‘"While others were hot and cold with the trade - 'we need them, don't need them' - Celebrity
Cruises has been extremely committed and consistent to travel agents since Day 1,” says Senior V.P. Sales Dondra Ritzenthaler.
Ritzenthaler is well aware of recent trade overtures from Carnival Corp. and Norwegian.
Statements from Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald emphasized the company's need for travel agents to differentiate brands to consumers. Norwegian recently expanded its field sales force and named Andy Stuart, a longtime travel agent proponent, as head of Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Agents are no doubt weighing these developments, and Ritzenthaler wants to remind them that Celebrity has been with them through thick and thin.
“Even when we didn’t have capacity increases, we never reduced our field sales staff,” she says of Celebrity. “Indeed, our field force has grown by 30% over the last 2 years, even though the most recent ship we bought out was in 2012.”