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Keith1010

Crystal Society Milestones - Things I've Learned Recently

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I thought I would share a few things about the program which I have learned one of which is new because the program has changed and one which has been in place for many years but I believe enforced in the past year or so.

 

In general you cannot use a milestone until you have achieved it.  By this I mean let's say you are at 19 milestones and a cruise you have booked a cruise for January of 2020 and on the January cruise you will hit milestone 20 you cannot use the milestone for that cruise.  Now in the past some of you might have been able to use it but (and maybe some could not).

Regardless as it stands today you could not use milestone 20 and could use it on a subsequent cruise.  Now there could be an exception for someone who has booked lots of back to back cruises as their next cruise but I use the word could.  

 

The other item relates to transfers. This applies to bookings if one is booked in any of the Ocean Suite categories or in any of the River Cruise categories.   In the past certain milestones provided a transfer between airport and ship and ship to airport before and after the cruise.  As part of the new program in lieu of the complimentary transfer you can get $220.00 off per person and this actually is not an OBC but is taken off your cruise fare.  In many instances this is with more than tranfsers as often you can arrange a transfer which would be far less (or at least less) than $220.00.  To use this milestone you must have it applied before final payment has been made.  I assume this is due to not wanting to have to refund the amount via a credit to whatever you used to pay for the cruise.  So for those of you who can use one of these milestones the key is to have your TA apply it to the booking you want to use it for before final payment has been made.

 

The same would apply to milestone credits to future cruises which is something new which was implemented in lieu of either upgrades and complimentary sailings which used to be provided up to a specific number of days.  These are not on board credits.  The benefit when applied will adjust the cruise fare downward based on the milestone used and the category booked.

 

This is noted under the terms and conditions section of the Crystal Society Milestone chart but is often something that is overlooked by many.  It notes about requesting their use before final payment is made but no earlier than 12 months in advance.  If someone had a situation where they wanted to pay before the 12 months as some here do I would have your TA followup on this before your final payment is made to see if an exception can be made.

 

When this was first announced e-mails about the new milestone program went out and the chart was also posted on CC but I thought I would post the chart again for anyone who didn't see the thread or the e-mail.

 

If you booked through your TA's they can have the milestones applied for you.  Likewise, if you book directly through Crystal they would have milestones applied for you and in both cases can provide followup on questions that you may have that are applicable to your situation.

 

Keith

 

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4 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

 

In general you cannot use a milestone until you have achieved it.  By this I mean let's say you are at 19 milestones and a cruise you have booked a cruise for January of 2020 and on the January cruise you will hit milestone 20 you cannot use the milestone for that cruise.  Now in the past some of you might have been able to use it but (and maybe some could not).

Regardless as it stands today you could not use milestone 20 and could use it on a subsequent cruise.  Now there could be an exception for someone who has booked lots of back to back cruises as their next cruise but I use the word could.  

 

 

Thanks. The write-ups on the new milestones are not models of clarity, so this helps. Do you know whether, if you are booked on a world cruise and reach a milestone at, say, the second segment, can you use it on, for instance, the third segment?  Or is that like the back-to-back situation that remains unclear?

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1 minute ago, wishIweretravelling said:

 

Thanks. The write-ups on the new milestones are not models of clarity, so this helps. Do you know whether, if you are booked on a world cruise and reach a milestone at, say, the second segment, can you use it on, for instance, the third segment?  Or is that like the back-to-back situation that remains unclear?

You are very welcome.  This is one that I was thinking of when I mentioned back to back cruises and one  I would have your TA get with Crystal about.

 

Keith

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There also seems to be some confusion regarding Milestones that involve a dinner such as the Vintage Room dinner for one’s 100th cruise. I believe those still take place on the actual (100th cruise in this example) unless one chooses to postpone it to a subsequent cruise such as when one’s friends will be on board. 

