1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Crystal Cruises
  4. Crystal Symphony Review
  5. Crystal Symphony Cruise Reviews
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We booked the cruise when Egypt was on the itinerary and had 4 friends book with us. When Egypt was pulled, it was too bad Crystal did not add another day in Israel instead of wasting the time on Cyprus and Shalalah, Oman (no offense to ... Read More
We booked the cruise when Egypt was on the itinerary and had 4 friends book with us. When Egypt was pulled, it was too bad Crystal did not add another day in Israel instead of wasting the time on Cyprus and Shalalah, Oman (no offense to anyone). Regarding the ship, for the most part, well done. But it is difficult to understand how they left the option on the stateroom TVs out with respect to CC. As a result, you had to turn up the TV to hear (if you have a problem--I do) and the wall partitions with the TVs is paper thin and our neighbor could hear us and we them. The entertainment started off slowly but quickly picked up pace and was excellent as the cruise went on. Crystal's staff continues to excel and made the cruise very nice. Fix the few problems (I hope) and we'll be back. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
First class cruise with 1st class people.Cannot say anything bad about anything! Loved the ship, very elegant. Loved loved loved the crew. Some have been on the ship for years. The food was outstanding,although I wasn't as impressed ... Read More
First class cruise with 1st class people.Cannot say anything bad about anything! Loved the ship, very elegant. Loved loved loved the crew. Some have been on the ship for years. The food was outstanding,although I wasn't as impressed with Silk Road as I had expected to be. The entertainment and the shows very good with talented dancers. Loved the lectures of the places we docked although thought they could have been a little more detailed. The few excursions that we went on with Crystal were excellent.All the guides were clear and easy to understand. I would have liked to see an option with a smaller tour group. It was either offered as a private tour or a larger group tour. I would have been happy to pay more and have a group of 8-10. No complaints about anything. You get what you pay for. Crystal is an excellent value for an excellent experience. Go! Now! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose Chrystal Symphony because of recommendations by friends who had been in Crystal cruises before. Negative experience with disembarkation: we were assigned to Orange 1, and left the ship at 7am. When we arrived at the Venice ... Read More
We chose Chrystal Symphony because of recommendations by friends who had been in Crystal cruises before. Negative experience with disembarkation: we were assigned to Orange 1, and left the ship at 7am. When we arrived at the Venice airport, we had to wait for about 15-20 min for our luggage to arrive. We were told there were misunderstandings regarding the transportation of our luggage (which were collected at 10pm on the previous evening). This should not have happened. The stateroom is well equipped. However, the bathroom washbasins are way too small. Perhaps installing one bigger washbasin instead of two will be better. This suggestion is for your newer ships. We're quite happy with the experiences going ashore: when we leave the ship and when we return to the ship. The staff have been quite courteous and helpful. We're also quite happy with the entertainment: particularly the comedian Jon Courtenay. It will be useful to have a Chinese specialty restaurant. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We are a healthy, active couple in our mid-sixties who choose cruises based on the itinerary. One of our "bucket list" destinations was the Amalfi coast and this cruise made stops at both Sorrento & Amalfi. We took ... Read More
We are a healthy, active couple in our mid-sixties who choose cruises based on the itinerary. One of our "bucket list" destinations was the Amalfi coast and this cruise made stops at both Sorrento & Amalfi. We took excursions arranged by the ship and excursions with outside providers. The ship's excursions were fine and we enjoyed them. We did have rough seas on the stop at Amalfi which made entering and exiting the tenders difficult (and there were a few injuries as a result). We also prefer a smaller ship and the Crystal Symphony is just the right size. It never felt crowded and it is quiet, but there is plenty to do if you want to be busy. Our cruise had quite a diversity of passengers. According to the captain, 32 nationalities were represented among the passengers. There was also quite a mixture of ages, although probably most were over 60. But there were a number of younger people and even a few children younger than school age. We had a C1 cabin on the promenade deck, which was very nice (see the cabin review for details). The