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47 Crystal River Vienna Cruise Reviews

This cruise was excellent. Food was great. Excursions are top notch. Service was the best We were on Crystal Debussy last summer. This was an identical experience - just colder We had the S1 category room with an expanded closet ... Read More
This cruise was excellent. Food was great. Excursions are top notch. Service was the best We were on Crystal Debussy last summer. This was an identical experience - just colder We had the S1 category room with an expanded closet and double sink. For a winter cruise the larger closet makes sense as the outwear take up a lot of space. Room is immaculate and well laid out. In room amenities are excellent. coffee, wine, water are all included Dining is really a major part of our experience and this ship does not disappoint. Dinner is absolutely stellar. It really is Michelin level food. Every dinner is spot on. Breakfast and lunch is mostly "buffet", but that isn't a downgrade. There is always something good to eat as an entree. Starters and deserts are small - that allows sampling of a variety While the two entertainers are very good, I viewed them as just entertainers. They really don't command the room and take you on a journey. We had a piano player last year -Martin Kaye - and he was great. They need someone with more of a stage presence given the size of the room. They had a few other entertainers brought on board - all good and enjoyable Service in every aspect was excellent. restaurant, butler, housekeeping - everything. They knew your name in a day, they knew your drink in a day Excursions are generally small in size and well explained. Guides are knowledgable. The bus service is great My one gripe is that very young kids are allowed on the boat - two in this case. I know every discussion of "I have been with loud adults, my kid is well behaved etc..." On a river cruise there really isn't a place for the kids to do what kids do. Palm Court becomes a play area during the day, dinner is listening to Barney on an iPad. Moody teenagers staring at their iPhone is one thing, watching a 3 yo dance at 10 pm in Palm Court is another Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
As fans of Crystal ocean ships, we wanted to sail on Mozart, before she became exclusively for oriental guests from January 1st, though of course there will be 4 other Crystal river ships to choose from. We flew to Vienna the day ... Read More
As fans of Crystal ocean ships, we wanted to sail on Mozart, before she became exclusively for oriental guests from January 1st, though of course there will be 4 other Crystal river ships to choose from. We flew to Vienna the day before staying at an excellent airport hotel before being picked up by the included crystal transfer bus on the day of our cruise. It whisked up across the city to join Mozart for our Danube cruise. She looked rather dumpy from the shore, but once on board the fabulous interior wowed us. Documentation and registration were speedy, with a proffers welcoming glass of champagne. Our luggage had been whisked away to our cabin, so we were free to either have lunch or to explore this lovely vessel, the biggest on the Danube. We chose to have lunch , enjoying the delicious dishes offered in W , the main dining room , with both hot and cold dishes, a car very station and a range of delicious desserts. We found a window side seat, and were offered a wide choice of wines to accompany our excellent meal. The restaurant manager , whom we’d known from the ocean ships, came over to welcome us, and we realised we were in for a superb river cruise. Later we went to our deck 2 cabin, surprised at its size, excellent comfortable bed, generous wardrobe and storage space and a delightful french balcony. The sofa was decent size, the tv huge and a welcome bottle of champagne chilled for us to enjoy, plus wines in the minibar. The lovely limestone tiled bathroom was high tech, with programmable Toto toilet, large , quite complicated shower, and heated rail, and Crystal’s signature Etro toiletries Prior to joining the ship, we had chosen which of the included excursions we’d enjoy, and the proved to be excellent, with wide ranging choices, both cultural and scenic, comfortable coaches and superb local guides. Many guests took 2 excursions a day, but we wanted a more relaxing cruise, and time to enjoy the lovely ship. We have tried river cruising on several rivers, but this was by far our best experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I happened upon a great sale on Crystal River Cruises and my husband and I had never sailed the Danube, so I thought, why not? This wasn't even meant to be our big vacation for the year - we went to Australia last May. I arranged ... Read More
I happened upon a great sale on Crystal River Cruises and my husband and I had never sailed the Danube, so I thought, why not? This wasn't even meant to be our big vacation for the year - we went to Australia last May. I arranged our own airfare on American in Premium Economy (nice and roomy for the flights both ways although the seats don't lay flat, they are at least more comfortable and the food is better). We always fly in at least 1 day prior to the cruise to insure that no travel delay affects our ability to board the ship. We stayed in Vienna at Hotel Das Tyrol which was an excellent location and lovely boutique hotel with all the sights of Vienna in close walking distance and many nearby restaurants. We had Weiner Schnitzel for lunch and then headed to the Imperial Palace to take the Sisi tour. Much of Sisi's story reminded me of Princess Diana, including her tragic and early death. It was very interesting seeing reproductions of her gowns and jewels as well as seeing where she lived, her fitness equipment and learning her story. The next day we boarded the Crystal Ravel. It is important to know that there are 2 places that Crystal docks in Vienna. One location is near the Hilton Vienna Danube hotel and the other is further away, so prior to leaving for this cruise I asked the onshore butler for the addresses of both locations and the phone number for the Ravel and from Hotel das Tyrol, we called the ship and asked where they were docked that morning so we would know where to direct our taxi driver. That morning they were at the dock further away (really about a 15 minute cab ride and no problem whatsoever.) As soon as we arrived at the ship, the crew took our luggage and we were taken to our suite to check in. We were in suite 226 which is a Deluxe Suite with Panoramic Balcony Window S2. The cabin included a bathroom with a large walk in shower and 2 sinks, walk-in closet with safe and there was plenty of space for all of our stuff. The cabin felt too warm to us so the butler had a word with the ship's engineer and they were able to make the room much cooler and more comfortable in no time. They were also able to provide me with the right foam pillows as I am allergic to down pillows. The food in the Ravel's Waterside Restaurant was excellent. We had a light lunch and then a fabulous dinner and the included wines were extremely good. The next day we took the Estergom and Danube Bend tour - it was wonderful and we met the ship in Budapest. Budapest is stunningly beautiful - especially at night. We definitely want to go back for a land vacation. The ship was docked near the Market Hall and about a mile walk to the Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial. It is a very touching memorial - so simple and poignant, it really drove the message home that even the youngest and most innocent among us were not safe. That evening we went to see The Princesses of Violin for a private show for Crystal Ravel guests. It was a great show. Many guests mistakenly expected an all classical music show and were surprised to hear both classical music and modern music. The next day we took the tour of Parliament and the Market Hall where I bought cherries enrobed in chocolate and cognac, paprika and AIKA crystal cut to clear glasses. They don't ship these glasses, however, I was prepared with a universal sized carry on roll-aboard so that I can bring back fragile items safely. The next day, we were in Bratislava and went on a tour and then beer tasting experience and some more shopping. Bratislava has a very charming historic town center and it was fun walking among these buildings, looking in the shop windows and enjoying the sights. In Krems we went to the Schloss Gobelsburg Wine Tasting - this tour was only taken by 10 passengers and included a cellar tour and wine and appetizers in the beautiful castle. In Melk, we walked into the charming town and did more shopping and in Linz, we took the day long tour to the Cesky Krumlov. It was a cold day but luckily the shops and restaurants were open. We had a great lunch and then walked around the town, going into many of the shops. I looked at some Czech crystal - 4 goblets and a decanter and the store clerk quoted me the craziest price ever - $2,500. I collect cut-to-clear crystal and know what