This was my second cruise on Crystal. The first cruise was on the Serenity in 2010. The two ships are similar though the Serenity is larger. I preferred the Serenity, but I preferred the decor on the Symphony.
I selected this cruise for the itinerary which was excellent. It was round trip from Dover, England and there were only two sea days. The ports were Edinburgh (two days), Belfast, Dublin, Holyhead, Waterford, Portland, and St. Peter Port. We had smooth seas and good weather.
On my last cruise there was an "as you like it" credit that could be used for everything aboard ship, but Crystal recently switched to being all-inclusive. However that does not include shore excursions and their shore excursions tend to be pricey. Most of the ports on this itinerary were a distance from the city. Shuttles were provided free in all ports except St. Peter Port which was within walking distance. In two ports (Edinburgh and Dublin) I utilized the hop on hop off buses which worked out well.
My cabin was small, but comfortable with nice bedding and towels. The bath was small, but had double sinks, granite countertops and a tub/shower combination. My cabin was listed as an obstructed view cabin but the view was not obstructed. There were lifeboats on either side of the window which were not visible from inside the cabin.
The dining room food was very good and the presentation excellent. The Grand Marnier souffle was wonderful. The mushroom soup in a bread bowl and the sea bass in Prego, the Italian restaurant, were outstanding. The Bistro was a very popular place for snack type foods and drinks. It was so popular that it was often crowded and had spotty service because the staff was overwhelmed.
The entertainment was better and more varied than what one would find on many other lines. Irish dancers and musicians were brought on board in Dublin and they were outstanding. The cruise director, Paul McFarland, an American from Las Vegas was very good.
My cruise experience was comparable to what I experienced on Holland American's Eurodam last fall, but the Eurodam carries more than double the passengers. Crystal's smaller size was a definite plus especially on this itinerary. I could have taken Princess for less money but that ship was three hours late leaving Dover and missed Belfast so I was happy I decided to take Crystal.