We’re very happy to write a review on Crystal Cruises and you’ll know why as you read more. If you haven’t read our reviews on Celebrity Cruises and Holland America, be sure to check them out if you may be thinking of booking your first cruise.
In December 2018, we started researching a better way or a more favored way of travelling for us. This was when we were feeling secluded and adapting to our new life in Thailand. In other words, we had a lot of time on our hands.
We have been on many cruises and know that we enjoy this mode of travelling over flying. Read all about the pros and cons on a cruise ship vs a plane.
In the past, we’ve cruised with 5 and 5.5 star rated cruise ships. So when I saw a deal on a 6 star cruise, I knew there would be some convincing to do with Ernest, but it was a deal that (in my opinion) we couldn’t pass up. Six star cruises are luxury cruise lines and as such, prices reflect such lux vacations. But with more than 50% off, it was now within our reach.
We consider ourselves avid cruisers since we’ve been on many cruises with a good variety of different cruise lines. In each of the different cruise lines, we can tell a difference (although minimal in some cases) with the passengers. Prior to boarding Crystal cruises, we may have had a preconception of its passengers. Since it is a luxury cruise line, our assumptions were that they may be pretentious, snooty, egotistical…? However, we admit that we were definitely mistaken.
The average age of passengers were probably mid to late 50s. Although, you will see quite a few single (widowed) retirees on the ship who are there for several months at a time. Similar to other cruise lines, there were also a handful of younger cruisers.
The overall type of passengers are well established (we presume), sophisticated and non-presumptuous. We even felt that it was the friendliest ship we’ve ever been on! Everyone, from the crew to the passengers were sociable, cordial, cheerful and welcoming.
Accommodation and Staterooms
Staterooms were similar sized as other cruise lines, however definitely reflective of the 6 star rating. It was so much more lux, even for the basic stateroom (which we were in).
For the standard stateroom, there are two sinks and a bathtub/shower. This was our first time having a bathtub and a double sink in a stateroom on a cruise ship. We definitely could see ourselves being a snowbird (like some of the passengers we met) on this ship!
We were also given the opportunity to tour some of the suites offered on the ship and some were definitely the size of a studio apartment back home in Toronto. Hopefully, one day we will be able to stay in one of these suites. But at a price of $10,000+ per person, we’re happy to have been able to just have a visit.
Cuisines and Dining
Like other cruise ships, there are a variety of cuisines onboard. However, unlike other cruise lines, ALL the different restaurants were all inclusive in your fare. For specialty restaurants on other cruise lines, there is a set price if you wanted to dine at these restaurants. But on Crystal Cruises, the price you pay for the cruise is inclusive of all restaurants and specialty restaurants.
If you follow us on Instagram (@thewanderingasiancouple) you would have seen some of the dishes we had in these specialty restaurants. Some were as amazing a meal as you’d find at a top, well known restaurant in a big city.
We dined at Umi Uma, the Japanese restaurant onboard, by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. It was one of the best Japanese cuisines we have ever had. And we’ve tried many fine dining restaurants in a lot of big North American cities in New York, Toronto, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Moreover, like other ships, there are a variety of different cuisines. However, we found that, unlike other lines of cruise ships, the varieties were so much more authentic tasting on Crystal.
We also felt that each of the different restaurants were at a much higher class; not in a bougie way but more classy.
Activities and Entertainment
The entertainment was on a much smaller scale than the bigger ships we’ve sailed on. Being a smaller ship with less than 1,000 passengers, it felt more intimate. This was definitely a big change for us after seeing big production-like shows on the other cruise lines.
We also felt that the activities offered were much more educational and informational. It was quite comforting to attend an activity and not be around “adults gone wild”.
Spa and Gym
Both the spa and gym were quite small compared to other ships we’ve been on. Like we mentioned above, the overall experience on the ship was a more intimate setting.
There’s a good variety of gym equipment from machines to free weights, although the area was a bit tight due to the small space.
Drinks and Internet
On Crystal Cruises, unlike most other cruise lines and as mentioned above, everything is included in your fare. Therefore, drinks and internet were all inclusive.
What we enjoyed was that they served premium alcohol from liquors, beers and wines. It was refreshing to know that you were getting a nice glass of wine without having to pay for an upgrade for a better drink.
At times the internet would feel like the days of dial up (do you even know what that is or are we showing our age??), however this has been the case on all other cruise lines we’ve been on. It’s also nice to know that we didn’t have to pay an exorbitant amount of money to add an internet package to our cruise; although we may have already in our fare. 😛
Again, with Crystal Cruises gratuities are inclusive in your fare. We enjoyed this all inclusive fare, since at the end of our cruise we weren’t surprised by the additional amounts of charges.
We do feel that great service deserves extra acknowledgement. Therefore, we tipped individually to certain crew members throughout the cruise when we felt it was deserved. We also noticed other passengers doing this as well.
Our Overall Rating
Overall, we loved our time on Crystal Cruises! Everything, from the service and attitude of the crew to the friendliness of the passengers and the delectable cuisines and selection of premium drinks, was exceptional. There isn’t anything bad we could say or even nitpick about this cruise line. It is now our favourite cruise line and that is why we give it a 10/10 rating.
In addition, having an actual all inclusive cruise price meant that there weren’t any crew members trying to sell us anything. This was such a nice change since on the other cruise lines every time we were in a public area we were approached with an offer to dine in a specialty restaurant or an offer to purchase or upgrade a drink package or special spa treatments.
The price of a cruise on Crystal, in our opinions, is well worth it and we will definitely cruise on this line again and again.
Check out our Instagram for pictures and videos of Crystal Cruises and our travel adventures.
A post on tips for getting the best prices coming soon, so be sure to be on the look out.