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Crystal Cruises Goes “All Inclusive”

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Crystal Symphony

I received the following email from Crystal Cruises today:

“Beginning Spring 2012, Crystal Cruises will be All Inclusive, enhancing our already expansive host of complimentary luxury services and amenities with the addition of free fine wines and premium spirits, open bar service in all lounges, and complimentary gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff.

Effective with the spring Trans-Atlantic crossings of Crystal Symphony (March 19, 2012), and Crystal Serenity (May 8, 2012), your clients can enjoy the added convenience of all-included luxury with the cruise line voted World’s Best more than any other in history.

As many lines throughout our industry have itemized their services for additional charges, we are choosing to maximize the guest experience by eliminating additional transactions – further enhancing the ease and luxury of a Crystal cruise.

In addition to our valued-priced 2-for-1 Fares in all categories, FREE Air, complimentary transfers and a host of generous savings promotions, we hope your clients’ decisions to sail with us will be decidedly simple.”

While this is not all-inclusive in the sense the term is usually employed, it does broaden the items which are included in the base cruise fare.  This brings Crystal in line with the pricing structure offered by other lines in the luxury category for these items – Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, and Seabourn.

Crystal has resisted the trend towards inclusiveness, arguing up to recently that their guests didn’t want to be charged beforehand for services they may not use.  The line did, however, offer an “As You Wish” on board credit of up to $1000 per guest to be used as the passenger decided.

With the roll out of the new pricing structure, this on board credit will disappear, although credits will still be offered to past guests and through occasional travel agent promotions.

In making the announcement, Greg Michel, Crystal’s president, offered this assessment:

“As many lines throughout our industry have itemized their services for additional charges, Crystal is maximizing the guest experience by eliminating additional transactions — further enhancing the ease and luxury of a Crystal cruise.  We believe this service will offer greater convenience, simplicity and comfort.”

The new pricing structure is not expected to lead to an increase in cruise fares.  Crystal, in fact, anticipates that prices, in many cases, will be lower in 2012 than the prices currently in effect in 2011.

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