Recommend October 2014 - (Page 52)

CRYSTAL SERENITY onboardreview S E P T E M B E R 2 0 14 vivian holley The refreshed Lido Cafe. It's a given that when we're wild for a product just the way it is, we're wary of change. Yet, change comes...and sometimes we love the product even more. So it is with Crystal Cruises, where staffers report positive feedback in regard to recent happenings, including its 2012 transition to "all inclusive"-a policy that continues to pick up steam in the seagoing picture. Treasured for its traditional values by legions of rock-solid fans (on any given cruise, a third to half of the passengers have sailed with Crystal before), the luxury line finds that guests are embracing a fresh breath of salt-tinged air-alterations that render Crystal as classically elegant a cruise experience as ever, but with contemporary sensibilities. Checking out the changes on a Rome-to-London itinerary with stops at Porto Venere, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Gibraltar, Lisbon, Oporto and Bordeaux (12 days; $4,420 pp), Recommend explored Crystal Serenity's comprehensive $17 million redesign of last year that shows off industry firsts ranging from living walls of greenery to allergy-friendly staterooms. In recent years, more than $100 million altogether has gone into new looks aboard both Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, leaving them with not only cutting-edge digital and electronic enhancements but an of-the-moment style as hip and chic as any that clients are likely to encounter in, say, the Hamptons or the South of France. 52 october 2014 52-55 CR Crystal.indd 52 As for "all-inclusive," it translates to complimentary fine wines (look for a list of impressive offerings on daily menus) and premium spirits throughout the ship, open bar service in all lounges, and pre-paid gratuities for the housekeeping, bar and dining staff. Says Thomas Mazloum, Crystal's executive v.p., "We've always been a company that's focused on product evolution and introducing new ideas every year. Over the last 10 years, our demographic has changed dramatically and multi-generational travel has exploded. For 2015, we're offering shorter cruises for those who can't be away for long, while planning a proper World Cruise-a complete circumnavigation of the globe to mark our 25th anniversary-for our loyal base of repeat clients." Mazloum continues, "We've made a strong effort to reach out to new cruisers, and we've gone from 5 to 25 percent in international business over the last decade." (On this voyage, the mix included passengers from the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, Japan, Russia and Mexico.) An evolving demographic, he notes, has led to such fresh options for 2015 as more afternoon outings in the shore excursion lineup for those who don't wish to start their vacation days with an early-morning tour, and aboard Crystal Symphony, a new Fitness Garden for exercising outdoors. Agents, you can assure your Crystal-loving clients that their faves are still going strong as well, backed by acclaimed service via one 9/24/14 10:22 AM KOBE 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend October 2014

Editor’s Notes
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
Who is Today’s Luxury Client?
New Upscale Hotel Offerings in the U.S.
Tahiti: Blue Lagoons, White Beaches & Black Pearls
I’ll Have a Brunello After My Facial
Guadeloupe Islands Travel Planner
Silver Spirit
Crystal Serenity
Five High-End Stays
Morocco: Gem-Filled Destination
Ah the Spas, Latin America-Style

Recommend October 2014