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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Firstly a little bit of background. My wife and I are long time cruisers, mostly on smaller and the R8 ships. Pacific Princess and the unfortunate Adonia have been our regular choice, but in recent years have looked into alternative cruise ... Read More
Firstly a little bit of background. My wife and I are long time cruisers, mostly on smaller and the R8 ships. Pacific Princess and the unfortunate Adonia have been our regular choice, but in recent years have looked into alternative cruise lines. Windstar, Regent and now several Cruises with Oceania. Back to this review. We chose the Crystal Symphony because of the itinerary and to experience another mid sized ship. Whilst the ship is physically large the passenger count is still below 1000, which means alot of public space and larger staterooms. The décor and luxury is immediately apparent but certainly not over the top. The main dinning room Waterside, is reasonably spacious and although open dinning times we never had to wait for a table. The food was always delicious and well presented. My only comment here would be the slightly limited menu. The Market Place at lunch time has the largest and most varied salad bar we have ever encountered. This was always backed up with a large variety of meat and fish. This venu changes to a Brazilian theme in the evening, where again the choice of food is good. Uni Uma is the Japanese fusion restaurant which undoubtedly serves the finest food on the ship. Prego is the Italian speciality dining. The food was good but the whole experience was not any better than some and certainly does not compete with Oceanias version. Entertainment was average and the casino little used. As this itinerary was port intensive, deck game and lecture were not so well attended. I have not touched on the topic of crew and staff, internet, poolside etc but suffice to say they are all in keeping with a Premium targeted cruise ship. Overall impression! A Premium cruise line providing a premium experience. So why only four stars? There is a general lack of Wow factor and generally only doing what one might expect at a level that others have achieved and in some limited areas are doing slightly better. Would we choose Crystal again? Not until all the other options have been tested out Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have gone on other Crystal cruises before and were anxious to check out the new Seabreeze Penthouses. While they are 50% larger than the standard Veranda Suites, they also cost about 50% more. The Suite was beautiful and the extra ... Read More
We have gone on other Crystal cruises before and were anxious to check out the new Seabreeze Penthouses. While they are 50% larger than the standard Veranda Suites, they also cost about 50% more. The Suite was beautiful and the extra space was fantastic. On the negative, the TV is in an awkward place, the vanity area is very tight and the lifeboat just below our balcony interfered with our view. Also, while some passengers will appreciate having a private butler, we did not see this service as a big plus. Although the refurbishment of the ship had occurred months ago, some elements were still being completed. The WiFi was being worked on and required technicians to go into all staterooms. The in-room movies were limited because they were still loading them into the new system. The food and service in Umi Uma and Prego was wonderful as usual. The service in Waterside was excellent but the menu seemed a bit uninspired. The Mozart Tea still featured waiters in period costumes and a generous selection of treats, but overall it felt less grand than it used to be. Compared to other luxury cruise lines, Crystal is still our favorite and we will be on Serenity later this year after it is refurbished. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Cruised on Crystal Serenity Oct 3 to Oct 13, NYC to Quebec City. Sailing out of NYC at sunset is an experience everyone should have - with the sun setting in back of the Statue of Liberty and then a full moon. Simply amazing! I really ... Read More
Cruised on Crystal Serenity Oct 3 to Oct 13, NYC to Quebec City. Sailing out of NYC at sunset is an experience everyone should have - with the sun setting in back of the Statue of Liberty and then a full moon. Simply amazing! I really miss the leaves turning as I live in the desert. But the colors in Quebec were specular in early October. And Quebec City is an amazing walking town with plenty to see and do. And Crystal is an amazing experience - beautiful, friendly and all inclusive. The cabins even with a veranda are a little small for 2 people but we spent most time in the public areas. We also ate in Nobu sushi bar most nights - Simply amazing food and the chefs are fabulous. Will prepare a meal for you that will far exceed your expectations. Rough seas and winds one night that I truly enjoyed - like being on a roller coaster while cruising. Just love cruising! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. This was our first Crystal Cruise (but hopefully not the last). We did not know what to expect, having sailed more mass market ships before. Our cabin, 10058, was a penthouse ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. This was our first Crystal Cruise (but hopefully not the last). We did not know what to expect, having sailed more mass market ships before. Our cabin, 10058, was a penthouse with veranda. Loved the layout! Just beware of the high step into the bathroom. The closet was a fairly spacious walk-in, with a built in dresser and shelves. No problem hanging up/storing our overpacked clothes! In the bedroom were so many extra drawers, most of which simply went unused. Our suitcases (2 large, 2 small) fit into the closet. There is also a refrigerator in the cabin (no freezer). The bathroom had a tub and a shower. The service throughout the ship was extraordinary at every level. Particularly loved our butler and cabin attendants. They couldn’t do enough to ensure our comfort. Entertainment: simply the best we have seen on a ship. Dining: Well, there were a few warts. The main dining room menus got progressively less imaginative. The food quality in the main dining room slightly declined . A T-bone steak had to be sent back as it was very tough. What a waste! It was quite a disappointment that when sailing in New England and Nova Scotia there was no lobster on the menu! Tastes, Prego, and Silk Road were great. For breakfast and lunch you MUST visit Lido and Trident Grill. Never a disappointment. For example, burgers (and everything else) at the Trident were all freshly made to order, not stacked up waiting to be ordered. And, yes, there is sugarfree ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s and sugar free desserts at Lido. Activities: just ok. However, enrichment speakers were top quality and interesting. Shopping: High end only. No little sundry shop, selling tee shirts, etc. There is a sale at the end of the cruise but still high priced merchandise. Be aware that OBC can not be used in the casino. Only real cash there. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
