Head-Turning, Groundbreaking Technology on Crystal Mozart

By Katie Jackson

Almost 300 years before Thomas Edison filed a patent for his “electric lamp with carbon fiber filament” in New Jersey, Sir John Harrington was tinkering on a present for his godmother in England.

In 1596, Queen Elizabeth’s technologically advanced—it could last 20 uses between flushes—toilet was impressive. But today, it wouldn’t hold a much-needed candle to Crystal Mozart’s porcelain thrones. Equipped with heated seats, air-drying fans, self-cleaning wands, tornado jet flushing, and oscillating and pulsing comfort washing, the stateroom TOTO toilets introduce a whole new level of comfort to the lavatory experience. While sipping welcome champagne, guests are entertained with their butler’s toilet tutorial in which they learn how to use the remote control to adjust their customize-able commode. There are 10 settings for pressure and position alone!

Crystal Mozart sails the Danube River, past the night lights of Europe’s most beautiful locales.

Yes, the toilets have remotes. After all, why would you want to touch the toilet itself? Motion sensors tell the lid when to automatically open and close, and the toilet is even smart enough to store optimal settings for up to two users. All guests have to do is remember if they’re user one or user two.

But bathrooms aren’t the only rooms on Crystal Mozart boasting ahead-of-the-times technology. Crystal Mozart’s IT Officer, Damian, is so confident in the vessel’s equipment and setup—everything is less than a year old—he answers the question “What keeps you up at night?” with one word: “Nothing.” Crystal Mozart is one of this continent’s most connected river vessels, boasting one of the largest satellites and a router for each suite —something that’s practically unheard of in the industry.

Technology at guests’ fingertips starts with iPads® they find in their suites. “They are like posh remote controls that work anywhere on the boat,” says Damian. These digital directories allow guests to order room service, book shore excursions and spa treatments or catch up on headlines back home. Other in-room technology includes touchscreen controls which adjust room lighting and temperature so guests can create their ideal ambience. Those Do Not Disturb or Please Make Up My Room door hanger signs? They’re digital too. In fact, any time guests want to contact their butlers or suite attendants, all they have to do is touch a screen and their request buzzes on an iPod in the right recipient’s pocket.

Even Waterside Restaurant’s kitchen relies on tech for receiving lobster bisque and crème brulée orders. Each waiter iPod® request goes to a printer at the appropriate prepping station and is integrated with the master iPad detailing the entire order. If guests want to work off extra calories, they’ll find Jetson-worthy exercise machines waiting for them in Crystal Mozart’s fitness center. Have an hour of downtime while cruising between ports along the Danube? Why not hop on the treadmill and jog your favorite route in San Francisco? In typical virtual reality fashion, the video feels like real time because it plays at the speed the user is running.

I.T. Officer Damian Grange shows off the hidden technology in the reflective mirror of Crystal Mozart’s suites. (Photo: Katie Jackson)

While every suite has a 40-inch high-definition TV, some also feature mirrors that double as movie screens. In the Vintage Room, a Neoclassical painting slides back to highlight a hidden TV—perfect for a private dinner and a movie or an important business presentation. On the top deck, a “vanishing” screen magically appears next to the pop-up bar (it literally rises up out of the floor) for movies under the stars. In Palm Court, a wall of golden art obscures an 80-inch TV and a remote-controlled marble bar top rises up to reveal another TV used for guest lectures.

Crystal Mozart is also outfitted with live streaming entertainment. Channels 17-20 broadcast real time footage from four strategically placed cameras. To see what’s happening outside, on all sides, guests just have to turn on their TVs. They can also hear about what’s happening around them. Each room is equipped with handheld listening devices that buzz every time Crystal Mozart approaches a historic point. Guests who choose to tune in are treated to commentary detailing the site’s significance.

The irony of experiencing 12th Century villages aboard a vessel outfitted with the latest in 21st Century technology is not lost on Crystal Mozart’s guests. “I feel like I’m traveling in a time machine and Crystal Mozart is the bridge back and forth,” says Becky Jackson. She’s enjoying a Viennese Melange in Bistro while using her tablet to upload photos from a cathedral hopping tour.

Meanwhile, somewhere in their respective cemeteries, Edison and Harrington are tossing and turning in their graves, asking what every inventor asks after the fact.

