The debut of Crystal Harmony proved a glorious game changer

By Patti Pietschmann

Crystal Harmony souvenirT-shirtOur first look at Crystal Harmony during her debut on July 24, 1990 took our breath away.  She was the most luxurious ship with the finest food and amenities my husband Richard and I ever experienced on a ship. Touches such Frette robes and bed linens, high end toiletries, indulgent butler service, and in-room dining served in courses enhanced the experience. Even the pool was the most inviting and largest afloat.

This wasn’t our first cruise by a long shot but one of the best ever.  We sailed from San Francisco to Alaska during the midnight sun.  The cuisine, entertainment, facilities, and staff continually amazed us.

A class act all the way

Everyone dressed to the nines at night. After cocktails in one of the glamorous bars, we went to the show or movies. Then played volleyball in the pool, sipping  Cristal champagne, under a glorious sun.

The late, great Mary Tyler Moore, Crystal Cruises’ very first godmother,  was also on our cruise. She was a pure delight joining passengers for Alaska shore excursions and being very present.Mary Tyler Moore christened Crystal Harmony

Now 30 years later Crystal Harmony’s long gone but the cruise line is thriving with two swank ocean liners and a fleet of elegant riverboats and yachts.

Improvement and innovations

After Genting Hong Kong purchased the company in 2015, Crystal started serving free wines, spirits and anything you drank. They included gratuities and WiFi and just kept on improving.

As Crystal celebrates its milestone anniversary, president and CEO Tom Wolber says,  “I am immensely grateful for the officers and crew, Crystal Society Members and travel partners who have made this 30th Anniversary possible.” “I want to thank all the members of the Crystal Family over the years who had the passion and dedication to create this company, and the vision for all the possibilities it represented, and our parent company, who has continued to empower this vision and steadfastly supports us every day.”

You can watch Crystal celebrate tonight at 6 p.m. Eastern time on a  special 30th Anniversary edition of Friday Nights at the Galaxy as part of its Crystal@Home.  Tune into  Crystal Cruises Facebook page= or The Crystal website also features a detailed timeline of Crystal’s milestones and innovations through its three decades.

Memorabilia via Spotify

Crystal: Sailing Through 30 Years  is  available for download on Spotify. The playlist of 30 songs is curated by Crystal Society members and includes iconic tunes like Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World, Andy Williams’ Moon River and Israel Kamakawiwo’le’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Other tunes you’ll hear include  Nat King Cole’s Stardust, Billy Joel’s Piano Man and Frank Sinatra’s Girl From Ipanema.

While we’re  cooped up at home we might as well learn some new recipes. And you’ll find them in: Crystal’s 30th Anniversary Cookbook.   The culinary tome comprises more than 260 pages of Crystal’s acclaimed recipes for classic and modern dishes, desserts, cocktails and more. You  can order a personal copy at

For more information and reservations, contact a Pavlus travel advisor at 800-528-9300.









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