Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

med4bike

Crystal Symphony Review: Montreal to NYC (Part II)

Recommended Posts

Part II

 

Crystal Symphony:

 

To start off, for the first time we did not take a balcony suite. Because the weather was going to be cool, we decided that a balcony was not a necessity. We were correct ( for us). However, we chose a Cat E suite on deck 8 and those non-balcony suites can be “lifeboat” blocked. When we reserved our suite, about a year before our cruise date, we inquired about certain suites on deck 8 which had little or no blockage ( ie, cabins 8076 and 8077) We were told at that time that all of the unblocked suites were already taken ( one year in advance??) So we took another cabin on deck 8 and about 3 weeks before we were scheduled to sail, I asked our travel agent to check again for these marvelous “unblocked" suites. Lo and behold, suite 8077 was available and we took it immediately. What gives? Are there certain travel agents who can “protect” these suites so far in advance?

In any event, this suite was just great. No blockage whatsoever.

 

Cabins:

The cabins on the Symphony are quite nice, fair size and contain all the amenities. Yes, we would like it to be a tad larger, a walk- in closet and definitely a privacy curtain between the bedroom area and the sitting area. The fridge was filled with any and all soft drinks, perrier and juices that one can desire. Our stewardess was nice and attentive.

The one area I am not thrilled with is the room service. On other cruise lines, the room steward staff brings up the food, prepares the table and places the dishes and silverware very nicely on an oversized table. On Crystal the stewardess brings up the room service meal and places the entire tray on the small table in the sitting area, and then leaves. I feel that the Crystal room service should be a tad more elegant.

 

Passengers:

This is our 6th Crystal cruise and I think that most passengers were a bit older than we have experienced before. (However, so are we!!!!) Very nice and congenial cruisers, well dressed and well mannered. On the 3 formal nights there were tuxedo’s worn by about 85% of the men.

There was even a small baby and a 4 year old boy on board but you never heard them. There was one lady who was awarded a pin for her 145th Crystal cruise. Wow!! Does she live on the Crystal ships or what? Is that all she gets is a "Pin"?

 

We did have many groups traveling together who tended to stay together and we also had a Conservative Think Tank group aboard. This Think Tank originated in Southern Calif. The lectures they had on sea days were open to all cruisers and I did attend a few. On the first or second day they had William Bennett as a speaker. When I did attend a forum, I can see why they call themselves a “conservative think tank” After I heard the forum speakers boast that our country is now a solid majority against the Supreme Court’s abortion decision in Rowe v. Wade, I attempted to question the speaker’s veracity of facts but was not given the chance ( rightly so, I guess, cause I did not pay the fee to attend) I decided then and there that this was not the group for me. I think that these guys’ political leanings make Rush Linbaugh look like a flaming liberal.

 

Dining Room:

The main dining room cuisine and service is what puts Crystal above all other cruise lines, IMHO. We normally ate our breakfast, lunch and dinner in the main dining room unless we had a shore excursion or were on shore for lunch. We did eat once in Prego and once in Jade Garden. BTW, Remi, our favorite head waiter, is now responsible for running both Jade Garden and Prego so we did not have his wonderful company in the main dining room. We did see him at these venues when we ate there and he was as friendly and warm as he always has been.

Our waiter, Devio and his ass’t waiter Theodore, were absolutely marvelous. On this cruise the two of us decided to eat by ourselves so the wait staff became more crucial than when we had 8 at the table. Our every need was attended to in a first class manner and there was nothing that we asked to have that we did not receive.; The next bonus was our head waiter Ivo (Ivo was replacing Remi so he had a large ”tuxedo’ to fill) and he was absolutely outstanding. We had requested special dishes at dinner on at least 4 occasions and it was his pleasure to accommodate. The word “no” does not appear in his vocabulary or in the waiter’s vocabulary, as well.

Our only disappointment was our dinner in the main dining room as we left Bar Harbor (the lobster capital). We ordered 2 lobsters apiece for dinner. Of course, Ivo said it would be his pleasure but alas, the lobsters were not very good ( the tail section was very “mushy”). I inquired about this and was informed that the lobsters were freshly delivered to the Symphony that very afternoon and Ivo had no explanation why they came out this way. Oh well..... if that is all we can complain about concerning the food.......

 

This brings up an interesting point. One of the knocks about Crystal is that for an ultra luxury cruise line, they should not have to submit their guests to two seatings. Other luxury lines only have one dinner seating. I discussed this with Rosanna De Ria, the Crystal Society Hostess and Thomas Mazloum, Senior VP of Hotel Operation ( more about this later) They pointed out to us that on other cruise ships when there is “open seating” you may never have the same wait staff at each dinner. It was their feelings that Crystal cruisers would rather have the same wait staff at dinner than have the flexibility to dine at any time. I was always one who liked the Radisson method of open seating but on second thought, I would not want to give up my waiters and head waiter. IMHO this is what makes the dinners such a pleasure. I am, at this point, willing to eat dinner at 8:30 pm if we are guaranteed of having our excellent wait staff at each dinner.

 

Part III to be continued. It seems ridiculous to have to split this review into 3 separate threads and break the continuity but CC limits each posting to 10000 words......OK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This brings up an interesting point. One of the knocks about Crystal is that for an ultra luxury cruise line, they should not have to submit their guests to two seatings. Other luxury lines only have one dinner seating. I discussed this with Rosanna De Ria, the Crystal Society Hostess and Thomas Mazloum, Senior VP of Hotel Operation ( more about this later) They pointed out to us that on other cruise ships when there is “open seating” you may never have the same wait staff at each dinner. It was their feelings that Crystal cruisers would rather have the same wait staff at dinner than have the flexibility to dine at any time. I was always one who liked the Radisson method of open seating but on second thought, I would not want to give up my waiters and head waiter. IMHO this is what makes the dinners such a pleasure. I am, at this point, willing to eat dinner at 8:30 pm if we are guaranteed of having our excellent wait staff at each dinner.

 

 

I always thought Crystal retained the two seating system because their dining rooms don't have the capacity (when sailings are operating at greater than 50% occupancy) to offer open seating. If their dining rooms were large enough, I wonder if they would still continue the two seating system.

 

While I love the flexibility of dining at different times, I'm with you in that having the same waitstaff is a big plus.

 

My only experience with open seating was a few years ago on Princess. If you called at Noon and asked for a table for two at 7:30pm, the Maitre'd would say "no." But if you asked for "table 238" at 7:30pm, the answer was always "yes". It seems they would allow only so many requests for tables for two at any given hour, however they wouldn't assign a table until you arrived at 7:30pm. Asking for a specific table number, however, seemed to be the trick. We had the best of both worlds.....flexibility to dine whenever we felt like it, along with the same waitstaff.

 

Thanks for the great review!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • 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...