A couple weeks ago, Billie, Nick and Alex were part of the Cruise Experts Travel crew that toured the newly remodelled Crystal Symphony. I sat down with all three individually to get their thoughts on the ship. It’s interesting to hear what each had to say.
What was your overall impression of the Crystal Symphony?
Billie: It felt really welcoming.
Nick: Very classy but understated. Doesn’t jump out at you, but you can tell by the décor and furnishings that it is luxury. I expected a bit more ‘wow’ in the public areas, but I understand what Crystal is going for.
Alex: Nice and bright, clean and ‘quiet’. A little dated décor-wise in areas – this being highlighted by the fact that a number of areas have been updated to a very high standard and in-keeping with modern trends in colour and contemporary design.
What did you like best about the ship?
Billie: The size of the ship. Not too big, not too small. There was a lot of open space, not crowded with things.
Nick: Nice staterooms, the included Nobu Sushi Bar and the other renovated dining areas, and the pool/solarium.
One of the renovated areas. There used to be a pool here.
Alex: The pool deck, hot tub and sun lounger area was very ‘spa’ like and inviting. Also, the spa treatment rooms were quite amazing with the many different treatments that are available. The updated areas of the ship were spot-on in design and elegant choice of colours and finishes.
What did you like least about the ship?
Billie: Didn’t notice anything to dislike.
Nick: The older, not-yet renovated areas (like the theater) do feel dated. The colours and materials (purple/pink velour) aren’t very appealing.
Alex: The pastel pink furniture, brass railings and hardware in the cocktail lounge. I feel these need updating.
Is there anything you’d like to see on the Symphony that wasn’t there?
Billie: No, not that I can think of.
Nick: Nothing really, for the type of ship it is and the ambiance Crystal wants to have, it has everything it needs.
Alex: Walmart? Seriously though, I feel the ship has everything. The improvements I`d like to see are related to the amenities and décor in the areas that haven`t been remodelled. The cinema needs a dash of the millennium. The gym could be expanded to include more equipment and refinished to rival those of private gyms today.
Having said that, the computer room and library were awesome, as were the shops.
What was one thing you saw on the Symphony that you haven’t seen on other ships?
Billie: Even the most basic category stateroom had dual sink vanities! That was awesome… no fighting over the sink anymore! Also, their hot tub was huge! It was the size of a small swimming pool! Much better than the small circular hot tubs on most of the other ships.
Two sinks, marble countertops in staterooms
Nick: Haven’t been on other luxury ships, but the quality of stateroom linens and bathroom furnishings are outstanding. Marble countertops with bowl sinks.
Alex: There were fresh towels and bottles of mineral water already in place on the running machines in the gym – I thought this was indicative of the level of forethought that Crystal gives to service on board. Nice touch!
What kind of cruisers would you find on a Crystal Symphony cruise to Alaska?
Billie: Someone who enjoys being pampered, but is not pretentious. Crystal represents a luxurious lifestyle onboard and makes their guests feel like royalty.
Nick: Refined and classy but not stuffy. The overall feel was quite casual and laid back, despite it’s ‘luxury’ status.
Alex: Very well pampered and content ones, I would imagine!
On a scale of 1 (lowest rating) to 10 (highest rating), what would you give the Symphony?
Alex: For amenities 8, for decor 7, and for staff effort 11.
For pictures from the Crystal Symphony tour, see the April 25 post.
Have you seen the refreshed Crystal Symphony? What are your thoughts?