Crystal Virgin – It Could Be A Cruise Symphony
Written by: Kuki
This trip will be different in many ways, aside from the obvious difference in the ships. My Sapphire Princess cruise was a CruiseMates Group Cruise which I was hosting for 60 members of the CruiseMates community, and Mrs. Kuki was sailing with me. On this upcoming Crystal cruise I’ll be sailing solo. I’ll also be covering the golf theme portion of the cruise, which is being hosted by golf legend, and legendary television golf commentator of nearly 40 years, Ken Venturi, and several other professional golfers.
I consider myself a cross dresser … ERRR, I mean cross cruiser. By that I mean, in my 60 some odd cruise history I’ve experienced most of the various sectors of the cruise industry; from “budget”, to “mass market” , to “premium”, as well as luxury cruise lines. I’ve found I’ve been able to “fit in” on these various cruise sectors by recognizing the strengths and goals of each line, and accepting those as the basics of the type of cruise they offer, rather than trying to look to them to offer what I think they should be.
This past week I excitedly received my cruise documents from Crystal for my Symphony voyage. I find it interesting that in the luxury cruise market they refer to their various cruises by designated number. Even Crystal’s repeat clientele, which I understand is a considerable percentage of passengers, refer to the Voyage number, rather than itinerary or sailing date. I’ll be sailing on V1210.
As mentioned, Crystal has a very solid and devoted repeat passenger base. As a matter of fact my own twin sister is an avid Crystal cruiser. Although we’re twins she is the sophisticate between the two of us. Unlike me, she knows and understands her wines, and enjoys drinks other than those with umbrellas in them. Though we’re twins, we’re really different personalities. But we do get along very well. So, I’m assuming I can get along with my soon to be fellow Crystal cruisers.
Just recently Crystal Cruise Line announced that effective 2012 they will be making the move, following their luxury cruise line competitors, to all inclusive cruises.
A year ago, when I attended the Miami Shipping Convention (Seatrade) Crystal announced they were introducing the option of “Perfect Choice Dining – be reservation”, beginning Jan. 11/2011 (allowing passengers to choose a time they would prefer to dine, and make those reservations for the entire cruise). They still offer the choice of two “traditional” (or, in Crystal terminology, Classic) assigned seating dining times.
With two fairly significant policy changes in a two year span, it may be interesting to get reaction from the shipboard hotel department, to get a view of what changes are necessary from their perspectives, as well as getting reactions and opinions of the same changes from passenger’s points of view.
Between exploring those discussions, and covering Crystals first golf themed Hawaiian cruise, as well as checking out the Symphony after her 25 million dollar refurbishment done in 2009, and seeing what it’s like to sail solo, it sounds like I’m going to be pretty busy guy.
Being busy finding time to relax on the luxurious decks of the Crystal Symphony enjoying a few Pina Coladas, while enjoying the amenities of a PH cabin, sounds like my kind of job.
You’re invited to read along on my voyage with my daily reports beginning late in evening of Apr. 24.
Crystal Cruises also just announced “Standby Fares” on select sailings, which began April 7, where with a $500 deposit one can book a cruise discounted to 75% off the brochure price. It’s possible, after following my 14 day cruise that you may want to jump in and experience a Crystal cruise, at greatly reduced prices.
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Posted: April 19th, 2011 under Kuki.