Except for a very short cruise of the Greek Isles, we have never used another cruise line, nor another cruise ship. The Crystal Symphony has been our home for progressively longer cruises. From embarkation to debarkation, our experience has always been virtually flawless. And, those flaws on this cruise were due to weather in the area of our cruise, not Crystal. Due to local weather we missed one port where we would have taken a shore excursion that would have allowed us to land on the continent of Antarctica, and, due to weather another shore excursion was cancelled by the vendor because of rough seas.
Our cruise started in Buenos Aires and headed south to Antarctica (four days cruising the Antarctic coast), then back up the Pacific coast of South America to Valparaiso. We stayed on board for a "back to back" and continued up the coast, through the Panama Canal and ended in Miami. We took a 4 day land excursion to the Galapagos during the transit. We don't splurge on a cabin as we don't spend much awake time there; it's small but very comfortable and there's always enough storage. The head is also small, but nicely done and very functional. The shower water pressure is exceptional.
We enjoy the main dining room and eat most meals there. We had a table for 8 at the 6PM seating. When four of us took exception to the company of one of our tablemates after several meals, the maitre'd graciously found us other accommodations. The food was generally spectacular with a few exceptions which were always remedied with grace and speed, on the spot. We found that service was slower as a table for 8; we frequently had to rush dessert in order to make the 8:30PM show. We will not make that choice again. The specialty restaurants were spectacular.