty restaurants. Plenty to do and see. The food and service at the sushi bar,Umi Uma, Prego was first rate as was the food. Charrascuria is a novelty, service was very good but some of the meat was tough. Silk and trident grill were great for lunch. The soloists in crystal cove and avenue saloon were very professional and enjoyable. The production shows and guest entertainers were same as any other line - we’d seen a lot of them elsewhere. Service in crystal cove, silk bar and avenue saloon was exceptional. Good job! There is self serve laundry and free wifi. All inclusive and the pours were almost too generous. Disappointments were more than we expected for a 5 or is it 6 star line. The market place buffet (only open to 1:30 daily) was just plain minimalistic, minimal choice, poorly prepared and self serve (ick) regurgitated leftovers. Better choices on all three other ships. The Waterside dining room was just awful. In the centre of the room with a low ceiling there was lest than 6 inches between tables whether it be 2 or 4. No engagement with the waitstaff, no one ever came and asked if your food was good. If you wanted a different wine other than what the sommelier had in his had it was a big ask. No flowers on the tables, no decorations at all even though it was a Christmas and New Years cruise. A little sprig of holly would have perked it up. The only cheese available for omelets were cheddar or Swiss and the only berry jam was strawberry. They used to have the best cherry jam ever. The food was inconsistent- poultry was tough and stringy, lots of veal dishes, interesting sides - not cohesive at all. Expected more elegance and finis. Suspect they are still trying to sort out open sitting but in the mean time it’s worst dining experience in a very long time. The bistro was basically ritz or water crackers and aforementioned cheese and desserts including a chocolate waterfall (self serve with lots of kids on board). There was no lido (buffet) after 1:30 pm , no dinner or afternoon snacks. Smoking was permitted in the pool area port side, on aft of decks 7,8,9,10 and in the connoisseur club on deck 6. Maybe time to rethink - couldn’t get to avenue saloon without cutting through the smoke. Depending on the wind the pool area was stinky. It could just be rethought to accommodate both the smokers and nons. In the casino, obviously a different ownership, you need3d to sign up for a card, long line, then they gave a questionnaire wanting additional personal info - trashed that. The casino was well run but drinks were scarce. Deck chair hogs - need I say more - and shade was at a premium. Our previous experiences with crystal always lead us to say it was the ultimate experience - after this trip we don’t think we will return. The value for money just wasn’t there. Not even an uptick in the quality of champagne on New Years . Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This is our third cruise on Crystal and Symphony. Our first was 22 years ago from Istanbul. Our second was February 2017 Singapore to Hong Kong. Both were amazing. We chose an easier quick trip out of New Orleans with our daughter and ... Read More
This is our third cruise on Crystal and Symphony. Our first was 22 years ago from Istanbul. Our second was February 2017 Singapore to Hong Kong. Both were amazing. We chose an easier quick trip out of New Orleans with our daughter and her spouse. We both had suites, we decided on the new Seabreeze suites which were just redone in 2017. They were very nice woth a large shower with excellent water pressure... Anyway the ship was superb, from the staff, the AMAZING speciality restaurants and the fabulous entertainment. I even had time for the casino. Keep in mind everything is inclusive, all liquior, wine, WiFi, grautuities. This time there were children on the ship and the staff seem to handle well. We are in 9051 and as I said it was very nice. We have taken over 45 ocean cruises and three River Cruises and Crystal and Silverseas remains at the top of our list. You cannot go wrong with this cruise line. Good luck and keep cruising. We loved it! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We picked this cruise because we’d never taken an ‘all-inclusive’ type cruise and this one was a short 7N from New Orleans which is close to us. I’d seen the various pricing sheets showing how close in cost a cruise on a Line such ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we’d never taken an ‘all-inclusive’ type cruise and this one was a short 7N from New Orleans which is close to us. I’d seen the various pricing sheets showing how close in cost a cruise on a Line such as Crystal was to a ‘standard’ Line such as Celebrity, which we’ve cruised 20+ times and wanted to see if they were true - it’s true! At least for the shorter 7N cruises. We loved this ship and the entire Crystal experience. I will be giving my opinion about this cruise by comparing it to our Celebrity experiences. I won’t cover the ports - it was a Western Caribbean and been to all of them. Spent most of the time on the ship. So here