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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Crystal Symphony cruise departing on January 5, 2017 I chose the cruise for two reasons. One was the ports of call and the area that the cruise was visiting. The other was the fact that it was a bridge cruise and I wanted to but ... Read More
Crystal Symphony cruise departing on January 5, 2017 I chose the cruise for two reasons. One was the ports of call and the area that the cruise was visiting. The other was the fact that it was a bridge cruise and I wanted to but participate in playing bridge and learning bridge I loved the luxury of the cruise. The service was excellent especially the young lady who took after me in my room when I was sick for a few days. The food actually was not up to my measure I guess because I really don't like complicated foods and very often I would order something that did not meet my expectations All in all I would cruise with Crystal again. It is nice to be taken care of and envjoy and such luxury The two is provided by the crews were excellent and certainly meant by expectations, they were well organized and well thought out . My only criticism and it is a serious one is that when I had my hair washed and blown out I was offered a little special conditioner and a teeny tiny tube. I was told that they wash and blow out what's going to cost me $43. When they showed me the bill they had added an extra $76 for this exceedingly tiny little tube of something. I should have complained but it was the last day of the cruise and I didn't have the opportunity. However I I will send a letter to the cruise company because I thought this was an out rages rip off Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We chose this cruise because of its proximity to our home and no long haul flying needed. We boarded in Melbourne and this was orderly but we had to wait to be called as it was a full sailing. Once onboard we dined in the dining room ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its proximity to our home and no long haul flying needed. We boarded in Melbourne and this was orderly but we had to wait to be called as it was a full sailing. Once onboard we dined in the dining room and later went to our cabin to find the bags on the bed. TIP: we brought our own wire hangers and discarded the Crystal ones and the heavy robes. Our cabin was small but we got all our clothes in with drawers not used! These cabins are clever and well designed. Bathroom clean and tidy. The dining was very good and the wait staff obliging. Entertainment and activities were all very good. Yes there is something for everyone on Crystal. I must say that although aging the ship is very well maintained. The stars of the show truly are the staff at all levels and they are really customer focussed in my opinion. One joy for me is getting off the ship and being welcomed back after excursions. Keep up the good work Crystal! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
A mix of good and bad. The service was generally excellent. The onboard lecturers were very good. The Palm Court is a lovely room with excellent staff and quickly became our room of choice on board. The food, in particular the main courses ... Read More
A mix of good and bad. The service was generally excellent. The onboard lecturers were very good. The Palm Court is a lovely room with excellent staff and quickly became our room of choice on board. The food, in particular the main courses in the MDR, were mostly very disappointing. Every meal seemed to emphasis Salmon or Shrimp and the meats were dry, bland or overcooked. Considering this was supposedly a Food & Wine cruise it was not good. The entertainment was variable, sometimes quite good and sometimes very ordinary, and catered for more for a 70+ market rather than the 50+ market my wife and our friends belong to. The 'streamlined onboard checkin' was one of the slowest checkins I've experienced and definitely not what you would expect with a smaller luxury ship.And despite being an upmarket ship, we copped the second string berth at many ports, with the prime spots going to other vessels. I enjoyed the cruise but my wife and I both agree it wasn't worth the higher cost, even with its all-inclusive nature, and I think we'd rather go back to a balcony or suite on Princess or HAL over another oceanview on Crystal. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We went to Crystal Symphony because our past experience was excellent even though the company was bought by an Asian company. We had been cruising with different cruise lines for over a long time. We still decided to try again even when we ... Read More
We went to Crystal Symphony because our past experience was excellent even though the company was bought by an Asian company. We had been cruising with different cruise lines for over a long time. We still decided to try again even when we saw some bad reviews recently. First, the embarkation was a total disaster at Melbourne. There were hardly any Crystal agents and there were no instructions where to go and what to do. The lines to the security were long and the check in once we board the ship was confusing. The whole cruise experience was very disappointing. The food especially with the main dining room was very poor. Even with the specialty restaurants Prego and Silk Road, they were below par. The menu choice was small and food was ordinary. They don't deserve to be called specialty restaurants. The chef at the kitchen tour apologized that because the ship is required to purchase everything from Australia and the price was experience, the ship had to purchase the lower quality produce. This is absurd, so Crystal decided to buy lower quality food for their customers for the Australia/New Zealand trip when the theme of this cruise was supposed to be Food and Wine! Their chef table only offered twice through out the trip and they were already filled even the first day. I don't know why they didn't do the chef table every night like other cruise lines. The excursions for New Zealand were almost identical in every port so there weren't much to choose from. The worse was the entertainment in particular the shows. They were so outdated in comparisons to the Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Sea which we went in October. The dancers and singers were low quality, their costume are ordinary, the stage was small and lacked scenes. The lighting and sounds lacked the newer digital equipment, sound and lighting. The entire program was similar to what we experience more than 15 years ago. As for enrichment program which they pride themselves in, they had old retired guests to talked about outdated material. One of them was an old security guard whom he talked about his experience with Jackie Kennedy for many nights. Another one was a pianist and singer that followed the John Elton style. The music and singing are mostly classic and lacked the dynamics. The computer work shops was based on only Ipad or Mac fo old people with no computer experience. The ship was supposed to have renovated but they are still old and showed wear. Many of the activity rooms were so small and old fashion. There were hardly any stores. They only had three, 1 jewelry store, 1 sells handbags and convenient items and 1 on low quality clothing. We met 2 couple of friends from the main dining. The only item that was still of good quality was their service personnel at the restaurants and cafe. The wait staffs still continued to remember and called us by our name and some times helped to carry our trays. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose this cruise on Crystal Symphony because it would take us from San Diego to Auckland in time to visit family in New Zealand for the holidays. The first leg was a film and theater theme and took us to Papeete. This segment was at ... Read More
