ABOARD THE CRYSTAL SERENITY --
Crystal Cruises is prepared to double its internet bandwidth
again in 2019, as it has been doing every year since 2017, said vice president
of information technology John Polimenakos.
In a presentation during Crystal's annual gala for travel
agents, Polimenakos said WiFi speeds doubled in 2018 from 2017 and are now four
times faster than at the start of that year. "Bandwidth is going to double
again to eight times the 2017 level," he said.
Since 2017 Crystal has included internet in the fare rather
than charge separately, which has contributed to increasing utilization.
"There's a lot of congestion," Polimenakos said. "YouTube
and Facebook are only getting bigger, and that means we have to adjust the
pipeline," he said.
On another front, Crystal president and CEO Tom Wolber said
the company's long-delayed trio of new ocean ships "have grown a little
bit" and the staterooms also have grown a little bit. But Wolber told the
group he wasn't yet prepared to go into details.
"I won't share anything until I have them perfected,
but believe me they will be the talk of the industry," Wolber said.
Last year, Wolber said the Diamond class vessels would be in
the range of 60,000 to 65,000 gross tons.
Wolber said the company is looking forward to the delivery
of its first 200-passenger expedition ship, the Crystal Endeavor, in August
2020. He said that David Sinclair has been named expedition leader.
"David has climbed the highest peaks north of the
Arctic Circle, skied across Greenland and become an avid naturalist and nature
photographer during his career," Wolber said. Sinclair is a master at
identifying experiences that are on travelers' bucket lists "and making
unforgettable moments possible for travelers," he said.
Overall, Crystal is maintaining its focus on stabilization
and on being a pleasure to do business with, Wolber said. "We are getting to
where we need to be; we are getting back to what we were," he said.