My mom and I opted to the Three Continent Cruise on the Crystal because of the ports visited for my mom’s birthday. We were overall pleased with the cruise and I don’t regret the extra expenditure for the Grand Suite. With that said, there were some really great features and some areas that you should be aware may fall short of some people’s expectations.
Embarkation notice for suite guests: We got to the cruise terminal early and I am glad we did. Suite guests are offered priority check-in but when the boarding line opened, there was no separate line and poor sign directions for suite guests. Guests began queuing up well in advance of official boarding time and the general boarding check-in line quickly encompassed the entire entryway to the terminal, so it was impossible for suite guests to know that there is actually a separate desk (across the room from the general check-in). In fact, I asked a cruise ship security/line attendant for where suite guests should check-in and he told me to go to the back of the general boarding line. If this is supposed to be a benefit of paying extra for suites, Celestial needs set up a separate line. Once we got to the right place, check-in was quick and did not have to go through the general queue.
Cruise ship positives: The dining room food was always good and well presented (suite guests receive free room service from the dining room menu and we used it a couple times and were always pleased with the quality). The on-board activities were hit or miss but the evening entertainment was good and I would rate it as just as good as evening shows on some larger mega cruise ships. The cruise director, Danny, was fantastic and entertaining. While it is a smaller ship, it offers almost all of the same key amenities as larger ships. Being a smaller ship, we never had to wait to be seated and there was always plenty of room in dining and lounge areas. The ship, while older, is also immaculately cleaned. The disembarking process (for both excursions and final disembark) was smooth and well organized. There was only one instance when lines became congested and unruly (the first port of call).