On Saturday 4th November a handful of the TCP team set our alarms bright and early to head to Amsterdam for a ship visit on-board one of Crystal River Cruises’ newest additions, Crystal Bach. On arrival into Schiphol airport we took a short taxi ride to the pier and embarked in the classic river style, climbing up and over the top of Amadeus Silver who was also in port.
Arriving at the reception desk, Anita the Crystal Society host met us and started our tour in Waterside, the main restaurant onboard. Waterside serves a delicious buffet for breakfast and lunch, whilst for dinner, guests enjoy table service and true open dining between 6 and 9pm.
Next to reception we found the self-service pantry; open 24 hours, hosting a selection of pastries and snacks as well as hot and cold beverages for guests to help themselves to. The Pantry makes the perfect stop for a take-away coffee to fuel a day of exploring.
We made our way down to Harmony Deck 1 to see the fitness centre, Crystal Life Spa and guest laundry. This deck on other river cruise lines would be where you’d find the “duck view” cabins, however this is where Crystal River Cruises stands out. All staterooms on our new-build river vessels are above the waterline.
Our tour then took us to Seahorse Deck 2, where we were able to see stateroom 221 a Deluxe S2 River Suite. All Rhine-class suites offer guests a panoramic balcony window and Butler service. The lovely thing we noticed about this room was the bed facing the window, ideal for watching the world drift by.
Now at the back of the ship we ventured upstairs to Crystal Deck 3 to see the gorgeous swimming pool. This is somewhere we all agreed we would be ideal to spend a relaxing afternoon after a trip to the spa, or a romantic evening with the fireplace lit and roaring. Also, as you can see from the pictures below, just outside the pool area is where the onboard speedboat is kept – available for private hire for special Champagne sailings or mini excursions.
Next we found ourselves on Vista Deck 4, top deck, and the best place to be when the ship is navigating through a lock or sailing through the stunning scenery of the Rhine and Danube valleys. There were sunbeds & over-sized deckchairs for use during the summer months as well as lots of blankets available, perfect for the winter Christmas markets cruises where it can get very chilly. The fabulous pop-up vista bar is definitely where you would find us!
Back downstairs we came to the stunning Palm Court; the go-to place for a pre-dinner cocktail or to enjoy some local entertainment in the evening, or to read a book from the onboard library during the day.
We ended our tour at the Bistro and Vintage Room. Just as on the ocean ships, the Bistro is the perfect spot to grab a snack or speciality coffee and would no doubt be one of our favourite spaces on-board. It is even open for dinner each evening too; offering a delicious menu of dishes such as Lemon Marinated Alpine Salmon and Pulled Pork Sliders. Whilst the Vintage Room offers private dining for up to 10 guests. A special 5-course meal is served, each course paired with wines chosen by our dedicated sommelier. An unmissable experience for wine lovers.
We timed our tour well and were fortunate to enjoy lunch in Waterside… what a treat! I can see why you’d want to go on more than one walking tour to help counteract all the amazing food!
Homeward bound and reflecting on our whistle-stop tour of the Crystal Bach, what really stood out throughout was how bright and airy the ship felt, with lots of floor to ceiling windows to let natural light in it felt incredibly spacious. With only 100 other guests on-board I could already picture the spots I’d curl up with a good book or sip a cocktail and watch the world drift by knowing there is plenty of space for everyone else to do the same.
For more information about a Crystal River Cruise you can request a brochure by emailing email@example.com. Alternatively, call our reservations team on 020 7399 7604 to make a reservation.