Monday, 13 June 2011
Following a Travel Weekly/Aspire incentive, a small number of agents were invited to Southampton where we were wined and dined at Ennio’s, a delightful Italian restaurant close to the City Cruise Terminal, with an overnight stay at the De Vere Grand and in-terminal training on the Regent product, followed by a ship visit and lunch on board Seven Seas Voyager.
The training took the form of a talk and slide show by 2 members of the Regent sales team covering the whole Regent product including very strong reasons for upselling to Regent from the more main stream cruise lines, when one takes into account their all-inclusive cruises on offer. Now including all beverages, excursions, gratuities and even flights! Agents should bear in mind, they said, the price it costs to ‘get off the ship’ rather than just ‘get on the ship’ and receive commission on the whole package. So take account of everything a client might spend on holiday – not just the cruise cost. They suggested a few tips to achieve this, eg having quoted a mainstream cruise price, ask the client how much they might add to their holiday for excursions, tips, pre/post dinner drinks, wine with meals etc and have them write down those prices themselves and add it to their cruise price and then compare with Regent’s all-inclusive – obviously, having found an itinerary to suit! The difference might not be that different. Regent do offer price comparisons in their sales literature.
Following the training we and another 50 or so agents were invited to board the Voyager and discover it’s pleasures. For the size of ship, taking only 700 guests there is a huge amount of room on board, after all a ship of this size could take up to 2000 passengers! The ship is elegant and with fine dining without a surcharge, there is the opportunity to enjoy an exquisite meal served on the finest Versace crockery. Being a fairly large ship she offers the usual on deck games, a library, huge keep centre and gym, spa and tiered theatre – everything a traditional cruiser would require.
After a leisurely 2 hour tour guided by Regent’s UK Sales Manager, Anthony Daniels, we had lunch in the Compass Rose, Voyager’s main restaurant. A very nice meal of Lobster Timbale, Pumpkin Soup, Chilean Sea Bass or Filet Mignon of Aberdeen Angus Beef followed by a perfect Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake – delightful.
Many thanks to Graham and all at Regent for putting this together – it really was educational!
Peter Ruck, ACE Ambassador of the Year 2011, Baldwins Travel