Crystal Cruises

Fodor’s Expert Review

Cruise StyleLuxury
Ship SizeMidsize

Winner of accolades and too many hospitality industry awards to count, Crystal Cruises offers a taste of the grandeur of the past along with all the modern touches discerning passengers demand today. Founded in 1990 in Japan, Crystal has large ships, unlike other luxury vessels, that carry upward of 900 passengers. What makes them distinctive are superior service, a variety of dining options, spacious accommodations, and some of the highest ratios of space per passenger of any cruise ship.Read More

Beginning with ship designs based on the principles of feng shui, the Eastern art of arranging your surroundings to attract positive energy, no detail is overlooked to provide passengers with the best imaginable experience. Just mention a preference for a certain food or beverage and your waiter will have it available whenever you request it.

Afternoon tea in the Palm Court is a delightful daily ritual. You’re greeted by staff members in 18th-century Viennese brocade and velvet costumes for Mozart Tea; traditional scones and clotted cream are served during English Colonial Tea; and American Tea is a summertime classic created by Crystal culinary artists.

The line’s Ambassador Host Program brings cultured gentlemen on each cruise to dine, socialize, and dance with unaccompanied ladies who wish to participate.

Top Reasons to Cruise

1
Style in a big package.Crystal Cruises are large but notably luxurious and stylish.
2
Service.Personalized service is a key component.
3
Itineraries.Exotic worldwide itineraries and numerous overnight port calls are signature elements of Crystal’s voyages.
4
Food.The food is a good enough reason to book a cruise with Crystal—it’s that exceptional, and the specialty restaurants are complimentary for one reservation each.

Is This Line Right for You?

Choose this Line If
Don’t Choose this Line If
You crave peace and quiet. Announcements are kept to a bare minimum, and the ambience is sedate.
You prefer to plan ahead. You can make spa, restaurant, shore excursion, and class reservations when you book your cruise.
You love sushi and other Asian delights—Crystal ships serve some of the best at sea.
You don’t want to follow the dress code. Everyone does, and you’ll stand out—and not in a good way—if you rebel.
You want a smoke-free environment. Smoking is allowed in designated areas of public rooms and decks.
You want a less structured cruise. Even with open seating dining, Crystal is a bit more regimented than other luxury lines.

What to Expect on Board

Food
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Food

The food alone is reason enough to book a Crystal cruise.

Dining in the main restaurants is an event starring a Continental-inspired menu of dishes served by European-trained waiters. Off-menu item requests are honored when possible, and special dietary considerations are handled with ease. Full-course vegetarian menus are among the best at sea. Themed to the region you are sailing, lavish luncheon buffets take place on deck on select days at sea. Casual poolside dining beneath the stars is offered on some evenings in a relaxed, no-reservations option. A variety of hot-and-cold hors d’oeuvres are served in bars and lounges every evening before dinner and again during the wee hours in The Bistro.

But the specialty restaurants really shine. Contemporary Japanese-Peruvian cuisine is served in Umi Uma, featuring the signature dishes of Nobu Matsuhisa. Both ships also have Prego, which serves Northern Italian cuisine. In the evening the Churrascaria serves Brazilian steakhouse favorites in the Lido Marketplace, and Silk offers Chinese-inspired alfresco dining on deck at lunch and dinner.

Exclusive Wine & Champagne Makers dinners are hosted in the Vintage Room. On select evenings, casual poolside theme dinners are served under the stars.

Complimentary wines are poured with meals from Crystal’s extensive wine list, as is common on other luxury cruise lines. You won’t pay extra for any alcoholic beverages, bottled water, soft drinks, and specialty coffees; all are included in your basic fare.

Entertainment

The complete roster of entertainment and activities includes production shows, but where Crystal really excels is in the variety of enrichment and educational programs.

Passengers can participate in the hands-on Computer [email protected], interactive Creative Learning Institute classes, or attend lectures featuring top experts in their fields: keyboard lessons with Yamaha, language classes by Berlitz, wellness lectures with the Cleveland Clinic, and an introduction to tai chi with the Tai Chi Cultural Center. Professional ACBL Bridge instructors are on every cruise, and dance instructors offer lessons in contemporary and social dance styles. Each ship has a large theater where movies are screened.

Fitness & Recreation

Large spas offer innovative pampering therapies, body wraps, and exotic Asian-inspired treatments by Steiner Leisure.

Feng shui principles were scrupulously adhered to in their creation, to assure the spas and salons remain havens of tranquility.

Fitness centers have a range of exercise and weight-training equipment and workout areas for aerobics classes, plus complimentary yoga and Pilates instruction. In addition, golfers enjoy extensive shipboard facilities, including a driving range practice cage and putting green. Passengers can leave their bags at home and rent top-quality TaylorMade clubs for use ashore. The line’s resident golf pros offer complimentary lessons and group clinics.

Key cruising tips

Before sailing, each passenger receives a personal email address.
Ambassador Hosts on Crystal cruises interact with female passengers.
Each ship has complimentary self-service laundry rooms.
Specialty restaurants can fill up quickly; make reservations immediately after booking.
Wi-Fi is totally free and unlimited for all your devices.

Your Shipmates

Affluent, well-traveled couples, from their late-thirties and up, are attracted to Crystal’s destination-rich itineraries, shipboard enrichment programs, and elegant ambience. The average age of passengers is noticeably older on longer itineraries.

Dress Code

Formal attire is required on at least two Black Tie Optional designated evenings, depending on the length of the cruise. Men are encouraged to wear tuxedos, and many do, although dark suits are also acceptable. Other evenings are informal or resort casual; the number of each is based on the number of sea days. The line requests that dress codes be observed in public areas after 6 pm, and few, if any, passengers disregard the suggestion. Most, in fact, dress up just a notch from guidelines.

Junior Cruisers

Although these ships are decidedly adult-oriented, Crystal welcomes children but limits the number of children under age three on any given cruise. Children under six months are not allowed without a signed waiver by parents.

Dedicated facilities for children and teens ages 3 to 17 are staffed by counselors during holiday periods, select summer sailings, and when warranted by the number of children booked. The program is three-tiered for 3- to 7-year-olds, 8- to 12-year-olds, and 13- to 17-year-olds. Activities—including games, computer time, scavenger hunts, and arts and crafts—usually have an eye toward the educational. Teenagers can play complimentary video games to their hearts’ content in Waves, the arcade dedicated for their use. Babysitting can be arranged with staff members for a fee. Baby food, high chairs, and booster seats are available upon request.

Service

Crystal’s European-trained staff members provide gracious service in an unobtrusive manner.

Tipping

Housekeeping and dining gratuities are included in the fare. Gratuity is suggested for spa and salon services.

Past Passengers

You’re automatically enrolled in the Crystal Society on completion of your first Crystal cruise and are entitled to special savings and members-only events. Membership benefits increase with each completed Crystal cruise and include such perks as stateroom upgrades, shipboard spending credits, special events, gifts, air upgrades, and even free cruises. Society members also receive Crystal Cruises’ complimentary quarterly magazine, which shares up-to-date information on itineraries, destinations, special offers, and society news.

CRUISE LINE INFO
888/799–4625 or 310/785–9300

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