Q – My husband, Alan, and I are grateful for the information about Crystal but we’re not quite scared off yet. There is a Crystal Yacht, our favorite all-time ship and we’ve been on 39 cruises, that will be visiting Croatia and the Dalmatian Coast in 2022 that we want to book. Could we lose our deposit within weeks of booking if this Genting pulls the plug? Also wondering if Crystal will be able to retain or hire back the employees that have been let go during this pandemic. I would think that most of them have found other positions by now.
A – That’s a two-part, left, and right side of brain question. Let’s start with the second question. Many Crystal crew members come from the Philipines or Indonesia. They have joined Crystal because salaries often surpass what might be available at home. Many have families and, it is extremely tough in terms of time away from home. It often means that crew is away for six to eight months at a time. However, given that food, lodging, and even transportation home are provided, the crew can usually afford to send some income home or save money for a business they may want to open in the future. That is the real incentive for crew – it is less romantic than the notion of a stressless life at sea. We would not anticipate that Crystal would have any major issues re-hiring experienced crew members. It’s not like they can just go and pick up employment at a competitor.
In terms of your second question, there actually is some late-breaking good news. Crystal has changed their deposit requirements and cancellation rules for new bookings:
Crystal has a new program in place for new bookings (After September 1, 2020) on any of their ships worldwide between now and 2024 that is called Crystal Confidence 2.0. New bookings now have a 90-Day Option – which means that you can book with your consultant and not have to actually put down any deposit money for three months. That will enable cautious Crystal guests to observe how the Genting reorganization plan is progressing and how it might affect Crystal’s future.
We agree with your assessment of the Crystal Esprit Yacht. We currently rank it as one of the world’s top two ships given its 62-Guest to 84-Crew ratio and the inclusive nature of the experience. It is a ship that would seem to have been designed for the islands of the Dalmatian Coast. Hope this serves to reassure rather than “scare you off”.