It is time for me to get on my old soap box and suggest it is time for agents to start selling Norwegian Cruise Line. I truly don’t want you to miss the boat, as I think NCL has hit another home run with the adding of the Waterfront on their two new ships, the Norwegian Breakaway and pretty soon, the Norwegian Getaway.
Think of the Waterfront as a quarter-mile boardwalk experience along the outside of a full deck. Here you can select from 8 alfresco dining experiences or just have a drink in one of the great outdoor lounges. Let’s face it, people that love cruises enjoy looking out to the sea. That is why almost all outside cabins now have private balconies; and why you probably sell more balcony cabins than any other category. But, now your clients can not only enjoy the romantic view of the open sea, they can also enjoy it with a lot more friends than they could on their own balcony.
And almost everyone enjoys people watching…we do it from walkway tables in Vegas, Orlando and especially along Miami’s famous South Beach. So now you have something brand new (and exclusive to NCL) to offer to your clients…and not just you cruise clients.
Yes, I know many of you old time cruisers don’t like NCL’s “Freestyle Cruising” as they grew up with the set dinning times and enjoyed getting to know your same waiters and table mates. But folks, times are a changing and it might be time for you to rethink.
Today’s discerning client enjoys selecting from a wide selection of dinning venues. These two new ships have more than twenty a piece. Yes, some have a reasonable surcharge, but it is well worth the cost. And, now they can enjoy an early dinner, while watching a romantic sunset; which is something they will remember and tell their friends about when they get home. Of course, suggest that your clients make reservations early, as they will fill up fast.
In addition, on deck 8, the Waterfront connects to NCL’s new three decks of action called 678 Ocean Place—decks 6,7 and 8! Now you can select from great entertainment, gambling or many wonderful dining experiences. Sell the experience, not the cruise. Be one of the first to tell you clients about the new Ocean Blu restaurant that offers a premium raw bar and sushi bar. Your seafood lovers will thank you. Recommend it for the first night, before everyone else starts raving about the experience.
NCL’s growing list of entertainment choices is arguable the best afloat. It starts with the new Grammy Experience and the Illusionarium special effects-laden magic show. Who doesn’t love a good magic show? It brings an adult back to the days of youth and wonderment. There are 12 shows on each sailing! And if the small surcharge comes up, just check out the illusionist shows in Vegas and take note of what they charge. Again, recommend your clients reserve early!
I have been selling NCL since I was introduced to the “White Fleet” back in 1986…okay, okay; I’m one of the old timers you hear about. But, what kept me supporting NCL in good times, as well as bad times, is the fact they kept working on improving their cruise experience with things like the first private island, huge Garden Suite complexes–still the biggest at sea at 5,750 square feet. They now have solo cabins for your single cruisers and finally the new Waterfront. Folks, this is no longer the cruise line for those on a budget. For sure it can be, but it also has tremendous appeal to the luxury, solo, trans-generational, and family segments.
Have you delved into “The Haven” on these new ships and five of their other ships? Here you upscale clients can select from a great selection of luxurious and spacious suites in a private enclave, with all kinds of pampering available. They will feel very special in this “ship within a ship” experience. Who wouldn’t enjoy their private courtyard with private pool, sundeck, hot tub and even fitness area?
So, before dismissing NCL as an entry-level ship, I suggest you give your luxury clients a look at these two great new ships. They will love having their own 24-hour suite butlers, concierge service, a Courtyard Valet and even white tablecloth en-suite dinning for those special occasions. They will thank you for it, and you will make a lot more commission from what could become your lifetime clients.
Larry Norman, CTC, MCC is an icon in the industry. He has been a consultant to over 5,000 Home Based Travel Agents and trained an estimated 22,000 travel agents over his career. He was Travel Trade’s 1996 Travel Educator of the Year. Larry owned a four state network of 16 agencies, with annual sales of $28 million. Larry is known as “The Outside Sales Agent Expert” for his presentations on outside sales at Travel Trade Cruise-A-Thons, ASTA, ARTA and NACOA travel agent conferences among others. You can share your views with Larry at LarryNormanCTC@Gmail.com or leave a comment here.