October 2015 - 7 Night Irresistible Italy (Venice To Monte Carlo) Cruise on Crystal Serenity
while I feel an attempt was made to accommodate my diet it was not a successful attempt and did not live up to their promises. they asked to be informed months ahead of any dietary accommodations. I assumed when I arrived someone would be aware of my dietary restrictions, far from the case. most of the staff had no idea what a vegan was and I was offered the fish or chicken.
I was also told things were vegan when I was served only to have them removed as I was eating on more than one occasion. somehow as I was eating my meal acquired unvegan characteristics. curious.
I was told to request anything I wanted for the next day. I actually had a friend look up recipes on the internet and submit them to the chef. when I arrived for dinner I was told they did not have the ingredients. my request was for seitan. I am still wondering which ingredient they did not have, the flour or the water.
I was told they would have dessert other than fruit and that there would be chocolate. well there might as well not have been because all but one of the desserts served were so awful as to be inedible. the only dessert that was delicious was an unrequested surprise made by silk road chef naka-san. his dinner was also the perfect vegan accommodation which I had discussed with him the night before. he personally served it and made a wonderful dessert which I had not ordered.
for the most part service was great if a little over solicitous. each server would ask if everything was perfect 3 times. this was a little overbearing since there were many servers and we would be forced to tell each of them 3 times that everything was perfect. we would also have to explain we did not need anymore coffee each time we took a sip to the 2 or 3 people pouring coffee.
i'm not sure this was their fault and assumed it was part of their training. maybe most people enjoy this kind of service but my family and friends found it a bit intrusive and interruptive.
our travel agent gifted a $125 credit which we were not given. when I requested the credit I was told it would take days to research. by the time it was credited there was nothing we could use it on. so most of our credit was blown at the casino which I would never had gone to. I wanted to use the credit on a tour.
all in all the food on the buffet was wonderful and the chef at the buffet was kind and generous. but I would have to wait for him to come down and tell me what I could and could not eat each day because no one else knew what was vegan. he was not always available and I would often have to wait for him and my food.
this being said there was dancing with hosts which both I and my husband enjoyed. I, because I love to dance and he because he doesn't.
our party's consensus overall, there were 5 of us, was the shows were neither as good or as large as the productions of other far inferior cruises we have attended in the past. the cast we felt for the most part was far superior to the productions which hobbled them. individually many of the performers truly shined.
we have been on at least 4 other lines. off hand I can only think of princess, costa, Holland and Norwegian all of which had superior shows and scheduling.
your ship was beautiful, well maintained, the cabins were lovely and clean. I very much admired your move towards being more green and hope you continue in this direction. I was very happy that you shared this information in your currents and only wish you had shared it earlier. I feel if you had it might have made a larger impact and solicited greater cooperation.
being vegan and the lunatic fringe of green I can think of many ways for your company to continue moving toward a more economical use of resources and would be happy to discuss it with you.
at times we found your currents difficult to read and understand because of the format. it was also a bit redundant and at times said something that was contradicted in the very next sentence. editing could certainly use some attention.
I think most of my disappointment was due to the fact I was promised more than was delivered. had I not been I think I would have been less upset at the shortfalls because the cruise was superior in many ways. I will probably go on another celebrity cruise someday but next time I will have more realistic expectations and I will know to look for dessert on shore.
as far as the nonvegan food and dessert my friends found them 5 star. unfortunately we are still searching for a cruise line that is a little more vegan friendly. I think cruise lines are not the only ones to not accommodate the small number of vegans. I wonder if they are aware that although we are small in numbers very often we are the ones choosing which cruise or rest. to patronize based on our dietary needs. in this case I was with a party of 5 which chose crystal based on the promises they made me and were not honored.
having a laundry available was great and a good reason to choose celebrity.