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While most reviewers give the Crystal Symphony an excellent or very good rating, we felt it was, at best, average. Not up to the standards of the Seabourne, Regent or other luxury cruise lines. The "positives" were that the boat had been refurbished, the crew was helpful and the entertainment was very good. On the negative side, the trip was expensive and "all-inclusive" yet they always seemed to be cutting corners and there were many extras. Specifically, 1) The food was below par. We asked and they said they that load it all at the beginning so after 2-3 days, fish, etc. is frozen. And it tasted that way. When I asked why there weren't any New Zealand mussels (we were in New Zealand) the unbelievable answer was that having them would raise expectations on other Crystal cruises when they would not be available. 2) Dining times were not convenient. The dining room closed for breakfast at 9 a.m. and also closed too early at lunch. When I asked one day what time the buffet closed, I was told "10:30." I got there at 10:17 and all of the food had been cleared. Snacks at the cocktail hour were lousy. At the grill area, after two days of potato soup as the only soup option, it was changed. I asked "what happened?" The answer was "people complained." 3) Most annoying were the daily tours, which were definitely not part of "all-inclusive". They charged 2-3 times the rate I was able to get by going direct on the internet. That was time consuming and shouldn't have been necessary. For example, they had the nerve to offer a helicopter tour of the White Island volcano for $1,429 per person. I found a similar one for $515 (still very expensive but, but at $1429 we wouldn't have gone). Other annoyances were having to pay for internet (they didn't even let employees, who were away from their families for months at a time have any free access to the internet, from what an employee told me.). A 15 minute visit to the doctor for the two of us came to $280. there was no warning of any charge until the bill arrived a few hours later. I could go on, but you get the idea... If we go Crystal again, some internet usage is free, but that isn't going to happen.

I have to dissent on this one

Crystal Symphony Cruise Review by sandlarr

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
While most reviewers give the Crystal Symphony an excellent or very good rating, we felt it was, at best, average. Not up to the standards of the Seabourne, Regent or other luxury cruise lines. The "positives" were that the boat had been refurbished, the crew was helpful and the entertainment was very good. On the negative side, the trip was expensive and "all-inclusive" yet they always seemed to be cutting corners and there were many extras.
Specifically, 1) The food was below par. We asked and they said they that load it all at the beginning so after 2-3 days, fish, etc. is frozen. And it tasted that way. When I asked why there weren't any New Zealand mussels (we were in New Zealand) the unbelievable answer was that having them would raise expectations on other Crystal cruises when they would not be available. 2) Dining times were not convenient. The dining room closed for breakfast at 9 a.m. and also closed too early at lunch. When I asked one day what time the buffet closed, I was told "10:30." I got there at 10:17 and all of the food had been cleared. Snacks at the cocktail hour were lousy. At the grill area, after two days of potato soup as the only soup option, it was changed. I asked "what happened?" The answer was "people complained." 3) Most annoying were the daily tours, which were definitely not part of "all-inclusive". They charged 2-3 times the rate I was able to get by going direct on the internet. That was time consuming and shouldn't have been necessary. For example, they had the nerve to offer a helicopter tour of the White Island volcano for $1,429 per person. I found a similar one for $515 (still very expensive but, but at $1429 we wouldn't have gone). Other annoyances were having to pay for internet (they didn't even let employees, who were away from their families for months at a time have any free access to the internet, from what an employee told me.). A 15 minute visit to the doctor for the two of us came to $280. there was no warning of any charge until the bill arrived a few hours later.
I could go on, but you get the idea... If we go Crystal again, some internet usage is free, but that isn't going to happen.
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