Background: I am one of the last people you would expect to find on a Crystal ship. Most of the qualities for which Crystal is renowned mean little to me. The stage shows are great but I could easily live without them. I'm not fond of formality, and choose Best Western and Holiday Inn over the Ritz and Four Seasons, and my nature runs towards frugal. I booked my first Crystal Cruise in 1996 when a good opportunity presented itself, expecting a once in a lifetime experience. I was mistaken, at least in a literal sense. While anyone can consider themselves fortunate to sail a Crystal ship once in their lifetime, I quickly decided that the experience would be repeated many times. My second Crystal experience took another 6 years, but since that time I have never walked off a Crystal ship without a future booking in my hand. Why do I keep coming back when I am nominally such a poor fit for the line? Primarily, because Crystal does EVERYTHING extremely well, and a bit more specifically because every customer is treated as the most important person in the world.
Ship info: The Crystal Symphony was built in 1995, and has been updated regularly since then, most recently in 2009. It is moderately large, and extremely spacious for the passenger capacity. My voyage was completely sold out, and the only brief hint of crowding came during a major storm when the activities were concentrated in the midship rooms. The open decks are especially spacious, and there is a wide, wrap-around Promenade Deck.
Staterooms: With the exception of the penthouses on deck 10, the rooms are essentially the same. There are only 8 categories, 3 for penthouse, regular and deluxe verandas, depending on the deck, and 3 categories of penthouse cabins. The rooms are well equipped, especially the baths, with a full tub in even the lowest category rooms. There is ample storage space.
Cabin 8063 is a category E obstructed view room. It is behind a work boat which was not a big issue for me as a 6-footer and could easily see over the top of the boat. For someone in perhaps the 5-foot range, the obstruction would have been much more serious.