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8 Crystal Sydney (Australia) Cruise Reviews

Past experiences on Crystal have been superb. Symphony has recently been remodeled and things have changed. While it continues to be a very good cruise, there are some very evident changes. As a repeat World Cruiser, my hundreds of days ... Read More
Past experiences on Crystal have been superb. Symphony has recently been remodeled and things have changed. While it continues to be a very good cruise, there are some very evident changes. As a repeat World Cruiser, my hundreds of days aboard Crystal gives me a basis for comparison. The overall atmosphere is not as friendly. Many of the crew are top notch but the remaining leave much to be desired. The uplifting can-do spirit of the past is gone. Many of the crew look and act exhausted. Service has fallen off too. It is no longer top notch, only acceptable. Longer wait time before being approached to take orders or serve drinks and food is too frequent. The open concept of the dining room works as far as being seated. Then the wait begins. In some cases the noise is so loud that conversation is impossible. This seems to be a problem when the tables are filled with groups of 6 or 8. Adjacent tables for 2 do not have a chance. Entertainment runs the gamut - outstanding to spotty (like filler food). The production performers of dancers and singers continue to excel. Current cruise director, Shane, shines. The cruise hostess, Sarah, and special events director, Jonathan, all excel in their jobs. Food in specialty restaurants is excellent, but the Brazilian steak house is not. Here again, service is sloppy. We served ourselves from the salad/vegetable/bread bar which was good, but did not get the much bragged about meat course until we had finished everything else. Same with dessert - serve yourself but what about the coffee?? Servers are inattentive and understaffed. A good cruise at a hefty price. Perhaps it's time to try a competitor. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We were excited to take our first Crystal Cruise as Crystal is known to be the "top of the line" in cruising. We found our cabin to be adequate but cramped and dated. The bathroom was above average. While the ship is old, it ... Read More
We were excited to take our first Crystal Cruise as Crystal is known to be the "top of the line" in cruising. We found our cabin to be adequate but cramped and dated. The bathroom was above average. While the ship is old, it is quite beautiful, the service excellent, the enrichment excellent, the entertainment very good, however the food was very disappointing. The dining room menu was not very extensive and the food preparation average. The quality of some of the cuts of meat were below average. The specialty restaurants were disappointing as well. Our expectations were high due to Crystal's reputation and we surprised to find it lacking! This cruise was our 20th cruise. We have cruised on Renaissance, Celebrity, Princess, Azamara, and Oceania. Oceania is by far our favorite! Depending on the itinerary and time, we might try Crystal again but will try to stick with Oceania. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was my tenth cruise with Crystal and every one of them has been excellent. Sure, there are always small things to quibble about but the overall experience on Crystal is consistently excellent. Once again the friendly and professional ... Read More
This was my tenth cruise with Crystal and every one of them has been excellent. Sure, there are always small things to quibble about but the overall experience on Crystal is consistently excellent. Once again the friendly and professional staff were a huge part of why I keep returning to Crystal; I did a short cruise last year on a three star ship and that reinforced to me how much better Crystal (and no doubt the other top end lines) are, it's the little things that make the difference - like the cold towels when returning from a hot tour, the roses on Valentines Day, the afternoon tea, the entertainment throughout the ship. And that's before mentioning the truly excellent dining and beverages. It always amuses me when I see poor reviews of Crystal, I think those people are really trying hard to find fault or have unrealistic expectations. Am looking forward to my next Crystal cruise (already booked!) Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Wanted to go to the Great Barrier Reef and see the ports on the Eastern coast of Australia.I didn't realize that we would need to wear "sting suits" which are full bodied slip on net suits to avoid being stung by the tiny ... Read More
Wanted to go to the Great Barrier Reef and see the ports on the Eastern coast of Australia.I didn't realize that we would need to wear "sting suits" which are full bodied slip on net suits to avoid being stung by the tiny jelly fish and other poisonous creatures while in the ocean. The food was especially good and the other people on the cruise varied in age from young to old, a good mix of nationalities with Americans, Canadians, Chinese who all spoke English. The activities onboard especially on the days at sea were excellent with classes on iPad use, lectures on the countries we visited and the animals connected with them, bridge instruction and play. Our cabin was small but well planned so everything could be stored out of sight with room for 2 people to move about easily. Having a balcony was well worth the additional cost. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This cruise was our Honeymoon, the itinerary was fantastic, the duration just right and my wife used to work on the Crystal Symphony 20 years ago so perfect to see it from the other side, expectations were high. We spent the night in ... Read More
This cruise was our Honeymoon, the itinerary was fantastic, the duration just right and my wife used to work on the Crystal Symphony 20 years ago so perfect to see it from the other side, expectations were high. We spent the night in Sydney before departure and travelled to White Bay Cruise Terminal to board the Symphony, whilst not Crystals issue, this is the worst place to get to for a cruise, there is no public transport, however we had researched this so $30 Taxi just part of the holiday experience. Sydney should really look at this port as there were 3 big ships in on the 9th Feb. Embarkation fantastic, had our bags whisked away as soon as we got out of the Taxi and quickly onto the ship via security for pictures and card etc., Had 3 hours to wait until room ready but no great shakes lots to explore. Straight to the Trident for a Burger, fries and bubbles fantastic. Then off to the cabin to unpack. We had a verandah all in all cabin tidy, cozy, but worn. Side note, the shower is amazing fantastic pressure. The ship is well maintained for its age and spotless however is showing its age, worn carpets, holes in the sheers on cabin window. Dining: Main dining room was fantastic, had a table of 6 and met some fantastic people. The food was excellent with choices, quality wine and drinks offered too. Had dinner here most nights, lunch once and breakfast once, couldn't fault it. Lido Buffet, often had breakfast and lunch here, the staff here were very different, was like walking into a mafia run establishment quite threatening, had table cleared whilst going for dessert, this despite drinks