food was good, especially at Prego, and there was a large variety. You could certainly eat healthily if you wished to. Would have liked longer hours for lunch & dinner at the Lido Cafe & Trident Grill, though. We don't gamble, so the casino was wasted on us. The other entertainment was adequate. The only activity that we participated in was the pre-destination lectures, which were informative and entertaining, if fairly brief and broad. They are broadcast over the ship's TV channel if you miss them. We would have enjoyed more frequent and more in-depth lectures about our destinations. The service and staff were pleasant and attentive. Unlike previous cruises, the staff is very diverse (the captain said 49 nations were represented in the staff). All the staff works hard and it shows. The ship is immaculate. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and look forward to another cruise with Crystal. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our first Crystal cruise. We have cruised several other cruise lines including Celebrity, HAL, RCI and Carnival. We chose Crystal for this cruise because we normally cruise with our children and we wanted to do something special ... Read More
This was our first Crystal cruise. We have cruised several other cruise lines including Celebrity, HAL, RCI and Carnival. We chose Crystal for this cruise because we normally cruise with our children and we wanted to do something special for our romantic 20th anniverisary just for the two of us. We had an amazing three day precruise stay in Rome. On embarkation day, we had beautiful weather. The embarkation process was extremely smooth and easy. My evaluation in a nutshell: Cabin: We had a GTY cabin and received a category upgrade. We had a Deluxe Verandah Stateroom on Deck 10. The loaction was excellent. It was near the elevator and stairs. Easy access to everything. The decor was lovely. Very elegant and subtle. We had a nice verandah with comfortable furniture. Lots of storage space and a great bathroom with 2 sinks. I didn't give the cabin five stars only due to space issues. For the price point, more space would be nice. Dining: Dining on Crystal is extremely refined . The quality of the ingredients and the care in the presentation is apparent in each morsel served. In the main dining room, there are 2 sides of the menu with traditional and modern cuisine. All very good. We enjoyed our meals at the specialty restaurants: Prego, Silk Road and Tastes. Our favorite was Tastes, a casual dining option with creative and flavorful dishes. Our only criticism of the dining on Crystal was the relative lack of options if you wanted a casual dining option or wanted to eat a later lunch after coming back from shore excursions. I loved the ice cream and the coffee at the Bistro. Service: Service shines on Crystal. Absolutely impeccable in every aspect. Kudos to Crystal. Activities: The enrichment speakers were truly outstanding. I actually learned a lot on my vacation! The Magic Castle and evening entertainment were all very well done.I did feel that this was an area that the bigger ships do have a bit of an edge ( barring the enrichment was is superior on Crystal). Public Spaces: The ship was perfect,y maintained. The decor was thenepitomy of quiet elegance. Lots of quiet areas tonrelax and read or enjoy a drink. Never had a feeling of crowding. Just an oasis of relaxation. Spa Services: I had an excellent massage with no hard sell at the end...a welcome change from other cruise lines. The Ports: We had incredible luck. Perfect weather throughout the cruise and wonderful ports. All were enjoyable. Malta, Sorrento, Santorini, Ephesus, Taormina, Rhodes, and Istanbul. We loved having overnights in Malta, Sorrento and Istanbul as it gave us more time to explore. Excellent itinerary. Disembarkation: We disembarked in Istanbul. It was quite chaotic. Not sure how much control Crystal had over the process there. We enjoyed 4 extra days in Istanbul . A pity it has been cancelled as a cruise destination by most major lines. We loved Crystal and have booked a cruise i. juky for our entire family. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2013
This was our fourth Crystal cruise and our second on board the Crystal Symphony. Our first ever Crystal cruise was on the Symphony in 2005 and, as it has undergone many refits since then, we were looking forward to seeing the changes. We ... Read More
