We departed from Dubrovnik on September 23, 2018 setting sail for Venice. Our intended flight schedule was intended to take us from San Antonio, Texas to Dallas to an overnight in Madrid and then on to Dubrovnik on the day of sailing. All of our luggage took different routes including stops in London, Vienna, Zurich, Frankfurt, Zagreb and finally to Zadar, Croatia. We were exhausted from trying to reunite with our luggage upon boarding the Esprit. The staff on board insisted on turning the task at hand over to them and to their network of Port Agents. They worked tirelessly to find our luggage and finally on Wednesday evening, after leaving Dubrovnik on Sunday, we were reunited with our luggage. We wore the same clothes for five days with the staff refreshing our clothes every day. The vessel was full and all of our fellow passengers recognized us by our apparent non-changing wardrobe. On the next evening we were in proper attire and were noticed and recognized with abundant cheers from our fellow guests.
The Crystal Esprit is a mere 82 meters in length. One must remember that at one time it was an individual's personal yacht. Before it entered the Crystal fleet it was totally gutted and converted to a luxury yacht for about sixty-one discerning guests.
I need not say how absolutely wonderful the cruise was and how we were treated by the staff. From Johann the Hotel Director, Grace and Jaypee at the Reception Desk, Lauren, Joel and Milly who served us at the bars and in the dining venues and Gee and Kath who kept our suite in perfect order, everything was over the top.
We went on a couple of shore excursions which were excellent. On some ports we chose to walk around on our own where we did a bit of shopping and had a "local" lunch. The shopping was fun and interesting but we spent three days in the wonderful city of Venice which is a shopping mecca at the end of the cruise. Although we have several favorite restaurants in Venice, the dining aboard the Esprit outshined a couple of them.
The dining experience ranks with some of the finist restaurants around the world. The presentation was unmatched. Adam, the Executive Chef, was incredibly creative. One day, he went ashore to round up some black and white truffles. We had homemade pasta with truffles as well as truffle omelettes for breakfast. Of course, we were lucky that it was truffle season in Europe.
All included wines were great but we supplemented them with optional Caymus Cabernet.
Cocktails were all hand crafted with premium liquors.
The evening entertainment was lovely with relaxing music offered by Craig at the piano and, at times, with the Captain on his guitar.
Water activities included jet-ski rides and two-person excursions on Crystal's own submarine on board (extra charge for that experience) The water was a bit too cold for me.
We are well-traveled and my wife and I agree that the Crystal Esprit ranks at the top of our travel experiences.
We are sailing on the Crystal Serenity out of LA in December and then it's back with our Esprit family in February in the Caribbean.
All was perfect and we normally travel with plenty of luggage (3 suitcases and 2 carry-ons for the two of us.) There was no shortage of space to store all of the things that were reunited with us. Our sister was in cabin 220 and her suite was wonderful as well. When we sailed on the Esprit in the Caribbean last year we were on Deck 3 but we saw no difference except that we ascended and descended more stairs each day. (That was good as we dined like kings and queens.) The decor is excellent and the bathroom has a nice size walk-in rain shower, double sinks and excellent lighting. It even has a television built into the mirror. The cabin windows have great blackouts and sun screens. For security purposes all cabins have electronic key cards for access.
A lovely bus ride around the Kotor area with a sampling of Olive Oil on an Olive Farm.
Lovely music in an old, inspiring setting