Crystal Esprit Review

Editor Rating:  5.0

Crystal Esprit Ratings

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Why Choose Crystal Esprit?
  • Pro: Perfect combination of intensive onshore experiences and an elegant home base
  • Con: Those sensitive to movement at sea will feel it when Esprit is not in sheltered waters
  • Bottom Line: One of the most luxurious soft adventure cruises in the industry

Crystal Esprit Overview

By Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief

Esprit, Crystal Cruises' first-ever yacht vessel, debuted in 2015. The 62-passenger ship, beautifully refurbished, resembles a contemporary, comfortable boutique hotel.

Esprit presents such Crystal hallmarks as fine food and wine and attentive service, and the atmosphere onboard does complement the experience on Crystal's much-loved Symphony and Serenity -- from a miniature perspective. There's a beautiful sun deck with small splash pool, a one-room spa for massages and facials and the lovely Cove Bar, which essentially serves as the vessel's living room and is where passengers gather each night. Staterooms on the all-suite ship are mostly identical, save for one Owner's Suite, and are equipped with all the modern conveniences -- from power ports for personal devices to super-comfortable beds and spacious bathrooms.

At the same time, Esprit offers a very different experience from the line's 1,000-passenger cruise ships, mainly because the focus of the cruise is primarily on activities onshore. Our Seychelles voyage had no "sea days"; the ship traveled short distances between islands generally at night or early in the morning. Activities revolved primarily around recreational opportunities -- snorkeling, swimming, hiking, cycling, kayaking and paddle boarding among them. When in port, the ship is mostly at anchor (rather than tied up at a pier), which means tricky transfers on and off Zodiacs and other transfer boats. Occasionally there are wet landings, in which boats pull up onto the beach and passengers hop into the shallow sea and walk ashore.

Crystal Esprit Fellow Passengers

Crystal Esprit attracts an international crowd. Travelers from the United States, Canada and the U.K. make up the greatest percentage, but the yacht also appeals to visitors from Germany, South Africa, Australia and Asia. Passengers of all ages, from 20-somethings traveling with their parents to retirees, have these characteristics in common: They're well-traveled, curious and recreationally active.

Crystal Esprit Dress Code

The dress code on Esprit is somewhat more casual than onboard Crystal's luxury cruise ships. Passengers were very low-key during the day, wearing bathing suit cover-ups or safari-style travel gear, depending on the itinerary and day's activities. Though there is no stated dress code at night, everyone dresses up a bit with tropically elegant attire, with men wearing collared shirts and women in sundresses and flowing pants outfits.

Crystal Esprit Inclusions

Esprit is also more inclusive than its sister cruise ships. At least one tour in every port is complimentary, and wine and other beverages (even premium selections) are included in cruise fares. Gratuities are also included.

The onboard currency is the U.S. dollar.

Standard tips (for wait staff, cabin stewards, etc.) are included in the cruise fares. Passengers can award additional gratuities at their discretion, but extra tipping is neither expected nor required.

A gratuity of 18 percent is automatically added to bills for all spa treatments.

Cruise fares include all beverages, including premium brand spirits and wines chosen daily.

Next:  Crystal Esprit Cabins

By Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief

10 Crystal Esprit Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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Calistoga Grower
Member Since 2014
3 reviews
2 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Just back from the Venice to Dubrovnik Crystal Esprit cruise. The Esprit has a great itinerary if you want to visit the smaller, less crowded islands off the Croatian coast. Crystal does a great job with their complimentary excursions. The ... Read more
patricia 73
Member Since 2011
1 review
25 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed July 2017
I was very interested in visiting Croatia and I choose the Crystal Esprit because of its high ratings and the itinerary of the ship. We were not disappointed. The service on this ship was very personalized. We had two room cabin attendants ... Read more
Member Since 2009
2 reviews
62 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed February 2017
We selected Esprit based on her itinerary - the Seychelles sounded like a good idea to get away from cold, grey Germany in February. I was also curious about the ship herself and how 'the vibe' would be with such a small passenger ... Read more
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370 Professional Crystal Esprit Photos

We spent almost a full week on board the Crystal Esprit with multiple photographers and took 370 pictures of the ship.  When you visit our new photo galleries you can be assured that what you see is what you get!

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