"" Writer's Wanderings: A Grand Voyage--The Beginning And The End

Thursday, January 20, 2022

A Grand Voyage--The Beginning And The End

 Our day in Progreso, Mexico, was unsettling to say the least. It started out as a beautiful sunny day. The dock was the longest one I have ever seen. It is actually 4 miles long and it took us ten minutes by a shuttle van to get to the end of it. We were curious to see what Progreso was like since we'd never been here before.

The shuttle took us to the bus terminal which was just a block away from the end of the dock. There we got a sales pitch for all sorts of tours before we left the shuttle. The destination lecture had said there was a nice boardwalk along the shore so we tried to get our bearings and figure out which way to go.

The few blocks we walked before we found the shoreline were not pleasant--run down and with trash in the streets but once we found the boardwalk we were pleasantly surprised. It was beautiful. I can't tell you how far it stretched but on one side of it there were shops, restaurants and some small hotels. On the other side, was a gorgeous white sand beach that stretched as far as the eye could see. 

There were certainly opportunities to rent a chair and I think an umbrella and there were several places that had tables under cover for eating and drinking. While we got the usual patter of salesmanship you expect in the Caribbean and Mexico, it was not overwhelming and we enjoyed our stroll along the boardwalk. 

As we headed back to the shuttle service, we found that keeping the lighthouse in sight was a good navigation tool. The street we walked back on was not nearly as "rustic" as the other streets had been.

Now for the unsettling news. There had been rumors that Genting Hong Kong was in dire straits financially and it was coming to a head. Crystal Cruises is a part of that company but the news we had seen appeared to involve their ship building division. We had set it aside as something not to stress over needlessly.

Our ship sits at the end of a 4 mile long dock

Well, by the time we were back onboard the ship the rumors were flying and a little later confirmed by an email. Crystal Cruises would be suspending operations for all of their ships and river boats at the end of the segments they were on. That meant that our Grand Voyage would be a short one. It would end in Aruba on January 30.

As disappointed as we felt, it could not compare to the devastation of the crew. They had already been through one shut down because of COVID. We overheard some saying that they had sold cars and other possessions to survive financially. When the cruise line shuts down, they do not receive a paycheck. You have to applaud them though. For as unsettling as the news was, they greeted us with smiles and gracious service everywhere we went this evening. 

So we found ourselves scrambling to make sure we could get back home from Aruba. My sweet husband is always on the ball and he immediately made reservations for us with United. We never expected something like this. We had envisioned the possibility of our cruise ending due to COVID but certainly not due to the company's financial position. 

We have been assured that we will be reimbursed for the remainder of our cruise. Here is the email message:

Today, Crystal is announcing that it has suspended operations for its Ocean and Expedition ships through April 29, 2022, with River cruises suspended through the end of May 2022. Suspending operations will provide Crystal’s management team with an opportunity to evaluate the current state of business and examine various options moving forward.

Crystal’s three ships currently in operation – Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony sailing in the Caribbean and Crystal Endeavor in Antarctica – will complete their current voyages. Crystal Symphony’s current voyage ends in Miami on January 22, Crystal Serenity in Aruba on January 30 and Crystal Endeavor in Ushuaia, Argentina, on February 4.

“This was an extremely difficult decision but a prudent one given the current business environment and recent developments with our parent company, Genting Hong Kong,” said Jack Anderson, Crystal’s president. “Crystal has been synonymous with luxury cruising for more than 30 years and we look forward to welcoming back our valued guests when we resume our operations. We wish to thank our guests and travel advisors for their incredible support during these ongoing challenging times.”

For guests currently sailing on back-to-back voyages, Crystal will provide a refund for unused days of the cruise fare paid as well as the corresponding port charges, taxes and fees. Crystal will provide a full refund of cruise fare paid on affected bookings. Refunds will be processed automatically to the original form of payment so there is no further action on the guest’s part. If the cruise was paid via a Future Cruise Payment or Credit, the full value will be returned to their Crystal Society profile account.

Thank you again for your understanding.


Guest Services

We have ten days left to enjoy of what was to be 116 days. And that we will.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...