Bahamas Paradise Says It Is A Full On Cruise Product
Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw
It’s not a ferry or a timeshare sales organization.
That message about Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line was pronounced loudly and clearly at a training session on 2OCT. With presentations by Clark Reber, Director, Partner Relations and Francis Riley, SVP Sales, some 70 travel professionals joined to hear what the cruise line is all about – and that's a complete cruise product, with a main dining room, a la carte restaurants, five to six bars and lounges on each ship, smoke-free casinos, and a kids program on board.
L-R: Clark Reber, Director, Partner Relations and Francis Riley, SVP Sales with the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.
"Kevin Sheehan bought the company two years ago and changed the entire business model of that organization. Originally, we were all about timeshare. That's not us. We have a full-on cruise product," said Reber.
The cruise line has two main and distinct products: two-night sailings to the Bahamas and a Cruise & Stay Program.
Don't Paint The Bahamas With The Same Brushstroke
Bahamas Paradise resumed commercial sailings from Palm Beach, FL to Grand Bahama Island on 27SEPT – just days after the eye of the storm stalled on top of the island -- and, according to Francis, it was welcomed with clear skies and open arms.
"When I sailed into Freeport, you wouldn't have thought that a hurricane had been on Grand Bahama. It really impacted Abaco and the north and east parts of Grand Bahama, but there was very little impact in the southern part, where all hotels, beaches and shore excursions are," said Riley, proving his point with photos of the destination taken last Saturday.
Two-Night Sailing, Nassau Added
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line offers daily sailings to Grand Bahama aboard its two ships, Grand Classica and Grand Celebration, each accommodating roughly 1,600 passengers. Guests depart in the evening, sail throughout the night and arrive in the Bahamas in the morning, spend the day in the Bahamas with a variety of shore excursions on offer, and then sail back that evening.
As of 12OCT, Nassau is launching as a new destination aboard Classica.
"There has always been a lot of demand for us to do Nassau, and it's also a little bit more popular and well known than Grand Bahama. Dorian pushed us to make that final decision to go because operating two ships to Grand Bahama right now would not make any commercial sense whatsoever," said Riley.
Cruise & Stay
BPCL's Cruise & Stay product is what Canadian agents should be paying attention to, said Reber.
"Not many people will jump on a plane for a two-night cruise, but I think they will for a four or six night short break vacation. That's important for this agent community and we know that agents like it because it's a much higher price point, so there's a much bigger earnings opportunity for agents as well," he said.
L-R: Barbara Dirmberger, National Manager, Sales and Marketing, and Joanne Lundy, Director, with Discover the World, the BDM in Canada for the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.
With the Cruise & Stay offering, available on both Grand Bahama and, when it launches, Nassau, guests sail one night from the Port of Palm Beach, stay on-island in a hotel for two, four or six nights, and then sail back to Palm Beach.
BPCL has teamed up with different levels of hotels, both all-inclusive and EP, mid-range and high-end.
Why Bahamas Paradise?
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's two product offerings are suited to a variety of clientele, from new cruisers, the young at heart, sun seeking vacationers, family reunions, MICE and those looking for short breaks or who can't travel on weekends.
"There are a lot of snowbirds that book locally and you're missing out. We're the best-kept secret in North America. Nobody knows who the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is," Reber told agents.
Here's why agents should:
BPCL offers a 15% base commission, charges no NCFs, owns all of its services (which means the service level is consistent), offers a flexible and competitive Group policy, and the reimagined legacy ships it operates are more spacious than modern cruise ships today.
For clients coming to The Port of Palm Beach from Miami, Fort Lauderdale or Orlando, BPCL has just signed a deal with Virgin Trains USA to offer a US$25 package that includes train fare, a Lyft ticket, and luggage handling. There's also the option of on-site valet parking at the port for US$20 a day. ("Car to bar in 10 minutes," says Riley.)
Reber reiterated the line’s commitment to the trade, stating that agents are at the heart of what they do.
"We don't make any decision in this company without looking at it through the lens of how it's going to impact our travel professionals," he said.
For more information, advisors can register at bookparadise.com for sales tactics, courses, customizable flyers, training opportunities and to access the booking engine.
Bahamas Paradise is hosting a Seminar at Sea for the inaugural Nassau sailing on 12OCT. For US$129 per person (based on double occupancy) the event includes a 2-night cruise for agent and one guest, a Saturday welcome reception and a Sunday product presentation. More information and registration can be found here.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.