Crystal Symphony was considered a revolutionary ship when it was built in the mid-1990's because it had absolutely no inside cabins. Standard outsides (well, Crystal calls them "deluxe") measure 202 square feet -- reasonably roomy -- and are the same size as, and similarly outfitted to, balcony cabins, which measure 246 square feet. (The extra 44 square feet goes to the verandah.) Regardless of designation, all cabins on Crystal Symphony have been refurbished and are decorated in sleek, boutique-hotel style; color schemes vary per floor. On one deck, all cabins are green/blue; on another, the scheme is maroon/yellow.
All cabins feature queen beds (with funky, leather headboards) that convert to two twins. There is a seating area; the armchairs that graced this space previously have all been replaced with cream leather sofas; apparently, there were a lot of complaints about a lack of seating for two.
Each cabin has a flat-screen television, DVD player (DVD's are free to borrow from the library) and fridge with complimentary soft drinks and bottled water. There's a safe and plenty of storage space; bathrobes to borrow hang in the closets. One nice touch on our tropics cruise: Robes made of terrycloth, as well as those made from a lighter cotton, were available.
Bathrooms each feature two sinks (in the trendy "bowl" style) and a full-powered hairdryer. All have bathtub-shower combos. Toiletries in each cabin are from Aveda.
Balconies are each outfitted with two mesh chairs and a small table.
Crystal Symphony's penthouse-level suites come in three sizes, 367 square feet (Penthouse with Verandah), 491 square feet (Penthouse Suite with Verandah) and 982 square feet (Crystal Penthouse with Verandah), and are comfortable and elegant. All have verandahs that are outfitted with adjustable plastic chairs (cushions provided) and small tables.
All 63 Penthouses have had complete refits and boast new, soft furnishings. The accent is on neutrals: new taupe, ivory and sand color schemes and lots of stone on the counter tops and bedside tables. Bathrooms have been done in tones of white and are slightly clinical, and there are new headboards and bedding.
The two top suites, the 982-square-foot Crystal Penthouses, have had a complete makeover -- everything from structure to soft furnishings. A corner of the balcony has been enclosed to create a new dining area, which allows the table to be tucked out of the main part of the room into a space now surrounded by glass on three sides. The bathrooms are so beautiful you'll just want to move in; the tubs are by Philippe Starck and have uninterrupted ocean views (and, more prosaically, flat-screen TV's recessed into the walls), while the granite sink is backed by shimmery glass mosaic tiles.
All Penthouses have butlers who bring afternoon canapes, make restaurant and spa reservations, replace beverages and serve room-service meals. There are also walk-in closets. Another extra: Suite-holders are provided with complimentary bottles of wine, plus a choice of liquor (one full-sized bottle per person). Mini-fridges are continually stocked with beer and soda. If you're a room-service fan, definitely book one of these cabins, as butlers can serve course-by-course meals. You can order from the main dining room, Silk Road and Valentino at Prego during operating hours. (On our last trip, we created a delicious Silk Road-Prego combo, ordering Miso Black Cod and chocolate souffle from the former and lasagna and mushroom soup in a bread bowl from the latter. Delicious!)