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A&K Travel Group Acquires Crystal Brand and Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony


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No one is suggesting that the new owner owes any of the old debts to passengers or travel agents. I am baffled that anyone would read the posts that way.

 

I think the sentiment is that we would love it if they would do something to acknowledge them in some way.   There are many ways to do so.  And these are very savvy owners who understand the issue.

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The way I look at it, if Crystal had never gone belly up and you had taken the cruises, all you'd have is memories and maybe an extra 10 pounds around your middle. Now it's just bad memories vs. good ones.

 

Patty

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4 minutes ago, AtA said:

I guess you won't be going back because I strongly doubt the new Crystal will be paying off Genting's debts. 

Correct.  But as I have said on other posts, they can do something to acknowledge the losses of both loyal passengers and travel agents.  It doesn't have to be a refund.  These savvy new owners understand the importance of reputation and brand image.

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2 minutes ago, Texas Tillie said:

The way I look at it, if Crystal had never gone belly up and you had taken the cruises, all you'd have is memories and maybe an extra 10 pounds around your middle. Now it's just bad memories vs. good ones.

 

Patty

For me, there was a silver lining.  I never would have discovered Silversea.  I was kind of "forced" to find replacement cruises.  Now I am looking forward to several Regent cruises.  It will work out for everyone in some way except for the financial losses.

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Just now, bitob said:

Correct.  But as I have said on other posts, they can do something to acknowledge the losses of both loyal passengers and travel agents.  It doesn't have to be a refund.  These savvy new owners understand the importance of reputation and brand image.

And as I said, a good gesture would definitely be a FCC but I would doubt they'd do it for the full loss. 

 

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aa3917a3-bbca-4c6e-8644-97cf5d5afced.png

 

Manfredi Gets Serenity & Symphony

The word is now official: Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony have been acquired by A & K Travel Group which is owned by Heritage, which is headed by former Silversea founder and chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio.

No word on purchase price, but the brand name is included in the purchase.

The source who informed Cruise Week said, "No word yet on what is going to happen to the money Crystal formerly owed to consumers on deposits and refunds never reimbursed and travel advisors in the forms of coop $$ and unpaid commissions.

Will the consumer and advisors who lost money support a brand who took advantage of their trust?"


#### - END

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, AtA said:

If you buy someone else's house, you do NOT owe the debts that the previous owner acquired on the house. The previous owner pays off all debts. Same here. 

 But if you owe money to the bank as in mortgage, before you sell the house doesn’t the bank have to give the OK after you pay them or the new owner accepts the debt? Apparently in the case of Crystal no one was supervising what they did and how much money they took and were unable to repay. We were deceived by an image of “luxury “, “family “, and the like. At the end we are nothing more than unwilling unsecured creditors…it was a fraud.  I am learning a lot in this process. The bad taste remains maybe because the trust was very big. 

Ivi

Edited by travelberlin
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Just now, bitob said:

For me, there was a silver lining.  I never would have discovered Silversea.  I was kind of "forced" to find replacement cruises.  Now I am looking forward to several Regent cruises.  It will work out for everyone in some way except for the financial losses.

Well we originally were Regent cruisers and when we found Crystal, it became our home because everything was so much better. Regent is good, and the crew is efficient, but it lacks that feeling of "home".

We tried Seabourn in March and while the staff was excellent, and the CD fabulous, everything else was just ok. For the money Crystal definitely was many steps above. If Crystal was 6 star, Seabourn was at most 5+ and that's me being generous.

We will be on Silversea Whisper this fall and will see how we like it. And next September we'll be trying the new Explora Journeys. So we shall see.

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3 minutes ago, travelberlin said:

 But if you owe money to the bank as in mortgage, before you sell the house doesn’t the bank have to give the OK after you pay them or the new owner accepts the debt? Apparently in the case of Crystal no one was supervising what they did and how much money they took and were unable to repaid. We were deceived by an image of “luxury “, “family “, and the like. At the end we are nothing more than unwilling unsecured creditors…it was a fraud.  I am learning a lot in this process. The bad taste remains maybe because the trust was very big. 

Ivi

No with a mortgage once you sell the house, the bank is paid back first. And no, the new owner doesn't accept the debt unless it's written into the contract.

 

You are correct that no one was supervising what Genting HK did. This is all the fault of Genting HK. Crystal was a small pimple in Genting's portfolio and they bled them dry. 

 

And yes, it was fraud by Genting HK. Now the ships and the name have been bought by Heritage Group and A & K who both have excellent reputations in the industry. 

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I just had a conversation who is very knowledgeable about the cruise industry and the buyers in particular.

 

He says it is "impossible" that the buyers' five year plan did not include the building of new ships.  He believes the current ships will be "cleaned up" but that the buyers will not pour a lot of money into them.  They are too old to be worth the investment.  The focus will will ultimately be on new builds.

 

We shall see.

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23 minutes ago, AtA said:

Well we originally were Regent cruisers and when we found Crystal, it became our home because everything was so much better. Regent is good, and the crew is efficient, but it lacks that feeling of "home".

We tried Seabourn in March and while the staff was excellent, and the CD fabulous, everything else was just ok. For the money Crystal definitely was many steps above. If Crystal was 6 star, Seabourn was at most 5+ and that's me being generous.

We will be on Silversea Whisper this fall and will see how we like it. And next September we'll be trying the new Explora Journeys. So we shall see.

