Crystal Symphony to Enter Dry Dock for Enhancements

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LOS ANGELES, August 30, 2006 – Ultra-luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises is spending $23 million to enhance the award-winning Crystal Symphony in what will be the cruise line’s largest-ever dry dock. In just two weeks, from October 31 through November 12, 2006, nearly 1,300 people will work around the clock on more than 150 separate projects to create what will essentially be a new ship, especially to those familiar with it.

Emerging with a decidedly sophisticated and contemporary style, Crystal Symphony’s comprehensive undertaking will transform all staterooms, a continuation of the ship’s last dry dock in 2004 when all penthouses were refurbished; much of Tiffany Deck, the ship’s main entertainment area, including a completely reconstructed social lounge, new casino and new nightclub; complete redesign of all boutiques, shops and caf; as well as dozens of behind the scenes improvements.

Underscoring the company’s commitment to quality, this major construction project follows an earlier multi-million dollar renovation two years ago that debuted a brand-new Feng Shui-inspired spa, a new Vintage Room – today one of the ship’s most popular features, an expanded Computer University@Sea, redesign of specialty restaurants, and complete refurbishment of all penthouse accommodations.

“As a leader in luxury travel, Crystal has an obligation to provide our discerning clientele with an experience that continues to deliver upon their expectations and at the same time exceed our own exacting standards,” says Thomas Mazloum, Crystal’s senior vice president of hotel operations. “Within the last two to three years, we will have invested in excess of $35 million dollars in new construction projects that will ultimately transform the look of Crystal Symphony with incredibly sophisticated and modern architectural features and design elements.”

Since its debut in 1995, Crystal Symphony has enjoyed a decade of accolades, consistently earning the industry’s highest praises. Earlier this year, the well-traveled readers of Cond Nast Traveler voted the 940-guest, 50,000-ton ship one of the top two “Best Ships in the World” – a distinction it shares with fleetmate Crystal Serenity.

Crystal Symphony’s renowned status will take on a newly urbane air of contemporary style following this fall’s dry dock with major construction projects that include:

Staterooms

Completely redesigned with the look of a chic boutique hotel, all 416 staterooms will be elegant sanctuaries of refined style. Notable appointments such as new Murano glass bedside lamps, Rubelli fabrics and handsome leather headboard adorn a reconfigured space with state-of-the-art features including special LED reading lights and new 20″ LCD flat screen televisions. Bathrooms will be newly reconstructed with a contemporary style showcasing oval glass sinks atop granite countertops.

Tiffany Deck – Main Entertainment Area

As the hub of social activity, shopping, entertainment and casually elegant dining, Tiffany Deck (deck six) will be completely transformed from stem to stern with new color schemes, new construction and new contemporary lighting that will create different moods as day moves into night.

New Starlite Club

Centrally located in the middle of Tiffany Deck, existing walls are removed and a dramatic round bar takes center stage in this stylishly open environment offering panoramic sea views. With window walls sparkling with Swarovski crystals, the new Starlite Club will be the place to see and be seen, featuring lectures by day and dancing by night.

New Crystal Casino

Dramatic black flooring will anchor a sophisticated new black and silver color palette in the completely redesigned Crystal Casino. In addition to black jack, roulette, baccarat, new offerings will include The Ultimate Texas Hold-em and state-of-the-art slots.

New Nightclub

From its polished aluminum Phillipe Stark bar stools to the glass Bizzaro mosaics, Crystal Symphony’s modern new nightclub will be a sophisticated spot for drinks, dancing and conversation. Located adjacent to the new Crystal Casino, a dazzling new lighting system will flash electric color off shimmery finishes and stunning shades of black, silver and white.

New Boutiques and Shops

Cultured and refined, sleek and sexy. The sophisticated boutiques and shops aboard Crystal Symphony will be completely transformed with dramatic white marble, black accents, clean stone finishes and stunning chandeliers. Facets will feature a new private space for guests to consider high-end jewelry purchases, and Apropos will continue to offer the line’s popular logo items and resort wear.

New Bistro Caf

A comfortable European atmosphere will be recreated in this long-favorite venue, enhanced with new decorative tiles, new wall finishings and fresh upholstery all done in a warm palette of russets and earth tones.

Computer University@Sea

Expanded just two years ago to accommodate the increased demand for its growing portfolio of courses, Crystal’s revolutionary Computer University@Sea will be outfitted with all new equipment and feature wireless access as well.

With extreme home makeovers and architectural/interior redesigns capturing mainstream attention like never before, the scope and logistics of Crystal Symphony’s two-week dry dock is equally as fascinating:

  • 750 outside workers (the most ever employed by Crystal during a dry dock) will join forces with Crystal Symphony’s existing crew of 545 to ensure a timely completion;
  • 200 workers will dedicate their time to the staterooms, while 23 people will work on windows alone;
  • The labor force represents more than 40 different nationalities;
  • 140 20-foot containers (nearly two-three times as many as most cruise ships have during a typical dry dock) will arrive from Finland, Italy, Norway, the UK, China and more, and must be unloaded within nine days; and,
  • The cruise line will work with dozens of companies from the U.S., UK, Singapore, Canada, Italy, Finland, Norway and Germany.

Crystal has again selected prestigious design firms to lead the reconstruction including SMC Design and Clixby Associates, regarded for its modern luxe design. Each has a proven history of high-end projects, including previous work on Crystal ships.

Crystal Symphony’s dry dock will be completed at the BAE Shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia. On November 12, 2006, the luxury liner departs Miami on a 12-day Panama Canal cruise en route to Caldera, Costa Rica.

The Crystal Difference

Crystal Cruises enjoys a reputation for excellence, grounded in over a decade of prestigious accolades. Most recently, Crystal has been voted “World’s Best Large-Ship Cruise Line” by the readers of Cond Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines for 10 and 11 consecutive years, respectively – the only cruise line, resort or hotel to have achieved such distinction.

For additional information, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line’s website at www.crystalcruises.com.