goes. Embarkation: With barely 800 passengers, it’s not nearly as crowded as our previous cruises. The larger ships handled the 2000+ well, but this was better than nice: as we walked into the terminal, they asked us if we were suites or standard SR, and gave us a number. When called (waited about 10min), we walked onboard and checked in there. Given our keycard, gave them our paperwork and charge card and that was that. 5min max. Handed a drink as we walked further in and off to a lunch in the main dining room, not a buffet. And was introduced to ‘Crystal’ Dining - wow. Will talk on that shortly. Ship: very elegant but low key. Lower ceilings than other larger ships which gave all the common areas a more intimate feel. Many bar and seating areas. The Avenue Bar is like a pub with wood paneling and lovely pub bar. Pianos and live music in most of the bars. The ship has a nice and inviting game/card room. We played lots of bridge and had classes. Was never crowded in any of the common areas. the Palm Court on the top deck forward was unbelievable. Elegant-great bar-seating for groups and couples. Windows with all around views. The place to be at sea. Ship has a true Promenade Deck. Wood and fully wraparound. Great walking and jogging or standing and just viewing the sea. Loved it. Shopping: All was very high end, so for us, not needed. Beautifully laid out, but only a small section for ‘oops, I forgot something’ type items. Didn’t use any of the stores, but nicely laid out. Standard Lines such as Celebrity have more day-to-day items and clothing and lots of sales and ‘buy 2 and get 3’ type sales. Crystal didn’t have any big sales pitches and everyone going through piles of clothes and stuff. Dining: Here is the major plus. the Marketplace ‘buffet’ is only called that because of it’s layout but it was outstanding in choice and quality. I love the Celebrity buffets but this blew me away. The main dining in the Waterside was fantastic. No set time and no reservations. You walk up, ask for a table for 2 or 4 or whatever and you are seated. Great quality and options. I love lamb and it was so tender, I almost didn’t need a knife. Great fish and steaks. All high quality. the entrees and appetizers were relatively small so I could try multiple dishes. The Grill was well beyond a hamburger/hotdog grill. It had many salads and sandwiches, including a Ruben I’d die for. Each bar had snacks and the Bistro was a great place for pastries and light snacks and coffees and expresso-styles. Loved all of it. Specialty Restaurants: You get a least 2 dinings at these restaurants. Each we tried was unique. We loved Prego - Italian and outstanding steaks and fish. Umi Uma was Japanese and our favorite. Great choices. Silk was Chinese. It was nice, but I thought the Marketplace choices were better. Entertainment: I was mainly concerned that a small ship would have mediocre main entertainment. I was wrong. It was excellent. Not as fine as the larger Lines, but the theater is smaller and you are very close to the singers and dancers. Fun. Excellent quality. They had a magician from the Magic Castle in LA that killed it with up-close slight of hand. But one of the weak areas was activities during in port times. It was almost nonexistent. Not a big issues since we can entertain ourselves, but if you are not going to spend all day ashore, it’s very quiet. Nice, but quiet. Service. A+. Excellent ratio and well trained personnel. They were always working to meet your needs and wishes. Never went ‘dry’ with servers coming up to check. Not obtrusive, but always available. Room steward was a charmer. Very attentive and went the extra mile. We had a very bad night and day returning to New Orleans with 50+kt winds and huge waves. She came in to check us and would have got us meds if needed. The entire staff was fantastic. My experience was Celebrity also had great service, but Crystal just had more staff per passengers so more overall attention. Drinks: I wasn’t sure if the all-inclusive drinks would be that handy (I enjoy a few drinks but don’t get the packages on other ships), but it was just great. It was so nice having a glass of wine and a server walking up and asking if I needed a refill. Good quality cocktails. Smoking: I’m a non-smoker and was concerned because the Crystal website shows more than a bit of smoking areas. But it was fine. the outside smoking areas were mainly on the very stern of a few decks and didn’t interfere with me and gave the smokers a nice place. One inside smoking bar for cigars was available. Again, I was concerned because on a Princess ship, whenever you walked even semi-close to the bar, there was smoke all over the place. But this had a double-door set up and it wasn’t an issue for me. Ports: Not going to discuss ports. Standard ones on a Western Caribbean and only did one tour and wandered a few ports on own. One issue: it appeared Crystal had lower priority for the docking and anchoring locations compared to all the other Lines. In all cases, the docking and anchoring locations were further from the main port