We chose this cruise on Crystal Symphony because it would take us from San Diego to Auckland in time to visit family in New Zealand for the holidays. The first leg was a film and theater theme and took us to Papeete. This segment was at capacity. The second leg was food and wine and was only half full. On the first leg, the dining room was always full and a bit noisy but the service did not lag. There are enough public spaces that, even at capacity the ship does not feel crowded. For the Christmas season, the ship was very nicely decorated with Santa’s, trees, elves and nutcrackers in abundance. We took most of our dinners in the main dining room and found the food in quality and choice to be excellent, as was the service. We also dined once on each segment in Silk Road and Prego. These meals were superb as was the service. We had several lunches at the Trident Grill. A toasted ham and cheese sandwich for one lunch was less than satisfactory. It gave the impression of being production line product that was pulled out, unwrapped and toasted. Other than that, the Grill food was satisfactory.. Breakfasts in the Lido Grill were fine with a large selection from the buffet and we discovered the person who had access to the berries (in a drawer behind the serving line). The Grand Buffet lunch in each segment was a great showing of the prowess of the chef and culinary staff. There was one issue we experienced with wine. When we boarded and went to our first lunch, my wife asked for a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (her favorite) and the wine steward said there was none on board and had not been on board for three years. She settled for a French SB. However, the second night at dinner we learned that there was an Ara Marlborough SB carried for the dining room and had been for sometime. We could not understand why the first wine steward was ill-informed. When we called room service to have a bottle sent to our stateroom, we were informed that Ara was only available in the DR and could not be sent via room service. We found this strange for an all inclusive cruise line, especially as the Ara was not a premium wine. Service at all levels was excellent - dining room staff, bar staff, and stateroom attendant. Before dinner, we found a glass of wine in the Avenue Saloon to be quite nice and this venue was never crowded. Palm court was also a great venue and we were impressed by the Mozart Tea served there. The on-board entertainment was excellent. Dr Sobey’s lectures on the ocean and Dr Sowell on the history and culture of the various islands we were to visit were very informative and enjoyable. The iMovie course by Kerry Merrick and Dina Sterr was fantastic and I now use the skills I learned to capture pleasant memories of this cruise. My wife also learned knitting from the on-board knitting instructors. The Magic Castle at Sea shows (one per each segment) were amazing especially because the venue was the intimate Avenue Saloon and even being so close to the action did not permit us to crack the slight of hand. Cooking demonstrations were not so successful as there is not a convenient venue for these and the Galaxy Lounge stage elevated the chef above the audience. The port guides for each stop were very useful with maps and information. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We boarded the Crystal Symphony in San Diego. It was largely uneventful staff had us wait while the gang plank got reattached to the ship. We were not told how it got separated from the ship. It stayed overnight and since we were in our ... Read More
We boarded the Crystal Symphony in San Diego. It was largely uneventful staff had us wait while the gang plank got reattached to the ship. We were not told how it got separated from the ship. It stayed overnight and since we were in our home town we took full advantage of it. The meals were all very good. The entertainment was sub par for my taste. The crowd was at least 15 years my senior so I can understand the slower pace. It just took a few days to adjust. We enjoyed our table 86 of mates and they each added to our vacation. Crystal's all inclusive really is top shelf and has spoiled me in regards to future cruises. We didn't book a future cruise on board because our next cruise will be a family one with the Grands. Crystal would be too expensive for that outing. In the meantime we have this memory to last for awhile. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
We take 3 crossing a year, between crystal and Seabourn.But Crystal has a better lecture program. And the Tommy Dorsey band makes it over the top. Crystal also to care of our medical needs. They were just great. The overall staff was over ... Read More
We take 3 crossing a year, between crystal and Seabourn.But Crystal has a better lecture program. And the Tommy Dorsey band makes it over the top. Crystal also to care of our medical needs. They were just great. The overall staff was over the top in all departments. We have done 15 crystal cruises and it was great to see how many crew new our names. The owns we new us best called us Mr. Steve and Mrs. Judy. The one thing that stood out was there house keeping. I dare anyone to find any dust or finger prints on the brass, You think they walk behind you. As for dinning it could not be better. I need a special diet and they prepared all my meals according to my needs. Was for the wait staff if we could take them home they would be very upset with Judy and I. Of all the cruises we have taken 100 + crystal is on top of the list. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Comparisons are important, and a good way to paint a valid description. Crystal is considered one of the best 6 star line if you will. We've cruised with them previously which we enjoyed and can serve as an easy comparison. The ... Read More
Comparisons are important, and a good way to paint a valid description. Crystal is considered one of the best 6 star line if you will. We've cruised with them previously which we enjoyed and can serve as an easy comparison. The boarding experience in Lisbon was up a shabby ramshackle tented gangway. Not even a "Hello and welcome aboard" and certainly no welcome drink nor semblance of service . Following a pleasant check in clerk we were directed to the elevators dragging luggage. What 5 star hotel or cruiser have to been on where nobody accompanied you to the room/cabin ? That should have been the warning signal of what to expect. Don't swallow the ploy that Crystal sell the 'first night in port' as a plus for arriving pax. Not so, its another cost saver for the company calculated you lose whilst the company gains. $500 per person or more a night buys the best luxury accommodation in 5 star hotels with a wide choice of dining possiblities in any major cities departure port, instead of wasting time and money in a tiny uncomfortable cabin on board. However this cruising standard we considered; in common with many of co cruisers, was lower than the benchmarks Seaborne or Silver Sea. The Symphony is well down the scale. Claims as to being 6 star and the # 1 exclusive cruise line are wild exaggerations of the truth. Without doubt Crystal is on a major cost cutting exercise under the new management. If you are looking for luxury cruising and value for money you are advised to look elsewhere. The Symphony is tired, and badly in need of a refit. Old cheap prints do nothing to enhance the outdated furnishings in very small cabins.The overall impression is clearly of overwhelmingly sloppy management. On day 2 we attempted to speak with the Hotel Director and was told we have to make an appointment by email instead of simply calling him on his mobile or pager. Herein undoubtedly lies the root of the management problem. This is an incapability or planned device to avoid responding in a timely manner. 6 hours later and only after contacting the head office in California, did the Director respond. The only positive is the ship is immaculately clean.. Waiting crew on open decks (breakfast or lunch) mainly Philippinos have an uncontrolled tendency to be over friendly and in ones face. Failing to clear dirty dishes from table in a timely fashion because theres never a manager in sight, doesn't make their presence more appealing. 48 hours following my complaint, the matter was recitified to normal anticipated standards, proving the management had dropped standards as a norm. Sloppy as accused. Dining room waiters are very good and we have no complaints. However, again the restaurant manager is noted by his absence during service. Food is above average, but the kitchen does not excel merely good Bistro standard to be found in any major European City. . Housekeeping likewise is not paying attention to their managing, or the beds would be properly dressed instead of simply being thrown together. They do not turn beds down at night. No flowers, chocolates nor fruit nor champagne in the pokey tiny cabins. Two normal sized people cannot pass each other between the wall and the foot of the bed. Bar staff are acceptable, but here as all of the ship, in every single aspect lacks professionalism. There's not one part of the ship nor its operation I would commend as being excellent or at best equal to 4 star. Unfortunate, for it is precisely that Holy Grail which ships of this calibre strive for. Entertainment was very poor. A Transatlantic cruise needs distracting quality shows. A scheduled stop at the Azores was cancelled by the Captain, claiming a risk of Hurricane force weather conditions. This was either a figment of his imagination or more likely an economic decision driven by cost cutting. I was a professional racing yacht skipper, well able to read meteorological charts and forecast weather with the best and I saw no valid reason for this decision. In fact I was 100% correct , there was no bad weather for the day we should have docked. The CEO and her Board need to travel more, taking note of their competition. Sampling it would have them disembarking with their eyes cast down and worried for the future expectations of their shareholders. Improvement will not occur rapidly, requiring a major change from CEO and management. This particular cruise remained an unfortunate place to be, for 13 days failing our high but justifiably balanced expectations in every field. The experience will likely leave an unpleasant memory as a waste of money. This fairly ordinary form of transatlantic transport could be had at half the price and probably more enjoyable for expectations wouldn't be high. it was a relief to disembark in Miami. Detailed letters of justifiable complaint to the CEO remain unanswered 2 months later, as yet another indictment of poor management . When the CEO has not to common commercial decency to respond, nor make a offer of retribution is an indication of where the root problem lies. She couldn't care less - shareholders take note ! Watch this website for further in detail description. Finally. Take our valid advice as regular cruisers for more than 20 years, always in 5 star or better ships. You would not be doing yourself any favour by cruising Crystal. David. