This was my husband's and my first Crystal Cruise, and we're hooked. The food was outstanding (see below for my reviews on having to eat gluten free) and the crew most caring.
Crystal is first class, all the way, not only in the quality of service but in the way they handle it. We loved that the cruise was all-inclusive. We felt it improved our cruising experience on a number of levels. Of course, it's liberating not to have to think about how much you're paying for drinks, tips, etc., but what we appreciated the most was the sophistication of being left alone and not being "hounded" to purchase drinks, photos, etc.
We're foodies. To us, every vacation is first and foremost ALL ABOUT THE FOOD.
The next time we travel on Crystal Symphony, we will definitely want to stay on Deck 5 again. We love being close to the dining room and lounge. On our cruise of the British Isles, the weather was cool and damp, so a veranda didn't seem practical. We were right and glad we spent the veranda money on other things, such as dining in The Vintage Room and taking every excursion we wanted. The deluxe rooms are small but extremely well-designed. We felt as though we had more space than in larger staterooms we had stayed in previously. There is also a lot of storage space and, thank goodness, many hangers provided. I was able to unpack quickly, and I felt organized throughout the cruise. This is not easy for me. I have a tendency to forget where I place things. However, the storage in our room allowed me to organize everything with ease (and I over pack). Suitcases fit under the bed easily. I particularly appreciated how well-thought-out the room designed was. The shower and bathtub are easy to leave, with handles exactly where you need them. The rounded storage on both sides of the bathroom sinks made it easy to keep cosmetics, etc. close at hand. I loved the reading lights above both sides of the queen bed. These are perfect for reading in bed, but equally perfect for giving just enough light should you happen to need to get up in the middle of the night . . . and without waking your partner.