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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
This review is only highlighting two major problems that Crystal has had with its policies for the ships. 1. Children are only looked after by kids club care while a parent is onboard. - If both parents (Authorized person) leave to go ... Read More
This review is only highlighting two major problems that Crystal has had with its policies for the ships. 1. Children are only looked after by kids club care while a parent is onboard. - If both parents (Authorized person) leave to go on a shore trip they MUST take the kids with them - Noting that a number of the shore trips are not for children - 2. The only compromise is to have a staff member - not trained in child care are not having any basic emergency medical training baby sit them in your room. That's not to the same standards as kids club as they staff member could be any volunteer - 3. The Internet on board continually dropped out for a lot of the day, while my 4G/3G Modem to Norway telco was providing 50 - 100 Mb/s from the room - for all the trip other than a 8 hour ocean trip from Norway to Scotland. When I pointed out this to the IT staff they said that Satellite was the only way they could provide the service. In addition that noted that Internet complaints where the largest item of complaint. 4. Children leaving the vessel can be marked for checking that they have a parent with them. However, every time we left the ship our child ran ahead and was never stopped.. There identification system rang a bell and they then turned it off at no stage stopping the child I pointed out the kids club issue during the trip to the Director of Services and they advised that its company policy and there is no flexibility I showed the engineering and IT staff the speed I had with 3g/4G while at sea and was advised that they have 32 Mb/s to the satellite and that it ...When they loose the Satellite they have a backup but on trip to far northern latitudes they will continually have a problem. this was not a good family experience. I have rated below ignoring tese issues Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The Crystal Symphony Baltic Sea cruise on 2017 was fantastic. We loved every aspect and element. We were invited to go with the Hillsdale College group which booked about a third of the ship and that overlay of programs and people was ... Read More
The Crystal Symphony Baltic Sea cruise on 2017 was fantastic. We loved every aspect and element. We were invited to go with the Hillsdale College group which booked about a third of the ship and that overlay of programs and people was really wonderful. We knew the Symphony was going in for major remodeling a few weeks after our cruise, but the ship was still in great shape, and the staff and service were incredible. Our only complaint was the limited wifi, but this will be rectified in the rejuvenation of the ship which will greatly boost the wifi and turn the ship into a 24/7 free wifi inclusion. We would highly recommend Crystal and this ship. The ports on the Baltic were fabulous and we loved every Crystal excursion. Cannot adequately rave about this trip. it was our first cruise and we feel like we started at the top. Tip, we dined lavishly at every opportunity, but took the stairs everywhere and walked a lot on the shore excursions, and used the workout room, and we both actually lost weight on a cruise. Oh, which reminds me, my wife and son has some food allergies and needed gluten-free meals and almond milk and such, and Crystal was very accommodating and provided the tastiest meals and treats imaginable. And their sugar-free desserts were out of this world as well. Incredible! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was my 7th Crystal Cruise. We normally book Penthouse cabins on the Crystal Serenity so the Symphony, with its older staterooms, was a bit of a let down. Service was very good, as usual. Food was not as good as it usually is. There ... Read More
This was my 7th Crystal Cruise. We normally book Penthouse cabins on the Crystal Serenity so the Symphony, with its older staterooms, was a bit of a let down. Service was very good, as usual. Food was not as good as it usually is. There was more than one meal where neither my father nor I ate more than two bites of our entrees. Thank goodness for Penthouse room service from the specialty restaurants (Prego and Silk Road) or we'd gone hungry. I'd like to try other cruise lines but my dad prefers Crystal. The biggest disappointment had to do one of the excursions. For convenience, we book most of our excursions through Crystal, understanding that we pay a premium for the convenience and peace of mind. Typically a 3-4 hour tour costs $69-99 per person which I think is fair. We like active tours so we booked a very interesting and fun Me-Mover excursion in Copenhagen.It's an unusual tour, sort of like a bicycle powered by a stair master. Everyone enjoyed it immensely. The next day, we happened to walk by the tour operator's storefront again and asked the proprietor much they charge for the 3 hour tour we had just taken. He told us it costs 300 DKK which is about US $46. I was floored. Crystal had charged us $229 each. Even if you add in an extra $50/person for the 10 min shuttle ride to the bike shop where we began our tour, we felt gouged. I'd sure like to know how they justified that price. Needless to say, I won't blindly book my excursions via Crystal ever again. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Chose this sailing for an interesting itinerary and read many rave reviews about Crystal. Have previously sailed Silversea and The World Ship so I am very familiar with the luxury category. Crystal just did not measure up. But first, the ... Read More
