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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
This cruise was chosen because it was so very special, Northwest Passage; only done last year by Crystal and not to be done again until at least 2020 according to onboard officers/crew. The ship itself was immaculate, easy to maneuver, ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because it was so very special, Northwest Passage; only done last year by Crystal and not to be done again until at least 2020 according to onboard officers/crew. The ship itself was immaculate, easy to maneuver, well laid out. Public rooms were excellent and the onboard computer room was great for help with any cell phone or computer issue. Free Wi-Fi for an hour a day was excellent. I can't even begin to describe this voyage and its route through the most challenging waters of the upper Arctic . At one time we had two ice breakers preceding us for safety. Never felt so secure and safe. The excursions were expensive, and you saw so much from just being on the ship itself. Service was unbelievably superior in every way at every venue. The all inclusive cost included alcohol and I was surprised at the upper shelf liquor including single malt scotches. The lectures were fantastic and always different speakers. They spared no expense in my mind in every way. I had a suite on deck 7 and no balcony but it was very spacious and bathroom was also. Because of the length of cruise, over a month, it was so nice to have washers/dryers/ironing boards available (no charge). The average age seemed to be 75+ but in no way made any difference to the experience. I want to do the Northwest Passage again on Crystal when they finish building a ship specific to the Arctic and Antarctic regions. This is a first class experience and the Northwest Passage was truly an experience and sight I will always remember. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
It was not for the faint-hearted, but still within the realm of a leisurely cruise. It was not an expedition, despite Crystal trying to make it one, but it is not possible to truly combine luxury with back packing. All and all though ... Read More
It was not for the faint-hearted, but still within the realm of a leisurely cruise. It was not an expedition, despite Crystal trying to make it one, but it is not possible to truly combine luxury with back packing. All and all though Crystal succeeded in providing a platform for some wild shore excursions from a luxury platform. The cost was steep, but once on our way we could see why. Zodiacs and drivers do not come cheap, neither does the British icebreaker, Shackleton, that escorted the Serenity most of the way, nor the four ice-pilots, the special excursion leaders for kayaking, etc. The lectures were plentiful and very high quality. So was the entertainment, mostly above shipboard quality one would expect, and Crystal had done some heroics in resuplying entertainers and provisions in places that did not even have a simple dock. At first we were very apprehensive, did not know what to expect. This was our first cruise with Crystal, the itinerary was the deciding factor, so cannot compare with Crystal people on less adventurous venues. People were friendly, but a bit standoffish. The rather restrictive seating arrangement did not foster wide interaction either. Food was fabulous, well prepared, great selection, daily menus never repeated in 31 days! Specialty restaurants OK, but not above the main dining room. Wine selections marginal. Serving staff exceptional, attentive, knowledgeable, and experienced. Mostly Eastern and Central Europeans, South Africans, and Brazilians, doing a fabulous job. The pastry chef did justice to his Austrian roots. One of us required a serious gluten free diet, and it was readily available without much sacrifice in the choices of dishes. There were some on board who heavily criticized Crystal for exploiting the eskimo villagers visited. This could not be further from the truth. Yes we had visited some people with very limited means, but Crystal did a super job in educating people beforehand, and organizing the tours in a dignified fashion. (This was not the first time a cruise ship visited some poor villages -- how about the Amazon or Indonesian cruises?) The fact is that the visit by the ship probably given a serious economic boost to the locals, asside from the substantial grants given to the communities. Shore excursion team was very good, considering the roughness of the territory. Unfortunately many of the excursions were very expensive. Internet was generous, 1 hr per day, cumulative, but slow. All and all it was an awesome cruise! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We've cruised with Crystal before and have high expectations for this cruise line. The checkin and buses from downtown to Whittier was very confusing and a big mess, with no one really seeming to know what was happening, but the ... Read More
We've cruised with Crystal before and have high expectations for this cruise line. The checkin and buses from downtown to Whittier was very confusing and a big mess, with no one really seeming to know what was happening, but the buses arrived and we all got to the port eventually (our group was split over 3 buses). Cabins were ready early so we were able to unpack before dinner, which you don't see on the larger ships. The cabins are also much quieter and better insulated than other cruise lines. The quality of the food seems to have gone down a bit as well and they didn't have a formal night (which would have been nice to know in advance to save packing tux & dress). The daily tea time is wonderful and I highly recommend it. The service was good and staff very pleasant. Our main concern is that we had ongoing issues with our toilet not flushing properly that was never really resolved. Add to that a strong sewer odor in the hallway on our deck (7) outside our cabin. This made for a most unpleasant experience walking to/from the cabin. Fortunately it didn't smell INSIDE our cabin or I would have been most upset! Even our cabin steward said she had reported the sewer smells in the hallway. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Overall a great cruise. Food was the best we have ever had on any cruise-line. Drinks were properly made and served. Cabin was a little small - but we expected that. Unfortunately, the weather was not good - but the cruise can not ... Read More
Overall a great cruise. Food was the best we have ever had on any cruise-line. Drinks were properly made and served. Cabin was a little small - but we expected that. Unfortunately, the weather was not good - but the cruise can not be blamed for that. The only two small complaints - the entertainment was terrific, but way too early. We had the late seating, and most of our shows were at 7 (pre-dinner). When you are in port till 7, you do not want to run back to make a show - so we missed many. Also, that meant that after dinner our choices were limited to the casino or the piano bar. The other small complaint was the lack of an indoor or covered pool. Again, bad weather meant that no one was going to swim or "hang" by the outdoor pool. Again, minor complaints. Service, food and the ship itself made the trip A+ Read Less
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