Last week here at Cruise.co.uk, we have had a record-breaking Sales week with P&O launching their Summer 2021 and Spring 2022 programme. Lucky bookers managed to take advantage of the 5% Early booking discounts + 5% Past passenger discounts. Not to mention our added value on top, plus expert service ha ha! We’re not boasting at all.
Here at Cruise.co.uk we advertise ourselves as the ‘real Cruise people’, we are Cruise experts, masters of our field. We don’t do bucket and spade holidays or weekends to UK holiday parks so over the years our knowledge has grown and I can safely say between myself and fellow colleagues there’s not much we don’t know about the world of cruise.
Sad this week to see the possibility of Thomas Cook hitting tough times. It was rumored earlier this year that they were possibly in trouble, however, it had all gone quiet for a while. It is speculated they have driven up to £1.6bn in debt over the last few years and even closing 100 loss-making branches in 2017/18 has not made enough impact to claw back their significant losses.
With the P&O Oceana being moved from the Dubai programme for this winter, P&O have had the painstaking job of trying to arrange appealing alternative sailings at very short notice. I certainly would not have wanted that job. I can certainly say they have done fantastic, and we as a Company have had a storming month getting people transferred and booked on some great bargains.
P&O have just announced that they have had to withdraw the Oceana from their Dubai & Arabian Gulf Itineraries from October onwards this year. This will come as a massive blow to the schedule and also many passengers will be disappointed but hopefully they will understand.
Another Cruise Line has joined the no gratuities bandwagon recently scrapping their on-board service charge from 25th June 2019.
Thumbs up from me MSC, this definitely makes things easier from a Travel Agent perspective. I think with P&O also scrapping gratuities from May this year and now MSC following it will only be a matter of time for more lines to follow suit.
As always I like to report back on one of the top highlights of my year, the Isle of Wight festival. This year did not disappoint, weather was fantastic, Clara the camper van got us there in one piece, and we parked up directly opposite the entrance to the main stage, thanks to my top customer Abu Gates who very kindly put me in touch with some friends who own a field where we can park. Thanks again Abu, all those good cruise deals paid off on the end.
The time of year has come again to head off for my favourite festival of the year the ‘Isle of Weight Festival’. I’ve done this festival since 2012, it just gets better every year. We’re heading down tomorrow morning, myself and three friends in our trusty camper van ‘Clara’. She was given that name after watching Sesame Street as a child, they featured a HGV driver called ‘Long distance Clara’. We decided to name our Van after her in a humorous kind of way as the furthest she had traveled until last year was Brean.
It’s safe to say as Cruise consultants we have a fantastic job, not only do we get to sell a great product, we also get to chat with really lovely passengers. I’ve been very lucky over the last 10 years to build up a fantastic database of regular clients who I now really treat as my friends.
After the big turn around for Royal Caribbean this week it does make me wonder whether passengers will lose faith in their favourite Cruise Line.
Earlier this week Royal Caribbean made the shock announcement that they would be pulling the ‘Independence of the seas’ out of Southampton in Summer 2020. Seeing as these sailings have already been on sale for many months now and Cruise.co as only one Company had hundreds of passengers already confirmed and looking forward to their 2020 holiday, to say it has been an upheaval would be a slight understatement.