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Also Contemplating a 2nd Crystal Cruise


mgfraser
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Hi Everyone,

 

My wife and I are contemplating the Tokyo-Los Angeles cruise in April on the Symphony. We really love the sea days.

 

We were on our first Crystal cruise back in January in the Caribbean on Serenity and enjoyed it a great deal.

 

We would like to know from the people who have been on both ships, is there any difference?

 

Thank you for your comments/

 

Malcolm

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The main advantage of the Symphony is that you will have Mark Farris in the Avenue Saloon for great late evening entertainment. I must say, I have yet to go on the Serenity for that reason.

Crystal is Crystal. It is generally the same great service. Some staff work solely on the Serenity and the Symphony. Others work on both. Its another reason why I keep to one ship.*

The Symphony is slightly smaller so it can access certain ports which the Serenity; particularly where bridges are involved (it has a deck less).

 

There is no Taste on the Symphony.

Edited by JohnKen3
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The main advantage of the Symphony is that you will have Mark Farris in the Avenue Saloon for great late evening entertainment. I must say, I have yet to go on the Serenity for that reason.

Crystal is Crystal. It is generally the same great service. Some staff work solely on the Serenity and the Symphony. Others work on both. Its another reason why I keep to one ship.*

The Symphony is slightly smaller so it can access certain ports which the Serenity; particularly where bridges are involved (it has a deck less).

 

There is no Taste on the Symphony.

 

Once they posted that he was going to be on V4210, it sealed the deal for me and I booked immediately there after. The crossings are THE BEST! Hundreds of miles from land anywhere on the horizon, with Mark Farris for 15 days(the Avenue Saloon really gets kicking after 1030(sorry early nighters but the real fun starts late!)-what more could one ask for?! Add to that the crossings are the best value per diem of any Crystal cruise, and all the sea day programs you can enjoy due to the number of sea days-these are reasons many of us prefer the crossings over any other cruise Crystal offers. I really don't choose to sail the Serenity, also, in large part due to the absence of Mark Farris! :)

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Hi Everyone,

 

My wife and I are contemplating the Tokyo-Los Angeles cruise in April on the Symphony. We really love the sea days.

 

We were on our first Crystal cruise back in January in the Caribbean on Serenity and enjoyed it a great deal.

 

We would like to know from the people who have been on both ships, is there any difference?

 

Thank you for your comments/

 

Malcolm

 

Malcolm,like most things in life some of this is subjective. I know some people who prefer the Symphony, some who prefer Serenity and some who are indifferent. Some of the preference comes from familiarity. For example, you cruise one ship several times than after awhile you get to know the crew very well. Go to the other ship for the first time and you don't know them yet but in time you will.

 

Some differences:

 

Serenity's guest rooms are all a little larger than those of the Symphony.

 

Serenity lifeboats do not block any rooms so unlike the Symphony with very few minor exceptions there are no obstructed rooms; just a few that have some minor obstructions which are clearly noted on the diagrams.

 

Conversely Crystal Symphony cruise fares are usually lower than that of the Serenity.

 

Serenity offers casual dining most evening in Tastes. Symphony does not have Tastes and can only offer casual dining on selected evenings.

 

Symphony has pretty much had every public room redone in their dry-docks so all of their rooms look very updated. Serenity being a newer ship than Symphony is just going through this process so some of the public rooms have not been updated and actually look older than the Symphony.

 

Crystal Symphony has a public room called the Starlite Club which is located in a very prominent deck area and is used for so many purposes. The room is very much open and during the daytime can be used for selected lectures, also for team trivia and bingo. In the evening it serves as a lounge and is also used for Captain's Parties. There is also the Galaxy Lounge used for some lectures and also for evening shows. In the daytime, this means that often one can stay in this room and not have to go back to multiple rooms avoiding the issue of feeling rushes and nice for those who might have trouble getting around. The Starlite is much more inviting since it is open and sometimes those passing by can see a lecture or some other event going on and decide to stay.

 

Crystal Serenity utilizes the Galaxy Lounge for many of its lectures (uses Hollywood Theater for an afternoon lecture) and uses the Palm Court for Team Trivial and these venues are located on different floors so sometimes one feels rushed getting from say an 11:00 AM lecture to Team Trivia depending on what time of day Trivia is offered.

 

For those who enjoy Paddle Tennis Symphony has one court with a net covering part of the top and the Serenity has two with no net above.

 

On the technical side the Symphony is powered by diesel-electric and entered service in 1995 and the Serenity is powered by 2 pods/diesel power and entered service in 2003. Serenity has 9 passenger decks and total cabins of 550 and Symphony has 8 passenger decks and has 480 total cabins.

 

With one less deck Symphony can sometimes dock in an area that Serenity can't if the height is an issue such as in Bordeaux where Symphony can fit under the electric cable and Serenity can't or say in Shanghai and in Tokyo (although starting in 2016 Serenity will be able to dock in Tokyo) where Symphony docks much closer to these cities. Conversely with the one additional deck some of Serenity's public rooms are larger, it can offer Tastes and the two paddle tennis courts. The length of the serenity is about 50 feet longer than Serenity.

 

Some like one size over the other for a different set of reasons.

 

Interior color schemes are different.