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise because of the big band and ballroom theme and we were not disappointed. The Tommy Dorsey orchestra under the direction of Terry Myer was superb. Y husband is a retired trombone player from the Pittsburgh Symphony ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the big band and ballroom theme and we were not disappointed. The Tommy Dorsey orchestra under the direction of Terry Myer was superb. Y husband is a retired trombone player from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and he was thrilled to here this ensemble every night.. our veranda suite on Deck nine was wonderful. The dining experience was memorable with creative, delicious choices every evening. We were always busy. My sea days incled 2 dance classes daily, Team Trivi! And a painting class with a wonderful teacher, Patty Jones.There were also excellent lectures on board and the evening shows were top notch. We have booked 2 more Crystal voyages for 2018! The cruise line has incentives for repeat cruisers, early booking while on board and early payment in full. I had no idea that thirteen days at sea with only a stop in St Thimas could be that much fun. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We waited a bit to write this review of our Crystal Symphony transatlantic in October in order to gain perspective and not overreact. After reading the previous post on the same cruise, we felt we also needed to provide feedback on what ... Read More
We waited a bit to write this review of our Crystal Symphony transatlantic in October in order to gain perspective and not overreact. After reading the previous post on the same cruise, we felt we also needed to provide feedback on what was, overall, a disappointing cruise. This was our 5th Crystal cruise and second transatlantic. We loved the first transatlantic and have always loved the lectures, dancing, Silk Road, Prego and the Big Band theme. We booked this cruise for relaxation, dancing, food and our experience with past Crystal cruises. Boarding in Lisbon was unorganized with no welcoming signs or agents. We found our way to registration and, after we were on the ship, found our own way to our cabin. The cabin was just as expected in size and amenities. However, there was no welcoming bottle of champagne. There was, as we had requested in the past, a fan and a top sheet on the bed. We had brought our usual duct tape to tape down the lights in the closet, which turn on every time a door is opened. We were appalled to open the refrigerator and find a moldy, half eaten canister of caviar. There were no water bottles in the cabin. We opened a dresser drawer and found a plastic bag full of a white powder. It was obvious the cabin stewardess had not been vigilant in her preparation of the cabin. This, unfortunately, continued throughout the cruise. We consistently had to ask for water, four times for Kleenex, for wine glasses, new shampoo and towels. We finally called the head of housekeeping just to get basic amenities. We asked for a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc for the cabin. We received Pinot Noir. The stewardess said they did not have Sauvignon Blanc. When we told the sommelier, he sent two bottles to the cabin. We did not ask her again. After the third day, the air conditioning in the room did not work properly. We went to the desk and put in a maintenance request. When we returned to the cabin there was a note that they had “adjusted” the vents. It made no difference. The cabin remained very warm and we were so grateful that we at least had a fan to move air. We asked two more times for repair of the a/c and no one came. We finally went to the desk again and demanded to see the hotel director. They would not let us but said they would be certain to get the a/c fixed. No one came. Finally, the second last night of the cruise, we were woken at 11 pm by someone who offered to change our cabin due to poor air conditioning. We were shocked at being called so late and declined to move cabins at that late date. This lack of maintenance is totally unacceptable and not what we have experienced in the past. We were given a table for 2 next to the waiters’ station in the dining room. We considered asking to move but really liked our waiters Nuno and Fabio who did a fantastic job in serving us. They were just exceptional. We also appreciated Roland’s extra efforts and genuine care. Julius did a nice job as sommelier and found us some lovely complementary white wines such as Sancerre and Chablis which frankly, were as good as the four bottles of wine we purchased off the proprietors list. We also loved the staff at the Trident and Lido, especially Rikki and Norman who went above and beyond in service. Food in the main dining room was for the most part very good. It was prepared as ordered and hot when it arrived. Trident Grill sandwiches were delicious. We highly anticipated our dinner at Silk Road and even made a second, fee-required, reservation because we had enjoyed it so much in the past. We do not know what happened, but our dinner there was a disaster. We were seated at a table and ignored for at least 15 minutes. We finally got menus and water. We then waited another 15 minutes to order. When the shrimp tempura arrived, it was all batter and almost no shrimp. Another guest that I spoke with later also told us they were very disappointed in the lack of shrimp in their dish. My husband’s sushi was mushy and my cod entrée was “off”, did not smell right. I could not eat it. That evening, my husband was sick with food poisoning from the sushi he had eaten at Silk Road. Luckily we had medication for food poisoning and he felt better the next day, but he was off his feet and did not eat for a day. We reported this but no one contacted us. We cancelled our second reservation at Silk Road. Prego was better, especially on our first visit. The service was good and our food, especially my lamb chops, and the beef carpaccio, were excellent. The second time, on a fee required basis, the service was slow and impersonal and the veal was overcooked and tasteless. The carpaccio and mushroom soup were as good as usual. I do not know what happened to the specialty restaurants. But they are not really “special” anymore. The staff seemed to go about the motions, but there is no enthusiasm and the menu offerings are getting old. The ship itself was very clean and the Palm Court especially looked nice. We enjoyed time in the Avenue bar, especially when Name That Tune was on. Our team won twice out of three times. I wish I could say the same for Trivia. There was a large crowd attending Trivia each day and we had a convivial team who won a few times. However, the dancers who put on Trivia gave the impression they would have preferred to be anywhere else. They had no enthusiasm and in fact, a number of the answers were totally incorrect. This resulted in a small altercation with one member of another team and the staff. And, the worst incident was the final sea day when a passenger was allowed to ask his made up questions for Trivia. It was insulting to the rest of the passengers who love Trivia to have this man flaunting “his” knowledge. The highest score was 3 correct, as he showed off his esoteric “knowledge,” and trick questions. But I guess it gave the staff responsible for Trivia time off. BAD IDEA! And one of the worst changes to Trivia and other games were the “prizes.” We do not play Trivia for the rewards, but now Crystal is giving certificates for 15% off items in the shops and the spa. The problem was the spa coupon was only good for port days – we skipped the Azores due to weather and had all sea days, and no item I wanted in the shop qualified for the coupon. Crystal should not force passengers to buy something (or give worthless certificates) in order to have a prize for Trivia. Bring back the t-shirts or don’t give anything at all. The theme of the cruise was Big Band, and the Tommy Dorsey orchestra was the main event. We have sailed with them before and they gave good performances. There was an emphasis on ballroom dancing and it is the reason many passengers book this crossing. However, this time there was