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13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Fell for all the Propaganda in the Magazines etc where it said 5 Stars and Delux. And also because it was discounted for single Travelers. It was a 13 day cruise not 19, Istanbul to Rome but started in Rome because of ... Read More
Fell for all the Propaganda in the Magazines etc where it said 5 Stars and Delux. And also because it was discounted for single Travelers. It was a 13 day cruise not 19, Istanbul to Rome but started in Rome because of " Security Concern " Therefore we had to book another flight from Istanbul to Rome and got to the Ship around 10 PM. The next morning walking around, looking at things I got the impression that this ship looked like an " old Klunker " maybe in the area of a 3 Stars, though I have seen better looking 3 Stars, like the Pride and a Costa where the Public Rooms had nice carpets and better furniture, The ugly carpets on the ship are worn, most of the joints visible, on uneven surface, in some places spotted. In the Cabin the Carpet has a grayish color and I was never sure, is it the color or is it dirt. But the Girl from India was probably one of the friendliest did her best. The Carpet in the Buffet area must have been one of the ugliest. like they had at a Motel 6 in the seventies. My Cabin 7106 was below average size, 2 beds pushed together, an ugly cream colored plastic sofa, desk with 3 drawers, a wooden chair of some 40 pounds which you might find at the Salvation Army for around $ 50,- a TV above, smaller than the monitors for the computers, a small fridge with 3 Beers and 4 soft drinks HA,Ha, this on a 5 star Ship 3 other very small drawers in the closet. Bath room was new with 2 sinks, for show, not to be used by 2 people at the same time.There was no comb, tooth brush or paste, they were sold, $ 1,25 and $ 4.25, Shampoo and Lotion came in a 5 ounce squeeze bottles, Walmart Style. The worst " Feature " on this ships is that there are 2 sittings for Dinner and you have to put up with the same people every night, 4 widows, a person from the crew and both of us men.Nothing special can be said about the food but on Oceana its much better. We had an arrogant Wine server, East European, it was always Red or White and without letting you dry it, always filled full then said, I thought you knew the wine. A real Jerk, the same goes for another East European and there are many, a Bar Tender at the Ball Room Bar, a complete idiot. The only place was the Piano Bar with the man from South Africa and the Thai Lady, the only 2 you could have a conversation with. Has anybody ever had a conversation with one from Romania or Bulgaria who might have left their country 2 years ago ?? The " House Wine " is the ships own label with 2 or 3 other choices, want something better you pay through the nose. A " Champagne " seems like made for the ship, a Pro Secco, in a store probably around $ 8,- and the Roederer from California, the best choice. I eat 1 time in Silk, Asian and Sushi, either or, $30,- surcharge not worth anything, on the Pride you could eat as much you liked, 2 times in Prego $ 30,- not worth the money, Lamb Chops, dry as a Shoe sole, " you want me to change them ?, my friend a Steak, who knows what cut, same, " you want me to change it "? Not once could they cook something " to Order " Must have had East European doing the cooking, for sure not Mexicans like on some other ships were the food came out right the first time. !! Must be the reason why the ship is so expensive if they throw away so much food, maybe every 20 th meal. Breakfast Buffet was a mix but things also on the cheap side. A cheap farm raised Salmon, rolled up not sliced, a cheap sliced Salami, sliced cooked and formed Ham, in the store for $ 5,95 the pound, a cured ham, a few thin slices 2 by 3 inches of who knows what kind of cheese. A lot of fruit out of the can. What I most disliked was the Mango cut into small pieces with the skin on it. Every morning I complained about it to whoever was around but they took it the funny way. Ha Ha .Saved a lot of labor. Some of the stuff which came out of the can was just put into a container, not nice looking, more like Cafeteria style. The buffet closed at 1:30 PM nothing else besides a Food Joint behind the pool. which closed I think at 6 thereafter was only the Lido Coffee with some cold cuts and cheese but good pastry. the best on the whole ship, if you wanted to get away from the Mass Feeding in the Dining Room nor wasting your money at Silk or Prego. Almost forgot to mention, since the ship was not full Crystal flew in about 200 Travel Agents free, some First class, some in Suits and Penthouses , if they had sold enough by lying to past Cruisers and future ones how good the ship is. I can not understand people rating this Klunker which has so many negatives a 5 Star Ship ?? Yes I talked to some people who had sailed a few times before but said it might be their last time. Even the Butler Service is bad now. Well the Line got sold the Chinese, maybe it will improve, also meaning more Chinese will come and maybe make it a little more lively, must be the most boring ship on the Ocean with the most fat people ! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was a very lovely cruise with wonderful attentive staff. The entertainment was not great. It was Broadway reviews almost every night. It would have been nice to have comic or magic night thrown in one of the nights. We made use of the ... Read More
This was a very lovely cruise with wonderful attentive staff. The entertainment was not great. It was Broadway reviews almost every night. It would have been nice to have comic or magic night thrown in one of the nights. We made use of the gym which was very nice. There is a deck for running which is the best and the largest running/ walking deck for a cruise line I have seen. Food and cabin were perfect...except for the coffee. Cruise coffee is always bad. Shore excursion to Ephesus Turkey is a must. We choose the "Ephesus Ancient city/ Mother Mary's house." We enjoyed the lectures on board. There was a great library with movie rentals. Our only complaint was the disembark from the ship. We used the Crystal transportation company to the airport. It felt very rushed and disorganized. We arrived at airport with only 45 minutes to spare for boarding. There was a fight between passengers. Poor staff did know how to handle these rude people. We barely made it through two different security screening check points. We were told that if we had not made it Crystal would pay the cost. I never saw that in writing anywhere. Ship is a little dated but is very clean and beautiful flowers everywhere. The food is the best part and it 4.5 at the worst nights and 5 star on the best nights. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