Chose this cruise as a friend (a Crystal novice) was interested in seeing what the excitement is about...her room was on the same deck but opposite side so we were close by but not running into each other constantly. Did our own version ... Read More
Chose this cruise as a friend (a Crystal novice) was interested in seeing what the excitement is about...her room was on the same deck but opposite side so we were close by but not running into each other constantly. Did our own version of shore excursions: using a combination of public transportation and ship supplied shuttles, mapping out our potential routes in advance. Saw a lot of New York in little time, same true of Boston (a very short duration--are their dock fees too high?) and had no complaints about the tender services in Bar Harbor or Newport. Easy to maneuver. Service continues to be the major Crystal distinction. Wonder how the prices will fare with the announced ship revisions and associated decrease in the number of cabins. Will welcome a complete revision to the tedious and dated dinner time and assigned table model which has been slowly disappearing. Lido deck evening options? I'm all for that! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We wanted to see Iceland and after looking at all the itinerary's of many cruise lines we decided we liked the Crystal Symphony itinerary the best since it sailed out of NYC , stopped in New England ports and then on to Iceland. We ... Read More
We wanted to see Iceland and after looking at all the itinerary's of many cruise lines we decided we liked the Crystal Symphony itinerary the best since it sailed out of NYC , stopped in New England ports and then on to Iceland. We had heard it was a great cruise line but didn't realize how excellent it really was until we sailed on Crystal. We have been on 12 cruises on 3 different lines. We always enjoyed ourselves but never expected to enjoy this one as much as we did. First off, you aren't "nickeled and dimed to death", almost everything is included in your fare. The food was exceptional and of gourmet quality, the crew amazing, and the entertainment very good. ( a famous singer, a pianist, singers who won national TV talent contests, dancers), The afternoon lecturers were interesting and very knowledgeable. They even had a former astronaut give 4 extremely great lectures on space . The cabin was nice and roomier than others we've been in, very comfortable and quiet .The ship was beautiful but a bit worn, but we heard it's being refitted this Sept. The average age was probably about 60 but these people seemed generally to be a very active , friendly group and very loyal to Crystal.. We couldn't have enjoyed ourselves more and hope to do more Crystal cruises in the future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I picked this cruise because it was a great deal for solo travelers, had lots of sea days (I love sea days - especially the lectures), and the itinerary. It did not disappoint. I reconnected with several fellow travelers from other ... Read More
I picked this cruise because it was a great deal for solo travelers, had lots of sea days (I love sea days - especially the lectures), and the itinerary. It did not disappoint. I reconnected with several fellow travelers from other Crystal cruises met many new enjoyable companions. The service, the activities, fellow travelers are all part of the reason that I love Crystal cruises and this one met all expectations. BTW I booked 2 more cruises while on board - one leaving August 3rd and the other in 2019. New York was special for me since I went to the 911 Memorial Museum to re-visit one of the worst days in my life - I was on an airplane that day and lost 5 business associates (4 in the airplane that hit the Pentagon and 1 in the airplane that hit the south tower. In Newport, I sailed on the Columbia, the 12 meter boat that won the America's Cup in 1958. It was a beautiful day for a sail. In Boston I walked the Freedom Trail - my last time was more than 50 years ago. I Bar Harbor, I ate Lobster. Halifax is one of my favorite ports, with great historical and archeological sites. It was rainy in Iceland but still interesting. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We boarded the ship in NYC which was great as we live here. Embarkation was very easy, its on the ship. We were meet at the gangway and escorted to the desk, on the way a steward took our carry-on and delivered it to our stateroom. There ... Read More
