Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
wishIweretravelling

Random observations from aboard the Symphony

Recommended Posts

It’s been more than three years since I was last on a Crystal cruise, and all previous Crystal experiences were on the Serenity.  So, those observations that compare the two ships and find them different could be due to (a) inherent differences in the ships; (b) changes that are due to the relatively recent dry dock; or (c) my faulty memory.

 

The two ships are laid out somewhat differently.  I’m sure that’s due to (a) above, since the footprint would not have been affected in dry dock and my memory isn’t THAT bad.  Neither good nor bad on the differences—I just keep expecting to find certain things in certain places and they aren’t there.  But exploring is half the fun.

 

Cabins: I’m in a window cabin on deck 7.  On Serenity, I was only ever in a balcony cabin.  But I think the balcony and window cabins are supposed to be the same size, minus the balcony.  Anyway, the cabin is a bit smaller on Symphony than on Serenity, and most of the difference seems to be in the bathroom, which feels narrower.  The sinks are vessel sinks, which I hope is due to the differences between the ships, and that Serenity does not also have this style of sink.  I’m booked on the 2022 world cruise with a friend (I’m solo on the current sailing), and would hate to have these types of sinks for that. They occupy the counter in a way that leaves little space to keep other items there.  And I’ve never conquered the art of washing up in a vessel sink without making a mess.  Not a big deal, but a quirk.

 

Food.  Oh my. It’s wonderful.  First night was in Umi Uma, which is as great as I remember Silk Road being.  Though the miso cod is done a little differently than I remember—the glaze is on the skin, not the meat of the fish. Which makes for a nice presentation but not quite as tasty. But still one of the best dishes I’ve ever had anywhere. Speaking of which, there was a soup in Waterside at lunch yesterday that was crazy good. I asked for the recipe, but apparently Crystal has a policy of not sharing recipes. That being said, the head waiter did let me know what the ingredients are, so I can experiment to try to replicate it.  Very nice touch.  

 

Open seating.  I posted some time ago asking about what this was going to be like for a solo.  It was suggested I ask about a solos table. They do one in Waterside. I joined it last night, and had the company of four very nice women, plus a pleasant young man from the jewelry shop. My problem is that the table forms at 6:15, which is very early for me. So I’ll likely try just going in  at a better time and hoping for the best.  They don’t do the solo tables in the specialty restaurants on a cruise this short. I still enjoyed Umi Uma on my own, and will be trying Silk Kitchen tonight.  

 

Avenue Saloon.  My favorite bar on any ship, anywhere. And the same here.  I think it’s a bit smaller on Symphony than Serenity.  And it was packed last night. And wild.  The pianist, Joel Spire, says he’s been playing Crystal ships since 2011, and has never seen anything quite like it.

 

Passengers. There is a good-sized group on board, which may explain the Avenue partying a bit. But the group is neither obnoxious nor insular, so not a problem.

 

Gym.  OK, so I rarely darkened the door of the fitness center on Serenity, but in the intervening years I’ve become a bit of a gym rat, so am using this one.  It seems a good bit smaller than what I recall on Serenity.  And the strength machines are terrible.  It’s easy to see why they went with the type they did—they have a much smaller footprint than Cybex or similar types. But they don’t have the control that the more traditional machines do, and I can see that you could easily hurt yourself on these.  And there are no lower body machines at all.  Disappointing.  But the promenade deck is fine!

 

Holidays.  The holiday decorations started going up today.

 

Have to sign off to get ready for the Meet & Mingle.  Will try to post more as we go along.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello!  Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Symphony. I'll enjoy reading whatever you have time to post.

 

What was the soup you really loved?  I don't usually order soup but would sure try this one after your glowing description.

 

~Nancy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please post again!   We are considering a 25 night cruise on the Symphony, our first on Crystal.  

 

The next time you are in the gym, would you please look to see if there are spin bikes available to use (not just during a spin class)?  He is a road cyclist and staying in good riding form is important especially on a cruise this long.  

 

I notice you are from the Triangle area of NC.  We are not too far down the road in the Triad area.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am also looking forward to hearing what the soup was that you loved.

 

But more importantly, keep enjoying!

 

I predict that when dining by yourself, be it Waterside, Prego or Umi Uma, you’ll be seated at a two-top next to one or more other two-tops, which will lead to nice discussions during dinner. Silk, too, most likely.

