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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Firstly a little bit of background. My wife and I are long time cruisers, mostly on smaller and the R8 ships. Pacific Princess and the unfortunate Adonia have been our regular choice, but in recent years have looked into alternative cruise ... Read More
Firstly a little bit of background. My wife and I are long time cruisers, mostly on smaller and the R8 ships. Pacific Princess and the unfortunate Adonia have been our regular choice, but in recent years have looked into alternative cruise lines. Windstar, Regent and now several Cruises with Oceania. Back to this review. We chose the Crystal Symphony because of the itinerary and to experience another mid sized ship. Whilst the ship is physically large the passenger count is still below 1000, which means alot of public space and larger staterooms. The décor and luxury is immediately apparent but certainly not over the top. The main dinning room Waterside, is reasonably spacious and although open dinning times we never had to wait for a table. The food was always delicious and well presented. My only comment here would be the slightly limited menu. The Market Place at lunch time has the largest and most varied salad bar we have ever encountered. This was always backed up with a large variety of meat and fish. This venu changes to a Brazilian theme in the evening, where again the choice of food is good. Uni Uma is the Japanese fusion restaurant which undoubtedly serves the finest food on the ship. Prego is the Italian speciality dining. The food was good but the whole experience was not any better than some and certainly does not compete with Oceanias version. Entertainment was average and the casino little used. As this itinerary was port intensive, deck game and lecture were not so well attended. I have not touched on the topic of crew and staff, internet, poolside etc but suffice to say they are all in keeping with a Premium targeted cruise ship. Overall impression! A Premium cruise line providing a premium experience. So why only four stars? There is a general lack of Wow factor and generally only doing what one might expect at a level that others have achieved and in some limited areas are doing slightly better. Would we choose Crystal again? Not until all the other options have been tested out Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have gone on other Crystal cruises before and were anxious to check out the new Seabreeze Penthouses. While they are 50% larger than the standard Veranda Suites, they also cost about 50% more. The Suite was beautiful and the extra ... Read More
We have gone on other Crystal cruises before and were anxious to check out the new Seabreeze Penthouses. While they are 50% larger than the standard Veranda Suites, they also cost about 50% more. The Suite was beautiful and the extra space was fantastic. On the negative, the TV is in an awkward place, the vanity area is very tight and the lifeboat just below our balcony interfered with our view. Also, while some passengers will appreciate having a private butler, we did not see this service as a big plus. Although the refurbishment of the ship had occurred months ago, some elements were still being completed. The WiFi was being worked on and required technicians to go into all staterooms. The in-room movies were limited because they were still loading them into the new system. The food and service in Umi Uma and Prego was wonderful as usual. The service in Waterside was excellent but the menu seemed a bit uninspired. The Mozart Tea still featured waiters in period costumes and a generous selection of treats, but overall it felt less grand than it used to be. Compared to other luxury cruise lines, Crystal is still our favorite and we will be on Serenity later this year after it is refurbished. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We have cruised since 1995 each year. We were sold this cruise as a luxury cruise and it was anything but....poor service in the dining room as well as very poor trained staff. Wife insulted by server and water spilled in lap. Shop ... Read More
We have cruised since 1995 each year. We were sold this cruise as a luxury cruise and it was anything but....poor service in the dining room as well as very poor trained staff. Wife insulted by server and water spilled in lap. Shop attendants bored and non attentive; products about twice as much as in shops here. Children running up and down the halls unsupervised at 01:00 hours and all ship Hotel Manager advised was "WE HAVE SPOKEN TO THE FAMILY" but the disruption still occurred almost nightly. NO assistance for disabled leaving the vessel at ports. Room so crowded that 2 people can not change clothes at the same time. Most mornings there was cherrio's and cookies on the floor of the hall. Truly the CRUISE FROM HELL and we will never consider Crystal again Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
I had great hopes after reading reviews on this company. what I found is that my husband and I are not a "good fit" for Crystal. On this trip while the passengers were nice we were younger than most of them who had been on ... Read More
I had great hopes after reading reviews on this company. what I found is that my husband and I are not a "good fit" for Crystal. On this trip while the passengers were nice we were younger than most of them who had been on numerous cruises with Crystal some from when Crystal was started. The atmosphere to me is one of a "Country Club" with the majority of the cruisers being well educated repeat cruisers in their 70s who share similar interests etc. Most seem to like the all inclusive plan of cruising. For those of us who use alcohol sparingly this can feel like we are not getting good value for our cruise $. I would prefer to pay for my beverages alcohol and non-alcohol . I found the ship to feel dated, lacking the glamor of newer ships e.g. the carpets were fraying in areas. I was told that the ship will go to dry stock in September in Germany for 21 days. It is easy to navigate being a smaller ship. Our cabin 8135 a balcony at the end of the hall in the stern felt cramped. The furnishings were similar to what I have experienced on Princess. Nothing special. The advantage of our location at the end of the hall was that it was quiet with minimal foot traffic compared to where we usually have our cabin mid-ship. Food was