Crystal Symphony Cruise Review by c&semail: New England in the Fall
Overall Member Rating
New England in the Fall
Destination: Canada & New England
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
Service and food-wise, this was well up to the standards we have come to expect on Silversea/ Seabourn / Windstar, although I still prefer the smaller ships and all-inclusive cruising. Having said that, we had so much shipboard credit (which could be used for excursions as well as for drinks etc) that I didn't feel so conscious of having to pay for everything on board. Soft drinks and water were free, unlike Cunard - in fact everything was so much better than our recent Cunard cruise I find it hard to fault. As another review has said, the cabin stewardess was superb, and we didn't experience any poor service.
We normally like to sit on a shared table. On some of the smaller ships it is free seating so you can move round and meet lots of lovely people. I was rather dreading the Crystal dining arrangement as it is fixed seating (they say they have invented a pre-booked free seating which means it isn't really free seating at all, and you only get your own company) but it More actually worked fine. We did get nice table companions, and on a day when everyone other than us happened to have booked one of the other restaurants, the maitre d' put us on another shared table to we met some other folk too.
As a non-meat eater I found my choices limited some days, but overall found the food to be of a high standard.
Two of the 'other' restaurants could be booked and were free - plus of course the Lido. But as the other reviewer has mentioned, closing the Lido at 1.30pm is rather earlyu if you've been off the ship in the morning - especially if like me you don't eat meat and therefore have no interest in the only alternative which is burger type food.
We were among a very small number of non-Americans on board (in fact on the first night they told us there were something like 12 Brits, 200 Americans, and 250 Californians! Entertainment was pretty good - we don't go for Las Vegas type shows, but apart from an American comedian whom we couldn't understand, most of the rest of the acts were good and one or two were excellent.
We don't normally bother with excursions on cruises (generally poor value for money) but with our shipboard credit and the fact they were a bit more reasonably priced than is often the case,we did take a few on this Crystal cruise and they were well organised and interesting.
All in all, I might consider Crystal again if we got a really good price offer, but even the on-board "two for one" offers on future cruises struck us as very expensive. (Unlike the other reviewer of this cruise, we wouldn't consider Celebrity etc, as even a ship like as big as Symphony with about 800 pax was really too big for me.) Less
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Cabin review: A8014
8014 - good position not far from lifts, has a bath which I liked, nice balcony we didn't use much as weather mostly too cold
Port and Shore Excursions
We've been before which is perhaps why we didn't get more excited by Boston. We just went on a walking tour and listened to a not very good tour guide telling us about the evils of George lll. Probably people who have not been before would have got a lot more out of the city. It is a nice place and if I had to live in the States. is perhaps one of the places I would choose to live.
A month afterwards I can hardly remember anything about it so it must have been really exciting. I think we drove out to Peggy's Cove which was a pretty drive, but dull compared with most of Cornwall, England.
We had two days in Montreal. It is a nice city but you definitely felt you were back to big city America (yes I do know it's in Canada, that was just the feel. However the are some interesting sights, especially the cathedral, and I found the idea of the underground shopping precincts amazing - what a great idea when it's winter!
Interesting to see how tghe other half lived. (and probably still does). We took a nice harbour cruise and then visited the Vanderbilt mansion which was almost obscene in its over the top opulence. When I think of the people in the world with not enough to eat - well, don't get me started!
Really liked Quebec. We didn't have very good weather there but even so we could easily have spent more time there.
Should also mention that going along the North Atlantic coast and the St Lawrence river to get to Quebec was lovely, in spite of pretty awful weather. We saw whales spouting, and lots of seals, and sea birds.
Probably one of the highlights for us (even tough I lost my sweater there). We went on a photographic tour with a local professional photographer who took us to some very good spot for taking photos. Especially good that we saw the river at both low and high tides so we saw the rapids flowing both ways. Some of the people from the ship were braqve enough to take a boat into the rapids.
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