Crystal Cruises announced the newest perk to its all-inclusive luxury cruise experience: Free Wi-Fi for Crystal Society members, the line’s “club” of repeat guests, beginning Fall 2014. Effective with Crystal Serenity’s Sept. 19 New England/Canada sailing and Crystal Symphony’s Oct. 15 Panama Canal cruise, each Crystal Society guest will receive 60 minutes of complimentary internet access for every day of the cruise. For example, a 10-day cruise will offer 600 free minutes per person (or 1,200 free minutes per couple), a 12-day cruise offers 720 free minutes per person (or 1,440 free minutes per couple), a 14-day cruise offer 840 free minutes (or 1,680 free minutes per couple), etc., which can be used any time throughout the voyage.
Society members can use the new complimentary access time wirelessly via iPad, iPhone, laptop or other wireless device or on Crystal’s own Computer [email protected] 27 inch dual-compatible iMac computers. A multi-million dollar Wi-Fi upgrade rolled out in recent months helps guests enjoy maximum onboard connectivity.
"This is indeed an attractive and valuable perk for Crystal Society members," believes Linda Allen, a Virtuoso agent, Cruises by Linda (http://cruisesbylinda.com), Harrison, AR. She's an independent contractor for Brownell Travel of Birmingham, AL.
Allen added: "I can see this as a driver for guests who are working professionals that can work remotely."
Alan Rosenbaum, a vacation specialist at CruiseOne (http://arosenbaum.cruiseone.com), Johns Creek, GA said: "It's a small step in the right direction. People feel the need to stay connected. I think all cruise lines would do well to provide free Internet to all clients. It would certainly make it easier to attract those who say, 'I'm just too busy to get away from the office.'"
From another travel advisor's perspective, Crystal's move is one of the best things to happen in luxury cruising. “I have e-mailed many of my Crystal Society clients today and they are thrilled,” said Ruth Turpin, owner, Cruises Etc., (www.virtuoso.com/advisors/12172/ruth-turpin-owner) Fort Worth, TX. “I made a new sale as a result, so congratulations to the Crystal executives for this big move.”
Crystal Cruises is the latest luxury cruise line to offer complimentary shipboard Wi-Fi. In October, Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced its own offering. Beginning with the Regent's winter 2014-2015 sailings, concierge-level and higher guests will receive up to 500 minutes of free Wi-Fi.
Crystal spent more than a year planning and installing improvements to the onboard internet experience, including:
- Maximizing satellite bandwidth with the latest technology, allowing for more users and more content to stream simultaneously.
- Expansion of Wi-Fi signal range throughout the ships, making wireless connection available everywhere on board, including all staterooms, public spaces, and outdoor decks.
- The ability to access internet in areas that were previously unavailable, such as Japan.
All full revenue guests who have completed their first Crystal cruise automatically become Crystal Society members, and can take advantage of this perk on all subsequent Crystal voyages. Guests wishing to purchase additional minutes for $.75 per minute can do so without an activation fee. Internet packages that reduce the per minute charge are also available.
The new Wi-Fi initiative is the latest in a series of policy changes at Crystal. Last year, the line moved to eliminate smoking in all indoor areas, except for its Connoisseur Club smoking lounge.
Crystal Cruises is the world’s leading luxury cruise provider, having earned more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history. Providing worldwide vacations of five to 100+ days, itineraries through early 2016 sail to the Mediterranean, Western Europe, British Isles, Scandinavia/Baltic & Russia, North Cape & Arctic Circle, Africa, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, South Pacific, South America, Antarctica, New England/Canada, Panama Canal, Caribbean and an annual World Cruise. Until Feb. 28, all-inclusive, value-priced “Book Now” fares up start at just $1,215/person.
For more information, visit www.crystalcruises.com.