Crystal Symphony Cruise Review by DaisyUK
- Sail Date: August 2017
- Destination: Baltic Sea
- Cabin Type: Penthouse Suite with Verandah
Embarkation was remarkable. We were very lucky to be within driving distance of Dover, where our cruise started. From leaving the car, we were in the Crystal Dining Room within 15 minutes – having stopped off to check out our room on the way! We have stayed in this room category on Symphony previously (PS), so it was just as expected and very comfortable. As I have said in previous reviews, I do think a little updating is required and hopefully this will happen in the upcoming dry dock. In particular, the TVs are very small and somewhat dated and some of the furnishings are looking a little tired. However, it is a well-planned and thought out space with plenty of storage, and a good-sized and equipped bathroom. The bed was very comfortable with quality linens and pillows. We forgot to bring a phone charger, so we were pleasantly surprised to find that there was an integral charger in the clock.
We sampled many of the facilities on the ship – the gym, spa, cinema (rather weird choices of films sometimes!), Vintage Room, lectures, casino, shops etc. We also enjoyed several specialty restaurant reservations.
Service throughout the cruise was outstanding. Where we did have an issue, it was resolved quickly, efficiently and with good grace. The crew, across the board, were unfailingly friendly and helpful – I know they are trained to be so and ‘have’ to be, but it makes for a great ambience nevertheless.
We found the food to be excellent, as previously. We did eat several times in the specialties and never tired of either. The CDR was also good, but I felt service was a little below par at times and that they were over-stretched with so many people to take care of especially on the BTO evenings. This resulted in either long waits before ordering and between courses, or conversely one plate being whipped away and the next course being served almost simultaneously. We found the included wines to be very drinkable and of course there was always the option to purchase wines when we felt like splurging. I wish they had a better included champagne though! We are reluctant to buy a bottle of champagne because we would never get anywhere near finishing it, but I cannot drink the included stuff.
We had signed up for the Ultimate Vintage Room, but perhaps there wasn’t enough interest because it was not offered. Instead we did the regular Vintage Room dinner and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Great food, wine and company.. a really good evening.
We thought all the ports were well worth visiting, but perhaps didn’t make the best choices with a couple of our excursions which were a bit long/boring/expensive.
We didn’t get to all the shows but enjoyed those that we saw, with the exception of the new light show which wasn’t to our taste, but I’m sure many would disagree.
We also found the lectures interesting, informative and entertaining.
All in all, we had a wonderful time and look forward to our next Crystal cruise.
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