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International press and travel agents gathered to see the launch of Scenic Cruises’ sixth vessel, Scenic Crystal, in late April. In the chill of the spring afternoon, managing director Glen Moroney and godmother Heather Buttrose, the ship’s interior designer, celebrated with guests to the tunes of a jazz quartet, then returned to the Crystal for dinner and a briefing on Scenic’s plans to expand its already impressive all-inclusive guest experience.
In addition to the current complimentary beverages, complimentary shore excursions and the use of e-bikes, Scenic will provide free drinks at all times next year, not only at mealtimes. Butler service will be expanded to all decks, and there will be touch-screen navigators that will allow those who prefer to wander independently on shore to have all the commentary they want, operating on a GPS system. Scenic will furnish private individual airport transfers, with no waiting for others to arrive and take a bus and will also continue to include all gratuities on shore and ship and enrichment experiences on shore.
Scenic Crystal is elegant and airy, with exceptional features from very generous storage space worked by an overlapping door system to a gorgeous television/Internet/movie entertainment system and remarkable service.
As for the new Scenic Sun Lounge full balcony configuration, it got a workout during our cruise as temperatures soared from “coat weather” into the 80s, and we hit the hydraulics that opened up the glassed-in balconies. Sitting with my room service breakfast on a spring morning, just a few yards from the scented flowers on shore, is really hard to beat.
Travel agents onboard who were new to the Scenic product agreed that the company is a very serious player and one that guests will embrace enthusiastically. It may be little known now, but that is not going to be the case for long.