On July 21st, Royal Caribbean International rolled out their new travel agent training program, Royal Caribbean University. The new program replaced the old University of WOW, which has now been closed. The University of WOW has been around for approximately seven years. Rewards for achieving Expert or Expert Plus include the earned designation on the Find a Travel Agent Locator on the Royal Caribbean website, framable certificates, invitations to Seminars at Sea, and “more.”
Royal Caribbean University (RCU) has two levels of achievement: Bachelors of Adventure, and Masters of Adventure. For each level completed you, can receive 5 CLIA Credits, a certificate of completion, display of your achievement on the Find a Travel Agent Locator, and a digital accolade you can use in your email signature and on social media. But there’s more. Achieving the Bachelors of Adventure also earns you priority check-in on your next Royal Caribbean cruise. Currently, the coupons are valid through December 31, 2017. And to be honest, many travel agent may already have access to Priority Boarding if they are at least Platinum status with the Crown & Anchor Society.
Achieving Masters of Adventure includes more rewards, including a Passport to Savings coupon booklet (worth up to $500 in savings) limited to one cruise per year, a $50 onboard credit also limited to one cruise per year, one complimentary VOOM® (internet) package also limited to one cruise per year, bonus commission opportunities starting in 2018, monthly giveaways, seminar at sea opportunities, and possible access to future inaugural sailings.
So the rewards are richer with RCU compared to the University of WOW, but what about the content? I jumped on the RCU training the day it was announced and open for enrollment. Because of the amount of traffic (so many travel agents trying to access the training at the same time), the system was bogged down and ran slower than molasses. It took me about six hours to complete both levels of the program on day one. Travel agents were rewarded for accessing the system late at night or early in the morning, or waiting several days for the excitement to die down. When the system isn’t over taxed, an agent can complete both levels in less than an hour an a half.
The content itself is pretty straight forward. For someone unfamiliar with Royal Caribbean, the courses can be quite informative. The have modules on the different classes of ships, dining, children’s activities, bars, the spa, pool areas, entertainment onboard, etc. For someone who has been sailing Royal Caribbean for 10+ years, it served as a decent refresher course, but nothing new to learn.
Other than running slow when too many travel agents are accessing the training, the training is fairly painless, and the rewards for completion aren’t bad for less than an hour and a half of work. I’m waiting to see if they add a Doctorate of Adventure in the future.
Susan Schaefer is the owner of Ships ‘N’ Trips Travel located in Tennessee, and specializes in leisure travel with a focus on group travel and charity fundraisers. Through their division Kick Butt Vacations, she focuses on travel for 18 to 23-year-olds. Susan can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (888) 221-1209.