For a record 20th year, Condé Nast Traveler magazine readers have voted ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises the industry’s “Best Cruise Line” (Midsize). Crystal’s winning score of 94.4 is the company’s highest since 2004, second highest ever, and highest overall score of all Small, Midsize, and Large-ship cruise lines. Crystal significantly outranked its luxury peers in almost all the voting categories, including Itineraries, Excursions, Service, Food, Activities/Facilities, and Design. The line also bested its own previous top scores in the Service and Food categories, and tied its past personal best in Itineraries. All Readers’ Choice winners and scores are listed at www.cntraveler.com/rca will be featured in the U.S. magazine’s November 2013 issue.
With ground-breaking enhancements to its vacation experience and $120 million invested in redesigns, while retaining the service, choices, and quality for which the line has been known, Crystal’s ratings have consistently climbed in recent years.
“To earn this award once is an incredible achievement; to be recognized by discerning travelers for an unprecedented 20 years is astounding,” said Edie Bornstein, Crystal’s new president and chief operating officer, who joined the company today. “While I have long admired Crystal from afar, it was only when I recently sailed that I fully grasped why this experience receives such consistent accolades. Every single member of the Crystal team works incredibly hard to give discerning vacationers a Six-Star standard of luxury travel that is unwavering, while leading new developments within cruising. I want to personally thank all of Crystal’s crew, employees, associates, and guests for their part in this humbling, momentous win, and look forward to leading the company into the next two decades of record-breaking awards.”
Crystal’s product enhancements from the past year’s voting window have included new, exclusive Boutique Adventures; private cars and drivers ashore; adding more connecting staterooms; new America’s Got Talent’s iLuminate and Magic Castle at Sea entertainment on every cruise; the first Living Wall at sea; digital filmmaking education on every voyage, in partnership with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts; and a $15 million Extreme Makeover of Crystal Symphony’s Avenue Saloon, Palm Court, Galaxy Lounge, Hollywood Theatre, Bridge Lounge, passenger boarding area, and Fantasia and Waves “junior cruisers.” Recently-announced additions to Crystal’s offerings include PURE allergy-friendly staterooms; Crystal Celebrations global event planning services; a new Connoisseur Beer menu; optional or inclusive land programs in Tibet, Thailand, and Cambodia; new theme cruises in 2014-15; and a $17 million Extreme Makeover of Crystal Serenity planned for next month.
The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are among the most preeminent in travel, honoring the best hotels, airlines, cruise lines, cities, rental car companies, and islands from around the world. Almost twice as many readers voted this year as last — a record 79,268 — ranking their personal experiences with cruise lines’ Itineraries, Excursions, Service, Food, Activities/Facilities, Staterooms, and Design.
The renowned Crystal Experience has been rated “World’s Best” more than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history. The newest “Best” award is but the latest in a string of readers’ choice awards Crystal has won it its size category this year, including Condé Nast Traveler’s #1 and #2 cruise ships, Travel + Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Cruise Line and Service and Cruise Critic’s Best Dining, Entertainment, and Public Rooms.
Luxury cruises of 5-108 days, up to early 2016, on the line’s Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, are available in the Mediterranean, Western Europe, British Isles, Scandinavia/Baltic & Russia, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, South America, New England/Canada, Panama Canal, Caribbean, and a sumptuous World Cruise. Until October 31, all-inclusive, value-priced “Book Now” fares start at just $1,215 per person, double occupancy.