We've always considered it ironic that several cruise lines included in the luxury category haven't measured up to the inclusiveness of others. It just seemed odd to be signing beverage chits and passing out gratuities on some luxury lines and not others.
However, one of the lesser inclusives, Crystal Cruises is enhancing its expansive host of services and amenities to include even more in your fare. Effective in spring 2012, cruise vacations on Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will 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 complimentary gratuity amenity also includes Penthouse butler service as well as service in all of Crystal's fine specialty restaurants and sushi bar. The new benefits begin with each ship's first Trans-Atlantic cruise next year: Crystal Symphony's "Beyond the Sea" sailing from Miami to Lisbon on March 19, 2012, and Crystal Serenity's "New World to Norway" voyage from New York to London on May 8, 2012.
"Our 'All Inclusive' is an evolution of Crystal's luxury services and responds to the desires of today's upscale cruise traveler," says Gregg Michel, president of Crystal Cruises. "As many lines throughout our industry have itemized their services for additional charges, Crystal is maximizing the guest experience by eliminating additional transactions, further enhancing the ease and luxury of a Crystal cruise. We believe this service will offer greater convenience, simplicity and comfort."
Crystal Cruises has added more and more complimentary amenities, services, workshops, and dining opportunities to its award-winning luxury cruise vacation experience each year since its inception. Always included at no additional cost are: all non-alcoholic beverages such as bottled water, specialty coffee drinks, soft drinks and fresh juices; all meals, including dining in specialty restaurants; high tea; ice cream and frozen yogurt bar; gym, steam, saunas and whirlpools; numerous fitness classes such as Spinning and group Pilates Reformer instruction; golf lessons with PGA pros; Walk-on-Water weighted vests and Nordic Pole walking equipment; Yamaha keyboard classes; Berlitz language classes; paddle tennis; computer/technology classes; art classes; Crystal Visions lecture series, featuring distinguished speakers; award-winning entertainment; in-stateroom movies and CDs; film screenings in the onboard cinema; dance lessons; dedicated junior cruiser facilities; early embarkation luncheon; welcome champagne; comfortable shuttles to town; pillow menus; self-service laundries; twice-daily housekeeping with nightly turndown service; and 24-hour room service. Penthouse accommodations also include personal butler service, pressing, stocked bar, and other amenities and services.
A complete list of 2012 Crystal itineraries, with fares, for all cruises is now posted on Crystal's website, CrystalCruises.com, and all cruises are now open for booking. Also included with all cruises is free round-trip air transportation from two dozen North American gateways (or a generous air credit), with airport/ship transfers included.
All guests enjoy Six-Star service from gracious European-trained wait staff, concierges who belong to the prestigious "Les Clefs d'Or," and sommeliers certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers. 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. There's no word yet, but we predict that Crystal's "All Inclusive--As You Wish" onboard spending credit will disappear as the booze begins to flow. It may not be long after that the "free" air is gone with the wind as well.