Repeat cruising can be difficult in terms of managing expectations . One boards the cruise ship again with high expectations based on fond memories from the last cruise. Such were my thoughts when I boarded Crystal Symphony earlier this month in Melbourne, Australia. In fact, my last cruise (a trans pacific from Los Angeles to Tahiti) was marvelous and left me thrilled with Crystal.
I love eating and I must confess it is the single biggest reason why I cruise with Crystal. Not to make light of Crystal Symphony as a beautiful ship with stately public rooms & elegant well designed cabin/suites, but I really enjoy fine dining which to me means both delicious well presented food with equally elegant and professional table service.
For this last cruise, I was fortunate again to have Adem as my waiter. I am afraid to write this as I understand he already has quite a following and his section is a coveted spot in the Dining Room. Adem is a marvelously professional, attentive and friendly waiter. He, together with his fine assistants, ushered us through multi-course lunches and dinners with precision and charm. His attention to detail and adherence to our preferences were flawless. For breakfast, Muzo also manages a table well and brings a friendly demeanor which makes for a great start to the day.
Not to gush too much, but the entire food and beverage team is great. From Bar Staff to Wine Stewards to the Assistant Waiters and the staff helping out in the Lido Buffet and by the pool. High marks to all. It starts with Remi the ever present, charming and engaging Matre d'. Remi watches over the Dining Room with sharp eyes making each guest feel welcomed and special. He is the Senior Diplomat of the Dining Room. Joining him with watchful eyes and quick words are the Head Waiters. I had the pleasure of being in Roland's section.
A special nod of recognition must go to the senior managers of Crystal Cruises on board and at the corporate office who do a great job hiring and maintaining the staff many of which have been with the cruise line for 10-15-20 plus years. Such retention and dedication does not come by accident.
One final note and commendation must go to our Butler, Greg, who was so gracious and attentive we were sometimes left for a loss of words. He was great and must have wings on his shoes as he was so fast in his responses. In fact, we timed him once and he was at our door, tray in hand, less than 60 seconds after we called him.
Thank you Crystal for a great cruise. We can't wait to get back aboard again.