Crystal Cruises is a wholly owned subsidiary of a Japanese shipping company, though its headquarters are based in California. Starting with the ships design based on the principles of feng-shui, (the Eastern art of arranging ones surroundings to attract positive energy), no detail is overlooked to provide passengers with the best imaginable cruise vacation experience. The combination of a spectacularly designed vessel and a staff and crew dedicated to the highest levels of service, quickly propelled Crystal Cruises to the very top of luxury travel.
Crystal Cruises sparkles among the cruise lines contained within the luxury segment! The ships are significantly larger, and that in turn allows for added onboard amenities in terms of entertainment venues, casinos, spa and fitness centers, as well as spacious public areas. Offering guests the best of both worlds, Crystal Cruises delivers an intimate, indulgent experience, but on ships large enough to provide a broad range of facilities and activities.
The Crystal Cruises fleet is comprised of two ships: the 51,044-ton, 922-passenger Crystal Symphony, launched in 1995 and the 68,000-ton, 1,080-passenger Crystal Serenity, which debuted in 2003. To maintain the fleet in the manner to which guests would expect, Crystal Symphony had a $25 million makeover in October 2009 and Crystal Serenity had a similar refit in May 2011.
Crystals cruise fares cover beverages (including fine wines and premium spirits, plus all non-alcoholic beverages such as bottled water, soda, juices and specialty coffee drinks), all gratuities and dining in the ships specialty restaurants and sushi bars.
The daytime dress code leans towards casual elegance and formal attire is required on at least two designated evenings, depending on the length of the cruise. The line requests that dress codes be observed in public areas after 6 pm, and few, if any, passengers disregard the suggestion.
Food, and the lavish table settings and smart service that come along with it, is a highlight of a Crystal cruise. The cruise line offers the choices of classic main and late seating, or Dining by Reservation. A different time, a different table, just for two or with newfound friends, Dining by Reservation affords guests ultimate freedom. Aside from the elegant formal dining room there is a choice of alternative restaurants. Both Prego, the Italian restaurant, and Silk Road & The Sushi Bar are outstanding, but are generally in huge demand, so guests are encouraged to make reservations as early as possible.
Onboard entertainment includes Broadway-style production shows, special performances by well-known entertainers, as well as cabaret shows, dancing and bingo. However, where Crystal really shines is in the variety of enrichment and educational programs. A typical Crystal cruise hosts four or five accomplished lecturers, from authors to politicians, scientists and other luminaries, as well as complimentary computer training classes, Berlitz language classes and Yamaha keyboard instruction. There are wellness lectures with the Cleveland Clinic, art classes conducted by the Parsons School of Design, and an introduction to tai chi with the Tai Chi Cultural Center. Professional ACBL Bridge instructors are on every cruise, and dance instructors offer lessons in contemporary and social dance styles. An added highlight for women traveling solo is the Ambassador Host Program, which brings cultured gentlemen on each cruise to dine, socialize, and dance with unaccompanied ladies.
As far as children are concerned, Crystal is the most welcoming, and offers the best program for children in the luxury cruise market. Each ship has a dedicated playroom, and a junior activities counselor is present on any cruise with ten or more children aboard. There are junior activities counselors aboard any Crystal cruise where 10 or more children are booked.
Crystal Cruises is committed to making every cruise a perfect cruise, from the moment each and every guest steps onboard. Not just striving to provide a remarkable vacation, Crystal Cruises wants guests to have a life enriching experience that will be cherished forever.