Newly added aft terrace with movie screen and comfy chaises.
New specialty restaurant Tuscan Grill steakhouse.
Ming flanked by Chad Kowalenko, Celebrity's DSM Western Canada and Galyna Kulykova, Millennium's Onboard Cruise Vacations Manager.
The Celebrity Millennium emerged from a 2 week dry dock in Victoria and arrived at Vancouver May 12th to officially begin her Alaska season. I was one of the few lucky invitees to tour the newly refreshed ship. At a cost of $8M, the renovations included the addition of an aft outdoor terrace, the Tuscan Grill specialty restaurant and updates in various public areas and suites.
From my experience, Celebrity has always lived up to its tag line of Modern Luxury. The expansive suite categories, elaborate spa and specialty restaurants are the hallmarks of a pampering Celebrity vacation, which is complemented by the culinary innovations and creations onboard. At our 3 course lunch, we were treated to fine cuisine as well as surprises from the new Sushi on Five venue and Tuscan Grill.
In observing today's lifestyle trends and client demographics, the traveling public is no longer just looking to spend money on material objects, but are leaning toward buying lifetime experiences. Hence the rise of destination immersion, cultural enrichment and personal well-being as a focus when selecting a vacation. Cruising with a premium line such as Celebrity can give guests the first tastes of such experiences, at an affordable price point. And with its Go Big, Go Better and Go Best pricing providing extra add-value, getting your land-lubbing clients to experience Modern Luxury at sea is even easier. Stats don't lie, with an average of 97% guest satisfaction rate, cruisers will return for more.
One of the ways to accomplish this if you live near a port city, is to discuss with your local BDM whether a ship visit for your qualified clients would be available to you. Although each cruise line operates differently and feasibility is dependent on available resources, if doable, it is a wonderful way to showcase the cruise line and experience the food and service onboard. In my opinion, an on-ship experience sells a cruise much better than any presentation, brochure or DVD. In addition, a generous booking incentive gives clients access to extras not available in the marketplace, and it's easy future business for you. There was an agency hosting clients during my visit, and judging by the clients’ smiling faces and dropping jaws as we toured the ship, I am sure the tour generated a few bookings.
I would be remiss if I didn't give kudos to Celebrity for choosing to complete Millennium's updates at Victoria dry dock, injecting invaluable capital into the BC economy. The Millennium will be sailing to Alaska until September, I look forward to seeing her sleek blue lines in the Vancouver harbour often this summer.
Ming Tappin is a cruise veteran with over 20 years’ experience in the industry and has sailed on 38 cruises and counting. Based in Vancouver, Ming is Owner of www.yourcruisecoach.com.