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  #1  
Old May 18th, 2011, 02:06 PM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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Default New Crystal Referral Program

Here is some information about a new Crystal Referral Program. I have copied and pasted the information and the actual letter and the three (3) referral coupons will be sent to Crystal Society Members Homes.

It is different than Share The Experience as the Crystal Society Member does not have to be on the cruise to receive the check.

The letter should answer most questions that people have.

The travel agents will also be receiving a Q&A in the next couple of days that should answer questions so I encourage folks to wait on that before asking questions and speculating on answers.

Note that the guests who are first time Crystal Cruisers will get a discount off their cruise, rather than a shipboard credit. The Crystal Society member will receive a check which is taxable income as noted below.

Often, many of us have recommended Crystal Cruises to Family and Friends so this is a nice opportunity should they decide to book and take a cruise with Crystal for the very first time.

Keith


============================================

John Q. Cruisealot 123 Main Street Additional Address Line Cityname, ST 12345-1234
Receive a check from Crystal Cruises for up to $6,000 when you refer new guests!*
Dear Mr. Cruisealot,
It is with great pleasure that I present to you a valuable new Crystal Society benefit—our Crystal Referral Rewards Program.
As an honored Crystal Society member, you are intimately familiar with the highly personalized service and exceptional luxury that has made Crystal Cruises the World’s Best cruise line for a record-breaking 17 years. With the addition of our new rewards program, we just may be the most rewarding cruise line, as well!
Here’s how our new Crystal Referral Rewards Program works:
• Pass the accompanying certificates along to three friends or family members who have never before sailed on Crystal and encourage them to become New-to-Crystal Guests. The New-to-Crystal Guest certificate provides savings of up to $250 per person on new bookings made after May 23, 2011.
• When your New-to-Crystal Guest(s) books their cruise, submits the completed certificate and cruises aboard an applicable 2011-2012 voyage featured in this program, we will then send you the appropriate forms to complete in order to receive your monetary reward for making a successful referral.
• Once Crystal receives your completed forms, your check(s) will be issued to you in the amount of $2,000 for each New-to-Crystal Couple or $1,000 for each New-to-Crystal Guest who completes an applicable cruise of eight days or longer. If they complete an applicable seven-day cruise, you’ll receive a check for $1,000 for each New-to-Crystal Couple or $500 for each New-to-Crystal Guest.
Overall, you could receive a check directly from Crystal for up to $6,000!*
Please see the back of this letter for the official Terms & Conditions of this program. I encourage you to pass along the accompanying certificates to friends or family members who have not yet sailed with us so they, too, can experience the Crystal difference. They’ll save on their first Crystal voyage, and you’ll be rewarded handsomely for your generous referral.
Warm regards,
Gregg Michel President, Crystal Cruises
P.S. The best way to introduce fellow travelers to Crystal Cruises is to sail with them! Remember to take advantage of our new lower Fall Fares and Bonus Savings in early 2012. Contact your preferred travel agent today.
*Please see Terms & Conditions on back.
PO BOX 7702 I ITASCA, IL I 60143-9837
SAMPLE
* Terms & Conditions
• Provide the accompanying referral certificates to up to three individuals and/or couples who have never sailed with Crystal Cruises.
• Once the New-to-Crystal Guest(s) has booked one of the applicable 2011-2012 voyages for this offer, they must complete the certificate and return it to Crystal Cruises either through their Travel Agent or by mailing it to: Crystal Cruises Passenger Services Dept., 2049 Century Park East, Suite 1400, Los Angeles, CA 90067.
• This referral program is available to current, active Crystal Society members as of May 23, 2011. All certificates must be redeemed before final payment of a qualifying booking. Referral Rewards will not be issued until the New-to-Crystal Guest(s) sails and Crystal Cruises receives the W9 form or non-U.S. citizenship confirmation from the Crystal Society member.
• Only new bookings made after May 23, 2011 are eligible. Cancellations and rebookings are not eligible for this offer.
• When the New-to-Crystal Guest(s) has completed an applicable voyage, you will receive an acknowledgement letter and a W9 form or non-U.S. citizenship confirmation. The W9 or non-U.S. citizenship confirmation form must be completed and returned to Crystal prior to issuing the rewards check.
• Once Crystal receives your completed W9 form or non-U.S. citizenship confirmation, you will receive a check for $500 per person/$1,000 per couple for your New-to-Crystal Guest(s) who sailed for seven days, or $1,000 per person/$2,000 per couple for your New-to-Crystal Guest(s) who sailed for eight days or more.
• Applicable cruises are: any remaining 2011 voyages after June 1, 2011, and 2012 voyages 2201–2204, 2206; and 2301–2303, 2306 and 2307.
• Each New-to-Crystal Guest (limit: two per stateroom) will receive a savings of $250 on applicable voyages that are eight days or more in length; New-to-Crystal Guest(s) will receive savings of $125 each (limit: two per stateroom) on applicable voyages that are seven days in length.
• Sole occupancy New-to-Crystal Guest(s) will receive a savings of $250 for applicable voyages that are eight days or more in length, or a savings of $125 for applicable voyages that are seven days in length.
• The certificates may not be duplicated and can only be redeemed one time. If the New-to-Crystal Guest(s) cancels his or her booking, the certificate becomes invalid and cannot be reused or reissued.
• The certificate is not combinable with any other certificate, promotion or discount, and is not redeemable for cash value.
• All savings are quoted in U.S. dollars. Referral Rewards will be released in U.S. dollars in the appropriate amount earned. Non-U.S. citizens and Non-U.S. resident aliens will be subject to a 30% Internal Revenue Service withholding tax.
• New-to-Crystal Guest Referral Rewards Program is available for a limited time only, may not be combined with other promotions, applies to the first two full-fare guests in stateroom or suite, is capacity-controlled, subject to availability, is non-transferable, and may be withdrawn or changed at any time without notice.