facilities. One port we anchored and the other three ships docked. Disembarkation: Returned to New Orleans about 5 hrs late: big winds and waves (10 on the Beaufort scale! With 50+it’s winds). Stayed in SR all day and night. Docked at an alternative pier in NO and they had shuttles to the main terminal. All-Inclusive: I’m not going through what the actual costs were, I just say, I paid for one photo (yup, did the come aboard shot) and one tour. That was it. This was truly all-inclusive: Quality drinks, wine, soft drinks; two specialty dining venues; Gratuities; Laundry room with iron; Specialty coffees and snacks; Room service; unlimited Wi-Fi on multiple units. What cost: tours; Laundry/dry cleaning; ‘upscale liquor’, but what I drink wasn’t. Yes, I know nothing is ‘free’ and paid for in the overall costs. But I ran the numbers comparing this cruise to a standard large cruise line costs by adding the additional charges for gratuities, drink packages, unlimited WiFi, 2 specialty dining. The difference would be about $450 for two people. But since I’m Elite Plus on Celebrity, and I wouldn’t get the drink package and pay a smaller amount for unlimited Wi-Fi, the different approach $950. Was it worth it? You Bet! Don’t know if this is similar for longer and more ‘exotic’ cruises. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Over the past 20 years Crystal has been our favorite cruise line and we still feel the same today. The updates are lovely. We really enjoyed the open seating and the addition of Silk which was wonderful. The Brazilian restaurant was not ... Read More
Over the past 20 years Crystal has been our favorite cruise line and we still feel the same today. The updates are lovely. We really enjoyed the open seating and the addition of Silk which was wonderful. The Brazilian restaurant was not our favorite but was good. Umi Uma and Prego are just as good as always. The service in all departments is exceptional and we rate just as highly as we always have. We did notice some younger entertainment onboard which was very much appreciated. Carl Wishneuski in the Avenue Saloon is an awesome pianist and entertainer. We enjoyed some great evenings in his company. Neil Lockwood (ex. E.L.O.) was fabulous and had everyone on their feet - his was the best show of the cruise IMHO. He also did a good Elton John Tribute but his own show was better. We always feel so relaxed and looked after onboard Crystal and can’t wait to return. We have no desire to try other cruise lines as we have in the past. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was listed as a jazz cruise and was fulfilled,at least for us, more than expected. My husband loves jazz. The group that was put together by J. Tate are not known to the general public, but among the music world top notch. They are ... Read More
This was listed as a jazz cruise and was fulfilled,at least for us, more than expected. My husband loves jazz. The group that was put together by J. Tate are not known to the general public, but among the music world top notch. They are the backbone of most major groups today. Jazz was just part of the entertainment as you still had shows every night and music in the Crystal Cove Lounge. Palm Court, Starlight and Avenue Saloon. Lectures are always outstanding on Crystal and Jamey Tate did several very interesting lectures on music over the course of the cruise. The cuisine and service are as good as ever, some of the personnel that were on our first cruise 24 years ago are still serving on the ship which says a lot of a company. You now have two more choices for dinning. Silk for lunch and dinner, reservations not required and Churrascaria a Brazilian Steakhouse, dinner only, no reservations required. Enjoyed them both and we could dine any hour without a problem. I will admit a little prejudice when it comes to Symphony. We have sailed on other lines, but always come back and wonder why we ever left to try something different. We signed up for the transfer between ship and airport. Were taken to a hotel in New Orleans, left the luggage locked on the bus told we would have lunch, could walk around and than driven to the airport. It was a wonderful value without any hassle. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our first luxury cruise and our travel agent highly recommended this line. We have sailed many times and the most recent had been with NCL Haven. While we loved the Haven, we hated the crowds, overwhelming smoke and mediocre food ... Read More
