Crystal Cruises

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Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises employs two luxury cruise ships sailing to exotic locations all over the world. Passenger to staff ratios are low and allow for a more intimate cruise experience with personal attention. Journeys last anywhere from 7- 32 days and more. Onboard you will discover plenty of entertainment options including celebrity entertainers and speakers, wine tastings, golf and dance lessons. Try your luck at the casino, watch movies at the theater, or enjoy the pools and Jacuzzis available. The ship has tennis courts, fitness centers, and spa. Asian-styled restaurants are featured throughout both ships.

The Good

  • Assorted enrichment classes
  • Meals and beverages are included
  • Transportation options

Assorted Enrichment Classes

For those interested in highly sophisticated educational pursuits, the ships from Crystal Cruises have libraries and offers numerous enrichment classes. Topics include art instruction, photography lessons, cooking classes, history, and culture. Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi instructors are available for specialized fitness instruction.

Meals and Beverages are Included

Meals and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are included in cruise fare. Once you complete your first cruise lasting longer than seven days, you are automatically enrolled in the Crystal Society loyalty program that gives you discounts on the fares of following cruises. Children under 17 years old may sail for free or for a discounted rate on certain cruises.

Cruise Protection Program

Travel protection is available for those who book through Crystal Cruises. The Cruise Protection Program provides travel insurance coverage and assistance services which can assist in the unfortunate event of certain unexpected emergencies such as travel and baggage delays, illness or injury. The Cruise Protection Program not only provides reimbursement for penalties that may be assessed due to cancellations for covered reasons, but also provides medical expense reimbursement for accidents overseas, whereas Medicare and other private insurance policies may not. And, if your Trip Cancellation claim is denied due to a pre-existing medical condition, Crystal Cruises offers Cruise Protection Program participants a "Rollover Provision" that allows you to transfer the cancellation penalty amount to a future cruise.

Destinations

With a large fleet, Crystal Cruises is able to help their guests see the world. Each year, they determine what destinations their ships will travel to. While destinations can vary on any given year, typical destinations to choose from include:

  • Africa
  • Alaska
  • Antarctica
  • Asia
  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Caribbean
  • Grand Americas
  • Hawaii and The South Pacific
  • Mediterranean, Mexican Riviera
  • New England and Canada
  • Northern Europe
  • Northwest Passage
  • Pacific Coast
  • Panama Canal
  • South America
  • Trans-Ocean
  • and World Cruises

In addition to providing a number of destinations, there are specialty cruises offered by Crystal as well. These featured cruises include:

  • Enchanting Europe: From $1,700 per person.
  • Exotic Escapes: From $1,700 per person.
  • New England and Canada: From $1,700 per person.

At least one black tie optional evening is required during the length of the cruise. The dress code is generally resort and elegant casual. This means skirts, dresses and slacks for women and button-up shirts, slacks and suit or dress coat for men.

Transportation Options

There are transportation options available as well. Transfers between the airport and ship are available for guests sailing on full-cruise voyages only. Guests participating in a Crystal Pre- or Post-Cruise Hotel or Extended Land Program are entitled to transfers between airport, hotel and ship, or vice versa, according to itinerary. Transfers between airport or hotel and ship do not apply for guests making their own air and land arrangements. Crystal VIP Airport Service: optional service that allows you to arrange customized assistance starting from your home all the way to the ship, including personal attention at the airport during check-in, security and customs.

The Bad

  • Extra costs
  • Not smoke-free
  • Strict dress code

Extra Costs

Not all onboard amenities, including spa and laundry services, are covered by the cruise fare. Guests also have to pay extra for port, security, and handling fees. Offshore excursions must be reserved in advance and are not included in the fare. You are also required to provide a 20 percent deposit when you book your cruise. Fares must be paid in full three months before departure. Also not included in the price of the fare:

  • E-mail Services
  • Computer [email protected] Facilities
  • Business Services

Not Smoke-Free

If you want a smoke-free environment, Crystal Cruises may not be the cruise line for you. Smoking is allowed in cabins and in designated areas of public rooms and decks. Dining times are rigid and pre-set with no room for flexibility. Rooms can feel cramped for some travelers. Children under six months old are not permitted to be onboard the Crystal Cruise ships.

Strict Dress Code

Announcements are kept to a bare minimum. The atmosphere is generally quiet and serene, which may not be ideal for families with young children. While activities for children and teenagers is provided, they are not the boisterous types of activities usually found on other mainstream cruise lines. The dress code is strictly adhered to and you will not stand out in a good way if you choose not to follow the rules.

The Bottom Line

Even though youth activities are available, Crystal Cruises appears to be geared to senior citizen guests. Families with young children and teenagers may want to consider other mainstream cruise lines if they are seeking high-energy entertainment options. For those who want to enjoy lengthy cruises, Crystal Cruises is an excellent option since many of the cruises offered sail for a month or more.

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