Since starting my travel business, I would say 9/10 questions I get are always cruise related – everything from why people like to cruise, won’t I get sick with norovirus and one of the most popular – if people can book cruises on the cruise line’s website, why do cruise lines pay you a commission to book a client? I decided over the next few weeks I’d dedicate my blog posts to everything cruises – not just big ocean cruises, but also the super popular river cruises!
There are a lot of misconceptions about cruising so let’s start breaking down that all cruises are not created equal!
According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), there 62 Cruise Lines – ocean, river and specialty cruise lines, representing more than 95 percent of global cruise capacity, which means there are hundreds of ships operating world wide.
Demand for cruising has increased 68% in the last ten years. So why would cruise lines need to rely on travel professionals rather than relying on the public to book directly?
The #1 reason: Travel Professionals have the knowledge, information, and understanding — the ability to screen clients and give them the cruise experience that’s really going to resonate for them.
Cruise lines don’t want travel professionals to book clients on their ship if it isn’t the right fit and they need help of travel professionals to fill each boat with the right people. Passengers need travel professionals to sift through the endless amounts of information on each boat and connect with their network of travel professionals to get first hand testimonials and advice based on our own cruising experience.
So how do cruise lines really differ? Well, they’re all geared toward a different psychographic of cruisers. All clients are in different psychographic segments at different times. For example, if you are traveling with your spouse, and you’re interested in romance, that’s one psychographic segment. If you’re traveling with your kids, that’s another one. If you’re traveling with college buddies, you want to celebrate a family reunion or maybe a girl’s trip, that’s a very different thing.
Cruise lines understand that if travel professionals match clients to the right experience, they’ll cruise for life. We are locked in to our clients tastes, preferences, needs and wants and really understand what the individuals want – its our top priority!
Stay tuned for next week’s post dispelling the myth that you’ll get sick if you cruise!