Crystal Cruises Lures Lovers & Travel Writers Aboard

The luxury cruise line launches its “Crystal Love Stories” Facebook writing contest offering travelers the chance to win a free cruise aboard the “World’s Best Mid-Size Cruise Ship”.

Whether you voyage on the Crystal Serenity or the Crystal Symphony, the Crystal experience is unsurpassed and has become the benchmark against which many guests and travel agents now measure all other cruise lines. Voted the “World’s Best Mid-size Cruise Line” by Condé Nast Traveler in 2011 and again in 2012, Crystal’s passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history.

Now, the cruise line is asking guests past and present to recount the experiences that make Crystal passages so special. For two months, you can submit a 100–500 word personal story about your most cherished moments with Crystal Cruises. You have until noon PST on April 16, 2012 to submit your love story, whether it be a romantic evening onboard, a tranquil moment of relaxation at one of Crystal’s onboard spas, or a lovely experience on a shore excursion. This is your chance to explore your inner traveler writer and maybe win another memorable passage!

“Crystal Love Stories” Contest Entry Instructions:

1. Like the Crystal Cruises Facebook page.

2. Fill out the brief entry form.

3. Submit your inspiring essay of 100-500 words.

After the two-month submission period, Facebook users will read and vote on the loveliest story of all. The two top-voted authors will be guaranteed a spot in the “Final Five.” A panel of Crystal judges will select the remaining three finalists and the Grand Prize Winner. All five finalists will receive $500 in shipboard credits and the winners will be announced May 14, 2012. (Note: contest is only open to Crystal Society members living in US, UK (excluding Northern Island) & Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 21 years and over.) For additional contest details, visit Crystal Cruises’ Facebook page.

Crystal Cruises 2012 Updates

Having just completed a $25 million dollar renovation in Hamburg, the Crystal Serenity is looking shipshape and ready to set sail again. All 535 staterooms, retail centres, outdoor pool deck, corridors and other spaces received a luxurious facelift, in addition to a general sprucing of the entire outside and inside of the vessel. And waste not, want not – all furnishings, electronics, and accessories removed from Crystal Serenity were donated to needy communities around the world.  Donations began during the ship’s final, pre-dry dock voyage up the western coast of Africa when bedspreads were donated to Senegal during the ship’s call there. An extensive donation plan was instituted in Hamburg, with hundreds of sofas and televisions loaded onto eight 40-foot containers, and shipped to the Salvation Army in New Jersey.

Itinerary Highlights

In 2012, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will visit 182 ports-of-call in 59 countries on 60 worldwide itineraries worldwide. Voyages this year include 25 seven-to-15-day, all-inclusive cruises visiting the western and eastern Mediterranean (including the Black Sea) from March through December, as well as seven to 94-day sailings through the North Cape, western Europe, Baltic & Russia, China, Japan, southeast Asia, Australia, South Pacific, South America, New England/Canada, Panama Canal, British Isles, Canary Islands and Mexican Riviera. Highlights include Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, who will be joining guests on the 12-day Western European/Mediterranean voyage departing 24 May, 2012. Famed Chef Nobu will serve as Executive Chef in the Crystal Serenity’s Silk Road Japanese restaurant and Sushi Bar where he will be giving cooking classes, mingling with guests and autographing his cookbooks.

Until February 28 only, “Book Now” cruise-only fares start at less than $220 per person/per day, with additional savings available for groups of six or more, new-to-Crystal travelers, and combining cruises. Attractive air add-ons are also offered from more than 90 North American airports.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact your local travel agent or call 888 722 0021 or visit www.crystalcruises.com. For reservations in Australia and NZ, contact Wiltrans International at 1 800 251 174 (AUS) or 0800 446 376 (NZ) or your local travel agent.

Hot Tips: Deal-lovers in the US can also take the Travel + Leisure 2012 World’s Best Survey and enter for a chance to win a $10,000 dream trip sweepstakes on a Crystal Cruise or take the Virtuoso Travel Dreams Survey for a chance to win the Grand Prize Giveaway: an incredible, all-inclusive 12-day cruise for two from Venice to Athens aboard Crystal Cruises’® Serenity in a penthouse suite.

Photos courtesy of Crystal Cruises.

* We love this video by Philip Bloom, which shows the Crystal Serenity coming into port in front of the Opera House.

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