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10 Crystal River Europe Cruise Reviews

We thoroughly enjoyed our recent Crystal Ravel cruise, round-trip from Vienna. We found the level of service to be outstanding. The staff were wonderful in all departments. The food was overall delicious, with plenty of choices. ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our recent Crystal Ravel cruise, round-trip from Vienna. We found the level of service to be outstanding. The staff were wonderful in all departments. The food was overall delicious, with plenty of choices. Embarkation was a little confusing because the ship was docked away from the main docks in Vienna. But they had a representative stationed at the main dock with a Crystal wind feather, so arriving passengers could get specific instructions on the location of the ship. Once we were aboard, check-in was fast and easy. We were in one of the "petite suites", which lacks the double sinks and walk-in closet of the full-sized suites. Nevertheless, it was sufficient for our needs, spotlessly clean, quiet, and very comfortable. There was a good choice of excursions in every port. We loved the bicycle tours, although they should only be selected by people who are experienced cyclists. The ship offered a few extra activities, including a tour of the galley, and an evening sail through Budapest so we could see it lit up at night. Disembarkation went smoothly. While most other ships require passengers to be out of their room by 8:30, we were allowed to stay in ours until 10:00, giving us a few extra minutes of sleep, and a more leisurely disembarkation. This was our first Crystal river cruise, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We took a week long river cruise on the Mozart and enjoyed it greatly. The food and service were excellent. The ports and included excursions were also very good, and the scenery along the Danube was spectacular! Just by way of ... Read More
We took a week long river cruise on the Mozart and enjoyed it greatly. The food and service were excellent. The ports and included excursions were also very good, and the scenery along the Danube was spectacular! Just by way of background, this was our second river cruise. Our first was on AMA, on the Rhône. We’ve done 22 ocean cruises, although none on Crystal. We boarded around noon and our room was ready. We had a room on deck 2 with a French balcony. The room was small, like most river cruise cabins. With the closet by one side of the bed it was really impossible for both of us to access the closet and get dressed at the same time. The room looked too small to have in-suite dining so we didn’t do that. The restaurants are just one deck up and with very convenient times so it wasn’t necessary anyway. The bathroom was small and the storage space was down low. The toilet seat cover was set up to automatically raise when it sensed nearby movement. After the first couple days, the novelty wore off and I asked the steward to turn it off, and she did. We hardly used the TV. There was an iPad in the room that had some magazines and we could access our account. We could access our account on our iPhone as well after we logged into their WiFi. The WiFi worked well throughout the ship. The outlets all required an adapter for US devices but there were a number of USB ports for recharging. We did not interact with our butler, Adrian, very much. He did not make himself very present but we weren’t in our room much so that was fine. The food and service in Waterside was very good to superb. Agnes was our sommelier most nights and she was very knowledgeable and helpful, and always with a smile. Lunch was always a buffet in Waterside and very well done with main entrees, a soup, salad options plus desserts. Servers were consistently available to refill water (still or sparkling) and for wine and beer. We went to Blue a couple of times for lunch. There is no buffet and a small menu with items made to order. The food and service were very good there as well. The top deck was open almost all the time except when going under a low bridge (only twice). There was bar service there as well. The scenery was spectacular! The great weather helped. It was quite warm some days but sunny with bright blue skies. The castles, vineyards and small towns make for a beautiful milieu. The included excursions were very good. The Audio Vox listening devices are a huge help (make sure they are fully charged though!). The busses were not full and the guides were very good. There are a variety of activity levels offered. I’m sure we could have booked our own guides in most towns but our tours were more than satisfactory. We were traveling with a group of 20 people that included Karen MacNeil who authored The Wine Bible. She hosted two excellent enrichment presentations on wine. The other enrichment activities were not that interesting. The pianist in the bar before dinner was good. Dinners were uniformly excellent. The service was very attentive without being overly so. The included wines were interesting and generally local, and others were available upon request—just ask for the wine menu. There were multiple options each night and the menu changed nightly. We were very fortunate that the Danube was at a perfect level for our cruise. Please note, however, the Danube is not blue! I would certainly recommend this cruise for anyone considering a Danube cruise. Five stars! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
For several years now I had wanted to cruise the Danube, maybe from watching all the Viking ads on PBS’ Masterpiece programs. So I began researching river cruises around the time Crystal first entered this market, and the reviews ... Read More
