1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Crystal Cruises
  4. Crystal Symphony Review
  5. Crystal Symphony Cruise Reviews
Cruise Ratings
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our 45th cruise and our 3rd cruise on Crystal. We were intrigued by the itinerary - from Reykjavik to Portsmouth. The weather, admittedly, was dicey for the entire time (cold, windy and frequent showers) but we always try to not ... Read More
This was our 45th cruise and our 3rd cruise on Crystal. We were intrigued by the itinerary - from Reykjavik to Portsmouth. The weather, admittedly, was dicey for the entire time (cold, windy and frequent showers) but we always try to not let that impact the overall experience. Crystal excels in top-notch service and this cruise was no different in many respects. Our stateroom attendant was terrific and never failed to bring fresh ice each afternoon at 5 pm as we had requested. Typically we enjoy having a cocktail on our verandah as we sail away from each port but, because of the weather, we ended up visiting one of the many bars instead. The Crystal Dining Room is darn near perfect. The menus have been refreshed while still offering a number of traditional selections. Our waiter, Miroslav (Miki), was absolutely amazing and the sommelier, Lorena, was probably the best we have ever had aboard a ship. We chose the flexible dining option and it worked perfectly every night. Kudos to the Maitre d' and Asst Maitre d' for having such a uniformly excellent staff. Even at luncheon which was open seating we always had terrific service. Prego, in our opinion, is a waste of time. The staff there have a cavalier, if not aloof, attitude. The menu is either extremely dated or, in many instances, offers food which barely passes for Italian of any region. Symphony is 20 years old now and beginning to look, and perform, like a dowager in comparison to newer luxury vessels. The bathroom of our verandah suite was small and cramped and the vanity, with two plastic washbasins, was the smallest we've seen in years. The sofa in our cabin is really a chair and a half. And it's a hassle to dress with closets having sliding doors close to the bed. Our biggest disappointment in this cruise, however, was the itinerary. Before we sailed, one change had already been made to the originally published ports of call. The "maiden" call at Djupivogur, Iceland was an enormous waste of time. The few who went ashore, as we did, came back shaking their hands in amazement at why we had even stopped. The stop at the Isle of Skye was on a Sunday - almost nothing open in port and the shore excursions sold out quickly. Belfast and Dublin were fantastic, weather notwithstanding, but the call to Waterford was cancelled due to rough seas which the tenders could not cope with and we stopped in Cork (Ringaskiddy) instead. The last port of call, Fowey (Cornwall), was abandoned for the same reasons and we steamed on to Portsmouth instead, arriving there at 2.00 pm. Shore excursions were not arranged but a complimentary shuttle took folks to a local shopping mall (American style) with the same brands we have back home. I will close with the same comments I made after our Crystal Serenity cruise in December 2016. The efforts to expand the Crystal brand in recent years with river cruises, luxury air, luxury yacht, and so on seem to have resulted in the line losing sight of its core product. We have a cruise later this year scheduled on Silversea and a cruise next May reserved for the newest Seaboard ship. We heard similar comments from a number of other passengers. At this point we don't envision returning to Crystal in the near future. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Crystal Symphony is an appealing ship, well maintained and spotlessly clean. It’s large enough to have a variety of dining and entertainment, yet small enough to get on and off easily. Service was unfussy and mostly efficient, and the ... Read More
Crystal Symphony is an appealing ship, well maintained and spotlessly clean. It’s large enough to have a variety of dining and entertainment, yet small enough to get on and off easily. Service was unfussy and mostly efficient, and the smart casual dress code works well. Our stateroom was just about big enough, with a compact bathroom and little veranda. Meals throughout were very tasty but not over-elaborate. We chose “dining by reservation” as the main sittings were too early or late for us. The dining room was quieter around 8 pm but we did miss the headline entertainment. Our waiter was friendly and knowledgeable and easily dealt with special requests and odd mistake from the kitchen. Different passable wines were offered each day, and you could ask for any you liked another time. There’s a long menu of