Just back from our fourth cruise on Crystal (three on the Symphony, one on the old Harmony). This time it was to the Baltics. Quick review:
WEAR AND TEAR: Concerns about wear-and-tear are beyond overblown. Sure, the railings could use a fresh coat of lacquer but that’s an issue with EVERY ship. (Ah, the salt air!) And, frankly, we were in the stateroom and on the veranda so infrequently that it didn’t matter. And even if we were it wouldn’t matter. The Symphony is just a great ship. Maintenance is ongoing. We’re early risers and you have to see what goes on overnight to fully appreciate the maintenance.
CREW: Key to us is the quality and engagement of the crew, whether it’s Ricki, Derek or Lester on the Lido deck, always looking to help us start our day off with a “good morning” by name, or Prego head waiter Piotr, who in his day job co-running the Lido does a remarkably impressive job keeping the staff motivated in the mornings with respect, encouragement and a pat on the back. (I’m a sucker for well-run businesses and any services-oriented company looking for insight into how things should be run should pay Piotr a visit. He really just works there, but takes pride in what he does.)
Midship, very nice view. Lifeboats well below railing, so not an issue.