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5 out of 5

Crystal is still the best after 18 years by FredA4

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As:

The ship was beautifully maintained, and the staff was well trained.

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5 out of 5

A Magical Trip" by JoanneZ

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

We recently sailed on the Symphony and had a wonderful experience. From the moment we embarked the staff was so friendly and helpful. The amenities in the cabin were great. The good is exceptional,in the dining room, deck restaurants and the specialty restaurants. Disembarkation was smooth.

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5 out of 5

Outstanding Cruise by HarryS4

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

From the moment we arrived at the ship we were made to feel a million dollars. The ship itself was stunning and in a class of its own. The staff were trained to the highest standard and nothing was to much trouble. In fact the staff bent over backwards in every aspect. The service received was A+++++ The food was wonderful and continuous from dawn to dusk. Probably the best food I have ever encountered. The pesentation of food, drinks, entertainment etc was impeccable. This was a Cruise of a lifetime and we could not fault any aspect of it. I would highly recommend to anyone looking to take a cruise that was out of this world. Marvellous

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5 out of 5

"My first of many cruises" by MaryE6

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

The ship is fantastic. The food is great, the spa is very well done, the shops cover the bases, the casino is a good distraction on sea days, the pools and decks are nice.

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4 out of 5

Mediteranean Delight by RaymondP3

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (young children)

Except for our cabin which was filthy when we walked in with black marks all over the carpet and things on the floor like an open pin, candies, pieces of pens, etc. we thought the Crystal Symphony was a very beautiful and well maintained ship in all aspects.

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5 out of 5

Oh My God!!! by JoelW1

Verified Review
/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

We were wowed by the service level, food quality and efficient operations of the ship. We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and wanted a top of the line trip. We have cruised Celebrity, RC, Costa and Carnival. Crystal exceeded our very high expectations and it will be tough to travel any other line from now on. From champagne on boarding to the Bellinis served when we were approaching Venice, this line knows how to pamper their guests. We enjoyed the upscale crowd, and were relieved that it was not a stuffy group. There was only one formal night, which was fine for us. There were few tattoos and body piercings, and more wine and martinis than beer on this ship. The Bistro with complementary espresso drinks hot and cold all day was great. It offered food throughout the day, which we took advantage of. We would pop in for a quick breakfast or a snack after getting back on board after a port. The continuous smoked salmon, and Prosciutto and melon was a nice treat for a quick snack. Our only letdown was that the entertainment was mediocre at best. We opted for drinks rather than the show on a few nights.

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4.8 out of 5

Amazing! by Bonmarche

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

embarkation was a breeze. We just walked through the lounge, stopped at the table, got our boarding cards nd picture taken, then we were on board. No lines, no waiting. We were met by stewards with champagne. Nice start. The rest of the cruise was high class all the way. Minimal waiting in the dining venues, but that was it. When we tendered, we walked out and straight onto a tender. Again, no waiting. Tender pulled out when another tender pulled up, no waiting for it to be full. Food was fabulous! Entertainment was five star. Everyone from the captain on down was friendly and attentive. One of the best cruises ever.

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5 out of 5

The difference between 5.5 star and 6 star is evident! Crystal seriously takes care of you! Start to finish! by SoloShe

