As the sun set in California on Monday, Crystal Serenity sailed from the port of San Francisco, embarking on her 102-day “Grand Pacific Panorama” World Cruise. By the numbers, the wanderlust-inspiring journey will cover 25,800 nautical miles; visit 48 ports in 19 countries throughout the Pacific Rim and welcomes 358 guests for the cruise’s entirety.
In true Crystal fashion, the line marked the occasion of its 21st World Cruise with a Sunday-night celebration that included special touches that rivaled the grandeur of the voyage itself. A gala hosted especially for full World Cruisers featured sparkling champagne served with genuine smiles that welcomed guests “home”; delectable hors d’oeuvres that hinted at the feast to come later; an orchestra of talented musicians setting a festive scene in the elegant Crystal Cove; and, like any great party, a massive balloon drop and confetti launch while travelers danced among the glitter.
Besides the confetti, something hung in the air that was inescapable: the sense that the luxury travelers who had boarded the award-winning ship just hours before were very much “home.” Guests and Crystal crew embraced each other the way distant relatives do when they reunite for special holidays. Long distance friendships were rekindled in the Crystal Cove, as fellow World Cruisers reconnected for the first time since last year’s global sojourn.
Presiding over the ball was Crystal’s own grand dame, president and CEO Edie Rodriguez, who emphatically welcomed travelers to what is certain to be their next great adventure. During her remarks, Rodriguez shared many Crystal milestones with the crowd – the recent news of the line’s groundbreaking expansion into yacht and river cruising and luxury air and charter vacations – as well as many guest milestones. Of the full World Cruise guests on board Sunday (a day earlier than travelers embarking on one of the voyages abbreviated segments), more than 100 have sailed the annual epic voyage in years past, while a whopping 170 guests were embarking on their first ever World Cruise. And, in the spirit of kicking off one’s Crystal Experience in six-star style, 67 full World Cruisers had just boarded a Crystal ship for the first time ever.
Regardless the number of guests or number of their previous Crystal cruise experiences, the Crystal family was ready to celebrate them. Following a champagne toast by Rodriguez and Captain Birger Vorland (himself sailing his second World Cruise), more dancing led into an elegant dinner in the Crystal Dining Room.
A special, command performance from the soloists of the San Francisco Opera graced the Galaxy Lounge stage to wrap up the evening. As World Cruise guests returned to their staterooms and penthouses that evening, they had already been treated to an extraordinary soiree, commemorative celebrations, opulent feast and exclusive entertainment… and the journey hadn’t event yet begun.
Start planning your own World Cruise memories for 2017. Book by February 29 for added savings and perks.