We are a couple in our early to mid 30's. Will we feel uncomfortable on this ship? We are pretty picky, well-traveled, and appreciate finer things. Pros and Cons about going on this ship? This is our first cruise.
You will be beyond comfortable - the service on Crystal is outstanding. The food is great as well. The average age of the passengers is well beyond 30's, though, especially on longer cruises. However, because of the open seating policy, there is a good chance you will be able to meet people you are compatible with if that is what you care to do.
You will find Crystal to have a very friendly and congenial atmosphere with a pool area, nice lounges and and a coffee bar where people congregate. Just keep an open mind and remain friendly.
> We are a couple in our early to mid 30's. Will we feel
> uncomfortable on this ship? We are pretty picky,
> well-traveled, and appreciate finer things. Pros and Cons
> about going on this ship? This is our first cruise.
I think this will spoil you for any other cruise! Request second seating; first is a bit older, but other than that, there are people of all ages on this wonderful ship. It's definitely NOT a family ship; however, the kids' program consists of one room with a few toys.
Food, entertainment, service is top notch. Have a great time!
Sorry to disagree with you Paul, but Crystal doesn't have an open seating policy in the main dining room. You have assigned seating with two seatings. The only places that have open seating are in the two alternate restaurants, Prego and Jade Garden. Beyond that, Crystal will pamper like no other cruise will. Food, service, and things like shore excursions are incredible. The average age for Crystal cruises in the winter months is usually in the 60's, but they are a very young 60. Have a wonderful time. You won't be disappointed.
I sailed on my 1st cruise aboard the Harmony almost a year ago with some friends and was totally spoiled. This past July I was aboard the Harmony on a Crystal Society Cruise to Alaska. I am 33 & was traveling alone on that cruise, and I had another wonderful vacation. I had so much fun that I will celebrate my next birthday on the Harmony and have booked myself on the 29 Jan 01 sailing around the horn (Buenos Aires to Valparaiso).
The guests and crew are very friendly & I met lots of people. I have been keeping in touch with several of them via email.
I think you will have a wonderful time and get hooked!
Just returned from trans-Pacific (San Francisco to Sydney) 20 day cruise on the Harmony. Had a great time (my second Crystal cruise, my parents' 7th). They have really botched their wheelchair accessible cabin bathrooms though......
There is assigned seating for dinner, open seating for both breakfast and lunch...you can meet others at these meals if you ask to be put at large tables with others. They are very accomodating. We have also had no problem in getting table assignments changed in the rare instances that we did not hit it off with our assigned table mates (very rare).
You can also eat breakfast or lunch in the Lido, but no dinner. $6 "tip" per person for eating in Prego or Kyoto restaurants. Definately get reservations as soon as you board as the best dates fill up fast. Room service is available 24 hours and includes whatever is on the dining room menu. Formal nights are long gowns and tuxes or dinner jackets, "informal" is jackets and ties and dressy cocktail dresses or pants suits. Even casual is more like business attire for the most part.
No midnight buffet, which is fine with me. They have appetizers in the bars at midnight, and the Grand Buffet was a luncheon, which was much less wasteful of food.
I would be interested in knowing what changes were made in the Harmony during its refurbishment in late spring. Since you indicate this was your parent's seventh Harmony cruise, perhaps they may have noticed some changes, i.e., dining room seem any different? Other differences? Thanks.
The main changes were reconfiguration of the shops. Since they are too expensive for us anyway, we did not have much opinion about this. There are less inexpensive souveniers available than formerly, and not nearly as good sales as our previous cruise.
Did not notice much else different. The ice cream bar is now in a different location, but still convenient (too convenient for me!!!). I think the dining room colors are a little different, but otherwise no change there or in the showroom or any of the bars or casino. I think mostly it was done to maintain what now is an aging ship. I am looking forward to the changes they will implement in the new ship (Melody?). We still prefer the Harmony over the Symphony due to a much nicer Palm Court on the Harmony, even though the bathrooms are larger on the Symphony.
The biggest problem was in the wheelchair accessible cabins (we had 7108) which were changed to make them pretty worthless for wheelchair bathroom access. We were unable to use the shower at all (unlike previous cruise) due to a stupid modification. We have written Crystal about this to complain, esp. with new court ruling that makes cruise ships that embark/disembark from US ports accountable for ADA compliance.
Overall we had a good trip, although I can see a few other cost cutting changes on the ship from previous cruises.
I am 31 years old. My husband and I have been on Crystal twice. It is a great line! One of the reasons we chose this line was due to the gourmet dining experience. We were not disappointed. It was a five star experience all the way. I am very particular when it comes to food and service, and Crystal met, and often, exceeded my expectations.
Age was not an issue for us. However, we were only one of a handfull of passengers our age. We were definately the "younger" crowd. The length of sailing (12-17), combined with the ports of call (Norway and Scotland, France and Rome, etc.) had some bearing on the age of the passengers. Age became an issue when it related to after hours entertainment. We prefer the modern dance style to the ballroom dance style. Every single night we stopped by the disco, there were less than 10 people in there. Often times there was noone there. This was a disappointment the first sailing, however, we were much more prepared for the lack of late night entertainment the second sailing. Also, don't go expecting pool side activities. While there were wonderful "themed" buffets, there was rarely any poolside music or games. Do, however, expect great lectures, great presentations on future shore excursions, and ample opportunity for relaxation. There have been a number of people that have criticized the production shows. I have to disagree. While they are on a much smaller scale than most lines, they are professionally done and the costumes are very lavish.
Crystal has the greatest service of any line we have sailed. We stayed in a Penthouse suite both sailings, and really pushed our service staff to the limit. They were absolutely incredible! We also requested a table for two, and received our request. We would dine with others for lunch, but greatly enjoyed our romantic evenings alone. If this is your preference, have your travel agency request a table by the window. There were several nights that we made special dinner requests, and they were always honored. Make sure you book reservations for the alternative restaurants as soon as you board, as they fill up quickly. Both restaurants are really good.
One final comment regarding shore excursions. We were never disappointed with the shore excursions themselves. They always had good selections to choose from, and we choose to book directly through the cruise lines. The busses were never crowded, and the hosts were very informative. I wish I could say that for the cruise lines shore excursion personnel.
Sharon, that's a great picture of you with Harmony's Matre D. I also cruise alone, but as I like to think, I am not really going on a cruise along...I just haven't met my new friends until I get aboard ship. I think Crystal has some of the friendliest passengers I have every cruised with.
I didn't realize how old this message base is. That is the same cruise we took on Crystal - the Olympic theme - from SFO to Sydney. We enjoyed the many days at sea and the alternate stop at The Isle of Pines.
Your message is so old you probably won't read this. (NG)