Crystal Symphony’s revamped dining room is now called Waterside. // © 2017 Paragon Pixels
Feature image (above): Silk Kitchen & Bar offers family-style Chinese dinners. // © 2017 Paragon Pixels
Back before the expansion of Crystal’s fleet, travel agents marveled at the line’s ability to stay on top of competition with the brilliant refurbishments of its ships, which effectively made them new vessels.
Now that life is very different for Crystal, the company has announced what it terms the most dramatic redesign ever for Crystal Symphony, which has emerged reimagined from a month of drydock, with new restaurants, more butler-served penthouses, greatly improved connectivity and new entertainment. Some of the public spaces have also been recast to echo Crystal’s more recent ship designs.
“The enhancements made on Symphony provide guests with more choices and flexibility than ever before, whether it’s the ability to dine at their leisure, stay connected to family and friends onshore or enjoy a variety of new entertainment options onboard,” said Tom Wolber, president and CEO of Crystal.
The line’s penthouses are always at a premium, and Symphony now has 12 new Seabreeze Penthouses With Verandah and 28 new Seabreeze Penthouse Suites With Verandah rooms, all on Deck 9. The new accommodations have the same square footage as the former ones — 367 square feet for the penthouses and 491 square feet for the penthouse suites. Penthouse guests receive enhanced amenities, including butler service and in-room specialty dining; in addition, they now have unlimited complimentary dining at the onboard specialty restaurants.
Converting Symphony’s guest spaces into the new penthouse accommodations has reduced passenger capacity from 922 to 848, while the onboard crew remains 545, providing even more personalized service for cruisers.
In addition, Symphony has moved to an open seating model that allows guests to dine at their leisure, adding flexibility to both the dining experience and evening entertainment. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s Silk Road and The Sushi Bar have been rebranded as Umi Uma & Sushi Bar, and continues Crystal’s relationship with Matsuhisa, which was launched on Symphony in 2003. The ship’s second specialty restaurant, Prego, continues serving regional specialties of Italy.
The Crystal Dining Room is now Waterside, reflecting the decor on the line’s new river cruise vessels. There are now more tables for two and four, and open seating gives guests more options in evening dining.
The Lido Cafe space has now become Marketplace by day and Churrascaria by night; both have an open-kitchen concept and dishes made to order. Marketplace continues to serve casual buffet-style breakfast and lunch, and Churrascaria’s repertoire is all about Brazilian-inspired tapas, ceviches, salads and grilled meats.
A new venue next to Trident Grill on the Lido Deck is Silk Kitchen & Bar, which offers full-service, family-style Chinese dinners, along with self-serve Asian breakfasts and lunches that include dumplings, Chinois salad, soups and a noodle bar.
Apart from the dining and accommodations, Crystal has also enhanced the onboard product with complimentary Wi-Fi access for all guests, as Symphony now has double its former satellite speed. A new guest portal, Crystal Connect, can be used on HD flat-panel televisions and personal devices. Through it, passengers can access shipboard information such as daily menus from each restaurant, daily activities and shore excursions. A number of international newspapers are available for digital viewing, as well as a library of movies, music and Crystal lectures on demand.
Finally, a new production show, Crystal in Motion, replaces the former welcome onboard show in the Galaxy Lounge.
The company has announced that Crystal Serenity will be treated to an equally extensive redesign next fall.