A Bitch About Crystal Cruises

The Cancellation

Missing Refunds

The $80,000+ Cruise

On November 20, 2018, nearly two years ago, I booked a cruise on Crystal Cruise Lines. It wasn’t an ordinary cruise. This was a 19-day European cruise, complete with the owner suite.

The cost of the cruise was over $83,000.

Crystal Cruise receipt

Enter: The Pandemic!

On or about March 19, 2020, Crystal canceled their own cruise. At that time, I had a choice of a full refund or a 125% voucher on a future cruise.

On April 1, 2020, I chose the full refund.

Up to this point, nobody could blame anyone for the uncertainty that came with the following weeks. Certainly, nobody could know when a cruise might sail again.

I could never have known, at that time, I might never see my money again.

Promises Without Fulfillment

As I write this, it is now October 20, 2020, and after multiple lies of them sending the refund, I have still not received the refund.

To add insult to injury, as of today they still can’t tell me when or if I will be getting that refund!

Supposedly, this is the nicest, fanciest cruise line on earth — which, of course, we know is bullshit!

Bitches!

I have been very patient for many months. Now, my patience has worn out. So welcome to bitch.com, bitches, because that’s what I’m fucking dealing with over at CrystalCruises.com.

So, they use the word 'SOON' when it came to giving me a refund, after seven months? That’s bullshit!

This site will come down 'SOON', but not until I get my fucking refund, ASSHOLES!

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Old teller window

A Guest, Not A Banker

I’m not your financier, and I didn’t buy stock in your company. Give me my full refund, and stop lying to me.

Stop the bullshit.

The longer this site stays up, the more it’s going to be indexed by Google. I can’t stop the circulation once it starts; you own this shit!

So these are the motherfuckers that won’t give me my money back. These are the bitches that keep lying to me. These are the bitches that really don’t give a shit. These are the bitches that I’ve wasted seven months of my time. These are just bitches, and now everyone in the world knows it, including the fucking neighbors!

Not A Lone Sailor

I am not the only one, it affects MANY MORE!!!

If they treat ME like this, with the BEST SUITE ON THE SHIP, imagine how they treat others. That makes Crystal Cruise Lines BITCHES!!!

If you have had an issue, EMAIL ME HERE!!

As I scour the 'net, and find more people in management, I will be posting their names and their pictures. Anyone that I can find that’s associated with Crystal Cruises will have a home right here!

Deal with it.

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Your Crystal Cruises Crew

The New CEO

Jack Anderson of Crystal Cruises

Photo: Crystal Cruises media center

The New CEO

Jack Anderson is the new CEO of Crystal Cruises, having taken the helm of this company on October 2, 2020, according to the Crystal Cruise website.

Mr. Anderson's tenure began on a Friday, as he took over from outgoing CEO Tom Wolber, who had been in the captain's seat for about three years. According to Crystal Cruises, Mr. Anderson's tenure is on an "interim basis", based on the headline.

What is particularly interesting is that Crystal Cruises own media department describes Mr. Anderson as being a "cruise industry veteran" who has served as an advisor for the past three years to the outgoing CEO.

We have to ask: Did Mr. Anderson suggest to Mr. Wolber that guests be told they would receive refunds, but not actually get their money back?

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The Old CEO

Tom Wolber of Crystal Cruises

Photo: Crystal Cruises media center

The Old CEO

Tom Wolber is the outgoing CEO of Crystal Cruises. His three-year reign came to an end at the close of September, 2020, according to the company's own website.

Mr. Wolber is the man who, for the past 36 months, has defined the zeitgeist of Crystal Cruises. As the old maxim goes, "The speed of the boss is the speed of the crew".

Given the current refund situation for Crystal Cruises guests, who had their cruises canceled BY THE COMPANY, how does Mr. Wolber explain the policy that informs guests that refunds are coming, when they don't actually send the refund?

According to Crystal Cruises, Wolber stepped down to "spend more time with his family and to pursue other interests".

