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5 Crystal Serenity Cruise Reviews

After 55 cruises, the Crystal Serenity was such a unsatisfactory cruise, we made arrangements to get off the ship in Cabo San Lucas and fly home. Yes we left. This was the first leg of the world cruise and we found it to be a major ... Read More
After 55 cruises, the Crystal Serenity was such a unsatisfactory cruise, we made arrangements to get off the ship in Cabo San Lucas and fly home. Yes we left. This was the first leg of the world cruise and we found it to be a major disappointment. We looked at each other one day, and decided enough was enough and let’s leave. We contacted the concierge and made all the arrangements, got on the tender in Cabo with our luggage and were gone. You are probably wondering how this could happen. Well, let us tell you our feelings about the Crystal Serenity. We had booked this cruise a year in advance and having sailed on the Symphony 10 years ago thought it would be a pleasant experience. We are a well travel couple and in the last 12 months spent a week in Tahiti on the Paul Gauguin and then the St Regis in Bora Bora. In September we did a cruise from Montreal to Newfoundland on the Seabourn Quest. Both of these cruises were very satisfactory and we will be sailing with them in the future. Now on to Crystal. Boarding. We boarded in Miami. It was quick and our cabin 8011 a standard balcony cabin was ready. Our luggage showed up quickly. We remarked how small our cabin was. Not quite 200 sq feet, but we had booked it so that’s what we got. The balcony was nice and had two chairs and a table. Unfortunately most of the time the cushions were wet so we really were not able to use it as much as we would have wanted. There was no fruit, champagne, and I will add no chocolates on the pillows at night. The tiny loveseat in the cabin was not in good repair and when sitting on it one end was sinking in. We nicely ask for a replacement and nothing was done. The next day we ask again not in a pleasant tone, and it was replaced. The mattress was saggy and probably 10 years old. Now you may read about the renovations done to the ship to the tune of $17,000,000. Don’t think for a minute that anything was done to the standard balcony cabins. They were very original. Food: everyone enjoys eating on a cruise, and I must say I honestly could not believe the poor quality food. Everything was overly salty...yes everything. I am convinced that the Chinese Consortium who purchased Crystal have cut costs at every corner. I could not drink enough water. From the beloved Mushroom soup in the Italian restaurant that was inedible due to the sodium, to the bacon at breakfast. There is no way was that made fresh on the ship. I am convinced that the majority of the cooked food was pre-made and sold to Crystal. There was a rumor that they hid the raspberries at the breakfast buffet. I chuckled when I read this so I did a test. I went up and ask the man behind the buffet if there were any raspberries..he looked at me and said to go down a ways and ask the guy there and he would get me some from under the counter. So to keep this short, it was probably the worst food we have had on a cruise ship. Everything about it was prepared on the cheap. I will add that the guys at the Trident Grill could fix an amazing cheeseburger and fries. The Passengers: people were not friendly, did not make eye contact, and were in their own little Crystal world. Most of them were very elderly and only cruised on Crystal and could not believe there were other ships out there that provided a great experience. They were very unsociable except in their little group of friends. The Internet: it was included, but as you know everything that is included is paid for in your all-inclusive fare. To sum it up the speeds were so bad that you could sit and watch a page load. There were those Crystal fans who made excuses for it, but it was unsatisfactory. Shore Excursions: overpriced and very average. Lectures: we did go to the one with Scott Kelly ,the astronaut who spent a year in space. He was very engaging and enjoyable. In summary this was an expensive cruise. We felt like we would just cut our losses and get off, so we did. We stayed four days in Los Cabos and flew home. We call it “making the best out of a bad situation” I personally thing the new ownership has done a disservice to Crystal. Since we have cruised with them previously, I could see the difference and it was not luxury. We will not be cruising Crystal in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Too expensive for what you got.food was good, service was good. Shore excursions were expensive and poorly done. Complaints to the excursion desk were blown off. Not much to do on sea days or in down hours. Okay, I have to add more to ... Read More
Too expensive for what you got.food was good, service was good. Shore excursions were expensive and poorly done. Complaints to the excursion desk were blown off. Not much to do on sea days or in down hours. Okay, I have to add more to post. There must be fun things to see on Turks,Antigua and or St Lucia. But we were packed into small Nissan mini buses or rough riding trolleys. Some guides were good,some were poor or even hostile. On St Lucia, our guide referred to each KFC we passed as “Killing Foolish Children.” I have no idea why. Our cabin was very clean room service was fairly quick and good. Table wines served with dinner were okay. Entertainment was meh. Most shows were one third to one half full. Close up magician was good. In my opinion, Princess Cruises was a much better value. Their daily activities were more interesting and much more numerous. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were on the 10th floor in a stateroom on the back of the ship. Unbeknownst to us, six inches from our stateroom was a smoking area. With cigarette and cigar smoke coming into our room. We complained and the conceige told us they would ... Read More
We were on the 10th floor in a stateroom on the back of the ship. Unbeknownst to us, six inches from our stateroom was a smoking area. With cigarette and cigar smoke coming into our room. We complained and the conceige told us they would review their smoking policy. As if that was any help! My husband is a cancer survivor and the last thing we needed was smoke in our room. Their indifference to our situation is enough for us to never use Crystal ever again. Too many other disappointments with service to discribe here. Never again!!! The first night our wine steward was so rude it was astounding. We don’t what his problem was. After pouring the first glass of wine, he just slammed a bottle of wine on our table and we didn’t have any wine service after that. Which was really a relief! Not gourmet food, just good food fast. Getting close to 8:30 (the second seating) they practically pull the tablecloth off the table to get you out the door. The dining room is so noisy that having a conversation is difficult. The employees slam dishes and trays constantly. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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

Top Crystal Serenity Itineraries

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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