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19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I chose this line for the first time because of its prior reputation. I have traveled several times on Silversea and Seabourn and wanted to try Crystal. The Symphony is a lovely ship although considerably larger than I expected. It is due ... Read More
I chose this line for the first time because of its prior reputation. I have traveled several times on Silversea and Seabourn and wanted to try Crystal. The Symphony is a lovely ship although considerably larger than I expected. It is due to go to dry dock in September for major changes. We had a Balcony cabin but it was only 245 square feet including the balcony. I could go on any large ship line for that size Balcony cabin. The bathroom was tiny. It did have 2 sinks, but 2 people would be hard pressed to be in it at the same time. We could not pass each other at the end of the bed to go from one side of the cabin to the other. For this price, it was very disappointing! The dining room decor was lovely and the waiters for the most part just great. Food was a bit spotty. Sometimes really good and others only mediocre. I was shocked that Crystal still has first and second seating. No other 6-star line does that! Again, I might as well have gone on a large-ship line. We were assigned a table in the back of the dining room in the midst of a large group of people with lots of children. They are children so they do make noise, but this many kids magnified the noise. We did not expect this on a 6-star cruise line. We did ask to be reassigned and were given a table at the other end of the dining room. Again, if we wanted to be with a lot of children, we would have taken Disney or Royal Caribbean. Internet was available at no charge for an hour for every day of the cruise. We didn't use that much, but we do understand that full time comp internet is coming soon. The computer classes offered were good, but most geared to Apple. Of course, we have Androids. We did think the evening shows were just superb. They couldn't have been better. The ship's dancers were very talented and the alternate entertainers were amazing. We did enjoy the itinerary and the majority of the cruise, but there will have to be some really big changes to return to Crystal. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was my 7th Crystal Cruise. We normally book Penthouse cabins on the Crystal Serenity so the Symphony, with its older staterooms, was a bit of a let down. Service was very good, as usual. Food was not as good as it usually is. There ... Read More
This was my 7th Crystal Cruise. We normally book Penthouse cabins on the Crystal Serenity so the Symphony, with its older staterooms, was a bit of a let down. Service was very good, as usual. Food was not as good as it usually is. There was more than one meal where neither my father nor I ate more than two bites of our entrees. Thank goodness for Penthouse room service from the specialty restaurants (Prego and Silk Road) or we'd gone hungry. I'd like to try other cruise lines but my dad prefers Crystal. The biggest disappointment had to do one of the excursions. For convenience, we book most of our excursions through Crystal, understanding that we pay a premium for the convenience and peace of mind. Typically a 3-4 hour tour costs $69-99 per person which I think is fair. We like active tours so we booked a very interesting and fun Me-Mover excursion in Copenhagen.It's an unusual tour, sort of like a bicycle powered by a stair master. Everyone enjoyed it immensely. The next day, we happened to walk by the tour operator's storefront again and asked the proprietor much they charge for the 3 hour tour we had just taken. He told us it costs 300 DKK which is about US $46. I was floored. Crystal had charged us $229 each. Even if you add in an extra $50/person for the 10 min shuttle ride to the bike shop where we began our tour, we felt gouged. I'd sure like to know how they justified that price. Needless to say, I won't blindly book my excursions via Crystal ever again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Loved the pampering and special attention of the wonderful staff. Although they have to, most of them were very genuine. Our head waiter worked with us each night to ensure our dietary needs were met at dinner. Did not have a bad meal. ... Read More
Loved the pampering and special attention of the wonderful staff. Although they have to, most of them were very genuine. Our head waiter worked with us each night to ensure our dietary needs were met at dinner. Did not have a bad meal. All special requests were taken care of. Wines in the main dining room were a good choice and the price of the higher end wines was very reasonable - almost retail. The room was well designed and lovely. We unpacked 3 full suitcases and still had an empty drawer! The balcony though not large was suitable(dlx. stateroom), unfortunately the weather did not permit much usage.And our room steward was very helpful with info and genuinely pleasant. Loved taking a couple of tub baths, but it was a bit tight. We only did shore excursions in St. Petersburg and they went smoothly.All ports except one had shuttle buses and that worked well. The only reason I did not give 5 stars is I think the cruise should have started a day later. Departure port Stockholm was having a national holiday so most everything was closed for 2 days, the only day we could have done Moscow on our own was thursday and the Kremlin is closed that day and Warnemunde was a sunday when stores had limited opening. I loved the Crystal experience...although a full cruise at no time did anywhere fell crowded. One tip for this itinerary==wear sneakers or laced shoes...the cobblestones are a work out! Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Relaxing, luxurious, fun, friendly, warm are just a few of the words to describe the great time we had onboard this ship. The ports were great (even though the weather didn't cooperate as much as we would have liked), but the most ... Read More
Relaxing, luxurious, fun, friendly, warm are just a few of the words to describe the great time we had onboard this ship. The ports were great (even though the weather didn't cooperate as much as we would have liked), but the most memorable part of our cruise was the time we had onboard the ship. From the time we embarked in Stockholm, to the time we left Berlin (we did the 3 day post excursion), the staff couldn't have been friendlier of more accommodating. I don't know how they remember everyone's name but it seems like they do. My wife and I made a connection with the cruise staff starting with our room attendant, and continuing to the different eating rooms staff, spa staff, front desk staff, and even the casino staff were a delight (hard to say this when you lose money and still say you had a great time). We have been on several cruises (more than a dozen) on different lines and typically have a very good time, but Crystal is clearly a cut above the others in the way they treat you, the food they serve, entertainment (we listened to a lecture by a White House correspondent for the US News and World Report that was extremely interesting. Also, the tour we took in Berlin really opened my eyes to the history of that city. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
I was very very disappointed with Crystal. I took the advice of the travel agent but now realize that she might have recommended it because she gets a bigger kickback from them. I have been on many cruise ships of all sizes from the ... Read More
I was very very disappointed with Crystal. I took the advice of the travel agent but now realize that she might have recommended it because she gets a bigger kickback from them. I have been on many cruise ships of all sizes from the largest RCL to Norwegian and Seabourne. She told me that Crystal was the best by far. I decided to bite the bullet and take a cruise with them. Wow this ship has seen better days. Apart from the tiny room with the furniture that looked so cheap and dated. The whole ship decor was not only dated but looked worn out. ditto with the carpet and the lighting. And the main dining room was like a three star hotel dining room . From the boarding to the reception the staff I can only say was NOT top notch. Many looked like they did not want to be there. The lady who took us to our room (worked at the spa) barely spoke to us and I noticed wasnt greeting guests she walked past as I was accustomed to . I was also taken aback by the end of day boarding after an excursion. On all the ships I have been on their is staff welcomed you back on the ship with a smile and refreshements (*water or juice on the larger lines, champagne on Seabourne) On Crystal not even a plastic glass with water. No one was there except for the surly ship crew mates. The food was fine but I would say the quality was just as good on the bigger ships in the extra fee venues. The servers although nice were harried, again not what you expect from a 5 star experience. Did I mention the rooms were ridiculously tiny? For the same amount of money you can get a suite on the Haven (Norwegian) with a butler and the private pool. similar price for a much larger balcony suite on Seabourne, or if you like a larger ship the loft suites on RCL. Service on these other ships was just as good. Again I am not sure about where all the raves come for Crystal. My 1 star review is mainly because of the quality price ratio. At a cheaper price I might not have had as high expectations. Kind of like going out to a fine dining michelin starred restaurant but instead getting a quality chain restaurant food and service. And the WI-Fi prices Usurious. I paid $200 For 10 Hours I think, It almost never worked and the staff in the computer was very surly. when I asked if I could get a refund for the 6 hours I didnt /couldnt use (due to the poor connection) they said "no" . Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
I was assuming that the high price somehow assured the level of quality that you can find on Seabourn...trust me it does not. This ship is dated and dirty throughout. The decor is a worn holiday inn, circa 1980. On the day we checked ... Read More
I was assuming that the high price somehow assured the level of quality that you can find on Seabourn...trust me it does not. This ship is dated and dirty throughout. The decor is a worn holiday inn, circa 1980. On the day we checked in our TINY room (a suite with a balcony) had been painted that same day and the workers left their mess behind...can you imagine this? The smell of paint in our claustrophobic room? If we could have gotten A refund of 50%, we would have gotten off the boat immediately. Our room was also on the 8th floor, far from the nearest room to the engine room, but it was still like sleeping through an earthquake every night. We had to ask for thicker mattresses and I assume it was a common request, since we saw a truck unloading new mattresses at the next stop. We had a tiny, ancient TV, placed on top of the mini fridge in the far off corner. The only positive is the bathroom, which was a nice size, with good water pressure. The ground tours were incredibly expensive and half of them were very Meh. The food...mmm...it was so bad on the first day...but it got better as the ship sailed on...the cheese cart was the highlight. Silk Road...the maitre D, makes you feel bad for wanting to eat there, it was always empty, but they told you they were all reserved. The one day we hung out at the pool, they had a dreadful Philippine band belting out the worst songs at ear splitting volume. No-one was clapping...I think we all just wanted to go back to napping or reading our books. Service was either really good (some waiters are amazing!)