Last edited by Keith1010; May 18th, 2011 at 02:10 PM.

  #2  
Old May 18th, 2011, 02:24 PM
koko's_mom koko's_mom is offline
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Thanks Keith for the new information. Am I correct in thinking this does not replace the STEX program, but is being offered for certain voyages in 2011 & 2012? Do you have any information regarding the continuation of the STEX program? Once again....thank you in advance!

  #3  
Old May 18th, 2011, 02:30 PM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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Originally Posted by koko's_mom View Post
Thanks Keith for the new information. Am I correct in thinking this does not replace the STEX program, but is being offered for certain voyages in 2011 & 2012? Do you have any information regarding the continuation of the STEX program? Once again....thank you in advance!
You are correct in your thinking. This program is for all 2011 voyages after June 1, 2011, and 2012 voyages 2201–2204, 2206; and 2301–2303, 2306 and 2307

This is a totally separate program from STEX. and does not replace it.

Keith

  #4  
Old May 18th, 2011, 03:11 PM
koko's_mom koko's_mom is offline
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Thank you Keith. Just hoping Crystal continues the STEX program after they go "all-inclusive" since we enjoy using the credit towards some fun "extras"!

  #5  
Old May 18th, 2011, 03:15 PM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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You are very welcome.

The current Share The Experience Program is good thru the end of 2012 long after the "all inclusive" kicks in.

Keith

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  #6  
Old May 18th, 2011, 03:21 PM
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nancygp nancygp is online now
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Thanks for posting Keith...you beat me to as I was in a meeting!!! We are very fortunate that our wonderful TA shared this information with us!

Nancy
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  #7  
Old May 18th, 2011, 03:23 PM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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Originally Posted by nancygp View Post
Thanks for posting Keith...you beat me to as I was in a meeting!!! We are very fortunate that our wonderful TA shared this information with us!

Nancy
Nancy, you are right!

Keith

  #8  
Old May 18th, 2011, 03:37 PM
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I noticed on the Regent and Seabourn boards that they have a "Sticky" for their respective referral programs. I think, if Dan will allow this, we should do the same.

Nancy
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  #9  
Old May 18th, 2011, 07:22 PM
jssabs jssabs is online now
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That's a great program but somewhat of a bummer for those of us who have already booked a 2012 cruise. We have booked the North Cape cruise in July 2012 and have gotten a friend of ours to book the cruise also. She is new to Crystal and we would all qualify for the program if we hadn't already made the booking. It appears from the fine print that we cannot cancel and rebook to take advantage of it.

Jay

  #10  
Old May 18th, 2011, 07:38 PM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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Host Dan, thank you for following up on Nancy's suggestion and making this a sticky.

