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7 Crystal Melbourne Cruise Reviews

We went to Crystal Symphony because our past experience was excellent even though the company was bought by an Asian company. We had been cruising with different cruise lines for over a long time. We still decided to try again even when we ... Read More
We went to Crystal Symphony because our past experience was excellent even though the company was bought by an Asian company. We had been cruising with different cruise lines for over a long time. We still decided to try again even when we saw some bad reviews recently. First, the embarkation was a total disaster at Melbourne. There were hardly any Crystal agents and there were no instructions where to go and what to do. The lines to the security were long and the check in once we board the ship was confusing. The whole cruise experience was very disappointing. The food especially with the main dining room was very poor. Even with the specialty restaurants Prego and Silk Road, they were below par. The menu choice was small and food was ordinary. They don't deserve to be called specialty restaurants. The chef at the kitchen tour apologized that because the ship is required to purchase everything from Australia and the price was experience, the ship had to purchase the lower quality produce. This is absurd, so Crystal decided to buy lower quality food for their customers for the Australia/New Zealand trip when the theme of this cruise was supposed to be Food and Wine! Their chef table only offered twice through out the trip and they were already filled even the first day. I don't know why they didn't do the chef table every night like other cruise lines. The excursions for New Zealand were almost identical in every port so there weren't much to choose from. The worse was the entertainment in particular the shows. They were so outdated in comparisons to the Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Sea which we went in October. The dancers and singers were low quality, their costume are ordinary, the stage was small and lacked scenes. The lighting and sounds lacked the newer digital equipment, sound and lighting. The entire program was similar to what we experience more than 15 years ago. As for enrichment program which they pride themselves in, they had old retired guests to talked about outdated material. One of them was an old security guard whom he talked about his experience with Jackie Kennedy for many nights. Another one was a pianist and singer that followed the John Elton style. The music and singing are mostly classic and lacked the dynamics. The computer work shops was based on only Ipad or Mac fo old people with no computer experience. The ship was supposed to have renovated but they are still old and showed wear. Many of the activity rooms were so small and old fashion. There were hardly any stores. They only had three, 1 jewelry store, 1 sells handbags and convenient items and 1 on low quality clothing. We met 2 couple of friends from the main dining. The only item that was still of good quality was their service personnel at the restaurants and cafe. The wait staffs still continued to remember and called us by our name and some times helped to carry our trays. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
A mix of good and bad. The service was generally excellent. The onboard lecturers were very good. The Palm Court is a lovely room with excellent staff and quickly became our room of choice on board. The food, in particular the main courses ... Read More
A mix of good and bad. The service was generally excellent. The onboard lecturers were very good. The Palm Court is a lovely room with excellent staff and quickly became our room of choice on board. The food, in particular the main courses in the MDR, were mostly very disappointing. Every meal seemed to emphasis Salmon or Shrimp and the meats were dry, bland or overcooked. Considering this was supposedly a Food & Wine cruise it was not good. The entertainment was variable, sometimes quite good and sometimes very ordinary, and catered for more for a 70+ market rather than the 50+ market my wife and our friends belong to. The 'streamlined onboard checkin' was one of the slowest checkins I've experienced and definitely not what you would expect with a smaller luxury ship.And despite being an upmarket ship, we copped the second string berth at many ports, with the prime spots going to other vessels. I enjoyed the cruise but my wife and I both agree it wasn't worth the higher cost, even with its all-inclusive nature, and I think we'd rather go back to a balcony or suite on Princess or HAL over another oceanview on Crystal. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Crystal Symphony cruise departing on January 5, 2017 I chose the cruise for two reasons. One was the ports of call and the area that the cruise was visiting. The other was the fact that it was a bridge cruise and I wanted to but ... Read More
Crystal Symphony cruise departing on January 5, 2017 I chose the cruise for two reasons. One was the ports of call and the area that the cruise was visiting. The other was the fact that it was a bridge cruise and I wanted to but participate in playing bridge and learning bridge I loved the luxury of the cruise. The service was excellent especially the young lady who took after me in my room when I was sick for a few days. The food actually was not up to my measure I guess because I really don't like complicated foods and very often I would order something that did not meet my expectations All in all I would cruise with Crystal again. It is nice to be taken care of and envjoy and such luxury The two is provided by the crews were excellent and certainly meant by expectations, they were well organized and well thought out . My only criticism and it is a serious one is that when I had my hair washed and blown out I was offered a little special conditioner and a teeny tiny tube. I was told that they wash and blow out what's going to cost me $43. When they showed me the bill they had added an extra $76 for this exceedingly tiny little tube of something. I should have complained but it was the last day of the cruise and I didn't have the opportunity. However I I will send a letter to the cruise company because I thought this was an out rages rip off Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise because of its proximity to our home and no long haul flying needed. We boarded in Melbourne and this was orderly but we had to wait to be called as it was a full sailing. Once onboard we dined in the dining room ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its proximity to our home and no long haul flying needed. We boarded in Melbourne and this was orderly but we had to wait to be called as it was a full sailing. Once onboard we dined in the dining room and later went to our cabin to find the bags on the bed. TIP: we brought our own wire hangers and discarded the Crystal ones and the heavy robes. Our cabin was small but we got all our clothes in with drawers not used! These cabins are clever and well designed. Bathroom clean and tidy. The dining was very good and the wait staff obliging. Entertainment and activities were all very good. Yes there is something for everyone on Crystal. I must say that although aging the ship is very well maintained. The stars of the show truly are the staff at all levels and they are really customer focussed in my opinion. One joy for me is getting off the ship and being welcomed back after excursions. Keep up the good work Crystal! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Just off Crystal Symphony Melbourne to Brisbane and whilst the ship is nice I believe that it falls well short of Seabourne and is on a par with Oceania. Boarding Boarding was well organised as one would expect.Once on board we has ... Read More
Just off Crystal Symphony Melbourne to Brisbane and whilst the ship is nice I believe that it falls well short of Seabourne and is on a par with Oceania. Boarding Boarding was well organised as one would expect.Once on board we has afternoon tea and then went to our cabin at 3pm Fire Drill Fire drill was at 8pm. Not a good time when many had dinner reservation for 7.30 to 8pm. Still wouldn't have been too bad except for the dining room deferring our meal time from 8pm to 9pm despiter the fact that we notified them as soon as we learned of the drill time Cabin This cabin was the smallest cabin we have ever encountered . It was smaller even than Celebrity and Royal Carribean Shuttles A big raspberry to Crystal. Docked at Adelaide about 20km from the city and Crystal didn't even provide a shuttle to the city. As the train line was under repairs and buses were being used to transfer people for the last half of the journey taxi was the best option but the cost was $50 each way.The failure to supply shuttles went down like a lead balloon with most non excursion passengers. Vibration We have travelled on Seabourn, Ocenia, azamara, Celebrity & Royal Carribean and have had many trip in very rough seas, certainly rougher than we experienced on Crystal. The problem we found with the Symphony was that there was a constant vibration transferred through the ship . This vibration in rougher waters rattled the sliding wardrobe and was felt throughout the night . My wife who has never been seasick in her life felt very uneasy in all sectors until we cruised from Sydney to Brisbane. Quality of dining staff. Let me say that the bulk of the staff throughout the dining venues were very good to excellent. The absolute letdown though was the main Maitre D station in the main dining room. The service here was very impersonal with the Maitre D still not knowing our name or cabin number after 12 days. Once past this station then section Manager Martin was totally different , he recognised you and knew your name after a couple of days. On all past cruises except for Royal Carribean every Maitre 'd had a professional and pleasant air and certainly ever one knew who you were after a day or so. This was not the case with Main dining room front counter staff on CrystalFood The food was very good and both specialty restaurants offered a wonderful fare. Amenities The amenities throughout the ship were very good and there was generally no feeling of crowding. The ships policy to allow visitors on board on the first day in port meant that at time the ship had a bit of a crowded feel during this time. I can't complain thought as I took advantage of this offer myself. One thing that Crystal should address is the smoking areas on the pool deck area. I accept that smokers should have an area in which they can smoke and all lines provide such. Crystal have gone overboard providing about 50% of the pool deck area as smoking area. Lets have some sense and allocate an area in keeping with the percentages of smokers which is way under 50%. A maximum 20% should be provided in a corner area so that non smokers don't have to put up with the smell. One other thin , THAT HORRIBLE CARRY BAG. For heavens sake crystal spend the few dollars more and go back to the old one. Shows The shows were entertaining and the Crystal performers were better than I expected. Shore Excursions I found the shore excursion quite expensive, however, being an Aussie who has visited all the ports on numerous occasions just made my own arrangements or rented a car. General Comments I realise that we all have our own preferences and that all Crystal lovers will be up in arms, however, just let me point out a few of the little niceties you get on say on Seabourn and several of the other better lines that Crystal just don't match Baggage tags. Crystal use cardboard tags, Seabourn have leather permanent tags Cabins. This was the smallest cabin we have ever experienced. The settee was just big enough for 2 people to sit on. Seabour cabin was at least 20% larger with full size bath, separate shower with glass door and a very large lounge area Turn down service. Not that I eat chocolate but every other line we have been on provided a chocolate as part of their turn down service . Not Crystal Tote bags. What a disgrace for a tote back which looks more like a Woolworths shopping carry bag. Get real Crystal and at least go back to your old model which was passable for a 3-4 star line Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We loved it! - We took this short 6 day cruise to see if we would like cruising - and we do! From the moment we stepped on board to our departure everything about Crystal Symphony and her crew was perfect - a great example of how a luxury ... Read More
We loved it! - We took this short 6 day cruise to see if we would like cruising - and we do! From the moment we stepped on board to our departure everything about Crystal Symphony and her crew was perfect - a great example of how a luxury cruise experience should be delivered. We were first time cruises but have already booked our next Crystal cruise - 15 days this time across the Pacific in 2014 - on board Symphony again We really enjoyed the sea days - so much too do - in fact you can't fit everything in on the programme The food in the MDR, Prego and Silk Road restaurants was excellent - we were never disappointed with the quality or the service It never felt crowded and there was always a quiet place you could find to relax - or if you wanted company there were plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle with other guests We are looking forward to our next cruise Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
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