In the luxury cruise travel segment, there are a number of cruise lines from which to choose, all offering something a bit different. A deciding factor on which luxury cruise line is a good fit for each cruise traveler often boils down to the details of what they do. Here we have some unique features of Crystal Cruises, a line that is expanding in a number of areas but pays close attention to those tiny details.
- Delicious Dining- The attention to detail is hard to miss when it comes to the culinary offerings on a Crystal Cruise. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea time, midnight snacks and everything in-between are served in style with no special request ever a problem. Dining venues are staffed with plenty of people to make it all happen too, leaving no Crystal guest hungry for more or waiting on waiters. It’s a simple enough idea, nicely executed.
- Do Not Disturb/Clean Room Sign- Simple enough, on the inside wall of Crystal Cruises staterooms is a button with two choices: “Clean Up” and “Do Not Disturb”. Rather than hanging a sign on the door when leaving to indicate either of these two choices, guests of Crystal Cruises simply push the appropriate button inside the cabin to indicate their desire on a similar sign that illuminates outside of the cabin. It’s a little thing but attention to detail is a hallmark of any luxury travel option, at sea or on land. Taking this brilliant idea a step further, forget to turn off the Do Not Disturb sign when it is nightly turndown service and stateroom attendants respect the sign but slip a note under the stateroom door offering to return at a more convenient time.
- Welcome Chocolates- Unique to Crystal Cruises a box of their custom made chocolates await in staterooms upon arrival. Crystal guests will see those chocolates and others similar to them at dinner in the Crystal Dining Room, served along with dessert each night.
- Free Digital Entertainment- In addition to a well-stocked library of Blue Ray DVD video, logging in to the ship’s efficient intranet brings an assortment of current, complementary video, on demand. Guests can also view past guest lectures, visit the Crystal Cruises web site and more, without logging in to pay by the minute internet access. Also available on demand; national and international newspapers, the ship’s daily Reflections newsletter, details on all shore excursions and a handy “Instant Guest Feedback” option that lets Crystal guests send comments to shipboard management in real time, when they can do something about a negative experience or pass along positive comments.
- Sundry Menu Items- Have you ever forgotten a toothbrush, toothpaste or needed some unanticipated sundry item like cough drops, an eyeglass repair kit for a contact lens case? Crystal Cruises has a list of over 60 items in each stateroom from which their guests can order and have their choice delivered, many available 24 hours a day.
- Rental Golf Clubs- in addition to clubs available at practice nets on Crystal Serenity’s top deck and those used by the ship’s golf pro for lessons, Crystal Cruises also offers complete sets of golf clubs to rent. The clubs can be taken ashore for a day of golf at a local course and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. What a wonderful idea for golfers who do not want to manage traveling with their own clubs but would enjoy a round of golf at one of the stops along the way.
- Help Getting Home- A nice touch at the end of the cruise: complimentary minutes of Internet time to check in for return flights and print boarding passes. Done ahead of disembarkation, Crystal guests know they have the time when checking in for flights, a day in advance. Thoughtful.
- Visitors Allowed- Some restrictions apply and no visitors are allowed on board on disembarkation day but if Crystal guests want to have a visitor on board for lunch or dinner (when overnighting in a port), they can. The $20 per visitor fee is charged to the Crystal guest’s onboard account.
- Crystal Cruises Creative Learning Institute aims to bring out the best in Crystal guests by promising them “the best instruction at sea”, expanding on Crystal’s commitment to enrich the body, mind and spirit by extending new opportunities for personal growth. The integrated certificate program focuses on four centers of learning; Arts & Entertainment, Business & Technology, Lifestyle and Wellness. A nicely laid-out conference center is the place where many of these opportunities happen, with each class and workshop designed to further Crystal guest’s knowledge in an entertaining and interactive format.
- Table For Eight Dining Concept – Targeting solo travelers, Crystal Cruises Table for Eight concept addresses the former problem of singles wanting to enjoy the specialty restaurants but not having someone to dine with. On select evenings, a no-host table for eight is reserved in one of the ship’s specialty restaurants. Those wishing to engage others via this popular concept do so by reservation.
- Shuttle To Town– a concept we wish all cruise lines would do, when a Crystal ship calls on a port where the city center is far away, they provide a shuttle bus back and forth from that area and the ship.
- Crystal Clean Eco hangers– Crystal Cruises, like other cruise lines, has a commitment to the environment as stewards of the oceans they do business in. Admirable, but not unique. Still, since 2008, Crystal Cruises has used hangers made from 100% environmentally recycled materials when Crystal guests use the ship’s laundry service. Also, Crystal has eliminated the use of plastic bags for that laundry service, replacing them with washable, white cloth garment bags, eliminating the use of 100,000 plastic bags per year on their ships.
- Included beverages, gratuities and specialty restaurants are a big part of the Crystal Cruises experience that makes for an easy lifestyle on board. Crystal guests use the card issued them at embarkation primarily as identification for getting on and off the ship and as the key to their stateroom. Included gratuities results in a much more relaxed atmosphere with crew members genuinely interested in being of service.
All of the above comes at a time when Crystal Cruises has moved beyond being just a two-ship cruise line.
Coming soon: Crystal Luxury Air for upscale travelers who might want to see the places on any given cruise itinerary but don’t have the time to sail. Skip the ship and fly from port to port in luxury. Excited about the idea of a river cruise? Crystal has River Yachts coming shortly that will embark on European sailings in posh style. Looking for a small ship sailing? Crystal Yacht Cruises will chart a new course with the first-ever purpose-built expedition megayacht,
This video brings more information on what Crystal has in store for the world of travel:
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