This is my second trip with Crystal. I arrived in London the day before embarkation and enjoyed seeing the city. On this occasion I was unable to use the arranged transfer to the ship as I did not receive the information about where and ... Read More
This is my second trip with Crystal. I arrived in London the day before embarkation and enjoyed seeing the city. On this occasion I was unable to use the arranged transfer to the ship as I did not receive the information about where and when to be ready. Instead the friend who took me around London took me to the port and I was able to board. The embarkation was extremely easy and straight forward.
Crystal Symphony is beautiful and it was lovely to be greeted left and right by the staff who remembered me from my previous trip. As on the previous occasion, this treatment continued until I retrieved my luggage for check-in at the airport in Copenhagen. The food in the main dining room was specially good, and the friendliness and charm of the staff made it perfect. I enjoyed dining at Prego and Silk Road and on this occasion I attended the Vintage Room dinner. That event was wonderful, and I specially enjoyed the wine selections.
The entertainment venues on this trip included a couple of performances I had enjoyed before and new ones, two of which I was able to attend. The performance by Gregory, the violinist, was remarkable. The performer was very charming as well as being supremely talented, and his music selection ranged from Argentine tango to gypsy ballads. It was a wonderful performance. I can say the same about the performance Imagine. The part where the two performers spun together within the confines of a large hoop/circle frame was incredible and visually beautiful.
The excursions I joined on this itinerary were for the most part very enjoyable. My excursion to Merdo Island in Arendal was fabulous - the island is beautiful, as was the route to get to it, and the excursion guide was very funny and knowledgeable. The volunteer excursion in Amsterdam proved to be both satisfying and actually fun, which is a surprise seeing as it was physically trying in unexpected ways. It should not have been unexpected, though, but that was my own fault and not the cruise line's. The one excursion which was not what I expected was the one to the west coast islands, and that was because it was very rushed and did not provide enough time to really see the beautiful places we visited. That guide was, as I have come to expect from Crystal, extremely well-versed in the history of the area.
There are just two particulars that I do wish had been different on this itinerary. The first was that though the number of passengers on this trip was slightly less than that of the previous trip, the ship seemed crowded, and I suspect this was because of the presence of much younger travelers and children. I do not enjoy traveling with younger travelers but I do not feel this should have made it as annoying as it turned out to be. I did wish to spend time in Palm Court reading but I could hear the screaming of children coming from the adjacent Waves, the teen's activity room. The time I spent by the pool was marred by the screaming of children in the pool. There were a few more incidents where the younger travelers made their presence known. I do wish that either the accompanying parents had been more attentive or that I had chosen an itinerary earlier in the year, as with my previous trip. On that occasion I saw only a few toddlers and one teenager. The second particular was, as with the previous trip, the planning of the events. Some events, such as the Vintage Room dinner, were set and when other events were scheduled at the same time, I could not change my plans and had to miss those other events. I would very much appreciate having events scheduled earlier or receiving earlier notice of the schedules. Having said all of this, I will travel with Crystal again. The staff, the excursions and the service make it worth it for me. Read Less