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Sail Date: February 2018
We wanted to see as much of Australia as possible in a brief time. We also went to Tasmania, which was a bonus! Best shore excursions were in "The Bush" where we got to look around for kangaroos and koalas in the wild. Though ... Read More
We wanted to see as much of Australia as possible in a brief time. We also went to Tasmania, which was a bonus! Best shore excursions were in "The Bush" where we got to look around for kangaroos and koalas in the wild. Though I am not a big drinker, I enjoyed not having to pay attention to the drinks I was ordering and once I gleaned on to it, I enjoyed trying the "featured drink" listed on the daily newsletter. We felt the entertainment was mostly too late after days hiking around all day - but we tend to go to bed around 10:00. Our friends enjoyed the live lectures, while I preferred watching those later in our cabin. Trying different dining rooms was great, and I really enjoyed the cafe where I got specialty coffees and pastries or fruit in the mornings while my spouse cleaned up. They got to know me on a first name basis. Then I'd join my spouse and friends for a more complete breakfast later. Food was *always* varied and fantastic!! We never had to wait in line to get back on board - which we appreciated! Worst part of the trip was when our transfer didn't pick us up at the airport when we arrived. When I called the emergency number, they were disorganized and confused. After multiple "holds" they said we were in the computer, but didn't come out on the print out - so they weren't looking for and left us, which didn't help. Then they didn't know how to help us at the emergency number - said they had to wait to hear from ONE person, who wasn't answering her phone. Since this was our friends' 1st cruise - this made an unpleasant 1st impression. We were stuck in the airport baggage pickup about 2 hours on the phone with them, before we finally gave up grabbed a taxi on our own. We were later reimbursed by the concierge later on-board the ship. They also gave us ship credits to spend as a consolation. I would have still rather had the transfer without the stress. The bathrooms were pristine and I loved having both fresh laundered individual finger towels, then paper towels to open the door to leave. Exceptional! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
The shore excursions were extremely expensive but sub-par. The exercise room is average but no one cleans or sanitizes the equipment if the guest fails to do so. Crystal installed new technology to support free wifi for everyone. ... Read More
The shore excursions were extremely expensive but sub-par. The exercise room is average but no one cleans or sanitizes the equipment if the guest fails to do so. Crystal installed new technology to support free wifi for everyone. BUT I felt that the old system worked better. It was hard to connect to the internet and we could not make phone calls in airplane mode. The food was mediocre., Prego, the Italian specialty restaurant, and Umi Uma, the Japanese specialty restaurant, are excellent. The bar/bartenders were very nice and recommended great drinks. However at waterside, it was not pleasant. We had to wait so long for our food and it was not even busy. The buffet during the day at The Marketplace is open till 1:30 for lunch which is pretty convenient if you like to take your time in the mornings. The buffet, again, is mediocre and it changes very little. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I chose this trip because of the itinerary and I like all inclusive cruises. Few cruise lines go down the coast of Africa from Dubai. The food and wine were very nice, although maybe not to an extreme foodie and wine lover’s standards. ... Read More
I chose this trip because of the itinerary and I like all inclusive cruises. Few cruise lines go down the coast of Africa from Dubai. The food and wine were very nice, although maybe not to an extreme foodie and wine lover’s standards. Most people would be more than happy with the selection and food presentation. The cream soups were fabulous. Entertainment by a fairly small group of entertainers in a small venue was excellent and the speakers for the enrichment lectures were good. Unfortunately there was very little information on ports of call, but lots of history and demographic info. This was unfortunate if you wanted to know about a port and didn’t want to spend the additional cost of going on a ships tour. Speaking of ships tours, this is where Crystal was a let down. The tours seemed to be poorly planned, with many participants complaining about the tours when they returned. They were too expensive compared to the price of booking your own tour to not be top notch. In almost every port the shuttle bus seemed to only go to malls or dirty, unattractive outdoor markets. Gardens, beaches, historic areas were ignored and required taxis to see them. I would suggest that we have plenty of malls at home. Some passengers were unhappy that we did not stop in Madagascar because of the plague outbreak, but we did get an extra day in the Seychelles. This satisfied my husband and I. We liked the new unassigned dinner arrangements and made lots of new friends by eating with different people most nights. We could eat whatever time we wanted and watch the show that best matched our dinner. This is a very positive change from earlier fixed dining on crystal. The overall feeling on the cruise was a little less stuffy than on previous cruises we took on Crystal although we would love to hear some real rock and roll music. The type that does not require dancing cheek to cheek. Crystal clients idea of casual is far from what the rest of the world considers casual. Bring very nice ‘casual’ clothes with you. At least half the men wore tuxes and black suits on formal nights and all the women wore fancy cocktail outfits or long dresses. The service at meals and service from cabin attendants was very good. The rooms are of a standard size. We were not in the new upgraded rooms so the room was just like ones we have been in previously, on the small side but functional. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We booked the cruise when Egypt was on the itinerary and had 4 friends book with us. When Egypt was pulled, it was too bad Crystal did not add another day in Israel instead of wasting the time on Cyprus and Shalalah, Oman (no offense to ... Read More
We booked the cruise when Egypt was on the itinerary and had 4 friends book with us. When Egypt was pulled, it was too bad Crystal did not add another day in Israel instead of wasting the time on Cyprus and Shalalah, Oman (no offense to anyone). Regarding the ship, for the most part, well done. But it is difficult to understand how they left the option on the stateroom TVs out with respect to CC. As a result, you had to turn up the TV to hear (if you have a problem--I do) and the wall partitions with the TVs is paper thin and our neighbor could hear us and we them. The entertainment started off slowly but quickly picked up pace and was excellent as the cruise went on. Crystal's staff continues to excel and made the cruise very nice. Fix the few problems (I hope) and we'll be back. 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Loved the pampering and special attention of the wonderful staff. Although they have to, most of them were very genuine. Our head waiter worked with us each night to ensure our dietary needs were met at dinner. Did not have a bad meal. ... Read More
Loved the pampering and special attention of the wonderful staff. Although they have to, most of them were very genuine. Our head waiter worked with us each night to ensure our dietary needs were met at dinner. Did not have a bad meal. All special requests were taken care of. Wines in the main dining room were a good choice and the price of the higher end wines was very reasonable - almost retail. The room was well designed and lovely. We unpacked 3 full suitcases and still had an empty drawer! The balcony though not large was suitable(dlx. stateroom), unfortunately the weather did not permit much usage.And our room steward was very helpful with info and genuinely pleasant. Loved taking a couple of tub baths, but it was a bit tight. We only did shore excursions in St. Petersburg and they went smoothly.All ports except one had shuttle buses and that worked well. The only reason I did not give 5 stars is I think the cruise should have started a day later. Departure port Stockholm was having a national holiday so most everything was closed for 2 days, the only day we could have done Moscow on our own was thursday and the Kremlin is closed that day and Warnemunde was a sunday when stores had limited opening. I loved the Crystal experience...although a full cruise at no time did anywhere fell crowded. One tip for this itinerary==wear sneakers or laced shoes...the cobblestones are a work out! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Friends raved about Crystal and we loved the itinerary from Reykjavik to England. This cruise had no sea days and was packed with interesting ports. It was a perfect way to celebrate a 30 year wedding anniversary. We arrived late ... Read More
Friends raved about Crystal and we loved the itinerary from Reykjavik to England. This cruise had no sea days and was packed with interesting ports. It was a perfect way to celebrate a 30 year wedding anniversary. We arrived late afternoon to meet Symphony in Reykjavik harbor. Our exploration of Iceland in a rental car convinced us that driving requires more time than expected, so we opted to miss the first evening's dinner and drove off to the Fontana spa for a wonderful adventure. Every other evening was spent on the ship and we loved it. Food and entertainment exceeded our very high expectations each night. Symphony is a wonderful ship. It is well arranged and spacious enough that a full load of passengers won't ever feel very crowded. Service is great and the ship is kept "crystal" clean. We were impressed with how well the ship performed in very rough seas. A quick comment about the food is in order. The dining room and two specialty restaurants are wold class. They rival the best restaurants in major cities. The food options elsewhere on the ship were somewhat mixed. There were many choices at the Lido buffet, but the offerings were too often lukewarm or cold. We also had a couple of mediocre breakfasts in the dining room. A second cup of coffee was sometimes easy but sometimes difficult. By contracts, the Bistro Cafe was always terrific. There were usually wonderful espresso drinks, service, and snack selections at that location. Also, Symphony will be greatly improved by tech and decor updates this October. I would definitely cruise on her again after the next dry dock refurbishment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
Chose this cruise as a friend (a Crystal novice) was interested in seeing what the excitement is about...her room was on the same deck but opposite side so we were close by but not running into each other constantly. Did our own version ... Read More
