Archives

Cruise Training Online – Job Interviews

Before your Interview

  • Check that you are aware of the exact location where the interview is being held.
  • Plan your route or journey and allow yourself an extra half hour in case of any unforeseen delays. Under no circumstances arrive late!
  • If you are driving make sure you check for parking facilities, and the location of these.

Dress Code & GroomingCartoon call centre person

Recruitment decisions are based on several different factors, but it is worth remembering that first impressions really do count! You should dress appropriately for a cruising position, such as:

  • Office style smart attire to wear for your interview – a businesslike suit in a conservative colour
  • Ensure that you are well groomed, with clean tidy hair, make up (if applicable) and clean, smart shoes.
  • Your clothes must be tidy, clean, and crisply ironed
  • Hair should be clean and neatly styled
  • Visible body piercings should be removed
  • Make-up should be neat and natural in appearance
  • Jewellery should be minimal and unobtrusive
  • Make sure that you feel comfortable with your appearance.
  • Do one final check of your overall appearance prior to arriving at the interview venue and during break times.

Documentation

  • If you are required to take documents/certificates with you, ensure that you have them all laid out in a smart folder and available for the interviewers to see.
  • Always prepare your documents a few days before the interview to ensure that you have all the necessary certificates and paperwork that you are required to take.

Research and Preparation

  • Find out as much as possible about the company you have applied to. You may be asked at the interview to provide information about the cruise company that demonstrates your background knowledge and interest. Typical information to research includes history of the company, ships in the fleet, ports of call and special features of their services.
  • If available, print out the Position/Job Description. Read it, and make notes (for yourself) on particular requirements, and how you know you can meet them. Have examples ready of times when you showed your ability to [be a team player; solve customer problems; apply first aid. These need to be real examples, not made up!

Nerves

  • It is perfectly normal to feel nervous before and during the interview process! Prior to attending the interview ensure that you spend some time relaxing and that you get a good night’s sleep before.
  • To help your nerves take deep breaths and remember that the recruitment team will make allowances for the fact that people are nervous.
  • Prior preparation will help to ease nerves.

Cartoon two people communicating

During The Interview Process

Communication with People You Meet

  • From the minute you arrive at the interview you will be assessed by the recruitment team. Your appearance, your welcoming behaviour and warm disposition will be crucial at this stage as first impressions are vital.
  • Make use of the time you have available prior to starting to get to know the other candidates attending the interview. Try to memorise names and other information you may find out from the other candidates.
  • Remember to always address people in a friendly and courteous way.
  • Never try to be someone you are not. Be yourself. Recruitment personnel are highly trained and will spot anyone who tries to impress by being someone they are not.
  • Your body language will be vital during the whole recruitment event, and you must maintain open body language to make you appear welcoming and receptive to the recruitment team and fellow candidates.

Team Work & Exercises

  • At almost all interviews you will be required to take part in team work exercises. Ensure that you are an open communicator with all team members, and participate in all discussions and exercises.
  • You should make yourself aware of current affairs and news relating to the cruise industry, so read newspapers and online stories about travel and cruises. Some exercises or questions may involve these topics.
  • Remember to demonstrate open and friendly attitudes and behaviour to other candidates.
  • Don’t try to hog the conversation! Allow other people to contribute – demonstrate you are a good listener as well as a good talker!

Examples of areas discussed during interviews

During the interview process you may be asked questions and have to complete exercises on the following subjects:

>            Team WorkTeam Work at ITC

>            Communication

>            Customer Service

>            Safety

>            Current Affairs

>            Cruise Industry

Have examples prepared on the above subjects as the interviewing panel may ask you to give examples of previous experience and/or knowledge on the above.

Questions

  • Think of good questions to ask about at the interview. You will normally be given the opportunity to ask the recruitment team any questions you may have.
  • Questions must be relevant to the company and the job. Avoid asking questions on issues that have been covered during any presentations given to you by the recruitment team. Here are some classic questions NOT to ask at interview:

 

How much is the salary?