Edited by May B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday’s lunch was the Asian buffet. The same soup was served in Waterside and in Marketplace. It is a coconut based chicken lemongrass soup. And it is delicious. I had two servings myself!

 

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, wishIweretravelling said:

Open seating.  I posted some time ago asking about what this was going to be like for a solo.  It was suggested I ask about a solos table. They do one in Waterside. I joined it last night, and had the company of four very nice women, plus a pleasant young man from the jewelry shop. My problem is that the table forms at 6:15, which is very early for me. So I’ll likely try just going in  at a better time and hoping for the best.  They don’t do the solo tables in the specialty restaurants on a cruise this short. I still enjoyed Umi Uma on my own, and will be trying Silk Kitchen tonight.  

 

 

Will they not seat you with other people  not just solo pax?

Unless of course you want to dine  alone 

 

We (couple)  have dined with solos on our line of choice 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sinks on Serenity are flat - level with the top of the vanity

 

Sounds like you’re a gym junkie now - I guess there’s no gain without a bit of hard work to make it happen - well done! 
 

For Waterside have you talked to the Maître d about them forming shared tables for those who request them a bit later on - they usually match up diners who want to share a meal as they request it - sometimes you might have to wait in the Cove (a great hardship) to see if any others turn up in the timeframe you’re interested in

 

Hope the M&M went well - maybe you met some others who want to share a meal there? 
 

Gosh it seems like only yesterday we met onboard and enjoyed an evening at Tastes - and I (almost) sponsored you for Stex 🙂

Edited by Stickman1990

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, NCHPcruiser said:

Please post again!   We are considering a 25 night cruise on the Symphony, our first on Crystal.  

 

The next time you are in the gym, would you please look to see if there are spin bikes available to use (not just during a spin class)?  He is a road cyclist and staying in good riding form is important especially on a cruise this long.  

 

I notice you are from the Triangle area of NC.  We are not too far down the road in the Triad area.  

 

Unless something's changed within the last few months, yes, you can use the spin bikes outside of organized class.  On longer cruises, I've brought my biking shoes along, and used the bikes at my convenience.  (Note: my shoes have SPD clips, and I had no problem clipping in.  I can't recall if the pedals are Look-compatible).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you are having a great time.

 

Your observations about size are correct.

 

Each guest room on Serenity is somewhat larger than its counterpart on Symphony.  Not by a lot but still larger.  The design has differences as well.

 

The fitness center on Serenity is larger than Symphony.  Part of this is simply attributable to Serenity carrying more guests than Symphony and part is the evolution of fitness on ships as has taken place at home with more people working out.

 

Continue to enjoy.

 

Keith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, oakridger said:

Hello!  Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Symphony. I'll enjoy reading whatever you have time to post.

 

What was the soup you really loved?  I don't usually order soup but would sure try this one after your glowing description.

 

~Nancy

It had a long, descriptive name—something like Spicy Shrimp and Chicken with Lemongrass. If you’ve ever had the Khmer dish Fish Amok, the flavors were very much like that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, NCHPcruiser said:

Please post again!   We are considering a 25 night cruise on the Symphony, our first on Crystal.  

 

The next time you are in the gym, would you please look to see if there are spin bikes available to use (not just during a spin class)?  He is a road cyclist and staying in good riding form is important especially on a cruise this long.  

 

I notice you are from the Triangle area of NC.  We are not too far down the road in the Triad area.  

Yes, there’s a bunch of them over in the corner.

 

Practically neighbors! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, May B said:

I am also looking forward to hearing what the soup was that you loved.

 

But more importantly, keep enjoying!

 

I predict that when dining by yourself, be it Waterside, Prego or Umi Uma, you’ll be seated at a two-top next to one or more other two-tops, which will lead to nice discussions during dinner. Silk, too, most likely.

That is exactly what’s been happening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, LHT28 said:

Will they not seat you with other people  not just solo pax?

Unless of course you want to dine  alone 

 

We (couple)  have dined with solos on our line of choice 

 

 

11 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:

The sinks on Serenity are flat - level with the top of the vanity

 

Sounds like you’re a gym junkie now - I guess there’s no gain without a bit of hard work to make it happen - well done! 
 

