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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We have enjoyed several Crystal cruises in recent years, so confidently booked the interestingly routed Tokyo to Vancouver crossing, with an itinerary that visited Russia's Far East, and along the entire Aleutian chain before ... Read More
We have enjoyed several Crystal cruises in recent years, so confidently booked the interestingly routed Tokyo to Vancouver crossing, with an itinerary that visited Russia's Far East, and along the entire Aleutian chain before visiting the more usual Alaskan ports. We anticipated cold weather, rough seas, but looked forward to the exciting prospect of amazing wildlife. Alas, it was not to be, as it was far too early in the season for whale migration, bird life or bear sightings. Wisely we had packed warm clothing , boots, hats etc, as we certainly needed them! So early in the season, we experienced many days of fog, and chill winds, and the ship had to miss Petropavlovsk because of sea ice. It was delightful to visit the charming, welcoming small Japanese ports of Amori and Otaru, totally unlike the frenzied excitement of Tokyo. We thought more unusual Alaskan ports of Dutch Harbor and Kodiak were fascinating, and enjoyed seeing non-touristy Alaska before sailing into busy Ketchikan Crystal have recently changed both their marketing policies, and certainly dropped their standards, it seemed to us, as there was a completely different atmosphere on board. We felt we were on a.downmaeket, mass market ship, with pushing in, loud shouting, "me first" behaviour, disregarding of courtesies towards fellow guests and staff. Even in the glories of Glacier Bay, all seats in the prime viewing area in the forward viewing Palm court had been " reserved" long before dawn, with a refusal to share with fellow guests. The shows were filmed on held up IPads, to the detriment of those behind, despite staff requests. The dress codes had been" relaxed " to the point that there were none, with the words Crystal Casual being interpreted as "come as you are", even on designated formal evenings. It is uncomfortable to those guests who appreciate the opportunity to wear formal evening clothes to realise that some fellow guests think jeans and track suits are acceptable. This may seem a snobby attitude, but we previously found that Crystal offered the opportunity to enjoy a taste of fine, refined, cultured dining and entertainment, completely different to our home life. If this is the way Crystal is choosing to move forward, they will quickly lose their core customers who chose this line for its elegant sophisticated ambience, aimed at well travelled discerning clients. Their continued raising of prices, now several times a year, will soon lose its appeal, and business will slow rapidly. Expensive cruises need to give value for money, and make guests feel the extra expense is worth it. We will certainly reconsider cruising with Crystal again as other luxury lines seem to aim upwards, not, as Crystal appear to be doing, set their standards lower . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We just spent 10 nights aboard the Crystal Symphony. We have traveled on Disney, Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian so we have a lot to compare Crystal to. After experiencing the high level of service and great food it will ... Read More
We just spent 10 nights aboard the Crystal Symphony. We have traveled on Disney, Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian so we have a lot to compare Crystal to. After experiencing the high level of service and great food it will be hard to go back to any other line. It started at check in, swift, easy and no line, NO HASSLES. The Symphony strikes a nice balance between size and intimacy, just right, with immaculate public areas and nice lounges. Our balcony room was as expected size wise with a WAY above average sized balcony. Food was 5 star, I do not equate a lot with great, just because you can eat all day does't make it great, Crystal's food was great. Only little complaints were I would have liked to see consistent items on the appetizer menu, like shrimp cocktail. The buffet hours were somewhat constrained, IE lunch from 12-2. Service was OUTSTANDING, servers asked your name on the first day and remembered them, not just some servers, MOST servers did! They couldn't help enough. It is so nice being all inclusive and not having to dig out your cruise card every time you want something. Yes you do pay for it up front as Crystal is not cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for. Crystal is not for kids as the ships have kids rooms but I doubt would have enough to keep most kids happy, if you want a rock wall better look elsewhere. Great experience overall!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
First Crystal cruise. Relevant previous cruises 21 days on Regent. Beijing to Hong Kong. This might be my favorite cruise. Never a wait for anything on board. OK, Regent cabins are 300sf and Crystal Sympony 200 sf, both plus balcony, ... Read More