Jay, the voyage that you are booked on for 2012 (Voyage 2216) is not part of this promotion. The promotion applies to all 2011 sailings that are booked after May 23 that begin June 1, 2011 and for 2012 it applies to 2012 voyages 2201–2204, 2206; and 2301–2303, 2306 and 2307.

So, this wouldn't have applied to you even if you booked it after May 23.

The good news is you should get a share the experience for the 2012 voyage.

Finally, remember the difference with this promotion. You do not have to be on the sailing to quality for the promotion. The person who you give the certificate to is the one who needs to be on the sailing.

Keith

Last edited by Keith1010; May 18th, 2011 at 07:39 PM.

  #11  
Old May 18th, 2011, 08:06 PM
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[quote=Keith1010;29151022]Host Dan, thank you for following up on Nancy's suggestion and making this a sticky.

Thanks Dan!

Nancy
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  #12  
Old May 18th, 2011, 09:09 PM
Jinn Jinn is offline
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Jay---I don't believe it applies to #2216. Julia

>>2012 voyages 2201–2204, 2206; and 2301–2303, 2306 and 2307.<<

  #13  
Old May 18th, 2011, 09:30 PM
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Thank you Keith and Jinn for the clarification since I haven't seen the actual letter yet. It's great that there will be a referral program and I like the way it's structured. Hopefully they'll add more sailings to the eligibility list. Meanwhile I'm anxiously awaiting Crystal's STEX announcement for 2012 and hopefully, my friend and I can take advantage since we will be on the same sailing.

Jay

  #14  
Old May 19th, 2011, 05:01 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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Jay, the current share the experience program does already apply to all 2012 voyages.

Here is a link that takes you to the form that also notes 2012.

https://www.crystalcruises.com/form_stexp.aspx

Keith

  #15  
Old May 19th, 2011, 10:42 AM
jssabs jssabs is online now
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Thank you Keith for the update. I have been watching for a sticky on the CC board for the 2012 sailings which is why I didn't pick that up. On a different subject, do you have any idea of what the "operational considerations" might be that caused Crystal to modify the itinerary for the 2012 North Cape cruise?

Thanks for all you do on these boards.

Jay

  #16  
Old May 19th, 2011, 02:27 PM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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Hi jay, I haven't heard the reason behind the change. If I do I will be sure to let you know.

Keith

  #17  
Old May 28th, 2011, 07:27 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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I wanted to mention that the vouchers should arrive shortly. They are included with the new edition of the Passport Magazine which should start to arrive sometime soon, possibly as early as next week.

Keith

  #18  
Old May 29th, 2011, 12:28 AM
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We will remain cautious and skeptical, and will read the fine print before jumping on this bandwagon from the marketing wizards.

Crystal is "our choice". We have tried the others, been disappointed, and return to Crystal because we know and like it's product. Yet I say very directly, Crystal's marketing department is not held with the same esteem as other departments. Let me offer a few examples.
- 2-for-1 or 50% off brochure prices that never existed in the first place
- free air, rather than "air included"
- promotions that disadvantage the solo cruiser (and only in the fine print)
- receiving personal e-mails that announce "new" prices, only to read that these were the prices announced publicly many months before
- Here's one we find particularly insulting: receiving e-mails inviting us to book an upcoming cruise - when we are already booked on that specific cruise (doesn't marketing communicate with any other department?!?!)

We acknowledge that this promotion somewhat levels the playing field in response to the complaints levelled against the TA incentive "sell 3/sail free". And it has the benefit to reward past passengers who no longer cruise and who introduce a younger generation to Crystal.

Here are a few observations on the new promotion:

One observation is that Crystal has the premium backward. Wouldn't it be more effective to offer the newbie the $1000/2000 credit, and reward the past passenger the $125/250? As past passengers, we would be happy with that, and I'm sure I could convince fellow cruisers on other lines to try Crystal with that incentive.

Consider this scenario - meeting the newbie after their cruise, perhaps a newbie that didn't rate it quite as highly as we do, and facing the query - "you got $2000 for referring us and I got only $500 for actually booking the cruise". Talk about an uncomfortable situation that may take some time to mellow.

Will cruise critic become the medium for linking newbies and past pax as they do for STEX?

