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Crystal Symphony - Crystal Cruises' Crystal Symphony Profile and Tour

Luxury Mid-Sized Cruise Ship Delivers Exceptional Cruise Experience

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The Crystal Symphony has spacious interiors and a good amount of open deck, including a teak promenade on deck 7. The Crystal Symphony is 51,000 tons and carries 940 passengers and 545 crew, giving her an excellent passenger space ratio.

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.

Crystal Symphony - Staterooms and Suites

Penthouse Suite - Crystal Symphony - Crystal Cruises
Crystal Symphony Penthouse Courtesy of Crystal Cruises
The Crystal Symphony has 480 outside staterooms on decks 5,7,8,9, and 10. Over half of the staterooms feature private verandahs and all have adequate storage space. During the 2006 refurbishment, the staterooms were redesigned and the bathrooms were upgraded with new sinks. The color scheme is different on each deck -- decks 5 and 9 have burgundy, terracotta, and tan; deck 7 has lavender, gold, and taupe; and deck 8 is aqua, pearl, and gray.

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.

Crystal Symphony - Dining and Cuisine

Crystal Symphony - Crystal Dining Room - Crystal Cruises' Crystal Symphony
Crystal Symphony (c) Linda Garrison
All of the many dining venues on the Crystal Symphony are excellent. The Crystal Dining Room has two fixed seating dinners, but is open seating at breakfast and lunch. The two specialty restaurants, the 75-seat Prego Italian Restaurant and the 100-seat Silk Road Asian Restaurant, are very popular and fill up early. They are reservations-only, but do not require an extra fee. Both of these restaurants are memorable.

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.

Crystal Symphony - Lounges and Bars

Crystal Symphony - Palm Court Observation Lounge
Crystal Symphony (c) Linda Garrison
The Crystal Symphony has several diverse lounges, ranging from the elegant, comfortable Palm Court observation lounge on deck 11 to the high-energy LUXE nightclub next to the casino on deck 6. The Starlite Club has a bandstand with a large dance floor, and the captain's parties are held there.

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.

Crystal Symphony - Interior Common Areas

Crystal Symphony - Crystal Plaza
Crystal Symphony (c) Linda Garrison
The interiors of the Crystal Symphony are spacious, quiet, and contemporary. The color combinations are subdued and the ambiance is pleasant and conducive to a restful vacation. The Crystal Plaza, a large two-deck atrium, dominates the entry area. Next to the Crystal Plaza are the upscale shops and the ship's library, which has a large selection of the latest books and DVDs available for check out. Bridge players will appreciate the large bridge lounge, with plenty of card tables and comfortable chairs.

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.

Crystal Symphony - Exterior Common Areas

Crystal Symphony - Seahorse Pool
Crystal Symphony (c) Linda Garrison
The Crystal Symphony has two swimming pools, one with a retractable cover. The ship also has plenty of comfortable outdoor lounges for either sunbathing or sitting in the shade. I love the promenade deck that circles the ship on deck 7, providing a great place for walkers who only have to go less than four laps to the mile.

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.

Crystal Symphony - Exterior Hull Photos from Hong Kong and Vietnam

Crystal Symphony at the Dock in Hong Kong
Crystal Symphony (c) Linda Garrison
The hull of the Crystal Symphony is all white, with the teal Crystal seahorse logo on the stack.

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.

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