the prices should be (glasses are usually less than $50 per stem and the regular decanters should be well under $300 and the larger ones under $500) so I just laughed and told him no. He reduced the price twice more and offered $1,800 for the set - still way too high (should have been no more than $1000 and probably more like $700), his explanation for the high price was the color I chose (not true - all colors are priced the same, the pricing is based the number of cuts) so I left the crystal behind at that shop. If you are interested in cut to clear crystal or hand cut crystal, before you go on a Danube cruise, get on Ebay and look at the prices and brands and designs to figure out what you like. AJKA is one of the best brands. Their crystal is exported to the US as Wedgwood, Tiffany's, Rosenthal, Waterford Crystal, Polo Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, Moser and other high end French Crystal Manufacturers. If you buy your crystal in Budapest at the Market Hall, you will get your crystal at a fraction of the price charged in retail stores in the US. This video is helpful in learning about AJKA Crystal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQFyOmw12oQ. and this video is helpful for learning about the Romanov collection: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FxtRrQlbh4. For our final day. in Vienna, we went to the Schonbrunn Palace - it was super cold that day. and the guide was determined to walk us around the garden, so I headed for the tea room and had some hot fruit tea! My husband joined me after an attempt at taking a few photos in the garden. After 45 minutes it was time to meet to enter the palace and we had a very nice tour inside. That evening, we went to Michelin-star dining at Edvaard. My husband didn't like the faux garlic, faux oyster or sardine courses and I began to recall the disastrous Omakase dinner on "Odd Mom Out". It hadn't occurred to me that there would be several courses in a tasting menu he would not like as we regularly have tasting menus. LOL!. Fortunately he loved the pork and venison courses and the pumpkin and white chocolate dessert. I liked all the courses but found the wait between courses to be a bit long compared to other restaurants where I have experienced tasting menus. All of the wines served were extremely good. Meanwhile back on the ship throughout the cruise, we had a lot of great food, great wine and there was a young couple who were the entertainers - they were very talented. There were also two enrichment lectures and a couple of different local entertainers who put on good shows. If I had any criticism of this cruise at all, I would say it was too short. Every single day I woke up thinking how great the previous day had been and every single day I enjoyed all the new things we did, the food and everything on the ship. Other than some rain and a very cold day on our return to Vienna the weather was actually very good. On disembarkation day, you are allowed to stay in your cabin until 10am, so we had a leisurely breakfast and then headed out for our post cruise hotel - the Ritz Carlton. This proved to be another great hotel choice and we walked down the street to Cafe Swartzenberg for another lunch of Weiner schnitzel and a mixed vegetable salad followed by a chocolate dessert and hot tea. Although most things in Vienna are closed on Sunday, the local mall had been taken over by an antique sale, so we walked through that and looked at the various items on offer. If you are considering a cruise on the Crystal Ravel, my advice is to go. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Crystal met us at the airport, helped us with luggage to their coach (bus), and had our cabin ready early. The staff (with only a few exceptions) were overwhelmingly helpful and friendly. We had put the provided tags on our luggage, so ... Read More
Crystal met us at the airport, helped us with luggage to their coach (bus), and had our cabin ready early. The staff (with only a few exceptions) were overwhelmingly helpful and friendly. We had put the provided tags on our luggage, so once we left the airport we didn't have to worry with it until it showed up in our cabin--and pretty quickly at that. The Butler service would have unpacked for us but we preferred to do that ourselves. My husband asked for several shirts to be pressed (complimentary service) and they were done well. There was always some type of food and beverage available. Meals were very good. The dining room wait staff was always nice and didn't show stress, although it is the one area where I thought they might be slightly understaffed. Service was still very good. Shore excursions were mostly great, with included choices as well as "pay extra" choices. Guides were all good, and the majority were Excellent. One of us did a couple of bike tours and those were great as well. The only excursion I wish we would have skipped was a horse show near Budapest. It was fine, but had we known more about it we would have preferred to spend more free time in Budapest instead. Tours travel on Crystal's buses which seem brand new and are very nice. Loved the Listening Devices as I have always struggled to hear tour guides. Popular tours sometimes had a few more people in each group than I would have preferred but the listening devices made it feel more intimate. I had a relaxing massage on board, and a friend had a more deep tissue massage. Masseuse rating: 5 stars. There were a few entertainment "extras" which were excellent. And the adorable couple who entertained nightly on board the ship were each talented and fun. Loved them! We loved the low number of passengers (106 max) and high staff ration. Most passengers were in the 50-70 age range. Never seemed crowded; never had to wait in line. We are already thinking of which Crystal River Cruise to do next! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We cruised with Crystal for the first time in September, along with two other couples, on the Mozart 10-day Dunube river cruise. Our cruise organizer was originally good but she was replaced mid-way and the experience with our new ... Read More
We cruised with Crystal for the first time in September, along with two other couples, on the Mozart 10-day Dunube river cruise. Our cruise organizer was originally good but she was replaced mid-way and the experience with our new organizer was poor. He did not respond to our questions. We had to call Crystal directly for answers and they were not very helpful either. In fact, one Crystal operator made dinner reservations for us in restaurants that did not exist on our boat! The boat appeared "lived in", but clean. We were happy with our cabin, which was small but highly functional. The food in the main restaurant was uniformly excellent. The food at the cafe and the more casual lunch spot was not as good but still acceptable. The Danube stops were lovely, although we were rarely docked within comfortable walking distance of the towns we were visiting. Having cruised many times previously, comparitively we felt the time allowed at each stop was too short to really enjoy the town and rarely left time to browse and wander. The quality of the Crystal tours was highly variable- the minority were excellent. Most were rushed and idiosyncratic. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach Budapest due to the low river. We were bussed there as a result. Some of us were placed at the Ritz Carleton and others at the Kempinski. We were told they were comparable, which was false. We went from a suite on our boat and excellent food quality to a room at the Kempinski with two twin beds pushed together and a view of the side of a building construction site (see pictures). The breakfast at the Kempinski was a cattle-call: over-crowded and poor quality food. Every request I made to the Mozart team- may I please be at the Ritz Carleton?, may I use my ship credit to upgrade my room in Budapest? (I wasn't able to use the credit on the boat because we lost 2 days onboard due to the low water and the spa was completely booked)- all received an immediate "no". When I asked to speak to the manager, I was told: "they'll tell you the same thing". That was true. I was offered the "special gift" instead- I could use the credit against a future cruise- $400 off a >$20,000 cruise. For us, the cruise did not meet our expectations. I expected a higher-end experience, given the cost is far greater than any other cruise I have enjoyed. In short, I was disappointed with the quality of the experience, and being told "I'm sorry we didn't meet your expectations" isn't meaningful when it's followed by silence. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our second river cruise with Crystal. Last year we spent 8 glorious days on the brand new Debussy sailing the Rhine, and it was absolutely great. We decided to try this ship to sail the Danube this year. All of the ... Read More
