Getting back on-board Crystal Symphony was like being welcomed home, in fact many of the staff said just that! From the moment we set foot onto the pier everything was taken care of… but that, I’m coming to learn, is just the Crystal way. The staff, who I already knew were amazing, surpassed my expectations (I didn’t think that was possible!), many of the crew were still onboard from my last sailing and straight away recognised me, and not only that but they remembered my cocktails of choice and proceeded to bring them over…frequently.
Cruising the Bay of Biscay, we sailed between the white cliffs of Dover and beautiful Bordeaux calling at Honfleur, Guernsey and St-Malo. Each port was as picturesque and charming as the one before and gave me the opportunity to experience my first tender service, which resulted in one of my favourite pictures of the trip!
One thing I always look forward to before I embark a Crystal Cruise is the food, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. I have been truly spoilt by the quality of the steak served onboard and so logically this was my first and last meal in the Crystal Dining Room. During our trip I was especially impressed with the service and food in Prego, the Italian speciality restaurant. The staff were incredibly attentive, with the speciality Maître D, Bruno and his team making sure our every wish and need was catered for and this got our cruise off to the perfect start. The other speciality restaurant, Silk Road was another highlight and the Nobu Box proved the best way to try some of Nobu’s most famous dishes; blackened miso cod, wagyu beef and rock shrimp.
Another thing I always enjoy is getting to know fellow guests. The great thing about a Crystal Cruise is that for a mid-size ship they carry far less passengers than other operators, meaning you really do get to know your fellow passengers. Whether it’s singing Karaoke in Avenue Saloon and bonding over Sinatra; attempting to ballroom dance in Starlight Club with the Crystal Ambassador Hosts and laughing over your 2 left feet; or planning your next trip with the help of locals you have just met. With so many like-minded individuals onboard it’s hard not to make friends that will last a lifetime.
My only complaint… and it will be the same every time… is having to disembark! Saying goodbye to our friends, both guests and crew, doesn’t get easier and heading back to reality just gets harder. But it’s a small price to pay for the memories and joy I’ve experienced on Crystal Cruises.