I recently cruised on Crystal Serenity to experience and write about a few new innovations on board the vessel, which was recently renovated to the tune of $17 million.
Two big changes were to the dining program, and I wrote about those in these posts: Crystal Serenity’s Modern Cuisine & Charges At The Sushi Bar and Crystal Serenity’s New Dining Programs: Some Changes You May Love, Some You May Not.
But Crystal is evolving in more ways than dining, and on one afternoon, as Crystal Serenity was making her way from Bordeaux to Lisbon, I got the chance to sit down with a guy who I consider to be a kindred spirit, John Stoll, vice president of land programs for Crystal Cruises.
Imagine a job like John’s: He gets to travel around the globe to identify and often participate in some of the world’s most-coveted travel experiences, which he and his team then develop into land programs that the company offers to its guests through the Crystal Adventures program.
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Throughout the years, John & company have come up with some innovative land programs, such as offering guests the opportunity to take flight in a MiG Fighter Jet. Cost: $47,500. Number of Crystal guests who have opted for this land program since its inception a few years ago: 3. (If you’d like to see a description of that excursion, click Crystal Cruises Mig Fighter Jet to view a pdf.)
I feel that I am a kindred spirit to John because while we both love our time on ships we have an even greater love for the places that ships can take us. Maybe you’re that way too.
I always get excited when I think about stepping ashore, whether I’m doing so to participate in a cruise line shore excursion, a custom shore excursion arranged by a travel agent, or whether I’m setting out on my own. On my recent Crystal cruise, I spent one day just walking through Bordeaux by myself. It was wonderful.
Among the things John told me was that Crystal has two new programs that will be of interest to active travelers: Bicycling Tours and Site Running. Read more about the tours after listening to the podcast below.
Listen to this interview and all Avid Cruiser Audio Podcasts on SoundCloud.
An avid traveler and an award-winning journalist, Ralph Grizzle produces articles, video and photos that are inspiring and informative, personal and passionate. A journalism graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ralph has specialized in travel writing for more than two decades. To read more cruise and port reviews by Ralph Grizzle, visit his website at www.avidcruiser.com