Cruising and the Economy’s Silver Lining

by Frans Hansen, President, The Cruise Web.

The recent economic climate has been one of the most difficult and the most personal that almost every one of us has experienced.   Each of us has been affected by the downturn in one way or another, and we all have family members, friends, or colleagues that have lost their jobs.  Those of us who have kept our jobs, have had to tighten our belts, eliminate wasteful spending, and build our reserves. If you look hard enough, however, there is usually a silver lining in every cloud!

Like most industries, the downturn has made business more challenging for travel retailers. Here at The Cruise Web, every manager and employee has been working harder than ever, to keep the company on budget during this difficult economy.  Moreover, they are all doing it with a positive and constructive attitude because they know that their efforts will yield results (including more repeat clients and referrals) in the long term.  This is not easy to do – when you are kicking harder than ever just to tread water, it takes special people to keep a positive attitude.  I am so proud of our team at The Cruise Web! As I often tell friends and colleagues, ours is not a business of widgets, but a business of people.  It’s our people at The Cruise Web that keep the company sailing through tough times, and it’s our people that take care of you, our clients!

Given the circumstances, many readers may find it surprising as I tell you that The Cruise Web brought on an entire new group of cruise consultant trainees this month.  On its face, this may not seem like a wise move in a tough economy.   However, I doubt you will be surprised when I tell you that we have never seen so many absolutely top-notched candidates available at one time.  This unique hiring opportunity has been our greatest silver lining in this economy!

Since I founded the company 15 years ago, there has been no greater challenge to our growth, than finding the hard-working, team-oriented, client-facing employees that The Cruise Web’s business model and our customers demand.  The company’s investment in new trainees at this time is a long-term move, designed to strengthen the company’s claim to the best cruise team in the industry.

Amid the constant barrage of negative stories all over the media, you, the cruise enthusiast, also have your own silver lining of opportunity at this time.  Cruise vacations are now being offered at historically low prices, and those prices include massive value for free (such as food, entertainment, and more), which are extra on most land-based vacations.  Further, special exotic destinations are now more affordable than ever before, providing many with a unique lifetime opportunity to share the world with family, friends, and loved ones.

Still, you may find that you also need to address your own fear before booking your next vacation. This fear is often “how can I plan a vacation now, when I don’t know what the rest of the year holds in store for me”.    Finding an exceptional value on an affordable inclusive cruise vacation can assuage most of this fear.   Moreover, in addition to finding you a great value, a well-trained cruise consultant will help you overcome your fear of job loss by discussing insurance options that cover this contingency. 

Then there is the “guilt factor”.  Stories abound lately, of luxury retail shoppers hiding their purchases in plain brown bags as they leave upscale shops like Tiffany’s.  It’s only natural that we may feel some guilt about spending at this time. However, when it comes to your vacation, it’s time to ask yourself a few questions.  How hard have you worked this year? How long do you deserve to force yourself to work without a break?  Could a vacation help you recharge your batteries?  What positive memories do you want to take out of this year?

Watching, hearing, and reading too much negative news in the media almost caught up with me on one cloudy dreary day to discourage me from hiring The Cruise Web’s newest group of cruise consultant trainees this month.   But we did it anyway.  Not because of the opportunity it would create for these new employees, and not for our own small positive message it would send for the economy, but because it was a great opportunity for our company!

Likewise, your decision to travel this year may benefit friends or family who deserve some special memories, and, when compounded with like decision-makers, your spending can help provide some needed sparks to the economy.  But whatever your motive, don’t be afraid to save a little money and get an historically great value along the way!

Happy Cruising!

Frans Hansen
President

3 comments

1 Alisa Griffis, Ph.D. { 03.25.09 at 12:20 pm }

Thank you for writing this! And thank you also for hiring new cruise consultants during this tough economy. It may seem counter productive to some – but the reality is that you took solid advantage (in the best of ways) of finding outstanding personnel at a time when they are available. You are positioning your company for growth and excellence as the economy turns around – and it WILL turn around. I have faith in the tenacity and work ethic of the American people.

My husband and I have booked several cruises through your company, have always been supremely happy with our consultant (Go Linda I.!!!) and will continue to book cruises in the future with your company. We love The Cruise Web because your consultants tell us THE TRUTH – and there is nothing better than that!!! It makes for excellent vacations!

2 lucymbrown { 03.25.09 at 3:12 pm }

Last summer I had to travel alone on Princess Cruise because my 15 year old grandson was not able to go with me. Since I had paid for the cruise and had insurance (does not cover summer school) I traveled alone and loved it. I would like to do this again but I don’t think people who travel alone should pay full fare. I also would like to say that my Cruise Consultant James Walls was great. I had a upgrade on a mini-suite, he was so very helpful and very polite. If I travel again and I would love to because taking a cruise is the best vacation, I will call on James to help and book my cruise. Sincerely Lucy Brown

3 Frans Hansen, President { 03.27.09 at 1:54 pm }

Thank you for your positive comments above, Dr. Griffis and Mrs. Brown, and thank you for your business.

Yes, both Linda and James are shining examples of our helpful, knowledgeable, professional, and personable team.

I also wholeheartedly agree that the ‘tenacity and work ethic of the American people’ is exactly what will turn this economy around!

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