Seeing The World In A Whole New Way With Princess Cruises
with Ming Tappin
Ming with Princess Cruises' BDM Wade Menard
Some of the familiar faces attending the Princess training:
(L to R)Richard Chin & Ted Mitchell, Expedia CruiseShipCenters Coquitlam;
Marilyn Stainer, Flight Centre & Kellie Neuenfeldt, Expedia
Wade addressing the group with the latest Princess
The Princess Come Back New training event stopped
in Vancouver last week as part of its 118 city tour across North America. Wade
Menard, Princess’ Vancouver-based BDM, treated the crowd to a wonderful buffet
lunch followed by an extensive update on what's new with Princess.
Citing today's cruise guests as meaningful travellers
looking to learn and change their lives, Princess is focusing on onboard destination
and cultural immersion, educational programs such as Discovery at Sea, new
partnerships with celebrity chef Curtis Stone, chocolatier Norman Love and
Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz.
The evidence is clear that Princess has a loyal following
in the travel agent community in Vancouver. I see many familiar faces at ship
tours and training events throughout the year, from large franchise chains to
single-owner agencies. Everyone I speak to tells me how easy it is to sell a
Princess cruise and how well-loved the cruise line is with repeat clients.
It helps that Princess' travel agent training program
offers a complimentary cruise to graduates, and agent reduced rates are
available up to 8 months in advance - a rarity in the industry. Agents who experience
the product come back confident and ready to sell.
Kay Jurgielewicz from Travel Best Bets tells me that the
agency has had big successes with YVR sailings, as their clients love to cruise
without having to fly anywhere. She hopes Princess will continue this trend.
The biggest applause came from the announcement that less
than 5% of Princess' revenue comes from direct bookings. While every cruise
line boasts that travel partners are their lifeline, it's nice to actually hear
some hard facts to support this claim.
Bonus commission coupons tucked into our training kits
was icing on the cake. It is nice to be given an additional reward to promote a
cruise line that is easy to sell and fully supports travel agents.
Ming Tappin is a cruise
veteran with over 20 years’ experience in the industry and has sailed on 36
cruises and counting. Based in Vancouver, Ming is Owner of Your Cruise Coach