The Crystal Symphony sails worldwide itineraries and caters to discerning adult travelers who enjoy exceptional service, outstanding lecturers, and shipboard learning opportunities. The ship consistently ranks among the best in the world in most surveys, with her food, service, entertainment, and common areas being her strongest points.
The penthouse deck 10 offers 18 penthouse suites and 44 penthouse staterooms. The most luxurious two suites on the ship, the 982 square foot Crystal Penthouses are also on deck 10 midship. All penthouses staterooms and suites have DVD and CD capabilities.
Casual dining on the Crystal Symphony is available at the Lido buffet or outdoors at the Trident Grill. I loved the wide variety of fruit available at the Lido Cafe and the hamburgers and gazpacho at the outdoor Trident Grill are also excellent.
The Vintage Room is perfect for those exploring new wine and food pairing options.
The Galaxy Lounge is the show lounge on deck 6. It has very comfortable chairs and a slightly sloping floor. The production shows are exceptional, with dozens of costume changes and musical numbers. When the singers and dancers are not performing, the Galaxy Lounge has a variety of musical or cabaret entertainment. Many passengers enjoy a before or after dinner drink in the Crystal Cove piano bar in the Crystal Plaza atrium.
The Crystal Symphony has a modern spa operated by Steiner and a large fitness center with all the latest workout equipment.
The cruise ship has two rooms dedicated to children--Fantasia for the young ones and Waves video arcade.
Although the Crystal Symphony does not have many of the activities found on other ships like rock climbing and surfing, it does have a paddle tennis court, golf putting green, and driving net. I don't think most of the Crystal passengers on our cruise missed any of the latest technology on our cruise, since (like me), they were content to read a good book or visit with new friends.
Launched in 1995, the ship is older than many other ships sailing today, but her 2006 refurbishment left her with an up-to-date look. Crystal Cruises continues to rank among the world's best, and the Crystal Symphony is large enough to provide a variety of dining venues and entertainment, but small enough to provide exceptional, personalized service.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary cruise accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.