Service was very good as was food. Would have been nice to stay in Estonia overnight. Seemed because of time of year perhaps, that tour sites were very crowded.
Second time on Symphony and can't wait to get back. First class service all the time, never a let up.
Great ports of call in Beijing and all over Japan. They took the entire ship to Beijing for a three day, two night excursion, all part of the cruise fee, nothing additional. On top of that, the accommodations and food were first class and the sightseeing just incredible. We had an amazing tour guide the entire three days, Oscar on Bus #22, and his contributions were essential in making Beijing a memorable stop.
Japan is in full bloom with cherry blossoms so every stop was beautiful. All the stops were exciting. The ship made the decision to miss a port to avoid possibly being stranded in the strait for a couple of days, courageous and correct decision and one that was well communicated to the entire ship.
We had one problem on an excursion and Crystal immediately refunded our cost to us.
Food was incredible. Just cruised on Celebrity Solstice around New Zealand two months ago and they are about five levels below Crystal. Nice having all inclusive cruising as well, even though we don't drink.
We loved the destinations, all were up to our expectations and Crystal really know how to treat a guest.
would recommend this to experience many places without unpacking/packing and flying constantly. great itinerary Our cruise specialist, Trisha Kirkbride (luxury cruise agent)was great and always took care of every detail Would highly recommend her.
The overall experience was extremely positive but then we got very lucky and fortunate which improves everything. We were assigned a table of six for the early seating. We ended up with two other couples who we had so much fun with that the highlight of each day was having dinner with them. The cruise was under booked with about 550 guests. They had about 480 staff and crew on board so you could not move far without someone helping you or serving you. Food was excellent in all aspects of the club. We did not do Prego or Silk Road much as we wanted to enjoy our friends in the main dining room. Those two places were very good as well. The Lido Cafe for breakfast/lunch was exceptional. Trident Grill makes an excellent hamburger. Most of our excursions were cultural in nature and we found them very informative and enjoyable. Others on board had excursions that they felt less positive about. I really thought the "at sea" lecture series to be one of the highlights of the cruise. What fantastic people sharing their experiences. The evening entertainment was also very good especially the show "Imagination". Thee were some "hiccups" at times but in a three week cruise this can be considered inevitable. Some friends had less positive experiences in terms of services rendered and excursion availability but these were more exceptions rather than normal practices. Overall ships comfort was impressive. Some rough sea days (10 feet + seas) made walking about interesting but not impossible. Stabilizers did an impressive job!!! I would be happy to take a Crystal Cruise again. I am not sure I would fly 20 hours to do so.
This was our first Crystal cruise. The food and staff was outstanding. We enjoyed the quality of the lecturers and the selection of excursions. Many of the excursions sold out but the ship staff was very accommodating on wait listing for availability.
First of all, Crystal Cruise Lines was so far above any other line we've sailed with, in terms of service, food, accommodation and ambiance, with only 900 passengers and almost 600 crew, that it defies description. The only extra charges were for excursions. Everything else is included, even special dietary requirements, different wines if the current day's offering was not to my satisfaction, and four seatings at the speciality restaurants. It makes for a completely relaxing environment for the entire trip. Add to that the interesting speakers, bridge teacher, and other attractions, as well as a fabulous itinerary around New Zealand, and this was one amazing trip.
Milford Sound, New Zealand (fiord)
One comment: We were given vouchers for $500 each for the next cruise, which expire May 2018. We signed on for a next cruise on board - London to Stockholm, which starts in June ! Any suggestions ?
I was truly impressed at the caliber of activities they had available for the days at sea. There was a wide array of excellent speakers and truly top notch instructors for the wide variety of classes. That said, it was disappointing that we could not go to key ports that were the entire reason for the trip: Cook Islands and Fiji, but Mother nature was very uncooperative.
The cruise could still have been excellent if the cruise theme of "Food and Wine" had been better executed. 2 cooking demonstrations, 2 limited wine tastings and one evening with some dishes by the specialty chef did not a Wine and Food cruise make. To make it worse, the food was not as good as on previous Crystal cruises and at our final dinner i couldn't eat my duck (nor my husband his beef) due to the heavy hand with salt.