Why didn’t I think of that?

Crystal Mozart’s technology offers a streamlined experience that enhances the unmatched luxury of the Crystal River Cruises Experience. Begin your journey today.

The post Head-Turning, Groundbreaking Technology on Crystal Mozart appeared first on CRYSTAL INSIDER.


Find your next luxury cruise at Luxury.TopCruiseFinder.com.

How To Find The Best Caribbean Travel Package

cruise ship
Image by prc1333

How To Find The Best Caribbean Travel Package

It’s not everyday when everything – from a good Caribbean travel package to the weather and your budget – just magically convenes into one single, perfect and fun Caribbean vacation. That stuff is for fairytale vacations, certainly not for simple, ordinary folks like you.

At the very best, you probably find a “so-so” Caribbean travel package that is slightly cheaper than the last one you checked out but has better options than that other cheap one you were considering. So you come home, work out a Caribbean travel plan and budget, and then log on to the site to book the package…only to find that the deal is already fully-booked. Just your luck.

One thing you should remember about Caribbean travel packages is that they are often offered only for very a limited period. So why wait? If you want to get that Caribbean travel package you want and get an edge over the competition, then do all that planning and budget analyzing BEFORE you search for deals.

And once you’re done with that, check out the list of Caribbean travel package resources we have compiled for you below:


TripAdvisor is a travel site that offers reviews of hotels and accommodations, food, activities, airfare, transportation, cruises, resorts, and many more from destinations worldwide. For the best deals, you can visit TripAdvisor’s SmartDeals page where you can find great Caribbean travel packages on the best hotels in the Caribbean.


For some people, last-minute bargains can be a great source of excellent travel deals. If you’re a haggler by nature, one who wants to haggle even when pressed for time, then American Express’ Last Minute Caribbean travel packages might just be what you’re looking for. The site offers current listings of their bargains and specials so check back often. If you don’t find what you’re looking for on the first page, there is also a search tool where you can search for bargains by destination, travel option or activity.


If cruises give you a different sort of high, then Travelocity may have the right Caribbean travel package cruise. Just check out their list of Cruise Deals, including their Biggest Sale of the Year cruises where you can book a qualified cruise and get up to 0 cash back.

Or maybe you’d like to receive a free digital camera, then go on and book one of Travelocity’s Caribbean travel packages on board any of the Celebrity or Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Other deals include:

• Free shore excursions
• 0 onboard credit and pre-paid tips
• Free oceanview upgrades
• Onboard amenities package worth 0 or more
• Free round-trip airfare


Another great source of Caribbean travel package cruise tours is Cruises-n-More. Offerings are updated daily so be sure to check their inventory of Caribbean travel packages often to get the latest offerings from them. The site even allows you to choose a cruise that is close to your home or choose one by destination, month, cruise length, and cruise line. At Cruises-n-More, everything is right at your fingertips.

Find your dream cruise at TopCruiseFinder.com.

Disney Wonder Becomes First Passenger Vessel To Transit New Panama Canal Locks

PANAMA CITY (April 29, 2017) – Today, the Disney Wonder transited the Panama Canal as the first passenger vessel to go through the canal’s new set of locks, marking a milestone for the cruise industry. The Disney Cruise Line 2,713-passenger ship was transformed in late 2016, expanding the length of the Disney Wonder to 984 feet. Headlining the ship’s enhancements are new imaginative spaces for children – including areas themed to the Marvel Universe and Disney’s “Frozen” –  a jazzy restaurant inspired by Disney’s “Princess and the Frog,” and an authentic neighborhood English pub with subtle nods to classic Disney films. The Disney Wonder Panama Canal crossing is part of a 14-night voyage from Port Canaveral, Fla., to San Diego, where the ship will sail cruises to Baja, Mexico, before a summer season from Vancouver to Alaska.

Disney Cruise Line News

disney cruise line
Image by hubsterdisney

Book your dream cruise at TopCruiseFinder.com.


Even with the infinite stream of information at our fingertips thanks to modern technology, there are moments when our daydreams of travel and discovery and vacation seem unreachable. These moments often occur in places like long DMV lines, at times like the eleventh hour of a workday spent behind a desk.