I read a lot of member reviews in CruiseCritic to the extent that I think I can write my review even before the cruise started. Luckily, I can restrain myself and of course this review is written AFTER the cruise. Ha ha ha .... First, ... Read More
I read a lot of member reviews in CruiseCritic to the extent that I think I can write my review even before the cruise started. Luckily, I can restrain myself and of course this review is written AFTER the cruise. Ha ha ha .... First, the background. Both DW and myself are around our early 60 yo, from Indonesia, speaking very little English, vegetarian, no alcohol, no smoking. This is our first major cruise (a few local cruises of 2 or 3 nights are nothing, I suppose), and we did enjoy every moment of it. What I've read about Crystal Cruises proved to be true. The staff are (mostly) friendly and (all) courteous. A select few crews are extra special in winning our hearts. Embarkation : We pre-order a taxi via internet so the transfer from Istanbul airport to the port is easy. The boys took over our baggages, and I'm so confident those be will delivered to our cabin promptly we even gave them our carryon as well (of course I keep the important ones with me). It was already 2pm by the time we arrived so there was no line at all at the security check. Checking in was done in less than a minute (thanks, PCPC). The welcome onboard picture takes longer time than the check in, hahaha.... The Trident Grill served us veggie burger, and then the cabin was ready, with all our luggages inside. We started unpacking, and within 5 minutes Sheetal our stewardess knocked on the door. After a brief exchange of greetings I gave her my note (pre-printed, thanks CCers) of things we like to have in our fridge. She hesitated about cans of V-8 but said she would try (and she did find us enough cans for the length of the cruise!). Cabin : Clean and beautiful. Enough storage space. Of course I deliberately leave the closet all for DW, except for my three dress shirts and two suits. All my other things go into the drawers in the seating area. The extra hangers we brought proved to be unnecessary excess. Once emptied, we put our carryon inside our luggages, and everything disappear under the bed. Magic! So this is going to be our home for 12 nights ... not bad, eh? I only find the tiny sofa uneasy to sit on (and I am Asian size!). Perhaps they can make it little bit more "normal" size (hopeful mode "on"). Balcony : We enjoy using this space very much. Some times it is too windy, but Crystal so thoughtfully provided the mohair blankets which very pleasantly helped us to stay warm. Once we left a plate of cakes for a few minutes on the balcony and suddenly a seagull already perched on the railing! We shooh the bird away and flew he did but only after posing for my camera... Dining : Well, all vegetarians should not go hungry onboard Symphony. Plenty of choice, and choice, and choice! We took Perfect Dining by Reservation, and very happy as most of the time they sat us by the window, table for two. One evening my wife is not feeling so well we have to order room service from the CDR menu, and it is delivered promptly. We also enjoy one breakfast on the balcony as on that day we have an early excursion. We don't want to have more room service than necessary as we feel pity for Sheetal , who has to carry so heavy dishes to the room. Specialty restaurant: I highlight this item in separate heading as what I write might be controversial. Contrary to those wonderful reviews, we find there is nothing so 'special' about Nobu's Silk Road. It is even less than what we used to have in our country, or in Japan. Initially I thought our view may be biased as we are vegetarians, but I met some fellow passengers from Malaysia, and they also think that for those who are used to taking Japanese food in Asia, the food in Silk Road is under the expectation. However, we must admit that the mushroom soup and mushroom salad are nice (but not great!). On another night we tried our luck and sit at the Sushi Bar. They can't even serve simple "inari" which we can find on some days during buffet at Lido Cafe. There is less vegetarian option in the Sushi Bar, which we understood, but whatever vegetarian selection on offer is lacking "creativity". While one of the Japanese chef at the bar is quite friendly, one of the other chef looked as if he is disturbed by our being there. Prego is ok but again not great. I found the non-alcoholic wine they served there tastes "funny", unlike the ones I have at the CDR, which is nice. Drinks : We enjoy the non-alcoholic version of everything possible : NA beer, NA wine, NA cocktail... hmmm... Mozart tea : Hmm... Again, it is pathetic to see the crew in worn costumes. Crystal should have prepared better. Don't get me wrong. Mozart is my favorite composer, and I really enjoy the string quartet. It would of course be very fitting if the crew dress in the period costumes as well, but unfortunately I found their costumes have shown wear and tear. Please, please, please buy new costumes, please. Entertainment: With all due respect to the Crystal Singers and Dancers, who have entertained the guests with their wonderful talents, I must say that listening to "Evita" three times (albeit in three different versions) in a week is just too much. Somebody has to coordinate the repertoire, I think. Michel Bel deserves the standiong ovation. Naki Attaman is great with "Around the world" but in my humble opinion, the credit of that night should go to David Price with his superb percussion. And the winner of the best show in all goes to... the Sorrento Musical! Spa and fitness : I enjoy having sauna and steam in the spa, and more often than not take my shower there rather than in our cabin bathroom. Shore excursion : On our own. Crystal provided free shuttle so very easy to find our way around. We did participate in Crystla sponsored We Care You Care program in Athens, helping the Sea-Turtle Rehabilitation Project, and we did enjoy it very much. Best of the best : Hot chocolate at the Bistro, and the energetic smile of the Lido crews. Special thanks goes to Scott the CD and his team. In a short notice they enable us to have a Vesak Day celebration with our fellow Buddhists on board. Disembarkation : Smooth and easy. We disembark at our own timing as we stayed for two more nights in Barcelona. Well, funny that at first I thought I can easily write a cruise review. Now I must admit that writing a cruise review is not as easy as it seems. It takes me more than one month to finish this! :-) 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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