Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Going the Distance for Travel Agent Appreciation

Every year, millions of guests sail onboard Royal Caribbean’s 22 ships. And when any one of those potential guests asks me how to book, I always say the same thing, “Use a travel agent!”

I’m Vicki Freed, Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Support & Services at Royal Caribbean International. You may be surprised to learn that travel agents sell the majority of our vacations each year. They are amazing “interpreters” of the Royal Caribbean experience, and we work ‘round the clock to bolster their sales success, with agent support teams across the U.S., Canada, and our global offices.

A couple days ago, June 6th, we took a companywide pause from our everyday work to celebrate travel agents with our World’s Largest Travel Agent Appreciation Event. Everyone from our company, including chairman to me to our support specialists made more than 2,600 phone calls and agency visits, plus reached 29,000 agencies via email and video to simply say “Thank you for all you do.”

I say “Thank you” and mean it – I owe a lot of my personal success to travel agents. Thirty years ago, with bigger hair and much bigger shoulder pads, I used to call on travel agents as a representative for a cruise line in Southern California.  They have been a big part of my career ever since, and I still feel the same way about them – privileged to serve a group that’s so passionate about what they do.

And so, for this Travel Agent Appreciation event, I decided to go back home to where it all started. A five-hour flight and one Starbucks stop later, I was on the road again in San Fernando Valley to visit old friends and make some new ones.

Now, I can’t remember so far back as to tell you which agency was the first one I ever visited as a fledgling sales rep. But I did get to see a friend who remembers me as the first sales rep that ever visited him. Steve Orens, president of Plaza Travel, joined his parents’ agency 22 years ago. And I was the first sales rep he ever met at his new job! I’ve had the pleasure of watching Plaza Travel grow from the “little agency that could” into an agency with three locations, 75 employees, a network of home-based agents, and $50 million in sales annually! And just this month, Steve, the dependable son that joined the family business, graced the cover of Luxury Travel Advisor magazine.

This is just one example of the outstanding success a travel agency can enjoy when they have a clear vision. Undoubtedly, the hallmark of a successful travel agent is personalized, attentive service. From there, the course for greatness is charted by many factors: passion, leveraging relationships and resources, constant reinvention and new marketing ideas. My friend of more than 30 years, Ron Archer, can tell you something about that. He’s always reinventing his business approach to stay relevant and attract more clients. He recently started group cruises that take his passion – cycling – and turn it into profit. His cruises bring together those with the same interest, for cycling adventures through beautiful ports of call.

My California day was filled with many more familiar faces, lots of reminiscing, and of course, appreciation for the difference travel agents make. No matter which coast you’re on, there’s a travel agent near you who’s waiting to invest a lot of time, expertise, and thought into your vacation memories. And why shouldn’t you take them up on it? Vacations are the moments that punctuate our lives – the memories that stand out the most when we look back 30, 50, 70 years later. Trust an expert with this precious time. I can promise they’ll make it your best vacation yet.

4 responses to:
“Going the Distance for Travel Agent Appreciation”

  1. Shalini

    Hello Vicki,

    I am so glad that Royal Caribbean took the time to appreciate its biggest supporters… the travel agents !!! My name is Shalini Darji and I recently became a travel agent in May of 2011. I have cruised on the Freedom of the Seas and I must say that it is one of my favorite cruises to date. I believe that as a travel agent, I can truly make a difference in my clients’ lives and their vacations. Also, due to the fact that I work from home, I am accessible almost 24/7 (although I am trying not to say that too loud).

    Thank you again for your continued support of us and I hope to meet you one day. My BDM is Jean Dorn and I absolutely adore her. I am planning a family reunion on the Jewel of the Seas in December. I hope everything pans out. We will be utilizing one of your many Accessible rooms for my father who recently (January 2012) had a stroke and is now recovering and getting rehab therapy.

    Sincerely,
    Shalini

    • Adam

      You’re welcome, Shalini! We look forward to having your family onboard.

  2. Mike Sequeira

    Vicki…there has been a DRAMATIC turnaround in both our business($$$) AND our relationship with the Royal Caribbean FAMILY(including Celebrity & Azamara) and I think it’s in no small part to YOU who has focused on the Travel agent community. Kudos to you and everyone at RCCL. While we “battle’ with some of the other cruise lines (commission structures, onerous rules, international sales policies and so on), ONLY YOU have accented the value of the Travel Agent community as THE distribution channel to work with. As one other Executive in the business pointed out: “….this is a 200,000 plus sales force…..”

    Keep up the good work and the long term outlook will get rosier – for BOTH of us!

    Mike

    • Adam

      Thank you for your comment, Mike.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Close

Connect With us

Tab indicator
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@Aileenloveex Thanks for posting this lovely pic from your trip. It looks like you had a great time. We hope to see you back onboard soon!
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@KittyJones70 Thanks for sharing those great pics, Kitty. It looks like you had a fun time. We hope to see you back onboard soon!
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@MRoseOrr We're so glad you had a wonderful time, Megan, and we hope to see you onboard again soon!
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@29Sapphires You're welcome, and we hope to see you back onboard soon!
Royal Caribbean's avatar
Royal Caribbean@RoyalCaribbean
@CDLatics We're so glad you had a wonderful time, and we hope to see you onboard again soon.
Kick off the long weekend with warm tropical breezes.

