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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2005, 04:21 PM
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Default Crystal Symphony - Panama

We are considering taking this cruise on April 14th departing Costa Rica. I noticed the ship is practically empty considering the sail date is only 2 months away. Is this something to be concerned about?

Has anyone sailed this ship since upgrades have been made?

We took the Panama Cruise on Brillance of the Sea last year (Feb '04)and loved it. What do we have to look forward to with Crystal since this is our first time with this cruise line.

Any information is appreciated!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 21st, 2005, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Symphony - Panama

Hi! I am booked on the Crystal Symphony Cruise departing Costa Rica on 4/14/05! This will be my second cruise, (the first one I took was last Nov./Dec. on Crystal Harmony.) I just LOVED Crystal! I could not wait to go on another, so here I am all booked and waiting to go!
My travel agent has traveled on the Symphony before and now after the renovations/upgrades have been completed, and she told me it is just lovely....all new and fresh. On my other Crystal Cruise... I really loved the fantastic level of service, the food was so very good, and the entertainment first rate. I found the ship to be spacious and the energy of the ship was calm and sophisticated., but not stuffy in the least! Everyone I met was very friendly! And as a woman traveling solo...that meant a lot to me!
I had no idea this sailing was so under booked. I don't know why that would be, except perhaps the time of year? You know, just past the Easter Holiday/Spring Break time....and before the Summer vacation time? I have never been to the Panama Canal before and I am really looking forward to it.
By the way, I am flying in to San Jose' on April 13th, where a Crystal Cruise Rep. will meet me at the airport and transfer me to the San Jose' Costa Rica Marriot for a one night stay. (It is a very beautiful hotel)... The next day there is a Crystal Cruise transfer form the Hotel to the Port (Caldera) which is about 2 hours away. That is costing me around $330.00 ( I think..) Good Luck making up your mind! Let me know what you decide!
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old February 24th, 2005, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Symphony - Panama

Thanks for the response, Renee'. We are booked and ready to go now. In reading different reviews, I think this will be a wonderful cruise to remember. We loved it on the Brillance of the Sea and it sounds as if this cruise will prove to be even better. I've never taken 2 weeks off from my job, so this will be fun. We just returned in January from an 8-night Mexican Riveria cruise and I'd do it again, but not in January. The weather where we'll be going is much more to my liking.

The Symphony is still really, really empty though. I guess that's just more caviar for you and me!

We too are staying at the Costa Rica Marriot, but we're arriving on the 11th and also taking their transfers so we'll be on the same group tour bus.

We were quoted $142/night at the Marriot and transfers were $70.00 each. We also got a $200 shipboard credit. I think overall we got a great deal on the cruise rate. They are running a 20% discount if booked by February 28th. Might check w/your agent to see if you can get those perks too. Maybe these specials are happening because of the lack of interest. It's okay by me.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old March 7th, 2005, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Symphony - Panama

HI Guys!

Thanks for the note back! I hope you receive this.

I was wondering if you would mind telling me who you booked your cruise through?

I am really wondering why I was not offered the $200.00 shipboard credit?! I have read this offer on Travelocity's Web site where they advertise their cruise specials....plus a great rate on our cruise...prepaid gratuities (I DID get that perk!) AND a $600.00 gift card to Target!!! WOW...what a deal. I wish I had booked through them!
It is probably too late for me to ask my travel agent...The Cruise Professionals...(who I also found on the internet.) Is your agent a member of a special group that offers specials to their customers? I would love to find a good travel agent.

Also, How can you tell how full the cruise is? Is there a web sight that shows the booking numbers so far? I would be interested in knowing how to find that info!

Well, tomorrow I will call my travel agent through The Cruise Professionals and see what she can offer me...now that I have booked though her...she probably will offer me nothing more I am afraid! That is frustrating.

It sounds like you have a good agent, so if you wouldn't mind sharing that with me, I would appreciate it!
PS...I am paying a lot more than you are for my one night pre-cruise stay and transport as well! Perhaps it is because I am traveling solo?!
My husband tells me to stop thinking about this and not to have "Buyers Remorse" Over what I paid for my cruise! It is kind of hard for me to let it go! The Shipboard credit could have helped me a lot with paying for my shore excursions!

Thanks alot for your help!
Looking forward to April!!!
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old March 19th, 2005, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Symphony - Panama

The agent we used is not with our regular travel agency. It was a number listed in the Wall Street Journal. They are located in Houston. I'm sure it's too late now to make any changes for you so I wouldn't worry about it either. I usually book all of our travel myself and avoid agencies when possible. I actually called that number 3x and got 3 different quotes. Finally I took the best quote and got the agent's direct number and email. So far, it's been great service from them.

We're thinking we might not stay at the Costa Rica Marriot for all 3 pre cruise days afterall. I'd prefer to go closer to the port area and see other sights.

You can go to Travelocity or Expedia and find the cruise we're on and see all of the open cabins. Quite a few remain. Hope you have a wonderful trip. I'd make the hubby go!
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