HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- A panel of cruise sales executives
addressed more than 600 Cruise Planners agents at the network's 2018 annual
convention at the Diplomat Resort & Spa here.
Company CEO Michelle Fee and COO Vicky Garcia asked
questions that often yielded practical advice for agents.
Eva Jenner, vice president of sales at Holland America Line,
noted that upcoming ship Nieuw Statendam will have the brand's first solo
cabins, including some with balconies.
"Make sure you book your clients soon, because they go
fast," Jenner said.
Michelle Homoky, East Coast sales director for Celebrity
Cruises, advised agents to head for the Retreat area on the new Celebrity Edge,
where most of the high-end suites are situated. "If you want to make a lot
of money selling cruises, you need to sell the suite areas," she said.
Asked what she would tell customers about Symphony of the
Seas, newly arrived in Miami, Royal Caribbean International senior vice
president of sales Vicki Freed said, "I would tell them not to sleep too
much because you want to experience everything the Symphony of the Seas has to
Freed said the only complaint Royal Caribbean gets about
Symphony, the world's largest cruise ship, is that there isn't enough time on a
cruise to do everything offered.
Cruise Planners CEO Michelle Fee talking to franchisees at the agency network's 25th anniversary convention. Photo Credit: Tom Stieghorst
Adolfo Perez, senior vice president of sales and trade
marketing at Carnival Cruise Line, boiled his advice down to three words: Trash Can
Nachos. The nachos, made by Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives TV chef Guy Fieri and
available on Carnival ships at his Guy's Burger Joint, are "out of this
world," Perez said.
Several panelists singled out specific places to visit on
their new ships. Camille Olivere, senior vice president of sales at
Norwegian Cruise Line, recommended the Norwegian Bliss' Observation Lounge for its panoramic views in Alaska.
Lori Sheller-Ousley, senior vice president of strategic
sales at MSC Cruises, suggested the Deck 7 pool on MSC Seaside for a sense of
how the ship brings the sea to the guest.
John Chernesky, vice president North America sales for
Princess Cruises, said agents should pitch the increase in internet speeds on
ships, such as the MedallionNet on the Caribbean Princess, to clients who need
connectivity at sea but couldn't rely on internet connectivity in the past.
Cruise Planners is marking its 25th anniversary at this year's
conference. The franchiser is moving to a new building in Coral Springs, Fla.,
with the old one scheduled for demolition.