Last month my friend and I traveled aboard Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Symphony through Canada and New England. Let me just say that Crystal Cruises delivers an excellent product from start to finish.
Beginning with my private transfer, booked through Crystal Cruises, we were picked up from JFK airport in New York City in a very large SUV and taken to the New York cruise pier. The driver was friendly; the vehicle was clean and extremely spacious for just the two of us. Once at the cruise terminal the check-in process was a snap! No waiting in lines, since we had an overnight in port we were able to arrive later than normal, about 8:30pm and were escorted right to our stateroom.
Our dining room waiter was from Poland and he was professional, funny, helpful, and couldn’t have been nicer! He offered suggestions and accepted our special requests with a smile on his face. I have to comment that Crystal has the BEST crew of any cruise line that I have sailed on. After they first meet you, they immediately begin addressing you by name every time they see you! It’s amazing that they can do that! They also learn and take note of what you like and ask you if you would like that same thing the next time. For example, they remembered that I like bottled water, with a lemon, no ice and after dinner the assistant waiter remembered to ask. “Will you be having a cappuccino tonight”? They are beyond professional!
Activities abound aboard Crystal Cruises. The onboard entertainment again is the BEST at sea. Crystal is known for their nightly performances and they should not to be missed! The lectures onboard were an excellent way to spend time on sea days. I participated in the dance classes, which were fun too and the gentleman dance hosts really make sure they approach all the single women traveling so they enjoy their time on the dance floor. The dance hosts are extremely professional and well traveled. I attended the golf seminars; the PGA pro was excellent, helpful and patient with a beginner like me. Additionally, Crystal offers excellent shopping; including top of the line products such as Chanel makeup and well known high-end fragrances.
The health and fitness options aboard the Crystal Symphony are something that many people will love. The fitness instructors were top notch; these two gentlemen were educated and professional and offered excellent classes and interesting seminars. I used the Walk-On-Water WALKVEST (created by fitness guru Debbie Rocker); this was a nice and different type of experience and a great way to get exercise while enjoying your cruise. The gym itself offered state-of-the art fitness equipment and I loved using the Kinesis machine.
The choice for dining options is first class. We had fantastic dishes in the main dining room. Alternative dining experiences include; Prego an Italian dining experience, which was incredible; and Silk Road featuring specialties from celebrity master chef Nobu Matsuhisa. It’s really nice to be able to have alternative dining options on your cruise for only $7 per person. We were lucky to have the opportunity to dine at Prego twice during our cruise.
We stayed in cabin Category A – Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah, it was nicely appointed and all the soft goods (linens, carpets, etc) in the stateroom were so clean, fresh and elegant that everything seemed brand new. The bath amenities featured Aveda professional products, which are wonderful.
Crystal also includes those little touches you’re not expecting, like Sunday night football shown on the big screen in the lounge. I enjoyed my Crystal Symphony cruise tremendously! It is “Crystal Clear” to me why Crystal has been voted # 1 year after year by Condé Nast Traveler. I was so sad to leave the ship after meeting so many nice, friendly passengers and crew.