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34 minutes ago, TER777 said:

There also seems to be some confusion regarding Milestones that involve a dinner such as the Vintage Room dinner for one’s 100th cruise. I believe those still take place on the actual (100th cruise in this example) unless one chooses to postpone it to a subsequent cruise such as when one’s friends will be on board. 

 

Yes, I am not totally clear on when you can have the dinner.

 

They note Milestone Dinners at Milestones: 50, 75, 90 & 100.  

 

Technically you could not use Milestone 100 until cruise 101 because it does have a financial piece to it and the precise timing  depends on the rules I mentioned earlier.  Whether or not you could have the dinner on the 100th I have no idea ahead of using the Milestone I have no idea.   A good question for a TA to run down or to ask the Crystal Society Hostess/Host.

 

Keith

 

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29 minutes ago, History&Wine said:

I thought there was a free cruise after the 25th milestone....have free cruises with milestones disappeared??

Dwight the new Milestone program which is in-place supersedes this.  It still offer benefits but in lieu of those free cruises it provides reduction over cruise fares.

 

Used to be free cruise up to 7 days (if you booked longer it was pro-rated) at 25 milestone and then at 50 up to twelve days, 70 up to 12 days, 100 up to 12 days (CP).

 

The new program at 25 milestones provides a cruise fare discount of either $3,000 or $5,000 per person at  50 milestones of either $5,000 or $8,500 per person. at 70th either $5,000 or $8500 per person. at 100 $10,000 per person.

 

All of this is listed on the charts I provided along with the other milestone benefits such as upgrades, credits, transfer credits, etc.

 

The new program began with voyages of September 1, 2019  or later.

 

My key point on this is for folks to familiarize themselves with the new program, (read the terms & conditions too), to be aware of items I have highlighted such as how soon you can request a milestone and how late in the process and to have TA's run down questions.

 

I had to read it a few times for it to all sink in.

 

I've always had my own spreadsheet of unclaimed milestones and how I thought I would use them and I have now adjusted it based on new rules.  

 

Keith

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Keith, as always, thanks for the quick response.

 

Losing the free cruise is a bummer.  The discounts are not as valuable.

 

You should correct your response in case someone reads it without the brochure you provided....  $3000 or $5000 credit is at 25 milestones, not 5...

 

Dwight

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On a related note if you log into your account on the Crystal Cruises website it will list the past voyages you have taken.  

 

For some they could figure out their Crystal Milestone Milestones from this but for others it might be too complicated as a few years ago the number of awarded milestones was revised.  

You can have your TA obtain the number of milestones from Crystal Cruises for you.

 

Also, when you are on board if you stop by the Crystal Society Hostess/Host Desk they can print out a nice report for you which details you entire cruise history listing the ship, voyage number, start date, length, room number, start and end ports/cities and the credits for each voyage.  

 

One of the things I like about it is knowing the room numbers.  While I know most of them I don't know them all at the top of my head and sometimes when someone asks about a room on this board I find it a quick way of knowing whether or not we were in the room or one of our family members.

 

Keith

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Dwight, you are very welcome and thank you for pointing out my mistake which fortunately I was able to correct it.

 

Keith

 

 

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In my brief reading when this came out, I believe if you're at milestone 25 you have until end of year to book a free week.

Sound right?  

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9 minutes ago, saminina said:

In my brief reading when this came out, I believe if you're at milestone 25 you have until end of year to book a free week.

Sound right?  

The new program does not have a free week.

 

What you might be thinking of is when the e-mail came out from Crystal Cruises about the new program it said the new program goes into effect on September 1.  It went on to say if you currently have a free cruise rewards from the former program which you have not yet used you must book your cruise no later than December 31, 2019 and it must sail before December 31, 2020 to use it.

 

In terms of the new program, the chart shows at 25 milestones $3,000 credit on the first sailing after Milestone when majority of cruises were in a Ocean Deluxe Stateroom and a $5,000 credit when majority of cruises were sailed in Ocean Penthouse Categories or any River, Each Expedition Category.

 

You still have to decide which cruise you will use it on and it might not be on the one after you hit the 25th either because you didn't have it applied or because of the terms I mentioned earlier.

