Tourism & Cruises

Dogs, cats and – who knew – ferrets will have room to cruise

A rendering of Crystal Cruises’ sales center in the former Boulevard Shops on Miami’s Biscayne Boulevard, opening in 2017.
A rendering of Crystal Cruises’ sales center in the former Boulevard Shops on Miami’s Biscayne Boulevard, opening in 2017.

A celebrity-chef restaurant in a lifestyle sales center for condos at sea — no, it’s not a gimmick on the latest reality TV show. It’s Crystal Cruises’ sales center in the former Boulevard Shops on Miami’s Biscayne Boulevard, opening in 2017.

These and other details were revealed during events at SeaTrade, the cruise industry’s annual mega event, held this year in Fort Lauderdale while the Miami Beach Convention Center is being renovated.

Renderings for the adaptation of the historic building, being designed by Miami architect Richard Heisenbottle, include indoor and outdoor restaurant seating, a bistro café/lounge, cigar bar and a showcase for Crystal Residences, to be located aboard two new cruise ships due in 2018. Unlike previous seagoing condos, these will be located on the top deck of ships carrying transient voyagers, like most existing cruises. The combination is designed to maintain a lively shipboard ambience, according to Crystal Cruises President Edie Rodriguez.

Crystal’s new 40,000-square-foot offices will be nearby, in the former Omni building on Biscayne Boulevard.

No word yet on the chef.

In addition, Crystal unveiled its lavish Bombardier Global Express XRS jet, which will accommodate 12 guests who choose to fly privately on their Crystal vacation. On its megayacht Esprit, guests will be able to take a submarine ride 1,000 feet below the surface.

In other SeaTrade news:

▪ Regent Seven Seas announced that its new ship, the Seven Seas Navigator, will feature in-suite spas when it sets sail in July.

▪ Scenic, an Australian-based tour operator that owns two river cruising brands, Scenic and Emerald Waterways, is introducing a 228-passenger polar-class megayacht, Eclipse, due in 2018. The all-suite, all-balcony ship will feature butler service, two helicopters and a submarine. It will sail in polar regions with 200 passengers and in other regions.

▪ And for travelers who find cruising with only humans is so last year, after refurbishments this summer, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 will have space to bring along dogs, cats and even ferrets in one of its 22 on-board pet kennels.

Miami Herald staff writer Chabeli Herrera contributed to this report.

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