This was our second river cruise with Crystal. Last year we spent 8 glorious days on the brand new Debussy sailing the Rhine, and it was absolutely great. We decided to try this ship to sail the Danube this year. All of the "soft" items such as service, food, etc was just as good as the Debussy, but the ship itself left a little to be desired. Let's start with the cabin: It was nice, but quite tight. We went with a "DELUXE SUITE W/ FIXED WINDOW (W1)" cabin. The bathroom was nice, though the Japanese toilet takes a bit to get used to. The bed was very comfortable. The closet setup is a bit weird as you have to do some maneuvering to get your stuff out. The decor was very similar, and modern, but for some reason didn't feel quite as opulent as the other ship. The biggest downside was the paper thin walls. I think my dorm in college was more soundproofed. The poor gentleman in the cabin next to ours apparently got quite sick and every morning at about 5:30am we were woken to the sounds of him... how to say... getting sick in the bathroom and coughing. We could also hear every conversation they were having. This is a major downside as it got to be quite annoying after a few days. Overall, I'd give the cabin a 4 out of 5 (whereas the newer river ships get a 5). Service: EVERYONE from the butler, to the bartenders & waiters, etc were top-notch. They really do a great job with service. You will want for nothing. Food: Was not quite as good as the newer ship for some reason. Not bad, but we had some misses. Not sure if this a function of a slightly larger ship, but we noticed it. One exception is the bistro in the Aft ("Blue"). We absolutely loved this place, and unfortunately it was only open for lunch. 4 out of 5 for food overall Excursions: Very good. Same quality as the newer ship. 5 out of 5 Entertainment: Average. Some good, some not good, and there was no cruise director (!) or at least I wasn't aware there was one. That seemed odd and it was most certainly noticed. Misc: The wifi was good. The gym was OK. Didn't use the spa. Overall: I probably would not sail on Mozart again given the other options, but it's not bad, just not as good as the newer ships which are absolutely excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We thoroughly enjoyed our recent Crystal Ravel cruise, round-trip from Vienna. We found the level of service to be outstanding. The staff were wonderful in all departments. The food was overall delicious, with plenty of choices. ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our recent Crystal Ravel cruise, round-trip from Vienna. We found the level of service to be outstanding. The staff were wonderful in all departments. The food was overall delicious, with plenty of choices. Embarkation was a little confusing because the ship was docked away from the main docks in Vienna. But they had a representative stationed at the main dock with a Crystal wind feather, so arriving passengers could get specific instructions on the location of the ship. Once we were aboard, check-in was fast and easy. We were in one of the "petite suites", which lacks the double sinks and walk-in closet of the full-sized suites. Nevertheless, it was sufficient for our needs, spotlessly clean, quiet, and very comfortable. There was a good choice of excursions in every port. We loved the bicycle tours, although they should only be selected by people who are experienced cyclists. The ship offered a few extra activities, including a tour of the galley, and an evening sail through Budapest so we could see it lit up at night. Disembarkation went smoothly. While most other ships require passengers to be out of their room by 8:30, we were allowed to stay in ours until 10:00, giving us a few extra minutes of sleep, and a more leisurely disembarkation. This was our first Crystal river cruise, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We took a week long river cruise on the Mozart and enjoyed it greatly. The food and service were excellent. The ports and included excursions were also very good, and the scenery along the Danube was spectacular! Just by way of ... Read More
We took a week long river cruise on the Mozart and enjoyed it greatly. The food and service were excellent. The ports and included excursions were also very good, and the scenery along the Danube was spectacular! Just by way of background, this was our second river cruise. Our first was on AMA, on the Rhône. We’ve done 22 ocean cruises, although none on Crystal. We boarded around noon and our room was ready. We had a room on deck 2 with a French balcony. The room was small, like most river cruise cabins. With the closet by one side of the bed it was really impossible for both of us to access the closet and get dressed at the same time. The room looked too small to have in-suite dining so we didn’t do that. The restaurants are just one deck up and with very convenient times so it wasn’t necessary anyway. The bathroom was small and the storage space was down low. The toilet seat cover was set up to automatically raise when it sensed nearby movement. After the first couple days, the novelty wore off and I asked the steward to turn it off, and she did. We hardly used the TV. There was an iPad in the room that had some magazines and we could access our account. We could access our account on our iPhone as well after we logged into their WiFi. The WiFi worked well throughout the ship. The outlets all required an adapter for US devices but there were a number of USB ports for recharging. We did not interact with our butler, Adrian, very much. He did not make himself very present but we weren’t in our room much so that was fine. The food and service in Waterside was very good to superb. Agnes was our sommelier most nights and she was very knowledgeable and helpful, and always with a smile. Lunch was always a buffet in Waterside and very well done with main entrees, a soup, salad options plus desserts. Servers were consistently available to refill water (still or sparkling) and for wine and beer. We went to Blue a couple of times for lunch. There is no buffet and a small menu with items made to order. The food and service were very good there as well. The top deck was open almost all the time except when going under a low bridge (only twice). There was bar service there as well. The scenery was spectacular! The great weather helped. It was quite warm some days but sunny with bright blue skies. The castles, vineyards and small towns make for a beautiful milieu. The included excursions were very good. The Audio Vox listening devices are a huge help (make sure they are fully charged though!). The busses were not full and the guides were very good. There are a variety of activity levels offered. I’m sure we could have booked our own guides in most towns but our tours were more than satisfactory. We were traveling with a group of 20 people that included Karen MacNeil who authored The Wine Bible. She hosted two excellent enrichment presentations on wine. The other enrichment activities were not that interesting. The pianist in the bar before dinner was good. Dinners were uniformly excellent. The service was very attentive without being overly so. The included wines were interesting and generally local, and others were available upon request—just ask for the wine menu. There were multiple options each night and the menu changed nightly. We were very fortunate that the Danube was at a perfect level for our cruise. Please note, however, the Danube is not blue! I would certainly recommend this cruise for anyone considering a Danube cruise. Five stars! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
For several years now I had wanted to cruise the Danube, maybe from watching all the Viking ads on PBS’ Masterpiece programs. So I began researching river cruises around the time Crystal first entered this market, and the reviews ... Read More