a real issue with the dance instructors, Ambassador Hosts and the dancers. It is wonderful that Crystal accommodates the single lady passengers who wish to dance by having Ambassador Hosts with which to partner. In the past, they have done a marvelous job. However this time, at dance lessons morning and afternoon and in the evenings with the bands, the regular passengers were literally shoved to the side and off the dance floor. We were forced to dance in the aisles and side of the room while the Ambassadors and their alternating partners took over the floor. After about 6 nights of being pushed, shoved, and banged into, we simply gave up and went to listen to the piano player in the Crystal Cove. This also applied to the dance lessons. The morning teachers were good and took time to explain steps and practice. Then we got with our partners and practiced. However as time went on, the Ambassadors and single ladies took over the floor, edging others out. We practiced in the aisles. In the afternoon, the instructors went so fast and added so many steps that no one knew what was going on except those who were experienced dancers. And, when we asked questions of the instructors, they said they were too busy to answer. We are not new to dancing, but we truly hoped to be able to refine our steps. This did not happen. Perhaps Crystal needs to separate classes into experienced and less experienced. It would give more room on the dance floor for practice as well. The worst incident with an Ambassador Host occurred in the Lido one day when we were having lunch. One of the Hosts was eating with the Golf Instructor at the table next to us. Both of them were loudly making fun of and criticizing guests for their appearance and inabilities. It was embarrassing to hear and they should be ashamed of their attitude toward paying guests. We skipped the Azores due to “bad weather” although the seas remained calm. We therefore had 9 straight sea days to St. Thomas. The usual lineup of speakers were onboard and the speaker on the oceans and sea life was exceptional. Also the speaker on Broadway and the theater who provided singing commentary was great. However, the general’s presentation, in our opinion, contained bigoted comments with incorrect information on his slides. For example, they were not the “Mongrels”, they are the Moghuls. We can’t quite put our finger on what went wrong with this cruise. Some of the service was exceptional. Others were rote and unfeeling. The ship, although clean, seemed tired and in need of refurbishment. Basics such as maintenance of air conditioning were lacking. Front desk staff, while pleasant, did not act on requests. Officers were non-apparent. Overall it just lacked that special “Crystal feeling.” It was the first cruise we completed where we were glad to be off the ship. We reported all the problems on our survey. We have heard absolutely nothing from Crystal. Due to our issues, we cancelled the Serenity Antarctica cruise we had scheduled for February and booked with another cruise line. It is too important a cruise to take another chance on Crystal at this time. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We have just disembarked from the Crystal Symphony in Rome after a 11 day cruise. We couldn't fault any part of the cruise and feel we have experienced a very professional event. The entertainment was always enjoyable. All the ... Read More
We have just disembarked from the Crystal Symphony in Rome after a 11 day cruise. We couldn't fault any part of the cruise and feel we have experienced a very professional event. The entertainment was always enjoyable. All the staff were friendly and efficient but especially would like to mention our 2 dinner waiters on Table 49 at the 2nd sitting, Salih and Viaos Both of them were amazing, efficient and lovely personalities. We looked forward to dining experience because of them. Our other waiter was Louis in the Palm Lounge. He looked after our party of 14 wonderfully and efficiently, we couldn't fault him and his co-worker. Because of their friendliness we went to the Palm Lounge every day. They contributed to making our 'Crystal' experience complete. And of course our maid on the 7th Floor Marcie, always bright and helpful. We would love to do another Crystal cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
First class cruise with 1st class people.Cannot say anything bad about anything! Loved the ship, very elegant. Loved loved loved the crew. Some have been on the ship for years. The food was outstanding,although I wasn't as impressed ... Read More
First class cruise with 1st class people.Cannot say anything bad about anything! Loved the ship, very elegant. Loved loved loved the crew. Some have been on the ship for years. The food was outstanding,although I wasn't as impressed with Silk Road as I had expected to be. The entertainment and the shows very good with talented dancers. Loved the lectures of the places we docked although thought they could have been a little more detailed. The few excursions that we went on with Crystal were excellent.All the guides were clear and easy to understand. I would have liked to see an option with a smaller tour group. It was either offered as a private tour or a larger group tour. I would have been happy to pay more and have a group of 8-10. No complaints about anything. You get what you pay for. Crystal is an excellent value for an excellent experience. Go! Now! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose Chrystal Symphony because of recommendations by friends who had been in Crystal cruises before. Negative experience with disembarkation: we were assigned to Orange 1, and left the ship at 7am. When we arrived at the Venice ... Read More
We chose Chrystal Symphony because of recommendations by friends who had been in Crystal cruises before. Negative experience with disembarkation: we were assigned to Orange 1, and left the ship at 7am. When we arrived at the Venice airport, we had to wait for about 15-20 min for our luggage to arrive. We were told there were misunderstandings regarding the transportation of our luggage (which were collected at 10pm on the previous evening). This should not have happened. The stateroom is well equipped. However, the bathroom washbasins are way too small. Perhaps installing one bigger washbasin instead of two will be better. This suggestion is for your newer ships. We're quite happy with the experiences going ashore: when we leave the ship and when we return to the ship. The staff have been quite courteous and helpful. We're also quite happy with the entertainment: particularly the comedian Jon Courtenay. It will be useful to have a Chinese specialty restaurant. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We are a healthy, active couple in our mid-sixties who choose cruises based on the itinerary. One of our "bucket list" destinations was the Amalfi coast and this cruise made stops at both Sorrento & Amalfi. We took ... Read More
We are a healthy, active couple in our mid-sixties who choose cruises based on the itinerary. One of our "bucket list" destinations was the Amalfi coast and this cruise made stops at both Sorrento & Amalfi. We took excursions arranged by the ship and excursions with outside providers. The ship's excursions were fine and we enjoyed them. We did have rough seas on the stop at Amalfi which made entering and exiting the tenders difficult (and there were a few injuries as a result). We also prefer a smaller ship and the Crystal Symphony is just the right size. It never felt crowded and it is quiet, but there is plenty to do if you want to be busy. Our cruise had quite a diversity of passengers. According to the captain, 32 nationalities were represented among the passengers. There was also quite a mixture of ages, although probably most were over 60. But there were a number of younger people and even a few children younger than school age. We had a C1 cabin on the promenade deck, which was very nice (see the cabin review for details). The food was good, especially at Prego, and there was a large variety. You could certainly eat healthily if you wished to. Would have liked longer hours for lunch & dinner at the Lido Cafe & Trident Grill, though. We don't gamble, so the casino was wasted on us. The other entertainment was adequate. The only activity that we participated in was the pre-destination lectures, which were informative and entertaining, if fairly brief and broad. They are broadcast over the ship's TV channel if you miss them. We would have enjoyed more frequent and more in-depth lectures about our destinations. The service and staff were pleasant and attentive. Unlike previous cruises, the staff is very diverse (the captain said 49 nations were represented in the staff). All the staff works hard and it shows. The ship is immaculate. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and look forward to another cruise with Crystal. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
