Guest Post: Celebrating Royal Caribbean's Travel Agent Appreciation Month

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From Vicki Freed

I just returned from a wonderful vacation in Dubai onboard Brilliance of the Seas. Describing the adventure my family and I had in the crossroads of futuristic advances and historical tradition truly deserves its own entry, so I’m hoping Adam will invite me back to share the incredible details of my voyage in another guest blog. Dubai truly is a destination for the well-traveled explorer who wants to embark on a one-of-a-kind journey to a culturally fascinating international destination.

But enough about that. This is absolutely my favorite month here at the office. Why? Because we’re celebrating our 5th annual Travel Agent Appreciation Month! Throughout April, we at Royal Caribbean take time to recognize and thank one of the most important secrets to our success – travel agents.

Having been in the travel industry for the past 30 years (ouch! Am I really that old?), I have seen the value of travel agents grow substantially. At the age of 21 I realized how important they were then, but they’re even more important now. Travelers today have more access to information via the internet, making the travel agent role even more critical. As my teenage son would say, it’s a classic case of “TMI” (too much information). This influx causes an overload and leads to consumer confusion.

Travel agents, therefore, are value interpreters. Finding the right “fit” for the consumer is their specialty, taking the time to get to know their customers personally and creating vacation packages tailored to the interests, needs and budgets of their guests. Travel agents deliver memories to last a lifetime to many people, every day. For them it’s all in a day’s work, in my opinion that’s what defines a hero.

I personally want to thank our travel agent partners for everything they do for us and for our industry. We could not be successful without them. They keep us afloat year after year and I speak for the company as a whole when I say their passion, loyalty, feedback and innovative ideas are sincerely valued. Each year they continue to surprise me with new and innovative ways to sell cruising and inspire me with their positive energy, go-getter attitude and win-it-all spirit.

This is a relationship business. I can truly say that the best part of my job is having had the privilege of building very special personal relationships with so many travel agents over the years. I have watched the industry grow and change and I am excited to see where it goes from here.

We are committed to providing the best travel agent service in the industry and openly welcome thoughts and suggestions on how we can continue to be the easiest in the industry to do business with. Travel agents, keep up the great work! You truly are heroes – to us and to our guests! Remember, this month is all about YOU – enjoy it!

  • Paul gulyas

    HELP! OPEN LETTER TO ADAM GOLDSTEIN

  • paul/linda gulyas

    HELP! OPEN LETTER TO ADAM GOLDSTEIN

    We are Platinum Members(3 cruises just in past 12 mos.)
    OUR BOOKED CRUISE 5/3/2010 on Brilliance of the Seas
    WILL BE OUR LAST RCCL CRUISE. Here’s why:

    1. Both RCCL and travel agents touted fare reducion enticement– find lower fare & get difference in on-board credit. Sounded great–It’s our 30th anniversary.

    2. We booked $1799 inside guar and went on-line a few
    days later to do check-in–and happily found we’d been upgraded to oceanview cabin 3614–I then sent for and
    received ocvw rm 3614 luggage tags & completed check-in

    3. Mon.4/12/2010–found price reduction, called agent, received difference in price in on-board credit–Great!

    4. Next day on-line booking some excursions I found WE
    HAD BEEN STRIPPED OF OUR UPGRADE and were classifed
    as “Na Guarantee” which then changed to an INSIDE
    cabin 3551.

    5. A BIG deal had been made about the on-board credit we’d get if our original price went down, but WE WERE NEVER TOLD IF WE DARED FIND A LOWER PRICE WE’D LOSE OUR UPGRADE. HOW CRUEL!

    6. We then tried a conference call with RCCL and our RCCL outside-Agent-of-the-Year–we were told we would
    have to pay the difference to get our upgrade back.

    7. I EVEN OFFERED A COMPROMISE — return our ocvw
    upgrade to us by taking the money difference out of
    our on-board credit. RCCL rep: “We can’t do that.”

    8. WE WANT OUR OCVW UPGRADE RETURNED TO US—because
    we were never told it would be stripped from us and
    because it is simply the right thing to do.

    Adam–I grew up watching #1 Richie Ashburn along with
    Del Ennis & Jim Constanty — then watched Mike Schmidt,
    Larry Bowa, and Steve Carlton right up through 2010.
    What do you think these guys would say about the way
    RCCL has treated us?

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  • catherine baker

    I love Royal Caribbean and did not have hardly any complaints our cruise was just what i had expected in terms of service value for the money etc. the only thing i would have done differently is blocked a group of rooms on the outside rather than the inside and enjoyed the cruise from the balcony. for what the extra cost involves wouldnt matter so how do you go about getting upgraded/

    • http://www.royalcaribbean.com Adam

      Thank you for your comment Catherine. We’re very happy to hear that our cruise met your expectations. In regards to getting upgraded, we give complimentary upgrades to our Crown & Anchor members based on availability, as well as member’s tier and cruise credits. Since our ships usually sail full, these opportunities are rare. However, when there is availability, our staff will contact members on that sailing based on that criteria. Just make sure we have your current email on file, and that you have opted-in so we can contact you when these opportunities are available. If we haven’t contacted you within 4 days before the cruise, there is no availability. Otherwise, you still have the option to upgrade before your cruise or at the pier, but these would be done for a cost. We hope this helps, and we look forward to having you onboard with us again soon.