Erica Silverstein
Cruise Critic Senior Editor
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Cabins

Crystal Symphony's cabins eschew the nautical look and trendy grays or dark woods for soothing neutrals and blond woods. Because the ship is relatively old, standard cabins -- especially the bathrooms -- are not as spacious as on newer luxury ships. There's no real division between sitting and sleeping areas, no walk-in closet and no spacious bathrooms where two can easily brush their teeth side by side. Adjust your expectations accordingly -- or upgrade to a suite.

That said, standard cabins are adequately sized for most cruises. They feature a love seat, coffee table with adjustable height, desk/vanity with chair and superb beds that can be converted from a queen to twins. A large flat-screen television opposite the bed offers movies and reruns of onboard lectures on demand and interactive programming for viewing menus, your onboard account and other ship information. A mini-fridge is stocked with complimentary soft drinks and bottled water. (Penthouse suites and above also have a complimentary liquor selection.) There's a safe, hair dryer and plenty of storage space; the closet features short and long hanging space and three small drawers; larger drawers are located by the desk and even the bedside tables offer storage. Several wall hooks are useful for tossing jackets or bags. Kimono-style and plush Etro bathrobes to borrow hang in the closets; you'll also find a shoe horn and brush, shoeshine glove, mohair throw blankets and an umbrella.

Bathrooms try to make the most of the tight space and include bathtub/shower combos (tubs are not full size), marble floors and Etro toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion in full-sized containers). Additional amenities include Etro bar soap, shower caps, and cotton swabs and pads in a jar. While the double sinks are appreciated, the two bowls that serve as sinks don't leave much counter space, and the low height of the actual counter makes activities like putting in contacts tricky. There are small shelves on either side of the sinks and under-counter storage for your toiletries. The shower is spacious and offers good pressure, but the tubs are three-quarter size, and more of a nuisance to step over than good for bathing. (The new Seabreeze suites are shower only.)

Crystal Symphony has three accessible staterooms (one Penthouse and two outside staterooms). These have 32-inch-wide doorways in to both stateroom and bathroom, roll-in showers and accessible closet rods and shelves.

There are also 11 pairs of connecting cabins. Every suite (except the accessible one) and an additional 32 standard staterooms offer a pull-out sofa as a third berth, predominantly used by families. Unless you've got a small child, be aware that standard outside and balcony cabins will feel cramped with three people -- and possibly tight on storage space.

Oceanview: The biggest challenge with Crystal Symphony's cabins is that standard outsides (which the line calls "deluxe") measure just 202 square feet, and are small for a luxury ship. The rooms, however, are bright, with large windows.

Balcony: Deluxe verandas are the same size and design as ocean-view cabins, with an additional 44-square-foot balcony. The veranda is outfitted with two cushioned chairs and a small table, big enough for dining. Note that the veranda cabins all the way forward and aft on Decks 8 and 9 have larger-than-standard balconies, due to the structural shape of the ship, but are not listed as a separate category.

Crystal uniquely offers a handful of PURE staterooms that feature hypoallergenic environments. Aimed at passengers who suffer allergies or asthma, these cabins undergo a special seven-step process to eliminate some 99.9 percent of impurities from the air. PURE staterooms are balcony cabins classified as categories A2 and A3.

Suite: Crystal Symphony's penthouse-level suites come in five categories, and all are comfortable and elegant. The regular suites feature a neutral color scheme, centered on taupe, ivory and sand colors and lots of stone on the countertops and bedside tables. The new Seabreeze suites are also neutral but with more gray hues and pops of orangey-pink colors.

All five categories of Penthouse suites have butlers who bring afternoon canapes, make restaurant and spa reservations, replace beverages and serve room-service meals. Occupants get preferential seating in Waterside, even though it's essentially open seating, and additional perks such as binoculars and complimentary pressing.

Another extra: Suite-holders are provided with welcome Champagne, complimentary bottles of wine and a choice of liquor (one full-sized bottle per person). Mini-fridges are continually stocked with beer and soda. If you're a room-service fan, definitely book one of these cabins, as butlers can serve course-by-course meals. You can order from the main dining room, Umi Uma and Prego during operating hours, for no extra charge. (You can even create a delicious Umi Uma-Prego combo, by ordering appetizers from one venue and mains from the other.)

Penthouse: The 367-square-foot Penthouses with Verandah feature a large living space with couch, chairs and coffee table along with a desk/vanity. Each Penthouse has a walk-in closet. The sleek and elegant bathrooms have a separate whirlpool tub and a spacious shower. Verandas are outfitted with adjustable mesh chairs (cushions provided) and dining tables for two.

Seabreeze Penthouse: There are 28 new Seabreeze Penthouses with Verandah on Deck 9, in pairs with a shared entryway that can be closed off, making the accommodation ideal for families who prefer interconnecting cabins. As noted earlier, the new suites have a slightly different decor that feels more modern, and gray leather headboards add a sumptuous feel. They are the same size -- 367 square feet -- as the regular penthouses but the layout, especially of the bathroom and closet area, is slightly different. The Seabreeze Penthouses have gorgeous marble bathrooms with big walk-in showers featuring body jets and rain showerheads (no tubs) and inset rather than bowl sinks. The vanity and walk-in closet are adjacent to the bathroom rather than on the other side of the entryway.

Penthouse Suite: The 491-square-foot Penthouse Suites with Verandah feature separate living and sleeping spaces; the bedroom is cordoned off from the living room by a curtain. The living room has a large desk, full sofa (with pull-out queen-sized bed), coffee table, TV, armchairs, dining table for two and a bar/mini-fridge setup. There's a walk-in closet off the entryway. The spacious bathroom, with separate soaking tub and shower, opens to both the living area and the bedroom. The bedroom is cozy with fantastic bedding, from sheets to mattresses. There's a second television and a pair of nightstands with good drawer storage.

Balconies are longer than standards, extending the length of the suite, which essentially is the width of two standard cabins. They're outfitted with a dining table and chairs.

Seabreeze Penthouse Suite: The 12 new two-room Seabreeze Penthouse Suites with Verandah were created by merging 24 smaller cabins on Deck 9 into the larger suites. They are also 491 square feet but decorated in the style of the Seabreeze Penthouses and with a slightly altered layout to the standard Penthouse Suites. Just by the entryway, a guest bath opens onto the main bath with spacious shower (no tub), his and hers sinks and a small washing machine, complete with detergent and dryer sheets. A large closet and vanity area separates the bath from the main bedroom, which is set apart from the living area by a half-wall (with large TVs on both sides) and curtains. Balconies are the same as regular Penthouse Suites.

Crystal Penthouse: The two top suites, the 982-square-foot Crystal Penthouses, each have a completely separate bedroom and living space and a dining table situated in a nook surrounded by a wall of windows. The living area also features attractive teak shelving, an L-shaped couch, desk, armchairs and a built-in bar. The large walk-in closet includes a vanity area and his and hers storage space.

The bathroom is so beautiful you'll just want to move in; the tub is by Philippe Starck and has uninterrupted ocean views (and, more prosaically, a flat-screen TV recessed into the wall), while the granite sink is backed by shimmery glass mosaic tiles. A second half-bath is available for guest use.

Balconies are furnished with a dining table and chairs plus loungers.

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Deck:
Crystal Deck
Tiffany Deck
Promenade Deck
Horizon Deck
Seabreeze Deck
Penthouse Deck
Lido Deck
Sun Deck

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