20 May 2016

Crystal Symphony interiors: decks 12-7, 7-12 May 2016

Thanks to the fine people at Crystal Cruises, I had a chance to document all the public rooms of the Crystal Symphony during my recent cruise onboard her. Since this resulterd in almost 50 images I would like to publish, I've decided to break this tour into two parts. Today, we will look at decks twelve though seven, and the next time around we will tour the main public room decks, sis and five. Alas, this will not give anywhere near an even spread, as the vast majority of public rooms are on deck six, but since I want to give the usual top-to-bottom tour, it's the best I can do.

Crystal Symphony

IMO 9066667
Built 1995, Kvaerner Masa Yards Turku New Shipyard, Finland
Tonnage 51 044 GT
Length 238,01 m
Width 30,20 m
Draught 7,60 m
1 010 passengers
6 Sultzer diesels, combined 38 880 kW
2 propellers
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Speed 22 knots

But first, I little word about my overall impression of the interiors. A more cruise-experienced friend of mine warned before I left that I would be about to experience a very conservative cruise line. And he was absolutely right; not just when it came to the onboard product, but also the interior decor. On both accounts, I couldn't help but feel that Crystal's recently-developed public image as a fresh and dynamic cruise line was at odds with the interior (and the onboard product). But as far as the interiors go, I'll let you judge for yourselves.

All images are taken on 12 May 2016 while the Crystal Symphony was at Civitavecchia, except those marked otherwise. As per the usual, click on the images to see them in larger size.

Deck 12 (Sun Deck) consists mostly of outer decks circling the Lido areas, with golf driving nets, a putting green and a tennis court scattered around it, with the gym and spa aft, around the base of the funnel.
What better way to start than the builder's plate, which conviniently happens to be located at the base of the radar mast, forward on deck 12.
Overlooking the main pool area from up on deck 12.
One of the treatment rooms at the spa. Okay, the largest one, as it was the easiest the photograph with my equipment. The spa complex's definite highlight, which unfortunately I did not have a chance to photograph, was a Finnish sauna, authentic down to every detail. I may have indulged in the finnishness and spent two hours there...
Deck 11 (Lido Deck) has the Palm Court observation lounge forward, followed by children's playroom and teen's center, the main pool deck, the Trident Grill and Bar area, and the Lido Café buffet restaurant (the latter being somewhat oddly named, as a buffet is not a café - not the only case onboard the Crystal Symphony where the name of a space does not match the content, as you shall see in the next entry).
The Palm Court, looking starboard and aft over the dance floor.
A neat little piece of decór above the dance floor at Palm Court.
Most of the Plam Court. The colour scheme was perhaps a bit bland for my tastes, though the pillows were a nice touch of colour.
The Waves Teen Center was, without a doubt, most up my street of all the spaces onboard as far as the decor goes. Had I had more time, I would probably have checked out their video game collection too. (Yes, I'm 33 years old. Contrary to the popular belief, games aren't just for kids these days),
Mirroring the Teen Center on the starboard side of the ship is the Fantasia Children's Playroom. Alas, it looked a bit dull with all the toys cleared away. I did not see a single kid onboard, though based on audio information, there was at least one onboard.
...and aft of the Teen's/Children's lounges you have the main pool area.
I really like this sculpture overlooking the main (well, only) pool, with it's clear reference to the Crystal funnel symbol.
The former aft pool area was converted to a seating area for the new Trident Grill in a recent refit. With the magrodome closed even in warm weather, the space was stifling hot, at least to my Finnish sensibilities. And considering how few people there was always around, I can't help but think that removing the pool to create more seating was unnescessary.
The Lido Café which, as noted above, is not a café but a buffet. The decór was nice but very stereotypically cruise ship buffet.
Both indoors and outdoors seating was available. At least during the time I was onboard, the Lido Café was only open for breakfast and lunch, which meant the space was deserted for most of the day.
Purely a personal opinion, but I would very much have preferred longer lunch service. As it is, by the time I would start thinking of lunch around 3 PM, the buffet had already closed. Even more than that, I would have loved to have a buffet dinner, after a long day i rarely have the patience for a long, multi-course meal in a waiter-service restaurant.
Deck 10 (Penthouse Deck) has the navigation bridge forward, with the rest of the deck given over to penthouse suites and cabins (which, as far as I was able to discern, are penthouses only in the sense that they are on the topmost cabin deck).

Deck 9 (Seabreeze [sic!] Deck) consists entirely of cabins, or as Crystal calls them, deluxe staterooms.

Deck 8 (Horizon Deck) has more cabins, some of them with obstructed views. Here I can also give you a look inside one of them, as my own cabin, a Deluxe Statroom with Verandah, also happened to be on this deck.
Verandah cabin 8050, seen from the entrance towards the veranda (photographed on 7 May 2016).
A reverse view. This happens to be one of the cabins with a commuting door, allowing it to be combined with the neighbouring one. I recommend you avoid these if you can; the soundproofind onboard is otherwise excellent, but the door let's in a lot of sound. Such as the couple in the neighbouring cabin having, ahem, fun in the middle of the night. (I mean, good for them, but it did make sleeping a challenge).
Deck 7 (Promenade Deck) has more cabins, this time without verandas, and a wrap-around promenade outdoors. The promenade is set lower than the floor inside on the deck, so there is, fortunately, no direct view from the promenade deck to the cabins on the same deck.

For decks five and six, see here.

Special thanks to Paul Garcia and Jaque Brown.

Next time we'll complete the tour of the Crystal Symphony with looks at the bulk of the public rooms on decks six and five.

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