Myself and family have been loyal passengers for many years on the QE2 ,and are eagely waiting this friday 16th July for our next cruise to, norway. (Land of the Midnight Sun)
Next year is our 25th Wedding Anniversay and don't know what to do regarding the two lines , would it be worth paying the extra and go into a QG cabin, (Queens Grill) or spread our wings and try crystal ???.
I've cruised on QM2 and was not at all impressed by either the food or the lackluster service. We had two QG suites and were greatly disappointed in the menu for the QG. We were amazed and disappointed that the menu in the QG was exactly the same as in the main dining room. Yes, you do have the ala carte menu, but that never changes and you don't want to eat the same food off that menu every night. For the money, and if you really want to cruise Cunard, save the bucks and stick to a non Grill class cabin.
I've been on 45 cruises, on just about every line out there, and for me, it's either Seabourn or Crystal. Since you're asking about Crystal, I'll keep my comments to that line. Their ships are much smaller than Cunard and so you get personalized service. The word "no" isn't in their dictionary. Crystal has ranked at the top of all the national travel magazines since they started. Their food is excellent and they have two alternate dining rooms that serve some of the best food at sea. Crystal also has the best in terms of daytime and evening entertainment. Their Creative Learning Institute is something no other cruise line has with their classes in foreign language, art, music, investments, health and wellness, computers and photography and food and wine. They bring in world renowned guest lecturers for each cruise. Their shore excursions aren't cattle calls and they keep the number of participants at a much lower number than any other cruise line.
Crystal is a very formal experience. On a typical 12 night cruise they will have three formal nights, three or four informal nights and the rest country club casual. Unlike what I experienced on Cunard, Crystal passengers don't go back to their cabin and change into shorts and t-shirts after dinner----they remain in the dress code of the evening for the entire evening.
Soft drinks, specialty coffees and bottled water are included in your cruise cost, unlike Cunard that charges for those things.
Hello darcie thanks for the info very helpfull , weve just come back from cruising on the QE2, and yes we found a lot of the qualitys this great ship had has been lost due to another opperator . The QE2 will always have a special place in my heart and i carn't say i would never cruise cunard again, but i'm sure now i have to push the boat out and look for what cunard used to offer , and if that means paying more for a cruises than so be it , cristal may be my next opption .
Crystal does not upgrade. From my experience, the whole upgrading issue is something that's done only by the mass market lines. Crystal is of the mindset that they don't want to insult their loyal past customers by giving away cabins at a cheaper price. I guess they don't want one passenger paying $2000 for their cruise and in the same category cabin next door, the passengers are paying $5000.
Are you talking overnights? It's something Crystal cruisers enjoy. Crystal arranges some of the best shore excursions in the business and many of the most unique ones can only happen at night. I've had the opportunity to experience some fantastic happenings on evening shore excursions---I'll give you a few examples. A night visit to the Schwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar which is really the best time to see this amazing building. An evening concert at the ruins in Ephesus. Evening feeding of the elephants in Sri Lanka. A night picnic on an island in the Maldives---that was the most wonderful experience. Plus a day trip out of Mumbai to see the Taj Mahal. Those are things you can't do if a ship is only in port for 8 hours or less.
Not only that, but staying overnight allows passengers to experience the night life in some of the world's most fascinating cities. We dined at the Hotel du Paris in Monte Carlo. Took a special behind the scenes tour of the Zoo in Singapore. Had dinner at the Peninsula hotel in Hong Kong. Those are things you can't do if the ship leaves at 5 or 6.
I have been on both Crystal Serenity and Cunards Queen Mary 2 (not the QE2 referenced above).
I liked them both. I would have to say they are very similar experiences while at sea. I think the cabin service on Crystal was far better, but the Queen Mary 2 is a fabulous ship that impresses with a grandeur that Crystal doesn't really portray. Crystal is a beautiful ship, but not a grand ship.
I would say the onboard experience was great on both of them. I tended to enjoy the nightlife on Cunard more than on Crystal. Both have e cellent daytime enrichment lectures, plus movies and other activities. Also great libraries and computer learning centers.
I would say if you like one you should like the other, unless having a butler is extremely important to you. (then go with Crystal).
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.