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Review of Joie De Canada, September 20-27, 2015, 7 day trip on Crystal Symphony Quick overview of what others might mention elsewhere: Embarkation: Took our luggage, checked our passports, ran us through the security scanners, we took the sailaway picture, and then proceeded to the gangway. Promptly ran into people coming off the ship in an area only about 3 feet wide. We had luggage, they didn’t: made for difficult maneuvering. Traffic control could have been better. Went to midship lounge to obtain keycard. Room was ready as advertised promptly at 3 pm. Ports of Call: Awesome weather all 7 days of the cruise. Saguenay River: Lovely view of the Madonna statue. Others said they saw beluga whales (we didn’t see them. It would have been nice if that was announced over the PA). Sept-Iles: A waste of time. The running joke on board was that the best place to visit was the Walmart. Magdalen Islands: Picturesque. Took the Tastes tour: nice enough, although the scallops visit was not working the day we went. Smoked herring part of the tour was interesting. Don’t let anyone tell you that they give you enough for lunch at the different stops (beer, cheese, smoked herring, etc). They don’t. Eat lunch before you go. St Pierre/Miquelon: Picturesque. Check out the walk to the top of the hill (number 8 on the guide to the Fort) to get a great view of the entire area. The walk out to the light house on the promenade is quite interesting but very narrow – have a care. Once at the light house itself, check out the embedded cannon right next to the front step. Quebec: the highlight of the cruise. St Anne’s cathedral and the Montmorency Falls are absolute musts. The funicular is not worth it – take the steps if you are able. Disembarkation: we were travelling by car (8 hours from New Jersey!) so did not have to wait for a group. We got off with our hand luggage, found our color coded luggage easily, were barraged with queries as to whether we needed a porter/help, then made our way back to our car that was parked at the pier. No fuss, no crowds. We were surprised that we did not have to pay parking fees. Don’t know if that is the case world wide, but it was a nice touch here. What was in our room: Deluxe picture window. Have heard many statements that the staterooms are tiny. We did not feel any big difference between this room and others of the same type we have had on HAL/RCCL/Princess/etc. in terms of size. Beautiful room, high tech, ENORMOUS (for a cruise ship) bathroom with 2 sinks and a tub. All very comfortable with a lot of amenities: Lumbar pillows on couch More drawers/shelves than we knew what to do with Adjustable height table Extra lights around the mirror Bottle opener Night light Hooks on wall/closet door Personal reading lights High tech door bell LOTS of hangers (leave yours at home) Charging station for electronics (tablet/mobile phone) Shoe horn Umbrella Clothes brush Hairdryers (2) Qtips Makeup Wipes Kimonos and Robes Slippers Pillow menu Extra blankets Shoe polish Lighted closet Plastic wallets for room key/ship map Beach bag Shampoo/conditioner/soap/body wash/lotion Shower cap Emergency sewing kit Ice bucket, tongs, glasses Refrigerator filled with soft drinks, water, beer Safe Flowers Wear and tear: Very little, which is impressive for her age. 12th floor outside deck covering was somewhat worn, a few spots of rust under the floor above us, the bathroom tiles were getting rubbed in places. Tenders could use a little fixing up. Otherwise, truly spotless and immaculate. What they could do better, in no particular order: Luggage tags are paper chip/chintzy Gangplank angles were sometimes alarming (we are in our 50s and love to hike, so normally have no mobility problems). This seemed to be due to tides. Stateroom temperature control was difficult Daytime activities for sea days were minimal Main Dining Room service was very inconsistent. We had different waiters and tables every night. Some wait staff were absolutely fantastic, others occasionally forgot to bring us requested items (one course went missing, petit fours did not show up another night, crumbs not removed, tea was late) Crystal port support personnel should be familiar with parking/toll procedures Would like to have access to final charges/account online (wifi or TV) rather than getting a printout from the front desk. Would like to have access to downloadable menus from the cruise (wifi) Would like to have access to downloadable activity list from the cruise (wifi) Would like to have carrot/celery sticks at Bistro Would like to see butter mints and breadpudding with vanilla sauce. They do provide candied ginger and hard mints after the meal in the MDR though. Tissues by the bed, not just in the bathroom Had trouble getting time in the bridge rooms as they were nearly always busy this trip. DH and I like to play card/board games (Settlers of Catan, Dominion, etc not Monopoly!) and had trouble finding a large enough table. No Crystal magnets in Apropos for my refrigerator (Ja, I am one of THOSE people) Elemis products were in the public restrooms, Aveda were in our bathrooms. Both were horrible on our skin. Very drying. DH and I were both happy I brought a bar of Dove soap from home. We would like to see Crystal do Bermuda We would have liked a crash course in French (or at least some of the things we might see/hear such as “Sortie” “Ouverte” “Ferme”) on this ship prior to visiting some of the ports. What we liked, in no particular order: The Library. Great selection of CDs, take away puzzles (Sudoku/crossword puzzles) 1 hour free wifi per person per day, accumulatable Our bathroom Minimal public address announcements (no shore excursion, no disembarkation, it was nice and quiet!) THE FOOD: O.M.G. Truly scrumptious, beautifully presented Service everywhere else but the MDR. Please say hello to Tirso for us if you see him. In general, most of the crew couldn’t do enough for you. We felt very pampered. Had a great stewardess too (Hi Jelena!!) The shows. World class. No lines, no crowds, no pushing and shoving, no nickel/diming for everything No kids running wild, no apparent drunks (even with all the accessible alcohol which is included in the price of the cruise), sophisticated ambience Blankets on decks 11 and 12 for chilly weather This trip/ship is best for relaxation. This is not a ship for frenetic activities. If you want that or a hopping night life, use RCCL or Carnival. This is a floating 5 star hotel with awesome food and service, not a destination resort. Average age is about 70, with 1/3 of the passenger population in 50/60 range, 2/3 of population was American, 1/3 Canadian, with some small international smatterings. Most are educated, well travelled, well dressed (more than half of men wore jackets/suits to dinner every night, most women were dressy), well mannered. Would we take this ship/line again?: In an eyeblink, but only for itineraries with minimal sea days.

Review of Joie De Canada

Crystal Symphony Cruise Review by cbhenry8

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2015
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom with Large Picture Window
Review of Joie De Canada, September 20-27, 2015, 7 day trip on Crystal Symphony

Quick overview of what others might mention elsewhere:

Embarkation: Took our luggage, checked our passports, ran us through the security scanners, we took the sailaway picture, and then proceeded to the gangway. Promptly ran into people coming off the ship in an area only about 3 feet wide. We had luggage, they didn’t: made for difficult maneuvering. Traffic control could have been better. Went to midship lounge to obtain keycard. Room was ready as advertised promptly at 3 pm.

Ports of Call: Awesome weather all 7 days of the cruise.

Saguenay River: Lovely view of the Madonna statue. Others said they saw beluga whales (we didn’t see them. It would have been nice if that was announced over the PA).

Sept-Iles: A waste of time. The running joke on board was that the best place to visit was the Walmart.

Magdalen Islands: Picturesque. Took the Tastes tour: nice enough, although the scallops visit was not working the day we went. Smoked herring part of the tour was interesting. Don’t let anyone tell you that they give you enough for lunch at the different stops (beer, cheese, smoked herring, etc). They don’t. Eat lunch before you go.

St Pierre/Miquelon: Picturesque. Check out the walk to the top of the hill (number 8 on the guide to the Fort) to get a great view of the entire area. The walk out to the light house on the promenade is quite interesting but very narrow – have a care. Once at the light house itself, check out the embedded cannon right next to the front step.

Quebec: the highlight of the cruise. St Anne’s cathedral and the Montmorency Falls are absolute musts. The funicular is not worth it – take the steps if you are able.

Disembarkation: we were travelling by car (8 hours from New Jersey!) so did not have to wait for a group. We got off with our hand luggage, found our color coded luggage easily, were barraged with queries as to whether we needed a porter/help, then made our way back to our car that was parked at the pier. No fuss, no crowds. We were surprised that we did not have to pay parking fees. Don’t know if that is the case world wide, but it was a nice touch here.