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A Fairly-new COO

Karl Muhlberger of Crystal Cruises

Photo: Crystal Cruises media center

A Fairly-new COO

Karl Muhlberger joined the "expanding fleet of Crystal Experiences" in late February, 2020, according to the Crystal Cruise media pages.

Mr. Muhlberger, at the time, was said to report directly to Tom Wolber, then the CEO of Crystal Cruises. We are sure he reports to Mr. Anderson, these days, now that Mr. Anderson is the new CEO.

Crystal Cruises has touted Mr. Mulhberger's extensive culinary experience, which leads me to wonder whether he deals with more than food when it comes to cooking things.

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The Senior Veep

This is Walter Littlejohn III, who bills himself on his LinkedIn profile as a "senior cruise industry executive". In its media, Crystal Cruises calls him the Senior Vice President and Manager of Cruise Operations.

Mr. Littlejohn is quoted at length by Crystal Cruises, in their own news release dated Augsut 10, 2020, discussing welcoming guests back aboard and working to "ensure their wellness and peace of mind when that day comes". I guess know the exact date of anything, a future cruise or a refund, is a problem for this company right now.

So, is this the guy?! Is this the manager who made the decision to cancel cruises, then tell guests a refund was on its way, then take a refund vacation?

In my opinion, it's not an unfair question to ask. In fact, you might say, it's the '83-Thousand Dollar Question!'

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The Marketing Veep

Kari Tarnowski of Crystal Cruises

Photo: CruiseIndustryNews.com

The Marketing Veep

Kari Tarnowski is the Vice President of Marketing for Crystal Cruises, and she has been with the company since 2017, according to industry news.

Ms. Tarnowski has worked at a number of luxury cruise lines, according to Cruise Industry News, including being a chief marketing officer at Elite Island Resorts.

How difficult do you think the marketing job is going to be when people have to ask whether the ship will sail? In this case, it might be worth it to feel a bit sorry for Ms. Tarnowski. She's going to have a tough job when this all shakes out.

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The Business Development Manager

Debbie Doty of Crystal Cruises

The Business Development Manager

Debbie Doty is currently the Strategic Business Development Manager for Crystal Cruises. She has been with Crystal Cruises since at least 2010, according to industry news.

Ms. Doty was also recently the Group and Incentive Sales Manager of Crystal Cruises, according to her LinkedIn profile, and she started with the company as part of the a regional sales team in California, according to Cruise Industry News.

Finding more information about Ms. Doty is difficult. She does not say much on her LinkedIn profile. There's nothing written about her on the Crystal Cruise website, but we know she works there.

The question now is whether Ms. Debbie Doty develops the refund strategy, too, or just sales and business development.

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Genting HK And Genting Cruise Lines

Crystal Cruises is owned, along with two other cruise companies, by Genting Cruise Lines. Genting Cruise Lines is part of the larger Genting Hong Kong group of cruise lines. And Genting HK is owned by the Asia-based Genting Malaysia Berhad, also called the Genting Group, a super conglomerate with business investments and holdings across several industries, including leisure and travel, according to the Genting website, genting.com.

In addition to leisure and travel, Genting Group has operations in real estate and property development, plantations, biotechnology, energy, and life sciences. The cruise industry portion of its business is but a fraction of is larger holdings in leisure and travel, and includes casinos in the United Kingdom and the United States, including holdings in Las Vegas.

There are troubled waters for Genting ahead, which may be why refunds are a big question mark. Genting's difficulties, and that of its cruise lines, is well documented by multiple cruise industry trade reports and financial news reports. Links to these reports can be found below, in our reference section, "Further Reading".

 

The Genting Group CEO

Lim Kok Thay of Genting Group

Photo: Synthetic Genomics

The Genting Group CEO

Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay is so big a tycoon in Asia that he has his own Wikipedia page. Better known as simply Lim Kok Thay, he is the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Genting Group, the conglomerate that owns Genting Cruise Lines and its companies, which includes Crystal Cruises.