#royalwow photo thanks to chelsea9wilson.
Join CEO Richard Fain and David Pogue now as they reveal how technology on Quantum of the Seas is innovating the vacation experience: http://bit.ly/QuantumOTS
Last week, Quantum of the Seas docked out for the first time, and tomorrow we're revealing exciting details about our newest ship. Watch live at 10am EDT: http://bit.ly/1tuwsK0 http://youtu.be/_6bo3sT_y0U
Need a weekend escape? http://bit.ly/1pbiFXj

Photo thanks to s_marie92.
Dream vacations are our specialty. Book by 8/20 and get up to $200 onboard credit PLUS 50% reduced deposit during our WOW Sale: http://bit.ly/1kJN8LY
Spend more days wearing flippers. http://bit.ly/1nXc1ie
Quantum's first passenger? A 30-foot-tall magenta polar bear created by artist Lawrence Argent. Get a first look at the world-class art collection onboard: http://bit.ly/QuantumArt
It's the final countdown - Quantum of the Seas arrives in the US in 100 days. When will you be sailing on our newest ship? http://bit.ly/1q5daWu
An entire fleet in the palm of your hand. Find the perfect vacation with the Royal Caribbean app: http://bit.ly/1sa4ul5

Image thanks to Instagram user cynsilva.

JavaScript and Flash are required to view video content. View the playlist on YouTube.

  • Reggae Beach, St. Ki Reggae Beach, St. Kitts. 11 hours + 55 minutes ago
  • Rum Point, Grand Cay Rum Point, Grand Cayman. 11 hours + 55 minutes ago
  • Beach day in Bermuda Beach day in Bermuda. 11 hours + 55 minutes ago
  • Explore the British Explore the British Virgin Islands. 11 hours + 55 minutes ago
  • Stunning Santorini v Stunning Santorini views. #greece 1 day + 11 hours ago
  • Firopotamos Bay, Mil Firopotamos Bay, Milos island, Cyclades, Greece. 1 day + 11 hours ago
  • Clear blue waters in Clear blue waters in Greece. 1 day + 11 hours ago
  • Sailing Santorini. # Sailing Santorini. #greece 1 day + 11 hours ago
  • Colorful Buenos Aire Colorful Buenos Aires. 2 days + 14 hours ago
  • Salinas Grandes, Arg Salinas Grandes, Argentina. 2 days + 14 hours ago
  • Nature steals the show in New Zealand. Photo thanks to @kd_gc.
  • Leave your worries behind. #allure
  • School is now in session. #cozumel
  • #royalwow's at every level onboard Allure.
  • Ready, set, fly! #labadee
  • Save room for dessert. #allure
  • Introducing the world's first smartship. Follow the link in our bio to learn how #QuantumOfTheSeas technology is transforming your next vacation.
  • Caribbean bound. #allure
  • Amazing from every angle. #tortola
  • Views you'll be dreaming about. #sydney
Out of Office: Never Leave Home Without a Sense of Humor

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 11:32 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD One of the likely casualties of the rise of online communications is the travel disaster fueled by misinformation or no... Continue Here to Read More…

It’s Not Rocket Science – Keep Your Head in the Game

Thursday, July 31, 2014 9:20 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD This is intended as the first in a series of relatively easy to accomplish tasks that remarkably few aspiring managers actually... Continue Here to Read More…

Why the Royal Caribbean Brand Continues to Evolve

Monday, July 28, 2014 10:02 AM

By Vicki Freed, SVP of Sales and Trade Support and Service, Royal Caribbean International I asked some of the Royal Caribbean International senior leadership to write a guest blog about the state of... Continue Here to Read More…

My New Responsibilities

Thursday, July 24, 2014 10:37 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. When I took on my new responsibilities a few months ago, I thought it would be very interesting to become a provider of shared... Continue Here to Read More…

Royal Caribbean at the Food & Wine Classic

Monday, July 21, 2014 11:52 AM

By Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International I recently returned from Aspen, Colorado where Royal Caribbean International was the official cruise... Continue Here to Read More…

Have You Cruised on 30 Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 10:07 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Less than four months to Quantum of the Seas! As one of my law professors like to say, the “relentless march of the... Continue Here to Read More…

Royal Caribbean Expands Cruise Vacation Offerings in Asia

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 8:30 AM

By Adam Goldstein, President &amp; COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. My latest travels brought me back to Asia the week of June 16 – 20.  As always, the pace and energy of the region are... Continue Here to Read More…

Personal Plans for the Second Half of 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014 9:51 AM

Blog by Adam A quick update on my other doings as the “empty nest” approaches even faster than the delivery of Quantum of the Seas. Our family continues our involvement with many aspects of... Continue Here to Read More…

How Entertainment on Quantum & Anthem Will Transcend Anything You've Seen on Land or Sea

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 4:22 PM

Blog by Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Executive Vice President, Operations, Royal Caribbean International Hello, everyone.  Last week I had the pleasure of being in Las Vegas where we announced the amazing... Continue Here to Read More…

Catching the Travel Bug: My Explorations through SEED

Friday, June 20, 2014 11:18 AM

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s community support efforts often focus on education and social services for underserved youth. Over the years I have written from time to time about my long term... Continue Here to Read More…