Crystal Symphony Ship Review by Cruise Express

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Crystal Symphony

Reviewed by: Clive Heath

Date: April 2019

Cruise line and ship: Crystal Symphony

Cruise name or itinerary: Darwin to Singapore

Passenger capacity: 848

Year built: 1995

Size of the ship: 51,000 gross tonnes

Where the ship cruises: Worldwide     

Currency onboard: USD

Embarkation/disembarkation: Always easy as there are numerous crew to assist and only a small number of passengers.

Main features/highlights: Yes, she is small compared to the likes of Ovation of the Seas or Majestic Princess but this is a fully equiped cruise ship with all the facilities you would expect on a larger ship including, multiple dining options, a pool, library, Broadway-style shows and intimate lounges. Symphony even has a movie theatre showing old classics as well as the latest release movies. This also doubles as a church and a small lecture room.

Most suited to: 55+ people who enjoy a leisurely cruise. Absolutely nothing on this entire ship is hurried, busy or crowded as the small number of passengers means there are lots of places to lose yourself!

Suitable for most Australians who like to be pampered on a cruise. Though the ship is more formal than most, the evening dress code is smart casual with long sleeved collared shirts being acceptable.

Atmosphere: Quiet stately and elegant. There are many places where you can get away on this ship just to sit and read or contemplate the sea.

Staterooms: Accommodation decks are mainly from 7 to 10, with 5 and 6 for dining and entertainment and decks 11 and 12 for dining, sunning and sports. Guest laundries are on each accommodation deck, or you can splash out and use the valet service. Holidays are too short for washing and ironing!

My cabin 1059 was on deck 10 –  known as a Penthouse cabin with Verandah (pictured above).

Lower decks have a picture window and balcony cabins. Deck 9 features the new Seabreeze cabin decoration that will soon feature on all new Crystal ships.

Dining: Apart from the traditional food ‘stations’ of Trident Grill or Marketplace buffet areas on Deck 11 and the main dining room Waterside Restaurant on Deck 5, there are a number of speciality dining options which are included one or more times during your cruise depending on your cabin grade.

This is done to ‘rotate’ guests around the dining options giving everybody the chance to try everything at least once.

  • Waterside Restaurant – This is the main (large) dining room on Deck 5 and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you like to be seated with white tablecloths and served a wide range of snacks, salads, burgers, sandwiches, fish, etc this is a comfortable option.
  • Silk – Asian fusion. As its name indicates the menu here is a mix of well known Chinese and Asian dishes with a contemporary twist. We dined as a group, therefore the chef provided a tasting banquet of everything on the menu. We carried our stomachs away that night!
  • Umi Uma – Sushi and Japanese. This sushi restaurant has two options. You can reserve a table (various cabins eat free depending on cruise duration) or take pot luck and sit at the sushi bar and watch the chefs at work. You can choose from the menu or by pointing at your choice of seafood.
  • Prego – Italian – Apparently, the ultimate dining experience on board. Which I missed!

Entertainment:

  • The Galaxy Lounge (Deck 6) – This is the main show lounge featuring everything from Broadway quality productions to comedians and lectures. With tiered seating, the view is good if not spectacular from all seats. As always the bar service follows you.
  • The Palm Court (Deck 11) This big elegant space at the front of the ship evokes a Palm Court feel from the 1930s with big comfortable chairs and a sumptuous feel. Afternoon tea is served by white-gloved waiters each afternoon for those who have not eaten enough at breakfast and lunch!
  • The Movie Theatre – It is unusual for a ship to have a dedicated movie theatre with popcorn and one that shows some fairly new releases.

Family facilities: There is an area on Deck 11 that can cater for a small number of children of varying ages. You will need to enquire at the time of booking for space depending on the age group.

Inclusions: This is an all-inclusive ship with top-shelf drinks and cocktails also included. All dining venues are available during your cruise. The number of times you can attend each will depend on your cabin status.

Exclusions: Shore excursions, degustation dining, spa services and top end wine list (up to $2,000 per bottle).

Dress codes: On non-formal nights a long sleeve shirt and pants are totally acceptable. No need for a jacket. On formal nights the ladies can really go to town.

Spa and Fitness Facilities: Located on Deck 11 there is a well-equipped gym with an instructor and an excellent spa.

Insider tips: Rather than the buffet, enjoy the extensive menu at the Waterside restaurant where the staff will get to know you and always have your favourite wine at hand!

Self-service laundry: Available on all decks except Deck 9.