For several years now I had wanted to cruise the Danube, maybe from watching all the Viking ads on PBS’ Masterpiece programs. So I began researching river cruises around the time Crystal first entered this market, and the reviews immediately pegged it as the top of the line for luxury cruises. By the time we were able to actually book a cruise, Crystal’s river fleet had expanded and we wound up on a 10-day expedition on the newest addition, the Crystal Ravel. We were not disappointed: In fact, it was one of the rare experiences that totally exceeded expectations. First, the ship itself was smallish (four decks), with about a hundred passengers. I loved that it felt intimate—I have a horror of the 10-deck behemoths that cruise oceans. At the same time it was also stylish and modern. Our cabin wasn’t huge, but it had a small walk-in closet, a bathroom with two sinks and an excellent shower, and a very comfortable king sized bed. It also had a large flat screen TV, and we enjoyed watching a movie on it one night. Overall it was a very comfortable refuge. Then there was the food. We live in San Francisco, a foodie Mecca, but the cuisine on the Ravel was nothing short of marvelous, especially the sit-down dinners (they only had a buffet one night). Almost every meal was like eating at a five-star restaurant, with service to match. Wines on the all-inclusive menu were good to great (you can opt to pay extra for premium wines but we never felt the need). Two special meal options are worth mentioning: The bistro dinner in the smallish cafe (it’s free but you must reserve a seat since they can’t accommodate more than a couple of dozen diners), and the gourmet experience in the Vintage Room, a pricey but amazing 8-course meal with awesome wines (you must also reserve this ahead of time—we ate with four other people). Even if you don’t splurge on the Vintage Room, definitely try the bistro meal, which is sort of tapas-like—a lot of small plates with everything from steak tartare and gravlax to prime beef, shrimp, and caviar. It was outstanding. Breakfast buffets were great, and you could opt for ordered specialties (e.g. eggs Benedict); I rarely even ate lunch but people I spoke with also enjoyed casual bistro and served options. Crystal’s all-inclusive shore excursions covered all the basics, and we also opted for a couple of esoteric extra-cost outings (for example, Vienna’s Jewish history). Guides were generally excellent, especially the one who escorted us through the infamous Mauthausen death camp. I liked that he didn’t sugar coat his comments on the complicity of the Austrian people. Finally, the service. Every single crew member, from housekeepers and wait staff to tour organizers, the couple who provided musical and games entertainment at night, and the butler who twice a day refreshed the ice in our ice bucket, seemed truly dedicated to pampering and otherwise seeing to our comfort and satisfaction. By the end of the 10 days they seemed to know all of us by name, and always greeted us as we walked by. This cruise was a splurge for my husband and I, but we both felt it was well worth it. Crystal In our view lived up to its reputation as the best European river cruise line out there. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I have hesitated writing this review, but considering the limited number of reviews for Crystal River, I thought it would be helpful. As my title implies, we were neither impressed nor happy. I should probably add that this was our first ... Read More
I have hesitated writing this review, but considering the limited number of reviews for Crystal River, I thought it would be helpful. As my title implies, we were neither impressed nor happy. I should probably add that this was our first river cruise (we have taken several ocean cruises on Azamara, Regent, and Celebrity). However, my complaints have nothing to do with the "river" aspect of the cruise. Our itinerary was the 7 day trip from Vienna to Budapest. First, the positives. The cabin (Petite Suite) was very small but extremely beautiful and well organized, with many nice features. The functioning window and heated bathroom floor come to mind. Towels and toiletries were nice. Our butler and room attendant were efficient and did what we expected, no more, no less. We did not order room service nor the afternoon canapes. The tours were excellent. They were well organized and the guides were informative and fun. I could not have asked for more in this category and it was the saving grace of the trip. Fantastic. Our laundry came back beautifully done up in lovely packaging. It was really over the top! The entertainer, Neal, was absolutely fun and kept things lively in the afternoons and evenings. This was a bit of a surprise as we went in assuming that the entertainment would be hokey or nonexistent. We had lots of fun a couple of evenings during his show. The included wine selection and cocktails were very good and all that we expected. And finally, debarkation was extremely efficient. The taxi that the desk had arranged for us came exactly on time and we had plenty of assistance with our bags. Kudos. Now to what did not meet expectations. Among staff, there was a general attitude of unease or dissatisfaction. It was not a happy boat. There was no one on shore to greet us or help us with our things when we arrived. Our first greeting was at the door after struggling from our taxi over some rough terrain. (I did notice that they had later set up a canopy which was staffed by the blue tail-coated and top-hatted greeters, so I think that they were out of sorts for some reason) This first impression underwhelming, to say the least, after the glowing reviews I have read of Crystal. On our first trip to the beautiful lounge (early afternoon on our first day) we seated ourselves. There was a bartender and a server or two behind the bar, from whom we received no greeting whatsoever. I finally went to inquire of the bartender as to the possibility of getting served. His indifferent response was yes. This was the order of the day on many occasions, even when the bar was not busy at all. On another occasion, we finally, after five days, were blessed by the weather gods with a nice enough day to go "up top". This was pretty exciting and there were a number of passengers there, but no bartender. The bar, however, was "open". We observed one woman open a bottle of bubbly (which was on the "included" list) and pour it for herself and her friend. A young (and we were told later, new) server came up shortly thereafter and reprimanded her loudly and in an extended and rude manner. It was embarrassing and uncomfortable for all who witnessed it. Unacceptable. And finally, the food. Dinner frequently was only acceptable. We are not fussy eaters in the least, but there were occasions when we couldn't find anything interesting to order. The quality of ingredients just wasn't up to expectations and many dishes needed seasoning. Lunches were some better, for whatever reason, but a breakfast order came out completely wrong one morning. Missing was any fun banter with servers or having our preferences remembered. The atmosphere again, was generally stilted and uncomfortable. This cruise was priced competitively with some of the other lines, or perhaps a bit more. I chose it because I had read so many glowing reviews of Crystal, mostly ocean, but river also. If this represents "the best of the best", then I don't care to try the others. It was, in a word, disappointing. We met some very nice people who had the same sentiments. Hopefully this was a one-off and they have made some corrections. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My wife and I recently returned from the May 4, 2019 Sailing of Mozart. It was our first River Cruise. We have sailed with Crystal Cruses on many voyages but those were ocean voyages. We loved the entire experience. The ship is ... Read More
My wife and I recently returned from the May 4, 2019 Sailing of Mozart. It was our first River Cruise. We have sailed with Crystal Cruses on many voyages but those were ocean voyages. We loved the entire experience. The ship is beautiful and kept in immaculate condition. It is double the width of most river cruise vessels. It carries a little over 150 guests with a crew of 90+ members. The crew was exceptional and very professional, attentive and welcoming. Cuisine was terrific. We had breakfast served in our room by the butler. One could also dine at Waterside which served breakfast buffet style or for a late risers breakfast at The Bistro. We enjoyed most lunches at Waterside where they served a buffet. They have a second restaurant that serves lunch for two hours each day. It includes salads, burgers and other grilled items and also it includes table service. Dinner was a Waterside which was table service. Selection was great and many items looked like ones served at a Michelin Restaurant. Alcohol is included other than connoisseur wne. They had a great selection of wine from Europe and the United States. We had a suite whose size was great for us. They included a nice set of excursions. Entertainment included a Pianist who we know from Ocean Ships who was outstanding along with local entertainment on most nights. We want to sail another Crystal River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
After sailing on many cruise lines throughout the world we decided this year was when we would sample a river cruise. We booked on a Ukranian cruise with another company and really did not enjoy for several reasons , however we were not to ... Read More