In closing I quote a fellow cruise critic and Crystal passenger ... "the secret to all of this is to keep well informed, do your research and engage the services of a wonderful Travel Professional". We can only add, and think ahead.

  #19  
Old May 29th, 2011, 03:06 AM
Jayayeff Jayayeff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crickette View Post
We will remain cautious and skeptical, and will read the fine print before jumping on this bandwagon from the marketing wizards.

Crystal is "our choice". We have tried the others, been disappointed, and return to Crystal because we know and like it's product. Yet I say very directly, Crystal's marketing department is not held with the same esteem as other departments. Let me offer a few examples.
- 2-for-1 or 50% off brochure prices that never existed in the first place
- free air, rather than "air included"
- promotions that disadvantage the solo cruiser (and only in the fine print)
- receiving personal e-mails that announce "new" prices, only to read that these were the prices announced publicly many months before
- Here's one we find particularly insulting: receiving e-mails inviting us to book an upcoming cruise - when we are already booked on that specific cruise (doesn't marketing communicate with any other department?!?!)

We acknowledge that this promotion somewhat levels the playing field in response to the complaints levelled against the TA incentive "sell 3/sail free". And it has the benefit to reward past passengers who no longer cruise and who introduce a younger generation to Crystal.

Here are a few observations on the new promotion:

One observation is that Crystal has the premium backward. Wouldn't it be more effective to offer the newbie the $1000/2000 credit, and reward the past passenger the $125/250? As past passengers, we would be happy with that, and I'm sure I could convince fellow cruisers on other lines to try Crystal with that incentive.

Consider this scenario - meeting the newbie after their cruise, perhaps a newbie that didn't rate it quite as highly as we do, and facing the query - "you got $2000 for referring us and I got only $500 for actually booking the cruise". Talk about an uncomfortable situation that may take some time to mellow.

Will cruise critic become the medium for linking newbies and past pax as they do for STEX?

In closing I quote a fellow cruise critic and Crystal passenger ... "the secret to all of this is to keep well informed, do your research and engage the services of a wonderful Travel Professional". We can only add, and think ahead.
Crikette

I agree with you, hence the reason I have not passed comment on this new addition to the so-called promotion list before now.

I will add to your list above by noting that not only do the majority of 'promotions' disadvantage solo cruisers, this one also disadvantages those of us who are not residents of N. America. Should those of us 'overseas' ever receive and use any of the vouchers (Crystal is also not very adept at international mailing) then 30% will be deducted in taxes and the balance cheque issued in US$, presumably drawn on a US bank so more deductions when it goes through international clearing banks.

I also note in the fine print of this 'promotion' that the vouchers can only be used before final payment is made so that now excludes any cruise that departs before the end of August, and with many taking advantage of the early pre-payment all those who have already paid six months out.

Personally I am now so disillusioned with Crystal's sales and marketing ploys that the emails go straight in the Delete box - IF something applies to me and/or a cruise I have booked then my TA will let me know. It's a shame they don't spend the millions they must waste on advertising all these misleading promotions by offering sensible fares in the first place...

Anne
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  #20  
Old May 29th, 2011, 09:40 AM
Keith1010 Keith1010 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crickette View Post
We will remain cautious and skeptical, and will read the fine print before jumping on this bandwagon from the marketing wizards.

Crystal is "our choice". We have tried the others, been disappointed, and return to Crystal because we know and like it's product. Yet I say very directly, Crystal's marketing department is not held with the same esteem as other departments. Let me offer a few examples.
- 2-for-1 or 50% off brochure prices that never existed in the first place
- free air, rather than "air included"
- promotions that disadvantage the solo cruiser (and only in the fine print)
- receiving personal e-mails that announce "new" prices, only to read that these were the prices announced publicly many months before
- Here's one we find particularly insulting: receiving e-mails inviting us to book an upcoming cruise - when we are already booked on that specific cruise (doesn't marketing communicate with any other department?!?!)

We acknowledge that this promotion somewhat levels the playing field in response to the complaints levelled against the TA incentive "sell 3/sail free". And it has the benefit to reward past passengers who no longer cruise and who introduce a younger generation to Crystal.

Here are a few observations on the new promotion:

One observation is that Crystal has the premium backward. Wouldn't it be more effective to offer the newbie the $1000/2000 credit, and reward the past passenger the $125/250? As past passengers, we would be happy with that, and I'm sure I could convince fellow cruisers on other lines to try Crystal with that incentive.

