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Refurbush what and other changes


ctjon
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1 hour ago, BWIVince said:


Symphony has 3 galleys and several final prep areas…. Deck 5 is the main galley and the largest, but as of the last refit there is a small galley on 6 and what amounts to 1 and 3/4 galleys on 11 if you add all of the prep areas together.  Depending on the concept, you may need to add particular items of equipment to Marketplace, but as of right now it has a complete galley, unlike when it was built.

 


Unfortunately, their actions say the opposite…. They went full-in on the English-speaking market, eliminating the Asian sales support and onboard support resources that NYK had in place previously.  Unless it was part of their “sometime in the future they’re going to change strategies” conspiracy theory that was floated from day one, Silk was never more than their attempt to offer more diverse offerings to Crystal’s worldly guests that wanted a counterpoint to Waterside’s almost exclusively western cuisine on most itineraries.

 


This was essentially the concept behind the Seabreeze refits, but you can only combine too many rooms before your overall capacity drops too low.  That said, what HAL did by knocking an opening between existing rooms was exponentially cheaper than what Crystal did by demolishing everything and inserting entirely new, wider cabins, but at this point it’s unlikely Crystal could stand to combine too many more rooms without adding a significant number of new rooms elsewhere (which may be an option).

 

Vince

"Symphony has 3 galleys and several final prep areas…. Deck 5 is the main galley and the largest, but as of the last refit there is a small galley on 6 and what amounts to 1 and 3/4 galleys on 11 if you add all of the prep areas together.  Depending on the concept, you may need to add particular items of equipment to Marketplace, but as of right now it has a complete galley, unlike when it was built." 

Symphony always a a galley on deck 6 - for Umi Uma and Prego - it was there in 1999.

 

"Unfortunately, their actions say the opposite…. They went full-in on the English-speaking market, eliminating the Asian sales support and onboard support resources that NYK had in place previously.  Unless it was part of their “sometime in the future they’re going to change strategies” conspiracy theory that was floated from day one, Silk was never more than their attempt to offer more diverse offerings to Crystal’s worldly guests that wanted a counterpoint to Waterside’s almost exclusively western cuisine on most itineraries."

Two Asian restaurants was one too many!

 

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7 hours ago, ChatKat in Ca. said:

Our house has a massive tub in the master bath and a huge walk in shower.  In 5 years we haven't used that tub. It's like a small swimming pool and just getting in it is a feat unto itself.

 

On Regent's Mariner, the step up into the tub was so poorly designed, they've redone most of the bathrooms. 

 

Crystal could remove the tub and just have a shower, but it's not as difficult to enter as the above 2 examples.

 

What we loved about the Serenity, is in the small cabins, there was enough space to do whatever we needed and the lack of space for lounging, kept us out and about enjoying the ship.   We had several catagories of cabin, and there is not much to my mind that needs remodeling. Refreshing maybe.

We just remodeled our Master Bath and ditched the huge tub (you could get 4 people in it!) altogether and made a large shower with a seat. Much better and more practical.

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51 minutes ago, BWIVince said:

I think what they do to Symphony will depend on how long they plan to keep her.  They can have a whole new ship for a fraction of the price of building one, or they can have a refreshed ship that serves well for another 4 years while they build replacements.  In Serenity they already have a modern hull that meets most current technical standards, so IMHO the direction is clearer, but Symphony I could flip a coin on their thinking.  When you get a hull for that cheap, your options are varied.

 

I have a completely different view of Churrascaria…. It’s not my favorite concept either, but it’s also not a white-sheet venue that you can do anything with.  The reason the concept was selected is because it was one of the few concepts that incorporates the buffet into something most passengers still consider a premium experience.  If you don’t use the buffet, you have to either live with it as an elephant in the room (welcome to our nice Italian restaurant, but please try to pretend that we’re a pop-up operating out of a giant cafeteria) or try to wall it off with curtains or movable walls (just plain ugly).  Crystal tried doing table service in a buffet venue before and it felt like someone bought an out of business Golden Corral and tried turning it into a family restaurant.  Also, one of the requirements of the Marketplace dinner venues was that it be a casual concept, since Crystal had none of those prior to Silk and the Churrascaria.  That’s not to say the new owners are going to keep those priorities, but those considerations are as relevant today as they were when those concepts were picked.

