|Hate digging into your pocket (figuratively speaking) for a small bottle of water or a cappuccino on a cruise ship? Starting in late May, Crystal Cruises will no longer charge passengers for soft drinks, juices, fancy coffees, bottled water or non-alcoholic specialty drinks like Virgin Marys. The new policy starts with the Alaska season of the Crystal Harmony but will shortly expand to the Symphony and the Serenity, scheduled to launch June 30.
Crystal also announced it will expand its Creative Learning Institute to include more lectures and courses, including Yamaha keyboard lessons and Berlitz language instruction. Think your child could use some instruction in fine dining, ballroom dance or party manners? The Harmony's Alaska cruises this summer will include etiquette training for young cruisers.
To ease the hassle of standing in line to book shore excursions, passengers and travel agents will be able to prebook shore excursions by mail, fax or phone starting with the Alaska cruises. "The phones will be answered by a person who is knowledgeable about the excursions," said Thomas Mazloum, Crystal's vice president of hotel operations.
Also on tap are a late-risers' breakfast served from 10 a.m. to noon, an elaborate brunch in the Crystal Cove on Sundays at sea, a reserve wine list with rare vintages, and more healthy breakfast options including gluten-, lactose-, sugar-, and fat-free offerings.