consistently excellent and the service in dining room good. The lido deck does not serve dinner and for me this was a negative as I don't always want to spend the time going to the dining room for dinner. I wish the calorie content with nutritional content of the food for at least a few items would be stated. Knowing the calorie and nutrition content would aid passengers wanting to eat healthy to do so. The trident grill could be crowded at peak times and service could be improved by increasing staffing. Crystal has changed vendors for the stores on symphony so the stores were closed the 1st days at sea for restocking. I found the new vendors to be expensive, clothing jewelry and perfume. I prefer the vendors on Princess which have clothing items that are more reasonable in cost and fit my life style in retirement . I don't buy high end jewelry and my active retirement community does not permit us to wear perfumes to events or while working out in gym. The gym is small and I heard some of passengers complain that there was insufficient room for the stretching classes. My husband commented that the spin bikes were old and he was told the bikes would be replaced in September. Speaking of perfume all the soaps and hand cremes in the bathrooms public and in cabins are highly perfumed. With many people allergic to perfumes, I question why the soap etc need to have these strong odors. The lectures on board are excellent and the quality of the speakers are the best that I have encountered on cruises. I was impressed by the library, selection of books and its lengthy hours. The best on ship library that I have encountered in the 20 years that I have cruised. The entertainment was not to my liking but I heard positive comments from other passengers. The SPA was expensive and I had some complaints which I feel weren't adequately addressed. On the other cruise ships the spa would offer fruit, a pitcher of water with cut up fruit etc. On Symphony I was offered bottled water at the SPA but no flavored water. I wont be using the SPA on board ship on future cruises as I cant justify the pricing compared to what I pay at my local spa for similar services--over 2X. The SPA like the ship felt small & dated with a need for updating. It was not as nice as spas that we have experienced on other ships. Will we cruise Crystal again, not likely as we would like a more informal less "clubby old school" atompshere". We like good food but dont need 1X1 staffing and lengthy time required to eat in the dining room . The excursions were the usual nothing unique or creative. What we did appreciate is that there was someone from Crystal on each excursion to help out. Water on excursions was complimentary--no charge and it was offered when leaving on excursions and on the excursions. We would like a cruise that could offer more opportunities to learn about nature and have the option of a less formal setting for dinner. Some of the passengers that I talked with used room service for dinner while we don't care for room service. So in conclusion, Crystal does have many superior services but for some of us just isnt a "good fit" in meeting out needs but for other cruisers is a "good fit". Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Service and food-wise, this was well up to the standards we have come to expect on Silversea/ Seabourn / Windstar, although I still prefer the smaller ships and all-inclusive cruising. Having said that, we had so much shipboard credit ... Read More
Service and food-wise, this was well up to the standards we have come to expect on Silversea/ Seabourn / Windstar, although I still prefer the smaller ships and all-inclusive cruising. Having said that, we had so much shipboard credit (which could be used for excursions as well as for drinks etc) that I didn't feel so conscious of having to pay for everything on board. Soft drinks and water were free, unlike Cunard - in fact everything was so much better than our recent Cunard cruise I find it hard to fault. As another review has said, the cabin stewardess was superb, and we didn't experience any poor service. We normally like to sit on a shared table. On some of the smaller ships it is free seating so you can move round and meet lots of lovely people. I was rather dreading the Crystal dining arrangement as it is fixed seating (they say they have invented a pre-booked free seating which means it isn't really free seating at all, and you only get your own company) but it actually worked fine. We did get nice table companions, and on a day when everyone other than us happened to have booked one of the other restaurants, the maitre d' put us on another shared table to we met some other folk too. As a non-meat eater I found my choices limited some days, but overall found the food to be of a high standard.Two of the 'other' restaurants could be booked and were free - plus of course the Lido. But as the other reviewer has mentioned, closing the Lido at 1.30pm is rather earlyu if you've been off the ship in the morning - especially if like me you don't eat meat and therefore have no interest in the only alternative which is burger type food. We were among a very small number of non-Americans on board (in fact on the first night they told us there were something like 12 Brits, 200 Americans, and 250 Californians! Entertainment was pretty good - we don't go for Las Vegas type shows, but apart from an American comedian whom we couldn't understand, most of the rest of the acts were good and one or two were excellent. We don't normally bother with excursions on cruises (generally poor value for money) but with our shipboard credit and the fact they were a bit more reasonably priced than is often the case,we did take a few on this Crystal cruise and they were well organised and interesting. All in all, I might consider Crystal again if we got a really good price offer, but even the on-board "two for one" offers on future cruises struck us as very expensive. (Unlike the other reviewer of this cruise, we wouldn't consider Celebrity etc, as even a ship like as big as Symphony with about 800 pax was really too big for me.) Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
I may be unfairly comparing this, my first cruise with Crystal with my recent (and first and only) Alaska cruise on the Regent Seven Seas Navigator. I traveled alone on Crystal Symphony, as my spouse was in Africa on safari, whereas we ... Read More