 

Keith

 

 

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Thanks Keith.....you confirmed my memory of reading.  I'm past the 25 mark.....looks good for a river cruise.  Yipee!

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Thanks for helping make sense of this, Keith!

Could you clarify what the phrase "Valid for first sailing after Milestone voyage" means? 

Does it mean that you can only use it on the first voyage after you have earned it, or can you hold onto it and use it on any subsequent voyage of your choosing?

Thank you!

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16 minutes ago, skybluewaters said:

 

Thanks for helping make sense of this, Keith!

Could you clarify what the phrase "Valid for first sailing after Milestone voyage" means? 

Does it mean that you can only use it on the first voyage after you have earned it, or can you hold onto it and use it on any subsequent voyage of your choosing?

Thank you!

Good point because in the past it meant any subsequent voyage of our choosing.

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52 minutes ago, skybluewaters said:

 

Thanks for helping make sense of this, Keith!

Could you clarify what the phrase "Valid for first sailing after Milestone voyage" means? 

Does it mean that you can only use it on the first voyage after you have earned it, or can you hold onto it and use it on any subsequent voyage of your choosing?

Thank you!

You are very welcome and I can answer the question for you.

 

Subsequent means the first time you could consider using it is for the voyage after the one in which milestone is achieved.  You can hold it longer and again it might not be possible to use it on the first subsequent milestone if you already had made the final payment for the voyage.  You can definitely hold it.

 

Keith

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Appears I miss the recognition dinner at the 30th milestone next fall.  Also, what is the in-suite celebration package?  Is there anything to use OBC for while on a river boat other than wine?

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2 hours ago, almostretired said:

Appears I miss the recognition dinner at the 30th milestone next fall.  Also, what is the in-suite celebration package?  Is there anything to use OBC for while on a river boat other than wine?

The 30th Milestone dinner was a dinner at Prego or Umi Uma with Crystal Society Hostess and possibly one or two other people (senior staff, officer etc) and you may have been with other guests who also had reached a similar milestone.   I think the reality is with many people hitting these milestones they found it necessary to eliminate this dinner which some didn't want to participate anyway.

 

The monetary value is about the same.  I can't remember what the in-suite package was.  There was a time when it was some additional OBC for dry cleaning but they gave it to you as OBC that you could use a you did any shop OBC.  Maybe someone else knows.

 

Well you could use the OBC for a private transfer leaving the ship in lieu of the bus transfer which is provided.  We did this.

 

Yes to the wine.  

 

While tours are included you could use it for those that are not if they interest you.

 

A visit to the salon.

 

And you could use some for the crew welfare fund and/or for individual members of the crew.

 

We had no problem spending our OBC this past May on the River Cruise vessel.

 

You will be charged in Euros but the OCB will be in USA dollars so keep that in mind.

 

Keith

 

 

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On 9/17/2019 at 1:30 PM, Keith1010 said:

On a related note if you log into your account on the Crystal Cruises website it will list the past voyages you have taken.  

 

For some they could figure out their Crystal Milestone Milestones from this but for others it might be too complicated as a few years ago the number of awarded milestones was revised.  

You can have your TA obtain the number of milestones from Crystal Cruises for you.

 

 

 

Keith

It shows, for me trips, but since some are long (22 days) I think you get more than 1 credit so it makes it harder to figure out.  I find it interesting since they converted my trips (including on Harmony) to new cruise number format - so you can tell how many days - EXCEPT the cruise I took a couple of months ago it doesn't show cruise number (go figure).  I also took a back to back and it only shows 1.  So as many things on Crystal web site it is great idea but not implemented well.  I know I can contact Crystal but the purpose of web sites it to avoid having to call.

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Keith - hopefully you can answer this.

 

When I went on the Mozart (river cruise) last year, they provided free transfers (not private) from the airport to ship and to the ship to the airport on embarkation and disembarkation day only in Vienna. I only took advantage of the one at the end of the cruise - it was a bus. It was fine and it was free. Are they still doing this? Are you referring to private transfers only?