all-inclusive cocktails and spirits. Prego was a pleasant change too, but the menu wasn’t especially Italian. The busy Lido Café had huge self-service spreads at breakfast and lunch including many healthier options, but the drinks service was rather hit-and-miss there. We didn’t use the Trident Grill up in the chilly northern Atlantic. The Bistro café and Crystal Cove bar were small comfortable areas off main thoroughfares, but the Avenue Saloon looked gloomy with closed shutters. Palm Court – the “observation lounge” - is the venue for formal afternoon tea (waiters rather incongruous in eighteenth century costume one day) but the musicians were amplified so loudly that we stopped going. In spite of other niggles such as the slow or non-existent internet, we would still have given this cruise five out of five but for a couple of issues: Firstly, two ports - Waterford and Fowey - were missed due to tendering being deemed unsafe, so instead of anchoring in pretty estuaries, the ship berthed in industrial docks. Perhaps some guests could have managed the tenders, but everybody’s plans were scuppered and the company couldn’t organise much at short notice. We heard that another call was skipped on the previous sector of the cruise - Crystal shouldn’t schedule ports where there is a significant risk that tendering won’t be possible. Secondly, having found a table in the Lido Café on our last morning, we were stunned when a waiter rushed in front of us to claim it for another guest. He didn’t apologise, leaving a nasty taste as we disembarked. Would we sail with Crystal again? Probably - but would avoid itineraries that involve tendering. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Friends raved about Crystal and we loved the itinerary from Reykjavik to England. This cruise had no sea days and was packed with interesting ports. It was a perfect way to celebrate a 30 year wedding anniversary. We arrived late ... Read More
Friends raved about Crystal and we loved the itinerary from Reykjavik to England. This cruise had no sea days and was packed with interesting ports. It was a perfect way to celebrate a 30 year wedding anniversary. We arrived late afternoon to meet Symphony in Reykjavik harbor. Our exploration of Iceland in a rental car convinced us that driving requires more time than expected, so we opted to miss the first evening's dinner and drove off to the Fontana spa for a wonderful adventure. Every other evening was spent on the ship and we loved it. Food and entertainment exceeded our very high expectations each night. Symphony is a wonderful ship. It is well arranged and spacious enough that a full load of passengers won't ever feel very crowded. Service is great and the ship is kept "crystal" clean. We were impressed with how well the ship performed in very rough seas. A quick comment about the food is in order. The dining room and two specialty restaurants are wold class. They rival the best restaurants in major cities. The food options elsewhere on the ship were somewhat mixed. There were many choices at the Lido buffet, but the offerings were too often lukewarm or cold. We also had a couple of mediocre breakfasts in the dining room. A second cup of coffee was sometimes easy but sometimes difficult. By contracts, the Bistro Cafe was always terrific. There were usually wonderful espresso drinks, service, and snack selections at that location. Also, Symphony will be greatly improved by tech and decor updates this October. I would definitely cruise on her again after the next dry dock refurbishment. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I love Crystal, for its outstanding service, friendly crew, beautiful ships, delicious food, and lectures/ other activities. Everything during my 3-1/2 weeks onboard was amazing, from the shore excursions to the cabin stewardess. ... Read More
I love Crystal, for its outstanding service, friendly crew, beautiful ships, delicious food, and lectures/ other activities. Everything during my 3-1/2 weeks onboard was amazing, from the shore excursions to the cabin stewardess. Embarkation and disembarkation were painless, with no waiting at any point. One never feels "herded" on Crystal. I particularly appreciate the approach to the Solo traveler---Crystal welcomes us, charging somewhat less than double the fare for a cabin, depending on the cruise. They also host "Table for Eight" dinners in the specialty restaurants, so that one need not dine alone, unless preferred. There were many Solo travelers on my cruise. This ship and its sister, the Serenity, are scheduled for major upgrades later this year, and, while I'm sure the results will be lovely, I will miss the Symphony just as it is. The Bistro is one of my favorite spots for a cappuccino with ocean views. Also, there is a fine selection of sweet and savory snacks, though one could easily make a meal of them. My cabin was my retreat when I needed downtime--- I kept it very neat and tidy, and therefore it was plenty roomy. The suitcase fits nicely under the bed. I didn't even use half of the storage drawers. Lectures are a particular favorite of mine, and we had several, on subjects as varied as Donald Trump, Atlantic Ocean geology, and the Ancient Romans. We also had several excellent concerts, as well as fine ballet dancers performances. All in all, though I just got home last night, I would go again in a heartbeat, and, in fact, am already booked on Crystal for 2018 and 2019. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Chose this sailing for an interesting itinerary and read many rave reviews about Crystal. Have previously sailed Silversea and The World Ship so I am very familiar with the luxury category. Crystal just did not measure up. But first, the ... Read More
Chose this sailing for an interesting itinerary and read many rave reviews about Crystal. Have previously sailed Silversea and The World Ship so I am very familiar with the luxury category. Crystal just did not measure up. But first, the positives...the maitre d' in the MDR was excellent and solved a sticky seating issue for us and the ship was spotless. The specialty restaurants were very good and a nice change from the MDR. I had an excellent massage in the spa and the gym seemed to be big enough for the size of the ship and it had good equipment. Entertainment was also good and I appreciated the self service laundry rooms. We took 2 ship excursions that were well organized with very good guides. Among the disappointments...standard balcony cabin was tiny with the tiny slippery leather sofa being so uncomfortable we couldn't use it at all so we took turns sitting on the chair. The ship constantly vibrated and swayed - even in port! No one bothered to learn our names...we were M'amsir to most of the staff. Food was inconsistent being excellent sometimes and very much hotel banquet-like at other times. The included wines were also a very mixed bag with only a very few being drinkable. Service in the dining room was also spotty being great one night and terrible the next. The Lido is not a luxury experience at all...chaos reigned as we had to repeatedly ask for coffee some days and 3 different people would repeatedly offer coffee the next! We found hair on the buffet food more than once. Breakfast in the MDR was the worst service of all as we again had to ask for coffee repeatedly and plates were removed while we were still eating! Room service was just plopped down still on the tray right onto our tiny table. On Silversea the waiter would bring a tablecloth and set the table, flowers included! We came away feeling the company over-promised and under-delivered and is closer to a mass product than the true luxury experience advertised. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
As we had cruised last year from New York to Reykjavik, we chose to join a shorter cruise , a Getaway, to complete the crossing from USA to Britain. We joined in the tiny , efficient cruise terminal of Reykjavik, after a few days in ... Read More
As we had cruised last year from New York to Reykjavik, we chose to join a shorter cruise , a Getaway, to complete the crossing from USA to Britain. We joined in the tiny , efficient cruise terminal of Reykjavik, after a few days in this interesting city, and were warmly welcomed aboard by the friendly staff, and a chilled glass of champagne. Embarkation was over in minutes and the cabin was ready, so our hand luggage was carried for us to our deck 9 cabin, main luggage arriving while we enjoyed a delightful lunch. We sailed late that incredible midnight sunlit evening , and settled into the routine of enjoying a luxurious week aboard. Crystal Symphony did not disappoint, fine dining, excellent room service, a charming , super efficient cabin stewardess,wonderful quality of very varied entertainment , great lectures on offer, also repeated on cabin Tv, and a wide choice of daytime activities. To our delight it was a Big Band cruise, with the glorious rich sound of the Tommy Dorsey orchestra playing for dancing each evening,though we were astounded that far less guests were enjoying the music than on previous big band cruises we have enjoyed, possibly because the sessions were strangely times to coincide with dining hours . It was interesting to meet a former captain of the ship, sailing as a guest, who was thoroughly enjoying not having responsibility for the running of a fine vessel. Read Less
Crystal Symphony Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

Find a Crystal Symphony Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise