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Travelcat2

LIVE - Crystal Symphony (compared to Regent)

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Hi again.  I've returned with some responses.  Again, appreciate the corrections to my posts.

 

There was a question about alcohol in Regent's Coffee Connection and The Bistro.  If they serve alcoholic coffees in The Bistro, I am not aware of it.  We did not see it on the menu but do not know if the menu of coffee/tea changes at night.  On Regent, the menu in the Coffee Connection includes descriptions of coffee drinks that they make.  My favorite is French Coffee (with Brandy and something else).  They have a several options - even a "Russian Hot Chocolate" which is to die for (no clue what alcohol is used in that drink).  

 

After saying how wonderful the breads were on Crystal, I would be remiss if I did not mention the ice cream on Regent.  While Ben and Jerry's is fine, IMHO, nothing beats homemade ice cream which is what Regent offers.  I did not notice sugar-free ice cream on Crystal but that does not necessarily mean that it isn't available.  They have a sugar-free option on Regent every day (my favorite is the coffee sugar free that I ruin - calorie wise - by putting chocolate syrup on it.  

 

I touched on the dress code a bit and remain surprised at how "backyard casual" (I made up that term) that some of the guests wore.  The allowed "dress jeans" have turned into sloppy jeans with t-shirts at dinner.  Just surprised - that's all.

 

Our favorite servers on Crystal were Jed, Miles and Noel (in Uma Umi) and Micky (nickname - he is from Serbia) in Prego.  There were many excellent servers but these individuals went out of their way to say hi and welcome us whenever they saw us.  There is also a man (wish I had written down his name) that is from South Africa.  He served canapés in the Starlight Lounge and was a perfect representative for Crystal.  He was very friendly and informative - definitely an asset.  Have to say that the canapés paled in comparison to Regent.  Perhaps they were better in other lounges.  We only frequented the Starlight Lounge (and Avenue Saloon when Mark was there).

 

Someone mentioned that all a person needs is a cabin the size of a Manhattan apartment.  Well, I was raised in California and am not familiar with Manhattan apartments.  However, we have stayed in tiny cabins (on a Nile river cruise and a very small ship cruise in Fiji) so I understand that they are okay.  During our 18 or so years of international travel prior to cruising (started cruising in 2004 - not counting the cruises mentioned in this paragraph which were extensions of land vacations), we stayed in all types of accommodations.  We were in Club Meds in various parts of the world and no one could possibly rave about their accommodations.  With age, we have upped our requirements (not "needs").  We have been in all categories of suites on Regent's Voyager, Navigator and Explorer (except their tiny suites which I try to put out of my mind like they do not exist).  With the exception of the Master Suite, we have been in all categories of suites on Mariner.  I'm adding this information to help explain where we have come from in the past.

 

With all of our experiences and travels, my favorite place is still in a recliner in our bedroom with kitties sitting my lap ...... pure heaven🐈 

 

 

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2 hours ago, AtA said:

If you do the regular suites on Regent, then you'll be fine with the PH suites on Crystal and the pricing is similar for both.

On Regent the smallest suite we have had in recent years is the Seven Seas Aft on the Mariner.   We don't mind that.  But far prefer the Owners Suite or Vista Suite on Oceania.  Next Regent cruise - Grand Suite in the stern on Splendour.   PH suites on Crystal are small...

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I'm curious why do some people care to eat with officers at all?  It's something TC2 touched upon when comparing Regent and Crystal.  Do you have access to better food when you eat with them?  What is the appeal?

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4 minutes ago, kent9xxx1 said:

I'm curious why do some people care to eat with officers at all?  It's something TC2 touched upon when comparing Regent and Crystal.  Do you have access to better food when you eat with them?  What is the appeal?

I enjoy learning about them, their lives on and off the ship as well as their jobs and what it entails. 