...but others are terrible...like the captain from Pondicherry who played a trick on an elderly man...why? For his own amusement, because no one else found it funny...it was just mean. Also, on other cruises I have been welcomed to the boat by a towel and water and even champagne...not on crystal...it's more like airport security...intimidating men with an X-ray machine. The entertainment was actually really good...they have a neon dancing show which is excellent, as is the dance number on the day at sea. I would not recommend this trip to my worst enemy. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
I read the negative reviews before we left the usa and started to get nervous. Having done the full cruise now -- they are ridiculous. This was an incredible experience from top to bottom. We are a young couple (34 and 30) and this was our ... Read More
I read the negative reviews before we left the usa and started to get nervous. Having done the full cruise now -- they are ridiculous. This was an incredible experience from top to bottom. We are a young couple (34 and 30) and this was our first cruise. I mostly want to address the negative stuff that has been written or that I noticed. First of all, the rooms are fairly small - it's a boat folks. Whatever you have you have to float on the ocean and sail. Our room was def cozy but 2 people lived there and felt luxurious from day 1 on. The shower blasts high pressure water, there are his and her sinks. Oh and btw you can order whatever you want whenever you want. We would get a wake up call at 7:30a and then at 7:40a there would be the steward with out piping hot coffee and english muffins. The rooms is just not going to be the same size as a suite at the Holiday Inn in Mobile, AL. Anyone who complains about the food on this ship needs their head examined, it is all-you-can-eat fine dining, full stop. I was incredibly skpetical of the all you can eat concept; I've been to plenty of crappy all inclusives in my day. This is 1 Michelin star quality every night and that's just the dining room. The service is incredible from top to bottom, my wife couldn't carry a plate to her table at lunch without having 3 guys swoop in and take it from her. The clientelle is older but so what? If your goal is to party hard don't got on a cruise. Go to Mykonos, Ibiza, etc. We had tons of fun meeting new people. Guess what folks? Senior citizens are more interesting than 18 year olds. If you're like me and you were worried that you had overpayed for this stop worrying and get ready for the trip of a lifetyime. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2013
I have had 4 cruise lines so far, all smaller luxury cruises; Regent, Silver Sea, Seabourne and this time, Crystal. I msut tell yu Crystal was the most disappointing of them all. We took Crustal as we were encourageed by the high ratigns ... Read More
I have had 4 cruise lines so far, all smaller luxury cruises; Regent, Silver Sea, Seabourne and this time, Crystal. I msut tell yu Crystal was the most disappointing of them all. We took Crustal as we were encourageed by the high ratigns the creuise line has been advertising. It was a luxury cruise but the classes, excursions, shows did not meet our expectations but the most disapointing was the fact that we had to line up for getting into sushi bar almost every night for the whole 5 nights but we were tuned away because the demand outnumbered supply every night. It was nice to have Silkroad (Nobu) and Prego premium restauarnts that need to be reserved in advnace but everyone wanted ot dine there instead of the standard restaurants and thus it wsa very difficult to dine where you wanted. So waht happned was a lot of people lined up to get into the restuarant every night and got turend away. Having paid top dolloars and could not dine where you want to dine was not my idea of a luxury cruise line. I do not mind paying for extra $$$ to dine at a premium restaurants but the system at Crystal was totally subjective and it was up to the maitre'd to put some one into the premium restaurant or not. I was told by someone who has taken 14 times of Crystal cruise that he can book anytime any premium restuarant he wants to as that was his priviledge. On eotehr thign taht bothered me the most was the fact that Crystal si owned by the Japanese and the premium restaurant especially Silkroad (Nobu) was discriminatory agaisnt non Japanese passengers. I saw the same Japnese goupr dine there almost every dinnner while the other passengers were givne only one dinner opportunity. If Crystal really wants to be teh top lucury cruise line they need to either increase seatings substantially on teh premium dining options so that the demand and supply kind of balance or charge extra for the premium dinning options so that peopel who want to dine at a premium restarnants can go anytime they want to go by paying extra money. Coming from NYC and having traveled extensively all around the world with many of the Michellen 3 star restuarants around the world, Cruystal's policy of treatign tehir passnegers like street vendros by letting them line up for the restaurants and wait in line for hours was more than absurd. We cruised in 3 couples who traveled extensively together and all of us vowed not to return to Crystal because of this. I also want to rate the excursion Crytal put together, whcih was one of the lowest among the cruise lines we have taken so far. They have charged for every excursion unlike other luxury creuise lines that include their excursions. In addition teh tour gudie we had in St. Petersburg was one of the worst we ever had; all she said was watch your step and cross with caution. The next day we ended up hiring a privat etour guide (not arranged by Crystal) and we had so much fun and infomration about the tour we had taken. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2012