Consider this scenario - meeting the newbie after their cruise, perhaps a newbie that didn't rate it quite as highly as we do, and facing the query - "you got $2000 for referring us and I got only $500 for actually booking the cruise". Talk about an uncomfortable situation that may take some time to mellow.

Will cruise critic become the medium for linking newbies and past pax as they do for STEX?

In closing I quote a fellow cruise critic and Crystal passenger ... "the secret to all of this is to keep well informed, do your research and engage the services of a wonderful Travel Professional". We can only add, and think ahead.
Crickett, you brought up a number of interesting and excellent points and they are all very well thought out in my humble opinion. I too think it is important to read the fine print and for anyone who participates in this to thoroughly read all of the details which were included with the original post and will be included in the Passport magazine including the process to follow by both the sponsor and those being sponsored and that includes the income tax associated with the promotion.

I just wanted to share a somewhat different perspective when it comes to this incentive program.

Some of the most effective people who can bring new passengers to the fold to Crystal are the Crystal Society Members. After all, they can talk with friends and family or work colleagues and express opinions that in the end can be more effective than even comments from other such as Travel Professionals.

True Crystal could have chosen to reduce the fare by $1,000.00 or do some other promotion but the reality is that they are already doing this with some promotions. To me, this promotion is yet another tool in the tool box to attract new passengers to Crystal.

Yes, to facilitate this they are offering a nice incentive to their Crystal Society members to help to promote their product. I am sure it is realized that by bringing new passengers to the fold that if the new passengers like Crystal as much as many of us do, this is money well spent as these future cruises will likely come back for future cruises. So by offering a large incentive to its members to talk to others about the cruise line it likely encourages more of this discussion to happen than otherwise would if the incentive was very small. And in the end, just like many of us, for those who have not taken a cruise or a luxury cruise they see a bunch of companies out there and they don't know which one to choose and giving them some extra saving doesn't always encourage that discussion that often is key for them to make a decision on who to cruise with.

When the Share The Experience Program was first rolled out, they gave fairly large incentives to the sponsors so this is not entirely different to that approach, but this incentive is different because it is a cash incentive rather than ship board credit or a savings off a future cruise.

With that said, none of us are compelled to take advantage of this program. If one does not feel comfortable encouraging others to cruise Crystal they shouldn't do so. I know that when others ask my opinion about something whether it be a cruise or a hotel or a restaurant or some other item I always go out of my way to say here are things I like about it (if it is something I like) but knowing that we all feel very differently about items and knowing that cruises are costly I always preface this by saying that while a particular item is great from my standpoint it might not be great for them. Because anytime you recommend something to someone you are putting yourself out there if they don't care for it the way you do. There are times that we know that the person probably won't like the item we do so sometimes we don't offer any opinion because we don't want to be second guessed for our recommendation if it doesn't work out for them.

Right now the Luxury Cruise Line industry is probably more competitive than many of us have seen in quite sometime given the vast inventory that is out there because of some major cruise line expansions in this arena and the overall concerns with the global economy. I see this as one of many marketing programs undertaken by Crystal Cruises to market their product.

In the end, to me it is Crystal Cruises like all the other cruise lines who should figure out what marketing approach and promotions make the most sense and I just don't second guess them. Never did at my own company when the marketing folks designed the marketing campaigns. In the end some campaigns will work better than others. Some will be deemed successes and others will be deemed failures. I can point to products and to marketing campaigns that the so called experts thought would be successes or failures and the reverse was true.

At the same time, all of us who are the consumers will decide what works best for us and in the case of cruising we will make their own cruising decisions accordingly.

As to this new product, this is not related to STEX as the sponsor does not have to be on the same sailing. I think it would be a big mistake for this to be supported on Cruise Critic because I think it would get way out of hand and I mean a lot of very hard feelings.

I think this is best left in our respective hands with our own set of friends, family and associates.

As usual, I do with Crystal the very best with this promotion as I do with the other promotions. These are indeed very tough times in the cruising industry and for those of us who want to see the quality of the product to continue to be maintained at very high levels as they are today, I want to see Crystal be successful in the way the market and sell their product.

Keith

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