First scheduled cruise for the newest addition to the Crystal family and can not say enough nice things about the experience.
With room for something like 86 pax, an intimate experience is assured and it was!!!
Great crew, no, very great crew! Large cabins with great Wi-Fi and no interior cabins. Only three floors with no elevator, so if you are stair challenged, this may not be your choice.
Saying that, everyone I saw aboard did not mind the little exercise this offered and kept most of the passengers away from the gym, so I could have it to myself!!
Dining experience and the food - out of this world. First time I ever decided to return to ship while on a cruise when I had plenty of time ashore. Why, I just could not wait to see how they prepared lunch when each and every dinner was superb. Breakfast buffet was a visual treat to begin with and the staff noted the special dishes for each morning along with the beautiful spread on the buffet.
Each cocktail hour had a marvelous piano player, freshly made apps and an array of adult beverages to start your evening. Wine list were the best I have seen and most of the servers were knowledgeable enough to offer suggestions to pair your meal with an appropriate libation.
Shore excursions were all 1st class. For the first trip of the year, it was amazing they were able to pull everything off without a hitch. Every day the offer a free activity; all of which were very pleasing.
On hitch, which I am sure they have rectified by now, was embarkation in Venice was not well noted on the documents. I guess they thought everyone would take their offer of transport directly to the yacht, which, I had not.
The ports were beautiful. Who could not like the Croatia coast and the lovely small towns that grace the beautiful waters of the Adriatic Sea. Many opportunities to visit a guided tour of local wineries and sample not only their wine, but several even offered local apps or lunch.
As a practicing income taxman experiencing his annual post-tax season "get away from it all" this was just about perfect - so much so, my next opportunity to come aboard the Esprit will be with my lovely wife!!!
Great space with a king size bed and a large bathroom to boot!!
Great windows and sitting area. Even though I was a solo, I think two in the room would work just fine. Mini bar always stocked and the cabin steward and their assistants were always ready, willing and able to honor your request.
What can you say that hasn't been said about Venice. If it rains the city is horrible since the pedestrian pathways are narrow and when you add to width of umbrellas, tall people like me are in grave danger of losing an eye. Saying that, the canals, the restaurants and the sites are true "come back" reasons to keep Venice on your bucket list again and again!
Tomic Winery gave a great tour of their facilities and had a sampling of the wines. You can certainly tell they have done this before because the experience was very good and very polished. Even bought some wine to take back the Esprit sommelier, being their first cruise ever in this region, so he could sample some of the local offerings. Later in the cruise he mentioned that he would accompany future wine tasting tour excursions to assist the passengers and give his recommendations! Smart idea for Crystal.View All 4 Wine Tasting Tour Reviews
Visited Bire Winery and a tour, tasting and lunch. What a treat. Family members assisted and talked about their wines. Most are sold at their sister property/hotel on the coast or at the winery. the Plavac Mali was to die for! They make about 30,000 bottles a year and by California standards this is a tiny winery (2,500 cases!) The lunch consisted of smoked ham, cheese and small fish. The first two, I believe are made on property. Main course was a salad plus pasta with meat followed by what my polish friends would call Chrusciki (dough rolled and deep fried. They did not last long and followed by their own brandy (grappa) in four flavors. Great way to end a lunch and have a nap on the small buses back to the yacht. Not to be missed if you go.......and I would in a heart beat again!!View All 1 Culinary Tour Reviews
This is where I disembarked after my beautiful journey. A couple of things to note. Take the public transport or the yacht's offer into the walled city or even a cab if the first alternatives are not available. Due to a race on the city streets my option was to wait until traffic was once again allowed or as someone suggested, walk it. Well, schlepping a roller bag and my brief case (I do travel extremely light) from the where the Esprit was docked to the walled city was mostly an uphill grade and not at all a brief walk. Be smart and do NOT do this!! My stay for the overnight was the Luxury-X which was fine but not really a hotel, more like a daily rental apartment house. But the location was to die for in the heart of the old city. Bonus, the owners also own or mange the Gatsby, a nearly restaurant and lounge. They even offer a great discount card for the boarders at the "hotel" which I took advantage of and loved everything about the Gatsby. Try it, I think you will like it..