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Crystal Symphony

Reviewed by: Clive Heath

Date: April 2019

Cruise line and ship: Crystal Symphony

Cruise name or itinerary: Darwin to Singapore

Passenger capacity: 848

Year built: 1995

Size of the ship: 51,000 gross tonnes

Where the ship cruises: Worldwide     

Currency onboard: USD

Embarkation/disembarkation: Always easy as there are numerous crew to assist and only a small number of passengers.

Main features/highlights: Yes, she is small compared to the likes of Ovation of the Seas or Majestic Princess but this is a fully equiped cruise ship with all the facilities you would expect on a larger ship including, multiple dining options, a pool, library, Broadway-style shows and intimate lounges. Symphony even has a movie theatre showing old classics as well as the latest release movies. This also doubles as a church and a small lecture room.

Most suited to: 55+ people who enjoy a leisurely cruise. Absolutely nothing on this entire ship is hurried, busy or crowded as the small number of passengers means there are lots of places to lose yourself!

Suitable for most Australians who like to be pampered on a cruise. Though the ship is more formal than most, the evening dress code is smart casual with long sleeved collared shirts being acceptable.

Atmosphere: Quiet stately and elegant. There are many places where you can get away on this ship just to sit and read or contemplate the sea.

Staterooms: Accommodation decks are mainly from 7 to 10, with 5 and 6 for dining and entertainment and decks 11 and 12 for dining, sunning and sports. Guest laundries are on each accommodation deck, or you can splash out and use the valet service. Holidays are too short for washing and ironing!

My cabin 1059 was on deck 10 –  known as a Penthouse cabin with Verandah (pictured above).

Lower decks have a picture window and balcony cabins. Deck 9 features the new Seabreeze cabin decoration that will soon feature on all new Crystal ships.

Dining: Apart from the traditional food ‘stations’ of Trident Grill or Marketplace buffet areas on Deck 11 and the main dining room Waterside Restaurant on Deck 5, there are a number of speciality dining options which are included one or more times during your cruise depending on your cabin grade.

This is done to ‘rotate’ guests around the dining options giving everybody the chance to try everything at least once.

  • Waterside Restaurant – This is the main (large) dining room on Deck 5 and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you like to be seated with white tablecloths and served a wide range of snacks, salads, burgers, sandwiches, fish, etc this is a comfortable option.
  • Silk – Asian fusion. As its name indicates the menu here is a mix of well known Chinese and Asian dishes with a contemporary twist. We dined as a group, therefore the chef provided a tasting banquet of everything on the menu. We carried our stomachs away that night!
  • Umi Uma – Sushi and Japanese. This sushi restaurant has two options. You can reserve a table (various cabins eat free depending on cruise duration) or take pot luck and sit at the sushi bar and watch the chefs at work. You can choose from the menu or by pointing at your choice of seafood.
  • Prego – Italian – Apparently, the ultimate dining experience on board. Which I missed!

Entertainment:

  • The Galaxy Lounge (Deck 6) – This is the main show lounge featuring everything from Broadway quality productions to comedians and lectures. With tiered seating, the view is good if not spectacular from all seats. As always the bar service follows you.
  • The Palm Court (Deck 11) This big elegant space at the front of the ship evokes a Palm Court feel from the 1930s with big comfortable chairs and a sumptuous feel. Afternoon tea is served by white-gloved waiters each afternoon for those who have not eaten enough at breakfast and lunch!
  • The Movie Theatre – It is unusual for a ship to have a dedicated movie theatre with popcorn and one that shows some fairly new releases.

Family facilities: There is an area on Deck 11 that can cater for a small number of children of varying ages. You will need to enquire at the time of booking for space depending on the age group.

Inclusions: This is an all-inclusive ship with top-shelf drinks and cocktails also included. All dining venues are available during your cruise. The number of times you can attend each will depend on your cabin status.

Exclusions: Shore excursions, degustation dining, spa services and top end wine list (up to $2,000 per bottle).

Dress codes: On non-formal nights a long sleeve shirt and pants are totally acceptable. No need for a jacket. On formal nights the ladies can really go to town.

Spa and Fitness Facilities: Located on Deck 11 there is a well-equipped gym with an instructor and an excellent spa.

Insider tips: Rather than the buffet, enjoy the extensive menu at the Waterside restaurant where the staff will get to know you and always have your favourite wine at hand!

Self-service laundry: Available on all decks except Deck 9.

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