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Crystal Symphony Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
317 reviews
50 Awards

Great Services but sub-standard food

Review for Crystal Symphony to the Panama Canal & Central America
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6-10 Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Nov 2010

We went on this cruise with another couple, who have travelled with Crystal Harmony 4 times before. We flied to N.Y. the night before, spent an evening in N.Y., then boarded the ship just before noon. We stayed in Ink48, which is 10 minutes cab ride to the pier. We really liked the hotel, clean, modern, and quiet, with very comfortable bed. This is not a 5 star hotel, good enough for a short stay but a bit far from theatre district.

Boarding took about an hour, when we got on the ship, our room was not ready. We checked our hand luggage, which took another half hour, then went to the Dining Room for lunch. Around 2:30pm, we were in our room. Our luggage was delivered to our room, including our hand luggage. So bring extra lock for your hand luggage.

The room was clean, but small. The sitting area looked bigger in picture. With the coffee table pushed closer to the couch so that we could access the drawers, there was not enough leg room for two persons to sit on the couch, only one person at a time.

Cabin Review

Cabin A

Cabin 9118 is at AFT, therefore you will feel the vibration of the ship. However, you are close to the open deck in the back, which has stairs that would take you up to the open deck. Two levels down and you are right at Silk Road, very convenient location for dining. I also found the open deck area in the back very quiet and peaceful.

Port Reviews


We did not join any tour. Crystal provides complimentary shuttle which took us from the pier to the City Centre (Board & Locust). From there, we walked 40 minutes to the Liberty Bell. There was a Starbucks along the way, as well as Hard Rock Cafe and Macy. So you can sight see and shop as well.


Charleston is very pretty. The pier is located within walking distance to the city center, and only two blocks from Charleston's famous public market. We turned left from the pier, cut through the Waterfront Park, and walked along East Bay Street till we hit the waterfront. There are some big beautiful historic buildings along the waterfront. Turning right on Meeting Street will take you back to the Market Place. If you like to tour some big plantation buildings, you would need to join a tour. We have seen them in Atlanta, so we did not join any tour. Two malls - The Citadel Mall and Northwoods Mall - are located within a few minutes ride by taxi. For those with walking difficulties, there is a city trolley that takes you around town.


There are lots to do in Miami. Because we've been here before, we just went shopping. Crystal offers complimentary Shuttle Bus service to the Bayside Marketplace. We spent our morning there, then took a cab to Dolphin Mall ($40). We had lunch there and went back to the ship around 4 pm to avoid the rush hour traffic.

Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

We took a ride in a submarine, the 46-passengers Atlantis which took us down 50 ft below the surface to take a look at the quiet underwater world. The water is not crystal clear. We have seen better coral and marine life in Hawaii. The shipwrecks were equally disappointing.

Shopping is pathetic. Go straight to the Beach, don't waste your time with the submarine or shopping.

Cartagena (Colombia)

Very interesting port, don't miss the old walled city but don't go out on your own to any remote area, especially the fishing village of Bocachica, where the San Fernando Fortress is situated. This island has lots of beggars and they can get very aggressive. If you take picture of them or with them, be prepared to pay them.

Our tour guide took us shopping by the end of the tour, and the emeralds of Columbia are indeed very special.

Puerto Vallarta

Beautiful port, with lots to do. We boarded the motor coach, traveled along the coast to the city centre, where the City Hall was located. Then we headed to a small coast known as Barcelo La Jolla de Mismaloya, where it all began. We learned that Puerto Vallarta was a small fishing village until 1963, when the Director John Huston made a movie here called “The Night of the Iguana”. This movie brought Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Ava Garner to Mismaloya, Puerto Vallarta.

Cabo San Lucas

Absolutely georgeous port, unfortunately, we only got to stay here for half a day. We started with a catamaran ride to the Land’s End, and then boarded an air-conditioned unmarked mini-van taxi to a 5-star hotel, which is at the other end of Land’s End. Light refreshment was served in this hotel. The scenery was beautiful and breath-taking. Beware of the strong undertow. Don't swim on the Pacific Ocean side of the Land's End.

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