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[Crystal Symphony] – a visit in Copenhagen, July 2009

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    Meanwhile the passengers had their muster drill.

    It’s time to move the gangway . . .

    . . . and prepare for departure.

    Goodbye Crystal Symphony !
    Last edited by Seagull; August 4th, 2009, 10:16.


      Originally posted by Ralf__ View Post
      Thank you for these detailed views into a cruise ship, never saw this before. For me this is the typical American style, let me call is "Disneyland on the water"?

      For me a definite "too much". But for others, very creative and cosy...
      It is for sure a large cruise ship, but I would never ever describe Crystal Symphony as any kind of a "Disneyland”. That would seem to be a very accurate description of many cruise ships that one sees pictures and descriptions of. But Symphony’s overall ambience came across as relatively restrained, rather refined and sophisticated, and the standards of service exemplary. And it felt like a “real ship”, not a floating block of flats or entertainment centre.
      A pet hate of mine is American style “have a nice day” kind of service which comes across as totally and utterly insincere, as is all too often the case in restaurants and hotels here in Britain. Whereas aboard Symphony, every single staff and crew member I came in contact seemed totally sincere and so very happy doing their jobs. I could say that it actually was rather nice to feel so pampered and looked-after, whilst never feeling the service became over intrusive. And it appeared that it would be easy to spend time alone in places around the ship avoiding any entertainment or activities that did not appeal to one, and having a quiet and relaxing time. It is a bit like when I have chosen to spend a couple of days in a country house style hotel in the Swedish countryside, instead of being hostel or cabin-based with self-catering and hiking and active sightseeing pursuits.

      Like you my preference for holidays at sea would be on working ships like Hurtigruten, or on small ship “explorer” type voyages or canal and river cruises, but you know, I can imagine myself on Symphony if time and money allowed such a holiday as “extra” rather than “instead of” those I usually take. I would treat my time aboard rather like those Swedish hotels, enjoying the relaxing and the fine dining, and just “being on a ship”, and would choose an voyage to places where I would not be frustrated by only having limited days for shore excursions and independent sightseeing (perhaps because I had already visited them before).

      Another scenario might be to choose a voyage on which friends were taking a cruise . . .


        I've made it through two days of photos...and there's lots to show, but I felt I REALLY had to go ahead and post this one...

        Because how often does one see Seatroll in the Crystal Cove having a Mojito???


          Originally posted by ehp View Post
          ...Because how often does one see Seatroll in the Crystal Cove having a Mojito???
          By some unerring instinct, I clicked on New Posts and have been browsing backwards intermittently through the morning . . . thus succeeding in having left the best till last! Definitely the CaptainsVoyage Photograph of the Year!

          Now after all the excitement of meeting his Aunt Elizabeth, and enjoying the high life aboard Crystal Symphony, how am I going to make him realise that he will be back to being a working Seatroll on his forthcoming Greenland voyage, looking smart in his Hurtigruten uniform and behaving in a proper professional manner at all times . . .

          I had felt that he had not been quite so comforting recently . . . he’d been sulking about getting left unpacked in the hotel in Bodø the day I arrived there, thus missing an encounter with HurtigruteMartin’s car-mascot penguin . . .


            ...huh, i should have known that it is very sensitive to write something negative about this ship...

            You are so right, there are much more worse ships around and so CS is one of the best looking of its kind.

            There are certainly some areas, which i like also (f.e. the library or the Avenue Salon or the Connoisseurs Club).

            But others like the "Italian style restaurant"??? Sorry, but this "Italy" is existing only in Disneyland or Las Vegas....

            Maybe also, i am, being almost a generation younger, too much influenced by the IKEA-way-of-life and i have wait for these ships to come...
            Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


              The on board Italian Restaurant, called Prego, is actually really hard to photograph in day light. It's at night, attended by very professional Italian waiters and with the sunset shining in the panoramic windows the restaurant comes to life...

              And... the food.... the food.... it's the best Italian menu at sea. Their mushroom soup, their lasagne, their deserts are honest to God, really out-of-this world...

              After a dinner at the Prego, I can promise you, with full confidence, that you'll absolutely love the ambiance, the service, and the food of this place.

              It can't get any better than that - well, apart from going to Venice for real..

              For the rest of the interior of CS, you are very correct, the Connoisseurs Club is a great retreat for a pre-dinner cognac or an after dinner drink! It's ambiance is absolutely fabulous, and the service there, is 7 stars!

              The only part of the ship I don't fancy, YET, is the relatively new and white disco... maybe because I haven't seen it alive yet. It is a new addition and was added after my time on board.
              With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

              Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
              Main page:

              Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.


                Looking at Prego on Symphony versus Serenity...I will say that the decor in Prego on Symphony is a bit bright for me....almost Disneyland meets Venice. On Serenity, it's all soft yellow, dark wood and cream colors. Much more understated.

                But Pakarang is right. Oh, the mushroom soup, the cream of wild mushroom soup served in individual bread bowls. It alone is enough to book a cruise. Makes me weak just thinking about it, and although I have the recipe, it's just not quite the same. Oh, the saltimbocca...the onion foccacia... the fresh pasta....oooooohhhhhhh. Zabaglioni, tiramisu....I could go on.

