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LIVE From Crystal Symphony January 5 -20 ? Melb to Sydney

Crystal Cruises - boards.cruisecritic.com
We boarded Crystal Symphony yesterday in Melbourne. This is our second Crystal cruise but our first time on Symphony. I will try to post every couple of days and give feedback on our on board experiences and I welcome anyone else on this cruise to please chime in as well.

First impressions so far are good. Embarkation was well organised and went quite quickly and painlessly. We were greeted on board by a number of staff who directed us to the Starlite lounge for check in. There was no champagne offered and I felt boarding the Serenity on our last cruise felt a little more special. After check in we headed to the main dining room. I thought the dining room was fairly similar to the Serenity in size but the Symphony probably has a slight edge in décor. Lunch was a seafood plate appetiser and a cobb salad as well as a couple of flutes of Champagne. It was lovely to be on board.

We then went to tackle extra specialty restaurant reservations and we were fairly successful in getting the time slots we wanted apart from one very early sitting (6.30pm which is early for us) in Silk Road. We also went to see Remi the Maitre ?d to find out if it would be possible to request a two top by the window for our 8.00pm dining by reservation slot. But apparently on the Symphony no DBR tables are by the window ? they are all in the centre of the room. This was not the case on Serenity.

We went to our room at 2.00pm and found it was ready and our bags were on the bed. This was the moment I was most anxious about. We are in a slightly obstructed verandah room on deck 9. On our last cruise we were in a penthouse and I was unsure how we would cope with the smaller digs. Short answer - just fine. We bought along 4 suitcases and there was plenty of room for everything to be neatly put away. The obstructed view however was slightly worse than I thought it would be. I was under the impression that looking abeam there would be no obstruction but looking down we would see the life boats but even our view abeam is marred by a pole and thick wire but I?m glad we at least have a verandah as it does make the room a lot brighter and we will enjoy using it in fine weather. Our room attendant is lovely and introduced herself promptly. I had emailed on board guest services for firm foam pillows but they were not in the room but they were on our bed when we returned from dinner.

We did a quick tour of all the venues and some we thought are nicer on Symphony and some we prefer on Serenity. I will give a run down on these later. We had drinks in the Cove and in Palm Court before dinner in the main dining room. So far the food has been wonderful and at this point I think slightly better than what we experienced on Serenity but we are only two meals in I must say that our waiter, Basko, last night was just fabulous and one of the best we've encountered. We hope to be assigned to his section for all our dinners.

The CD on board is Shane Morley but it appears from Reflections that Paul McFarland is also doing some CD duties. Not sure if this is because Shane may be new to the role and settling in?

Having seen most of the venues I am interested to know what changes Crystal are thinking of for the next dry dock other than the room reconfiguration and a new Tastes? I would love to see a larger gym. Speaking of which I need to head off there shortly and try to work off some of last nights dinner!
Date: Jan 6, 2017   


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