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Crystal Esprit Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
25 Reviews

Not as advertised

Crystal Esprit Cruise Review by jcp569

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2019
  • Destination: the Middle East
  • Cabin Type: Yacht Suite

We wanted to try cruising on a small yacht and were very much looking forward to the water sports, such as swimming, and snorkeling, that Crystal advertised as being part of the Esprit experience. The ads showed how such activities could be accessed at the rear of the shop. To our dismay none of these activities were available and though Crystal had known about this for many months, passengers were not informed. So, our first problem is with the ethics of the way Crystal handled the water sports.

The yacht is small and while the food and service were good, there is very little to do on the ship: no lectures on the interesting ports----Abu Dabi, Doha, Muscat---no areas to walk, no hot tubs, no entertainment, beyond a pianist. The cabins were spacious enough, but no balconies or bath tubs. The excursions were good and interesting, but not superior to those offered by other lines.

Overall, the cost of the Crystal cruise was significantly higher than other lines and we did not see the benefits. Also I was really dismayed by Crystal's business practices.

So, when dealing with Crystal Buyer Beware.

jcp569's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Yacht Suite

The cabins are spacious enough and have 2 large windows, but no balconies and no bath tubs.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


No excursions were available for this port, but it is a very interesting city and well worth visiting.


A very scenic stop, with beautiful waterways similar to fjords. The dhow tours were very good and others who took jeep tours into the mountains also enjoyed their excursions.

City Tour

Muscat is a very interesting and attractive city, with a lovely Corniche along the waterfront which is great for walking. We also had a wonderful snorkelling excursion.

View All 31 City Tour Reviews
City Tour

A good overview of the city, with the highlights being the mosque and the observation deck in one of the tallest buildings.

View All 17 City Tour Reviews
Grand Mosque

Abud Dabi is a very interesting stop. A highlight is the Grand Mosque, but the dress code for women is very restrictive. A very impressive city built on oil revenues with beautiful public areas and a corniche along the waterfront.

View All 15 Grand Mosque Reviews

A stunning city with an impressive skyline and eye catching architecture. The dress code for women is restrictive---no bathing suits on public beaches.

Sir Bani Yas Island

The beach here is fine and we went swimming. But the place has a "safari" which is strange. Animals are brought from all over the world, even if the habitat is totally unsuited to them. We watched the poor reindeer from colder climates struggling witht he heat.

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