We are proud to be a multi-award-winning cruise specialist

Sea Days, Time to Laze: Crystal Symphony Review

Trip Reports

Related links

Sea days are the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy the facilities on board your cruise ship and our recent Crystal voyage offered the perfect blend of exploring ashore and enjoying slow-paced days at sea. Read on for my Crystal Symphony review below.

When we chose Crystal Symphony's 15-day itinerary from Singapore to Mumbai, part of her long repositioning from Asia to the Mediterranean, we were attracted by the exotic itinerary of course, but also by the high number of sea days - five in total - and the overnights in port in Singapore, Phuket and Mumbai for leisurely stress-free touring.

People feel differently about sea days: some prefer to be in port every day, others dream of long ocean voyages with no sight of land for a week at a time. For me, although I kid myself that I want to be ashore and exploring all the time, in fact I love the guilt-free relaxation of a day at sea when you can give yourself up to the pleasure of indulging yourself from morning to night.

Crystal Symphony is a great choice for spending time at sea, as her resort-style facilities can keep you active, stimulated or totally relaxed. A great gym overseen by an excellent personal trainer is great for me, and I love the challenge of a game of pickleball, followed by a leisurely walk on the broad teak wraparound deck down on deck 7 - a rare feature nowadays.

Crystal Cruises - Wimbledon Court

Matthew is more interested in exercising the mind, and I might find him in the library, or attending the stimulating lecture programme from knowledgeable experts on world affairs, destinations, the Metaverse, bitcoin, NFTs and more.

We gather for the quiz at noon (be careful, it can get quite heated) then it's upstairs to the Parrot Bar for a glass of champagne before lunch.

We love to be up here on deck 12 in the light-filled Tastes Kitchen and Bar, where lunch options include grazing at the lavish buffet in adjacent Marketplace, usually with a themed menu, the light lunch at Tastes with great salads (not to mention the excellent potstickers), or an indulgent burger from the Trident Grill. The living walls and understated colour scheme of grey and charcoal, with fuchsia pink contrasts, make this one of my favourite areas on the ship.

Crystal Symphony - Tastes Kitchen & Bar

Down to the cinema for an afternoon film before browsing the shops brings me to tea time, and I make my way to Palm Court for an elegant high tea in the elegant high-backed chairs looking out to sea.

Beautiful porcelain, a proper teapot, and a delectable selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones make for quite a special experience - I don't do this every day. As the heat of the day begins to ease, it's out on deck for a swim before retiring to one of the beautifully comfortable circular day beds with my book.

Our dinner reservations this evening are in Osteria d'Ovidio, Crystal's new take on modern Italian cuisine, and one that has provoked controversy and something of an outcry from former aficionados of Prego. We love the menu, and in particular the heritage tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella, the delectable pastas with sauces to die for, and the amazing lamb chops.

Caprese Salad at Crystal Symphony's Osteria d'Ovidio

It's White Night and we make our way to the Crystal Cove which has been spectacularly decorated for the evening. White Lady cocktails are being served, and the outstanding band gets the party started, followed by an amazing singer who has us all on our feet and dancing, cheered on by those watching from the mezzanine balcony above. Vicky the Cruise Director leads the way, full of life and enthusiasm.

Finally, we go for a nightcap in the Avenue Saloon where the talented pianist alternates between great performances of his own, and lively singalong numbers which have the whole bar participating in the fun. A great end to a perfect day.

Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising. Most recently she's cruised on Windstar and has also sailed with Silversea, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal, SeaDream, Ponant, AmaWaterways and Aqua Expeditions. Her favourite destination is the Galapagos however she's also enjoyed cruises in the Mediterranean, Danube, Middle East, East Africa & Indian Ocean, Brahmaputra, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Mekong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Caribbean and the Arctic. When she’s not travelling she loves reading, food and wine.

More about Edwina

Get your free subscription to Cruise News

The UK's most authoritative magazine about the world of luxury cruising. New ships, new destinations, new experiences and new offers. Be more informed, every two months, with Cruise News.

Order your copy