June 20th, 2017 by Francesca Bandini
I travelled from Southampton to Portsmouth to embark on the Crystal Symphony. I was asked to escort 12 of our guests on board for a tour of the ship and a champagne lunch whilst on board.
The experience of using Portsmouth Port was a new one for me. Parking was very simple as there is a multi-storey car park available on site. I was welcomed into the terminal by a lady from Crystal who asked me to wait in the seating area as there was a slight delay in getting on board. This is where I met with my guests that I had invited on this visit. It was really lovely to finally put faces to customers I have spoken to many many times over the phone booking cruises for them.
Once on board, we were escorted to the Palm Court for a glass of Champagne and to hear a short speech from the Head of Sales of Crystal Cruises. From here we were given a tour guide and started our tour of the ship.
Crystal Symphony: ship tour
Starting in the Atrium, I was amazed by how much space there was available and it had a very light and airy feel to it.
From here we went in to the Crystal Dining Room. Very very clean restaurant and the décor was quite modern. Currently, there are two dining times to choose from, the early and late sittings. They are due to be changing this to “open dining”.
There were two other speciality restaurants on board, Silk Road serving Sushi and Pergo bringing the taste of Italy to the table.
The Sushi Bar offers an assortment of Nobu’s inventive sushi and sashimi, including Salmon Tartar, Tiradito Nobu-style and Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño, Silk Road presents his celebrated dishes such as Lobster with Truffle-Yuzu Sauce, Grilled Wagyu Beef Rib-Eye with Wasabi Pepper Sauce, and his signature dessert, a Bento Box filled with Chocolate Soufflé Cake with Shiso Syrup and Sesame Ice Cream.
At Pergo you can savour intimate tableside service and a seasonally changing menu of traditional favourites such as Scaloppine Di Vitello Servite Con Capelli D’angelo and Linguine Con Aragosta E Zucchini.
Moving on, we saw a couple of cabins ranging from a Balcony to a Penthouse Suite. The cabins/suites were quite spacious and were finished to a high standard.
We moved on and went out on to Lido deck. We saw the pool and jacuzzi as well the comfy sun lounger’s that were around the deck. I noticed that they have loungers everywhere so if you wanted sun or shade you could still lay out and enjoy. Opposite the Lido bar/Grill was a living wall, we were told that the chef’s collected all of their fresh herbs from this wall to cook with, what a great idea!
When we finished our tour, we went back to the Palm Court for a delicious Champagne lunch. We were served a range of bite-sized food which was all very nice along with a glass or two of Champagne followed by a lovely cup of tea/coffee.
We disembarked at about 2pm as guests were embarking on a wonderful cruise to the Baltics, I really wish I could have stayed on board!