still being on table. Was refused porridge as "this side is closed" even though it was sitting staring at me just without a spoon to serve it. Food quality exceptional unless you want a poached egg as "you only get them in the main dining room" was interesting to see the slide in jams etc., for the first couple of days small jars of jam, marmalade and honey, by the end of the trip just jam in jars, the Honey was only available from a pot on the counter, not what you expect from 6 star+ Trident Bar and Grill: Provided the best service, the grill was great, the staff attentive, professional and friendly, the Ice Cream and frozen yoghurts were to die for. Speciality dining: Prego good Italian Fare, our booking had been deleted, but they managed to find us a table. Silk Road the Japanese Restaurant was exceptional, highly recommend the "Nobu Box". Entertainment and Activities: Never short of something to do, they supplied speakers giving lectures, we took dance lessons, the trivia at 12:05 was entertaining, the pool was quiet and usable to help stave off the extra kilos. Deck 7 provided a wrap around deck for walking. Everywhere you walk after 5pm you will be greeted with music, pianos, violins, flutes, and bands, all good quality artists. Evening shows were varied and scheduled to fit around dinner. Ports and Excursions: We signed up for a few activities on this cruise, snorkelling Great Barrier Reef, Climbing Volcano, Mud Baths and Hot Springs all good, not especially value for money not just our point of view as the guests we spoke to all said the same. Service: Unfortunately this is where it starts to go down hill. Most of the service staff are professional, friendly and attentive (see notes above re Lido and Trident), however when it come to front office,concierges, and shore excursions staff (who we believed should be brand ambassadors) we had a different experience. Firstly security gave our camera to a guest whilst returning to the ship (my passage through security was delayed as I was wearing belt!). Without going into full details we were left bewildered (we knew who had the camera) and stressed for an hour whilst they "investigated" it. During this time NO communication OR follow up, was offered, then "stories" came into play and complete lack of respect and responsibility towards us. We did eventually get it back, however the process and management of the whole situation was completely unacceptable.! Secondly we had a change of itinerary around New Caledonia, this came with a new list of excursions which we found out about whilst talking to table friends, Crystal had neglected to deliver the options to our corridor, by the time we found out they were all booked out. We complained and they added a snorkelling one for the afternoon, this was cancelled at time of departure due to weather! (Nothing to due with the morning one being late back and chances of getting back in time for departure were very slim). Conclusion: This cruise was fantastic, the itinerary delivered everything it promised (apart from as mentioned), the food was fantastic, the entertainment and activities were great. The ship is old, the cabin is old and tatty in places, the service from waiting and serving staff predominantly good front office less than acceptable. We did suggest it would have been a good idea for Crystal to supply or have available snorkelling equipment (as it is bulky and difficult to transport in luggage) as on the North West Passage they supplied binoculars and Parkas, we were told that was a "special" cruise. We thought this one was? To call this 6 star+ is stretching the imagination mainly due to quality of accomodation and little things like having to ask for honey, berries "One Request" The lack of responsibility and falsehoods when things go wrong. Suggest it is a good 4 star, with a 6star plus price tag (who regulates these ratings?). I know I can get as good as this for less money, will be looking for future cruise to see if I can get better for the same. Came away not feeling influenced by the Crystal attitude, which they have in the past prided themselves on. Would we go again? Not at the price we paid! If it was more realistic with a suitable itinerary then we would consider it but would not be our first choice. Did not book on board for future cruise as we did on Cunard! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We didn't know what to expect only knew of the reviews from others. As we spoke to others only to find out that these people are multiple cruisers with Crystal and in this 2 weeks we would find out why. this cruise line is the ... Read More
We didn't know what to expect only knew of the reviews from others. As we spoke to others only to find out that these people are multiple cruisers with Crystal and in this 2 weeks we would find out why. this cruise line is the closest to all inclusive we have ever encountered which made the trip one with little worries. Our cabin was on the 8 th floor right off the elevators with partial obstruction which suited us very well. Having a laundry room down the hall was so convenient and always clean in working order. So much could be done on the ship that we relished the sea days. Lectures...movie theater ...computer classes and a great gym. the eating venues were superb. Prego..Silk Road...Crystal dining room......buffet and I cannot forget the Bistros Bar! We were able to enjoy the Vintage Room and it was an experience that was surreal! I don't think it even mattered what our ports were because the ship was top notch! We were treated so well that our last night had me in tears. I have jever reacted in such a way on a cruise line. You have to ask why this cruiseline had me reacting in such a way? I would have to say.....it was like leaving a good friend behind. We will see a Crystal cruise again in the very jear future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We have heard that Crystal Cruises is the best of the best. What we found and my husband and i disagree, is that Crystal certainly i premier with regard to service and food. But, we also found that there was sloppy service in the main ... Read More
We have heard that Crystal Cruises is the best of the best. What we found and my husband and i disagree, is that Crystal certainly i premier with regard to service and food. But, we also found that there was sloppy service in the main dining room. The service level depended on how many staff was in attendance and their level of training. The food certainly ranked among the finest we've had, including, Regent, Silver Seas and Celebrity, but and there are many buts. I found the meals were inconsistant as far as preparation and serving temperature. The Crystal Symphony is a beautiful ship, well laid out, but certain public areas are too crowded with chairs to be comfortable. The Lido Buffets at breakdast and lunch are overcrowded. The food selections at lunch are sparse. Compare these to Regent and Silver Seas, where each lunch offers many, many choicesof both hot and cold entrees. Our reluctance to travel on Crystal has been the reputation for a strict dress code after 6PM. We were most comfortable without donning tuxedos and gowns. Most of the other passengers as well dressed as we did in "country club casual except for formal nights" Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
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