Recommend recently attended CruiseOne/Cruises Inc.’s 2015 National Conference aboard the Norwegian Escape. The week-long event was filled with announcements—such as CruiseOne’s new brand, Dream Vacations—presentations on leading cruise lines on what’s new and trending, plus various presentations on how to gain new business and be innovative, as well as plenty of networking cocktails and celebrations, too. Here’s a breakdown of what we learned during the week-long sailing.
CruiseOne agents can now switch to work under the Dream Vacations travel franchise brand, which is now available for existing franchisees to sign up and will officially launch on April 4, 2016. Franchisees can choose to either make the switch from CruiseOne to Dream Vacations or remain as a CruiseOne franchisee. However, many are making the switch. As of this week approximately 321 franchisees out of about 1,000 franchise owners have already signed up to work as Dream Vacations. For more information about the new brand, don’t miss our feature The Scoop on Dream Vacations from the Creative Minds Behind It.
A New Business Center
During the convention, it was announced that a new Intranet solution for CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. agents will be launching by the end of this year. The new Intranet—the Business Center—will change the way agents and headquarters connect with each other. The updated Intranet will be mobile-friendly, and also allow agents to connect with each other.
What’s New for Cruising
Many of the industry’s leading cruise lines presented to the franchisees on what’s new for their line and what’s trending. Here is a snippet of what’s new across the various cruise lines.
- Carnival Cruise Line shared its new Havana Cabana staterooms aboard the Carnival Vista, which feature an outdoor patio that allow guests to step onto the Lanai in their own private space complete with hammocks, a private pool, and deck chairs.
- Celebrity Cruises has added a new outdoor lawn venue aboard the Celebrity Summit, where the line will use for outdoor movies and activities.
- Crystal Cruises announced they will be launching a new marketing campaign in January 2016. In addition the Crystal Mozark opened for bookings on Nov. 30, 2015 and will begin sailing on July 2016. Crystal’s additional new river cruises— the Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler, and Crystal Ravel—will embark on their sailings in June and August 2017.
- Holland America Line is launching the Koningsdam for sailings starting April 2016.
- MSC Cruises is adding MSC Seaside in 2017, which will offer new staterooms for families, luxury suites with a private jacuzzi, an enhanced Yacht Club—a hotel within a hotel concept—a bowling alley, an open-air promenade, and an interactive water park with two slides featuring gaming technology.
- Norwegian Cruise Line has added new solo room, or studio staterooms, to their ships for guests traveling alone. The line also features The Haven, the luxurious “ship within a ship” experience across the company’s three brands—Norwegian, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
- Princess Cruises has a new partnership with celebrity chef Curtis Stone and will be offering a new dining venue, Share by Curtis Stone on its ships. In addition to the new venue, menu options in the main dining venues will also be featured under the Crafted by Curtis tagline. The cruise lines also has partnerships with both the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet to offer both onboard experiences and onshore excursions. As for Cunard Cruise Line, the line has added 10 more kennels on the ship for guests who wish to bring their dog onboard.
- Royal Caribbean announced at the convention that “Grease” will be a new performance on its Harmony of the Seas. The line is also offering suite guests access to the Royal Genie, which will work just like a butler to make sure guests’ wishes are being met. In addition, the line announced its new WiFi offering with VOOM aboard the Majesty of the Seas, which will offer guests quicker and more dependable Internet access.
- Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection introduces the Monarch Collection, which will give guests access to European royalty through exclusive offshore experiences; and the Connoisseur Collection will offer amped up food and wine options—both available on select sailings in 2016.
- Viking River Cruises announced new itineraries including an 11-day West Indies Explorer, which will have guests at a port every day of their sailing with no at sea days. Viking will also be sailing a new Norway to Montreal itinerary.
If you missed this year’s convention, or are already thinking ahead to next year, mark your calendars as the 2016 National Convention will be held aboard the Carnival Vista for an 8-day sailing departing on Dec. 3, 2016.