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51 minutes ago, kent9xxx1 said:

I'm curious why do some people care to eat with officers at all?  It's something TC2 touched upon when comparing Regent and Crystal.  Do you have access to better food when you eat with them?  What is the appeal?

I agree

It is not  something  I care either way about but it must be important to others 😉

 

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1 hour ago, kent9xxx1 said:

I'm curious why do some people care to eat with officers at all?  It's something TC2 touched upon when comparing Regent and Crystal.  Do you have access to better food when you eat with them?  What is the appeal?

 

Back "in the day" before all-inclusive, sitting at a "hosted table" (and it was not always a ship's officer), the only difference was the "host" supplied the wine at dinner. Other than that, the menu was the same. As we have cruised a fair bit with Crystal, we were often sat at a hosted table on Formal nights, usually with the Chief Accountant, (often wondered if my Better Half being a CPA had something to do with that), and we always had a good time. Would I ask for that now? No, but I am sure some people like to be "stroked" that way.

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Sitting with an Officer is something we would stay away from, we've been ask and declined with a nice thank you.  However the last few cruises (on Regent) we've accepted and a little hesitant but said yes.  Surprise to us we really had a great time the Officers - very interesting.  It's not something we look for, but if we find before hand a little information about the Officer help if your going to say yes.  It all started when the Captain asked to sit with us in the Coffee Connection one morning while we were having coffee---that evening we got an invite for the next night to have dinner with her.

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One night on Regent - the Navigator, I think, we had dinner with the Chief Engineer and another officer who I think is now  on Crystal.  We usually declined, but this night was a total laugh fest. It was the final World Cup Soccer and Italy was playing.  He had his ship phone and every time there was a play that scored, he got a phone call.  He'd assigned his staff to keep him up to date.  The whole table of 8 was in on it.  He ordered an Italian wine and lemoncello in addition to an Italian feast not on the menu as I recall.

 

It was a wonderful evening.

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4 hours ago, kent9xxx1 said:

I'm curious why do some people care to eat with officers at all?  It's something TC2 touched upon when comparing Regent and Crystal.  Do you have access to better food when you eat with them?  What is the appeal?

Well, in the old days before inclusive one of the benefits was that wine was served at the Officers Tables at dinner so those dining got complimentary wine.  I do know a few people who asked to be seated at an Officers table for that reason.  Similarly some used to come to the Captains' receptions for the drinks.  😁  With that said many people back in the day and today liek to sit at Officers Tables for a range of reasons.

 

Some thought it was prestigious.  Others wanted to sit at these tables for  the social aspect of getting to know fellow guests and enjoying a nice conversation with one of the officers or senior staff.   No different than some people want to sit at tables with six and eight with other guests.  We all have different preferences.

 

Some people had other reasons for wanting to sit at these tables.   Sometimes someone had a particular officer position they wanted to dine with.  An example might be someone who is/was in the medical field who wanted to dine specifically with the Ships Doctor or say someone who enjoys technology who wanted to dine with the Chief Engineer.  

 

We never sat at officer tables because in our early days of Crystal we preferred tables of six (officer tables were larger) and eventually we preferred siting at a table for 2.

 

In our case though we do enjoy dining with officers from time to time and senior staff.  For us it is all part of the cruising experience.  This includes getting to know people including whether they are from the ship, fellow guests as well as from time to time members from enrichment.  This is part of what we enjoy about cruising such as learning about people, background, countries they come from, customs, travel experiences, work experiences, etc., etc.

 

Some people who come on board solo also enjoy the hosted tables as this provides them with an opportunity to eat with others without having to orchestrate this for themselves.

 

At the same time some would not have any interest in this.  Is this where I end by saying choice is good?  Well again an example of how what one person might like (sitting at an Officers Table) another might dread.  

 

Keith

 

 

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AT one time it was the higher end suites that had the "privilege" of dining at the Captain's Table.  One of our travel agents arranged it for her Regent Passengers.  It was fun the first few times but it got old and we declined the invitations.