Chose this cruise as a friend (a Crystal novice) was interested in seeing what the excitement is about...her room was on the same deck but opposite side so we were close by but not running into each other constantly. Did our own version of shore excursions: using a combination of public transportation and ship supplied shuttles, mapping out our potential routes in advance. Saw a lot of New York in little time, same true of Boston (a very short duration--are their dock fees too high?) and had no complaints about the tender services in Bar Harbor or Newport. Easy to maneuver. Service continues to be the major Crystal distinction. Wonder how the prices will fare with the announced ship revisions and associated decrease in the number of cabins. Will welcome a complete revision to the tedious and dated dinner time and assigned table model which has been slowly disappearing. Lido deck evening options? I'm all for that! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I chose this trip because of the abundance of sea days, which are my favourite. The ship is showing some age and looking a little worn in its finishes and decor, but I don't mind -- to me, there are far more important things to make ... Read More
I chose this trip because of the abundance of sea days, which are my favourite. The ship is showing some age and looking a little worn in its finishes and decor, but I don't mind -- to me, there are far more important things to make a great cruise. My cabin was a window cabin with a partially obstructed view, but the obstruction was truly minimal. Crystal is known for having some of the smallest cabins among the luxury lines, but I found it had more than enough space for my 2.5 week cruise, and I know had there been two of us in the cabin the storage space still would have been enough. I don't know why there's a tub rather than a walk in shower, and I don't see a need for double sinks, but those are likely personal preferences. Also personal is the opinion of the food.......in my opinion, the food was terrific, ranging from very good to outstanding (particularly excellent in the two specialty restaurants). I didn't attend the evening entertainment, with the exception of the Dixieland Jazz performance, so I can't comment other than to say other passengers seemed to enjoy it. My shipboard routine is to do as little as possible other than relax, though I did take part in the daily trivia contests. I heard some of the lectures on the television in my cabin later, and they were interesting and in a bunch of different subjects. One of the nicest things about being aboard is the calm atmosphere and lack of interruptions: There are no announcements other than a daily status update, and no sales pitches or other things to distract from the relaxation available. I love walking the promenade or laying on the Lido deck with a book or puzzle as the ocean drifts by. \ The ship is showing its age, but there's a major refit due in the fall. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
chose the tour for Bali and Singapore. The good news: The food was superb, our sommerlier Mladen and Maitre D' Mario made the general seating dining a delight. The entertainment was a little old school but fun. The bars and ... Read More
chose the tour for Bali and Singapore. The good news: The food was superb, our sommerlier Mladen and Maitre D' Mario made the general seating dining a delight. The entertainment was a little old school but fun. The bars and nooks were great. It made us feel that we were frequenting our own little neighbourhood. We stayed in Ubud in Bali doing our own touring with the Safest Driver in Bali's driver. We loved our tour, our dinners, our experiences. We enjoyed Komodo Island. Brunei was a slice of life. Malaysia had an interesting mountain tour. Singapore is dazzling and fun. The bad: The ship boarding process was disappointing. There was no-one at the car park to direct us and welcome us (We've done Oceania in the past and you were passed from one warm greeting to another). Hence a bit of confusion finding our debarkation point. It was a dodgy gangplank. The ship's rooms are small (we had a balcony on the 9th floor just below the penthouse level) and had the whole ambience was 80s nostalgia. We understand at the end of this cruise the entire ship is in for refurbishing. There were 2 designated sittings. This created a sense of chaos of the first night - it wasn't dining, it was feeding. We spoke with Mario and thereafter we ate between the two sittings and it was divine. Our waitors and sommelier Mladen were relaxed and capable and we loved every meal and enjoyed a wonderful wine experience. The gym is too small for classes - I worried that weights being used by individuals may be a threat to class members. The port days needed work: Komodo island could have been tightened up; the snorkeling in the Philippines was dodgy and there were no flippers, the descent off the boat was hampered by lines that could have been unsafe, a lot of unhappy people, but the beach we ultimately ended up at was beautfiul; Rombon is a poor island - thought should be given to working with the community to organize an event that would benefit it and engage the visitors - something with the schools?; Brunei day tour dragged - 1/2 day was sufficient to see the main buildings and then perhaps an experience that deepened the appreciation of the museum. singapore we did our own thing and had some amazing walking tours and experiences. 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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