My husband and I have sailed on Crystal three times, and I can't imagine taking another ship. The food and especially the service are so extraordinary that I can't imagine a ship is any better.
With 960 passengers, it's the perfect size for us. We'd rather be at sea than anywhere else, and this company seems to schedule fewer port stops than any other. Not for first-time cruisers, I guess. But the activities offered on-board are so interesting and we always make new friends, so we're content to just let the world float by.
I know serveral friends who won't sail on Crystal because the restaurant has two assigned seatings. But we just don't mind this. You can always go to the two small alternative restaurants, one serving gourmet Italian, the other Japanese. And, you can dine in your cabin off the dinner menu. So we don't feel tied down in the least with two seatings.
My husband loves the entertainment, especially the floor shows. They are lavish and the performers are usually quite good with Broadway-type shows. I'm hooked on the library (books and videos), would rather sit on the balcony and do the reading I don't have time for at home. This is a dressier ship than most others (I've been on Princess before) -- men always wear tuxes on formal nights and the women get very dressy.
During the daytime, It's fun to sit in the coffee bar and read a magazine or newspaper while sipping cappucino. There are lectures, a huge pool and even an ice cream parlor. Crystal Harmony's Palm Court is filled with rattan chairs, cozy at afternoon tea.
Crystal's service keeps bring us back. On Crystal Harmony, they are the warmest bunch of people I've ever encountered. Service seems to happen so effortlessly.
We've cruised the Panama Canal and South America; shore excursions are always perfectly done. My husband is most interested in taking Crystal Symphony in Europe next year. It's the ten days of the year I always look forward to most.