Crystal Cruises has yet again claimed the crown as World’s Best Large-Ship Cruise Line in the annual Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards readers’ survey — making the win Crystal’s seventeenth consecutive triumph. The ultra-luxury holiday company is the only cruise line, hotel, or resort to win its category every year since the awards began. The Travel + Leisure 2012 World’s Best Award joins several other high-profile honours bestowed upon the luxury line since the end of 2011, including Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Service (Large-Ship); Condé Nast Traveller’s Best Mid-Sized Cruise Line (18th year), Cruise Ships (#1 and 2), and Spa; and ground-breaking design awards, including Hospitality Design magazine’s first-ever Distinctive Cruise Design award.
Crystal’s winning score for 2012 reflects thousands of jet-setting readers’ ratings across six areas: service, itineraries/destinations, activities, accommodations, food, and value. The results are published in the renowned magazine’s August issue.
“While we have delighted travellers this year with newly designed spaces, new services, and new value-conscious pricing, we have offered a consistency of experience that is unmatched in our industry,” says Crystal President Gregg Michel. “Travel + Leisure’s discerning readership clearly recognises the best when they see it, and I couldn’t be prouder of our staff for their generous service, creativity and attention to detail.”
In recent months, Crystal has spent US$40 million on stylish redesigns of its award-winning Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, and US$100 million in a little over five years. Its Six-Star service, quality, and choices were also enhanced by introducing “All Inclusive” fine wines, premium spirits, and gratuities; partnering with renowned organisations like USC’s School of Cinematic Arts for a complimentary sophisticated filmmaking curriculum; crafting dozens of innovative, maiden port calls and itineraries, including more local overnights and shorter voyages; helping travelers get to and from ships more easily via Crystal’s new Fast Track Check-In and VIP Airport Services; and adding Bistro tapas and casual evening Chinese Comfort Food to a range of gourmet dinner options that includes Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio cuisines. Local European entertainment and experts on board, Elton John and Diva-homage shows, Facebook and iPad classes, 360-day previews of shore excursions, and a new marketing campaign entitled “Begin a New Story” were also introduced to the Crystal landscape this year.