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We’ve enjoyed, a couple of times, dining with an officer—Chief Engineer by our own choice. Super, relaxed chatter about the ship and, especially, about recommendations for restaurants in ports. Infallible.

 

But grew weary of the large, 8-top tables and tiresome, Officer-hogging table mates. Back to 2-tops.

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 with the Chief Accountant, (often wondered if my Better Half being a CPA had something to do with that), “

 

Does professional courtesy extend that far? Last time out I chanced my arm and explained my professional qualifications with a view to a bridge visit .... failed miserably. Security protocols would not allow it. Apologies made but never got a dining invitation ... phew!

(I wasn’t bothered about the visit, I was just being nosey and wanted to see how technology has improved.)

We used to carry the occasional passengers who would dine with us in the officers dining room. The novelty soon wore off😀 when they realised there was nothing special going off and the food was just as bad every day 🤫

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This is a somewhat different story.  In one of our first cruises in another luxury line, we were invited to dine with an officer (HD, maybe), who conversed with only one of the table mates at his side, ate fast, and immediately after the entrée, stood up to say...you people eat dessert, I plan on not missing the show....and left.  We all laughed and decided he had had a bad hair day.  

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On 9/13/2019 at 9:01 PM, ChatKat in Ca. said:

One night on Regent - the Navigator, I think, we had dinner with the Chief Engineer and another officer who I think is now  on Crystal.  We usually declined, but this night was a total laugh fest. It was the final World Cup Soccer and Italy was playing.  He had his ship phone and every time there was a play that scored, he got a phone call.  He'd assigned his staff to keep him up to date.  The whole table of 8 was in on it.  He ordered an Italian wine and lemoncello in addition to an Italian feast not on the menu as I recall.

 

It was a wonderful evening.

 

You can have equally wonderful evening with other companions.  What is so special about these guys that it is important to some people?  Do these people want to eat with the in house hotel director when they visit the Atlanta marriott?  Do they want to learn more from the chief engineer at any of the massive hotel in Las Vegas at dinner?  Do accountants want to talk to in house accountant at a hotel?  I am guessing not even though you can get recommendations, life stories, etc... all the same stuff from these guys as you would get from the cruise officers.  

 

I can see solo travelers would be interested in this kind of things mainly because of the socializing aspect of dining with others.  

Roland4 might be on to something that some people like to be ¨stroked¨ that way.  The free wines are convincing though.  

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My wife and I normally request a table for 2.  We sometime enjoy a hosted table as a way to be more social at meal time, and meet (hopefully) interesting people.  Other times we are not in the mood, and prefer to dine alone.

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On 9/13/2019 at 6:26 PM, kent9xxx1 said:

I'm curious why do some people care to eat with officers at all?  It's something TC2 touched upon when comparing Regent and Crystal.  Do you have access to better food when you eat with them?  What is the appeal?

 

We not only prefer to dine with officer but prefer chatting with the crew than other passengers.  We are very interested in their lives.  The crew stories are amazing.  These lovely people are away from their families for months at a time in order to give them a better life.  One of our long-time friends on Regent is a server.  During the years that we have known him, he has put two of his children through college (he is from the Philippines).  We learn so much from him.  

 

At the end of every Regent cruise, I wrote to the CEO/President of Regent, Mr. Montague, and let him know who we feel is a "rising star".  One of our rising stars was a server on one cruise and a butler on the next.  While we certainly do not think that we are responsible for his promotion, he knows (from comments cards that are shared with the staff) why we felt that he was so special.  We get a lot of pleasure from seeing people that we have shared time with move up the ranks.

 

In terms of officer tables, Regent has begun having smaller tables.  We have dined with officers when, as someone noted, that want to monopolize conversations.  The worst was when we were dining with an Italian Captain and one couple only wanted to talk about the Costa Concordia (such poor taste).  Now, with smaller tables, we have dined with just one other couple and a few times alone with the officer in a specialty restaurant.  