This was our first luxury cruise and our travel agent highly recommended this line. We have sailed many times and the most recent had been with NCL Haven. While we loved the Haven, we hated the crowds, overwhelming smoke and mediocre food and service on the rest of the ship. We couldn’t wait to disembark. That was when our agent recommended we move up to Crystal. We will never go back. From the first minute, we noticed the huge difference from other cruise lines. We were greeted by name immediately and by evey crew member. Honestly, before we sailed, we were greeted by our names by every crew member each time. I don’t know how the do it. By the first day at sea, everyone knew our preferences. From Clarry at the pool to Jonathan at the Marketplace and Viktor at the Bistro. I could ask Clarry to leave a message for my husband and he would keep an eye out for him and relay the message. Anyone who has ever lost their husband on a cruise ship knows how impressive and helpful this is! We enjoy good food and entertainment and Crystal impressed us more than we thought possible on both. The entertainment was spectacular thanks to the regular ensemble, great costumes and programs. On top of that, it was a Jazz themed cruise with the most amazing visiting artists. Perry Smith jazz guitar was exceptional and Crystal should continue the relationship with this amazing artist!! Another huge shout out to Carl Wishnewski, best piano man since Billy Joel. Umi Uma, by Chef Nobu is not to be missed. The miso cod is “last meal” worthy and the mushroom soup is sublime. We ate there twice and could easily have gone again. Don’t be worried if you don’t like sushi. There is plenty of variety for anyone. I love sushi but my husband doesn’t. His Kobe steak was one of the best he has ever had. The main dining room was always available, we never waited. The food was excellent with a few exceptions. Shout out to Roger and our fav, Viktor as waiters!! The pool was where we noticed the amazing crew that took care of is with outstanding service. Clarry, Kiko, Rikkii and Ronnie are fabulous! From cold drinks to cold towels and little treats throughout the day. Most surprising, from other cruises, deck chairs around the pool and elsewhere always available! I never had to fight for a deck chair at anytime of the day, even on sea days!! Crystal passengers on our sailing were around 40 -80. Some younger some older. There was one baby that everyone on the ship saw once. He was our great white whale in baby form. Everyone talked about the one sighting. The passengers were a nice mix of US and internationals. Out of 860 passengers, we encountered 2, only 2, somewhat grouchy people. Everyone was just so friendly and enjoyable. Again, a first in our cruising experience. The most important part of our cruise was our cabin and attendants. It’s literally your home for 2 weeks. While I am convinced there is not a bad cabin on this ship, we always want a balcony and this time we wanted to try the suite. We selected the Seabreeze Penthouse with veranda and we are so glad we did. Our butler, Ay, the best on the ship! I’m serious. When we immediately booked another cruise, a first for us, we requested Ay. We never used our butler on the NCL Haven. He was never around. But Ay was omnipresent in the most unobtrusive way. He helped us switch reservations around as we met new friends and served a full dinner from the main menu to my husband on the first night as I had a raging migraine. He didn’t want my husband to miss out just because he was taking care of me. And for me, he brought the best consume I have ever had and a huge bucket of ice for my ice bag. Mayori and Alexandra were our attendants who cleaned our rooms throughout the day with the loveliest smiles and service. Our final shout out to Sergio the head concierge who was willing and able to do anything to make our first Crystal experience even better. And the Captain who was generous enough to invite us and a small group to his private quarters for cocktails. It was a unexpected surprise. Thank you. We are Crystalized! We aren’t going back to the other lines. I am counting the days until our next sailing in December and trying to figure out how to squeeze another in between. Choose Crystal. You will love it! You will never want to leave. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We were intrigued with a smaller yacht, and familiar with Crystal’s reputation. Immediately upon arriving at the port we knew we would have excellent service. We were immediately greeted, luggage taken, checked in our passports then ... Read More
We were intrigued with a smaller yacht, and familiar with Crystal’s reputation. Immediately upon arriving at the port we knew we would have excellent service. We were immediately greeted, luggage taken, checked in our passports then escorted aboard the yacht. Upon boarding greeted, given champagne and taken right to our suite. In the suite the checkin process was completed. Butler (Nathaniel) was right there to familiarize us with the suite and service. Then Gee and Bel our suite stewardesses arrived to explain what they do for us. As they said, primarily pamper! Everyone was attentive, friendly, and helpful! And I mean everyone, didn’t matter if server, reception, engineering, steward. Food was good but limited in the selections especially at dinner. Probably because of size of yacht, only 62 guests. Destination staff communication was off. What they told us vs daily activity sheet. Never made it to port at the designated (daily sheet) time. We decided to dive 2 days on our own and in Saba couldn’t get off in time to meet the dive operator. Variety of issues, weather, tender vs zodiacs... Our suite was very comfortable. Loved the double sinks in the bathroom and shower was a good size. It was nice that in a couple ports we could SUP, or jet ski (weather permitting). Marina staff was super! We will think twice before going to the Caribbean in November. Lots of wind and rain. All in all a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This new vessel for Crystal was completely refitted in 2015 and christened in December 2015 after it’s previous life as a private yacht for the Chairman of the parent company of Crystal. This is a big departure from the two older Ocean ... Read More
