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21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I noticed an advert for the Crystal Esprit in a publication from our Travel Agent and it fitted in perfectly with other travel plans. The yacht has been fully refurbished and it's all SOTA in every way. The cabins are beautiful and ... Read More
I noticed an advert for the Crystal Esprit in a publication from our Travel Agent and it fitted in perfectly with other travel plans. The yacht has been fully refurbished and it's all SOTA in every way. The cabins are beautiful and every luxury is catered for. The beds and pillows are divine and the bathrooms are large and well-equipped. Great shower! There is an Michelin-star chef on board - Rainer Buss - who oversaw every plate that left the kitchen. The presentation, variety, flavours, and portions were perfect. The wines were good and the table service was efficient and friendly. Every crew member was pleasant and cheerful - always a smile and a greeting. The Patio cafe for a light location for breakfast and lunch. The Yacht Club dining room was low lit and pleasant place to dine. The Cove Bar was a comfortable place to read during the day and have a drink in the evening. Our chef brought around delicious canapés each evening - perfect. We were treated to champagne and caviar on the penultimate evening of the cruise. Deck 5 - Sun deck was well equipped and there was plenty of seating for evening drinks as well as lounging during the day. The bar was always ready to serve everything from coffee to cocktails and you could even have an early snack up there. The ports visited were all interesting and without exception the guides on the tours were knowledgeable and entertaining. Our one complaint was the air conditioning on board - in the cabin particularly - it was cold and there was no temperature control. We asked for the fan to be turned down to make it bearable. We escaped to the Cove Bar where it was warm if we wanted to read as it was too cold anywhere in the cabin but in bed under the doona. The Patio cafe had an automatic door and this had a life of its own on chilly mornings - opening and closing and freezing those having breakfast. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
we had sailed crystal three years ago and had had a good experience. also, the itinerary seemed different, so we decided to try it again. the service was excellent, the cabin size was great, and each of the ports was new to us, so it ... Read More
we had sailed crystal three years ago and had had a good experience. also, the itinerary seemed different, so we decided to try it again. the service was excellent, the cabin size was great, and each of the ports was new to us, so it made for an interesting trip. however, would have liked one more sea day as it was a port heavy cruise. the ruby bamboo trio and Erika in palm court, as well as Marissa in the main dining room deserve a special mention for making a good trip, great. good food, great company, amazing ports, lots to do on sea days, huge cabins, quiet corners to curl up with a book from the amazing library, a movie theater showing new releases, entertainment every night, a cigar lounge with a great variety of single malts..... seriously, everything we expect from a crystal cruise, so we're looking forward to our next one! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This is my second trip with Crystal. I arrived in London the day before embarkation and enjoyed seeing the city. On this occasion I was unable to use the arranged transfer to the ship as I did not receive the information about where and ... Read More
This is my second trip with Crystal. I arrived in London the day before embarkation and enjoyed seeing the city. On this occasion I was unable to use the arranged transfer to the ship as I did not receive the information about where and when to be ready. Instead the friend who took me around London took me to the port and I was able to board. The embarkation was extremely easy and straight forward. Crystal Symphony is beautiful and it was lovely to be greeted left and right by the staff who remembered me from my previous trip. As on the previous occasion, this treatment continued until I retrieved my luggage for check-in at the airport in Copenhagen. The food in the main dining room was specially good, and the friendliness and charm of the staff made it perfect. I enjoyed dining at Prego and Silk Road and on this occasion I attended the Vintage Room dinner. That event was wonderful, and I specially enjoyed the wine selections. The entertainment venues on this trip included a couple of performances I had enjoyed before and new ones, two of which I was able to attend. The performance by Gregory, the violinist, was remarkable. The performer was very charming as well as being supremely talented, and his music selection ranged from Argentine tango to gypsy ballads. It was a wonderful performance. I can say the same about the performance Imagine. The part where the two performers spun together within the confines of a large hoop/circle frame was incredible and visually beautiful. The excursions I joined on this itinerary were for the most part very enjoyable. My excursion to Merdo Island in Arendal was fabulous - the island is beautiful, as was the route to get to it, and the excursion guide was very funny and knowledgeable. The volunteer excursion in Amsterdam proved to be both satisfying and actually fun, which is a surprise seeing as it was physically trying in unexpected ways. It should not have been unexpected, though, but that was my own fault and not the cruise line's. The one excursion which was not what I expected was the one to the west coast islands, and that was because it was very rushed and did not provide enough time to really see the beautiful places we visited. That guide was, as I have come to expect from Crystal, extremely well-versed in the history of the area. There are just two particulars that I do wish had been different on this itinerary. The first was that though the number of passengers on this trip was slightly less than that of the previous trip, the ship seemed crowded, and I suspect this was because of the presence of much younger travelers and children. I do not enjoy traveling with younger travelers but I do not feel this should have made it as annoying as it turned out to be. I did wish to spend time in Palm Court reading but I could hear the screaming of children coming from the adjacent Waves, the teen's activity room. The time I spent by the pool was marred by the screaming of children in the pool. There were a few more incidents where the younger travelers made their presence known. I do wish that either the accompanying parents had been more attentive or that I had chosen an itinerary earlier in the year, as with my previous trip. On that occasion I saw only a few toddlers and one teenager. The second particular was, as with the previous trip, the planning of the events. Some events, such as the Vintage Room dinner, were set and when other events were scheduled at the same time, I could not change my plans and had to miss those other events. I would very much appreciate having events scheduled earlier or receiving earlier notice of the schedules. Having said all of this, I will travel with Crystal again. The staff, the excursions and the service make it worth it for me. Read Less
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