After 2 Carnival cruises and 1 aboard the American Queen, We have booked a a cruise on the Crystal Harmony. We are a bit apprehensive in that it may be too "snooty" and formal. We will appreciate hearing from those that have cruised with Crystal.
Thanks, Carl & Emmy
We've not cruised on Crystal, but have sailed "upscale" a few times.
For the most part, we've found the people to be "just folks". We certainly are.
As an insight, I was chatting away with a fellow and his wife somewhere on a mountain in Costa Rica ... we were mostly discussing camera lenses. I don't recall how the talk turned, but the upshot was every piece of clothing on my body came from a department store HE owned (along with about two dozen other department stores). He and his wife were -- still are -- we stay in touch -- "just folks." As in just folks with a gazillion dollars.
My experience has been (this is for Emmy, in particular) that the more upscale the ship the more scaled-back the ladies' wardrobes are. You see a lot of the "LBD" (Little Black Dress) with pearls.
I guess the deal is that the more you have, the less you need to show it off.
So, have a wonderful time. I've never heard anything but praise for the Crystal product.
We cruised on the Symphony this Spring and totally enjoyed it. The food the was best we've ever had on a ship. The people were very down-to-earth for the most part. We noticed about the same ratio of good folks to look-at-me types as you find on any mainstream ship. Be prepared to be spoiled rotten and take clothing a size larger than normal for the latter days on board.
I went on Crystal a few years back, I was 20-something and sharing a cabin with my parents. Overall I found the people friendly, the atmosphere was more formal - probably facilitated by efficient and formal service of the cruise itself, but not necessarily snooty.
For example, on a cruise at dinner one of the first questions asked is how many cruises have you been on, how many with company XYZ etc. At our dinner table was a very friendly and sociable couple that spends half their life on Crystal ships. To hear that, let's say, chitchatting on line at a supermarket might sound snooty, but given the context of where we were is different. The same goes true for talking about where one has travelled or what souvenir someone bought in port that day. While our financial situation may have allowed for a Crystal Cruise, it didn't allow for us to have a suite or separate cabins, or to do every World Cruise with Crystal like our tablemates. We didn't feel uncomfortable knowing that and were not made to feel uncomfortable. I think it all depends on where everyone is "coming from" and your individual comfort level with that. I've never sailed on Carnival, but judging from what I have heard from friends and family that have, I am sure Crystal will be a different, wonderful experience, and there will be much more to enjoy than to be nervous about. Bon voyage. Please post back and let us know how it was!