Crystal Symphony gains open-seating dining, more penthouses, greater connectivity

From upper left, clockwise: Waterside, Seabreeze Penthouse Suite with Verandah, Seabreeze Penthouse with Verandah, Silk Kitchen & Bar From upper left, clockwise: Waterside, Seabreeze Penthouse Suite with Verandah, Seabreeze Penthouse with Verandah, Silk Kitchen & Bar (Photos: Paragon Pixels)

Open-seating dining and new dining venues, more butler-served penthouses, high-tech conveniences and a dazzling show feature aboard Crystal Symphony following its most extensive drydock. The month-long project took place in Lisbon.

The enhancements provide guests 'more choices and flexibility than ever before, whether it’s the ability to dine at their leisure, stay connected to family and friends on shore or enjoy a variety of new entertainment options on board,' Crystal Cruises president and CEO Tom Wolber said.

Newly added accommodations include 12 Seabreeze Penthouses with Verandah and 28 Seabreeze Penthouse Suites with Verandah, both on Deck 9, Seabreeze. They have the same square footage as existing Penthouses and Penthouse Suites—367 square feet and 491 square feet, respectively— while Seabreeze Penthouses are paired by shared entryways recessed from the hall.

Penthouse accommodations come with butler service and in-room specialty dining. New since the drydock, penthouse passengers receive unlimited free dining at Crystal Symphony's specialty restaurants.

The conversion of staterooms into the larger penthouse accommodations reduced the ship's capacity to 848 passengers, while the number of crew remains the same.

Crystal Serenity's open-seating concept, replacing its longstanding format of assigned seating and times, allows dining at leisure, more choices and flexibility for evening dining and entertainment.

Waterside replaced the former Crystal Dining Room, consistent with the chic décor and sophisticated ambiance found in the restaurants of the same name aboard Crystal River Cruises. Added tables for two and four give more options for intimate dining. Waterside serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

In the former Lido Café space is Marketplace by day and Churrascaria by night. Both venues feature an open kitchen with dishes made to order. Marketplace offers casual buffet-style breakfast and lunch, and transforms into Churrascaria, a stylish casual dinner venue. Churrascaria serves a caipirinha welcome cocktail and a selection of Brazilian-inspired tapas, ceviche, salads and grilled meats presented by 'gauchos' on sword-like skewers.

Newly adjacent to the Trident Grill on Lido Deck is Silk Kitchen & Bar, offering a full-service dinner of modern Chinese-inspired fare with family-style dinner plates for sharing. Self-service options for breakfast and lunch include dumplings, Chinois salad, a soup and noodle bar and other Asian favorites.

The Trident Grill continues to serve casual grilled fare like burgers and sandwiches.

Silk Road and The Sushi Bar, the specialty dining venues by celebrity master chef Nobu Matsuhisa, have been rebranded as Umi Uma & Sushi Bar. The second specialty restaurant, Prego, remains the same, continuing to serve regional specialties of Italy.

All passengers now get complimentary Wi-Fi throughout any cruise and aboard all Crystal vessels. The line's investment in technological amenities includes hardware and software enhancements to improve connectivity and double satellite speed.

Additionally, a new guest portal—Crystal Connect—is now featured on the landing page for Internet connections. The portal enables easy access to the Internet and an array of information including daily menus from each restaurant, the Reflections newspaper, activities, shore excursions and the ship’s location, itinerary and points of interest.

A number of international digital newspapers are available, as well as a library of hit movies, music, Crystal lectures on demand and more. Crystal Connect is also available on passengers' personal devices.

In all rooms—staterooms and public areas—throughout, high-definition, interactive flat-panel televisions enable convenient access to on-board programs, the Crystal Spa & Salon menu, the Connoisseur Wine Selection and dining menus.

The drydock also redesigned several public areas. The midship Starlite Club, a hub for evening dancing and cocktails, was refitted with a fresh look.

A new production show, 'Crystal in Motion,' showcases the Crystal Ensemble, featuring various genres of music and dance, and replaces the former welcome aboard show in the Galaxy Lounge. Additionally, Crystal Symphony now offers evening-long entertainment options around the ship to go with the relaxed dining schedule.

The Starlite Club features varied acts from the Crystal Ensemble, as well as comedians, a ballroom dance group and the Crystal Show Band, performing on select evenings of each voyage.

An equally extensive redesign is planned for Crystal Serenity in fall 2018.

Posted 02 November 2017

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review