We recently completed a 10-day Fall foliage sailing with Crystal Cruises, sailing from Boston, Massachusetts to Quebec City in Canada. All along the way we shared the experience live on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as we explored Crystal Cruises for the first time.
Major positive takeaways from our first (and surely not our last) Crystal Cruise include:
- Crystal Guests- The word “guest” took on a whole new meaning early in our voyage. The phrase that is often over-used at every place from cruise lines to gas stations actually meant something on Crystal Serenity. We used the phrase Crystal Guests, appropriately throughout our coverage of the voyage. We truly felt like guests on board Crystal Serenity.
- Plenty Of Crew On Duty- One element of the Crystal Cruises experience that is quite noticeable and really slaps first-timers in the face is the abundance of crew members on duty. All the time. Everywhere. No hunting for someone to do something. If the crew has not already anticipated the need the first time, they are easy to find. Our experience: ask for something once, and never have to ask again. Most commonly received reply when asking a crew member for anything: “Of course”. When it meant the most to me: At 3am when I wanted coffee from room service, every single day. How can you not love that?
- The Best Food At Sea– Other cruise lines have their claim to fame and signature items that no other line can touch. Under a day to day, meal to meal, bite to bite scrutiny; Crystal Cruises efforts are solid home runs: Every. Single. Time. Extra credit: Crystal does not hesitate to try different, cutting edge menu items that may or may not resonate with their upscale clientele. Impressive in a number of ways: If I was a cook (I have been), I would be proud of what they do here, knowing I was working (hard) for an organization that does not stifle creativity but rather embraces it. Example: A new menu premiered at alternative dining venue ‘Tastes’ while we were on board. Coming back a few days after our first visit for another seating at Tastes, they had re-defined the new menu, tweaking a few things here and there. Responsive.
- All Inclusive means exactly that. We never paid for anything extra other than shore excursions which were moderately priced and well done. A premium price for the cruise fare? You bet, that’s what it takes to make all of the above happen. For the good of the cruise industry, I would encourage everyone who reads this space regularly to try Crystal Cruises at least once. (Secret personal note to Earl from The Villages: I get it now) (Secret personal note to Edie, President of Crystal Cruises: I owe you a huge hug; this was truly amazing)
- The Name Thing- One day, before I die, I will be a fly on the wall and witness the training they go through; what it is and how they do it. On Crystal Cruises, meet a crew member once and they know your name and call you by it throughout the voyage. First it was the manager of Silk Road, the upscale Nobu-signed Asian dining venue, and what a surprise: Why would the manager of a restaurant remember our name? Unexpected but supportive of a lesson I learned as a young boy when my father told me: ‘People love to be appreciated’. I did on Crystal Cruises, genuinely.
- The Almir Factor- If you have been following along you know ‘Almir’ is the name of our butler. The Almir Factor represents the intense, real, professional desire to take good care of Crystal Guests that we saw at every turn on this voyage and might not see again until we sail with Crystal Cruises again. Like a (very good) viral disease, every crew member has it from our waiters in every dining venue to the superb duo of cooks in the Trident Grille, reminiscent of a time when service people took pride in what they did. We’ll miss that, quietly, to ourselves, when on different cruise lines in the future.
- The Definition Of Luxury– From this day forward, when we think of “luxury cruise” we will think of Crystal Cruises and, specifically, Crystal Serenity.
Less than stellar parts of the Crystal Cruise experience:
- None- our experience was flawless.
At ChrisCruises.com, in itinerary order:
- Riot Of Color Or Subtle Change, Crystal Fall Foliage Cruise Will Be Epic
- Crystal Cruises First Impressions: Absolutely Blown Away
- Crystal Cruises Adventures, On And Off The Ship
- Themed Moderation On Crystal Cruises
- Crystal Cruises, Saint John, Built On A Rock Solid Foundation
- An Outstanding Day In Halifax with Crystal Cruises
- Your Crystal Cruises Questions (sort of) Answered
- The Magdalen Islands With Crystal Cruises
- Luxuriously Appointed Ship Visits Surprisingly Friendly Canada Port
- Fall Foliage Itinerary Finally Delivers, Butlers Sigh In Relief
- Our Crystal Cruises Experience, Shared
- Responsive Butler Service Tops List Of Unique Crystal Cruise Features
Facebook Photo Albums:
- Our First Day On Crystal Cruises
- My Crystal Story
- Crystal Cruises Room Service
- Bar Harbor, Maine with Crystal Cruises
- Crystal Cruises Visits Saint John, New Brunswick
- Halifax, Nova Scotia with Crystal Cruises
- Fall Foliage With Crystal Cruises