                Well, there's only one way to decide this. I better keep hoping the lottery comes in so we can all go on a cruise on CS together....


                  Originally posted by Ralf__ View Post
                  ... but this "Italy" is existing only in Disneyland or Las Vegas....
                  It’s a balustrade and columns thing Ralph!
                  Always a bit tricky to bring off successfully . . .

                  Do you remember that, compared with Trollfjord, Midnatsol and Fram, I was not entirely won over by many aspects of Finnmarken’s decor? – the rather overstated art nouveau stuff, and, yes COLUMNS in the restaurant:

                  Oh, and I totally understand about Disneyland and Las Vegas – I was living in the north of England holiday resort of Blackpool in the late 50’s and 60’s!

                  Italian restaurants of one sort or another have been spread around the world for long enough to now be self-referencing their own design history – as much a pastiche of that idea of Italy as of Italy itself.
                  You could also say that other big export, the Irish pub, has little similarity to the original thing in Ireland. (But then, to add to the mix, there are examples in Italian cities and in Dublin of the re-importing of their own stereotypes!).


                    Very good point!!! That's why we have to look for small, forgotten villages to get the authentic feeling!

                    It is like Retsina wine. It tastes only under an olive tree in the Greek summer, not really at home...
                    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


                      You are a wise man, Ralf. I love how our holidays – mine and Elizabeth’s and yours in Hohenlohe, have kind of interacted on all sorts of levels, from family history to pink tractors, humour, and family fun on the farm, to rather intellectual dissertations on the history of taste and style. (And when I am around, Hurtigruten always manages at get in the mix somehow!) And of course our Captain bringing it ... and us... all together. . .


                        You continue to peak my interest in this ship with the wonderful photos, no brochure or cruise agent can do this.
                        Also, thanks for the picture in Copenhagen, I almost forgot what the walkway along the pier looked like, not sure, but I don't it has changed from 12 years ago.
                        Oh la la, I love the library, nicely decorated. Looks like she has a great many public rooms that are most tastefully done.
                        Thanks for the great posts- excellent work, and what kind of camera are you using if you don't mind me asking?
                        Last edited by Captain RJ; August 7th, 2009, 03:21.


                          Thank you Captain RJ. And I’m sure that pakarang and ehp will be pleased that I seem to have aroused such interest in this particular ship.

                          The camera is a Nikon D60. I must admit I was very tempted to go for a pakarang-influenced choice of a Canon for my first digital SLR when I bought it a year ago. I am usually enjoying travelling on my own, but on the Antarctica trip last January the idea was that I could make use of my “accompanying person’s” Nikon lenses. (ok, neither “husband” or “ex-husband” is the entirely accurate description for David, having been separated for over 20 years . . . ). In the event I don’t think I changed lenses more than once!

                          The one lens I myself have is a Nikon DX lens, the 18-200mm superzoom. Of course there are optical compromises in such a lens, but it is convenient in use – like in Antarctica I get the whale photo while everyone else is fiddling to change lenses with their gloves on – and no need to carry around a gadget bag of heavy kit. Aboard Crystal Symphony I was snapping away happily, not really thinking about adjusting this or that as Elizabeth and I were chatting at the time (you can just imagine that can’t you! ). No tripod - all hand held.

                          Last night I started to prepare something more about cruise ships in Copenhagen which will start to appear shortly in a new thread in General Maritime Interest.


                            So right, Seagull- you really didn't adjust much-and I always thought that a "big" camera would be so burdensome...but yours was hardly noticable....makes me start to think about getting one for myself (although I couldn't just slip it in my pocket like my present camera)...

                            I love the description of David....

                            As a naughty gossipy side bit, there are few of ladies on Crystal's world cruise that are in unusual sorts of relationship (one in particular I know of, whose husband has suggested it's cheaper to keep her on Crystal 9 months out of the year than divorce her ) And there's the man that came aboard last year after his wife was placed an extended care facility ...he brought along his wife's former home caregiver.......and then had to leave the ship when his wife passed away...only to come back with yet ANOTHER caregiver.......

                            Oh, nothing like a coffee and a good gossip on Friday............


                              Originally posted by ehp View Post
                              ... one in particular I know of, whose husband has suggested it's cheaper to keep her on Crystal 9 months out of the year than divorce her ) ...
                              Oh, nothing like a coffee and a good gossip on Friday............
                              Where did I go wrong !!!! ... I regarded Antarctica a special case for D’s “significant” birthday, but getting the same Fram cabin to myself in Greenland COSTS ME . . . I’m trying hard to forget what Hurtigruten’s single supplement was!!!!

                              Originally posted by ehp View Post
                              ...although I couldn't just slip it in my pocket like my present camera...
                              Very useful to have a “pocket sized camera”, and I sometimes carry one – a Panasonic TZ3. It also has the advantage of being able to take movie clips.


                                Originally posted by Seagull View Post
                                Thank you Captain RJ. And I’m sure that pakarang and ehp will be pleased that I seem to have aroused such interest in this particular ship.

                                The camera is a Nikon D60. .
                                Your welcome. Thats funny, I use the same model for the photography that i have posted as well as seen on my site.
                                I look fwd to a luncheon aboard the CRYSTAL SYMPHONY later this year, as you have given me motivation to take a gander at this ship, one that my friend Bill always sails on.