On a cruise ship
CruiseClout score: 95.0
Crystal Symphony ship review: Five-star luxury at sea
Embrace your passion for discovery on Crystal Symphony, which is one of the most spacious and luxurious cruise ships at sea. Once on board it's easy to see how Crystal Cruises has been recognized as the "World’s Best" for an unprecedented 19th consecutive year from Travel + Leisure readers who have voted Crystal Cruises the "World's Best" Large-Ship Cruise Line in the magazine's 2014 annual survey.
Amenities include award-winning cuisine, entertainment, grand lounges, expansive decks and exquisitely appointed staterooms. But what makes for so many satisfied past cruise guests is the staff and crew — it's hard to miss their genuine enthusiasm and natural desire to make sure you feel at home.
From embarkation welcome to final farewell, Crystal Symphony delivers the total vacation package. From onboard enrichment to shoreside adventure, Symphony helps you create your own cruise story. The cruise ship does everything possible to help spark your sense of astonishing wonder. Crystal Symphony delivers extraordinary service, abundant space, exceptional quality and a wealth of choices.
Who will like sailing on Crystal Symphony
Crystal Cruises’ affluent, multi-generational guests appreciate the renowned Crystal experience distinguished by classic service, abundant space, fine quality and extensive choices.
Where Crystal Symphony sails
Crystal Serenity covers a lot of sea and sails around the world. Itineraries include a cruise to South America and Antarctica. Or consider a 10-day cruise from London to Reykjavík in summer months, with stops in Liverpool and Belfast.
This 2-minute video from our friend Ralph Grizzard, the Avid Cruiser, looks at the variety of dining choices aboard Crystal Symphony.
How to make a cruise symphony
It's hard to imagine that Crystal Symphony has been in service for almost two decades. But don't let her age fool you because the ship has undergone major work to keep her turning heads in the competitive ultra-luxury cruise market.
Since 2012, the ship had been undergoing changes, which include updating suites, staterooms, and public spaces. As recent as October 2014, the award-winning Crystal Symphony received a $20 million-plus dry dock redesign. You will love her freshly updated spaces that are reimagined with luxury cruise travelers in mind. The overall verdict is that the ship looks brand new, contemporary and on trend.
In 2012 Crystal Cruises decided to adopt a more all-inclusive pricing model (like their competitors). You will love walking around the ship and ordering your favorite drink without having to sign a bill. Beverages like wine, spirits, bottled water, soda, juices and specialty coffee drinks are all included in the cruise fare now as well as a complimentary meal in one of the specialty restaurants and pre-paid gratuities.
Luxury cruising the Crystal Symphony way
To be the best, Crystal Symphony has to deliver the finest amenities, service, cuisine, beverages, and entertainment afloat.
As they might say, to be the very best means that they partner only with the very best.
You'll notice touches of luxury at every turn. From indulgent amenities in your stateroom to elegant table settings in the dining rooms, to world-renowned brand names associated with their enrichment and entertainment programs, Crystal brings you the best the world has to offer.
Luxury amenities in staterooms and suites
Your sanctuary at sea is appointed with the soft 100% cotton linens, feather beds and plush duvets, Frette terry cloth robes, Baltic bath linens, wood and padded hangers, and flat-screen televisions. Penthouse suites feature Jacuzzi tubs, Villeroy & Boch china and classic Riedel crystal.
Exceptional dining experiences
Partnering with the best has helped Symphony claim top honors in the culinary department.
Critics agree that Crystal's cuisine is among the finest at sea. Crystal's hand-selected team of chefs abides by three principles: high-quality ingredients, classical French preparation and an abiding passion for their craft. The chefs, sauciers, patissiers and other specialists also relish the inspiration of foreign cultures and ingredients they encounter during their ceaseless voyaging. It is this spark of international creativity — the Crystal touch — that turns a fine dish into a masterpiece.
Silk Road and the Sushi Bar
Don't miss dinner at Silk Road and The Sushi Bar (make a reservation before you embark the ship, if you can). Chef Nobu Matsuhisa fuses his unique, innovative culinary skills with the finest international ingredients to create his signature Japanese cuisine savored by fine food connoisseurs around the world. Those in the know will love the Schott-Zwiesel crystal, Villeroy & Boch and Wedgewood china, Royal Doulton dishware, Sheffield and Sambonet flatware, and table linens by Garnier Thiebaut and Frette.
- The Crystal Dining Room: The main dining room is elegant, with plenty of space around each table.
- Prego Restaurant: The Venetian-designed Italian restaurant, showcasing the cuisine of renowned restaurateur Piero Selvaggio.
- Lido Cafe: Buffet-ttyle Indoor/outdoor venue for breakfast & lunch
- Palm Court: For afternoon tea or coffee with a choice of sandwiches, cakes & pastries
- Trident Snack Bar & Grill: poolside buffet
- Bistro Cafe: European-style coffee and wine bar serving light bites, pastries and snacks
Crystal’s extensive wine cellar offers more than 300 vintages, with a special Reserve List showcasing rarities such as Screaming Eagle and Château Lafite Rothschild.
Crystal has long been renowned for entertainment. When evening beckons there are plenty of possibilities. Meet friends for cocktails and a dance before dinner. Then take in a Broadway performance after dinner. The entertainment aboard the Crystal ships is the finest and most varied at sea, a spellbinding series of performances to suit every taste, satisfy every mood. You can expect large-scale productions uniting West End and Broadway, intimate lounges, cabarets, karaoke (just try!), dance clubs for disco and hip-hop.
It is Crystal Cruises' mission to help you discover the world, as well as yourself through travel. Crystal Symphony has a renowned roster of complimentary enrichment programs for you.
- Computer University @ Sea, a state-of-the-art computer room at your disposal - make sure to take a class to learn about all things digital.
- The Crystal Spa & Salon offers wellness opportunities.
- Who said shopping is not educational? Learn how to tie your scarf or discover the hottest trends in fashion at a presentation held at the Avenue of the Stars.
- Bridge Lounge: if you are a beginner no probs, but it's the hosted tournaments that have everyone buzzing.
- Fantasia: Children have their own programs designed just for them.
- Get active! Play tennis, take a walk on the beautiful 360-degree wraparound deck, go for a swim, or hit some golf balls.
Crystal Adventures are available for all ports of call. Make sure to take a peak and see what is available so that you can see for yourself unique excursions opportunities that are developed for Crystal's luxury clientele.
How about you? Have you sailed on Crystal Symphony? I'd like to hear about your experience!
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Interested in a cruise on this ship?
Top highlights on this ship
- Crystal’s hotel and dining staff are schooled in the fine art of European service.
- Cuisine by renowned chefs Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio, included at no extra charge.
- Recenly emerged from a two-week, $20 million-plus dry dock redesign
- All-inclusive cruissing that includes specialty restaurants, all beverages and pre-paid gratuities
- Engaging onboard enrichment programs
- Impressive wine cellar including Crystal's exclusive "C" label
- One of the highest space per guest ratios at sea, offering Crystal Cruises' unparalleled service in luxurious comfortable surroundings
- The only Feng Shui-inspired spa at sea
Top dining options on board
“We never miss the Mozart Tea at the Palm Court. It transports guests to 18th century Vienna, with music from the noted composer, wait staff in period costumes in brocade and lace, and delectable Austrian pastries.”