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

I am comparing this cruise with Crystal with a 5.5 star transatlantic with a Celebrity Reflection Aqua class cruise I took. The linens and cleanliness is comparable, but on board the difference between 5.5 and 6 star is very evident! The front desk and excursion staff never got short or exasperated with passengers. The staff uniforms were crisp. It is smaller than Celebrity, but I found I actually liked that, as it was never crowded. There was always a place to get a great view for photos of the glaciers. The caliber of passenger etiquette made a huge difference. There was never anyone reaching over you at the buffet line. People were polite and friendly. As a solo woman traveler, I found it very very comfortable. Easy to meet people or stay solitary. Whatever you do in Alaska, DO NOT MISS the float plane experience! My hands down favorite excursion was Misty Fjords, where we flew over snow covered peaks, across glaciers, and landing in a high mountain lake. I got to stand outside on the pontoon! TIP: try to be the last one on board and he will make you the co-captain and you will sit in the front with the pilot!!! I cannot say anything bad about this Crystal cruise because it was so perfect, which is unusual. The Crystal staff is not overworked and pushed to exhaustion as other cruise lines do. They are well rested, go on shore and absolutely love working for Crystal which...actually enhances a passengers on board experience. I felt like an honored guest on this cruise. Now they have “open seating”. TIP: Book your specialty restaurant dinners way in advance! Crystal has a huge following of repeat customers who know to book UMA UMA quickly. If you wait until you are on board you won’t get in. Their SeaBass was extraordinary!!!! ( to die for!!!) Passengers get to dine once in each specialty restaurant free of charge. Additional dining is inexpensive. But the MAIN DINING ROOM is very beautiful with 10 star service. The food was fabulous! Also my favorite was the Brazilian steakhouse with favorite meat being the “short rib” which is not s rib, but a medallion of beef. All the lamb, steak, chicken, shrimp you can eat. Plus delicious creamed spinach, one of my favorite meals. Being a solo woman traveler I was very comfortable. You make friends in the excursions. My advice to anyone considering this cruise is take as many excursions as you can. Do not be frightened by helicopter landing on a glacier! These are experienced companies with good new equipment and... it is a lifetime memory. It would be a shame to miss the helicopter or flight plane! (My favorite was the flight plane.) formal night was cancelled much to the disappointment of guests who went to great lengths to bring tuxedos and formal gowns. Dress on this Alaska cruise was far more casual than I expected on Crystal. Even at the high tea, where the staff wore misfitting Venetian costumes, passengers were still in their excursion clothing, including tennis shoes. The fitness area is wonderful. They had treadmills that would incline which is my favorite. And there are full glass windows for views of the majestic mountains. I would do this exact cruise again and take different excursions. It was fabulous. Oh... additionally, disembarkation was beyond the best I’ve ever experienced. No loud speaker announcements. You are treated like a valued guest even after departure. All the way until you step out at the airport. It’s incredible that they have so many people on shore to make sure you are taken care of.

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3.2 out of 5

Definitely forgettable by AustinCruiser2

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

We will not be booking further voyages with Crystal, for sure.

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2 out of 5

We are on the World... by beautyquen

Sail Date: /

We are on the World Cruise right now headed to Ft Lauderdale FL. As always the butler, service in the venues, food in dining room and cafe are wonderful!!! But there are now three Asian restaurants, which is not enough variety...we need German or Mexican or Irish Pub. The Italian is a fabulous break from the main diningroom. The new decor is now bkack, gray and white with glass and chrome -- which gives off a cold and unfriendly feeling. A far cry from the burgandy, na y and forest green with the cherry wood railings and trim that made it warm, comfortable and welcoming....more luxurious feeling. The entertainment is a lot of repeat shows although very good. Could use some new music...still same period of music just new songs. Enjoy the soft piano music as it invites conversation, but they have added some loud guitars which are not as much of a special feeling. So did not feel like coming home this time .... our with cruise.

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4.4 out of 5

World cruise segment by kinggolfer

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Best company out of the twelve I have used previously

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4.6 out of 5

49 days in heaven Rome 11/4 to Cape town 12/22/2017 by ElegantDream

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Wonderful trip full of magical memories. Crystal is family that treats all guests with respect and warmth. The all inclusive extras make it special

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3.4 out of 5

Second Time Not Quite the Charm of First Cruise by NYTexans

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Overall our second experience on Crystal's Symphony somehow seem to lack the magic of our first experience. Whether due to having been one the ship before or something else we could not quite determine. We also experienced the strong odor of waste in the rear section of the 8th deck on two days and this was really disgusting. All members of our party also developed Upper Respiratory Infections either while aboard (1 person) and within 1-3 days of disembarking. This could have come from the flight over or from the ship. I believe its that latter and hope that somehow additional efforts can be made to reduce exposure. The ship offers some cabins with PURE air filtering and if we rebook on Crystal I will ask for a PURE cabin.

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3 out of 5

wonderful itinerary by crusingzs

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Crystal is undergoing either problems or growing pains since a change in ownership early this year.  Staff is wonderful and the trip and tours were great.  However, there is needed ship upkeep and there have been significant cut backs in services since our Crystal cruise last year.  Staff is somewhat stressed but great.

Supposed room updates were non existent and the staterooms on the 9th deck are to be converted to penthouses so there will be limited space for those who do not want to pay penthouse prices.

This is not the same outfit we traveled with last year and plan to look elsewhere until Crystal gets it's act together.

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3 out of 5

great ports by crusingzs

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Please see my commentary on the next portion of this cruise - Portsmouth to Stockholm.

