Crystal Cruises, one of the most prestigious cruise lines in the world, has launched Exceptional Initiative, a remarkable initiative to help guests who suffered financial losses during its former ownership. The initiative, in partnership with A&K Travel Group, the new owners of Crystal and its two ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, will provide eligible former Crystal guests who hold a verified claim in the Crystal Cruises LLC case with a credit to use towards future voyages on board either of the two ships.
Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Co-Chairman of A&K Travel Group and of Crystal, stated that the initiative was something they have been working on since they acquired Crystal, and it is meant to benefit their most loyal customers. He added that it was not something they were legally obliged to do, but they believed in being exceptional, doing what is unexpected, unusual, and unprecedented.
For guests to qualify for the credit, they must have filed a valid claim in the Crystal Cruises LLC case for amounts owed related to cruises onboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity that were canceled. The amount of the credit will be restricted to the outstanding balances owed to the guest minus any funds that have already been refunded through the insolvency proceedings. The credit will be split into five installments to be applied toward five future bookings. The first booking must be made by July 1, 2023, and the credit must be utilized towards voyages departing on or before Dec. 31, 2025.
Mark Healy, Executive Vice President of Moecker Associates, praised Crystal’s initiative, stating that it was remarkable, partly because they had no obligation to do it, but mostly because it gives customers another alternative to recover funds lost in the shutdown. He added that they were also working to analyze all the claims they received, and they believe that by the end of the summer, they would be in a position to release the first reimbursements.
Crystal Serenity’s inaugural sailing will depart on July 31 from Marseille for a Mediterranean cruise, while Crystal Symphony will depart on Sept. 1 from Athens. Planned voyages will travel throughout the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Canada and New England, Alaska, the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
The specific terms and conditions of the Exceptional Initiative, along with frequently asked questions, will be posted on Crystal’s website. This initiative is a commendable effort by Crystal Cruises to help its former guests and travel advisors recover their money and return to the exceptional crew and onboard service that has made Crystal an award-winning cruise line for three decades.