 

I also vote to keep Nobu (as if we have any say), ESPECIALLY over going back to a generic pan-Asian concept again.  I know he’s not everyone’s thing, but neither is anything else.

 

Vince

We didn't care for Churrascaria but we did like the former casual dining.

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Trade offs and personal choice.  We have a tub in master bath and not sure we have actually used it (washing dog maybe) .   Combine a bunch of rooms makes bigger rooms but reduces the passenger load and thus may raise cruise fares. 

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, bitob said:

Fair point.  I guess the new owners could stay on that path. The on board experience did compensate for the age of the ships and other "weaknesses" -- but if they want to attract cruisers who like the true luxury lines they may have to adjust.  They can certainly attract those on the upper premium lines who want to move up.


I have no idea if that’s true or not, but it’s one of the things that struck me when I heard both ships were sold in tandem.

 

I’d also add that we’ve seen a trend in the travel and hospitality industries lately of the latest ventures from certain personalities not necessarily being the most aspirational concepts in terms of segmentation.  I’d put Torstein Hagen and David Neeleman, among others, in that bucket.  Sometimes, with experiencing in pursuing “the best”, you find a better business plan for just “excellent”.

 

Not sure if that’s the case here, just something worth considering.

 

33 minutes ago, suzeluvscruz said:

Symphony always a a galley on deck 6 - for Umi Uma and Prego - it was there in 1999.

 

Yeah, I didn’t say it was added recently, I was giving an accounting of the galley facilities as of the last major dry dock.  The facilities on all three decks have evolved over the years to some degree.

 

33 minutes ago, suzeluvscruz said:

Two Asian restaurants was one too many!

 


To some of us, two Asian venues is several too few.  😁
 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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2 hours ago, bitob said:

Fair point.  I guess the new owners could stay on that path. The on board experience did compensate for the age of the ships and other "weaknesses" -- but if they want to attract cruisers who like the true luxury lines they may have to adjust.  They can certainly attract those on the upper premium lines who want to move up.

For me luxury is the service I receive, the lectures, the fabulous food, the cleanliness, the classes, the can do attitude, etc. Yes a gorgeous ship or even a gorgeous hotel room is nice, but if the service and food isn't top notch, I don't care how nice the ship or hotel room looks.

In fact when we go to NY now, we found a nice boutique hotel to stay in. Many of you would consider it "older" and maybe even "tired" looking although it's spotlessly clean. However the service is top notch, the rooms are large and comfy, the robes are plush and all we have to do is call down and they're up in a second. And the room is at least 1/2 the price of most rooms in NY. I'll take this place over some supposed top notch places any day.

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3 minutes ago, AtA said:

In fact when we go to NY now, we found a nice boutique hotel to stay in. Many of you would consider it "older" and maybe even "tired" looking although it's spotlessly clean. However the service is top notch, the rooms are large and comfy, the robes are plush and all we have to do is call down and they're up in a second. And the room is at least 1/2 the price of most rooms in NY. I'll take this place over some supposed top notch places any day.

Arlene,

 

please let me know the name of this hotel…might need a room in a few months.

 

thanks,

 

Nancy

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3 hours ago, bitob said:

Nice to see you back Vince😀

 

No matter what they do, these older ships just cannot compete in the luxury market.  Explora, Regent, Silversea all have gorgeous ships with larger cabins and more restaurant choices.  I think the long term plan has to be new builds.  That may make those of you who love the vessels unhappy, but I think you are in the minority of luxury cruise passengers  -- most do not want older ships, fewer restaurants and smaller cabins.