We were on this specific cruise as a business incentive award, so we did not actually select the cruise ship or the specific cruise. The Symphony is a relatively small ship, accomodating about 1000 guests. We spent very little time in ... Read More
We were on this specific cruise as a business incentive award, so we did not actually select the cruise ship or the specific cruise. The Symphony is a relatively small ship, accomodating about 1000 guests. We spent very little time in Barcelona (our departure city ) as we used that time for an excursion in the mountains, as we did at most of the other ports. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and fast without exception. Because the ship is relatively small, it is also easy to navigate. The cabin was comfortably and pleasantly furnished. Dining was exceptional throughout, from a small private dinner to all the other dining facilities and room service. (It's really a treat to get hot scrambled eggs from room service!) The entertainment was top notch, whether it was informational, a jazz trio in a lounge, or an after dinner show. The service was exceptional in every area. Although all the service staff was phenomenal, I would like to recognize Denis Blagojevic, who works in The Palm Court as being one of the best of the best. We hpoe to use Crystal Cruises again. We would really enjoy another cruise on Symphony, as it was perfect for us in every way. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was our fourth cruise within three years having previously sailed with Celebrity, Holland America, and Princess. We are a couple in our mid-thirties. We chose this cruise because it fitted in with times we could both take holiday, ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise within three years having previously sailed with Celebrity, Holland America, and Princess. We are a couple in our mid-thirties. We chose this cruise because it fitted in with times we could both take holiday, left from a UK port, and was going to places we hadn't been before (in France) - a final important check\consideration was that Crystal was reasonably well rated well by recent passengers. The ship was in superb condition, arguably better than younger ships; everything was polished, clean, and in 'close to new' condition. A fairly small ship by today's standard we found it to our advantageous as it cut down unnecessary time walking between different venues. A similar size to Ryndham (Holland America) however a key difference we observed was that it never felt crowded on Symphony, in fact it was the least crowded ship we've sailed on yet. There are potentially two reasons for this; either it was undersubscribed (possibly because people concerned about terrorism), or the age of the passengers meant they slept a lot or otherwise entertained themselves - possibly a bit of both. We stayed in cabin 7087, which is the E1 category with a limited view, for which I've written a separate review in the cabin section (and hopefully it will let me upload a photo so you can judge the level of obstruction for yourself). Dining; breakfast was very good and we always ate it in the Lido cafe (I think you could also go to main dining room). I like healthy breakfasts and wasn't disappointed as there were a lot of tasty options including birchers, smoothies, yoghurts, fruit, as well as the usual eggs, sausages, beans, bacon (for less health conscious people). I was very happy with the variety of juice on offer, and had fresh carrot juice almost every day - while other cruise lines have also offered variety of juice, other than fresh orange, it's always been from the carton, so this was a step up for me. Lunch was also very good with a reasonable variety of food, and different things served each day so we didn't get fed up with the same thing, and again we opted to eat lunch in the Lido cafe. Dinner was reasonable to excellent - the three courses in the main dining room were to a good standard, we also ate in both of the specialty restaurants (at no extra charge) and found them both (Japanese & Italian) excellent even though I don't eat sushi (luckily there were other options at the Japanese restaurant). The Italian restaurant Prego was my favourite though, and it's the first time I've ever been served soup within a bowl made of bread (maybe I've led to sheltered a life!). Besides these dining options there are also other smaller venues where you can grab a sandwich, burger, or cakes depending on your fancy - these places were never crowded. As Crystal is all inclusive, all drinks are free unless you order something really special (I'm not sure what as I ordered anything I liked and was never charged). There are a number of bars you can get drinks from (also available when dining or lounging by pool) and staff are very available to take your order and will even walk to a different bar for you if the one your at doesn't make that kind of drink. As well as my juices I had a number of cocktails, mocktails, beers, wines, and penacolada's (apology for the spelling?!), and I saw a lot of other passengers enjoying copious amounts of what looked like champagne. Entertainment was low key, the main show entertainers were really good performers though they are only on for 45 minutes a night and generally do a bit of singing and dancing which while excellent, I would have liked to see a proper full musical play (even a mini one) instead of just excerpts of musical plays. That said though, it was good enough to go back to each night as they did mix\change it up so it didn't get repetitive. There was also a magician on board however you needed to book to see him which we didn't so I can't whinge about that as my own fault. The rest of the entertainment consisted of people playing piano, some big band playing, some jazz, and a bit of pop music from different era's - nice and pleasant to listen to while having a drink but all fairly laid back. Activities consisted of some lectures (mostly UK monarchy and WWII), knitting / needlework classes, how to use your ipad, and some other things I can't recall. All said and done, there wasn't much going on and to be honest given the age demographic I don't think there was a lot of demand for much to be going on. For myself this was a bit disappointing but I can't complain too much as I knew the activities would likely be tailored towards the older generation. For information, about 95% of guests are probably in bed by 10 pm - the upside is you'll always find a seat and ready waiters in any bar around the ship!! In fact I think a lot of the staff seemed underused so it really was very quick service in all respects no matter what the time of day. Our ports of call were; Tilbury (we live in London so no point discussing this), Honfleur, St Peter's Port, St Malo, and Bordeaux. Honfleur was quaint and lovely, St Malo was amazing and I wish we could have stayed overnight (as well as going around the city we also went swimming in the sea). St Peter's Port was a bit boring but perhaps that's because I'm British and it wasn't so novel to me as I may be to an American. We got the plane back to UK from Bordeaux so can't comment on it - though I have stayed there a week once in a chateau which was refreshing. The age demographic is slightly older than other cruises we've been on, I'd say 97% of passengers were over 60, I'd guess the average may be around 70. That said they certainly weren't geriatric and there were almost no zimerframes in sight, they were mostly pleasant to talk to - even the ones voting for Donald Trump. Although we are in our 30's we were looking for a laid back \ lazy holiday as our last one was a tour of Iceland in a rented motorhome followed by a week in New York, so we were not objectionable to the pace of life on board as we felt like being less active than our previous holiday. The library was well stocked with DVDs including some very recent releases. There was also a cinema on board though we didn't take the opportunity to use it. Worth a mention is that this is the first cruise where they didn't try and sell us art, jewellery, or pointless crap they we don't want and don't need, in fact the shops were barely open at all - quite refreshing! All in all, a good cruise, and recommended to those who want a laid back holiday and be able to order whatever food and drink they like without thinking about the cost or tipping. I would go again if in a similar mood and I liked the ports of call. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this cruise as one of our group had done a Crystal cruise before and always considered it a cut above the rest. There were many ways in which this was an excellent cruise from a first-rate company but we are still not sure if we ... Read More
