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2 Crystal Serenity Luxury Cruise Reviews

After reading so many positive CC reviews on the Crystal experience my wife and I decided to book a world cruise segment Shanghai to Japan nearly a year in advance.Expectations were running extremely high and remained so until a month ... Read More
After reading so many positive CC reviews on the Crystal experience my wife and I decided to book a world cruise segment Shanghai to Japan nearly a year in advance.Expectations were running extremely high and remained so until a month before sailing until we were told that due to Chinese regulations a day had be shaved off of our stay in Shanghai.I contacted Crystal asking if they would pay for my independently arranged flights to be changed at there expense they agreed then revoked on there agreement, hence we now lost a day in this fantastic city, our first time visit, once on board the CEO asks for initial feedback, I fed this back seen by the Hotel Director who advised it was being looked into, it was offered to have the flight changes refunded, as the flights had not been changed suggested equivalent cruise credits and was told 23rd April 2016 this would not happen, in summary offer/refused, offer/refused, not what I expected from a premium luxury cruise brand. Not onto the cruise experience, Embarkation was a breeze well handled and luggage in cabin prior to us arriving. Cabin was tiny really tiny for a luxury ship difficult to access wardrobes as they were extremely close to one side of a bed, toiletries were extremely basic for a luxury cruise brand, it was keep clean apart from one evening we returned to the cabin with a service tray ( not ours ) stating "" DO NOT TOUCH "" on it , called housekeeping and they could/would not give reasons as to why! Ship was beautiful kept really clean ( must have been as a result of the recent low CDC score ) and the public areas were generally good although showing signs of wear especially in the spa where there were stools with holes in etc. Now onto the food, this was not really up to standard maybe we was just unlucky but in 14 days only had one reasonable meal at the beginning of the voyage .The tastes were bland, unseasoned and often was delivered luke warm, we were told that on world cruises they have to not season food as the average age of clients is much higher and they prefer bland basic food, as compensation I was offered chilli flakes and Tabasco sauce, nice touch.The Buffet and deck grill were probably the best food offerings on our cruise, we also tried Prego, Silk Road and Tastes as alternative dinning all just average. The best aspect of the cruise were the staff, most appeared happy in there work and engaged with you and served well, some commented on cut backs since new ownership as when I asked for a Peronni or Moretti Italian beer was told used to offer but has been deleted due to it being a couple of cents more per bottle. Excursions , not very well organised and extremely expensive, for example over $400 USD per person for a 3 hour one stop visit to a tea ceremony, bonsai museum .There seemed to be poor organisation in clearing immigration in ports visited sometimes waiting in line for over an hour.The overland 3 day tour to Bejing was excellent and well organised this was included in the cruise fare. Whilst on the cruise Edie the CEO gave a lecture of the very ambitious expansion plans that she is heading up with the new owners, exciting as they are I couldn't help feeling that Crystal may be heading down the Renasance route. On speaking with many loyal Crystal Cruise clients they were really up set as to how the standards are falling so very quickly, they remain loyal as to the offers they get on future cruises make it difficult to divorce Crystal, the main issue was the cost cutting along with the sub standard food offered, they all blamed the new parent company. Would I book another Crystal Cruise ? No not unless there would be a guarantee of much better food , shore excursion and land base divisions keeping to there word. I have taken over 55 cruises probably 10 on premium lines and I am really sorry to say my Crystal experience did not come any where remotely close to meeting expectations, I feel duty bound to post ( in my opinion ) my experiences as I would not wish other potential first time Crystal cruise clients to experience what I did.This review is not intended to offend but is actual findings as reported on the post cruise questionnaire and directly to Crystal. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
About boarding with very high expectations we were greeted by a truly beautiful ship. Lovely design, sophisticated and well-appointed without being overwhelming. The Palm Court is a particularly pleasant space for lounging and watching the ... Read More
About boarding with very high expectations we were greeted by a truly beautiful ship. Lovely design, sophisticated and well-appointed without being overwhelming. The Palm Court is a particularly pleasant space for lounging and watching the scenery. Cabin comfortable and functional. Beyond that the cruise did not in any way live up to expectations. The food in particular was not to our expectations. The embarkation day lunch is often tricky, but when the only thing that appealed was the polenta lasagna was the only appealing thing we were worried. With a cornucopia of hot sandwiches and burgers on the lunch menu for those tastes went in that direction there was little else for the rest of us who wanted something a little more interesting. The dinners likewise suffered from a lack of imagination and average quality cuts and types of meat and poultry. The section of wine was adequate but again not sensational nor were the wines rotated particularly well. We had an excellent somellier, Lubomir, and our servers Jarryd and Nena were lovely, which made up for the disappointing dining experience. Despite the advertising, no one was interested offering us anything above and beyond what was on the menu. The entertainment was poor and the shows dated and predictable - we did not sit through a single show. The lecturers likewise were disappointing and did not know their material adequately. What I found most noticeable was that the crew were not particularly friendly - no one seemed to enjoy their job nor did they seemed at all responsive to their passengers. The pursers desk staff always made you feel like you were disturbing them, the bar staff pleasant but disinterested, the officers invisible. I know that it is difficult to not compare one line to another, but for us Crystal, despite the cost being comparable in no way matched Silversea.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Crystal Serenity Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 5.0 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.3
Family 4.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 5.0 4.2
Service 4.5 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 5.0 4.1

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