First Crystal cruise. Relevant previous cruises 21 days on Regent. Beijing to Hong Kong. This might be my favorite cruise. Never a wait for anything on board. OK, Regent cabins are 300sf and Crystal Sympony 200 sf, both plus balcony, but otherwise Crystal gets the nod, for service, especially drink service, and a bit better food. Service great for both. I really prefered the main dining room, no advantage to the (fake) Italian restaurant, Prego. Waiter mispronounced "limone." Regarding food, seafood on board arrives frozen, like on all ships. Salmon and lobster tails survive freezing well. Whole lobster, and crab legs, not so much, IMHO. Entertainment was pretty good. Nice that the lead singer/dancer was seasoned and not just another kid. So cabin was bit cramped but the ship was first class in great shape, and we would cruise on Crystal (which recently changed hands) again. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
I have cruised Crystal for the last few years and had many friend joining me every year from all over the world , this was our meeting place once or twice a year I have a very stressful job going on vacation to relax is a must for me ... Read More
I have cruised Crystal for the last few years and had many friend joining me every year from all over the world , this was our meeting place once or twice a year I have a very stressful job going on vacation to relax is a must for me for the last 2 year I can see the deterration of the quality of service , food , entertainment and over all maintenance of the 2 ships( the worst front desk customer service ever ) the cruise line deleted many expensive meals lowered number of staff , bad house keeping , Some guest found dirty laundry in their cabin when they checked in ... really 6 starts cruise ship. Really .... The Staff is miserable ,over worked and under paid , they also noticed the change from a luxury cruise line to average since the sale of this cruise line 2 years ago. I get a call early morning from the Captain looking for a missing male guest asking me if I know the where about of this guy I found out that he called all the female guest that day asking the same questions this is not how I wish to wake up on my vacation .... the guy was drunk and did not return to his cabin I tried to reach out to cruise line headquarters in Los angles as will as Eddie ( CEO)via emails and phone calls "All I got was sorry, we try to do our best , we are 6 stars cruise line" ....really I would save my money and find a better cruise line , I will never cruise with this cruise line as are many others to cruise with where I would have a great time in a clean environment ,great food ,pleasant atmosphere and stress free bon voyage Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
This was my sixth Crystal cruise and my fifth on Crystal Symphony. It really is a beautiful ship and the money they have spent on her over the last few years really shows. Palm Court is the most beautiful room on the ship but all the ... Read More
This was my sixth Crystal cruise and my fifth on Crystal Symphony. It really is a beautiful ship and the money they have spent on her over the last few years really shows. Palm Court is the most beautiful room on the ship but all the public areas are large, elegant and impeccably maintained. There are so many spaces, large and small, on the ship that you will always find the perfect spot for what you are in the mood for. If anything I think the service just keeps getting better, the staff get to know you on the first day and I am well remembered by those who worked on previous cruises. I like never having to queue for anything, all the small details are sorted out. I do find the reception staff quite frosty and not very helpful however. I usually book a room with a balcony but on Crystal you pay a big premium for the privilege. On this cruise I took a room on Deck 5 with just a picture window and no balcony and didn't really miss it. Every stateroom other than on the penthouse floor is absolutely identical in terms of size and appointments so think twice about paying the extra. The rooms are relatively small compared to many other luxury ships today but I don't find that an issue, depends how much time you like to spend in your room I guess. Sea days on Crystal are full of activities and there is plenty to choose from, their nightly entertainment is first rate and, even though I have seen most of the shows before, I still go along each night as the standard is so high. Having a catholic priest on board and being able to go to mass daily is also a big plus for me. The food in the specialty restaurants is fantastic, in the main dining room it isn't quite as good, the ship wasn't full by any means on this cruise but the main dining still seemed like being in a railway station, with harried staff rushing past all the time. It pays to know that you can select beverages and food items not on the menu - it's just a matter of asking but Crystal certainly doesn't let on that there are alternatives. The standard sauvignon blanc they had most nights was terrible but all I had to do was ask and they happily supplied something else. One night our table had a fabulous dessert which one of the table had ordered for us the night before and I heard of another table who ordered rack of lamb for their whole table even though it wasn't on the menu - you need to do this the prior day of course. I have been spoiled by Crystal and have no interest in evenly trying any other cruse line, I am already booked for my next cruise with them. Some may say I'm missing out on trying other experiences but I'm happy with what Crystal provide so why risk getting a lesser experience on another line? Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
