Crystal Cruises, consistently rated among the world’s top luxury lines, upped its game this year by making its voyages “all-inclusive,” with wine and bar service, gratuities for dining and housekeeping staff and more included in fares. Such pampering does not come cheaply. Even with sale pricing, 12-day voyages often start near $4,000 per person. But by choosing shorter trips, you can cut your outlay by half or more.
The deal: “Crystal Getaways” are voyages of five to eight days that start as low as $1,310 per person, double occupancy, plus port charges and other fees, for the cruise only; airfare is extra. The varied itineraries include popular ports in the Mediterranean region.
When: Nine departures are available through Dec. 1. You must book by Aug. 31.
Tested: I began my search on Crystal Cruises’ homepage, www.crystalcruises.com. I clicked on “Special Offers” at the bottom, then selected “Crystal Getaways.” I chose a six-day Athens-to-Istanbul voyage on the Crystal Serenity that departs Oct. 30. I liked the diverse itinerary, which offered daylong port calls in ancient and beautiful places: the city of Nafplion and the island of Mykonos in Greece, plus Kusadasi in Turkey.
The cruise-only fares listed for this trip started at $1,575 per person, double occupancy, plus $255 in “cruise port, security and handling charges.” That price was for a Class C deluxe stateroom on Deck 7.