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July 10, 2012updated Feb 11, 2013

Clear Winner: Crystal Cruises Voted World’s Best for 17th Year

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Crystal SymphonyCrystal SymphonyCrystal SerenityMozart TeaCrystal Cruises has won the title World’s Best Large-Ship Cruise Line for the seventeenth consecutive year in the annual Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards readers’ survey. The luxury vacation company is the only cruise line, hotel, or resort to win its category every year since the awards began.

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 magazine’s August issue.

“While we have delighted travelers 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,” said Crystal President Gregg Michel.

“Travel + Leisure’s discerning readership clearly recognizes 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 $40 million on redesigns of its Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, and $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, and partnering with renowned organizations like USC’s School of Cinematic Arts for a complimentary filmmaking curriculum.

Crystal continues to craft maiden port calls and itineraries – including more local overnights and shorter voyages – and help travelers get to and from ships more easily via Crystal’s new Fast Track Check-In and VIP Airport Services. Catering includes new Bistro tapas and casual evening Chinese comfort food, as well as gourmet dining options from Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio cuisines.

The service also includes European onboard entertainment such as 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”.

The Travel + Leisure 2012 World’s Best Award joins other honors bestowed upon the luxury line since 2011, including Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Service (Large-Ship); Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Mid-Sized Cruise Line (18th year), Cruise Ships (#1 and 2), and Spa; and Design awards including Hospitality Design magazine’s first ever Distinctive Cruise Design award.

Crystal’s 922-guest Crystal Symphony and 1,070-guest Crystal Serenity sail on itineraries of five to 98 days worldwide.

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