Bloomberg Quint is reporting that Mr. Lim has pledged nearly all of his own holdings in Genting HK Ltd. over the summer to secure loans to help provide cash flow for the parent company, Genting Berhad, which has been forced to cut thousands of jobs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Bloomberg, Mr. Lim's considerable stake in Genting Hong Kong, which accounts for approximately 76-percent of the company value, is now collateral for various loans. Mr. Lim has, according to financial reports, committed about one-third of his entire holdings in Genting Bhd., including the Genting HK shares.

It is very likely that the collateral for a loan will include deposit money from previously-booked cruises, but there is, obviously, no mention of such specifics in the articles we have yet found.

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The Genting Cruise Lines President

Kent Zhu of Genting Hong Kong

Photo: Seatrade Cruise News

The Genting Cruise Lines President

Kent Zhu Fuming is the President of Genting Cruise Lines, having been appointed to the post in early 2017. He is more widely known as merely Kent Zhu.

Despite the apparent financial travails bedeviling Crystal Cruises and its layers of parent corporations, Mr. Zhu recently did an interview with Cruise Industry News discussing a rosy future for Crystal Cruises. Specifically, Mr. Zhu discussed new luxury experiences for passengers that would be enjoyed aboard new ships coming online in 2021.

We are not certain when the Cruise Industry News article interview was done, although the story, itself, only debuted recently, in late October, 2020.

However, we can say it appears, as of November 16, Mr. Zhu has not updated his LinkedIn page too recently, which has a featured link to a dated industry article. We can presume he must be busy.

Perhaps he is consumed with looking at passenger receipts and deciding which ones to refund.

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Further Reading & Reference

Gene Sloan MSN.com Article

MSN and Points Guy Crystal Cruises Story

Article from August 21, 2020, at MSN.com, by Gene Sloan, in which Crystal Cruises says it is processing refunds.

Katherine Fan Article On ThePointsGuy.com

ThePointsGuy.com Refund Article About Crystal Cruises

Article from September 23, 2020, at ThePointsGuy.com, by Katherine Fan, about travelers not getting refunds.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Article

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Article About Lack Of Refunds From Crystal

Article from August 14, 2020, at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, by Ron Hurtibise, about long waits for refunds.

More Industry News Links

 ThePointsGuy.com

Customers Cry Foul As Crystal Cruise Refunds Fail To Arrive
 ▷   Article by Katherine Fan, September 23, 2020 ▷

Insurance Companies Now Limiting Coverage For Crystal Cruises
 ▷   Article by Gene Sloan, August 27, 2020 ▷

Parent Company Of Crystal Cruises In Financial Trouble
 ▷   Article by Gene Sloan, August 20, 2020 ▷

 

 CruiseIndustryNews.com

Crystal Cruises Cancels Remaining 2020 Cruises, No Full Refunds Offered
 ▷   Cruise Industry News, August 01, 2020 ▷

Crystal Cruises Cuts Dozens Of Jobs At Miami HQ
 ▷   Cruise Industry News, April 28, 2020 ▷

 

 Seatrade-Cruise.com

Two New Crystal Cruise Ships Delayed "About A Year"
 ▷   Article by Anne Kalosh, August 08, 2020 ▷

Other News Links

 Nikkei.com

Crystal Cruises Parent, Genting, Gets Bailout From Germany
 ▷   Article by Jens Kastner, October 6, 2020 ▷

 

 BloombergQuint.com

Malaysia Tycoon Behind Tumbling Cruise Firm Risks Fortune
 ▷   Article by Yoojung Lee and Devon Pendleton, Updated August 26, 2020 ▷

 

 MiamiHerald.com

Crystal Cruises Parent, Genting, Halts Payments To Creditors
 ▷   Article by Rob Wile and Rene Rodriguez, August 21, 2020 ▷

 

 Sun-Sentinel.com

Frustrations Grow Over Waits For Cruise Refunds
 ▷   Article by Ron Hurtibise, August 14, 2020 ▷