 

Oddly -I looked at an Amsterdam to Basel river cruise for this year and they offered a free bus to the Basel airport but was charging $750 (I assume US dollars) to Zurich for a private sedan. No free bus option to Zurich was offered. Some other lines do provide transportation to Zurich.

 

As always, thanks!

Edited by Coral

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On 9/17/2019 at 9:22 AM, TER777 said:

There also seems to be some confusion regarding Milestones that involve a dinner such as the Vintage Room dinner for one’s 100th cruise. I believe those still take place on the actual (100th cruise in this example) unless one chooses to postpone it to a subsequent cruise such as when one’s friends will be on board. 

 

Confirmed. Dinners are on the actual cruise 

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7 hours ago, almostretired said:

Appears I miss the recognition dinner at the 30th milestone next fall.  Also, what is the in-suite celebration package?  Is there anything to use OBC for while on a river boat other than wine?

 

The in-suite celebration package is apparently chocolate covered strawberries and champagne. Those allergic to can request something else. 

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6 hours ago, ctjon said:

It shows, for me trips, but since some are long (22 days) I think you get more than 1 credit so it makes it harder to figure out.  I find it interesting since they converted my trips (including on Harmony) to new cruise number format - so you can tell how many days - EXCEPT the cruise I took a couple of months ago it doesn't show cruise number (go figure).  I also took a back to back and it only shows 1.  So as many things on Crystal web site it is great idea but not implemented well.  I know I can contact Crystal but the purpose of web sites it to avoid having to call.

Jonathan, yes as I mentioned it shows the voyages but for many it would be difficult to figure out milestones unless they knew precisely the voyage that coincides/follows the date when the change was made to allocate two milestones for each voyage of 16 or more.  On top of that you there could be some one offs such as those receiving four milestones for NWP and I remember some receiving more milestones for one of those voyages a few years ago in the east and factoring in other cases such as additional milestones that one might get on the yacht/expedition ship.

 

I agree with you.  I think it would be a good suggestion to also add milestones to the Crystal Cruises web site (ideally in the area showing pass voyages) as a separate line item. 

 

In the meantime to get a total milestone number my suggestion is to have the TA get that for you .

 

Back to the summary you see I could be wrong but I do think they are reflecting the back to backs in the summary number you are seeing.  Remember I said I could be wrong but I have a lot of World Cruises and each one represents multiple voyages and while I haven't taken the time to count everything the total number they are showing for me is not just reflecting each WC as one voyage even though it is listed in the detail that way.  Rather I am pretty sure it is reflecting all of the segments I took.

 

Keith

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4 hours ago, Coral said:

Keith - hopefully you can answer this.

 

When I went on the Mozart (river cruise) last year, they provided free transfers (not private) from the airport to ship and to the ship to the airport on embarkation and disembarkation day only in Vienna. I only took advantage of the one at the end of the cruise - it was a bus. It was fine and it was free. Are they still doing this? Are you referring to private transfers only?

 

Oddly -I looked at an Amsterdam to Basel river cruise for this year and they offered a free bus to the Basel airport but was charging $750 (I assume US dollars) to Zurich for a private sedan. No free bus option to Zurich was offered. Some other lines do provide transportation to Zurich.

 

As always, thanks!

Yes, on our Mozart cruise they provided shared transfers each way.  I think the majority of people used the shared inclusive transfer.

 

In my case since we were already staying at a hotel we arranged our own and for the return I had Crystal arrange a private transfer for us.  Very easy to do and I arranged it months before via the Crystal Butler Services and once on-board they had all the information.  Transfer was between Mozart at Vienna to Vienna Airport and $119 euros.  This is an example where a transfer was cheaper than the $220.00 per person Crystal Society credit which someone could get at certain milestones.  This will vary with some cities being more expensive than the $220.00 and others being cheaper. 

 

Keith

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