My 2nd time on Crystal, and the first since the new owners Genting took control, I did not check reviews beforehand and am not looking at any now, I just feel compelled to share my thoughts on how things have changed subtly in some areas, ... Read More
My 2nd time on Crystal, and the first since the new owners Genting took control, I did not check reviews beforehand and am not looking at any now, I just feel compelled to share my thoughts on how things have changed subtly in some areas, and obviously in others.
My aha moment for writing this came when I overheard a conversation about Genting always wanting to be the Number One cruise line in the world (having previously owned NCL) and rather than keep working it, “they bought their way to supremacy”
Today is the last day of this trip a sea day and a gentle cruise to Miami.
There is no television this afternoon on the ship, we did have pictures and no sound, now nothing, a day when news of tragedies in Berlin and Turkey make it important to know what is going on, It seems frivolous to be writing this review at all in reality so please forgive this.
Tastes restaurant is closed “for maintenance” tonight, why would that be other than to push people into the main dining room or the $30 PP extra at the specialty restaurants. Nobody is working on maintenance, it closed at 2:30 pm as it does every day.
The verandas were unavailable last night and all day today as they hosed them down, no notice just a guy and a hosepipe suddenly watching me get dressed (more sickening for him in fairness)
It seems like there is constant maintenance going as generally, the first three days had internet that was unavailable, (while they fixed something)
The first two days the casino was closed (as they were installing all new slot machines and did not complete the job on time.
The main dining room is dirty, there is no other word for it. Walking to the table last night there was some pasta and a French fry on the floor, it was still there an hour later.
It is clear that there are a huge % of people in training, that is fine, but the ship is far from full and when you ask a question as simple as “where is the nearest restroom, erm..toilet, sorry” you might expect something other than “I can get you a map of the ship” then the colleague next to the young man slaps him (literally) and says "show him where"
Our room is very nice, 10079, spacious wardrobe, nice and quiet, lovely full bathroom, great butler and very pleasant room attendant.
The front desk was excellent, very helpful with my many requests for print outs of documents that I could sign and scan back, nothing was too much trouble for them, a great team all round.
A high point of the trip was spending evenings at the sushi bar with the superb Executive Chef called Toku, the Toro was incredible, his culinary skills superb and the atmosphere perfect. Prego was much better this trip than last, I had lamb rack twice and it was perfect both times.
The expansion that is underway is clearly challenging the business and its most important resource, its people. The push into river cruises, air cruises and mega ships with residences is removing the focus that is laser like still at Seabourn and Silversea, luxury cruise lines that have stood the test of time.
In some respects, it feels like a company in transition, we might have been the unlucky ones that had to suffer disruption to get the ship ready for the next guests out of Miami on the 20th December, but having lived in Hong Kong and see what Star Cruises is like I get the distinct impression that the focus is moving from a focus on serving the ultra-luxury market to one focused on the ultra-wealthy, there is a clear difference.
I run a business, we have happy customers and some of the time we also let people down, it’s hard to be on top of your game all of the time and I will take things away that will help me in my own company for sure.
One huge takeaway is you can not expect your customers to get less than they expected just because you are doing maintenance however you disguise it. If the ship needed so much work, it should have been taken out of service, or as hotels do, tell you in advance that they are renovating the pool/lobby etc and book if you don’t care about those things.
Yes, I am disappointed with the trip but I have had a rest, met some nice people one of which taught me to play craps properly rather than my terrible way, in that respect the educational part of the trip was a winner!
Ultimately when you are paying top dollar, you should get the best, nothing less and if you do not, you have the option to vote with your wallet and spend money elsewhere, for me that will be back to Seabourn with the whole family this summer. Read Less