After sailing on many cruise lines throughout the world we decided this year was when we would sample a river cruise. We booked on a Ukranian cruise with another company and really did not enjoy for several reasons , however we were not to be deterred as we had heard so many good reviews from people and decided to jump straight back in. We chose the Xmas markets cruise on the Mozart in November 2018 as it is something that my wife had wanted to do . Feeling slightly anxious that this would not end up feeling as though it would be throwing good money after bad I contacted Crystal concierge regarding a few queries such as change of itinerary, arriving late on the ship and transfers from the airport as we were arriving independently. We received responses straight away and were given the information that we required. Transfers are free with Crystal even if you arrange your own flight which was great news as sometimes finding exact location of river cruise vessels can be difficult. On arrival which was late the embarkation was really smooth and within 10 minutes of arriving we were in our suite ordering room service.The suites are compact yet of good quality . The wardrobe is a pretty tight squeeze but their is more than ample storage space. The bathroom is top quality and the products offered are also top quality. The next we wandered round the ship and as expected everywhere was top quality , the sauna and pool area was really nice. For a ship which only caters for 151 guests there is plenty of seating areas and the restaurant is a good size and there are plenty of tables for 2 should you wish to dine by yourself. We very early eat breakfast but lunch and dinner are of a high standard and if you wanted something different from the menu the waiters were always happy to see if they could help. The menus are small compared to larger ships but I would imagine that it would be quite difficult to have a large menu for so few guests. The food was always of a good standard and you could use 2 restaurants for lunch and a choice of 3 dining venues if an evening. The guests were mainly American , Canadian , Chinese and a few from other countries so we were the only people from the United Kingdom aboard. Everybody seemed to get on and in the bar if an evening there was a good atmosphere whether it be quizzes, dancing or the entertainers James & Ros playing music. James & Ros were really good in getting the guests to mingle and take part in the activities. The excursions were mainly Xmas markets in Bratislava, Salzburg , Vienna and a few walking tours in Passau , Linz and Melk. These were well organised and most of them guides were knowledgeable and interesting. The Crystal coaches were excellent and very comfortable and even had Nespresso coffee machines onboard . We have travelled with many cruise lines and have always had good service on the ships and until now my favourite was Seabourn because the staff were so friendly and professional and always smiled when they spoke and took the time to talk to you . I always believed that was the best cruise crew we had been with . They have been matched by Crystal as we found the staff to be so helpful , professional and friendly. Wherever we went on the ship they all seemed happy . The staff on the Mozart are such an asset because we booked another cruise whilst on board and that is something we have never done before.There was no one area that we could make a negative criticism even when we received a letter in the cabin saying that we were not sailing to Bratislava because of the low level of the water , they took us by bus and gave us 250UD off a future cruise and I already knew that there were problems with the water level. I would definitely recommend Crystal to anybody who likes the nice things in life and like being looked after. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our first river cruise after several ocean cruises. We chose Crystal because of its reputation and the itinerary (Vienna to Belgrade and back) offered the opportunity to visit cities we otherwise would never get to. ... Read More
This was our first river cruise after several ocean cruises. We chose Crystal because of its reputation and the itinerary (Vienna to Belgrade and back) offered the opportunity to visit cities we otherwise would never get to. Unfortunately, due to the prolonged drought, the itinerary changed to the opposite direction (Passau). Doubly unfortunate was that we were not notified of the change in itinerary until the day before sailing, when we were already in Prague. The crew mentioned that only once since July had the eastern route been possible. We were committed at that point, so chose to continue. Others have commented on the dining facilities and menu. Waterside is lovely and the service was superb. The standard wines were average and the optional wines seriously overpriced. Choices at breakfast and lunch were varied and very well prepared. Dinner choices were somewhat limited, but excellent. Others have also mentioned the cabin. We had a "deluxe" suite. When we embarked, I inquired about an upgrade and was told that none of the larger suites was available. We later learned that that wasn't true. After all, from an original passenger list of 145, only 86 actually embarked. The suite we were in was cramped and drawer space totally inadequate. But the bathroom was very nice and the HVAC worked well. The shore excursions were, by and large, well done, especially considering that several had to be improvised. We found all the staff to be very professional and courteous. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Don’t select this cruise if you or anyone you’re traveling with has mobility issues— there are no “gentle” excursions. One passenger referred to them as forced marches. The ship docks way out of the towns for the most part so you ... Read More
Don’t select this cruise if you or anyone you’re traveling with has mobility issues— there are no “gentle” excursions. One passenger referred to them as forced marches. The ship docks way out of the towns for the most part so you can’t return early if you’d like, and 9 out of 10 times you’re looking into someone else’s cabin as there is a ship docked next to you. If you’re interested in the e-bike excursions, also beware; if you don’t book super early you won’t get on them. There is almost nothing to do if you elect to stay on the ship. The evening entertainment was lame, although the exercise instructor was excellent. Everyone is unfailingly polite in a very impersonal way, and when something goes wrong the response is very corporate. In our case we couldn’t complete the last three days of the cruise because of low water in the Danube and all Celebrity offered was a $250 credit on a future cruise (which they upped to a.$1,500 credit when my travel agent asked). Although the food was great, overall I don’t think this cruise is worth the expense— we booked a penthouse— so we don’t plan to travel on Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
First on Crystal River cruise and will be last. Have had great experiences on their ocean voyages; but the river line is a separate division and vastly inferior in most areas. Company was not forthcoming in notifiying us of the low ... Read More
First on Crystal River cruise and will be last. Have had great experiences on their ocean voyages; but the river line is a separate division and vastly inferior in most areas. Company was not forthcoming in notifiying us of the low water level until 2 days before we were scheduled to leave. Itineray changed to all but a couple of ports in the Netherlands. The highlights of the trip were to be the areas where the ship didn't travel. To make matters worse, tour director was disorganized, ship Captain did not speak English, ship docked so far from destination ports it was ridiculous. Other ships were providing buses to take passengers to destination. Not our ship. The few tours offered were primarily ones of walking around the town plazas, etc. And the majority of passengers were over 65! I understand the couple of buses they had were shuttled back and forth between the Danube groups and the Rhine. They seemed to always be with the Danube folks. We were not offered bus/hotel choices to make up for all the ports we did not see. That is standard with other river cruise lines. Passenger complaints to the officers and tour director fell on deaf ears and it was clear the disorganization and confusion came down from the top. The service staff tried their best; but they were understaffed. The spa was good but very limited; the food good except there was a problem keeping the buffet dishes hot. The rooms were way too small for the large beds. We booked 2 rooms for a family of 4 at last minute and top dollar and I never felt like we had spent so much money on something so disappointing. Our trip was in August and now in January we are still waiting for any compensation from Crystal. We all had out of pocket expenses because we had to change return flights from Basel Switzerland (which we never got to see) to Frankfurt. Additional transportation, hotel etc. all added up to more than they promised to reimburse. And there was no compensation even promised for the missed excursions and ports. My advice is to avoid this line at all costs. We are seasoned cruisers on several small luxury lines and have never had an experience like this! How could such an esteemed company as Crystal allow this group to be a part of their company??? We want to go back to take a Rhine cruise; but it sure won't be with Crystal. