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ps October 21st, 2000 08:33 AM

Crystal Symphony

My mum and I will be booking the 10 May 2001 cruise from Rome to Venice. I am just wondering if anyone been on this ship to give me some advice and review as this will be the first time we cruise. I am wondering mostly what extra I would need to pay, eg. for drinks, spa and salon and shore excursions. Also are the shore excursions any good? Any suggestion and advice will be appreciated. Thanks. :)


Anne Campbell October 24th, 2000 02:27 AM

RE: Crystal Symphony
I've sailed aboard Symphony and she's a stunning ship! All cabins are large and very elegant, with mohair throws, down pillows and good storage area. Extra out of pocket expenses you may run into are: tips (around $8 per person, per day for waiter, room steward and bus boy); all beverages, including alcohol and coke or seltzer; gambling (this is a total waste and I suggest you bypass it and spend your money ashore); gifts aboard ship. Be sure to dine in the two alternative restaurants -- they're wonderful (both require reservations). Fixed tip for these is $5.

You didn't mention the ports you plan to visit. In some instances, you won't need any shore excursions, especially for cities like Vienna and Florence. The Greek Isles are great for just strolling around. It's best to do a lot of research on the internet and start planning. And, ask your travel agent to get a list of Crystal's shore excursions for this cruise.

A wonderful, wonderful ship. You should have the trip of a lifetime.

ps October 24th, 2000 06:08 AM

RE: Crystal Symphony
Dear Anne,

Thanks for your review. The ports we will be visiting are Monte Carlo, Saint Tropez, Naples, Valletta, Corfu, and Venice.

I were planning to book a category C and realize it is on the promenade deck. I am wondering about the privacy factor. Does that mean everyone will be able see what we do in the cabin with our 'big window'?! What is the use of the window if we have to use the curtains everytime for some privacy?


Dave October 24th, 2000 11:03 AM

RE: Crystal Symphony
You will not have to worry about privacy. The cabins and windows are raised above the deck so that people walking by will not be able to see into your window.

KLD November 19th, 2000 02:15 PM

RE: Crystal Symphony
This is a wonderful ship. You should have a good time. Shore excursions are not included, but generally are good. What ports do you have other than Venice and Rome? In Venice you can do a lot on your own, although if you want to go to Murano or Burano you may want to take a tour just to make the travel easier. In Rome you need to travel from the port to the city, so a tour may be best. They will send you information ahead of time about trips (including costs) and you can book as soon as you get aboard. Don't delay too long as popular trips may fill up. Trips generally range from $40-100+ per person depending on the trip and the duration.

You will need to pay for tips on board (about $8/day per person) but you now can charge these to your room credit card if you wish. Spa and salon charges are comparable to the nicer salons ashore and are also not included. Get reservations early for any salon services, esp. for formal nights. You will also pay extra for any drinks (alcohol or sodas) at either meals, bars or between meals. There is all the iced tea you can drink for free next to the Neptune pool though. Tips for drinks are included in the charge...don't pay extra. Prices are similar to a bar at home.

Crystal has a no-cash policy. You will need to set up a credit account with a credit card upon embarkation. They will not accept cash for anything on ship, even the shops, except for tips. You can pay off your account with a check or cash at disembarkation, but a credit card is usually easiest. They will give you an account settlement statement at the end, but you can get an account statement anytime just by asking.

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