We boarded the ship in NYC which was great as we live here. Embarkation was very easy, its on the ship. We were meet at the gangway and escorted to the desk, on the way a steward took our carry-on and delivered it to our stateroom. There was champagne and lunch in the MDR. I was surprised the lido was not open. The ship is 1000 passengers, about the right size for us. It is in excellent shape and very clean all around. Its about 25 years old so the design is dated, that said it is easy to get around and find places. You can see how it has been changed over the years as the decor seems rather hap hazard. The lido has just been done, looks modern and new. This should be carried throughout the ship. I missed the interactive TV in the room however the internet was OK although you just get 1 hour a day, the rest you must pay for. As a all inclusive luxury line I would expect it to be included. The public spaces were very spacious however the ship was just 2/3 full. If full some would be crowded. Cabin was a OV on deck seven, number 7068. Excellent location, quiet with little ship movement. Cabin is very small for a luxury line, that said it was in excellent shape, very clean at all times. Steward was eager to do all that was asked. If you go aboard expecting same cabin as a mass market line you will not be let down. Food was very good. There are plenty of choices and its apparent Crystal uses excellent ingredients and cooks to order. I liked most things, sent a few back. They are eager to please and do all they can to give you a nice meal. Dinning is the deal breaker for me on Crystal. I think the main dinning room has about as much ambience as the local dinner. Its small, noisy and restrictive. There is just first, second and reservation dinning. We had first sitting, it was full so we were stuck in a poor table for 2 for two weeks. Service was very rushed. The specialty restaurants were very nice, easy to make reservations for although I find paying for extra tackier in the luxury market. The service and ambiance they have should be what you experience throughout the ship. The lido, tastes and grill were excellent. A real downside for me is the lido is closed for dinner. If you miss your sitting its room service or nothing. The rooms are really to small to eat in. The Bistro was a nice place to stop for coffee however I found their snacks odd. Entertainment and activities are nice and plentiful. Like anything I found some great and skipped some. I liked the idea there are two shows most nights, easy to get a seat. There is so much going on day and night it would be hard to be board. Service is great all around the ship. Again it was just 2/3 full. This was a Caribbean trip so the ports were beach and shopping. We missed one and they gave 250$ FCC to each person. I felt that was very generous Overall this was a nice trip, I would judge it average, or a 3, comparing it to other luxury lines. I found my fellow guests to be extremely nice, I did not hear complaints, see fights for seats or get run over by a scooter however the pool chair hog's were out in full force. I would go again however Crystal is not my go to cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
Although we have been on many cruises, this was our first time sailing with Crystal. I must say I was very impressed. A wonderful cruise. First class in every way - the ship, the staff, the food, the entertainment. Especially loved the ... Read More
Although we have been on many cruises, this was our first time sailing with Crystal. I must say I was very impressed. A wonderful cruise. First class in every way - the ship, the staff, the food, the entertainment. Especially loved the magic show with Doc, the comedians and the dancing of Curtis and Beverly. Only down part was that we missed not being able to go into Savannah, Georgia. Very understandable though. First and foremost was getting supplies to the people following the hurricane. We took tours in Baltimore, Maryland and Charleston, South Carolina. Both of these were excellent. The included meals on both tours were the best. We love seeing new ports and enjoyed going to Grand Turk and La Romana, Dominican Republic.We have been to Curacao and Oranjestad, Aruba before, but enjoyed visiting again. Overall, I would give this cruise top marks. Our departure in Ft. Lauderdale was handled very well with buses all labelled and ready to for our trip to the airport. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My wife has never been to the east coast and I have on business. I wanted her to see the fall colors of New England so we booked this cruise. We did not get off to a great start, their shore people were pretty rude. But our butler was ... Read More
My wife has never been to the east coast and I have on business. I wanted her to see the fall colors of New England so we booked this cruise. We did not get off to a great start, their shore people were pretty rude. But our butler was phenomenal and the staff onboard was great with one exception.. I mentioned that I enjoy having Baileys in coffee as a nightcap and a couple of hours later there was a full bottle of Baileys in our cabin which I enjoyed for the duration of our cruise. My wife and I are private people and enjoy eating in our cabin rather than in the dining room. Our butler did a wonderful job of of taking care of this task for us. I still remember his"Happy Good Morning" when I would call him for a request. He did a great job of taking care of any special requests we had. The staff onboard were really great too. Anywhere you went the staff was helpful and courteous. This was especially true for the dining room and specialty dining. Speaking of which, I was able to get sushi onboard, a treat for me. Dining was definitely four star. The one disappointment was a person organizing the grouping for a tour. They got really grumpy when we were late and missed the boat to shore. We have not cruised with Crystal before and did not know where to look for the start times of the tours. So I checked with the front desk for the start time but they gave me the wrong time. Eventually they refunded the price of the tour. But all in all I would rate the staff on board as excellent. The ports were great. The mansions in Newport were spectacular and the history in Boston was wonderful. We opted for a private tour booked by our travel designer and followed the freedom trail. Bar Harbor and Nova Scotia were also interesting ports. The time in the ports was generous and the small size of the ship made for easy on and off. In general the tours were good. We did go on one where they turned us loose to walk through town and did not give us good directions for the place to meet back up with the bus. So we walked past it and had to rely on directions from a local to get back to it. But we did enjoy the tours. On one tour where we had lunch they went out of their way to accommodate my gluten allergy. We did not participate in any of the entertainment, so cannot comment on that. But the ship was great. There was often some kind of small group playing music in the atrium which added to the elegance. We definitely would sail with Crystal again. Read Less
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