Chose this sailing for an interesting itinerary and read many rave reviews about Crystal. Have previously sailed Silversea and The World Ship so I am very familiar with the luxury category. Crystal just did not measure up. But first, the positives...the maitre d' in the MDR was excellent and solved a sticky seating issue for us and the ship was spotless. The specialty restaurants were very good and a nice change from the MDR. I had an excellent massage in the spa and the gym seemed to be big enough for the size of the ship and it had good equipment. Entertainment was also good and I appreciated the self service laundry rooms. We took 2 ship excursions that were well organized with very good guides. Among the disappointments...standard balcony cabin was tiny with the tiny slippery leather sofa being so uncomfortable we couldn't use it at all so we took turns sitting on the chair. The ship constantly vibrated and swayed - even in port! No one bothered to learn our names...we were M'amsir to most of the staff. Food was inconsistent being excellent sometimes and very much hotel banquet-like at other times. The included wines were also a very mixed bag with only a very few being drinkable. Service in the dining room was also spotty being great one night and terrible the next. The Lido is not a luxury experience at all...chaos reigned as we had to repeatedly ask for coffee some days and 3 different people would repeatedly offer coffee the next! We found hair on the buffet food more than once. Breakfast in the MDR was the worst service of all as we again had to ask for coffee repeatedly and plates were removed while we were still eating! Room service was just plopped down still on the tray right onto our tiny table. On Silversea the waiter would bring a tablecloth and set the table, flowers included! We came away feeling the company over-promised and under-delivered and is closer to a mass product than the true luxury experience advertised. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
I was very very disappointed with Crystal. I took the advice of the travel agent but now realize that she might have recommended it because she gets a bigger kickback from them. I have been on many cruise ships of all sizes from the ... Read More
I was very very disappointed with Crystal. I took the advice of the travel agent but now realize that she might have recommended it because she gets a bigger kickback from them. I have been on many cruise ships of all sizes from the largest RCL to Norwegian and Seabourne. She told me that Crystal was the best by far. I decided to bite the bullet and take a cruise with them. Wow this ship has seen better days. Apart from the tiny room with the furniture that looked so cheap and dated. The whole ship decor was not only dated but looked worn out. ditto with the carpet and the lighting. And the main dining room was like a three star hotel dining room . From the boarding to the reception the staff I can only say was NOT top notch. Many looked like they did not want to be there. The lady who took us to our room (worked at the spa) barely spoke to us and I noticed wasnt greeting guests she walked past as I was accustomed to . I was also taken aback by the end of day boarding after an excursion. On all the ships I have been on their is staff welcomed you back on the ship with a smile and refreshements (*water or juice on the larger lines, champagne on Seabourne) On Crystal not even a plastic glass with water. No one was there except for the surly ship crew mates. The food was fine but I would say the quality was just as good on the bigger ships in the extra fee venues. The servers although nice were harried, again not what you expect from a 5 star experience. Did I mention the rooms were ridiculously tiny? For the same amount of money you can get a suite on the Haven (Norwegian) with a butler and the private pool. similar price for a much larger balcony suite on Seabourne, or if you like a larger ship the loft suites on RCL. Service on these other ships was just as good. Again I am not sure about where all the raves come for Crystal. My 1 star review is mainly because of the quality price ratio. At a cheaper price I might not have had as high expectations. Kind of like going out to a fine dining michelin starred restaurant but instead getting a quality chain restaurant food and service. And the WI-Fi prices Usurious. I paid $200 For 10 Hours I think, It almost never worked and the staff in the computer was very surly. when I asked if I could get a refund for the 6 hours I didnt /couldnt use (due to the poor connection) they said "no" . Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
