I chose this cruise as a surprise for my wife as it encompassed our actual anniversary. Unfortunately, our travel agent messed it up within 48 hours by emailing my wife the receipt. We had sailed three previous times with Crystal.
This cruise was a 6 day "Getaway" voyage that is really one half of the normal cruise itinerary. We were worried about boarding in the midst of the cruise but those fears were quickly alleviated. Boarding was smooth and we quickly fell into the ship's routine. We were quickly recognized by staff who knew us from previous cruises (Tipping helps!).
Service is always 10 out of 10 on Crystal and this cruise did not disappoint. Bar help and dining staff is excellent. We sometimes shy away from buffets or "the feeding trough" as we call it, but Crystal's staff makes the experience pleasant as the staff finds seats, carries food and is quick to refill drinks or clear plates.
Our actual anniversary was in Prego where the evening was nothing short of perfect. Prego prepares the best dish I have had on a ship, the Beef Carpachio.
We had a Penthouse, the smaller of the 2 but we actually prefer it to the Penthouse Suite with Veranda. The butler was excellent as was the cabin stewardess.
The price on this short cruise was acceptable. However, we are finding that Crystal is taking major price increases. We inquired about the 2019 85 day World cruise in the smaller Penthouse. The price quoted was breathtaking and if anything will drive us away from Crystal it will be the pricing. Our opinion is that the Air cruises failed, Crystal is rebuilding both big ships in order to add larger Penthouses and that we are being asked to pay for it. Yes, we could step down to the standard cabins, but Crystal's standard rooms are too small. The closets are not walk in and are stuffed beside the bed, causing closet access and use issues which in turn turn into "marital discord".
Our only other beef with Crystal is the lack of an outside bar. Trying and find a ship of any size in the cruise industry where you can't sit at the bar and enjoy a drink and fresh air. Crystal's staff will bring you a drink but it comes from inside.
Overall, Crystal provides the best experience in cruising for us. We just hope that they will come to their senses on pricing.
The Penthouse with Verandah seems to be our favorite. The desk is actually 2 sided giving each of us our own flat space for computers or make-up.
The sofa at the bottom of the bed is not too crowded and includes a comfortable chair that is more living room like than dining room like.
The bathroom was great and we never felt crowded with 2 of us there.
Butler service was excellent as was cabin service.
Our only complaint is pricing. While the price on this short Caribbean cruise was OK, we are finding that future pricing is taking these smaller Penthouses to new levels. Crystal's standard rooms are way too small, especially when compared to the competition.
Penthouse suite, at more than 500 square feet more than price us out of the market.
We boarded here and found the port building to be the typical port shopping building.
It was a bit early after the hurricane .... but cudos to Crystal for keeping the schedule and adding to the economy.
Its Charleston, you can't go wrong with this city.