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I judge this cruise against my previous Crystal Serenity trip, a few years back. The old ship felt old despite the recent expensive makeover/dry dock. At times I thought there was an odd vibration even on deck 8 fwd. For sure when you eat at the back of the ship on deck 11 you are likely in for movement. Staff seemed spoiled by Crystal but not the passengers. The food spend seemed way down. The Waterside (MDR) is now very attractive and perhaps over staffed, yet in 16 days I never got a decent dessert. Old "A Tour of the Galley" notes tell of 8 pastry cooks, well I never saw a decent bit of cake. Restaurants close earlier than some want so returning to the ship after paying plenty for a tour, all you could do may be join the crowd at the cramped Bistro, (popular with staff meetings from the Captain down) unfortunately this area needs redesign. Uncomfortable chairs, poor snack selection.Prego and Umi Uma also look tired now. As for our little cabin, no flower, fruit, champers, gifts, nor chocolates on boarding. We did get a single bloom twice in 16 days! The very next hotel I visited gave us all that. The tender boat ride was well done, these being large tenders. The entertainment was well put together, the Crystal dancer's and Band being excellent. Some of the bar crooners were not so good. In the bars service was shall we say tired, I tried to explain how a British champagne cocktail would go together but they were not interested. Afternoon tea was poorly served and one common tea bag was out of stock. The ship feels old and the experience has gone backwards. No matter how smart the decor nor how many staff I did not feel value and wont be returning. The new cabin TV's are huge at the foot of the bed. Plenty of movies and lectures can be viewed, but it serves no other purpose, still no menus, bill nor room service ordering. Using the old phone to room service often joined a long cue and delivery and food was poor. Despite a number of LBGT passengers at no time did Crystal welcome us with any get together. Despite the fact the award at the Crystal Society "party" for most cruises with Crystal went to a Gay couple.

Half as good as expected.

Crystal Symphony Cruise Review by f2s

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2017
  • Destination: Africa
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah
I judge this cruise against my previous Crystal Serenity trip, a few years back.

The old ship felt old despite the recent expensive makeover/dry dock.

At times I thought there was an odd vibration even on deck 8 fwd. For sure when you eat at the back of the ship on deck 11 you are likely in for movement.

Staff seemed spoiled by Crystal but not the passengers. The food spend seemed way down.

The Waterside (MDR) is now very attractive and perhaps over staffed, yet in 16 days I never got a decent dessert. Old "A Tour of the Galley" notes tell of 8 pastry cooks, well I never saw a decent bit of cake. Restaurants close earlier than some want so returning to the ship after paying plenty for a tour, all you could do may be join the crowd at the cramped Bistro, (popular with staff meetings from the Captain down) unfortunately this area needs redesign. Uncomfortable chairs, poor snack selection.Prego and Umi Uma also look tired now.

As for our little cabin, no flower, fruit, champers, gifts, nor chocolates on boarding. We did get a single bloom twice in 16 days! The very next hotel I visited gave us all that.

The tender boat ride was well done, these being large tenders.

The entertainment was well put together, the Crystal dancer's and Band being excellent.

Some of the bar crooners were not so good.

In the bars service was shall we say tired, I tried to explain how a British champagne cocktail would go together but they were not interested.

Afternoon tea was poorly served and one common tea bag was out of stock.

The ship feels old and the experience has gone backwards. No matter how smart the decor nor how many staff I did not feel value and wont be returning.

The new cabin TV's are huge at the foot of the bed. Plenty of movies and lectures can be viewed, but it serves no other purpose, still no menus, bill nor room service ordering.

Using the old phone to room service often joined a long cue and delivery and food was poor.

Despite a number of LBGT passengers at no time did Crystal welcome us with any get together. Despite the fact the award at the Crystal Society "party" for most cruises with Crystal went to a Gay couple.
f2s’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah
Cabin B1 8027
Small cabin and bathroom. Little balcony space and often damp seat cushions.
Horizon Deck Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins