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Nancy Norris


Occupation:Travel professional

Number of Cruises: 25+

Cruise Line: Crystal

Ship: Crystal Harmony

Sailing Date: NOT FOUND

Itinerary: Hawaii

Preface:  I just wanted to state at the very beginning of this review, that I have never been more eager to share a cruise experience, nor write a review, than I have for this cruise.

Introduction: I had only been home for 3 days from my previous Mexican Riviera cruise before it was time to once again travel west, this time to Hawaii.  Now, it is unusual that I do cruises quite so close together, but after being back in Cleveland for one day, I was glad I was afforded the option. Don’t get me wrong, I really do love my hometown, it is just that this winter seems to have been unusually harsh and this sun bunny looks for any excuse to bask in its warm glow. I was fortunate to be offered the opportunity to enjoy a 10 day Hawaii cruise on the Crystal Harmony, a temptation much too good to resist. I had never sailed on Crystal before and, based on its reputation, was eagerly anticipating the experience. I had invited a friend from Michigan to join me and we were to meet in Honolulu the day before the cruise.

Pre-Cruise:  I flew from Cleveland to Chicago, where I caught a morning flight directly to Honolulu. I was not looking forward to the 9 hour flight, but it was a small price to pay for the reward on the other end. Of course there were times during the flight that I was not so sure. First, I was seated next to a small child who obviously was NOT happy and let us know it for over an hour of the most piercing, high pitched screams imaginable. Finally, he wore himself out and fell asleep exhausted. As a parent and a former school teacher, I am usually quite tolerant of children’s behavior, but I will admit that it was a tremendous challenge to keep myself from chiming in with some screaming of my own. To add to the discomfort of this long flight was the malfunctioning of the audio portion of the in-flight entertainment. Two movies were slated to help alleviate the monotony of the trip, but unfortunately gremlins had infiltrated the system (Ahh! Technology at its best). 

The Captain hosts small private parties most evenings in his quarters. Book a suite or be a frequent passenger and you will definitely be invited.

Crystal has a staffing concept that makes every crew member feel like part of a team. The mantra is “Everyone on board Crystal serves a passenger, or serves someone who does.” Basically what this means is that while your Cabin Stewardess is cleaning your room, someone is cleaning hers. 

No leftover passenger food for the Crystal harmony crew. Separate crew chefs have been hired to prepare ethnic meals that coincide with their nationalities.

With advance notice passenger’s guests are permitted on board at each port.

There is a very limited children’s program. In fact, on this cruise there were very few children, and most of those were members of the officers’ families.

There are no quads on the ship and the limited third berths are very tiny. They are designed to accommodate a small child.

If you are looking for outstanding food and service the Crystal Harmony delivers! If you are looking for non-stop nightlife, look elsewhere.

The Crystal Harmony is the only ship in the Crystal fleet that has inside cabins and there are only 19 of them.  

Overall Impression:
Although I had never been more eager to share a cruise experience, as mentioned in my preface, I discovered this was also the most difficult review I have ever written. The real essence of a Crystal Harmony cruise is in its spirit. Sure, the ship is beautiful and the food superb, but it radiates a blend of perfect balance and harmony that is hypnotic in effect.  Could it be its utilization of Feng Shui design, or is it the impeccable service of an exemplary staff and crew?  Whatever the reason, a Crystal Harmony cruise is an emotional experience that transcends the written word. There are so many aspects of the cruise that cannot be conveyed in a conventional review. It is only after you experience cruising on the Crystal Harmony for yourself that you will understand the euphoria of being “Crystallized”. My daughter often tells me she knows she is totally spoiled, but in a good way.   After sailing on the Crystal Harmony, I truly understand what she means.

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