The all-inclusive cruise line, Crystal reports that growing numbers of families and multigenerational groups are opting for the line’s six-star service and designated spaces for kids and teens — rare at this level. The ships carry between 900 and 1,100 passengers with all of the amenities you’d expect on a cruise line touting luxury, service, space and enrichment programs.
Kids ages 11 and under are charged 50% of the minimum cruise-only fare when accompanied by two full-paying adults. The line is also expanding opportunities for family travel with the return of its Kids Sail Free offers.
What’s new: On board, new menus include dishes created with molecular gastronomy and even some entrees sprinkled with organic herbs and seasonings grown on the ships’ living walls. Experience Crystal Symphony’s redesign (completed September 2014), new late risers itineraries, hypoallergenic staterooms on Crystal Serenity and themed vacations. In an industry first, Crystal Cruises is offering new site-running experiences at several urban ports of call. These scenic 5K to 14K city running tours start at $69 for approximately one to four hours, and include transportation to/from the course’s beginning and/or end, instructor-led warm ups and stretching beforehand, running guide-narrated sightseeing, reflective safety gear and healthy refreshments en route.
For kids: The Junior Activities Program welcomes kids ages three to 17. Activities for children ages 12 and under include arts and crafts, karaoke, scavenger hunts, cookie baking and more.
For teens: Waves is a separate teen club and video arcade with Xbox 360s and Playstations, late night pool parties, movies and more.
Around the ship: Tai Chi instruction, wellness seminars, wine tasting and art workshops are among dozens of classes offered through Crystal Cruises’ Creative Learning Institute (CLI). Golf clinics and lessons from pros are available on most sailings. The library offers more than 2,000 titles, including a selection of children’s books and children’s DVDs for use in the cabins. In-room sitting is available ($10/hour for one child, $15/hour for two children and $20/hour for three children).