For several years now I had wanted to cruise the Danube, maybe from watching all the Viking ads on PBS’ Masterpiece programs. So I began researching river cruises around the time Crystal first entered this market, and the reviews immediately pegged it as the top of the line for luxury cruises. By the time we were able to actually book a cruise, Crystal’s river fleet had expanded and we wound up on a 10-day expedition on the newest addition, the Crystal Ravel. We were not disappointed: In fact, it was one of the rare experiences that totally exceeded expectations. First, the ship itself was smallish (four decks), with about a hundred passengers. I loved that it felt intimate—I have a horror of the 10-deck behemoths that cruise oceans. At the same time it was also stylish and modern. Our cabin wasn’t huge, but it had a small walk-in closet, a bathroom with two sinks and an excellent shower, and a very comfortable king sized bed. It also had a large flat screen TV, and we enjoyed watching a movie on it one night. Overall it was a very comfortable refuge. Then there was the food. We live in San Francisco, a foodie Mecca, but the cuisine on the Ravel was nothing short of marvelous, especially the sit-down dinners (they only had a buffet one night). Almost every meal was like eating at a five-star restaurant, with service to match. Wines on the all-inclusive menu were good to great (you can opt to pay extra for premium wines but we never felt the need). Two special meal options are worth mentioning: The bistro dinner in the smallish cafe (it’s free but you must reserve a seat since they can’t accommodate more than a couple of dozen diners), and the gourmet experience in the Vintage Room, a pricey but amazing 8-course meal with awesome wines (you must also reserve this ahead of time—we ate with four other people). Even if you don’t splurge on the Vintage Room, definitely try the bistro meal, which is sort of tapas-like—a lot of small plates with everything from steak tartare and gravlax to prime beef, shrimp, and caviar. It was outstanding. Breakfast buffets were great, and you could opt for ordered specialties (e.g. eggs Benedict); I rarely even ate lunch but people I spoke with also enjoyed casual bistro and served options. Crystal’s all-inclusive shore excursions covered all the basics, and we also opted for a couple of esoteric extra-cost outings (for example, Vienna’s Jewish history). Guides were generally excellent, especially the one who escorted us through the infamous Mauthausen death camp. I liked that he didn’t sugar coat his comments on the complicity of the Austrian people. Finally, the service. Every single crew member, from housekeepers and wait staff to tour organizers, the couple who provided musical and games entertainment at night, and the butler who twice a day refreshed the ice in our ice bucket, seemed truly dedicated to pampering and otherwise seeing to our comfort and satisfaction. By the end of the 10 days they seemed to know all of us by name, and always greeted us as we walked by. This cruise was a splurge for my husband and I, but we both felt it was well worth it. Crystal In our view lived up to its reputation as the best European river cruise line out there. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My wife and I recently returned from the May 4, 2019 Sailing of Mozart. It was our first River Cruise. We have sailed with Crystal Cruses on many voyages but those were ocean voyages. We loved the entire experience. The ship is ... Read More
My wife and I recently returned from the May 4, 2019 Sailing of Mozart. It was our first River Cruise. We have sailed with Crystal Cruses on many voyages but those were ocean voyages. We loved the entire experience. The ship is beautiful and kept in immaculate condition. It is double the width of most river cruise vessels. It carries a little over 150 guests with a crew of 90+ members. The crew was exceptional and very professional, attentive and welcoming. Cuisine was terrific. We had breakfast served in our room by the butler. One could also dine at Waterside which served breakfast buffet style or for a late risers breakfast at The Bistro. We enjoyed most lunches at Waterside where they served a buffet. They have a second restaurant that serves lunch for two hours each day. It includes salads, burgers and other grilled items and also it includes table service. Dinner was a Waterside which was table service. Selection was great and many items looked like ones served at a Michelin Restaurant. Alcohol is included other than connoisseur wne. They had a great selection of wine from Europe and the United States. We had a suite whose size was great for us. They included a nice set of excursions. Entertainment included a Pianist who we know from Ocean Ships who was outstanding along with local entertainment on most nights. We want to sail another Crystal River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
After sailing on many cruise lines throughout the world we decided this year was when we would sample a river cruise. We booked on a Ukranian cruise with another company and really did not enjoy for several reasons , however we were not to ... Read More