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our first river cruise and we looked forward to the ease of river cruising: seeing many ports without the hassle of driving/packing and unpacking. However, due to the water shortage on the Danube, this ease of travel was not ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we looked forward to the ease of river cruising: seeing many ports without the hassle of driving/packing and unpacking. However, due to the water shortage on the Danube, this ease of travel was not delivered. We were forced to bus to two destinations and pack a small overnight bag. Crystal put us up in a four star hotel and gave us a food allowance but we also had to endure a long bus ride between Vienna and Budapest and back. This is not the fault of Crystal but they were not forthcoming about the problem when asked prior to leaving for the cruise. I should add Crystal's lack of transparency was in contrast to Viking Cruise Line which had a website devoted to itinerary changes due to the drought. Many passengers were unhappy with the abrupt change of plans. I think if it had been handled more honestly, the passengers would have adjusted more easily and been happier.. On the other hand, the Mozart delivered on many aspects of the trip. The crew was fantastic. They were always pleasant, smiling and helpful. The food was quite good and plentiful with lots of options. Our cabin was quite nice and well-equipped with a comfortable bed, seating area, a large screen TV and an unending supply of wine, soda and water. The tours for the most part were informative and entertaining, conducted by knowledgeable local people. My only criticism is they should have offered a few more openings for some of the popular bike tours which booked up early. The special event in Budapest was a knockout. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I have cruised on many ocean lines with Seabourn being my favorite. This was my first river cruise. The service was great, food ok, room well designed, but, we had a huge problem. The river water was too low for us to navigate the ... Read More
I have cruised on many ocean lines with Seabourn being my favorite. This was my first river cruise. The service was great, food ok, room well designed, but, we had a huge problem. The river water was too low for us to navigate the Danube so we did a 3 day round trip from Vienna to Wachau valley and did not sail to Slovakia or Budapest. That was a major disappointment to not sail into Budapest. The ship made a weak attempt to still cover the itinerary by booking us into a 4-star hotel in Budapest and giving us an $80 euro dining credit for our final day! Does not begin to cover the cost of the cruise which was around $1600 a day. The worst part was how while we were in Vienna for so many days we were sandwiched between two boats so had to keep the curtains closed at all times as the boat next to us was literally 2 inches away from us and a guest room on that boat! Claustrophobic! It was very overpriced for what was delivered and I will not cruise agin on Crystal. I consider it to be a total rip off. Horrible experience, never again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
On Aug 1, 15-20 of us that returned after a Crystal excursion dinner found the SHIP HAD LEFT WITHOUT US. We were scanned to get off the ship but manually checked in when the ship returned for us. We were told the people that did the ... Read More
On Aug 1, 15-20 of us that returned after a Crystal excursion dinner found the SHIP HAD LEFT WITHOUT US. We were scanned to get off the ship but manually checked in when the ship returned for us. We were told the people that did the scanning had left. Guess they outsourced their security. Also there was scanner mistake when they told me 3 of my friends were still on shore and 1 came back but in fact all 4 were on shore. We missed Budapest, a main attraction for the cruise, but Crystal made little effort to make up for the changed itinerary even though they knew at the start of the journey and that was 7 days before we would go to Budapest. We had to revisit Linz and they added Karen’s and offered each guest USD500 FUTURE CRUISE CREDIT to be booked within a year. Linz and Krems were not comparable substitutions for Budapest by any stretch of imagination. Also crew told me Viking has 77 ships so they can offer swaps when similar situation arises. Reading some of the reviews, I noticed other cruise operators not only made monetary compensations but also arranged alternative transport and hotel accommodations in order for them to fulfil their advertised attraction. Also Crystal may be late to join the river cruise market, at a couple of stops, the ship was parked so far away from the parking lot that we had to walk about 10 minutes to get to the coach. It was definitely difficult for my friend that had a hip replacement and walking with a cane. I used to view Crystal with high regard, but it seems things may be different under new ownership. A very disappointing experience AND NOT VALUE FOR MY MONEY. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I thoroughly enjoyed my 1st river cruise on Crystal Mozart, sailing the Danube for 10-nights. I’m going to use a different angle to view this cruise and write a not-so-common trip report. I’ll start with a list of the pros and cons of ... Read More
I thoroughly enjoyed my 1st river cruise on Crystal Mozart, sailing the Danube for 10-nights. I’m going to use a different angle to view this cruise and write a not-so-common trip report. I’ll start with a list of the pros and cons of this cruise. Of course, it’s only based on my own opinions, but hopefully it would be helpful enough for fellow cruisers to learn more about the 5-star river cruising experience on Crystal Mozart, as I found that I got very limited information regarding this while doing my research homework on the cruise throughout my almost 2 years’ planning period. I spent a ton of time to write on Wismergirl’s travel blog to include a lot more details if you are interested in my daily activities on board. Refer to photo: Crystal Mozart, “the Giant” of Danube river cruising, docked at Linz on July 13, 2018: Pros 1) Truly all-inclusive – not even one extra cent I had to pay on board. Of course, if you want spa/hair treatments, Connoisseur wine, upgraded excursions & extra tipping, that’s another story. Now, cruise fare, airport transfers, selected shore excursions, meals, entertainment, gratuities, unlimited soft drinks, beer, most wine & spirit, unlimited WIFI on board & on coaches (though quite spotty at times), are all paid for. We even got a complimentary meal at a Michelin-star restaurant (only applicable to guests staying at Penthouses and above or those booked before Aug 7, 2017). Tips for cruisers: Buy a 3G/4G Europe SIM card. I bought one for CA$39 (US$30) with 5 GB data & 3000 talk/text for 30 days that covered all countries that we visited so I had internet access all the time. I only used less than 2GB for 16 days, even sharing personal Hotspot with my husband. 2) Unpack and Pack only once – This cruise took us to nine European cities in Austria, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. There was no need to pack our bags every day for a new destination. Setting off along the Danube from Vienna, we passed through the beautiful Wachau Valley; went for guided walking tours in Vienna, Melk & Durnstein; did all-day side trips to Cesky Krumlov & Munich; visited historical landmarks in Budapest with a violin concert in the Imperial Palace & a night cruise on the Danube; and discovered the modern art scenes and Communist-era architecture of Slovakia's capital, Bratislava. What a great itinerary! 3) 5-star Luxury accommodation and service - Cabins aboard the Crystal Mozart started at 219 square feet (except 1 that was only 206 sq. ft.). The high-end amenities like Toto toilets, mini iPad in each stateroom, free use of eBikes, 24-hour complimentary room service, Crystal clear audio device for excursions, free self-serve laundry with detergent & drying sheets, complimentary pressing, plus free butler service for all guests are incredibly awesome! Besides, Crystal Mozart is twice as wide as most river boats (22.85m instead of the normal 11.4m). Its spacious top (Vista) Deck 4 with a bar, big TV & garden features modern luxury! Low guests to staff ratio means top-notched service & 3 restaurants for meals are also big pluses. Food tasted better than that from the Crystal ocean cruises, though not enough varieties. Tips for cruisers: DON’T bring too much clothing as there is limited storage space in the room, plus you only need to wear smart casual attires for dinners. Remember: self-serve laundry is at your service! 4) Compact ship size and seasickness-free – Most of the time we didn’t even feel like the boat was moving. Being a couple of mid 50’s, we kept forgetting things and it was so easy to go back to the room to get them. We met lots of people and could call about half the ship’s passengers and most staff members by names when we left the ship. 5) Great workouts without going to the Gym – Not sure if you classify it as a pro or a con?! We did so much walking while on excursions that we didn’t gain any weight even though we ate like crazy. On average, it’s about 10,000 steps a day, walked for about 7 km with LOTS of steps. 