We chose this cruise as one of our group had done a Crystal cruise before and always considered it a cut above the rest. There were many ways in which this was an excellent cruise from a first-rate company but we are still not sure if we prefer Crystal to the Grill class on Cunard or vice versa. The jury is out. What we liked on Crystal: a beautiful ship with some very relaxing indoor and outdoor areas- particularly attractive were the Palm Court lounge, the pool area and the glass-covered area; very well-motivated and pleasant staff in all areas ensure attentive service at all times; high quality cabins with good bathroom facilities (half-tub) and very good sound-proofing; superb library with wide-ranging stock of books/ dvds/ games; impressive standard of speakers and enrichment activities; lots of space so that we never felt crowded. The dining was very good but probably not of the same standard as the Grill class, although it was wonderful to have access to drinks without further payment. One disappointment was that the cafeteria, the Lido, was frequently open for very restricted hours and so we had to go to the Trident grill (hamburgers and pizza) after a morning trip rather than having a proper lunch. Apart from the Dining Room, there are three speciality options- Prego (Italian), Silk Road (Thai) and a sushi bar. We only tried Prego. This was a good alternative to the main Dining Room, although with a relatively limited selection of options. Normally passengers get two 'free' trips to a speciality restaurant but on this cruise we had four each, which was generous. The shore excursions organised by the company were expensive, especially with the exchange rate, and they ranged from the superb to the very disappointing. There was always a shuttle to the centre or (London) the nearest station. The ports were interesting, as follows: - St Peter Port: beautiful destination with the possibility of taking a 91 or 92 bus around the island for a £1 tour; - Waterford: much better than expected: within a short walk of the drop-off point, we found the Waterford Crystal factory (worth a tour), the Viking museum, the superb Medieval Museum and the Georgian Palace. - Dublin: two days here which allowed us to do the hop on, hop off bus on one day and a locally-sourced trip to Malahide Castle and then the coat on the second day (all the open tour bus companies seem to do this trip). We did a ship's tour to an Irish folk evening on the first night. This was horrendous- mass catering (break in polythene wrapper), boorish singing and only about 10 minutes of dancing. -Llverpool: very interesting to visit different quarters of the city from the shore line; a very warm welcome from the shore staff and volunteers here. - Belfast: we took a ship-organised trip to the Giants' Causeway which was very well organised but others took the shuttle in to town and then a bus/ taxi to the Titanic museum. - Isle of Skye: we did a ship's tour of the island, which was interesting; with hindsight, would have taken a local bus and/or tour to the archaeological sites. - Kirkwall: there is plenty to see in this small town (cathedral, visitors' centre, palace, wireless museum and good shops) or there is the possibility of going round the island to see wartime sites. - Edinburgh: we docked at Rosyth and it was a long trip in to the centre of the city. Had two days here and visited Britannia on our own by local bus on the first day and then did a ship's excursion to Scone Palace/ Dunfermline Abbey which was very badly organised. A local group of musicians and dancers did an excellent show on board on the first night. - London: a day from Tilbury. Took the train to Fenchurch street (easy 45 minute journey) and then went to Buckingham Palace. Shuttle bus from the ship to the station. This was a very port-heavy trip which some on board found tiring. The other passengers are mostly American with a number of guests from Japan, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. There were very few British guests, presumably because of the destinations. Passengers were mostly 50+ I would say and there were hardly any children/ families on board, again perhaps due to the destination. Read Less
41 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
I just returned from the Grand Britannia cruise with my mom, sister and daughter. We had adjoining staterooms. Here are my thoughts: The good: Overall food quality was very good in all venues. We loved Prego and Silk Road, liked the ... Read More
I just returned from the Grand Britannia cruise with my mom, sister and daughter. We had adjoining staterooms. Here are my thoughts: The good: Overall food quality was very good in all venues. We loved Prego and Silk Road, liked the MDR, liked Lido, and liked Trident. We got room service breakfast several times and that was also good. And we had WONDERFUL service in the MDR and in Prego, very fun, warm, and caring servers (Nikola and Stanko in the MDR). We also loved the Avenue Bar and their bartenders. We liked the overall itinerary as well, circling the UK. The bad: I am in the camp of those who feel the veranda staterooms are cramped and very worn. The "couch" was stained, the carpet coming up by the veranda door, the chair ripped, the throw pillows disgusting, and the design of the lights in the headboard absurd when the beds are twinned. The veranda was dirty and sticky (they cleaned it our last day). The cabins were also not wonderfully cleaned, with extraneous hair and an old shampoo bottle greeting us at the start. Not fun. Crystal's website is also horribly designed and primitive, with very unreliable functionality on mobile. Hello, 20th century UI! 1995 called and they want their systems back. The ugly: Five things really made me dislike this cruise. First, the ports used by Crystal for London, Dublin, and Edinburgh really made any kind of immersive experience in those cities impossible to achieve, given the horrible shuttles employed. I sat on the Edinburgh shuttle for over an hour and a half one day, and only part of that was due to traffic. Even more fun, I sat on a bus for the final day's shore excursion (and there were only FOUR choices on that day) for more than FIVE HOURS due to traffic from the stupid location Crystal used. Even Dublin was disappointing as no shuttles ran after 8 PM so it was difficult to stay late in the city. The combination of horrible docking locations and abysmal shuttle services really cut into my enjoyment of the cruise. Second, I made spa appointments very early on for all of us, but the experience I had in the spa is the worst I've ever had in a spa due to cleanliness. There's only one bathroom in the changing room. When I entered, it was full of diarrhea and blood, completely disgusting and very smelly. Bloody toilet paper was in the trash can. All the other trash cans were overflowing as well, and cast-off robes and slippers were on the bench. I brought this to the attention of my provider and they were going to clean it up, but when I finished my service (also really disappointing because the massage table was ancient and could not be adjusted for the proper angle for my neck) things had been only slightly cleaned (the smell still lingered). I took a shower and there were HUGE clumps of hair in the one shower where the tap worked. UGH. If you're going to have a spa with prices like this and a tiny changing room, you MUST keep it FLAWLESSLY clean. Otherwise, yuck, yuck, yuck. Third, I am mid-fifties and I like technology. The internet connection available on this cruise was AWFUL. The wifi did not work more than it did work, and even the wireless data was not available for entire days at a time. I have to occasionally look in at work when away and there were days when I could not. I am not cruising again until this problem is fixed. Fourth, I think $50 for the jpeg of pictures purchased is outrageous given the cost of the printed pictures themselves. Those flash drives cost 50 cents, so this is a markup of what, 10000%? The photographers were good but the price overall, even on prints, is beyond gouging. Finally, the lack of any evaluation of shore excursions made it difficult to choose good ones. While we had great fun with, for example, the Belfast Food Tour, other excursions ranged from disappointing to excruciating. Other cruise companies provide an opportunity to rate the shore excursions publicly to help guide one's choices (and I would assume to help the cruise company offer the best of them). The shore excursion staff was not even interested in my verbal feedback. One got the impression that some of the staff (shore ex and front desk) felt they were babysitting spoiled kindergartners, that they had heard this all before and were listening only because they had to (indeed, one person said, "I have heard this complaint many times before." Excuse me? If you have heard it many times before why did Crystal not change things?). Overall, while the dining staff was very good, I am left with a huge feeling of fundamental disrespect for passengers (particularly A and B category passengers). Crystal is expanding like mad, but I recommend they look again at their core competencies. Good food and great wait staff is only going to get the line so far. I do not plan to cruise Crystal again (I had a much better experience last year on both Silversea and Seabourn). PS Ironically, when I tried to do Crystal's followup survey on my iPhone it failed and crashed. So Crystal, here is your feedback. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