This was our fourth Crystal cruise and our second on board the Crystal Symphony. Our first ever Crystal cruise was on the Symphony in 2005 and, as it has undergone many refits since then, we were looking forward to seeing the changes. We have cruised on the Crystal Serenity in both 2011 and 2012 and hoped we would enjoy this holiday as much as on those occasions. We were certainly not disappointed. We spent two nights in Rome prior to joining the ship and this helped us unwind from the hassle of the flights and transfers, and also to get in the holiday mood. We would always recommend staying at least one night prior to the cruise either in, or near to, the embarkation port. Embarkation Day We made our own way by train to Civitavecchia to join the ship; however, we had pre-booked our tickets and seats via the Internet before leaving home so it was all quite easy and stress free, apart from the sheer volume of people in Rome's Termini Station that morning. Arriving in Civitavecchia, we soon made our way to the port entrance and were soon aboard the Crystal shuttle bus heading to the cruise terminal. Although the embarkation desks were not yet open, as we were perhaps a bit early, it was a great relief that we were able immediately to leave our cases in a separate holding area ready for loading by the crew. After a short wait we were able to check in and get aboard where the final check-in procedures were carried out quickly and efficiently. We were then free to have lunch in the Trident grill, which we washed down with a very welcome glass of champagne, and our holiday had begun. By the time we had finished lunch and met some fellow passengers, our stateroom was ready and we were able to unpack and relax by the pool. Our stateroom was located on Deck 5, just behind the Concierge Desk, and in the end it proved to be a very handy location for all the amenities. The Ship As the layout of the ship is more or less the same as on the Serenity', we found it easy to find our bearings and get around. We preferred the layout of both the 'Crystal Cove' and 'Avenue Saloon' bars here, compared to those on the 'Serenity', as we found them more user- friendly. We also visited the 'Lux' nightclub most evenings and our only slight criticism would be its common access into the Casino area. All the public areas throughout the ship were spotlessly clean as usual; however, we were never really aware of the army of staff who were responsible for keeping it that way. The exterior of the ship was perhaps starting to look a bit jaded with very obvious rust patches and dirty marks caused by the oily ropes; however, we only really noticed these when travelling on the tender boats. Our Stateroom Stewardess (Chan) looked after us very well and kept us well supplied with towels and ice. Food and drinks As always, the standard of the food on board was excellent in all the eating venues. We loved to have breakfast and lunch outside in the Lido caf' where the food was always fresh and of great variety. We particularly loved the days when special themed meals were laid on, such as the Oriental buffet and the Kebab lunch when chefs from Istanbul were brought on board to cook and serve. Very different and so tasty. It was amusing to see the reaction of one American guest who perused the food at the Kebab lunch and then turned away in disdain uttering in a stage whisper 'Oh it's all Turkish' ' the poor Turkish chef just shrugged his shoulders and we all thought ' Dah , you are in Istanbul !' We had dinner every evening in the Main Dining Room, apart from two nights when we ate in the 'Prego' restaurant, and the menu choice and standard food was superb. Even my partner, who tends to prefer plain foods, was tempted to try different things and loved them all- especially the desserts of course! Our Dining Room Head Waiter (Allwyn) and his assistant (Franklin) were simply fantastic and treated us so well the whole time. Both were so attentive and friendly that we looked forward to seeing them every evening. We also had great craic with our excellent Brazilian Sommelier (Luiz) and our Maitre' D (Mariko). The standard of the wines served in both the Main Dining Room and at 'Prego' were first class. We went to 'Prego' twice during the cruise, including one occasion with three new- found friends, and can honestly say they were the best experiences we have ever had at a 'Prego' restaurant on either the Symphony or Serenity. The food was excellent as usual but the staff were so friendly and helpful that it really made the whole experience very relaxed and special. Afternoon tea in 'The Bistro', with cakes of course, was our daily wicked indulgence. We felt that the layout of 'The Bistro' was perhaps better on the 'Serenity' than on this ship, and that the positioning of the buffet island in the centre of the space tended to cause congestion at times. Our favourite bars were 'Crystal Cove' and 'the Avenue Saloon', mainly due to the great staff working there. We always had pre-dinner drinks in 'Crystal Cove' and had great craic with the bar staff, Paula and Camilla, who were not only very good at their job but they made us feel like old friends. We would invariably meet the same guests there every night as they also loved the relaxed, friendly atmosphere fostered by all the staff. A special thank you to Nilo who was always tempting us with delicious hors d'oeuvres and just before dinner too! We liked to go to the 'Avenue Saloon' after dinner as it was a very comfortable place to relax