Our second family trip on Crystal, and no disappoinmtments. everything was as expected. Food and service shine! We love Crystal as does the family. The children's programs are excellent, with the exception that baby sitting after kids ... Read More
Our second family trip on Crystal, and no disappoinmtments. everything was as expected. Food and service shine! We love Crystal as does the family. The children's programs are excellent, with the exception that baby sitting after kids club only goes until 10: 00 pm. Our adult children did not want to miss a night in the Saloon bar with Mark Farris...he is a jewel....Crystal don't ever let him leave! The big draw back with Crystal is the small size of the cat A & B cabins, can be a deal breaker for future cruises as the other luxury companies have all suites even the least expensive cabin is much larger than cabins on Crystal.... They even had an early dinner for those of us that were attending an evening performance in St. Petersburg! Plus a very late night buffet when we returned.....well done! We would like to see 14 day itineraries however...11 days is much to busy for us!!!! We used private guides for Berlin for an all day tour that was excellent....and in St Petersburg TJ Travel...for 3 days plus they scored tickets to Swan lake in the Tsar's box!!!! Nellie was more than excellent.....she & the driver were wonderful to us....were were 7 adults 1 6 yr old.... Fond memories of our Baltic cruise on Crystal! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
As a newbie to Crystal I was excited to experience my first luxury cruise. I had been looking at Crystal, Regent and Seabourn. I ultimately decided on Crystal due to the sail date, wonderful itinerary and the very reasonable cruise fare. I ... Read More
As a newbie to Crystal I was excited to experience my first luxury cruise. I had been looking at Crystal, Regent and Seabourn. I ultimately decided on Crystal due to the sail date, wonderful itinerary and the very reasonable cruise fare. I booked in September for the May 21 voyage on the Symphony called European Discoveries. This would also be the annual President's Cruise so the expectation of special events and programs was also an enticement. Highlights: -Great itinerary and the ports were all terrific. -All inclusive fare with alcohol and gratuities included. -Free Shuttle buses to town -No need to sign slips for a large variety of table wines wines and spirits. -Excellent customer service, the best we have had onboard any ship. -Treated same by the crew if you were in an ocean view room or a penthouse. -No speical treatment like priority tendering for those with elite status. -Pre booking shorex in advance but not charged until you are on the ship. -Bistro extra hours and quality of cheeses, cured meats, fruits and desserts. -Fellow passengers were interesting and great cruising companions. -Free laundry Lowlights: -Inconsistent food in the Crystal dining room. -High price for Crystal shore excursions (although the ones we took were excellent). -Crowding. As our cruise was sold out it was often hard to find a seat in the Lido for breakfast. -Enrichment program was weak. Too many lectures on the Middle East when presentations on WWII and the D-Day invasion would have been much more appropriate and interesting. -Terrible quality of the coffee in the Lido. -Mozart Tea was just ok. Tea was weak. Why can't Crystal serve loose leaf tea? We boarded the Symphony in Southampton on a Monday afternoon. Embarkation through security at the City Terminal was tedious. We had to keep showing our passports. Once onboard the ship the check in was completed which only took a few minutes. I don't think it was any faster to do it this way than in the cruise terminal. I am guessing that Crystal can save money by not paying as much for the port staff and would prefer to process people onboard the ship. Of course I could be wrong about that too. We had a category C Deluxe stateroom with large window. On my past 12 cruises I have always had a veranda and booked a window this time in order to save $1000 on the per person cruise fare. Our stateroom 7117 was located in the aft area of the ship. The window was quite large and during the day provided a great view across the Promenade Deck to the sea. You cannot see out of the window at night due to high intensity flood lights on the deck. With this being the only drawback we did not miss having a balcony at all. Our itinerary was very port intensive interspersed with 3 sea days. For a cruise with many more sea days the balcony might be nice so you can sit out during the day and also see out at night. Our category C (which is he same size as category D and E) stateroom was elegant and spacious. The Murano glass night table lamps and crystal mirror sconces were beautiful. Deck 7 where the Category C rooms are located has a lavender, cream and gold theme. I love lavender and was delighted! It was just a short walk out the door on Deck 7 to the outdoor area at the back of the ship and also just a short walk and elevator ride up to the Lido on Deck 11. The beds were very comfortable and had a top sheet and fluffy white duvets. I requested special pillows from among the 4 options on the pillow menu and was quite happy. Our room had plenty of storage, 15 drawers and a very nice closet with a motion activated light. The bathroom was a nice size with glass sinks. There was limited counter space. The shower was very steamy and was great for some of my wrinkled dresses. The only downside to the steam was that the room became very wet. The walls were absolutely drenched. A glass door instead of a curtain would be a welcome addition for the tub/shower. I would describe the look and feel of the Symphony as more understated elegance than beautiful. There was no "wow" factor to Symphony that can be found on several new builds. The Symphony entered service in 1995. There have been several refurbs since then including the one immediately following our voyage. Our favorite area of the ship was the layout of Decks 5 and 6. They were joined by a central sweeping staircase and provided a high class feel. The Bistro on deck 6 was another highlight with an excellent selection of specialty cheeses, cured meats, fruits and pastries. We made regular visits to the bistro during our cruise. The two specialty restaurants, Silk Road and Prego are available at no additional charge. We tried both and although Asian food is my favorite, we were not impressed with Silk Road and preferred Prego for its excellent Italian dishes. The carpaccio in Prego was fantastic. We both had pasta which was flavorful and well presented. Prior to the cruise immediately after final payment you can login in to Crystal's PCPC and book all you dining times in advance. I loved this and booked all our meals for either 7:15 pm or 7:30 pm. We met some guests who did not book in advance and were eating at times they found inconvenient. The food in the Crystal Dining room was hit and miss. Perhaps we made the wrong choices but we only had a few meals that we liked. The rest were as Simon Cowell would say, "forgettable". If I did not take photos I would have no memory of what we ate there. The lobster was excellent and I had several yummy desserts. However, a shrimp Cobb salad without any lettuce and a few unappealing fish dishes that were dried out left me disappointed. We had much better food off the ship than during our 11 night cruise. There were also a few buffets on the sea days. The Asia buffet seemed very Filipino and the Med buffet was horrific. I love Mediterranean food so this was a surprise. I ended up with a Reuben from the Trident Grill. At times our meals in the Crystal Dining Room felt very rushed. They served the food quickly and had us out the door on most nights between 8:15 pm to 8:30 pm. Our ports for the cruise were Southampton; La Coruna, Spain; Bilbao, Spain; St. Jean de Luz, France; St. Malo, France; Honfleur, France and Hamburg, Germany. It was a fantastic itinerary and we were fortunate to have excellent weather up until our arrival in Hamburg where it was drizzling. The seas were so smooth and I didn't have to wear my pressure wristbands at all. It was my first cruise where I was sad to disembark the ship. We booked our next Crystal Cruise while onboard for the beginning of 2014. We are eager to see the improvements made to Symphony in Hamburg following the recent refurb. The photos, especially of the new Palm Court (which previously looked like a retirement home) make 2014 seem a long way off. Overall we were very impressed with Crystal and look forward to future voyages. Ports: There is no option on the CC menu for many of our ports. In Bilbao, Spain we took the bus independently to San Sebastian. We had a long but fabulous day. Loved San Sebastian. The town is beautiful and we had the most amazing pinxtos lunch that we will remember for along time. We also visited La Perla Thalassotherapy spa and spent about 2 hours there doing the circuit and enjoying the hot pools. Rating would be a 4. For Saint Jean de Luz we were ultimately able to tender after a few tense moments with delays. We visited both St. Jean de Luz and Biarritz on a Crystal excursion which was fabulous. Both places had great shopping and restaurants. The history was fascinating. Would love to go back. Rating would be a 5. In St. Malo, France we tendered again but it was much easier. We took another Crystal excursion, this time to Dinan and Dinard. Had a great guide and really enjoyed it. I would rate it a 5. After our excursion we walked around the ramparts in St. Malo and had a delicious lunch at Brasserie du Sillon facing the beach. I rate this port a 5. Read Less
Crystal Symphony Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.5 4.5
Entertainment 4.5 4.3
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.0
Family 4.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 5.0 4.2
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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