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Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Desmond Tutu To Join Crystal Spring 2015 South Africa Voyage

posted July 22, 2014

World-renowned peace and human rights crusader Archbishop Desmond Tutu will bring an especially intimate perspective of South Africa – and the world – aboard Crystal Cruises’ March 13, 2015 voyage through Tutu’s African homeland.  The 1984 Nobel Laureate was considered his country’s “voice of conscience” throughout its struggle against apartheid, and is still one of world’s leading voices for freedom and justice. Via a complimentary presentation and interactive Q & A session, the Archbishop will share personal insights about South Africa’s history and topics like “Bridging the Chasm between Black and White,” as well as speak to universal themes that can inspire all, such as the search for spiritual values in today’s world and the power of unity and goodness in business.  The World Cruise segment sails from Perth to Cape Town, where Tutu is Archbishop Emeritus.

The son of a schoolteacher and a domestic worker, service to others is part of Desmond Tutu’s heritage.  Throughout his lifetime, Mr. Tutu has advocated for human rights and equality, acting as a spiritual and political leader during South Africa’s perhaps most tumultuous period in history.  As General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC), the often controversial Tutu pursued his objective to end apartheid and achieve racial reconciliation vigorously, and became internationally renowned for his efforts toward the cause.  He continued to bridge South Africa’s racial gap as Bishop of Johannesburg and Archbishop of Cape Town. 

Still making headlines in the name of justice, Mr. Tutu now works to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS and Climate Change as chairman of the Elders, a nonpartisan group of statesmen from around the world.  Most recently, he made headlines by joining Ireland’s President Mary Robinson in the fight for environmental justice at the world’s first International Conference for Climate Change.  The Archbishop boasts some of the world’s highest honors for his contributions to humanity, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as honorary degrees from more than 130 worldwide universities.

Tutu is just one of 50 stimulating speakers planned for Crystal’s 25th Anniversary “Silver Celebration” World Cruise aboard Crystal Serenity.  The 108-day voyage is comprised of six 16- to 21-day segments sailing between Miami, Lima, Auckland, Perth, Cape Town, and Rio.    

This segment visits several South African cities central to Archbishop Tutu’s legacy, including Durban, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay (maiden call) and Cape Town (overnight).  Other calls include Mauritius/Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius; St-Denis, Réunion, France; Ambodifotatra and Taolanaro, Madagascar (both maiden calls); Maputo, Mozambique, and the embarkation port of Perth, Australia. 

Travel + Leisure readers have voted Crystal Cruises the “World’s Best” Large-Ship

posted July 7, 2014

For an unprecedented 19th consecutive year–and with its highest score ever–Travel + Leisure readers have voted Crystal Cruises the “World’s Best” Large-Ship Cruise Line in the prestigious magazine’s 2014 annual survey.  Recognized as a T+L Hall of Fame winner, Crystal is the only vacation experience–cruise line, hotel or resort–to have been voted #1 in its category every year since the awards’ inception.  

Thousands of jet-setting readers rated cruise lines on service, itineraries/destinations, activities, accommodations, food, and value, culminating in the overall score, which is published at www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest and in the magazine’s August issue.

“It is such an honor to win this prestigious award, and it is truly a testament to our shipboard and shore-side teams who consistently strive to deliver such an extraordinary Crystal vacation,” says Edie Rodriguez, Crystal’s president and COO.  “Besides our ongoing passion for warm and attentive service, our creative, dedicated staff is continually refining the Crystal experience to introduce new culinary attractions, boutique options shore-side, stimulating entertainment choices and chic design enhancements.  It’s gratifying that these innovations are not only winning awards, but resonating with most discerning world travelers and respected professional travel agents.”

Novel features like restaurants with cuisine by Nobu Matsuhisa, ultimate wine experiences, Feng Shui-designed spas, and over-the-top Crystal Adventures in all seven continents distinguish the Crystal vacation.  In recent years, Crystal has invested more than $100 million in the Extreme Ship Makeovers of its luxurious and spacious ships, which added the industry’s first hypoallergenic staterooms and a new evening dining experience, Tastes, on Crystal Serenity, and artfully-crafted Modern Cuisine in its fine dining rooms.        

Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity sail on worldwide luxury cruises of five to 100+ days. New “Getaways” enable time-strapped travelers to enjoy more choices of shorter Crystal Cruises. 

Rogue Wave Causes Damage to Crystal Serenity

posted April 28, 2014

According to a post on its Facebook page, the Crystal Serenity was struck by a rogue wave in the early hours of April 26. Three windows in the main dining room were shattered and water did come in; thankfully, no one was injured. The wave hit the ship about 1:30 a.m. Crystal's crew repaired the damage and the dining room was open again for dinner service.

The Crystal Serenity is sailing from Southampton to Rome on a 13-night Mediterranean cruise.

Crystal Adds Women to Host Dancers

posted April 3, 2014

Women will join the previously all-male host crew starting on a Lisbon-to-Miami cruise on Oct. 5 on the Crystal Symphony.

The dancing host pool is available for passengers traveling solo on Crystal Cruise lines. Until this voyage, ships usually carried only male hosts available during evening dance events, orchestra performances, and dance classes.

"Similar to tennis players who play better when they play with a pro, dance enthusiasts are inspired by partnering with experts who really know the steps  and the more advanced nuances," Bret Bullock, vice president of entertainment for Crystal, said.

Crystal Increasing Rates Voyages

posted January 28, 2014

Due to "overwhelmingly positive response and significant increase in booking activity since launching January 3 to February 28 “Book Now Fares” and offers," Crystal Cruises is raising rates on a record number of luxury cruises on March 1.

Cruise fares will increase on 94% of all currently published 2014, 2015 and 2016 voyages -- more than 120 – for the next “Book Now” period that will end on April 30, 2014.

Crystal’s revenue for 2013 ended nearly 22% ahead of 2012, 2014 is already 78% booked, and 2015 bookings are 42% ahead of this same time last year for 2014.

“Travelers who don’t book by the end of February risk not only losing out on great savings, but possibly any space at all,” said Edie Bornstein, Crystal’s president.

Crystal’s current “Book Now” savings promotions and all-inclusive value are capturing the attention of professional travel advisors and their discerning luxury clients. Through February 28, 2014, travelers are guaranteed:

“Book Now Fares”: Up to $2,500/person off Asia voyages and up to $1,800 off cruises in European, from the North Cape and British Isles to the Dalmatian Coast and French Riviera.

Air Allowance: Up to $800/person toward airfare on 23 voyages in 2014 and 2015 in Asia, Alaska, Australia/NZ, Indonesia, and the Pacific Coast, whether air is booked through Crystal or not.

Crystal Getaways: 21 shorter 2014 itineraries of 5-10 days in length in Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean and New England/Canada, starting from as low as $1,215 per guest.

2016 World Cruise Savings: Combining all offers, returning Crystal cruisers can save nearly $19,000, including a $1,000 “As You Wish” shipboard credit.

Ultra-Low Solo Fares: Just a 10% “Single Supplement” – one of the lowest in the industry – for solo stateroom occupancy on more than 35 2014 and 2015 cruises.

Crystal Family Memories: Shipboard credits, free berths and other perks for family and friends traveling in groups of six or more on any Crystal cruise.

Kids Sail Free: When sharing a stateroom in a third berth with two full fare adult cruisers on more than 35 2014 sailings in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, and New England/Canada.

Explorer Combinations: Up to 25% savings by combining two or more back-to-back spring and summer voyages in Europe, New England/Canada or Transatlantic.

2014/2015 Holiday Savings: Save up to $1,500/person to celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas/New Year’s in Asia, Australia, South America, Caribbean, Panama Canal, or France/Italy.

Double Crystal Society Savings: Returning guests can save twice the usual Society savings, up to $1,360/person, on 13 voyages through Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, and Asia.

Share the Experience: Aboard seven early 2014 voyages in Asia, guests sponsoring new-to-Crystal guests can earn $400 per guest in shipboard credits.

Early Payment Savings: Save an additional 2.5% by paying in full 180 days prior to sailing.

Source: Cruise Industry News

Crystal Offering Free Wi-Fi

posted January 21, 2014

Crystal Cruises announced the newest perk to its All Inclusive luxury cruise experience: Free Wi-Fi for Crystal Society members, the line’s “club” of repeat guests, beginning Fall 2014.

Effective with Crystal Serenity’s September 19 New England/Canada sailing and Crystal Symphony’s October 15 Panama Canal cruise, each Crystal Society guest will receive 60 minutes of complimentary internet access for every day of the cruise.

For example, a 10-day cruise will offer 600 free minutes per person (or 1,200 free minutes per couple), a 12-day cruise offers 720 free minutes per person (or 1,440 free minutes per couple), a 14-day cruise offer 840 free minutes (or 1,680 free minutes per couple), etc., which can be used any time throughout the voyage.

Society members can use the new complimentary access time wirelessly via iPad, iPhone, laptop or other wireless device or on Crystal’s own Computer University@Sea 27” dual-compatible iMac computers. A multi-million dollar Wi-Fi upgrade rolled out in recent months helps guests enjoy maximum onboard connectivity.

“We are continually refining our all-inclusive experience to offer an array of choices for our global guests. Since the majority of our guests are repeaters, we opted to expand our Crystal Society offerings to thank our loyal patrons,” said Edie Bornstein, Crystal’s president.

“Whether they are on board for a second 10-day getaway or on their 20th time for an expansive 108-day World Cruise, travelers today appreciate staying plugged in. By adding this coveted perk to our All Inclusive experience, repeat cruisers in all stateroom and suite categories have one more reason to choose Crystal as their home base while traveling the world in the finest of luxury and ease.”

The company has spent more than a year planning and installing improvements to the onboard internet experience, including:

• Maximizing satellite bandwidth with the latest technology, allowing for more users and more content to stream simultaneously.

• Expansion of Wi-Fi signal range throughout the ships, making wireless connection available everywhere on board, including all staterooms, public spaces, and outdoor decks.

• The ability to access internet in areas that were previously unavailable, such as Japan.

All full revenue guests who have completed their first Crystal cruise automatically become Crystal Society members, and, thusly, can take advantage of this perk on all subsequent Crystal voyages.

Guests wishing to purchase additional minutes for $.75 per minute can do so without an activation fee.

Internet packages that reduce the per minute charge are also available.

Source: Cruise Industry News

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