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Crystal Serenity Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
286 Reviews

We Jumped Ship In Cabo!

Crystal Serenity Cruise Review by alwaysonaship

40 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2020
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah

After 55 cruises, the Crystal Serenity was such a unsatisfactory cruise, we made arrangements to get off the ship in Cabo San Lucas and fly home. Yes we left. This was the first leg of the world cruise and we found it to be a major disappointment. We looked at each other one day, and decided enough was enough and let’s leave. We contacted the concierge and made all the arrangements, got on the tender in Cabo with our luggage and were gone. You are probably wondering how this could happen. Well, let us tell you our feelings about the Crystal Serenity.

We had booked this cruise a year in advance and having sailed on the Symphony 10 years ago thought it would be a pleasant experience. We are a well travel couple and in the last 12 months spent a week in Tahiti on the Paul Gauguin and then the St Regis in Bora Bora. In September we did a cruise from Montreal to Newfoundland on the Seabourn Quest. Both of these cruises were very satisfactory and we will be sailing with them in the future. Now on to Crystal.

Boarding. We boarded in Miami. It was quick and our cabin 8011 a standard balcony cabin was ready. Our luggage showed up quickly. We remarked how small our cabin was. Not quite 200 sq feet, but we had booked it so that’s what we got. The balcony was nice and had two chairs and a table. Unfortunately most of the time the cushions were wet so we really were not able to use it as much as we would have wanted. There was no fruit, champagne, and I will add no chocolates on the pillows at night. The tiny loveseat in the cabin was not in good repair and when sitting on it one end was sinking in. We nicely ask for a replacement and nothing was done. The next day we ask again not in a pleasant tone, and it was replaced. The mattress was saggy and probably 10 years old. Now you may read about the renovations done to the ship to the tune of $17,000,000. Don’t think for a minute that anything was done to the standard balcony cabins. They were very original.

Food: everyone enjoys eating on a cruise, and I must say I honestly could not believe the poor quality food. Everything was overly salty...yes everything. I am convinced that the Chinese Consortium who purchased Crystal have cut costs at every corner. I could not drink enough water. From the beloved Mushroom soup in the Italian restaurant that was inedible due to the sodium, to the bacon at breakfast. There is no way was that made fresh on the ship. I am convinced that the majority of the cooked food was pre-made and sold to Crystal. There was a rumor that they hid the raspberries at the breakfast buffet. I chuckled when I read this so I did a test. I went up and ask the man behind the buffet if there were any raspberries..he looked at me and said to go down a ways and ask the guy there and he would get me some from under the counter. So to keep this short, it was probably the worst food we have had on a cruise ship. Everything about it was prepared on the cheap. I will add that the guys at the Trident Grill could fix an amazing cheeseburger and fries.

The Passengers: people were not friendly, did not make eye contact, and were in their own little Crystal world. Most of them were very elderly and only cruised on Crystal and could not believe there were other ships out there that provided a great experience. They were very unsociable except in their little group of friends.

The Internet: it was included, but as you know everything that is included is paid for in your all-inclusive fare. To sum it up the speeds were so bad that you could sit and watch a page load. There were those Crystal fans who made excuses for it, but it was unsatisfactory.

Shore Excursions: overpriced and very average.

Lectures: we did go to the one with Scott Kelly ,the astronaut who spent a year in space. He was very engaging and enjoyable.

In summary this was an expensive cruise. We felt like we would just cut our losses and get off, so we did. We stayed four days in Los Cabos and flew home. We call it “making the best out of a bad situation”

I personally thing the new ownership has done a disservice to Crystal. Since we have cruised with them previously, I could see the difference and it was not luxury. We will not be cruising Crystal in the future.

Update: We received a Certified letter from Crystal Dated March 2, 2020 that we were advised that we were placed on their "Do Not Sail List" Since there never was an issue on the ship, except we requested to leave, it appears this review ruffled a few feathers". Additionally they referenced a booking which we had cancelled for 2021. This was signed by someone in customer service.

alwaysonaship's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah

This was very small and old. Absolutely no room. The bathroom has a tub shower combo, but it is nest to impossible to get in and out due to the very high sides.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

San Juan del Sur

Were unable to get off due to high winds. This is not a safe place, and I question their choice of Nicaragua as it is given a 3 out of 4 for high danger by the State Department

City Tour

Very average

View All 367 City Tour Reviews

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