Our room was terrible on this portion of the cruise.  Powers to be were not very helpful and a refund for our troubles was a spit in the ocean.  Worn sofa, pee;ling surface of the bath tub when taking a bath etc.

Housekeeping and wait staff were fantastic as well as the ports visited.

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2 out of 5

Misleading advertising. Beware. by fandango

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Comparisons are important, and a good way to paint a valid description. Crystal is reputed to be one of the best 6 star lines. We've enjoyed  cruising with them previously so serves as an easy comparison. The boarding experience in Lisbon was up a shabby ramshackle tented gangway. Not even a "Hello and welcome aboard" and certainly no welcome drink nor semblance of service . Following a pleasant check in clerk we were directed to the elevators dragging luggage. What 5 star hotel or cruiser have you been to where nobody accompanied you to the room/cabin ? That should have been the warning signal of what to expect. Don't swallow the ploy that Crystal sell the 'first night in port' as a plus for arriving pax. Not so, its another cost saver for the company calculated you lose whilst the company gains. $500 per person or more youre paying for the cruise cabin resembling a closet for a night , instead buys the best luxury accommodation in 5 star hotels with a wide choice of dining possiblities in any major cities departure port. However this cruising standard we considered; in common with many of co cruisers, was lower than the benchmarks Seaborne or Silver Sea. The Symphony is now well down the scale. Claims as to being 6 star and the # 1 exclusive cruise line are wild exaggerations of the truth. Without doubt Crystal is on a major cost cutting exercise under the new management. If you are looking for luxury cruising and value for money you are advised to look elsewhere. The Symphony is tired, and badly in need of a refit. Old cheap prints do nothing to enhance the outdated furnishings in very small cabins.The overall impression is clearly of overwhelmingly sloppy management. On day 2 we attempted to speak with the Hotel Director and was told we have to make an appointment by email instead of simply calling him on his mobile or pager. Herein undoubtedly lies the root of the management problem. This is an incapability or planned device to avoid responding in a timely manner. 6 hours later and only after contacting the head office in California, did the Director respond. The only positive is the ship is immaculately clean.. Waiting crew on open decks (breakfast or lunch) mainly Philippinos have an uncontrolled tendency to be over friendly and in ones face. Failing to clear dirty dishes from table in a timely fashion because theres never a manager in sight, doesn't make their presence more appealing. 48 hours following my complaint, the matter was recitified to normal anticipated standards, proving the management had dropped standards as a norm. Sloppy as accused. Dining room waiters are very good and we have no complaints. However, again the restaurant manager is noted by his absence during service. Food is above average, but the kitchen does not excel  serving merely good Bistro standard to be found in any major European City. . Housekeeping likewise is not paying attention to their managing, or the beds would be properly dressed instead of simply being thrown together. They do not turn beds down at night. No flowers, chocolates nor fruit nor champagne in the pokey tiny cabins. Two normal sized people cannot pass each other between the wall and the foot of the bed. Bar staff are acceptable, but here as all of the ship, in every single aspect lacks professionalism. There's not one part of the ship nor its operation I would commend as being excellent or at best equal to 4 star. Unfortunate, for it is precisely that Holy Grail which ships of this calibre strive for. Entertainment was very poor. A Transatlantic cruise needs distracting quality shows. A scheduled stop at the Azores was cancelled by the Captain, claiming a risk of Hurricane force weather conditions. This was either a figment of his imagination or more likely an economic decision driven by cost cutting. I was a professional racing yacht skipper, well able to read meteorological charts and forecast weather with the best , and I saw no valid reason for this decision. In fact I was 100% correct , There was no bad weather for the day we should have docked. The CEO and her Board need to travel more, taking note of their competition. Sampling it would have them disembarking with their eyes cast down and worried for the future expectations of their shareholders. Improvement will not occur rapidly, requiring a major change of CEO and management. This particular cruise remained an unfortunate place to be, for 13 days failing our high but justifiably balanced expectations in every field. The experience will likely leave an unpleasant memory as a waste of money. This fairly ordinary form of transatlantic transport could be had at half the price and probably more enjoyable for expectations wouldn't be high. It was a relief to disembark in Miami. Detailed letters of justifiable complaint to the CEO remain unanswered 2 months later, as yet another indictment of poor management . When the CEO has not to common commercial decency to respond, nor make a offer of retribution is an indication of where the root problem lies. She couldn't care less - shareholders take note !