Evening entertainment was excellent; Crystal dance hosts were very good and they had excellent musicians on board for the lounges and some specialty entertainers for select evening. Plus the "I Imagine" show was excellent. Service as always was spectacular.
We really enjoyed the opportunity to sail on Crystal for the first time. They win awards every year for a reason. The service is great as is the food and entertainment. The Polynesian islands are gorgeous. The typical passenger is very friendly and well traveled. Many of the men on board wore sport coats to dinner even though it was not required and the women were dressed elegantly - such a pleasant change from the average cruise line. This was a theme cruise - Film & Theatre - and that added to the enjoyment because the talks and entertainment were very interesting and the entertainers on board were very accessible. We will be back on a Crystal Cruise again if I can afford it.
Crystal stateroom, public spaces, food, staff all excellent. Staff in dining room and Lido were very attentive and helpful.
The cruise had a big band, ballroom dancing theme. Crystal band was good for dancing. Dance floors (2) were adequate. Guest orchestra (Tommy Dorsey) was too jazzy for enjoyable dancing.
Our first cruise on Crystal was all that we expected it to be with a few minor exceptions. Service was outstanding, the ship was in excellent condition, the seas were perfect, activities on board were well done and quite versatile, and we had an enjoyable time. We were disappointed that we could not choose the open dining concept where we; could enjoy meeting many other diners.as we have on other cruise lines. We also were well impressed with the beautiful presentations of the food we were served, but;not necessarily with the menus or the tastiness of the foods.
This is the second Crystal Cruise and we have booked our third for next year. The entertainment and the travelers seem to be, on average, well pst 60 years old. they are delightful, yet quite senior. As a result, most of the entertainment is geared towards a traveler who prefers ballroom dancing, Reviews, Magicians and Acrobats. The one shining light was the Avenue Saloon singer Neal Fullerton. Thank good ness for him. He tried to bring us into the 60s (smile). The food is great: the quality and presentation are 5 Star. Th various food venues are lovely with great choices there as well. The excursions are varied and the guides are top shelf. I think it might be difficult to cruise with anyone else after these terrific back-to-back trips. Our first was to the Baltics last year. Just fantastic.
Crystal does a great job particularly with entertainment and shore excursions. Food and wine are always outstanding. They also have several lectures and other onboard activities that are very interesting and useful. While a bit more expensive, in the end, you get what you pay for. Service level is outstanding and training and selection of staff is evident. No complaints on my end.
Overall, can't say enough great things about this itinerary and the Crystal Symphony team. While the staterooms are a bit tired, the staff more than offsets this with their dedication to service and excellent food, beverage and entertainment experiences. The liquor and wine, included in the fare throughout the ship, we're all top shelf.
You won't go wrong with this itinerary if you want to get a great taste of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Channel Islands. My recommendation is to book your tours on your own as the savings will help off set the cost differential for those upgrading from mid-tier cruise lines to luxury cruise lines.
I enjoyed traveling on a smaller ship,the service was superb. I felt that we were treated like royalty. The accommodation were extremely clean and the food was wonderful.
Cruise was good----food excellent--entertainment very good---guest speakers were very good--
The higher up people in charge of the dining room were a zero--zilch for personality
waiters on the tables were either very good or very poor(ours for dinner at night were great)
bar tenders were excellent
particularly like Prego & Silk Road
second cruise on Crystal vs 8 or so on Seabourn--like Seaboard better (400+ passengers vs 900+
Not a bad first cruise experience. I really felt everyone worked so hard to make this a great experience. We started off on the wrong foot however. Several special surprises planned for me by husband were not pulled off by staff. They were quick to correct but it was beside the point - the surprise was lost. Super amazing bed and pillow. Having a balcony was a huge plus! Room service at any time was solid. It was fun to use that when you wanted a break from food in restaurants (and people).
Crystal is one of the Best Cruise Lines in the World. The wonderful people help make any trip better. It's important to remember that asking for a little more is also just fine.
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