South Africa –Crystal Cruises has won four first-place honours in CruiseCritic.com’s annual Cruisers’ Choice Awards. Based on reviews of 2013 cruises sailed by the site’s cruise travelers, each of Crystal’s ultra-luxe ships earned first place in the service, entertainment, dining and fitness categories.
Crystal Symphony also earned second place honours for Dining (Small Ship). In addition, the line’s chic, spacious public rooms and “Fast-Track” embarkations earned high recognition from voters. In total, Crystal won the most first places among all small ships.
With active message boards, ship reviews, and up-to-the-minute cruise news, CruiseCritic.com is considered the go-to source online for new and seasoned travelers researching all things “cruise.”
“We thank the enthusiastic community of Cruise Critic followers for their support of the Crystal experience,” says Crystal president Edie Bornstein. “It’s so rewarding to be recognised for our passion for innovating experiences on board and ashore in dining, entertainment, fitness, and design. It is our amazing, talented team on board and ashore that anticipate and exceed guests’ desires, and, in turn, create travel memories of a lifetime for thousands of global travelers who travel independently, as a couple, or with family and friends.”
All-inclusive touches that contributed to this year’s honours include:
Six-Star Service: careful staff selection and training has not only resulted in one of the lowest crew turnovers in the industry, but a 1:1.65 guest to crew ratio, highly attentive hospitality, 24-7 Penthouse butler service, and all gratuities included.
Dining, including master chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s only restaurants at sea, the elegantly-redesigned Tastes restaurant and menu introduced in November, and ultra-intimate Vintage Room dinners featuring the world’s rarest wines and vintner edification.
Fitness centers featuring state-of-the-art Kinetic equipment; classes, such as Spinning, Yoga, and Pilates Mat and Reformer; exclusive “Walk on Water” weightvest and Nordic walking programs; guest speakers/teachers from the Cleveland Clinic and Tai Chi Cultural Center; and themed cruises for the “Mind, Body, and Spirit.”
Entertainment that has been carefully curated to deliver intimate experiences, ranging from the line’s close-up “Magic Castle at Sea” and digital filmmaking classes from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts to America’s Got Talent’s light-driven “iLuminate” spectaculars, an Elton John musical homage entitled “Rocket Man,”, and live music and dancing nightly.
Public spaces that have been extensively redesigned, with more than $120 million invested in extreme ship makeovers in recent years, including complete revamps of Crystal Symphony’s Palm Court lounge, Avenue Saloon, Galaxy showroom, Hollywood Theatre, Bridge Lounge, Fantasia and Waves “junior cruisers” areas in 2012 and Crystal Serenity’s Lido Café, Tastes restaurant, Trident Grill, Scoops ice cream bar in 2013.
Embarkation enhancements, such as redesigns of both ships’ Tender Landing/passenger boarding areas and transferring of check-in processes from terminal waiting areas to the ships—an industry first.
All 2014 award winners, including Crystal’s “Top 10” rankings across more than 10 different experience categories, can be seen now at CruiseCritic.com.
Crystal Cruises is the world’s leading luxury cruise provider, having earned more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history.