Crystal Serenity Cruise Review to Caribbean

Third Mate

2-3 cruises


Helpful Votes

1 out of 5

NO Concessions Made for Food Allergies!

Sail Date: December 21, 2014

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Family w/young children

Room Type: Oceanview


I may have enjoyed my cruise a lot more if I didn't spend as much time scratching, throwing up or dealing with a swollen tongue. Crystal was alerted to our food allergies months before our cruise, and then the travel agent again alerted them a few weeks before our trip. On our first Crystal Cruise two years ago, we were given a menu each night so we could select our food for the next day. Our choices were given to the kitchen and if a dish contained something we were allergic to it was either prepared separately for us or we were asked to choose something else if this was not possible. On our second trip, to Antarctica last year, this consideration was not offered to us. Each meal, we would ask the waiters to double check to make sure there were no nuts in the food we had ordered, and with the exception of one incident (I was given a cookie I was assured had no nuts, but it turned out to be marzipan!) we had no problems. This year on a Caribbean cruise with Crystal...what a nightmare. I was repeatedly given food that contained nuts after asking the waiter to check to make sure that it didn't contain any! Many times I caught it before I ate it, but several times I didn't and ended up spending hours throwing up and scratching hives. These bouts are followed by hours of not feeling very well, as one might expect, and walking around lightheaded, with a sore jaw and swollen tongue is not the best way to enjoy a nice vacation.  As a going away gift, the morning our cruise was over, I was given a small sweet roll at breakfast and told "Oh no madam, no nuts, it's just a cinnamon roll". One bite later, I was running back to our stateroom to commence being sick, and then had to endure the side effects on our trip to the airport and the ride home. It's one thing to sit sadly after dinner each night watching everyone else in your party eating desserts containing dairy and nuts with no other options for the allergy sufferer, but it's another thing entirely to be repeatedly POISONED INTENTIONALLY by a waitstaff and kitchen that just can't be bothered to actually check and see if a dish contains nuts. Shame on them! Oh, I do have other complaints about Crystal, but I think trying to kill your customers probably supersedes those concerns...


Ship Quality
Ship is very well maintained
Food and Dining
Tried to kill me. Made no attempt to make adjustments for my food allergies.
Cabin / Stateroom
Bed was HORRIBLE. Should have been replaced eons ago. Was given to "egg crate" pads which did little. Beds in my kids' and parents' rooms much better.
Service and Staff
Cleaning staff for room was great, room service was good, waiters in dining room tried to kill me. Trident grill staff was very rude.
On previous cruises the entertainment was more varied. On this cruise it was mostly musical reviews of one type or another. Not our thing.
Children's Programs
My kids refused to stay with the kids program, which was essentially kiddie jail with video games. Our kids did choose to join in an active game here and there.
Onboard Activities
Speakers were excellent, as were the bridge instructors. Nice pool area, hard to get time on the tennis courts. Well run contract bridge. Tea time was great!
Destinations and Excursions
There are lots of excursions for people with limited mobility, so it was a good choice for our three generation group.
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Good snorkeling
Bridgetown, Barbados
Castries, St. Lucia
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Fun place to shop.
Willemstad, Curacao
Beautiful town! Old synagogue is well worth a visit.
Grand Turk Island
Good snorkeling and pristine beaches


Avoid this cruise line if you have food allergies. This cruise line caters to older people but still has enough going on for younger people to be entertained, so it's a good choice for multi-generational groups like ours.

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