This new vessel for Crystal was completely refitted in 2015 and christened in December 2015 after it’s previous life as a private yacht for the Chairman of the parent company of Crystal. This is a big departure from the two older Ocean ships the Serenity and the Symphony that I have sailed five times and loved. This beautiful yacht has 31 cabins (including one Owners Suite which is 515 square feet). Most of the suites (S1,2 and 3) are 280 SF which is huge for a yacht (and larger than the non-suite cabins on the Crystal ocean ships and much larger then the 195 SF cabins on the competitor Sea Dream Yacht Club. They are all ocean view (this is a yacht after all). The cabins are decorated in muted greys and taupe with a relaxed feel. They all have King beds with great bedding and all the modern touches travelers today demand with plenty of outlets, USB ports and a great iPad by the bed to set alarms, wake up calls, see the daily schedule and more! There is so much storage we couldn’t fill it all and we are not light packers. There is a full length closet with the famous 2 sets of Crystal robes (the heavy terry I don’t like and the lovely kimono style). There is a another closet with short hanging and more drawers. The bathroom is amazing with a huge shower, tons of storage, double sinks, large mirror and a TV embedded in the mirror. There are large size luxury Italian Etro amenities. A stocked mini-bar is included and there is a Nespresso machine. Because we arrived on Easter Sunday, we had a table full of beautiful Easter chocolates and our darling (two) stewards greeted us with bunny ears! There are also great features like the lighting system with a switch for floor lighting for night bathroom visits and a choice of lighting from bright to relaxing! The owners suite also has a Japanese toilet with heated seat and more and a beautiful bathtub. The yacht holds only 62 passengers (or up to 65 max if there are 3 third berth passengers. On our sailing we had only 43 (with one very well behaved 12 year old girl). Our crew was 89 and pampering and extra special service is an understatement. I’ve sailed many luxury lines and stayed in luxury properties but the service level on the Crystal Esprit was exceptional. Part of that was the staff to guest ratio and part was the hand picked crew who seemed to truly love being part of the Esprit experience and went above and beyond. There are multiple dining spots onboard from the Yacht Club restaurant with award winning chef Adam Jenskins to 24 hour room service which we never tried. (actually that is not true as the night they were having caviar in the Cove before dinner we knew we wouldn’t make it in time, and expressed our “dismay” to our butler in the all – he brought us our own caviar set up and popped our champagne for us). The Patio Café for lunch and breakfast is lovely (and delicious) and the Grill on deck 5 for outdoor dining is great with a small but fun selection from Kobe burgers to Frito Misto that we had several times. The Pantry on Deck 2 is a great self-service bistro with light snacks, bakery goods and little jars that change daily with fun salads, hummus and more (plus an easy 24 hour specialty coffee machine). This is truly an all-inclusive experience with all gourmet meals, beverages (a great wine list included), butler service and choice of several excursions in each port from easy to strenuous. Also included are the water sports like kayaks, paddle boards, jet skis and the fun speed boat. We weren’t sure what the demographics might be on this yacht as it is a departure from the Crystal ocean ships and more luxury than the competitor SeaDream Yacht Club. We really had a great group of guests ranging from the late 30s to the 70s and all well-traveled, interesting and friendly. We sailed in the West Indies round trip Marigot. St. Martin was very badly hit by the 2017 hurricane so the port and the island has really suffered. But all of our port stops were great (Moskito Island, Saba, St. Barts, Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis. There are several choices of complimentary excursions in most port from relaxing to strenuous hikes. My husband wasn’t able to do any of the strenuous ones but I heard great things about them. The first port is an beach BBQ on Moskito island (one of Richard Branson’s private islands) and a great way to start the cruise. Was it as fun as my time on SeaDream Yacht Club with a girlfriend? Maybe not. Was it more luxurious ….for sure! Were there lots of special touches that made it so special. YES! As me about them. Would I do it again or recommend to clients – absolutely! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I just returned from Crystal Cruises' 7-day Esprit Yacht experience in the British Virgin Islands- and cannot stop raving about it! It was a beautiful, relaxed, elegant, sporty, top-notch and unique vacation that I'd recommend to ... Read More
