Manager’s Insight – Celebrating at Sea
By Don Dean, Senior Director of Finance and Human Resources, The Cruise Web, Inc.
Once we had decided that the topic for this month’s newsletter would be Celebrating at Sea, I began to think about our cruise consultants as they talk with clients about cruising plans and the stories and pictures that come back to us after our clients cruise. I had a revelation – cruising is always a celebration at sea. Let me break down my thought process for you.
There are special events with groups, such as weddings and family reunions, that are the obvious celebrations at sea. By definition, the event is a celebration, and by taking place on a cruise ship, the celebration factor is heightened. Our cruise consultants enjoy researching and recommending to clients a cruise that meets the needs of a group and takes into consideration many factors such as the vision of a bride, the size of a group and the age range of the cruisers. Further, our Groups Department can be invaluable in navigating the challenges of booking a group cruise involving many people (see our Spotlight article). These group celebrations are ideal for a cruise ship, as once everyone is on board, you can relax and depend on the ship’s crew to take over and do what they do best: provide outstanding service, excellent meals, fun entertainment for guests of all ages and memories of a lifetime. We always hope that the cruisers will share their memories with us when they return home.
Besides the group celebrations noted above, there are the special occasions, such as birthdays, honeymoons and anniversaries, that generally involve fewer people but are still ideal for celebration at sea. Our cruise consultants always enjoy assisting clients with their special occasion cruise as the client is looking for something special. The cruise consultant may ask more questions of the client in order to get to know the client better to discover what “special” means to that cruiser. For example, is the client looking for a unique destination or itinerary, a romantic destination, extraordinary white glove service or an intimate shipboard experience? All of us at The Cruise Web love to hear the client’s stories when they return from celebrating special occasions at seas.
Celebrations at sea also includes cruisers who are celebrating milestones in their lives. These include the couples who have begun the transition from the work world to retirement and celebrate the transition at sea on a world cruise. I can recall one cruiser who celebrated her five-year date of cancer remission while on the cruise that she had feared she might never be able to take.
Obviously, only a portion of our clients cruise to celebrate a special event or a special occasion or a life milestone. None-the-less, under my revelation, all of our other clients will also celebrate at sea. The client who leaves behind the cold and snow of the mid-west in February for a Caribbean cruise, once on board, will celebrate the warm sun and the sea breeze. The client who books the last minute getaway cruise, once aboard, will celebrate the freedom of leaving behind the everyday concerns and celebrate the joy of having someone wait on them. The client who books a cruise simply as a vacation, once aboard, will celebrate the chance to relax, the chance to play, the chance to be entertained, the chance to visit new places, the chance to experience great meals (prepared by someone else), and the chance to celebrate that life is good.
From now on, when I tell someone “happy sailing,” I will be thinking “happy celebrating.”