If you think of luxury and pampering as indispensable to a good travel experience, then book your next voyage with Crystal Cruises.
This past December, I sailed a 7-night Christmas Markets river cruise aboard Crystal’s Mozart. This 395-foot long, 74-foot wide boasts an all-suite configuration. A crew of 92 serves the ship’s 154 passengers.
As someone who has taken a lot of cruises, both ocean and river, I highly recommend the kind of pampering which goes with this server to guest ratio. The service I experienced from Mozart’s staff stands out as among the best I have encountered in more than 20 years of cruising.
Crystal Mozart fare is all-inclusive onboard. Guests choose from luxury suites ranging in size from 216 to 884 square feet. All suites include butler service, as well as 24-hour room service, plus gratuities, all-gourmet meals and premium beverages.
The suites offer elegant decor and a surprising feeling of spaciousness for river ship quarters. All suites contain king-size beds with Egyptian cotton linens. The sense of luxury extends even to the suite bathrooms, decorated with Turkish tile. Each restroom has a Toto toilet with multiple cleaning and drying settings as well as its own remote control.
Mozart provides three venues for dining with open seating: The Vintage Room, Bistro Mozart, and Blu Bar and Grill. The food at all of these is farm to table and will satisfy even those used to dining at Michelin-starred restaurants.There is also a 24-hour self-service station off the main lobby offering snacks as well as beer, wine, water, soft drinks, coffee, tea and hot chocolate.
An long list of daily sightseeing complimentary shore excursions is included with Crystal Cruises’ all-inclusive fare. Guests have the chance to book Michelin-star dining experiences in Vienna or Budapest. My favorite event was the private evening visit to Belvedere Palace in Vienna wherein the guests were treated to small curated art tours of the extensive Klimt paintings while sipping the adored Adele Champagne. The evening concluded with a classical Austrian concert in the Marble Hall along with ballet and Opera performances. This event was a genuine “WOW” even for an experienced travel professional like me!
In 2017, Mozart will be joined on European riverways by a fleet of Crystal Cruises’ newly built all-suite 80-passenger vessels. For now, the Mozart is the belle of the Crystal ball, offering an exceptional cruise experience. LGBT travelers with ample disposable income will enjoy the elegance and style of Crystal’s ships, as well as the attentive pampering service from this cruise line’s exceptionally well-trained crew.
Tom Baker has worked in the travel industry since 1983. He has traveled around the world several times and has cruised on over 100 different ships. He loves travel and creating special group programs for those who share in his passion for this incredible planet and the LGBT community, through his company Aquafest.
All photos © Tom Baker