we had sailed crystal three years ago and had had a good experience. also, the itinerary seemed different, so we decided to try it again. the service was excellent, the cabin size was great, and each of the ports was new to us, so it ... Read More
we had sailed crystal three years ago and had had a good experience. also, the itinerary seemed different, so we decided to try it again. the service was excellent, the cabin size was great, and each of the ports was new to us, so it made for an interesting trip. however, would have liked one more sea day as it was a port heavy cruise. the ruby bamboo trio and Erika in palm court, as well as Marissa in the main dining room deserve a special mention for making a good trip, great. good food, great company, amazing ports, lots to do on sea days, huge cabins, quiet corners to curl up with a book from the amazing library, a movie theater showing new releases, entertainment every night, a cigar lounge with a great variety of single malts..... seriously, everything we expect from a crystal cruise, so we're looking forward to our next one! Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We are well 'crystallized' but found this cruise below expectations. Embarkation was well organized although no one especially greets or escorts you once you step on board. Our cabin was well maintained and serviced although our ... Read More
We are well 'crystallized' but found this cruise below expectations. Embarkation was well organized although no one especially greets or escorts you once you step on board. Our cabin was well maintained and serviced although our stewardess never introduced herself and we never exchanged a word with her. Odd ! Many of the crew were service oriented but they seemed less related than previously. Despite this being a 14 day cruise there was little to no effort to learn names. What were the negatives for us? -Our room service breakfast was interesting...containing items we didn't order or omitting some we did -We had to chase (via LA) gifts we had received. -The MDR was closed for lunch in several ports, a somewhat new & annoying policy..No, everyone does not get off in every port 13 days in a row. -The 7pm shows for 2nd seating interfere with pre dinner relaxation. -The CD didn't t seem to chat with passengers..no banter pre show -The Internet was mostly non functional...no explanations offered. -Why Tilbury, docked for the last day...far from London..only those tours offered...no place to even walk around..and a long trip to Heathrow. -They have become a different product with teeth whitening, acupuncture, non surgical facial injections being pushed. Not very cruise-like. -The emphasis on remaining in port overnight sounds better than it is since transport into the city is often challenging. It was 45 minutes into Edinburgh. On a positive note..cuisine was of good quality and nicely prepared. The Lido has wonderful salad offerings but the steam containers remind me of a cafeteria . All of the folks who have remarked that it is impossible to carry your own plate, would not have said it this cruise. Prego was excellent and Silk Road also. We had excellent table service at dinner from Diogo & Eleza as well as sommelier Bogdan. Frankly, disappointing and no longer glittery. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2016
This was our first cruise and certainly will,not be our last. Crystal exceeded all of our expectations we had a marvelous time. The food, wine, our cabin, the steward were all first rate. We enjoyed the lectures and the entertainment ... Read More
This was our first cruise and certainly will,not be our last. Crystal exceeded all of our expectations we had a marvelous time. The food, wine, our cabin, the steward were all first rate. We enjoyed the lectures and the entertainment as well as the casino. I would recommend you book your excursions through them as they are very organized and helpful. We booked the dog sledding excursion on the glacier unfortunately it was cancelled because the fog was so bad the helicopter could not fly we were disappointed but crystal was able to get me a seat on a glacier walking tour that was great. We also booked a tour on a sea plane to see the fjords- while the scenery is beautiful it's a lot of flying around and seeing the same thing. Also the plane is very small if you are the person stuck in the back it is a very uncomfortable seat. On this tour the plane is supposed to land in the water and take off again - we could not land due to engine issues although we were never in any danger . We discussed the issue with the operator who then discussed it with the crystal a full refund was credited to our account within an hour of returning to the ship- could not have asked for better service. Both embarking and disembarking was super efficient. We had a cabin on the 11 deck with a balcony - we spent hours on the balcony I had many wonderful spa treatments. Not a negative to say go enjoy the beauty that's alska Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Relaxing, luxurious, fun, friendly, warm are just a few of the words to describe the great time we had onboard this ship. The ports were great (even though the weather didn't cooperate as much as we would have liked), but the most ... Read More
Relaxing, luxurious, fun, friendly, warm are just a few of the words to describe the great time we had onboard this ship. The ports were great (even though the weather didn't cooperate as much as we would have liked), but the most memorable part of our cruise was the time we had onboard the ship. From the time we embarked in Stockholm, to the time we left Berlin (we did the 3 day post excursion), the staff couldn't have been friendlier of more accommodating. I don't know how they remember everyone's name but it seems like they do. My wife and I made a connection with the cruise staff starting with our room attendant, and continuing to the different eating rooms staff, spa staff, front desk staff, and even the casino staff were a delight (hard to say this when you lose money and still say you had a great time). We have been on several cruises (more than a dozen) on different lines and typically have a very good time, but Crystal is clearly a cut above the others in the way they treat you, the food they serve, entertainment (we listened to a lecture by a White House correspondent for the US News and World Report that was extremely interesting. Also, the tour we took in Berlin really opened my eyes to the history of that city. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My husband and I were traveling as a couple to celebrate our 20th anniversary. I booked with Crystal cruises because in my travel magazines, it has been rated a top cruise line. We were expecting a luxurious staterooms and a ship that ... Read More
My husband and I were traveling as a couple to celebrate our 20th anniversary. I booked with Crystal cruises because in my travel magazines, it has been rated a top cruise line. We were expecting a luxurious staterooms and a ship that looked like it had undergone a major restoration, like I had read. We expected the ship to be modernized and opulant. I can't relate how disappointed we are that we picked this cruise line. My husband and I are in our mid 40's. We have cruised Disney, Royal Caribbean's newest ships, and a couple celebrity cruises. Crystal Symphony was the biggest let down ever... Our itinerary was from Copenhagen to Stockholm. We spent a couple of days in Copenhagen, at the beautiful Hotel D'Angleterre --- great review from me on trip advisor. Copenhagen is a wonderful city. We had expectations that going from a 5 star hotel in Copenhagen to a modernized and restored Crystal ship would be an effortless transition. Unfortunately, not. The common areas of the ship were nice, but I was expecting so much more from Crystal cruises. The embarkation was very smooth, and it was probably the most organized and expedited embarkation ever! The ship's common areas didn't wow me at all. The common areas were nice, but still looked worn to me. I like the size of the ship, it felt cozy, and you weren't bumping into people. We booked a deluxe room with verandah. The room was a bit smaller than on other ship's we had been on in that category, but I was told to expect that. The room size did not bother me. The bathroom was a good size with double sinks, and tub/shower. Crystal should be ashamed of themselves for charging $12,000 for two people, for a dated and awfully decorated stateroom. The wood and cabinetry are original from 20 years ago. The hardware is worn. The bathroom decor was awful. They couldn't get our beds to fit together properly. After the third attempt, we decided to stop asking. The mattresses were ok, and you get a nice pillow menu. Crystal made out like bandits, taking our $12K. We paid for a dated and awful looking stateroom, with the exception of a leather couch and a fancy mirror. Still angry and stammering obscenities under my breath on that one! The dining experience was very nice. We had the dining by reservation. They had to switch us around a couple of times, so our waiters were switched up. We had a bit better service with our original wait staff, but still a good experience. The buffet in the morning is very good, but after about the 7th day, it all looked the same. The food was very good. We ate everywhere on the ship. It is a bit more elevated than a Disney or Royal Caribbean. Dining, buffet, grill... All excellent service and we couldn't be happier. Wait staff was very accommodating! Unfortunately, the service fell short with our stateroom attendant. We found her to be very lazy: our drinking glasses were not changed out daily, the linens were stained, bathroom cabinets were not wiped down from the previous occupant, nor were they during our stay. By about the 6th day, we had to make a list for our attendant to tend to. I went to the spa almost every day. The facilities are very nice, and a good spa menu. I tried acupuncture for the first time. Dr. Kara is excellent -- I bought a package of 5. (The spa usually carries Elemis products, and they have added another generic brand that I didn't like, and returned. Stick with the Elemis.) When we booked this cruise, I was aware of the itinerary, and did check out some of the places on line. They are really reaching with a couple of the ports: Karlskrona, Klaipeda, and Mariehamn. These places were not interesting at all, and had nothing to offer cruisers. We felt it was a wasted day for us, and were very disappointed that the ship docked in these places. St. Petersburg --- we were in port for 3 days. My agent at the time told me that a visa was not necessary. Well, it is. Get one. It gives you more freedom to get off the ship and explore on your own, or explore with a Crystal excursion. Our St. Petersburg tour was excellent! The guide was excellent and very knowledgable. The lunch was extremely disappointing: The excursion included lunch. Apparently it was catered out by another company. A dining hall was rented out and lunch was served in the area. This was not a restaurant and you could not order off a menu. Instead, you were served powdered potatoes, and some sort of mystery meat in a gravy sauce. It was like dog food, and I never touched my plate. I asked for another option, and was given rice with some vegetables that I was allergic to. We did make guest relations aware of this experience, but were met with a smiling face and an empty apology. Stockholm was an overnight. That was one of our best days. It was nice to be able to move on and off the ship freely. Stockholm is an interesting city and easy to get around. We couldn't wait to get off the ship at this point. We are used to staying at 5-star properties, and our bar is high. We had a trip booked with Crystal for 2017, that we booked before we left for this cruise, which we are cancelling. My husband and I are young, active and independent. We have realized it is best that we explore larger European cities on our own, and do not do well being contained on a ship with a regimented itinerary. Cruising is subjective. A lot of people swear by Crystal cruise line and love it. We unfortunately had a negative experience, and it didn't work for us. We feel like the price for traveling on a ship with dated stateroom cabins needs to be urgently reevaluated. Definitely a poor value for what you are getting, even though there were some positive highlights to the cruise line. Cheers... Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our first cruise with Crystal and was a short 'try-out' before trying something more ambitious. I don't think it would be possible (for me at least) to cruise without a few niggles, but in this case they were very ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Crystal and was a short 'try-out' before trying something more ambitious. I don't think it would be possible (for me at least) to cruise without a few niggles, but in this case they were very few and far between. The only negative worth mentioning is that I felt the decor, both in our suite and in some areas of the ship, were somewhat dated. The positives far outweighed this single criticism and we shall certainly cruise with Crystal again. We found the food to be generally excellent. Both specialty restaurants, Silk Road and Prego, were outstanding. We were very pleasantly surprised at the high standard and variety of the entertainment in particular, but also the enrichment options available. We didn't get to try all of these, but those we did (the onboard speakers and golf pro) were excellent. Service throughout the ship was exemplary and the general ambience onboard very enjoyable.. There was an interesting selection of excursions which were well executed and organised. The suite was comfortable and well-maintained, although perhaps a little dated. The bed was very, very comfortable as were the quality bed linens and pillows. All in all, a very enjoyable cruise experience and one we expect to repeat. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This is my second trip with Crystal. I arrived in London the day before embarkation and enjoyed seeing the city. On this occasion I was unable to use the arranged transfer to the ship as I did not receive the information about where and ... Read More
This is my second trip with Crystal. I arrived in London the day before embarkation and enjoyed seeing the city. On this occasion I was unable to use the arranged transfer to the ship as I did not receive the information about where and when to be ready. Instead the friend who took me around London took me to the port and I was able to board. The embarkation was extremely easy and straight forward. Crystal Symphony is beautiful and it was lovely to be greeted left and right by the staff who remembered me from my previous trip. As on the previous occasion, this treatment continued until I retrieved my luggage for check-in at the airport in Copenhagen. The food in the main dining room was specially good, and the friendliness and charm of the staff made it perfect. I enjoyed dining at Prego and Silk Road and on this occasion I attended the Vintage Room dinner. That event was wonderful, and I specially enjoyed the wine selections. The entertainment venues on this trip included a couple of performances I had enjoyed before and new ones, two of which I was able to attend. The performance by Gregory, the violinist, was remarkable. The performer was very charming as well as being supremely talented, and his music selection ranged from Argentine tango to gypsy ballads. It was a wonderful performance. I can say the same about the performance Imagine. The part where the two performers spun together within the confines of a large hoop/circle frame was incredible and visually beautiful. The excursions I joined on this itinerary were for the most part very enjoyable. My excursion to Merdo Island in Arendal was fabulous - the island is beautiful, as was the route to get to it, and the excursion guide was very funny and knowledgeable. The volunteer excursion in Amsterdam proved to be both satisfying and actually fun, which is a surprise seeing as it was physically trying in unexpected ways. It should not have been unexpected, though, but that was my own fault and not the cruise line's. The one excursion which was not what I expected was the one to the west coast islands, and that was because it was very rushed and did not provide enough time to really see the beautiful places we visited. That guide was, as I have come to expect from Crystal, extremely well-versed in the history of the area. There are just two particulars that I do wish had been different on this itinerary. The first was that though the number of passengers on this trip was slightly less than that of the previous trip, the ship seemed crowded, and I suspect this was because of the presence of much younger travelers and children. I do not enjoy traveling with younger travelers but I do not feel this should have made it as annoying as it turned out to be. I did wish to spend time in Palm Court reading but I could hear the screaming of children coming from the adjacent Waves, the teen's activity room. The time I spent by the pool was marred by the screaming of children in the pool. There were a few more incidents where the younger travelers made their presence known. I do wish that either the accompanying parents had been more attentive or that I had chosen an itinerary earlier in the year, as with my previous trip. On that occasion I saw only a few toddlers and one teenager. The second particular was, as with the previous trip, the planning of the events. Some events, such as the Vintage Room dinner, were set and when other events were scheduled at the same time, I could not change my plans and had to miss those other events. I would very much appreciate having events scheduled earlier or receiving earlier notice of the schedules. Having said all of this, I will travel with Crystal again. The staff, the excursions and the service make it worth it for me. 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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