For Waterside have you talked to the Maître d about them forming shared tables for those who request them a bit later on - they usually match up diners who want to share a meal as they request it - sometimes you might have to wait in the Cove (a great hardship) to see if any others turn up in the timeframe you’re interested in

 

Hope the M&M went well - maybe you met some others who want to share a meal there? 
 

Gosh it seems like only yesterday we met onboard and enjoyed an evening at Tastes - and I (almost) sponsored you for Stex 🙂

 

Sorry I didn’t multi-quote earlier. 

 

LHT28, the line I travel most often has been doing open seating as far back as I can recall. Crystal is new to this, and seems to still be working on getting the hang of it. They simply don’t have a mechanism to share in the specialty restaurants, but as otherwise noted they seat you at a 2-top next to other 2-tops, and conversation ensues.

 

This is a 7-night cruise, and there are 4 specialty restaurants, so I’ve only had the chance to try Waterside once so far, since I want to sample all the restaurants.  I may go there tonight, or may go to the Churascaria. Once they post the Waterside menu for tonight, I’ll decide.  

 

Terry, it does seem like just yesterday.  I haven’t tried your suggestion on matching tables.  I’m rather used to another line where they manage to match up people all the time on the fly, so I suppose that’s what I’ve been expecting. And perhaps it will work that way in Waterside.  So little time......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, wishIweretravelling said:

LHT28, the line I travel most often has been doing open seating as far back as I can recall. Crystal is new to this, and seems to still be working on getting the hang of it. They simply don’t have a mechanism to share in the specialty restaurants, but as otherwise noted they seat you at a 2-top next to other 2-tops, and conversation ensues.

Oh how sad  for solos

Oceania  has it figured out 

we love the open seating & get to meet lots of new people  including solo cruisers

 

  Having them at a separate table  next to each other ...what an odd  concept for Crystal

Well enjoy your cruise 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Silversea has also a successful system.  There is a Solo/International Hostess who makes sure that solos' wishes with respect to dining alone or sharing tables are respected.  In the latter case, she will coordinate with the Maitre D', who will ask couples, or groups, when entering the restaurant, whether they would like to share a table with a solo(s).  DH and I have met very nice, interesting people when agreeing to share our table.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to agree, that soup was amazing. The saloon is packed each night, Joel is getting encored when he just has a break😳. Last night was great, illuminate show, white night then saloon. Just as well we had extra hour

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with your observation about vessel sinks!  Impossible to neatly wash your face in one.

 

I've really enjoyed reading your observations.  We board Serenity in just over 3 weeks.  I'm traveling with my mother- it's been nearly 10 years since we went on a cruise together although we used to do so frequently.  These days I'm either with my husband, or husband and kids.  Maybe we will join a dining table of 6 or 8 just for some variety in conversation!  I am sure we will have fun either way.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a lull in the variety of activities on this sea day, so thought I’d spew out a few more random bits.

 

Returning to the subject of the food, I have not had a bad meal here. I’ve now tried all the specialty restaurants save Prego, which is tomorrow night, and Waterside twice for dinner. Both Waterside meals were excellent, as were Umi Uma and the Churrascaria.  I’ve been to a couple of Churrascarias on land, and think that Crystal does the concept particularly well.  I like Silk Kitchen well enough, though I don’t know that it’s special enough to have supplanted Tastes, which I always enjoyed. 

 

I’ve now noticed some things that are not here. There’s no pool bar. I thought I remembered one on Serenity, but maybe I’m mis-remembering.  Also, no fruit bowl in the room.  Maybe Crystal never did this, and I’m confusing it with Regent, on which I also sail, but I find I do kind of miss it. Although I do recognize that so much of it winds up going to waste, and if omitting it helps hold the line on prices, I’m fine with that.  Also, no welcoming bottle of champagne in the room. Though that may be me confusing things with Regent again. And, to me, it makes no difference as I never open it, but I think for people new to the line it adds to the wow factor to have it there.

 

What I do miss is water bottles by the door as you head off the ship.They have water on the bus if you’re doing an excursion, but none for someone just going out to walk around. Once I realized this, I started making a stop at the gym to pick up a bottle, but for a luxury line, putting that onus on the passenger seems a step backward. In the future, I’ll know to bring a refillable bottle of a size suitable to carry around, or ask my stewardess to supply them in the room. Nevertheless....