Oh, I am used to being in the minority, for sure. Thx for the reminder!

 

Heck, Platinum LM is the smallest minority, and it’s an honor and a pleasure.

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2 hours ago, BWIVince said:


I have no idea if that’s true or not, but it’s one of the things that struck me when I heard both ships were sold in tandem.

 

I’d also add that we’ve seen a trend in the travel and hospitality industries lately of the latest ventures from certain personalities not necessarily being the most aspirational concepts in terms of segmentation.  I’d put Torstein Hagen and David Neeleman, among others, in that bucket.  Sometimes, with experiencing in pursuing “the best”, you find a better business plan for just “excellent”.

 

Not sure if that’s the case here, just something worth considering.

 

 

Yeah, I didn’t say it was added recently, I was giving an accounting of the galley facilities as of the last major dry dock.  The facilities on all three decks have evolved over the years to some degree.

 


To some of us, two Asian venues is several too few.  😁
 

Vince

Great to see you back and posting again ,Vince. You have been missed!

 

Larry

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5 hours ago, BWIVince said:


Thanks for the welcome back.  😊

 

This is a GREAT point of discussion!

 

Crystal was never originally designed to compete against the part of the market that Explora, Regent and Silversea currently operate in.  While there is some overlap certainly, in terms of clientele and certain price points for some cabins, a HUGE number of us have never paid Crystal fares anywhere near close to the fares those lines publish on a non-sale basis.

 

While Genting’s business plan was to build Crystal into that market segment, what if that’s not the current owners mid-term plan?  What if they plan to operate it at a price point between Oceania and Regent (for example), where it was in the past?

 

Some of the most successful concepts in the cruise industry haven’t been to be “the ultimate”, but instead to have an aspirational but focused, nailed down product at a price that people are happy to pay.

 

Just thinking out loud…

 

Vince

 

Vince, welcome back.  I just got done spending 20 minutes riffing on some of your points above but apparently, instead of hitting "submit" I hit "this is the button you think is submit but will instead just make your post mysteriously disappear."  Sheesh.

 

Anyway, welcome back.  Now I don't have to post about "those faded prints and that decorative bathroom tile" in your absence.

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On 6/25/2022 at 2:25 PM, HPfoodie said:

Totally agree. The new Silversea Nova is almost all walk in showers. We had a large walk in on Spirit, much better than a bath, which we would never use. 

HPfoodie, Did you enjoy Silver Spirit? We will be on her two weeks from now. Only available standard veranda was an assessable cabin (bathroom) and we just booked yesterday so I suspect it was released to general public. 

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1 hour ago, C-sea said:

Did you enjoy Silver Spirit?

We did indeed. Our first experience at luxury cruising and have booked 3 more. We had a verandah suite in the ‘ new bit’ in the centre of the ship hence the large walk in shower. And we enjoyed the whole experience- met some great people, staff were first class and we loved the restaurants. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 

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3 hours ago, KenzSailing said:

but apparently, instead of hitting "submit" I hit "this is the button you think is submit but will instead just make your post mysteriously disappear."  Sheesh.

Frustrating isn’t it - but I’ve got them beat now as I just copy my draft posts before hitting Submit (just don’t bother trying to use Select All though)

You really have to wonder about their platform and support given these log in and posting issues have been going on for months now 

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4 hours ago, HPfoodie said:

We did indeed. Our first experience at luxury cruising and have booked 3 more. We had a verandah suite in the ‘ new bit’ in the centre of the ship hence the large walk in shower. And we enjoyed the whole experience- met some great people, staff were first class and we loved the restaurants. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 

So you've never been on Crystal?

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Count me as one who loves whirlpool baths or soaking tubs.  If it’s a combo tub/shower, I’d rather have just a walk-in shower. But if I can have both shower and separate tub - heaven!  That said, I’m fine with options. 

