Over the past 32 years I have been on over 40 cruises on about 20 cruise lines. I always remembered our 1993 cruise on "Crystal Harmony" as the best of them all, but it was very expensive. Eventually I decided to try Crystal again, as their prices were comparatively more affordable than in the 90's. I read some pretty negative comments on Cruise Critic and was dubious, but it turned out to be a fabulous cruise. The ship is beautiful and super-spacious and from the outside has beautiful lines reminiscent of the old ocean liners. There was never a wait anywhere (except getting on the tenders). The service was impeccable and the food and entertainment fabulous. I loved some of the special touches in the stateroom not found on other ships. I went as a single and never felt uncomfortable, ignored, or crowded out and though I didn't dance I appreciated the presence of the dance hosts. The entertainment was much better than on other ships despite being on a smaller one-story stage. There was never a problem finding a seat in the showroom, unlike other cruises where you had to show up an hour ahead to even get a seat. And the shows were a full 45 minutes and 3 production shows on this cruise versus 30 minutes on Princess and only one production show. I loved the ballroom dance quartet that performed in the Galaxy lounge twice on our cruise. Tea in the Palm Court was wonderful. The Brazilian BBQ at Churrascaria was unbelievably good as was the food and service in Uma Uni Japanese restaurant. I did not try Prego. It was really nice to not have to deal with paying for alcohol, soda, etc., tips and Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi speed was excellent. I had a few nit-picky complaints about the stateroom design, embarkation in L.A. was awkward and confusing, and the tendering operation was not very efficient. An added bonus, since I am now cruising single, is they are single-friendly, with single supplements from 30% to 75% depending on the cruise and how early you book. I am switching my allegiance from Princess to Crystal now!
Very nice stateroom. The verandah floor was teak, not the rubber mats found on other ships and had more comfortable chairs than on other ships. It was on the small side but nice. I loved the reading lights by the bed and the night light tucked under the full length mirror that lighted your way to the bathroom. The toilet was too close to the wall and it was easy to hit your head on the sink standing up or on the glass shelf above the sink. The shower/tub was great. I didn't need the double sinks, but nice for a couple. There was no plug in the bath for my electric toothbrush, so I had to plug it in on the desk. The closet was on the small side with limited hanging room and I hated its sliding doors which were awkward to use. I did appreciate the robe choices (warm or cool fabric) and the shoehorn, umbrella, sewing kit, lots of hangars and a tote bag. A first for me was provided binoculars. I really liked the electronic "do not disturb" or "clean room" signs and doorbell. Also the clock with night light.
Well, we have to go there because of the Jones Act, right? But it's a boring port unless you are a major shopper and like bargaining. I did wander around the shops inside the port and bought a very pretty glass unicorn/pegasus.
Great trolley tour of the city and Balboa Park. Great guide. Highly recommend.View All 36 City Tour Reviews
Tour through the interior to the Airport in the Sky on a small tour van. Great guide. Very interesting visit to the airport. Recommended.View All 7 Island Interior Tour Reviews