I've recently been made the cruise specialist of the travel agents that I work in. I just wondered what it is that attracts you to a good deal? What do you think would attract you into a travel agents to book your cruise? Is there anything in particular you would want your travel agent to do for you?
Hi Laurah, i think the most important thing to me is that the agent can explain in detail the ports of call and excursions, there are alot of first time cruisers that are very nervous about going to other countries and need your assurance of safety, also now days many people are traveling with small children and it seems that travel agents that promote family friendly vacations are getting alot of business. I looked for a long time before i found an agent that could answer all my questions, i finally found him, he is the greatest, he feels more like a friend when you talk to him rather than someone just trying to get a commission (trust me i have come across many of them) i have been using him for 7 years now and have sent many people to him. I thinks it's just great that you are asking these questions to become a better agent for us travelers.
Service is part of it, but what service aspects are unique unless something goes wrong on the trip? Price is important to me, as is the addition of bonuses (in order of preference, shipboard credit, onboard vouchers, coupon book) that tell me my business is appreciated.
I expect that my TA gets back to me promptly and go the extra mile to find me the cabin I want and is understanding when I want to research multiple options ...
RCI Sovereign of the Seas 2005
Caribbean Princess 2005
Carnival Paradise 2004
Hey! Thanks for your replies! I'm going to hold a bit of an event this weekend, balloons and all. Going to send some letters out to our previous customers and thought maybe even people who haven't cruised before just letting them know they can pop in and ask any questions they might have if they fancied it.
Thanks for that website! I'll check it out. xx
I use both the internet and a travel agent in planning my travel. The best thing a cruise travel agent could do is to ask the clients enough questions to really understand what they are looking for on a cruise. There is just so much variation between the different cruise lines that getting the right line for the customer is very important. It would also be important to explain the differences between the newer and older ships. You should also help your clients avoid bad cabins due to proximity to public areas, etc.
I would also find it helpful if my travel agent worked to save me money. This could be as simply as suggesting that if I took my cruise a week earlier or later that I could save money. I also would appreciate it if my travel agent would let me know when a real "deal" comes along that I might be interested in taking.
I do not know what area you are from, or how long you have been in the business, or what your experience is. Under this area "General Cruise Chat" there is another thread "Good Cruise Prices" where the moderator Sandy and Carol have some good words on the value of a TA and what TA's can do for their clients. Farmerjohn has mentioned some also. It goes way beyond just being there "incase" something goes wrong, and to provide coupons and a free bottle of wine. You will learn clients that are only looking for freebies have no loyalty to you and will book elsewhere if it saves $5. You could have booked that type of person three cruises, providing them great service and price, and lose them on the fourth (Whoops, they forgot about the first three). Ofcourse everyone wants the best deal. Who wouldn't. I don't know too many people that would walk in and say "Give me the worst price you have!" Sadly, in this fast paced and technology world we live in today so many people don't have loyalty, and don't recognize the value of service. They don't place a value on all the time they research on the internet, when they could have been spending it more productively, or with there families.
Learn the demographics and psychographics of your clients. Get as educated as you can on cruising, destinations, do seminars at sea. Keep up on what is happening in the cruise industry by reading all your trade news, and attending conferences. Good-Luck