Helicopter over Alaska

Leave it to Crystal to make the luxurious global experiences found aboard our posh vessels accessible to travelers no matter where in the world they are. Brand new Crystal Preview virtual reality technology joins the ever-innovating roster of ways in which Crystal connects guests with the world abroad, providing a truly immersive experience for travelers at the click of a mouse or app icon. Translation: Have device, will travel

Position yourself on Crystal Serenity’s open-air Sun Deck, and enjoy the view from the Wimbledon Tennis Courts. Virtually indulge in the pampering treatments of Crystal Mozart’s Crystal Life Spa as you imagine yourself floating down the Danube. Or go beyond the ultra-plush amenities and surroundings of the gorgeous vessels to the destinations themselves, into the heart of Munich’s main square, or flying high above the ice in the Northwest Passage.

Through EXP360 technology, 360-degree videos of dozens of components of the award-winning Crystal Experience – both on board and ashore – invite you to enjoy the adventure and luxury anywhere, any time. The Crystal Preview app for iOS and Android devices allows you to transport yourself from your current queue/desk/dentist’s chair to the luxury vacation experience you’re daydreaming about. Open the app, select your favorite view, and rotate your device 360 degrees to take in the full picture.

From your desktop, simply click on the 360° icon shown on the deck plans for Crystal Serenity and Crystal Mozart for your VIP view of the ships’ spacious areas; or itinerary highlights from the Arctic north and Europe’s riverside gems.

WARNING: Crystal Preview 360° videos are certain to fuel tendencies toward wanderlust. Contact your preferred travel professional for treatment.



Find your next luxury cruise at Luxury.TopCruiseFinder.com.

A Novel Vacation …


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                             

Contact:  Melanie Gravdal
[email protected]





LITTLETON, Colorado – April 26, 2017 – Author of the No. 1 New York Times-bestselling OUTLANDER novels and godmother to the Avalon Tapestry II, Diana Gabaldon is exclusively hosting an AUTHOR CRUISE with Avalon Waterways in 2018.

“For years, Diana Gabaldon has added to the storytelling tapestry of our lives, inviting readers to see the world differently while also inspiring them to travel,” said Terri Burke, managing director of Avalon Waterways.  “In her OUTLANDER books – now an award-winning, original television series on STARZ – she has brought to life the backdrops of Scotland as well as dozens of other destinations across the globe. On the June 5, 2018 departure of the Legendary Danube cruise from Prague to Budapest, this inspiring storyteller will share an inspired cruise with an intimate group of her fans.”

A LEGENDARY ITINERARY: This 11-day vacation delivers travelers to the heart of Europe to explore all the towns and cities along the Danube River have to offer while enjoying panoramic views days and night, along the way.  From the splendor of Prague to the Gypsy violins of Budapest, Avalon guests will treasure every moment of this memorable Danube River cruise.  While spending three nights in Prague, they will discover the Hradcany Castle grounds, wander through Prague’s Jewish Quarter, shop for hand-cut crystal, savor authentic Czech dumplings, stand in Wenceslaus square where protestors demonstrated against Communism, or visit one of the many churches. Then, from Nuremberg, they will set sail for medieval Regensburg, Passau, Vienna, and Budapest, with guided sightseeing in each city.  They will also sail through the fascinating Main Danube Canal and witness the scenic beauty as you cruise past quaint towns. Attend a beer tasting, tour Melk’s splendid Benedictine Abbey and experience the music, art, culture, and historical sites in romantic Vienna.

“This is a memorable vacation,” said Burke.  “And with Diana Gabaldon as their host, sharing stories and personal insights about OUTLANDER, fans are in for an experience of a lifetime.”

Also NEW for 2018 is a Tulip Time Cruise for Garden Enthusiasts.  On this special April 13, 2018 departure, travelers will discover the most beautiful gardens and parks famous throughout Europe for inspirational, horticultural art.  For instance, the gardens of Keukenof near Lisse offer 70 acres of parkland with lakes, sculpture gardens and greenhouse.  In Amsterdam, a Local Guide will show travelers the secret hidden gardens found in the  heart of the city.  Those inspired by all-things garden and nature will also enjoy getting an inside look at some of the spectacular private gardens and courtyards of 17th-century homes.

