Shipshape Sales

Cruise lines are creating more field resources all the time for nontraditional retailers. The strongest so far is Royal Caribbean International's new program. RCI's online learning options include "Ride the Wave with Royal Caribbean," "Royal Business Solutions" and "Family Freedom." Regional account trainers will teach agents about enhancements to www.cruisingpower.com, its agent web site, which has a home-based agent portal where you can connect to E-town meetings with executives, request local sales support or a training opportunity, and download professional looking presentations. A marketing accelerator tool helps you customize e-mail messages, direct mail or e-thank-you cards.

You can reach a home-based specialist at [email protected] or by calling 800-954-7225, Option 2. Resources

More than 250 agents in North Carolina, Ohio, Florida and Michigan recently completed a Home Based Success Series training session sponsored by Royal Caribbean, Globus, NACTA and NEST. More than 1,200 home-based retailers have been trained in 25 cities, and a new session is planned on Freedom of the Seas on May 29. For a schedule, visit the training calendar in the Knowledge Desk of Royal Caribbean's home-based portal. Host agencies should ask about Royal Caribbean's [email protected] Flyer. And for an Easy Group Sales Kit, visit www.nxtbook.com/fx/books/rccl/groupsaleskit/.

Other lines pursuing home-based business include Oceania Cruises. More than 2,500 home-based agents have registered at http://agent.oceaniacruises.com. [email protected] Agent Suite's tools include Web-based training, personal support, online access to live availability, seminars, incentive commissions and personalized marketing.

Holland America's HAL Academy has a dedicated @Home with HAL area at www.travelagentheadquarters.com. Agents can train online at their own pace and download collateral and marketing tools. One useful area of this site is Selling Group Cruises.

Celebrity's [email protected] Online Learning Series is part of its home-based initiative. Online sessions will cover "The Celebrity Treatment," "Advanced Cruise Tour Training" and "Trading Up." CruisingPower, CruiseMatch, Insight and CruisePay training will be featured. Visit www.cruisingpower.com.