Breaking Travel News

New year means ocean of new developments for Crystal Cruises

New year means ocean of new developments for Crystal Cruises

Never one to rest on its laurels, Crystal Cruises is introducing “A Year of New Developments” for 2012.  Each month, the ultra-luxury line is introducing new destinations, shore-side adventures and an array of new product enhancements that add even more choices in wining, dining, evening and daytime entertainment, enrichment and fitness.  From offering VIP service at the airport to easing check in, Crystal’s steadfast focus is on refining its guest vacation experience.  New developments include:


Extreme Ship Makeover: Major redesigns of Crystal Symphony’s Avenue Saloon, Palm Court lounge, Galaxy showroom, Hollywood Theatre, Bridge Lounge, and Fantasia and Waves “junior cruisers” areas are set for June, completing a 5-year plan of re-doing every space on board.


All-Inclusive: Crystal’s All-Inclusive segue this spring features quality spirits, fine wines, and champagne, with better-than-well brands such as Grey Goose, Belevedere, and Herradura serving as bases for fresh, mixologist-made cocktails.


Chinese Comfort Food: With a new chef, new equipment, and authentic ingredients, this month Crystal Serenity’s Tastes café introduced a casual dinner-on-deck menu of traditional, Chinese steamed dumplings, noodles, soups, fried rice and vegetables.

Late-Night Bistro: Shortly after going all-inclusive, Crystal’s hugely popular daytime bistro/central meeting place will transform into an evening café for small bites, desserts, and late-night snacks, accompanied by fine wines, champagne, and flavored coffee/hot drinks.

Nobu Checks In: Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Crystal’s partner in Silk Road and the Sushi Bar specialty restaurants, comes aboard this May to Executive Chef in-person, with nightly restaurant appearances, cooking demonstrations, autograph sessions and special “Omakase” dinner, accompanied by his private Sake maker, Fumio Hazu.

Uber-Exclusive Vintage Room Experiences:

  • Intimate “Theater-in-the-Round” dinner hosted by two Hollywood legends: actress Tippi Hedren and iconic costume designer “Edith Head” (as played by actress Susan Claassen). (April)
  • Michelin Star chef Heinz Beck cooks a seven-course feast paired with impossible-to-purchase wines selected/presented by Master Sommelier Bob Bath, for an Ultimate Vintage Room experience priced at approximately $1000/person. (May)
  • Norwegian Bocuse D’Or contenders past and present, Odd Ivar Solvold and Ørjan Johannessen, chef their own Ultimate Vintage Room experience: a rare Bocuse-level dinner with wine pairings selected/presented by renowned French winemaker Christian Moueix. (Aug)

Sweetening Desserts: After an extensive “pastry summit,” onboard pastry chefs will debut new, homemade desserts, petit fours, and other pastries this fall.


Local Insights: Planned for every European voyage, local experts and dignitaries will be invited on board for one-on-one interviews and regional insights on topics ranging from the area’s economy to its arts and culture. (Spring)

Music Legends: Two brand-new evening productions will highlight the hits of legendary musical performers. (Late Spring/Summer)

Magic Alliance: Crystal is preparing to team with a world-famous magic organization to bring aboard strolling magic shows and adult-geared classes. (June)

Magical Kids: Magic Alliance-offshoot just for Junior Cruisers. (July)

Local Entertainment: Destination-unique, accomplished local entertainers will perform aboard every European sailing, making it easy for guests to see whirling dervishes in Turkey or Irish step dancers in Dublin. (Spring)

Interactive “Ocean Views”: Debuting with the World Cruise, Crystal’s popular discussion panel boasting high-level world affairs experts expands with interactive technology.  Via individual electronic polling devices, audiences can join the debate instantly — and anonymously.  2012 guests include James Carville, Mary Matalin, former Ambassador Marc Ginsberg, international economics expert Robert Warne, 4-star General Hugh Shelton, and geographer Dr. Harm de Blij, among others.

iPad® and Facebook Classes: This month, Computer University@Sea adds multiple levels of iPad and Facebook classes to its wide spectrum of free computer-related education.

Expanded Pilates/Yoga Classes: Dedicated Pilates & yoga instructors for expanded programs, including complimentary Pilates Reformer classes. (Crystal Serenity — Pilates Reformer: Jan-Mar, May, Dec; Yoga: Jan-Mar, April) (Crystal Symphony — Pilates Reformer: Jan, March, Sept, Oct; Yoga: Feb, Mar, Nov, Dec)


Besides new experiences on board, Crystal is introducing 20 maiden calls, new itineraries, multi-day overland adventures, pre- and post-cruise land packages and a wealth of new excursions within itineraries.  New highlights include:

  •   Luxurious Land Programs: More than 100 new shore excursions in the first six months alone, including:
  •   Samba-ing in Rio’s Carnival
  •   Helicoptering over Paris
  •   Exploring the slow food movement in Bordeaux
  •   River rafting in Iceland
  •   Pilgrimage-ing to a Bosnian holy site
  •   Evening strolling through Copenhagen’s old streets, guided by a traditional night watchman

You Care, We Care: Crystal’s second year of complimentary voluntouring excursions on every cruise spreads more goodwill to new locales, such as:

  • Cambodia: Teach children the arts, plus plant a vegetable garden, at an orphanage
  • British Columbia: Stock, pack, and distribute food and toys at a local food bank
  • Singapore: Help literacy-challenged children to read
  • Odessa: Provide assistance to the homeless at a Ukrainian social services center
  • South Korea: Bring benevolent support to a home for underprivileged children

Complimentary Celebrations: Ring in 2013 with an all-inclusive, complimentary New Year’s Eve party underneath Sydney Harbour Bridge, offering a VIP vantage point for the world’s biggest New Year’s fireworks during an Australian-New Zealand holiday party-packed voyage.


Crystal Fast Track Check-In, 360-day advance preview of Crystal Adventures, our earliest ever booking availability of World Cruise Crystal Adventures, and digital tour books online join new:

Crystal VIP Airport Service: An industry-first service that facilitates a hassle-free airport experience for guests traveling to and from their Crystal ship, launching next month.

“Crystal has long had a reputation for leading the pack in innovation,” says President Gregg Michel.  “In 2012, we’re building upon that tradition by continually enhancing the Crystal Experience.  One doesn’t hold onto the title of ‘World’s Best’ without consistently examining what ‘best’ means to its valued customers.”

Crystal’s passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history.