5 Common Cruising Myths & How Travel Agents Can Break Them
Written by: Amanda Bailey on October 21, 2015
If you’ve been in the travel industry a while, chances are you’ve had at least one client wildly misunderstand the world of cruising.
A well-trained travel agent has the power to debunk cruising myths. Take a look at these five common excuses that clients give for not cruising, plus solutions that will hopefully have them falling in love with vacations at sea!
1. I’ll Get Bored Quickly.
Even most shorter cruises have one or two days at sea, but cruise lines work extremely hard to give passengers a range of options for fun and entertainment. Read up on a cruise lines’ typical onboard activities, and try to match them up to your client’s traveling style.
Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas and brand new Anthem of the Seas will wow even the most skeptical cruisers. Both are equipped with a skydiving simulator, SeaPlex indoor activity wonderland, Bionic Bars, and North Star Observation pods that raise passengers up 300 feet above the ship for 360-degree views.
2. I’ll Feel Confined.
The largest cruise ships on earth boast more than a dozen pools, span the length of several football fields, and in one case, include it’s own sprawling version of Central Park. Regardless of the size, cruise ships are designed to prevent passengers from feeling confined. Walk your claustrophobic clients through the virtual tours that many cruise lines now offer on their websites, and get feedback on what feels comfortable to them.
If your client is concerned about personal cabin space, suggest they book a room with a balcony, or recommend a more spacious cabin. It might require a little bit of extra research on your part, but if square footage is important to your customer, it will pay off!
If they are hesitant about spending extended periods of time onboard, recommend a sailing itinerary that includes a port of call every day. Suggest a voyage in the Mediterranean, or a river cruise, which offers more time in destination.
3. I’ll Get Seasick.
Almost all ships have stabilizers prevent severe rocking, except during extremely rough storms. Especially on today’s mega-ships, the ride is so smooth that it’s easy to forget you’re even at sea!
For those who are ultra-sensitive to the ship’s sway, suggest a room in the middle of the ship, the vessel’s center of balance. Research the calmest season for your client’s desired destination; in the Caribbean, hurricane season can last from June to November.
4. I’ll Feel Out of Place.
For younger cruisers, there are two real fears when it comes to cruising. First is that the common areas — namely the pools, the alleged centers of relaxation — will be teeming with rambunctious kids. The second is that the bars, lounges, and nightclubs will be deserted by 9 pm.
The good news is that there is a cruise for everyone – that’s a main theme of CLIA’s current National Plan a Cruise Month campaign. The other good news is that millennials utilize travel agents more than any other generation, so your skills and expertise can make a difference in their perception of cruises!
Norwegian Cruise Line, with its flexible Freestyle Cruising concept and edgier entertainment options, and Carnival Cruise Lines, with it’s vibrant nightlife scene, both have appeal for millennial travelers.
5. I Won’t See or Do Anything New.
Travel clients will have different goals and interests when it comes to their vacations. Some might not be satisfied with browsing for rum balls in the port’s souvenir shops or snorkeling during port days.
There are cruises to and around all of the seven continents; so if your client has already explored the Caribbean or Europe, not to fear. More lines are offering round-the-world sailings, which stop in many lesser-explored ports. Several cruise larger cruise companies even offer voyages to Antartica, like Crystal Cruises and Holland America Line.
If you’re a cruise specialist, your business partially depends on your ability to break those stereotypes, and open your client’s eyes to all of the possibilities cruising offers!
There is more to booking a cruise than most people anticipate, which is why a travel agent’s skills and first-hand knowledge have become so valuable. Would you like to become a part of this thriving industry? Fill out the form on the right or call 1-888-611-1220 to receive our free travel agent startup packet.