 

I’ve enjoyed the entertainment.  The Avenue is, of course, wonderful.  The troupe shows have been good. The impressionist/singer was very entertaining. I could not go to the illuminate show because flashing lights are an issue for me. I do appreciate Shane, the CD, providing a warning that the show includes them because there are several conditions for which that’s a problem.  I didn’t go to the ventriloquist’s show. I’ve seen him before and once was enough.

 

Holiday decorations expand every day.  The menorah went up today, as did dozens of other trees, lights, and other items.  It’s quite festive. The elves were around and about all day.

 

 

Edited by wishIweretravelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, wishIweretravelling said:

What I do miss is water bottles by the door as you head off the ship.They have water on the bus if you’re doing an excursion, but none for someone just going out to walk around. Once I realized this, I started making a stop at the gym to pick up a bottle, but for a luxury line, putting that onus on the passenger seems a step backward. In the future, I’ll know to bring a refillable bottle of a size suitable to carry around, or ask my stewardess to supply them in the room. Nevertheless....

 

 

Do they supply bottled water in the  cabin fridges ?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Just pick up bottles of water for ashore at the Bistro or the Cove - they’ll happily give you as many as you need - and they’re cold 

 

There should be fruit in your room - could it be on your preferences From last time that you didn’t want a fruit bowl? You weren’t so focussed back then 🙂 Just ask and they’ll soon have one in your room and replenish it 

 

Re champagne in the room - only in Suites up - but in a standard room you just ask your attendant and they will provide two bottles of wine (incl champagne) or spirits From the all inclusive menu in addition to sodas and water for your room 

 

No bar by the pool but there’s one in the Silk area and the lido guys will soon get you a drink if you’re poolside 

 

RIP Tastes - it’s a big club who’d sooner have it over Silk - but remember Symphony never had a Tastes at all 

Edited by Stickman1990

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

Do they supply bottled water in the  cabin fridges ?

 

 


Yes - still or sparkling - or both - just let your room attendant know

 

I get rid of the sodas and just have water - several bottles each day which is replenished 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just ask,your stewardess for a fruit bowl.  It is available in non-penthouse cabin upon request.  This info is noted on the name card of your stewardess in the stateroom.

 

there is no pool bar on either cruise ship.

 

in regards to,bottles of water in the stateroom, just ask your stewardess to provide them on a daily basis.

 

Nancy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, wishIweretravelling said:

I have a lull in the variety of activities on this sea day, so thought I’d spew out a few more random bits.

 

Returning to the subject of the food, I have not had a bad meal here. I’ve now tried all the specialty restaurants save Prego, which is tomorrow night, and Waterside twice for dinner. Both Waterside meals were excellent, as were Umi Uma and the Churrascaria.  I’ve been to a couple of Churrascarias on land, and think that Crystal does the concept particularly well.  I like Silk Kitchen well enough, though I don’t know that it’s special enough to have supplanted Tastes, which I always enjoyed. 

 

I’ve now noticed some things that are not here. There’s no pool bar. I thought I remembered one on Serenity, but maybe I’m mis-remembering.  Also, no fruit bowl in the room.  Maybe Crystal never did this, and I’m confusing it with Regent, on which I also sail, but I find I do kind of miss it. Although I do recognize that so much of it winds up going to waste, and if omitting it helps hold the line on prices, I’m fine with that.  Also, no welcoming bottle of champagne in the room. Though that may be me confusing things with Regent again. And, to me, it makes no difference as I never open it, but I think for people new to the line it adds to the wow factor to have it there.

 

What I do miss is water bottles by the door as you head off the ship.They have water on the bus if you’re doing an excursion, but none for someone just going out to walk around. Once I realized this, I started making a stop at the gym to pick up a bottle, but for a luxury line, putting that onus on the passenger seems a step backward. In the future, I’ll know to bring a refillable bottle of a size suitable to carry around, or ask my stewardess to supply them in the room. Nevertheless....

 

I’ve enjoyed the entertainment.  The Avenue is, of course, wonderful.  The troupe shows have been good. The impressionist/singer was very entertaining. I could not go to the illuminate show because flashing lights are an issue for me. I do appreciate Shane, the CD, providing a warning that the show includes them because there are several conditions for which that’s a problem.  I didn’t go to the ventriloquist’s show. I’ve seen him before and once was enough.

 

Holiday decorations expand every day.  The menorah went up today, as did dozens of other trees, lights, and other items.  It’s quite festive. The elves were around and about all day.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...