 

When it comes to other passengers, they are doing the same thing that we are doing ........ cruising the world.  We can discuss the cruise lines that we've sailed on - places where we have visited, etc.  Everyone has their own likes and dislikes and, when we are cruising, it is the crew that makes it for us.  Putting down anyone for their choices is not polite.  We are all different and it is far better to embrace our differences than criticize them.

Edited by Travelcat2

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T

4 hours ago, kent9xxx1 said:

 

You can have equally wonderful evening with other companions.  What is so special about these guys that it is important to some people?  Do these people want to eat with the in house hotel director when they visit the Atlanta marriott?  Do they want to learn more from the chief engineer at any of the massive hotel in Las Vegas at dinner?  Do accountants want to talk to in house accountant at a hotel?  I am guessing not even though you can get recommendations, life stories, etc... all the same stuff from these guys as you would get from the cruise officers.  

 

I can see solo travelers would be interested in this kind of things mainly because of the socializing aspect of dining with others.  

Roland4 might be on to something that some people like to be ¨stroked¨ that way.  The free wines are convincing though.  

The travel agent we used for Regent cruises arranged the tables as a benefit to her passengers.  She often hosted group cruises and had a cocktail party followed by hosted tables and the passengers knew one another as well.

 

The Crystal officers are more gregarious throughout the whole cruise and I believe the passengers are as well.  For a long time, Regent passengers stayed in their cabins because they has alcohol bottles in cabin and there was a charge for drinks.  They went All Inclusive with drinks about 2007/2008.  Later they added excursions to their all inclusive under Prestige Cruise Holdings and I stopped sailing with them.

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I found the best place to find and converse with officers was at scoops the ice cream place where often there was a crowd of them

 

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13 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

 We are all different and it is far better to embrace our differences than criticize them.

Well, I do agree with the first four words.  And no need to criticize.  

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I'd like to add my thanks for such an interesting and fair minded review of your cruise which I hope you enjoyed, despite the 'work' which you certainly put in! I agree with much of what you say, although of course many of the comparisons are between Regent's new ship and Crystal's older ship. It would be interesting to compare Crystal's new ship, assuming there will be one, with Explorer and/or Splendor. I hope you enjoy your reunion with your kitties and now you can look forward to your next adventure. 

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Travelcat2 - Thank you for being so generous with your time! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and seeing your photos. My DH and I don't cruise on the luxury lines, but I have loved learning from you. You are truly a sweetheart.

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DaisyUK and Eteta1213 - thank you for your kind comments:classic_smile:

 

I do think that Crystal's new ship will be competition to all luxury cruise lines.  Considering what they have done with two older ships that have suite that are too small, I can only imagine how amazing the new ship will be.

 

From November through 2021, all of our bookings are on Regent's new ships (Splendor and Explorer).  We are very happy with these two ships.

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I would also like to thank Travelcat2 for your thoughtful and balanced (and fun) review and for the great photos!  I just booked my first Crystal cruise and your review was one of the reasons.  Although I've been on just a few cruises relative to the rest of you, I absolutely agree with Travelcat2 about enjoying talking to the crew and sometimes hearing their life stories.  Meeting these hardworking, diverse people is one of the most enjoyable and memorable things about cruising IMO.  Thanks again to you and all who posted on this thread.

 

Bill

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Bill, I very happy to hear you booked your first Crystal Cruise.  I hope you enjoy the experience and please post should you have questions about Crystal.

 

I think in the end we all cruise and get different enjoyment from various aspects of travel. My wife and I greatly enjoy interactions with the on-board team of members of the crew/senior staff/officers.  We also enjoy getting to know fellow guests and those from land such as entertainers and enrichment personnel who come on for selected cruises.  When they say welcome home or when some of us speak about the extended family a major part of that is the people and speaking for myself a major part of that is the on-board team.  I think this type of experience is very unique and one of several reasons our preferred type of travel is a cruise.

 

Keith

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