6) Fantastic experience passing through the locks – It was really fun going upstream/downstream with different river levels through the locks. Being so windy, sunny and hot while staying on the top deck to watch the passing of the locks, we mostly stayed at the spa waiting area, lying on the loungers to watch the locks open and close. Even when we passed the locks at night time, the views were great. Cons 1) Docking – This has been a major issue for a lot of passengers. We had a few passengers who needed to use wheelchairs and they either had to get off the wheelchairs and walked with assistance, or crew/family members needed to help lift/carry the wheelchairs for disabled passengers to get on/off the boat. Europe is not N. America and many places are still not wheelchair-accessible, including bathroom locations. The ship elevator could only go up to Deck 3 but not the Vista Deck. When we docked at Passau (Lindau), we had to take the stairs to walk up to Deck 4 and walked off the ramp to the pier (see the picture with the gangway from the top deck to the pier). Besides, many passengers complained that they were always facing a concrete pier when the boat docked, especially if your room was on Deck 1 midship. I advise you to choose your room location properly. We didn’t have any problems being at the front part of the ship on Deck 2 with a French balcony. On a river cruise, midship cabins are not the best locations, always choose Forward. If you choose the Aft cabins, you would feel more vibration because it’s closer to the engine. We could totally experience the difference while eating at Blue on the aft of the ship. Many times, there were 2 or even 3 ships parked and tied together. Look at the picture of 3 boats triple-parked in Vienna. 2) Entertainment – Entertainment was really limited and low-key. We spent most nights at the Cove Bar listening to Derek Conlon’s piano playing, with a couple of very entertaining local shows and professional guest singer/pianist for 2 nights, and a so-called “concert by 3 princesses on the violin” in Budapest. Being a concert pianist myself, I played some Beethoven and did a “Sound of Music” singalong with fellow cruisers for a couple of nights at Cove Bar. It’s actually a social time more than anything. There was no casino and shops to even spend your onboard credits. Use your OBC at the spa or on premium wine or spend it at the Vintage Room. The passing scenery on both banks was the key to river cruising. We ventured out to the city centre on our own while we were in Vienna, Linz, Bratislava & Budapest. It was very easy to move around using public transport being in the city, or Crystal could call a taxi for us. 3) Food – Breakfast buffet was the only choice for breakfast, unless we wanted to go for room service or have a late-riser breakfast at Bistro Mozart. The only varieties we could get were different types of eggs (cooked to order), smoothies and fruit. I really liked their congee with different little ingredients on the side that we could add to our own liking (see picture). There were more choices for lunch as we could eat at Waterside (buffet) or Blue (same menu every day with a different soup and pasta). Dinner menus changed daily, though choices were still limited. We actually liked to have tapas-style dining at Bistro Mozart (reservation needed) rather than eating at Waterside. The ingredients were fresh and the dishes were delicious though again, there was a lack of variety. 4) Excursions – Lots of senior cruisers depended on travel agents to plan from flights to hotels to transportation for the entire cruise. A lot of travel agents charged way too high while booking hotels and limos for pre- and post-cruise activities but did not help their clients book the excursions. Many ended up booking excursions while on board and they did not have time to fully understand what’s to be expected while signing up. The Crystal concierge had been really helpful but sometimes the tours were full (like eBikes that they only had that many number of bikes) and there’s nothing the concierge could do but to wait for cancellations. A ton of walking was involved in most tours, and many times we had to walk on cobble-stone streets which was not easy for most people, not to say seniors. Having big coaches like Crystal’s, though they were super comfy, they couldn’t park close enough for boarding at most attractions, even in big cities like Vienna. I walked 9,971 steps for 6.7 km just for one 4-hour excursion “Vienna in a Nutshell”, with about an hour on the bus. Tips for cruisers: Use PCPC (Priority Check-in & Planning Center) to book excursions that are appropriate for your own health conditions well in advance. Highlights of the whole trip 1) 2-night pre-cruise in Salzburg & 2-night post-cruise in Vienna so I could visit the 2 cities in depth and attended concerts…of course, I did a ton of homework to plan for the extra 4 days including purchasing train tickets in advance, booking hotels plus “Sound of Music” shows and Mozart concerts at Salzburg Fortress, Sternbrau in Salzburg, Musikverein and St. Charles Church in Vienna 2) Wachau Valley scenic cruising & passing through locks 3) Private tour to Szechenyi Thermal Baths (see photo) and a 1-hour Royal Thermal Massage in Budapest (I booked these in advance before the cruise but Crystal concierge could book it for you with just a few hours’ notice) – taxi ride only 10-20 Euros each way 4) Night cruise on the Mozart in Budapest with an incredible view of the illuminated parliament (see photo) River cruising definitely suited us a lot so we made an open booking on board. I need to do more homework before committing to the next Crystal cruise. All the 4 new Crystal riverboats are very different than the Mozart, so I have to look at the itineraries carefully to book one within the next 6 months. Thank you, Crystal Mozart, for making our 1st river cruise experience so enchanting and memorable! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We recently returned from our first river cruise selecting Crystal Cruises because of their 5 star rating. We felt taken advantage of because we depended on their representative for booking. Upon arrival after a 10 hour flight, we were ... Read More
We recently returned from our first river cruise selecting Crystal Cruises because of their 5 star rating. We felt taken advantage of because we depended on their representative for booking. Upon arrival after a 10 hour flight, we were expected to handle our own luggage.The " motor coach" was about a 1/4 mile from the luggage carousel. No assistance was provided. We were two couples with 10 pieces of luggage total. On other cruises we were met by a representative of the cruise line and next saw our belongings in our stateroom . To carry our suitcases at our age and with medical conditions was totally unacceptable. Having relied on the Crystal booking agent, our accommodations were not as promised. We were misled and never told we were paying $12,000 to be situated in the basement level of the boat, partially submerged at water level. We spent 12 days at submarine level watching garbage float by our "panorama" windows. The sound of water splashing on the window kept us up all night. In addition when we docked our "view" was of a concrete wall that made our rooms constantly dark during the day when we docked in the ports . To make matters worse, we asked the crystal representative that our cabins be in close proximity. Instead we ended up at the opposite side of the boat with staff quarters between us. All attempts to remedy the situation fell on deaf ears. Nothing was done. For a cruise line with a five star rating, we found the food tasteless and unexciting. Breakfast and lunch everyday was the same for 12 days. There was very little deviation . It was boring and monotonous. To make matters worse, one member of our party had severe food sensitivities and had filled out paperwork in this regard prior to departure. This matter was not addressed until the 5th day of cruising due to our own initiative. This was a HORRIBLE vacation experience. We would NOT recommend Crystal River Cruises. Definetly Not worth taking off work for. TOTALLY disappointed. DON'T GO Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We spent 10 nights on a Vienna round trip to visit Christmas Markets. The ship is new, the cabin was roomy. The itinerary was good. Shore excursions, concerts and a special 5 star dinner were all included. The food on board was above ... Read More
We spent 10 nights on a Vienna round trip to visit Christmas Markets. The ship is new, the cabin was roomy. The itinerary was good. Shore excursions, concerts and a special 5 star dinner were all included. The food on board was above par compared to other cruises. The service was excellent. The ship is wider than most river boats. There was an indoor pool. One disadvantage of having a larger river boat is that it is forced to park away from the city center which smaller river boats don’t. Crystal provided shuttles to the city center so docking was never an issue. The entertainment on board was good. There was a piano player, Mark, who made it a point to recognize everyone as they entered the loung. On several nights, out side entertainment was available which was excellent. We had VOXs for use during our excursions. The also provided commentary while cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Wanted to try a new cruise experience, plus visit Austria. This cruise seemed perfect, especially since it was advertised as an Oktoberfest cruise. The cruise itself was a wonderful adventure, and my wife and I would do it again. The ... Read More
