A few weeks ago in this space we welcomed the policy changes at
Renaissance Cruises and urged agents to listen to what the line had
Co-chief executive Frank Del Rio has said quite a lot since
then, in an open letter to agents, in a one-on-one interview with
this newspaper and elsewhere.
We have to hand it to the guy. Rarely, if ever, have we seen a
senior executive so candidly repudiate his company's previous
mistakes while laying out a plan to gain the trade's trust and
There's not a lot more that he could have said. And, with a few
exceptions (such as an admission that the line plans to continue
some direct sales), he said exactly the sorts of things that agents
like to hear.
To top it off, Renaissance is offering a deal to ASTA: a million
bucks goes to ASTA's consumer awareness campaign if the line breaks
any of five specific promises to the trade.
If the cruise line delivers on every one of its many promises,
Renaissance and the nation's travel agents could end up just about
where Claude Rains and Humphrey Bogart ended up at the conclusion
But this movie isn't over yet. Del Rio himself said, "I don't
expect you to believe what I'm saying, but watch what we do." Hang
on to your popcorn, folks. This could get interesting.
While we're on the subject of cruise line promises, a short
round of polite applause is in order for Carnival, which took its
first booking at its first Carnival Vacation Store at a mall near
Dallas, and passed it on to a local retailer. Carnival said it
"thru-passed" the sale.
The travel commentator in us says, "Nicely done." The editor in
us says, "Can't we come up with better word than thru-pass?"