I agree.  Seabourn is just ok (except for Antarctica where they are great). My last choice in the world of luxury cruising.  But they have some great itineraries so we occasionally book Seabourn.  We are sailing Seabourn to the Turquoise Coast in 2023.  Crystal doesn't go there.  I don't think Regent or Silversea do either.

 

I have an open mind about Regent.  And I am traveling on my first Regent cruise with my usual "posse" of cruise friends (all former Crystal cruisers).  That guarantees a good time.

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9 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

I am sure a new ship is part of any business plan.  I guess I could have said hopeful but I’ll go with sure

 

Keith

My hope with a new ship is that they keep what is so special about the Crystal ships. The walking deck, the central atrium where so many wonderful parties were held, the Avenue, etc. I'm guessing that any new ship will have larger staterooms which of course would be a plus. Hoping they're laid out as well as the old PH's on Crystal

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Posted (edited)

I think before new ships are talked about the new line will need to start to make money with the present ships. I wonder if it will be based in NA or Europe? Since V ships is really running the show I wonder how that will work out? The new line has at least 30K upset customers, TA partners and vendors so I wonder how that will work out. The CFO of of the group will run the new Crystal and A&K so I guess p&l will be looked at for the first time. Crystal was a great value in the Luxury segment, wonder how much higher fares will effect those Crystalized? With the global economy collapsing, inflation surging, interest rates surging, fuel prices at all time highs seems like a poor time to start a luxury cruise line.  I hope this major refit will bring the ships up to 2023 standard's, I'll keep an eye on my mail box for further info. 

Edited by hypercafe
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Good morning from Chicago.  I am on A&K's email list and find it interesting that I received an email this morning about their new LUXURY EXPEDITION cruise offerings in 2023-24.  They do not name a ship--they refer to a "chartered" luxury expedition ship.  Searched this thread and Keith's thread for "expedition" and got no hits.  Has A&K also purchased Endeavour?  In an unrelated note, I just realized that A&K's headquarters is 15 minutes away from where I live.  🙂  

Kathy B.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, KathyB_37 said:

Good morning from Chicago.  I am on A&K's email list and find it interesting that I received an email this morning about their new LUXURY EXPEDITION cruise offerings in 2023-24.  They do not name a ship--they refer to a "chartered" luxury expedition ship.  Searched this thread and Keith's thread for "expedition" and got no hits.  Has A&K also purchased Endeavour?  In an unrelated note, I just realized that A&K's headquarters is 15 minutes away from where I live.  🙂  

Kathy B.

A&K often leases luxury ships.  That's how their river cruises work.  Absent an announcement, no way to be sure.

 

I got the same email so I dug deeper.  It's a charter for the first one listed.  I have not gone through all the expedition cruises but that's probably it.

 

  • Cruise the coast of Italy for 9 nights on luxury ‘Le Bougainville,’ enjoying all-balcony accommodations and a capacity limited to just 148 guests

Le Bougainville is a Poignant ship

Edited by bitob
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1 hour ago, hypercafe said:

I think before new ships are talked about the new line will need to start to make money with the present ships. I wonder if it will be based in NA or Europe? Since V ships is really running the show I wonder how that will work out? The new line has at least 30K upset customers, TA partners and vendors so I wonder how that will work out. The CFO of of the group will run the new Crystal and A&K so I guess p&l will be looked at for the first time. Crystal was a great value in the Luxury segment, wonder how much higher fares will effect those Crystalized? With the global economy collapsing, inflation surging, interest rates surging, fuel prices at all time highs seems like a poor time to start a luxury cruise line.  I hope this major refit will bring the ships up to 2023 standard's, I'll keep an eye on my mail box for further info. 

Well they will figure it out.

 

Like myself who is owed a bunch of money several people we know in the same "boat" are owed money and not upset other than with the old parent not the new owner.

 

The good news is the new owner will figure this out and will get input and advice where it is needed.

 

Oh there is never a great time to start something new.

 

So you start it when things are peachy king, invest a lot, expand quickly and then a year later things turn south.

 

Better to get into it when things are a bit more challenging.

 

This has always been my view including my time in a completely unrelated business.

 

In fact, I would warn my people that the time to worry was when things were going all too well.

 

Keith

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1 hour ago, bitob said:

A&K often leases luxury ships.  That's how their river cruises work.  Absent an announcement, no way to be sure.

 

I got the same email so I dug deeper.  It's a charter for the first one listed.  I have not gone through all the expedition cruises but that's probably it.

 

  • Cruise the coast of Italy for 9 nights on luxury ‘Le Bougainville,’ enjoying all-balcony accommodations and a capacity limited to just 148 guests

Le Bougainville is a Poignant ship

Oops  POnant

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39 minutes ago, Keith1010 said:

Pretty much echoes what many of us have said.  Good buyer.  New ships needed.  Doing something for those of us who lost a lot of money would be a good idea.

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7 minutes ago, bitob said:

Pretty much echoes what many of us have said.  Good buyer.  New ships needed.  Doing something for those of us who lost a lot of money would be a good idea.

And honestly what amount would make you happy since i’m sure they are not going to give you 30k of FCC

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7 minutes ago, AtA said:

And honestly what amount would make you happy since i’m sure they are not going to give you 30k of FCC

I don't know

Let's see what happens.

But it's not about making me happy.

I am  happy now.  I have tons of cruises and land trips booked and many good options.

My travel life does not remotely rely on returning to Crystal.

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