and chat with fellow guests. Here again, all the bar staff were just so efficient and attentive, especially Eduardo and Marco. It still amazes me that from day one staff would remember our names, and even what we liked to drink. The 'Lux' nightclub was also a regular late night haunt for us however, there did seem to be a problem with underage drinkers on most nights, despite the DJ's repeated warnings on the subject. We would have found it hard to determine the age of some of the teenagers on board, let alone the poor bar staff who may have found it difficult to question the age of guests. We appreciate that there may be little for teenagers to do in the evenings on cruise ships and perhaps this is something which Crystal might consider addressing for the future. One of our fellow guests asked if the ship would host a 'Friends of Dorothy' get together for the gay and lesbian guests on board and we were delighted when they agreed. It was held one evening before dinner in the 'Lux' nightclub, complete with nibbles, and was greatly appreciated by all those who attended. We feel that the move to 'all inclusive' last year continues to be a great innovation and, rather than guests over indulging, in our experience it has had the opposite effect and everyone seemed to drink sensibly and in moderation. The Ports of Call All our previous Crystal cruises had been around the Mediterranean and we chose this particular cruise mainly because it was visiting unusual ports and countries which were new to us. We really enjoyed all the ports, except for Constanta in Romania (of which more later), and were very pleasantly surprised and impressed with Odessa, Yalta and Sochi. Odessa was a very grand city which had a very relaxed and safe atmosphere with some beautiful buildings and was easy to get around. Yalta was also not what we had expected ' in a good way. We opted to take the 'Sochi Highlights' excursion when we got to Russia and were astounded by the beauty of the city and its surrounding countryside. It was so green and lush that it was hard to believe that this was actually in Russia. The highlight of the tour was a visit to Stalin's dacha on the outskirts of Sochi and was a fascinating insight into that period of history. We were very fortunate to have an excellent tour guide called Olga who not only knew her facts but was passionate, and at times emotional, about her city and country. It is sad to report that our visit to Constanta in Romania was less than pleasant. We did not have high expectations prior to the visit and unfortunately they were well founded. Constanta can only be described as very grim and as soon as we stepped off the shuttle bus in the town centre we realised that it had little to commend it. There were virtually no proper roads or pavements, just mounds of stones and rubble everywhere making it difficult and dangerous to walk. We did not feel safe in any sense during our entire time there and, after a very brief walkabout, decided to hot foot it back to the safety of the ship. During the shuttle bus journey back to the ship we met two fellow guests who had just been almost robbed of their cameras in the main street. Luckily, both men were of a large build and were able to fend off the would- be thieves, however, they were still shaken by the experience and were also beating a hasty retreat back to the ship. On returning to the ship we subsequently heard that another guest had not been quite so fortunate and that he had in fact been robbed that same morning in the town centre. Presumably these incidents will have been reported to the Concierge/Security staff on the ship. We did not meet anyone who visited Constanta that day who would ever want to return there. We would recommend that Crystal seriously reviews the suitability of Constanta as a port of call on any future 'Black Sea' cruises. Our cruise ended in Istanbul and unfortunately we only had a very brief time to see the city but would be keen to return on a future occasion. Entertainment We are not avid show goers so cannot really comment on them. We still did miss the live band playing in the afternoons on the Lido deck, especially at sail away. Even some music from the DJ would have added to the atmosphere. The Crew The crew, as ever, made the whole cruise special and, although we have mentioned by name those with whom we probably had the most contact, we must praise all crew for their efficiency, friendliness and patience. . They are Crystal's biggest asset. It is perhaps a little sad that the entertainers from the shows are not just so friendly and tend to keep very much to themselves, rather than interact with the guests. Overall cruise experience This was a very relaxing and enjoyable cruise and we loved every minute. We met some great fellow passengers with whom we are still in contact and we look forward to planning our next Crystal cruise in 2014. Keep up the good work Crystal! 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