We were first time Crystal Cruisers and had always heard how wonderful they were. Well, in some ways that was true, in others, it was not. First, what we loved: outstanding staff, smooth boarding and leaving, the best evening ... Read More
We were first time Crystal Cruisers and had always heard how wonderful they were. Well, in some ways that was true, in others, it was not. First, what we loved: outstanding staff, smooth boarding and leaving, the best evening entertainment we have ever experienced on a cruise, good food, excellent "included" wine, like the always open Bistro, large comfortable rooms and bath, better than average casino rules, superb Apple instructor, top notch lecturers (but not enough of them). However, we experienced some areas where we thought they could improve: lack of information about where we were, poor use (not many talks) by the excellent "experts" onboard, only one buffet lunch of Asian foods, absolutely no information on shopping beforehand and little to no time for any shopping in tours booked through them, lack of information about when things would be open which we would expect when you have a guide. We were not informed until one evening after being back onboard that the town we most came to see would be closed for a holiday the next day--too late to go more that day. We were informed when we boarded one bus that the main point of one tour was closed because it was Friday--their regular closing day. Little bridge (2 lessons and 3 games in 12 days). Pool not filled until the pm on the first sea day. Would we go on another Crystal Cruise? Absolutely. But if both had the same route, we would choose Oceania over Crystal. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
I was not impressed with the ship. I have been on only three cruises prior to this one and these have been Caribbean cruises. The ship was old and tired. The food was close to being horrible (the entrees were always some type of exotic ... Read More
I was not impressed with the ship. I have been on only three cruises prior to this one and these have been Caribbean cruises. The ship was old and tired. The food was close to being horrible (the entrees were always some type of exotic dish that were unpalatable to a meat and potatoes diner). The wine on the all inclusive list was some of the worst I have ever tried. The one bright spot was the ship's sea food specialty restaurant. It was excellent. The other bright spot was the ship's crew, entertainers and educators. The stage productions were first class. The computer courses were very educational and I found just about everyone who worked on the ship to be genuinely friendly and always willing to provide assistance. The ports of call were very interesting with the exception of Jakarta. And thankfully we did not have to go to Belawan. Instead we got extra time in Phuket which is a true gem. Overall, I enjoyed the cruise (how can one not enjoy a cruise). This cruise is not for young people unless they are only interested in the ports. I'm no spring chicken but I felt like a youngster among my fellow passengers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
Crystal is not for everyone but the best for those who are seeking the ultimate in the grand tradition of the mighty transatlantic ships of yesterday. The staterooms in the lower price range are smaller than Regent, Silver Sea and Seaboun ... Read More
Crystal is not for everyone but the best for those who are seeking the ultimate in the grand tradition of the mighty transatlantic ships of yesterday. The staterooms in the lower price range are smaller than Regent, Silver Sea and Seaboun but they are more than adequate for those who use them mainly for sleeping. ;. On the other hand, the common rooms,and dining rooms are gracious and very large. The swimming pool is huge and great for lap swimmers. When it to comes to ballroom dancing, only Cunard is in the same league. The two large areas used for dancing to their 6 piece dance band can easily hold those passengers who are devotees. Entertainment and lectures are excellent as is the choice of films in the cinema or on flat-screen TV's in the cabin. Service - no line our experience can measure up to Crystal. It seems that the attentive staff can anticipate your needs before you yourself were aware of them. Little things like remembering that you like salt sticks rather than buns with your meals make the difference between adequate service and great service. There are two area that I believe need attention; the lack of activities when in port and the on-board shops which are very expensive and poorly stocked. . . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
My wife and I, both very senior citizens, have completed over 20 cruises with Crystal and we continue to rate the line as the best we have encountered (Seabourn, Regent, Silver Seas and Cunard). While some of these luxury lines have larger ... Read More
My wife and I, both very senior citizens, have completed over 20 cruises with Crystal and we continue to rate the line as the best we have encountered (Seabourn, Regent, Silver Seas and Cunard). While some of these luxury lines have larger cabins and much larger baths, they do not measure up in the overall cruise experience for us. We particularly prefer the fixed sittings for meals rather than the open sittings on the other luxury lines. With an assigned table at a fixed time, we have the advantage of not having to wait until a table is free nor do we have to share the dining experience with others. We recognized that many who cruise like to meet others at meal time, but we do not. Furthermore, as we have the same wait persons at every evening meal they are very aware of our particular likes and dislikes and make sure that such things as salt sticks are on the table and that berries with heavy cream (my favorite desert) appear every night. The review written by two gentlemen who were ship-mates and trivia partners with us reflects their experience but not ours. We are ballroom dancers and believe that only Cunard and Crystal, provide truly rewarding opportunities for us to enjoy this past-time. The availability if four gentlemen host for single ladies is a bonus. We would agree that daytime activities while in port are very limited and need improvement and that the on-board shops are very poor. On the other hand, we have no problem with ordering our drinks before evening shows start so that waiters do not disturb others enjoying the very good entertainment provided. As a summary, in our opinion, Crystal is by far the best luxury line for those who want a traditional luxury cruise experience but it is not for all. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
We sailed on the Crystal Symphony January 2015 from Bali, Indonesia with 3 port stops in Indonesia (Belawan was cancelled because of channel dredging), 3 ports in Malaysia, one in Thailand, and ending in Singapore. We’ve sailed on the ... Read More
We sailed on the Crystal Symphony January 2015 from Bali, Indonesia with 3 port stops in Indonesia (Belawan was cancelled because of channel dredging), 3 ports in Malaysia, one in Thailand, and ending in Singapore. We’ve sailed on the Crystal Serenity before, like the line very much (not quite up to Regent), and were generally quite pleased with this cruise. Okay, you probably know why Crystal is a top-rated line, but here are a few things of which you should be aware. The cruise started in Bali and you could embark anytime on Jan 17 or 18. Crystal met passengers flying in on Jan 17 but refused to do so for people like us who arrived on Jan 18. Moreover, they didn’t tell us this in advance, so we were stuck at the airport trying to find the Crystal shuttle before we finally took a taxi to the port. Once on the ship things were fine, although we were surprised to find the 246-sq ft stateroom about 10% smaller than those on the Crystal Serenity (269 sq ft) and 22% smaller than the corresponding level room on Regent (301 sq ft). We were also surprised that the “free” Internet service for Crystal Society members (those who have cruised on Crystal before) was for just one hour a day (not unlimited like Regent). Moreover, the connection was quite slow so uploading photos used up your hour in short order. Dining was excellent after we negotiated to be moved from a tiny table way in the back at the door to the galley to a table in the middle of the room. Although window tables were often empty, they were never offered to us. We had the early seating (be in place by 6:15), which was okay except on the days we didn’t get back from a shore excursion until late afternoon. On those days, we would have liked to go to “casual dining” at the Lido, but that was only open on 3 nights of the 12-day cruise. One wonders why? Smokers like me weren’t happy with the Connoisseur Club, a small room which was the only place to smoke on the ship. There were two types of smokers aboard: ones in Group 1 who wanted to read a book while having a quite smoke. Too bad for them as the room was dark, there were no reading lights, and there was Group 2. People in that group wanted to watch loud TV, talk even louder, and basically have a party. I resorted to bringing ear plugs and a flashlight in the late afternoon, but evenings were just impossible. A number of shore excursions were cancelled because not enough people signed up. Seems to me they could have arranged for a 6- or 8-passenger van rather than the usual 40-passenger bus and run the excursion like that. Perhaps because we were in a hot climate, the lowest we could get the cabin temperature was about 73 degrees F, which was okay during the day, but too hot at night. We traded the duvet on the bed for a blanket, but even that was often too hot. So a good night’s sleep wasn’t one of the high points of the cruise. Oh, yes, there was one toddler on board whose parents, after the second day finally got the message that a kid whining in the dining room wasn't enjoyed by most of the adults and we (thankfully!) didn't see too much of them at meals. What on earth were they thinking bringing a one-year-old on a cruise like this? Don’t get me wrong: Crystal is a great cruise line. The new emphasis of the dining staff to be friendly and really get to know you is extraordinary. Our cabin attendant was superb. The food in all the restaurants (except the outdoor grill) was outstanding. The bartenders mixed excellent drinks. The wine and champagne choices were first-rate. The shore excursions were very good (except for Malacca where we had a mediocre guide). The people at the concierge desk went out of their way to be helpful. All the staff were smiling and friendly. A few flaws, but we’ll be back.   Read Less
Crystal Symphony Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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