Best Medium-Size Ships in the World Vote Condé Nast Traveler Readers

Courtesy of Crystal Cruises

The ships of Crystal Cruises have once again earned top honors from the readers of Condé Nast Traveler, who named the ultra-luxury vessels the best medium-sized ships in the world.  Of nearly 100 ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony were ranked #1 and #2, respectively, in the magazine’s ninth annual “Best Cruise Ships in the World” issue. Although the medium-sized category includes ships carrying between 500-1,500 passengers, Crystal Serenity’s overall score of 93.3 ranked higher than any other ship in all groups.  Crystal Symphony ranked second in the medium-sized group, with an overall score of 92.9.

Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, respectively, earned some of their highest ever scores for Crew/Service (96.6 and 95.7), Activities/Facilities (93.9 and 93.1), Cabins (89.1 and 89.7) and Design/Layout (96.2 and 94.4). Crystal Serenity’s scores for its Activities/Facilities and Design/Layout also topped those of every other ship rated for this poll.  Having recently undergone a multi-million dollar drydock, she now boasts additional plush Penthouses and a newly renovated Crystal Cove bar and Plaza lobby, and a completely rebuilt casino.

Travelers also appreciated Crystal’s dining and increasing focus on intimate, once-in-a-lifetime experiences ashore.  Crystal’s Food/Dining scores (95.0 for both ships), and its shore excursions (87.7 and 86.9) rated higher than most ships in the survey.  Not one to rest on its laurels, the luxury line has rolled out more than 750 Crystal Adventures for its 2009 Northern Europe and Mediterranean seasons, roughly 150 of which are brand new.
“The most discerning, value-conscious luxury consumers purchase luxury products based on real quality, and the consistency of the experience,” says Crystal Cruises’ President Gregg L. Michel.  “This is a tremendous validation of unique and unparalleled experience travelers find onboard Crystal ships.”
Condé Nast Traveler asked its subscribers to rate 418 ships on a 100-point scale.  A total of 90 eligible ships are reviewed in the February 2009 issue.
Crystal ships have long been celebrated for outstanding performance in all of these areas.  A steadfast commitment to the Six-Star Crystal Basics – the line’s credo for ensuring that all guests’ needs are fulfilled – has made Crystal the category winner in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice poll more than any other resort, hotel or cruise line in history.
Attesting to the consistent quality of its onboard experience, the luxury line was voted “World’s Best” in Travel + Leisure’s most recent readers’ survey.  Crystal Cruises is the only cruise line, resort or hotel to have won the prestigious award each year since the awards’ inception.
From seven-, 11- and 12- day vacations in Europe to epic 100+-day World Cruises, space, quality, service and choices are the cornerstone of the Crystal experience.

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  1. Crystal, is the size of ship that I’d love to sail on but I can’t afford their prices. I began sailing as a teen in the late 50’s when ships were Not monstrosities. I made friends on each of my sailings and stayed in touch w/them. The gigantic liners from which I must choose now, usually, don’t allow me to see the same person 3 times.

  2. I really dislike the huge floating cities that now ply the waters. The Marco Polo was ideal and now has gone for scrap. I like to disembark swifly and make friends readily with people I can see frequently. I have been cruising for 50 years. Gone are the days of Chandris’ small ships when the ship could enter any small harbor. Would appreciate any suggestions for cruising the Med. in smaller cruise vessels.

  3. There are smaller ships that sail in the Mediterranean and can go to unusual ports. Azamara Cruises is a spinoff of Celebrity Cruises (which bought out Chandris many years ago). Their ships are around 30,000 tons and hold 700 people. Luxury cruise lines such as Regent, Silversea, and Seabourn also have smaller ships that have some unique itineraries.

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