Next year, Avalon is also expanding its list of extremely popular themed itineraries – cruises that sell-out year-over-year – including:

Palates will applaud travelers choosing these itineraries where a Master of Wine will teach them the ropes at onboard tastings that may include wine and cheese, wine and chocolate and a special food-and-wine paired dinner.   Departures include: Burgundy & Provence for Wine Lovers (July 29, October 19 and October 25); Grand France for Wine Lovers (July 27, October 19 and October 20); Rhine & Rhone Revealed for Wine Lovers (July 27, October 19 and October 20); The Blue Danube Discovery for Wine Lovers (October 31) and From the Danube Delta to Prague for Wine Lovers (October 22 and October 24).

On these special cruises, travelers will enter a food-lover’s paradise in the land of haute cuisine – France! Departures include: A Culinary Experience from Paris to Normandy (August 11); A Culinary Experience in Grand France (August 11) and A Culinary Experience on the Danube Symphony (July 17).

Indulge in Hefeweizen and Witbier (wheat beer) … Dunkeles and Dubbel (dark beer) … Lambic (wild-yeast beer) … Krystal (filtered beer) and so many others when visiting historic breweries and regional pubs.  Departures include: Tulip Time Cruise for Beer Enthusiasts (April 6); Danube Dreams for Beer Enthusiasts (April 2, April 4 and November 2).

Travelers can get their blood pumping and toes tapping on these memorable jazz-focused departures featuring the Vienne Jazz Festival: Sounds of Jazz from Burgundy & Provence (June 29); Grand France – Sounds of Jazz (June 29) and Sounds of Jazz on the Rhine & Rhone Revealed (June 29).

Music & Opera:
The music will move travelers on this incredible music and opera cruise: Magnificent Europe for Music & Opera Admirers (October 26).

These cruises really make an impression: Art & Impressionism Discovery from Paris to Normandy (July 28); Art & Impressionism Discovery on the Grand France (July 28).

Perfect for history buffs, two history cruises feature destinations important to WWII and the museums and exhibits that honor it, the third offers insight about the Habsburg royal dynasty and a fourth cruise shares information about European history and politics:  Paris to Normandy for WWII Historians (July 7); Grand France for WWII Historians (June 29); Danube Dreams for Royalty and Habsburg Enthusiasts (April 13) and Magnificent Europe for WWII Historians (July 31).

Jewish Heritage:
Step back in Jewish History on this departure featuring a renowned Jewish Heritage expert who will cruise with you: The Blue Danube Discovery & Jewish Heritage (August 12).

SEE THE WORLD FOR LESS SALES EVENT:  Those booking a 2018 river cruise with Avalon Waterways can take advantage of $ 299 Airfare* or Save Up To $ 1,500** per couple when booking early.  For details, click here.

To download a PDF of this release, click here.

# # #


Since we launched our very first ship in 2004, Avalon Waterways has invited you – our traveler – to be our muse. Thanks to you, we let imagination and a relentless desire to create a smart use of space, be our guide. The result?  An incomparable river cruise experience, including one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites℠ – with innovative Open-Air BalconiesSM and beds facing the views – on the industry’s only Suite Ships®:  Unequaled vessels that feature two full decks of 200- and 300-square-foot suites.
On the spectacular ships of Avalon, “included” is one of our favorite words.  Spacious outside staterooms with plenty of room to relax – included.  Special touches like regional wines and beer at every onboard dinner – included.  Complimentary Wi-Fi – included.  The most shore excursions, led by Certified Local Guides – included.  VIP entrance into must-see sites – included. Unique Local FavoritesSM designed to bring your destination to life – included.  In addition to everything that is included, we also give you the freedom of Avalon Choice® – a different approach to river cruising that invites travelers to personalize their trip.
Whether looking for a romantic mini-break, an in-depth 24-day exploration or something in between, with Avalon Waterways, you can choose the river cruise that reveals the very best of Europe, Asia, or South America– your way!
For more information, visit AvalonWaterways.com and “like” us on Facebook.  Agents should visit GlobusFamilyPartner.com for booking details and promotions.




The post A Novel Vacation … appeared first on Avalon Waterways Blog.

Avalon Waterways Blog

Avalon Impression in Cologne
avalon waterways
Image by Rolf H.

Find your dream luxury cruise at Luxury.TopCruiseFinder.com.