 

Keep in mind, they need to attract new cruisers and need to get passengers to pay premium rates.  That makes me think they will create some larger cabins for which they can charge more.  But what do I know?

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22 minutes ago, ggo85 said:

Keep in mind, they need to attract new cruisers and need to get passengers to pay premium rates.  

Good point. Yes, we all well know there are loyal followers who will book years in advance for months of cruising, regardless of where/how/what/when. But Cruise Critic members, although vocal, are a very small percentage of total Crystal cruisers. The key to success is how to attract that other 90%. I doubt what we want is going to carry a whole lot of weight.

 

It's still fun to speculate and make requests and wonder about what-ifs, although that may get old quick during a year+ of refurb. 

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For me (getting back to the original title of this thread !!) I wouldn't change anything, just update, refresh, modernise etc. What's not to love ?

Incidentally, many compare Crystal to the other luxury lines. I don't, as none offer what Crystal does and, I suspect like many others, the obvious negatives, such as cabin size, age, etc simply don't matter. I see Crystal as being in perhaps a niche position and this has always been reflected in far more competitive entry level prices for those of us who are more than happy with the lesser accommodations.

 

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36 minutes ago, HPfoodie said:

Nope. Never managed. 6 cancelled. So obviously can’t compare. 

I hope that the essence of Crystal is still there when it sails again and that you get to see why so many of us loved it. A ship to many of us is more than a brand new and large cabin and that's what made Crystal so special.

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20 hours ago, KenzSailing said:

Anyway, welcome back.  Now I don't have to post about "those faded prints and that decorative bathroom tile" in your absence.

 

Thanks Ken!  I have no idea if they actually bid/acquired the furnishings, since they were separate, but if they did -- the good news is the prints were already replaced (FINALLY).  I have to think the bathroom tile is toast with the refit though, given the amount of time they'll finally have to work on the bathrooms in the deluxe staterooms.  Time more than cost has been the reason the walls haven't been retiled yet.

 

52176889601_8556337ea4_z.jpg

 

Vince

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5 hours ago, kool kruiser said:

For me (getting back to the original title of this thread !!) I wouldn't change anything, just update, refresh, modernise etc. What's not to love ?

Incidentally, many compare Crystal to the other luxury lines. I don't, as none offer what Crystal does and, I suspect like many others, the obvious negatives, such as cabin size, age, etc simply don't matter. I see Crystal as being in perhaps a niche position and this has always been reflected in far more competitive entry level prices for those of us who are more than happy with the lesser accommodations.

 

5 hours ago, kool kruiser said:

Same with me.  There is very little, if anything, to dislike about sailing with Crystal.    I don't understand this thing about cabin size unless one spends a lot of time cooped up in one instead of experiencing the facilities and space onboard.

 

Nobody has yet mentioned the library.  Is there a cruise ship anywhere which can compare?  I once emailed the librarian and she sent me a full list of all the publications in the library and a list of newly released novels which would be available for my cruise thereby saving me having to buy them (I don't like Kindle).

 

I like the promenade deck which many newer ships no longer have.  A gentle stroll after dinner or a dawdle during the day is very relaxing.

 

The only complaint I have is that the crew do not know how to make a nice cup of tea.  I once had to explain to them the finer arts of making a nice cuppa.  I'm assuming the staff must have been trained in America and certainly not Britain, Australia or New Zealand !  

 

5 hours ago, kool kruiser said:

 

 

 

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Obviously, no real way of knowing but I'm sure the Crystal of 2023 would have been somewhat different than the Crystal of 2020 even without COVID and bankruptcy.    One of the nice things was things were always evolving as any well run organization.

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14 minutes ago, ctjon said:

Obviously, no real way of knowing but I'm sure the Crystal of 2023 would have been somewhat different than the Crystal of 2020 even without COVID and bankruptcy.    One of the nice things was things were always evolving as any well run organization.

Well run organization??????🤪

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