Camelback Odyssey Travel
It’s not just being a top producer for several luxury cruise lines, or knowing the right ship, itinerary and stateroom for each client; Jonathan Phillips curates his own travel guides for each customer, including personal restaurant picks and insider experiences, says his manager, Shelby Donley. This independent contractor, who reaps $2 million a year in sales, has been in the business for 24 years. He recently crafted a 19-night itinerary for new clients, a family of five, which included three teenage children. Stopovers included Venice, Florence, Rome, Paris and London and because Phillips couldn’t envision them in hotel rooms, he scouted out authentic European apartment-style accommodations that were centrally located in each city. Glassblowing, pizza and ice cream making in Italy; Afternoon Tea at the Ritz in London; and a behind-the-scenes look at Harrods were other add-ons.
Phillips is a cruise specialist because he felt it was necessary to focus on what he is good at in this very multi-faceted industry. “I primarily focus on working with my top five important cruise lines and personally creating a human connection with my key industry partners,” says Phillips. As for his clients, he always follows up to see how he could have improved their experience and he always asks for a referral. “Keeping in touch with my clients is a key factor and I truly believe that human connections enrich our lives,” he says.
Case in point: Donley tells us that Phillips always strives to surprise and delight his clients. He’s a pro at tailoring welcome amenities for each one. For example, he arranged for a friend of his in London to deliver a basket of local candies to a visiting family and even remembered to include mini champagne bottles for the parents.