Sailing on Crystal Symphony

In September 2023, Sandra, our Head of Sales, spent a luxurious four nights on board the recently revamped Crystal Symphony. Here’s what she had to say about the trip!


This was an opportunity I wasn’t going to miss, a FAM Trip on Crystal Symphony, and I wasn’t disappointed. This is a ship with a soul, an older class beautifully restored and updated in design to meet the most discerning guests’ every wish. They have even made two suites into one offering, offering a 909 sq ft floor plan larger than my 3-bed bungalow at 776 sq ft.
I met the ship at Dubrovnik and was welcomed aboard, in full wonder, as I really did not know what to expect. Check-in was at reception in the main atrium with a waterfall and sumptuous furnishings. We were then shown our cabin, an aquamarine veranda suite and introduced to our butler Fernando. He explained the room and the ship’s facilities and gave us his mobile to ring should we need anything. he also served canape to our room at 5 pm every day.

The suite

The suite was lovely with a large bathroom, his and hers sinks, a stand-alone shower, a whirlpool bath, so many towels and a full range of Ortigia toiletries. I was in heaven in the whirlpool bath with Ortigia bath salts! The bathroom was so much larger than the room’s plan on the Crystal website.
The sumptuous main bedroom had a queen-sized bed, which I imagine split into large single beds if required,  a desk area, a bar with drinks fridge and pod coffeemaker, and a seating area with velvet chair and softa. There was plenty of wardrobe space with a walking closet with a safe. The Wi-Fi was excellent. There was a large balcony with chairs and a table to watch the world go by. I loved the features of the Teak rail; it just made it feel very special.


Dining was an experience on another level, and I am not sure I have eaten such delicious prepared food in a long while. 
The standard Waterside restaurant was my favourite; the menu changed daily. the food just melted in the mouth and tantalised your taste buds. The sommelier then upped the game with an amazing array of selected wines that were equally as delicious as the food. Service was definitely the best I have experienced at sea and land, not in a stuffy way but in a friendly way. They also remembered what you liked and any dietary needs. 
Two speciality restaurants required reservations. Could not get a booking at Umi Uma; people raved about it and were disappointed. However, we did have an evening in the Italian, Osteria D’Ovidio, which offers a glorious tasting menu, with entertainment from a tenor singer. Opera is not my thing normally, but the depth of his voice and the surroundings gave me such a wonderful and memorable experience. Maybe I could be tempted with Glyndebourne now!
We had breakfast and lunch at the Market Place and loved the additional outside space to the stern, watching the life at sea go by. This is a buffet and themes changed daily, so you were always surprised and tantalised! If you are not spoilt for eateries, Tastes Kitchen Bar offers burgers and sandwiches with a twist and vegan options. Scoops ice cream parlour for that cooling off with an array of speciality ice cream with fresh fruit and toppings. There were other bars offering food and drinks, too!
One morning, we were getting off the ship to explore Olympia, so we decided on breakfast room service and ordered coffee fruit and croissants. thought this would be a knock at the door with a tray; how wrong I was. Fernando our butler arrived at the door with a silver tray, laid a crisp white tablecloth on the table and laid up the most amazing spread.  he even pre-heated our cups. it was a lovely start to the day.

Life onboard

The excursions were well organised into small groups with a professional local guide and accompanying cruise staff to ensure we had the best visit. The ship was a real joy to explore and offered many aspects: bars, nightclubs, learning areas and even a smoking room that took you back to colonial times. I must admit I do not smoke, but I loved soaking up the atmosphere and kinda loved the smell of cigars. There were musicians and singers at every bar, and the shows were very professional. I really enjoyed all that was on offer. 
The pool area was much bigger than I thought on the deck plans with lots of seating and loungers. Facilities included a pool, hot tub, tennis court, Golf driving nets, and a large gym. The spa offered a steam room and sauna, with the usual treatment and hairdressing facilities.

The only complaint was that I had only a four-night stay aboard and would have loved to stay longer, especially with Istanbul as the next stop. I certainly loved every moment aboard and would thoroughly recommend this to anyone looking for a cruise that is above and beyond expectations.
Big thank you to Andrew Magowan and his team. Widgety will be featuring all the ship information and itinaries for Crystal Cruise, so don’t hesitate to contact us to have them added to your API, Cruise Search, Ship Iframes and brochure rack.