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  • Writer's pictureSteve & Paul

Crystal Symphony, Singapore - Hong Kong 7 days

Launched 1996 (refurbished in 2006, 2009, 2017)

Decks: 8

Passengers: 848 (since 2017 refurbish)

Crew: 545

Length: 238 metres

The highlight of the trip we did from Singapore to Hong Kong on Crystal Symphony in 2015 was definitely The Avenue Saloon Bar with Mark Farris at the piano each night. Each night he got to know every one by nick names and it was always the great end to an evening that everyone wanted.

This ship is larger and grander than Seabourn Odyssey, so therefore the entertainment areas were larger and better equipped. The cabin though was not as large as the one we had on Seabourn Odyssey and the bathroom was also smaller than Seabourn. So, swings and roundabouts I guess.

Crystal Symphony was considered a revolutionary ship when it was built in the mid-1990's because it had absolutely no inside cabins. Standard outsides (well, Crystal calls them "deluxe") measure 202 square feet - reasonably roomy - and are the same size as, and similarly outfitted to, balcony cabins, which measure 246 square feet. (The extra 44 square feet goes to the verandah.) Regardless of designation, all cabins on Crystal Symphony have been refurbished and are decorated in sleek, boutique-hotel style. All cabins feature queen beds (with funky, leather headboards) that convert to two twins. There is a seating area; the armchairs that graced this space previously have all been replaced with cream leather sofas - not much room for two people to sit though. Bathrooms each feature two sinks (in the trendy "bowl" style) and a full-powered hairdryer. All have bathtub-shower combos. Toiletries in each cabin are from Aveda.

Dining on Crystal Symphony - at any meal - is a superb experience in both quality of cuisine and attentiveness of service. Menus for all three meals in the Restaurant are elaborate, offering light choices and vegetarian options. Breakfast is sumptuous.

You can order the usual, including granola, fresh fruit, omelets and superb, perfectly cooked eggs Benedict. The unusual? Light, fluffy omelets topped with smoked salmon and caviar; chocolate chip pancakes; and lamb chops are among the choices that will make breakfast a special event.At lunch, the menu offers a good range of choices - appetizers, salads, a pasta dish, sandwiches and hot entrees. Choices are mirrored, to some extent, in the ship's buffet venue. The food was excellent.

Balconies are each outfitted with two mesh chairs and a small table.

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