Crystal Cruises wants to help guests affected by previous ownership

Crystal cruise ship
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Crystal Cruises, newly owned by A&K Travel Group, has announced a new “Exceptional Initiative” for guests who have lost money due to the company’s financial problems under its previous owner, Genting Hong Kong.

The initiative aims to support impacted guests and their travel advisors by offering them credit towards future Crystal trips on the Crystal clear serenity or Crystal Symphony.

Crystal Initiative offers credit for future travel

A new initiative from Crystal Cruises allows eligible former Crystal guests with a verified claim in the Crystal Cruises LLC case to request a credit to use towards future voyages on either Crystal clear serenity or crystal symphony.

Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Co-Chairman of A&K Travel Group and Crystal, emphasized that the Exceptional Initiative is not a legal obligation but is intended to help former guests and travel agents get their money back.

Crystal Cruise Ship (photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises)

Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio: “This initiative is a plan we have been working on since acquiring Crystal as it will benefit our most loyal customers. We were not legally obliged to do this. However, we believe that being exceptional means doing what is unexpected, unusual and unprecedented.”

“We have chosen to help former guests and travel agents get their money back and hope we can focus on the return to service, the exceptional crew and onboard service that have made Crystal an award-winning cruise ship for three decades cruise line.”

Mark Healy, executive vice president of Moecker Associates and successor in charge of handling the bankruptcy proceedings, praised Crystal’s decision.

Mark Healy: “What Crystal has decided to do with this gesture is remarkable, partly because they were not required to do so, but mostly because it offers customers another alternative to recover funds lost as a result of the closure.”

Healy also mentioned that they are working on analyzing claims and hope to release the first refunds by the end of the summer.

In the case of Crystal Cruises LLC, guests must have a valid claim for amounts owed related to canceled cruises on the to qualify for the credit Crystal Symphony And Crystal clear serenity. The amount of the credit is limited to the remaining debt of the guest minus amounts already reimbursed from the insolvency proceedings.

The credit will be divided into five installments to be used for five future bookings, with the first booking being made by July 1st, 2023 and the credit to be used for trips departing on or before December 31st, 2025.

Crystal Cruises owed over $100 million in 2022, CEO said

Crystal’s initiative dates back to the company’s bankruptcy in 2022. In February of this yearCEO Jack Anderson announced that Crystal Cruises owed more than $100 million in outstanding balances due to its financial troubles under Genting Hong Kong.

Genting had given up Crystal Cruises to deal with the fallout of unpaid down payments, outstanding fuel bills and crew members awaiting repatriation.

Crystal Cruises ships
Images via: Crystal Cruises

Anderson explained: “Genting HK effectively washed Crystal’s hands when they filed for liquidation in Bermuda. At that point, our relationship with Genting was effectively severed and we were left to fend for ourselves.”

While guests who paid for their cruises with credit cards were eligible for refunds through secured accounts held by credit card companies, those who paid in cash or via bank transfer were unlikely to get their money back.

Crystal clear serenity And crystal symphony Sailing in July and September

The revised Crystal clear serenity And Crystal Symphony are scheduled to set sail later this year. Crystal has reduced the maximum number of guests onboard both ships to allow for more space and a guest-to-staff ratio of almost 1:1 to ensure a personal and friendly experience.

The Crystal clear serenity now has a maximum guest capacity of 740, up from 1,040 passengers while the Crystal Symphony Space for 606 guests instead of 960 passengers.

Crystal clear serenityThe first departure of is scheduled for July 31st, departing from Marseille for a 12-day Mediterranean cruise. The ship will sail to Lisbon and stop in Portofino, Italy; Monaco; Corsica, France; Barcelona, ​​​​Cartagena, Malaga, Spain; and Portimao, Portugal.

In the meantime, Crystal SymphonyThe first cruise of will be a 7-day Mediterranean voyage, departing September 1 from Athens, Greece. The ship will visit Santorini, Patmos and Kos, Greece, followed by a stop in Izmir, Turkey and an overnight stay in Istanbul.

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