The cruise: We sailed from Stockhom to London with stops in St Petersburg(3 days),Helsinki, Copenhagen, and Berlin. The theme was food and wine. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Very efficiently done. On board check in was a ... Read More
The cruise: We sailed from Stockhom to London with stops in St Petersburg(3 days),Helsinki, Copenhagen, and Berlin. The theme was food and wine. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Very efficiently done. On board check in was a breeze and took only a few minutes.The staff appeared genuinely happy to see us and many greated us by name from previous cruises aboard the Symphony.Food and drinks were immediately available and our stateroom was ready and luggage delivered by about 3pm. Disembarkation in London was equally efficient. Having the customs people come on board speeds up the process considerably. The ship: Beatifully appointed, always well maintained, easy to navigate, and a very manageable size.Although it can accomodate about 900 passengers, typically there are about 750 on board If you like mega resorts or mega liners or lots of activities for kids, this is not for you. Stateroom: We stayed in one of the penthouse suites which had the added advantages of more space and butler service. Both are quite nice but staying in a regular stateroom with a veranda is hardly roughing it and costs almost 50% less. The stateroom was nicely furnished, had a walk in closet, and a bathroom with a double sink,separate shower and bathtub,and nice ammenities. Everything is always clean and in good working order. Noise from the outsice or from next door is virtually nonexistant. Food: The main dining room provides an excellent selection of well prepared, tasty food with healthy choices for those with or without dietary restrictions. If you don't see what you want, just ask for it! Specialty restaurants, Prego(Italian)and Silk Road(Asian) are comparable to fine restaurants in SF or NYC. Complimentary wine selections are quite good and the wine steward is very accomodating if you don't find what you'd like. Breakfast and lunch is also available in a more casual atmosphere. The choises tend to be similar from day to day, particularly at breakfast, However, we had several theme lunches celebrating the cuisine of places we visited which were interesting and tasty. Additionally, there were several dinners high lighting local favorites, some prepared by the celebrity chefs on board. Activities: Plenty to do including attending some excellent lectures by food and wine experts, celebrity chefs, and destination lecturers. We had only 3 sea days, so it was difficult to take advantage of everything. Evening entertainment ranges from piano lounge type to more elaborate performences by the fine Crystal Ensemble and excellent guest performers including musicians and comedians. Service: This is where Crystal truly shines and rises above the other lines we have sailed. Everyone, including cabin staff, dining staff,bistro and lounge staff and pool attendants,go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and welcome at all times. Changing to an all inclusive program(gratuities included) has not resulted in any decline in Crystal's outstanding service. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2011
We were totally delighted with the service of ALL the staff and crew on board. To be truthful the stateroom was a bit smaller than we expected based on what is show on Crystal's web page...More narrow space between bed and ... Read More
We were totally delighted with the service of ALL the staff and crew on board. To be truthful the stateroom was a bit smaller than we expected based on what is show on Crystal's web page...More narrow space between bed and walkththrough towards bathroom. Silversea equivalent cabins are bigger. The prodcuction shows were the best! The food was quite above average but again not what I expected..either in the main dining room or the specialty restaurants...I expected a ***** experience and it was a as ***+ experience...the service in all the dining venues was indeed ***** They need to get their 'open seating ' program better organized...one tended to miss several show room numbers [only one several evening] if one booked a 7:30 reservation! Shops are delightful and well stocked..The photography on board is way too expensive..mark up from their costs probably is 500%. But again, purchase of photos is voluntary. Bottles of water were not consistently available on shore excurcusions. Personally we were disappointed with all the tours that Crystal provided. The guides, while knowledgeable, were boring and appeare tired at what they were doing. We felt rushed through at several of the sites. The private tours that we had arranged prior to the cruise were far better! The description of the shore excursions in their brochure can be misleading! In spite of the above, we thoroughly enjoyed our voyage, priamrily due to the staff on board.....A bit costly $20,000.00 for this vacation [incl. business class upgrade] was it worth it......YES... Read Less
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