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Old 04-03-2007, 01:00 PM
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My husband and I have travelerd around the world many times on land and sea for both business and pleasure. This includes walking on Antarctica (9 times). Having taken over 30 cruises we finally tried Crystal (we ave not/and wil not go on Carnival or Disney). The WOW factor never happened. The ship is pretty and the staff/service are great, they Cruise Director Paul McFarland is wonderful and the lectures are OUTSRANDING ...BUT...that is where it STOPS. The food is terrible, with the exception of the Jade restaurant. They have continous Buffet meals, and they are usually held in a pool area where they don't retract the roof so one is surrounded by the smell of chlorine and food. The entertainemnt is mediocre, though the costumes are beautiful. They allow smoking so there is a smell of cigarettes from cabins and the Connaiseur cigar room which comes into the public areas. The shops are "overly expensive." I can get the same items for a lower price at Nordstroms, Niemans or Saks. The cabins are small (we could not get a Penthouse, as they were sold out)with oversize furniture, but the bathrooms are nice. HOWEVER - the worst of it is the majority of the clientelle. Never have we encountered such a group of NOUVEAUX RICHE, snooty, superficial people in our lives. Predominantly the first question is "what deck are you on?" Since the various suites are on deck 10 - if you're not there, then you are dirt. In all fairness we met some very nice people, but the minority number was truly a minority. Most people are very poorly traveled and have not been to many places, nor do they seem to know where they have been or what they have seen...unless Crystal took them by the hand and told them what to see. This line seems to cater to a group of people who like to say that they travel Crystal, just to make themselves sound important and to discuss their bank balances. Let us hope that they continue with Crystal, and not impose themselves on the rest of us who have other outlooks and prioritires in life.
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Old 04-03-2007, 01:00 PM
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My husband and I have travelerd around the world many times on land and sea for both business and pleasure. This includes walking on Antarctica (9 times). Having taken over 30 cruises we finally tried Crystal (we ave not/and wil not go on Carnival or Disney). The WOW factor never happened. The ship is pretty and the staff/service are great, they Cruise Director Paul McFarland is wonderful and the lectures are OUTSRANDING ...BUT...that is where it STOPS. The food is terrible, with the exception of the Jade restaurant. They have continous Buffet meals, and they are usually held in a pool area where they don't retract the roof so one is surrounded by the smell of chlorine and food. The entertainemnt is mediocre, though the costumes are beautiful. They allow smoking so there is a smell of cigarettes from cabins and the Connaiseur cigar room which comes into the public areas. The shops are "overly expensive." I can get the same items for a lower price at Nordstroms, Niemans or Saks. The cabins are small (we could not get a Penthouse, as they were sold out)with oversize furniture, but the bathrooms are nice. HOWEVER - the worst of it is the majority of the clientelle. Never have we encountered such a group of NOUVEAUX RICHE, snooty, superficial people in our lives. Predominantly the first question is "what deck are you on?" Since the various suites are on deck 10 - if you're not there, then you are dirt. In all fairness we met some very nice people, but the minority number was truly a minority. Most people are very poorly traveled and have not been to many places, nor do they seem to know where they have been or what they have seen...unless Crystal took them by the hand and told them what to see. This line seems to cater to a group of people who like to say that they travel Crystal, just to make themselves sound important and to discuss their bank balances. Let us hope that they continue with Crystal, and not impose themselves on the rest of us who have other outlooks and prioritires in life.
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:29 PM
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So what cruise lines have you liked; what would you recommend?
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:54 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by f-mattox:
So what cruise lines have you liked; what would you recommend?


Oceania by far. Open seating, superb cuisine, non-smoking except for several designated areas, no pretense, interesting itineraries, and most of all people who are interesting and are interested in the world around them. No phony behaviour. The entertainement is not the main focus, but what one gains from the overall atmosphere and camaraderie is well worth it. Fortunately we all have different opinions and tastes, and have the option to spend our time and money as we see fit. But definitely Oceania is my favorite. I've worked in the travel industry for over 30 years, and have had great opportunity to experience the spectrum of what is out there. One other thing. Joe Watters (who came from Royal Viking and Crystal) took the best from there and brought all that to Oceania. It shows!!!
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:40 PM
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Thank you very much. I have had my eye on Oceania for some time; now you have piqued my interest.
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Old 04-06-2007, 09:05 AM
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Once you experiene "O" you may or may not agree. However we are very happy and only wisdh you the same experiences. Happy Sailing!
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Old 04-06-2007, 12:07 PM
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I sailed the Crystal Serenity in December and did not have the same experience you described. I was never asked what deck I'm on nor did anyone discuss their bank balances. I met some very interesting, well traveled people and generally enjoyed the cruise tremendously. My best meal that week was in Prego, where we spent 2 hours and had one of the best meals and service I've had anywhere.

I've never sailed Oceania but enjoyed reading your impressions of it.

Sandy
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Old 04-06-2007, 04:15 PM
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I only wish we would have had the same experience on the Symphony. The food was so bad throughout, not to mention the horrible buffets,and our unpleasant table mates that we became regulars at the Jade. Fortunately we love the various Asian foods and there we were quite happy. Unfortunately Prego on the Symphony was not good either and we tried it 3 times. Do try Oceania sometime. Never had a problem. We don't travel for food, but it does help when it tastes well.
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:06 PM
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I was fortunate enough to cruise with Crystal (Serenity) on a 104-day world voyage. I had no issues at all with the food, nor with the staff or service. The guest speakers and enrichment programs were by far the best I've experienced on any cruise line! As for snooty people? Sure they were around but I found it a challenge to smile and try to bring then down a peg. And the interesting, friendly and well-traveled passengers far outnumbered the snobs. As for Oceania, family members will be sailing with them next month.I am very curious to hear their impressions. I sailed with then before the revamp when they were Renaissance and loved the service and the size of the ships. In the end, aren't we all just so very lucky to have had the opportunity to cruise?! Let's appreciate our good fortune and take the good with the not-so-good.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:53 PM
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I've sailed both the Symphony and Serenity and have not experienced the things you spoke about. Sure, there are about 5% of the guests whom I'd consider snobs. I find them amusing then go my merry way. No one ever asked what deck I was on, and I heard no talk of bank balances. The vast majority of passengers were delightful, humble, well-travelled people whom I considered highly intelligent and knowledgeable about the world.
As for food, Crystal consistently is rated among the top lines for food. I think it's deserved, and if you had a bad meal in Prego, I can't imagine. We were recently on the Symphony, and our meal in Prego was as good as any I've had on land or sea. Absolutely fabulous. I'm not a "buffet person," but the preparation and presentation of the buffets is incredible. Each dish is outstanding. None of the overly starchy stuff one typically finds on buffets.
I don't consider myself a Crystal Cheerleader and am in fact booked on a competing line for my next cruise due to itinerary. I haven't tried Oceania, but I would consider it.
 
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