Benefit Global Children’s Charity
LOS ANGELES, September 14, 2009 â€“ Crystal Cruisesâ€™ 2009 World Cruise created more than a lifetime of memories. It also raised the hopes and dreams for underprivileged children.
Since Crystal Cruises became a founding partner of the CondÃ© Nast Traveler Five & Alive Fund in 2008, the lineâ€™s repeat guests and shipboard and shore-side employees have banded together to raise in excess of $80,000 to improve the health of children age five and under in developing countries around the world.
Most donations have come through the Exclusive Experience Auctions held just a few times a year aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. Hosted in the shipsâ€™ main show lounge, typically to standing room only crowds, the Five & Alive auctions have all the buzz, energy and excitement of a professional auction house. More than 100 guests bid on experiential treats like:
* Joining the Captain on the bridge during a Suez Canal transit,
* Caviar for two on the bridge as Crystal Serenity transited Glacier Bay,
* A private sushi-making class for six with the Nobu-trained Silk Road executive chef,
* A cameo appearance in an elaborate production show,
* A private wine cellar tour and special tasting with the head sommelier,
* A private dinner in the galley served by the Executive Chef during meal time,
* Co-hosting The Morning Show, Crystalâ€™s onboard television show, and
* A private engine room tour conducted by the Chief Engineer.
Other popular auction items have included items guests have enjoyed on board, like silver coffee service sets, caviar bowls, crystal goblets and memorabilia from the ultra-luxury lineâ€™s past lavish stage shows.
â€œWeâ€™re thrilled with the warm reception the auctions have generated on board,â€ says Gregg Michel, president of Crystal Cruises. â€œCrystal guests are savvy travelers who are patrons of many charities. They are aware of the effect that even a small amount of generosity can have.â€
Guestsâ€™ generosity is not limited to the auctions, as several have made cash donations in addition to their auction bids. Others purchased designated items in the shipâ€™s boutiques. Bracelets, shirts and WebkinzÂ® stuffed toys are available, with 100% of net proceeds benefitting the charity. Guests can also donate via their shipboard folios or an in-room Five & Alive envelope. A link at crystalcruises.com also enables the public to make a tax deductible monetary contribution.
Besides individual contributions by Crystalâ€™s shipboard and shore-side employees, the company has held in-office sales of unused merchandise and Friday â€œdenim dayâ€ incentives.
Nearly 10 million children in impoverished countries die every year of preventable illness before they reach the age of five because they lack the simplest of things â€“ clean drinking water, basic medicines, mosquito netting and nutrition. Five and Alive, a program of Population Services International (PSI), provides these children and their families with education, products, services and care needed to improve health and save lives in more than 30 countries.
In 2008, Five & Alive:
Treated nearly 15 billion liters of water with safe water products,
Distributed 21,321,687 malaria nets, and
Distributed 3,763,172 units of malaria treatment.
Even a little helps â€“ $5 provide a malaria net for three years; $25 buys lifesaving pneumonia antibiotics for more than 100 children; $50 distributed oral rehydration salts to 500 children; and 100 provides more than 35 families with a yearâ€™s worth of safe drinking water.