Samantha Jervis introduces Eric Schmit & Kevin Mordaunt to the audience during the product update.
One of the Mariner's public areas - which is in tip-top shape.
(L to R) Niki Gloet of Expedia CruiseShipcenters, Samantha Jervis of Regent, Dana McGregor & Kemi Wells of North South Travel get ready for a delicious lunch.
(L to R)Mark Catao & Sherrie Turchyn of Luxury Corporate Cruises enjoying dessert with Bruce Van Rooyen of Regent.
Luxury cruise sellers Y.S. & Katherine K. T. Yung of Katherine Travel Services.
Ninety agents toured the Seven Seas Mariner in Vancouver last week, hosted by Samantha Jervis, Regent's Director of Sales & Marketing for Western Canada, BDM Eric Schmit & Account Executive Kevin Mordaunt. The team gave a product update Regent-style - complete with white-gloved staff serving champagne and hot hors d'oeuvres. A ship tour followed and a delicious 5-course lunch was served in the dining room.
While all the hype lately has been on the Seven Seas Explorer, the remainder of the fleet is not being ignored. Over the next year, Regent will be spending $125M to upgrade their 3 ships. As we toured the Mariner, we noticed the ship is in superb shape as is. This investment towards refurbishment speaks volumes on Regent's commitment to be the best.
The Mariner certainly made a tremendous impression for Mark Catao and Sherrie Turchyn of Luxury Corporate Cruises. Mark is a newbie in the industry and as a first timer on Regent, he was most impressed with the fine cuisine and professional staff onboard, features that will help him sell Regent. Sherrie commented that Regent's beautiful ships and amazing all-inclusive benefits truly sell itself - and her luxury clients will be happy to learn of the refurbishment plans.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Kemi Wells of North South Travel. The agency has been in the business for 35 years selling luxury travel and she is most thankful for the support she receives from Samantha and her team. They assert that once their clients try Regent, they don't look back. Kemi expects significant growth in the luxury travel segment, and most importantly, clients are looking for the value of human connection from personalized services of a travel agent.
This leads to my final thought - I still hear so many agents saying they don't have luxury clients. Here is some food for thought: Regent's 2017 world cruise was 70% sold on the 1st day of release and 60% sold for 2018. According to Bruce Van Rooyen - the Mariner's Onboard Cruise Consultant - up to 25% of guests rebook onboard. And the $10,000-a-night Regent Suite sold out for the entire season shortly after it was open for sale. Clearly, luxury clients are out there, so how can you find them?
Actually they are not as allusive as you think. They are in your database, in your neighbourhood and community. They just haven't booked a luxury cruise yet because you haven't suggested it. Your first step is to create awareness that this product exists. Samantha always advises: "If you don't talk about it, you won't sell it". Someone else who does, will sell that world cruise, or that Regent Suite. If you are timid about suggesting luxury, remember the saying "The worst they can do is say is No"- so don't let it faze you. Keep suggesting it, someone will say yes, and then there'll be no looking back.
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.
Ming thanks Kevin Mordaunt & Eric Schmit for a fabulous ship tour.