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Crystal Symphony Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
316 reviews
50 Awards

The Cat Purred, But Didn't Meow!

Review for Crystal Symphony to Canada & New England
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George Georges
First Time Cruiser • Age 80s

Rating by category

Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: Sep 2010

I may be unfairly comparing this, my first cruise with Crystal with my recent (and first and only) Alaska cruise on the Regent Seven Seas Navigator. I traveled alone on Crystal Symphony, as my spouse was in Africa on safari, whereas we were together on the Regent Alaska cruise. The port calls to smaller towns in Alaska had a very different feel from those to major cities on the Crystal cruise, and that added to the enjoyment of the Alaska cruise. I had made several business visits to most of the cities on the Crystal cruise (and was raised in Boston), so the port calls held only passing interest for me. Basically, I was looking for a pleasant and relaxing interlude on board, and I got it.

My spouse and I had heretofore opted for ships in the 100-150 passenger range, and I think that would still be my preference for future cruises. So, I am looking forward to trying the "Yachts of Seabourn" in the future. Somehow, the smaller ships, even with their lesser offerings of entertainment, give me more of a sense of being at sea, a closeness with the ocean.

But, comparing features, the staterooms on the Navigator were comparable in decor, but offered walk-in closets and bathrooms almost as big as at home, with both a full bathtub and shower. By contrast, there was only a sliding door wall closet and a cramped bathroom with 3/4 tub shower on the Symphony. The bed on the Navigator was way too soft for me, and did not support my aching back, whereas the bed on the Symphony was pleasantly firm and supportive; Advantage, Symphony! The stateroom on the Crystal Symphony felt somewhat more cramped than on the Regent Seven Seas Navigator, and my sense was that if I had been traveling accompanied, one of us would have had to sit on the couch or on the bed to allow the other to move around. I did not get that feeling traveling with my spouse on the Regent Seven Seas Navigator; Advantage, Navigator.

Cabin Review

Cabin B

Already covered above, but: small closet, tight bathroom, tub shower instead of stall shower, cramped stateroom for two large (in height and/or girth) guests; balcony OK; pretty good TV reception of CNN, BBC, SkyNews; firm bed, which, for me was fantastic! Stewardess gave really good service and was rewarded accordingly with extra cash left on my pillow every day, in addition to the recommended gratuity. Desk chair sides came up to my armpits, rendering it unsuitable for lengthy use, such as to read a book. Had to go to public spaces to read at length.

Port Reviews


I met an old colleague who resides in Providence, and we spent the day together reminiscing over past times and catching up to the present. We had lunch in a highly upscale inn (the Spiced Pear), and had a wonderful visit. Newport itself seemed like a wonderful place to visit. I did not partake of any of the ship's arranged tour offerings.

Bar Harbor

I took a bus tour offered by the ship (BAH-K). It started with a wonderful lobster lunch, the best lobster that I had eaten in decades, and preceded by five bowls of mussels! That in itself would have been worthy of five stars. The young female tour guide made the bus tour most enjoyable and informative. And, having seen Bar harbor for the first time since my teens when I went to camp nearby in Ellsworth Falls, ME, made me want to return for a week or two of vacationing there.

St. John's (Newfoundland)

OK, this was really St. John, New Brunswick, Canada. I took a bus tour (SJB-I) to St. Martins. a little fishing village. The weather was chilly and rainy, putting a damper [UGH, PUN!] on the trip, but the female guide was superb in keeping our interest. She was a resident of St. Martins with grown kids, and she related family activities like going out in the woods during moose ruts and calling male moose with a moose call made from a shoe lace threaded through a hole in the bottom of a tin can (knotted inside to keep it from slipping out), then wet and stroked to produce the call of a female moose. We all got to try the moose call and to sample the local "delicacy" of seaweed jerky (I already forgot the local name for it). And we saw the before and after reversal of the river flow from the in-rushing tide of the Bay of Fundy. We had a great fish chowder lunch (better chowder than any soup served on the Crystal Symphony!), and I was able to order absolutely first-rate fried clams (with the "bellies") made from freshly caught local clams, a real treat for someone who was raised in New England. So, despite the rain, this was a really good tour.


It was raining, and none of the tours really appealed to me, so I stayed on board.

Same for Port 7, Quebec City, which I had visited on business and had no real desire to traipse around in the rain.

And, the same for the final port #7, Montreal. Again a place that I was familiar with from previous business trips.

On all three occasions, I was very happy to remain on board, kick back, and catch up on some reading.

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