I may be unfairly comparing this, my first cruise with Crystal with my recent (and first and only) Alaska cruise on the Regent Seven Seas Navigator. I traveled alone on Crystal Symphony, as my spouse was in Africa on safari, whereas we were together on the Regent Alaska cruise. The port calls to smaller towns in Alaska had a very different feel from those to major cities on the Crystal cruise, and that added to the enjoyment of the Alaska cruise. I had made several business visits to most of the cities on the Crystal cruise (and was raised in Boston), so the port calls held only passing interest for me. Basically, I was looking for a pleasant and relaxing interlude on board, and I got it. My spouse and I had heretofore opted for ships in the 100-150 passenger range, and I think that would still be my preference for future cruises. So, I am looking forward to trying the "Yachts of Seabourn" in the future. Somehow, the smaller ships, even with their lesser offerings of entertainment, give me more of a sense of being at sea, a closeness with the ocean. But, comparing features, the staterooms on the Navigator were comparable in decor, but offered walk-in closets and bathrooms almost as big as at home, with both a full bathtub and shower. By contrast, there was only a sliding door wall closet and a cramped bathroom with 3/4 tub shower on the Symphony. The bed on the Navigator was way too soft for me, and did not support my aching back, whereas the bed on the Symphony was pleasantly firm and supportive; Advantage, Symphony! The stateroom on the Crystal Symphony felt somewhat more cramped than on the Regent Seven Seas Navigator, and my sense was that if I had been traveling accompanied, one of us would have had to sit on the couch or on the bed to allow the other to move around. I did not get that feeling traveling with my spouse on the Regent Seven Seas Navigator; Advantage, Navigator. I would rate the food as A-minus on the Navigator, especially the breads and the soups, and only a B-minus on the Symphony. The breads tasted almost commercially baked, nothing really to look forward to, and the soups were marred by the chef's unsuccessful attempts to depart from the basics and jazz them up (example: chopped up sun dried tomatoes in a creamed chicken soup, or wine or Champagne in split pea soup, or a clam chowder that was anything but the New England clam chowder that it was supposed to be). And, the entrees were nothing to write home about, either. Seasoned Crystal travelers remarked that the meats seemed to have degraded in quality from what they had been accustomed to on past cruises. So, advantage Regent Seven Seas. The entertainment on the Symphony was first rate. I did not go to the entertainment on the Navigator, so I cannot compare them. The Symphony is a larger ship with more specialized spaces, such as the Palm Court, so that is a plus for the Symphony. The entire crew on both ships were friendly and cordial and made me feel wanted and pampered. I appreciated the all-inclusive (alcohol, gratuities) policy on the Regent line much more than on the Crystal line, even with the total of $700 on-board credit that I got on the Symphony. Because, though I am not a big drinker, by any stretch of the imagination, every time I was offered a drink on the Symphony, a cash register went off in my head "Ka-Ching!" and more often than not, I passed it up. By contrast, the house wine selection on the Navigator was included, so I often had a glass of wine with dinner and one night even ordered a cocktail before dinner. My travel agent pre-paid the major gratuities for my Crystal cruise, so the comparison was a wash for me, and I wound up giving additional gratuities on both ships, both augmenting the tips to the room stewards and giving tips to selected wait people who were not covered by the basic gratuity arrangements. But, had the basics not been covered by my travel agent, I would have been uneasy having to do the calculations about each tip. In a word: advantage Regent Seven Seas. I did not like the idea of having to dress formally on two nights of the Crystal cruise, or of not being able to beat the formal dress requirement by eating in one of the specialty restaurants (because, they, too, required formal dress). The only way to beat that requirement was to order room service, but that was not a good alternative for me. I realize that this was a big plus for many of the guests, as was the opportunity for unaccompanied women to dance with special host "ambassadors," but neither of these held any attraction for me, and the dress code was a nuisance that I just had to put up with. BUT NOW FOR THE BIG DISCRIMINATOR: the single supplement was 25% on the Crystal line and a whopping 100% on the Regent Seven Seas line. So, everything else being equal, if I were to travel alone again, I would choose the Crystal line over Regent Seven Seas hands down, even though I found several features of the Regent Seven Seas line more more to my liking. OOPS: Port 5 rating... OK, this was really St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, not St. John's Newfoundland. I took the bus tour (SJB-I) to St. Martins. a little fishing village. The weather was chilly and rainy, putting a damper [UGH, PUN!] on the trip, but the female guide was superb in keeping our interest. She was a resident of St. Martins with grown kids, and she related family activities like going out in the woods during moose ruts and calling male moose with a moose call made from a shoe lace threaded through a hole in the bottom of a tin can (knotted inside to keep it from slipping out), then wetted and stroked to produce the call of a female moose. We all got to try the moose call and to sample the local "delicacy" of seaweed jerky (I already forgot the local name for it). And we saw the before and after reversal of the river flow from the in-rushing tide of the Bay of Fundy. We had a great fish chowder lunch (better chowder than any soup served on the Crystal Symphony!), and I was able to order absolutely first-rate fried clams (with the "bellies") made from freshly caught local clams, a real treat for someone who was raised in New England. So, despite the rain, this was a really good tour. 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 4.6
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.0
Family 4.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 5.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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