I just returned from Crystal Cruises' 7-day Esprit Yacht experience in the British Virgin Islands- and cannot stop raving about it! It was a beautiful, relaxed, elegant, sporty, top-notch and unique vacation that I'd recommend to just about anyone! From the 5-star restaurant food (OMG!!) to the gorgeous island destinations (Ahh!) to the top-notch administrative organizing and hospitality, I want to give each dept. their propers! But let me start with the BEAUTY. The Esprit is a gorgeous ship, and with a maximum of 62 guests allowed, it was big enough to host fab amenities and yet never felt crowded or lacking. The white, turquoise and crystal aesthetic gave the Esprit a 60s modern look that felt nautical, fresh and hip-retro, simultaneously! Next, HOSPITALITY: I'm kind of a neat-freak in public places and this ship was spotless! I never noticed dirt, dust or things that made me blanche. The hospitality team and butler on each floor were so attentive, tidy and helpful (not to mention funny and friendly!), that the rooms and halls looked immacualte, always. Next, FOOD: Someone said our chef was Michelen-rated. I would not be surprised if that was true. The food alone is worth the cost of this trip! Each dinner was varied, nutritious, sculptural, and totally delicious!!! It was fine dining at its finest- three times a day! Not to mention, a grill on the deck and round-the-clock room service. All this great grub + bottomless drinks embedded in the trip cost, with no-tipping policy ever was a HUGE bonus. DRINKS: Dinner always included two new bottles of wine paired with what was on the menu that day. I don't drink, so I didn't indulge in the endless bottles of champagne, wine, cocktails and beers that were available around the clock, but my friends sure did!! What a treat! Ok, ADMIN: The reception dept. and evening notes at our door made each day a complete stress-free travel situation. We always knew where we were going, what land and boat opportunities we'd have and what we needed to do for each event. Getting bags on and off the boat, checking on different post-trip travel arrangements.. I was very impressed with the Admin/Reception Dept and how gracefully and efficiently they took care of things. Always with a smile, too! Next: ISLANDS! Dropping anchor daily a new island was incredible! I loved stopping at unspoiled Saba, swinging in a hammock on Mosquito Island, and taking a speedboat ride from the locals-feel of Antigua. Swimming/sun-bathing off the St. Kitt's Four Season's beach was exquisite. In St. Bart's only briefly, I was duly wowed by the line-up up gorgeous yachts in its harbor. Virgin Gordo and Nevis also were a feast for the eyes. ACTIVITIES: Swimming off the stern of the boat at sunset was something I'll never forget; we were able to do that twice! I totally recommend this! The jet skis and motorboat are a must for thrill-seekers, and for a totally unusual experience, schedule a ride in the Esprit's *submarine!* Two of my friends did it and it sounded amazing. Snorkeling, kayaks and stand-up paddling must be on your list, too! The waters are warm and the views are sublime. There are hikes and tours and excursions on many of the island destinations. The pool is tiny on the Esprit, but great for cooling off on a hot afternoon. Cosy and big lounge chairs and outdoor deck furniture beg you to nestle in and read a book, have a cocktail or swap stories with friends. Or, just stare dreamily off to the azure horizon or a lush nearby island- pure heaven! There is a small workout room with a great treadmill, an elliptical and a recumbent bicycle. Free weights, yoga mats, towels and waters are in there, too. In the evenings, having drinks on the boat in the "Cove" while a spritely singer and pianist entertains is an option; going to a bar on shore is bound to stir up much spicier adventures. Nice to have options, depending on your age/mood/lifestyle! :) Oh, before I forget! Back to the food, because, well, it was everything! One of our friends eats a purely plant-based diet, and only informed the chef of this once he got on the yacht. On the fly and with the artistry of Rodin, the chef designed and printed up a unique-for-this-guest many-course meal at dinner- every day! Each dish was vegan, delicious, artful and very social media-post-worthy! I was very impressed with the chef conjuring up a purely plant-based menu that matched the already outstanding taste and presentation of his daily menu- all on the fly! From the chocolate-dipped fruits they placed in our room each night with the turn-down service to the fun, energized, top