After sailing on many cruise lines throughout the world we decided this year was when we would sample a river cruise. We booked on a Ukranian cruise with another company and really did not enjoy for several reasons , however we were not to be deterred as we had heard so many good reviews from people and decided to jump straight back in. We chose the Xmas markets cruise on the Mozart in November 2018 as it is something that my wife had wanted to do . Feeling slightly anxious that this would not end up feeling as though it would be throwing good money after bad I contacted Crystal concierge regarding a few queries such as change of itinerary, arriving late on the ship and transfers from the airport as we were arriving independently. We received responses straight away and were given the information that we required. Transfers are free with Crystal even if you arrange your own flight which was great news as sometimes finding exact location of river cruise vessels can be difficult. On arrival which was late the embarkation was really smooth and within 10 minutes of arriving we were in our suite ordering room service.The suites are compact yet of good quality . The wardrobe is a pretty tight squeeze but their is more than ample storage space. The bathroom is top quality and the products offered are also top quality. The next we wandered round the ship and as expected everywhere was top quality , the sauna and pool area was really nice. For a ship which only caters for 151 guests there is plenty of seating areas and the restaurant is a good size and there are plenty of tables for 2 should you wish to dine by yourself. We very early eat breakfast but lunch and dinner are of a high standard and if you wanted something different from the menu the waiters were always happy to see if they could help. The menus are small compared to larger ships but I would imagine that it would be quite difficult to have a large menu for so few guests. The food was always of a good standard and you could use 2 restaurants for lunch and a choice of 3 dining venues if an evening. The guests were mainly American , Canadian , Chinese and a few from other countries so we were the only people from the United Kingdom aboard. Everybody seemed to get on and in the bar if an evening there was a good atmosphere whether it be quizzes, dancing or the entertainers James & Ros playing music. James & Ros were really good in getting the guests to mingle and take part in the activities. The excursions were mainly Xmas markets in Bratislava, Salzburg , Vienna and a few walking tours in Passau , Linz and Melk. These were well organised and most of them guides were knowledgeable and interesting. The Crystal coaches were excellent and very comfortable and even had Nespresso coffee machines onboard . We have travelled with many cruise lines and have always had good service on the ships and until now my favourite was Seabourn because the staff were so friendly and professional and always smiled when they spoke and took the time to talk to you . I always believed that was the best cruise crew we had been with . They have been matched by Crystal as we found the staff to be so helpful , professional and friendly. Wherever we went on the ship they all seemed happy . The staff on the Mozart are such an asset because we booked another cruise whilst on board and that is something we have never done before.There was no one area that we could make a negative criticism even when we received a letter in the cabin saying that we were not sailing to Bratislava because of the low level of the water , they took us by bus and gave us 250UD off a future cruise and I already knew that there were problems with the water level. I would definitely recommend Crystal to anybody who likes the nice things in life and like being looked after. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This cruise was amazing. We had a two bedroom suite + another room for our parents. Both were fully appointed. The butler, and service on the room fantastic...particularly found the daily personal laundry helpful. In our group of 5, ... Read More
This cruise was amazing. We had a two bedroom suite + another room for our parents. Both were fully appointed. The butler, and service on the room fantastic...particularly found the daily personal laundry helpful. In our group of 5, there were 3 gluten-free vegans. The chef went out of his way to prepare excellent meals daily with freshly made gluten-free bread! We usually have low expectations with our limited dietary choices, but in this case, the ship exceeded what we expected. The daily lunch buffet was amazing and fresh. Outstanding! The crew and service fantastic. Really, nothing to complain about at all. The ship manager appropriately handled a concern we had about an eBike tour. Very professional and extraordinary personnel on this ship. We had a handful of nights with entertainment (although we realized we were not on a "big" ocean ship). Wow, we were surprised, all were outstanding! Loved the bartending course..big plus. This ship is very clean, precisely managed, and has great service and food. Loved all of the tours and the lap pool in the back of ship. Relaxation areas are fantastic. From one picky person to another...you cannot go wrong on this one! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My wife and I chose this cruise for two reasons: (1) Our experience on the Crystal Symphony last year was excellent and we were able to obtain great pricing for this river cruise; and (2) the itinerary gave us a chance to visit our son who ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise for two reasons: (1) Our experience on the Crystal Symphony last year was excellent and we were able to obtain great pricing for this river cruise; and (2) the itinerary gave us a chance to visit our son who is studying abroad at a university in Germany. Our journey was just seven days. We had no time to explore Switzerland or the Netherlands on either end of the trip. We felt this was plenty of time and did not regret the schedule at all. Crystal's high quality was evident throughout our trip. The food and drinks were excellent. The staff was always cheerful and eager to assist. The boat was spotless and the itinerary and excursions were very well planned. We had a wonderful time. Martin Kaye provided terrific music each night. He played a little of his own music, but mostly had the crowd singing to pop favorites from the 60s, 70s, 80s, etc. We also greatly enjoyed a special concert at a palace in Koblenz. It was a fancy production and a one-of-a-kind experience. We are kicking ourselves for not taking advantage of the organ recital in the Strasbourg Cathedral. The food was magnificent, especially appetizers and desserts. The coffee and espresso need improvement, but then again, I find that we Americans tend to be dissatisfied with much of the coffee in Europe. Finally, anyone who has problems with seasickness should consider a river cruise. I've never been on a more stable vessel. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We selected Crystal based on my partner's experience several years ago. Our instincts were correct, as the entire experience was top-notch. The crew were friendly, professional and very caring. The ship was new, and everything ... Read More
We selected Crystal based on my partner's experience several years ago. Our instincts were correct, as the entire experience was top-notch. The crew were friendly, professional and very caring. The ship was new, and everything worked as expected. We were in a larger cabin (S1 Suite). The bath was well appointed and very functional, the bed was comfortable and the closet fit all the things we brought and really did not need. We had a small electrical issue where we may have thrown a breaker, it was corrected in 15 minutes. Dining was always excellent, with expert preparation and presentation, even the salad dressings were worthy of photos! This being a smaller ship (106 passengers) there was the one dining room and a smaller "Bistro" that was open at certain times. But we certainly were never hungry. there were plenty of choices and the dining staff were accommodating to any reasonable request. Excellent wine selections, too. Overall on board experience was relaxing and comfortable. The Rhine varies from spectacular scenery to industrial blight, but the crew kept us taken care of with a smile. The Vista deck was always a comfortable spot to just hang out and enjoy the ride. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Good experience with Crystal Mozart, over what we did expect. It has been an amazing 10 days onboard. The crew is very friendly, polite, always smiling and willing to assist with everything. The weather was unfortunately not so nice, ... Read More
Good experience with Crystal Mozart, over what we did expect. It has been an amazing 10 days onboard. The crew is very friendly, polite, always smiling and willing to assist with everything. The weather was unfortunately not so nice, but we were able to enjoy the tours in every location we docked. The food was extraordinary, presentation and taste wise, and very varied menu, all over higher then what we expected. We felt happy with personal service from Mrs Judy. The entertainment was also great! Very talented local singer and musician, able to make everyone sing and dance. The spa is also luxurious, which includes a Jacuzzi, female and male sauna and steam room, and very well trained therapist for Hair treatments, body massage, facials... Front desk is also very kind and always helpful, willing to answer any inquiries with a big knowledge, smile and making sure we are comfortable onboard. We got especially great help by Mrs Patricia by solving my IT questions. We look forward to join Crystal again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Let me start by saying that Crystal advertised this cruise as a 6 star experience.We were not disappointed.Fantastic in every way possible.If I could give 7 stars, I would!! My wife and I were looking for an upscale river cruise to ... Read More
Let me start by saying that Crystal advertised this cruise as a 6 star experience.We were not disappointed.Fantastic in every way possible.If I could give 7 stars, I would!! My wife and I were looking for an upscale river cruise to celebrate being empty nesters.Everything about this cruise was exceptional.Embarkation was a breeze.As we entered the ship you could see the beautifully appointed foyer. We were taken to our cabin immediately where we met Roman,our incredible butler who opened champagne and attended to our every need.He filled our room daily with fresh bottled water, Austrian and Czech beers and wine as well as the premium liquor of our choice.We quickly became great friends. The dining was incredible from sumptuous breakfasts, gourmet lunches,and the finest dinner cuisine you could imagine.Not to mention, continuous daily spreads of fine italian meets,cheeses,pastries etc.the cocktail lounge at night was a hit for all with entertainment by Mark Farris on piano who knew everyones name on the ship by the second night.He was superb. Our cabin was beautifully appointed with kingsize bed , a large walk-in shower and a heated toilet seat!Everything in the room could be controlled by your own personal ipad at the bedside. The shore excursions provided in all ports were mostly complimentary and were fascinating with wonderful tour guides.We did pay extra for an evening cruise on the ships 32 foot speedboat withe Bela the captain.Seeing the city on Budapest lit up at night on the Danube was phenomenal.Speaking of the crew,the service was as first class as it could be.From waiters,bartenders,and cruise directors; everyone was so friendly.The captain would take us the the pilothouse and answer any questions we had. When it comes to being all inclusive,Crystal doesn't miss a thing. We wanted for nothing.This was indeed better than we could have ever dreamed of.Hats off to Crystal;they got it right Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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