 

Dining. As mentioned Serenity has the extra dining venue. On the other hand dining in the Crystal Dining Room on the Symphony tends to be quieter than the Serenity not only because of the Symphony having less people dining at once with a slightly smaller dining room but the acoustics in both rooms.

 

My own view is to experience both ships if you can and my view is if you like a specific itinerary to let the itinerary be the guiding force and to go with it. For us most of our decisions are itinerary driven. This is why we first sailed on the Harmony, then the following year sailed on the Symphony and after a few more sail ins on Symphony sailed on the Serenity.

 

Rest assured that on both ships you will enjoy the same high level of service and the same levels of entertainment, enrichment, cuisine and other fine luxury experiences that define Crystal.

 

Finally, the itinerary you are considering will give you many days at sea to enjoy and to experience Symphony.

 

Keith

Edited by Keith1010
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There is no Taste on the Symphony.

 

I feared my sailing on Symphony more often than Serenity would give the poor ship a reputation. =sigh=. :eek:

 

Oh! Yeah, the dining venue... Never mind. :D

 

Keith really covered my thoughts, but I would just add the note that Symphony is nearing her 20th birthday, and she looks and feels like a 20 year old ship. Crystal has spent a fortune to keep her in immaculate shape and keep the decor fresh in most places, so that's not a comment about her being dated so much, but the overall design is definitely not new. To me, that's actually a plus because I liked that design period, but understand that there are certain design elements of the ship that will remind you that Symphony is not new, despite how beautiful she is.

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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Some extra research on Farris for JK3: He is listed on Serenity on V4328 through V4330. So you can book your Serenity cruise now!

 

 

Its a one off "special" for a month of so. It might be his first stint.

Tempting to book for the Serenity.

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We will be on this cruse as well and looking forward to all those relaxing sea days. We plan on going to Tokyo five days ahead of time since we have not been there.

 

Any day on Crystal is a great day.

 

As is often said on CC re the weather, hope for the best , but as with all sailings, we can not be guaranteed smooth sailing all the way across the Pacific. I, fortunately, do not get sea sick. As an alumna of V0205. with the 2 cyclones, and WC2009 from Auckland-Perth, with a major storm damaging the pod on Serenity, I still look forward to crossings. V2207 in March of 2012 was wonderful, as was V2229 LAX-Papeete was as well...so don't let the possibility of bad weather deter anyone considering this cruise. Other than V4225, I believe V4210has the longest stretch of uninterrupted sea days for 2014(outside of the WC of course),and we have Mark Farris-V4225 does not).. See you on board!

Edited by haikou
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As is often said on CC re the weather, hope for the best , but as with all sailings, we can not be guaranteed smooth sailing all the way across the Pacific. I, fortunately, do not get sea sick. As an alumna of V0205. with the 2 cyclones, and WC2009 from Auckland-Perth, with a major storm damaging the pod on Serenity, I still look forward to crossings. V2207 in March of 2012 was wonderful, as was V2229 LAX-Papeete was as well...so don't let the possibility of bad weather deter anyone considering this cruise. Other than V4225, I believe V4210has the longest stretch of uninterrupted sea days for 2014(outside of the WC of course),and we have Mark Farris-V4225 does not).. See you on board!

 

We did a Transpacific from Shanghai to Seward with the Celebrity Millenium and the weather was not a problem. Now we will be crossing from Valparaiso to Auckland with Crystal Symphony. We know the Symphony has capacity for less passengers, but is it also smaller in size than the Millenium?

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We did a Transpacific from Shanghai to Seward with the Celebrity Millenium and the weather was not a problem. Now we will be crossing from Valparaiso to Auckland with Crystal Symphony. We know the Symphony has capacity for less passengers, but is it also smaller in size than the Millenium?

 

Yes. Millennium is 91,000 tons with a length of 965' and a 105' beam. Crystal Symphony is 51,000 tons with a length of 781' and a 98' beam.

 

Len

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One other difference between Symphony and Serenity but only of interest to those of us who travel in steerage on deck 7. The view is better on Symphony because the staterooms are elevated above the deck (and railings) and the railings aren't solid. On Serenity your view while seated in your stateroom is largely of the steel panels between the deck and railing.

I too can't seem to warm up to the Avenue on Serenity, seems stilted somehow.

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I just returned from the crossing on Serenity, my first time on her in four years after 7 cruises on Symphony. I must say that I prefer the Symphony. The main reason is that I love the open Starlite lounge on Symphony which is literally and figuratively, the center of the ship. Lectures are very comfortable there, and you can walk by and hear a sample of a lecture or check out the dancers at night, without fully committing to stay. On Serenity the equivalent Stardust Club is a relatively worthless room in the rear of the ship. Lectures on a Serenity are in the movie theater, causing you to crawl over others to get to your seat and making it difficult to come and go.

Secondly, the Avenue Saloon on Serenity has a poor design which forces you to squeeze by the circular bar to enter. It did not help that we had a lackluster entertainer performing there. On Symphony, the room is better located and has an open design that allows you to casually check it out with going all the way inside and appears to have fewer tables and more comfy love seats. We also like the comfy sofas and chairs for lounging in the Trident area on Symphony whereas on a Serenity the a Trident/Tastes area is just a dining venue. If the weather was bad outside on the pool deck, there is nowhere to comfortably lounge under the glass in Serenity's Trident area.

Having said that, Serenity is a beautiful ship and with the right itinerary I would be happy on either one.

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