Wanted to try a new cruise experience, plus visit Austria. This cruise seemed perfect, especially since it was advertised as an Oktoberfest cruise. The cruise itself was a wonderful adventure, and my wife and I would do it again. The staff, especially the waiters, were tremendous. Great service, plus they had wonderful recommendations. The food was always excellent, and did feature some local dishes. The room staff was always keeping the cabin fresh and stocked with towels and whatever else was needed. Some of the shore excursions were outstanding, like the Belvedere in Vienna and the concert. Simply wonderful. The guide in Budapest (Claudia) was wonderful. All the cruises were very educational. The one major disappointment was Passau and the trip to Munich. In spite as being billed as "Oktoberfest," little was done to accommodate those that wanted to go. A very, very small special trip was arranged for some and considerable cost (plus the driver got lost and service and food was terrible, according to those that went). Instead, it would have been much better on the "Munich" tour to just drop those that wanted to visit Oktoberfest off and let them do it on their own (which is a much better experience). In spite of knowing it was Oktoberfest, the tour bus had no idea of all the road closures and so the bus wandered around aimlessly for quite a while, wasting valuable time. Google Maps had all the road closures, so its surprising that Crystal didn't know. In short, by the time we got off the bus and took a cab to Oktoberfest, we only had a couple of hours there. This only occurs once a year and Crystal needs to have a better way to go directly to the area (or near there) without all the bus stops on the way up, drop off those interested, then take the rest on the Munich tour. This should be a complimentary option, with no reserved seating at Oktoberfest. This is a much better option. Then a later bus for the return. Ridiculous to advertise it as Oktoberfest and not take advantage of it. For other shore excursions, there was very, very little "free time." So if you wanted to grab one of the local food specialties, or do some shopping, you couldn't. There needs to be more free time. I think Crystal is catering to an older clientele which is why they make so many bus stops (bathroom breaks) and keep the excursions so short. They might consider two groups--those that want it limited, and those that want more free time and fewer bus stops. They already have several busses going on the same excursion, so this would be easy to do. As for the cabin, the luxury suites might be quite spacious, but the basic suite (201) is poorly designed. You cannot even access the right half of the closet (no door). The one closet door opens and hits the bed. You have to contort to reach the rest of the closet. Sliding doors would have given better access, or put the bar there and the closet where the bar is. Poor design for hanging and storing clothes. The ship is extremely quiet (except when transiting the locks). It made for a very pleasant sleep. Temperature control was excellent. The brochures imply that there are both European and American outlets. There is not. Only European outlets, so an adapter is needed. Room cleaning was excellent and they seem to know when you are gone, as the room is always ready! The pool and jacuzzi are nice. NO temperature control on the jacuzzi, so whatever the ship sets for it is the temperature you get. At the beginning it was extremely hot, but by the end of the cruise it was lukewarm. Spa jets only run for a minute so you have to frequently press the cycle button. Overall a great cruise. Meals were a delight because of the staff (cooks, waiters, wine, everyone). It was the best part of the cruise. Activities were excellent. As mentioned, the shore excursions were great but needed more free time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The cruise was a wonderful adventure, my husband, our children, and I would do it again. The staff, especially the waiters, were a great help. Great service, plus they had wonderful recommendations. The local dishes tasted tremendous and ... Read More
The cruise was a wonderful adventure, my husband, our children, and I would do it again. The staff, especially the waiters, were a great help. Great service, plus they had wonderful recommendations. The local dishes tasted tremendous and everything else was definitely high quality products. The room staff was always keeping the cabin fresh and stocked with towels and whatever else was needed. We had absolutely no complaints with the services provided. The ship is extremely quiet and made it very pleasant to sleep. The only time it was slighly loud was when it was transiting locks. Temperature control was great. There wasn't any American outlets which the brochures had implied that it would have. Only European outlets were available, so an adapter is needed. Room cleaning was perfect and they seem to know when you are gone. The room as always clean when you come back! All in all, it was a great trip! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Choose Crystal due to their reputation for being top notch. We have cruised on Crystal before. Last time I took 60 couples with me on a sales payoff trip and it went well. I found the service excellent, the staff was very friendly and very ... Read More
Choose Crystal due to their reputation for being top notch. We have cruised on Crystal before. Last time I took 60 couples with me on a sales payoff trip and it went well. I found the service excellent, the staff was very friendly and very polite, food was very good, excursions were interesting and varied so almost everyone could find something to do that interested them. The Crystal buses were clean and new and every seat had a lot of leg room . The ship was well maintained. This was a 50th wedding anniversary, a decade birthday and a cancer survival celebration for us so I spent the money for a Penthouse suite (206), but that didn't turn out so well.Read the nightmare that was, in the cabin review. I enjoyed several of the excursions we went on and felt that the guides were well prepared and very friendly. Overall had I been able to get some sleep it would have been a excellent trip. A "reasonably" quiet room is very important for me and by wife. We all expect some noises living close to others but this was on a scale that I have never experienced in over 40 years of extensive business and personal travel. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The biggest question mark about booking this cruise is whether you like group excursions or not. You'll be paying for them whether or not you partake because all ports have multiple excursions available at no extra charge. If you ... Read More
The biggest question mark about booking this cruise is whether you like group excursions or not. You'll be paying for them whether or not you partake because all ports have multiple excursions available at no extra charge. If you don't mind trooping along with 1-3 full coaches or if you are okay skipping them, you're fine and we can move along... Crystal's Mozart was a surprise on first, second and every subsequent glance. At first glance, her lines are a bit dated and utilitarian. Definitely not the sleek looks of competing ships from AMA, Avalon, Tauck ... (Viking ships are pretty utilitarian as well). On second glance, you realize she's double hulled and at least a third again as wide as all other river cruise ships. You come to appreciate the extra space provided from her broad beam. On third glance, you start noting how well Mozart has been refurbished and maintained. The ship is immaculate. A few more glances and you realize how beautiful she is. On top of the ship's appeal, with 90+ crew for 150+ guests, service is impeccable. Dining service can sometimes be a little slow but that's because all dishes prepared on board use fresh produce and all dishes are prepared to order. Unlike every other cruise I've been on, the food started out being very high quality and, if anything, got better as the cruise progressed. We plan a future ocean cruise with Crystal and look forward to comparing the culinary offerings serving a much larger guest list. The itinerary was fantastic, introducing us to cities locked behind the iron curtain for much of our lives. And, of course, Vienna is a hard city to top on any other river itinerary unless you add Budapest. Then it's a toss up. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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