CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Crystal Cruises Crystal Symphony by Evelyn Richardson World Cruise April 14, 2003

The April 14 cruise was last segment of World cruise.

The ship was clean and inviting as in the past, but it soon became obvious that all was not well.caused I think by administration wishing to cut costs.

Embarkation as usual , but the staff member who escorted me to the cabin was on his first day of working for Crystal, He got lost.fortunately I knew the ship better than he did.

There were only 325 passengers, 100 of whom were Full World cruisers and this created a division of "sheep" and goats"

Dining even for dinner was "open seating", doors opened at 7pm and closed at 9pm. This was a very bad idea With the gratuities still on the individual system, the staff knew they were going to be misssing money on the last night. The kitchen could not cope with some passengers eating desert while others were just starting with the appetizer.

This seemed to produce chaos in the kitchen. What arrived was quite different to that ordered.

"Fresh raspberries with Vanilla ice cream" came up as "Bluberries with whipped cream","Fried oysters" came up as "oysters Rockafeller","Fried onion rings" came as two spoonfuls of "braised chopped onions" (like those on top of a hamburger" At breakfast I cut into my pancake and a mess of uncooked batter oozed over my plate. An order of "link sausages with broiled tomato" arrived on a large plate, it consisted of one thin sausage and half a tomato.! I was told the kitchen had not got enough sausages! I have never has this happen on my previous 9 cruises with Crystal. There were other happenings also which made for difficulties.

The President of Crystal came on board for the last 5 days, he held a public forum in the Galaxy to brief us on the "future of Crystal" Full World cruisers demanded that in future the line would not sell segments , or would price the segments much higher per day than the full cruise "that will limit the numbers" To my astonishment he agreed to that suggestion, failing to point out that Crystal could not operate with just 100 passengers on board.

I am just your "Mrs Average", I dress well but do not buy expensives wines, a $1000 St John suit or $30,000 necklace in the shops on board. The full World cruisers did not want "segment" passengers or "Mr and Mrs Average "on what they had looked upon as their private yacht, and Crystal's President made it clear he supports that idea.

I think Crystal is making a big mistake It is "Mr and Mrs. Average " who make up the bulk of the cruising public.

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