Crystal Talks Pricing, Reservations Updates at Trade Gala

Crystal Symphony

Seventy-four partners from 14 countries qualified for this year’s Crystal Trade Gala cruise for top producers, now under way now on Crystal Symphony, by posting at least $1 million in revenue during 2017. Many of the high achieving producers are now sailing through the Caribbean and hearing about Crystal’s plans for the future and new trade tools and programs from top brand executives.

Carmen Roig, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Crystal Cruises, reports that 56 of the producers achieved that million-dollar threshold, a stellar achievement. An additional 13 partners posted more than $2 million in revenue, and another five partners achieved more than $5 million in annual revenue.

“There is $163 million in revenue in this room,” she told the trade audience.

So what’s the revenue threshold that travel partners must post for 2018 – so they can be invited to the 2019 Crystal Trade Gala?

Roig says the company will hold the line this year, keeping the qualification level the same. So trade partners  who post most than $1 million will earn the opportunity to attend the 2019 gala program.

Crystal News Updates

Here’s a summary of important tidbits we picked up from the trade gala this week:

Fares/Promotions: For 2020, Crystal’s fares will have a different pricing presentation – similar to what it had in the past, including two-for-one and book now fares. There are also some timing changes. Agents will hear more about this, as well as other pricing system/rules tweaks, starting this week. As a part of this effort, starting July 1, 2018, Crystal Clear Choice will be renamed Book Now Savings.

Reservations: Crystal is adding more reservations resources, including two new reservations dispatchers, 10 new reservations agents, two new group agents, two new Team Support Unit agents (being hired in the next week or so), and a new process to empower the elite team agents to do more tasks.

In addition, the line will do more training of staff to assist all agents. Plus, the $1 million-plus agent producers will get a special email, viewed and handled by managers, to get quicker resolutions to issues that require elevation to a higher authority.  

Groups: Six months ago, the line opened its group department. While still in its infancy, much is happening. For example, the group services area is now comprised of a manager, four administrative employees and – starting next week – five phone agents. Previously, all staff were handling both administrative and phone tasks, which didn’t prove workable, so now there will be dedicated phone employees for a more targeted focus.  

Agents also have been clamoring for a group analysis report for some time, and it’s currently in the testing stages; expect to hear more within the next month about details. In addition, group contracts have been updated and no longer require a signature.

Value of Agents: How happy are cruises who’ve sailed on Crystal with their travel agent? Some 95.93 percent of all Crystal guests filling out surveys about their cruise experience rated their travel agent as exceeding expectations.

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