notch service of the marina dept., wait staff, boat crew... it was just awesome, from start to finish. CAVEAT: There are some people for whom this trip and boat would not be a fit. First of all, there is no elevator. So the guests on this boat need to be ambulatory, and ok with going up and down carpeted stairs indoors, and ascending and descending the metal, winding stairs connecting the outdoor decks. Also, to get into the rubber zodiac boats that ferry us to and from shore, you must be able to climb down a few rungs of a wooden ladder/stepcase. The marina crew helps with this, but given that the process involves stepping down backwards and using your arms to pull yourself up, going to shore means having pretty good means of moving around on your own. Also, if you are into very loud partying and need to be entertained non-stop, this may not be the trip for you. Things get quiet at 10 pm and most of the guests are healthy, spry, interested in the world and friendly with those around them. It's a trip like no other! May your trip be as delightful and memorable as the one my friends and I had. Thank you, Crystal Cruises!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
DH and I had returned to the NorthEast cold weather in January after spending two weeks in Caribbean on Crystal's Serenity. Our 15th anniversary was coming up in February as was Valentine's Day so we wondered whether we could ... Read More
DH and I had returned to the NorthEast cold weather in January after spending two weeks in Caribbean on Crystal's Serenity. Our 15th anniversary was coming up in February as was Valentine's Day so we wondered whether we could travel back to one of the islands we had stopped at during our holiday cruise for a one-week trip. After a long and exhaustive search, nothing quite fit with availability so late. (It was mid-January) DH suggested a cruise in Caribbean and since we've been on the larger Crystal Ships, we booked the Esprit which departs every Sunday from Sint Marteen. We flew down on Saturday and found a hotel on beach to stay one night before and after the cruise. Below is a summary of our experience on Crystal Esprit. Embarkation was a breeze as we were the only ones at check-in. (There was one other couple already boarded but we didn't see them until later in the day.) Our cabin was ready for us when we arrived. Every cabin has a Butler assigned as well as housekeeper. The cabin has enough storage for hanging clothes but I always bring an "over-the-door" shoe holder as there isn't enough space on closet floor. The cabin is equipped with a Bluetooth-enabled Samsung Soundbar which came in handy to play my music. The only drawback for us on this cruise is the cabins have no veranda just picture windows. The ship caters to a maximum 62 passengers and we had 45 onboard for our itinerary. Although not a new ship, the Crystal Esprit has been refurbished in 2015 I believe a job well-done. We used the gym daily and although small, was functional with excellent equipment. There's a dry sauna onboard but it is accessible from pool deck and we never tried it out. There is a piano player onboard to entertain in The Cove pre and post dinner times who sometimes takes on role of DJ for "disco" nights at the Sunset Bar. (There were two disco nights on our itinerary which I believe the passengers requested). Of course, there is a pool deck with comfortable lounge furniture to relax on in shade or sun and a small sea water pool to sit and cool oneself off. The shore excursions included at least one complimentary at each port as well as excursions at additional fee. In addition, at some of the ports we could use the onboard kayaks, paddleboards, snorkel equipment, jet skis and the submersible bubble. The dress code is more casual than the larger Crystal ships yet still stylish. This ship has no elevator so everyone onboard must be able to climb stairs easily. Also, it should be noted for those susceptible to motion sickness, that as this is a small ship, we can feel ship's movement as it traveled from port to port (mostly at night). The following were the real standouts in our experience....SERVICE and DINING At every turn, there was someone ready to assist us with everything! It was wonderful. The care and attention to every detail. Birthdays and anniversarys are highlighted at Reception area via a rolling video. The fact that I take my tequila with extra fresh lime juice didn't have to be repeated. Chef Adam Jenkins was in charge of our food experience which surpassed our every expectation. I followed a "whole plant food" diet onboard which was executed every night with perfection as I would expect in a Michelin-Star restaurant. In the mornings, a fresh greens/fruit smoothie was prepared for me. The regular menu which DH enjoyed immensely was exceptional again. We said we'd go back just for the food and so we have booked the Esprit for later in the year when it returns to Sint Maarten with only two ports of call repeated from our February cruise. Can hardly wait! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click