 

Eventually March 2017 following many reminders, customer service apologising profusely - impossible to defend our accusations offered $750 discount off a cruise with them, a grossly insufficient amount considering the poor cruise, and without the scheduled stop in the Azores. Unless the CEO is replaced we wouldnt cruise Crystal again.Angry Finally. Take our valid advice as regular cruisers for more than 20 years, always in 5 star or better ships. You would not be doing yourself any favour by cruising Crystal. David.

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5 out of 5

Wonderful Luxury Cruise Experience by cmellis

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

This was my second luxury cruise experience and Crystal Symphony did not disappoint. I was looking for a place to truly disconnect and recharge and this cruise did not disappoint. The fact that everything (embarkation, dining room, hotel service) is extremely organized and convenient makes it worth the price point. The food was fantastic. Although the ship was full there were never any lines, EVER. The one thing that surprised and impressed me was how alone you could feel on a big ship with over 900 people. The ship had lots of little "nooks and crannies" where you could curl up with a good book and read for hours and not hear or be bothered by anyone. It was a tough year for me so the solitude was greatly appreciated. I would definitely consider Crystal for another luxury cruise experience.

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5 out of 5

A Dream Come True by PLG

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

WE do not cruise because we thought it would be boring.  Luckily my husband changed my mind and we went on this, our first cruise in 15 years.  Amazing.  Everything from embarkation to disembarkation is managed to the tiniest detail.  The rooms are very functional with full shower and tub and many shelves and drawers so you can "spread out".  The linens are lovely and the beds themselves very comfortable.

Check out their website, everything is exactly as presented.  And the emphasis on both hygiene and safety, throughout the cruise, is appreciated.    There are stations where you are able to sanitize your hands throughout the ship.

The food is truly amazing.  And even though there is a breakfast buffet in the Lido,you also have the breakfast option in the Crystal Dining Room with a varied and delightful menu.  I loved the variety yet the choices were presented in a delicate way, not mounds of food everywhere, as you can see even in luxury buffets.  

The service in all of the dining areas is impeccable.  It was surprising that our names were remembered by all of the staff members we met by the second day!  that was a pleasant surprise.

The entertainment is mostly geared to the "older crowd".  And the cost of the Internet service is high.  I think it should be included, as most of their competitors have done.

 I never felt that the ship was crowded.  I thought that the day at sea would tell-the-tale.  But no, on our day-at-sea everything was just wonderfully leisurely with no evidence that the ship was full, which I believe it was for our trip.

There are a couple of shops on board: Apropos and Facets.  The former provided a collection of mens and women's clothing and accessories, mostly high-end:  Furla, Chanel and Gucci handbags, Michael Kors clothing and some odds and ends costume jewelry.  Facets is a high-end jewelry store with Hublot, Tag and other beautiful time pieces as well as designer jewelry you will also find at stores like Neiman Marcus. 

The excursions are terrific.  They ranged in cost from $49 to over $300. They were worth every penny.  The guides are knowledgeable, have  good personalities and attend to as well as are aware of your needs are you are transported about.  since we took a excursion every day, we didn't miss the entertainment so much.  It was nice to kick back and get ready for the next day.

I would have liked to have "modern/current" dancing and a great DJ available earlier in the evening.  That was open after 11:00 nightly, but when you have an excursion at 8:00 and you already going through several time zones, it can be tough to do it.  There should be a place where the ballroom crowd can do their thing at a reasonable hour, and the rest of us can "go to the club" at that same reasonable hour.

The transfer process both getting to and from the ship is flawless.  Everything went smoothly.  You can tell that they know exactly what they are doing.  We left the ship in Copenhagen but our flight did not leave until much later that night.  All of us with later flights were taken to a lovely hotel and staged there, with light meals provided, until our airport departure.

I don't use this word often, but I have to say that this trip was "perfect".  The problem that I now have is that I started at the top with Crystal.  

We are looking at future sailings and trying to decide where to take our next Crystal Cruise.  I cannot wait to be treated "Crystal-fabulous" for another 10 days.  We had a memorable experience and have decided to become "cruise-people" as a result of this trip.

 

 

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5 out of 5

Wonderful experience by lwallace

Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

Exceptional service on a beautiful ship

The highlight of the trip was meeting Dr. Liu for acupuncture reduced my pain (and lots of other's on the ship) and helped me enjoy more of it! I can't wait to see him on our Crystal trip next year.

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