What was in our room: Deluxe picture window. Have heard many statements that the staterooms are tiny. We did not feel any big difference between this room and others of the same type we have had on HAL/RCCL/Princess/etc. in terms of size. Beautiful room, high tech, ENORMOUS (for a cruise ship) bathroom with 2 sinks and a tub. All very comfortable with a lot of amenities:

Lumbar pillows on couch
More drawers/shelves than we knew what to do with
Adjustable height table
Extra lights around the mirror
Bottle opener
Night light
Hooks on wall/closet door
Personal reading lights
High tech door bell
LOTS of hangers (leave yours at home)
Charging station for electronics (tablet/mobile phone)
Shoe horn
Umbrella
Clothes brush
Hairdryers (2)
Qtips
Makeup Wipes
Kimonos and Robes
Slippers
Pillow menu
Extra blankets
Shoe polish
Lighted closet
Plastic wallets for room key/ship map
Beach bag
Shampoo/conditioner/soap/body wash/lotion
Shower cap
Emergency sewing kit
Ice bucket, tongs, glasses
Refrigerator filled with soft drinks, water, beer
Safe
Flowers

Wear and tear: Very little, which is impressive for her age. 12th floor outside deck covering was somewhat worn, a few spots of rust under the floor above us, the bathroom tiles were getting rubbed in places. Tenders could use a little fixing up. Otherwise, truly spotless and immaculate.

What they could do better, in no particular order:

Luggage tags are paper chip/chintzy

Gangplank angles were sometimes alarming (we are in our 50s and love to hike, so normally have no mobility problems). This seemed to be due to tides.

Stateroom temperature control was difficult

Daytime activities for sea days were minimal

Main Dining Room service was very inconsistent. We had different waiters and tables every night. Some wait staff were absolutely fantastic, others occasionally forgot to bring us requested items (one course went missing, petit fours did not show up another night, crumbs not removed, tea was late)

Crystal port support personnel should be familiar with parking/toll procedures

Would like to have access to final charges/account online (wifi or TV) rather than getting a printout from the front desk.

Would like to have access to downloadable menus from the cruise (wifi)

Would like to have access to downloadable activity list from the cruise (wifi)

Would like to have carrot/celery sticks at Bistro

Would like to see butter mints and breadpudding with vanilla sauce. They do provide candied ginger and hard mints after the meal in the MDR though.

Tissues by the bed, not just in the bathroom

Had trouble getting time in the bridge rooms as they were nearly always busy this trip. DH and I like to play card/board games (Settlers of Catan, Dominion, etc not Monopoly!) and had trouble finding a large enough table.

No Crystal magnets in Apropos for my refrigerator (Ja, I am one of THOSE people)

Elemis products were in the public restrooms, Aveda were in our bathrooms. Both were horrible on our skin. Very drying. DH and I were both happy I brought a bar of Dove soap from home.

We would like to see Crystal do Bermuda

We would have liked a crash course in French (or at least some of the things we might see/hear such as “Sortie” “Ouverte” “Ferme”) on this ship prior to visiting some of the ports.

What we liked, in no particular order:

The Library. Great selection of CDs, take away puzzles (Sudoku/crossword puzzles)

1 hour free wifi per person per day, accumulatable

Our bathroom

Minimal public address announcements (no shore excursion, no disembarkation, it was nice and quiet!)

THE FOOD: O.M.G. Truly scrumptious, beautifully presented

Service everywhere else but the MDR. Please say hello to Tirso for us if you see him. In general, most of the crew couldn’t do enough for you. We felt very pampered. Had a great stewardess too (Hi Jelena!!)

The shows. World class.

No lines, no crowds, no pushing and shoving, no nickel/diming for everything

No kids running wild, no apparent drunks (even with all the accessible alcohol which is included in the price of the cruise), sophisticated ambience

Blankets on decks 11 and 12 for chilly weather

This trip/ship is best for relaxation. This is not a ship for frenetic activities. If you want that or a hopping night life, use RCCL or Carnival. This is a floating 5 star hotel with awesome food and service, not a destination resort. Average age is about 70, with 1/3 of the passenger population in 50/60 range, 2/3 of population was American, 1/3 Canadian, with some small international smatterings. Most are educated, well travelled, well dressed (more than half of men wore jackets/suits to dinner every night, most women were dressy), well mannered.

Would we take this ship/line again?: In an eyeblink, but only for itineraries with minimal sea days.
cbhenry8’s Full Rating Summary
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