Cruise Line Focus

Cruise line focus: Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises offers a big-ship cruise experience aboard its two mid-size luxury cruise ships, offering exceptional service, innovative dining and the best kids facilities in the luxury cruise segment.

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Crystal Serenity is the cruise line’s largest ship.

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Crystal Cruises is perhaps the world’s most luxurious cruise line, with a number of subsidiary brands to enhance the cruise experience, such as luxury cruising Crystal Yachts, a private Boeing airliner and a fleet of Crystal River ships.

Not content with being one of the most highly-awarded luxury cruise lines in the world, Crystal Cruises in 2015 announced a brand expansion that introduced the subsidy companies, to (in the words of Crystal) turn an all-inclusive cruise experience into one that is ‘all exclusive’.

“Crystal’s pattern of continually besting our success continued through 2015, when we embarked on the most ambitious brand expansion in luxury travel history. Crystal announced plans in July 2015 that would expand our luxury fleet exponentially in the coming years, as well as venturing into new markets,” the cruise line says in press material.

Crystal, Ltd. now comprises Crystal Cruises, Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises, Crystal Luxury Air and Crystal AirCruises, with new vessels and brand extensions set to launch over the next five years.

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Cruise experience aboard Crystal Cruises

The cruise line has been around since 1988, although its current duo of cruise ships Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity were launched in 1995 and 2003 respectively.

Today the two ships, both fresh from a major refit and refurbishment in 2017, are known more for the high level of service from the Crystal crew, rather for their luxury interiors (even though the interiors are supremely elegant).

This is because Crystal Cruises from the start has focused on the Crystal Experience, which is an effort to get a sense of luxury to permeate the entire cruise holiday.

The Crystal Spa & Salon aboard both ships, for example, is the world’s first Feng Shui-inspired spa at sea, a soothing retreat with Zen rock gardens, water fountains, and furnishings strategically placed according to ancient Chinese principles.

The Crystal Spa elevates pampering at sea to a new standard with such luxurious amenities as relaxing sauna and steam room, shower areas with multiple head and side body jets, fibre optic lighting, a selection of special rain and mist functions, Elemis spa products, custom-designed manicure/pedicure areas with sunken foot bowls, a private sun deck for relaxing before or after treatments, and unlimited ocean views.

A dry-float bed suite contains an innovative sensory bed to create a feeling of weightlessness, ideal for “Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap” and other treatments.  The suite may be used by a single guest or a couple.

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The lobby aboard Crystal Symphony.

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Dining aboard Crystal Cruises

The dining experience aboard Crystal Cruises is characterised by elaborate, selection-filled menu options that range from modern food science to traditional classics from the ships’ international ports of call.

The wide variety of restaurants (4 restaurants and cafes aboard Symphony and Serenity, and 7 lounges and bars) offers guests a choice of gastronomic styles and ambiance, and Crystal’s “All Inclusive” culinary offerings include complimentary fine wines and premium spirits throughout the ship, open bar service in all lounges, and pre-paid gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff.

The ships’ chefs also host cooking demos and hands-on classes in the state-of-the-art galleys on select cruises with more days at sea.

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Crystal Cruises destinations

With just two ships in its fleet, Crystal Cruises has to keep them moving from one destination to the other to cover the entire globe, and this they do to an extraordinary degree, offering cruises in eighteen different regions of the world throughout the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Crystal Cruises are characterized by their longer length, with the ship’s transiting between disparate areas of the world.

The shorter cruises this year for example are six days, and there are only two of them, while the average is two weeks or more (26 cruise itineraries this year are 14 to 26 days in length).

Types of passengers on a Crystal cruise

Passengers aboard Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony are older, because they have more free time, and they’re all extremely wealthy, because Crystal Cruises is all about luxury and first class service. Passengers predominantly come from North America and the UK, despite the cruise line’s Asian-ownership.

Cruise ships in the Crystal Cruises fleet:

Crystal Serenity

Crystal Symphony

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