When could I take some holiday?

How soon could I take a cheap flight?

What perks come with the job?

When will the next pay review be?

Listed below is a list of ‘Don’t do this at Interview unless you Don’t Want the Job!

If these seem extreme, you’ll be surprised to learn that at some time the author of this course has seen all of these things happen at interview!

DON’T:Hostie in circle

  • Be late
  • Turn up clutching your dry cleaning or bags of groceries
  • Bring your boyfriend to the interview
  • Wear a skirt that is shorter than your jacket
  • For the guys ~ don’t arrive ‘tieless’
  • Wear dirty shoes
  • Wear heaps of make up and stacks of fashion jewellery
  • Paint each nail a different colour
  • Get a large visible tattoo the previous day, and pierce your nose
  • Wear the blouse with the red wine stain on
  • Look bored and disinterested
  • Spend a lot of time looking at the floor or gaze out of the window
  • Speak in a low monotonous voice tone and use lots of slang
  • Be expressionless with grumpy face
  • Sit on the edge of your chair nervously
  • Just make up answers as you go
  • Waffle
  • Give one-word answers to questions
  • Come with no prepared questions
  • Criticise your previous employer, school, or life in general
  • Tell them your hobbies are socialising and watching TV
  • Fiddle constantly with your hair, underwear, earrings, fingernails and other body parts
  • Say you have no strengths or weaknesses
  • Know anything out about the company
  • Use slang words like ‘youse’
  • Slouch

After the interview

  • Remember to thank the recruitment team for inviting you to attend an interview. Recruitment teams work hard during such events and your genuine appreciation will be welcomed.
  • Remember that in some companies the recruitment process may be divided into different sessions. This may be completed in one day or in some cases you will be invited to attend on a later date.
  • Don’t ask for feedback on your performance as many companies never provide such information. In addition, after you have left the interview the recruitment team will still be discussing your performance and assessing your qualities.

If you don’t get the job it’s worth reviewing how you conducted yourself at interview in order to learn from the event and do better next time!

Check out this chart on Reasons for Failure at Interviews! This is the list of ‘what not to do’ next time round!!

Here are some more interview tips – useful for any type of interview

STEPS FOR SUCCESSBoarding Pass to success

Be it face-to-face, over the phone, via fax, e-mail or video conference, it is very important to come across in a positive light, especially the first time.  You only get once chance to make a first impression!

We’ve all met people that we instantly “like” and want to get to know more or do business with. Most of the time, these people follow a few basic rules that make their first impression a GREAT one.

Dress to impress: Dress modestly and appropriately, clothing must be clean and fit well.

Speak clearly:  Volume, tone, clarity, pace, correct grammar & no slang, polite and courteous

Use the person’s name: Friendly greeting, memorise their name and use it appropriately

Avoid jokes:  Humour is generally a good thing — if used prudently, an off-colour joke will have the opposite effect

Be a good listener: Ask and answer questions maturely, never interrupt when someone else is speaking, pay close attention to the conversation; those little details may be useful in the future

Let the other person be the centre of attention: Avoid hogging the spotlight. Let the other person be the centre of attention, don’t talk incessantly about yourself.

Where To From Here?

After completing this training course and checking out some of the websites suggested you will have determined whether this is the right job for you, and whether you are likely to meet the cruise industry entry criteria.

a)     If you believe you meet the entry criteria you are then ready to make your application directly to the cruise company of your choice

b)     If you do not meet the entry criteria, and need to improve your potential for selection for interview, you should start acquiring qualifications and experience that are relevant to a career as cruising crew.

Studying a general travel and tourism programme which includes customer service workshops will help you to build your qualifications ready for the day that you make your application. Learning about the travel and tourism industries, aviation and international travel will prepare you for a career in travel and tourism, and will provide you with a huge range of career opportunities around these exciting industries!

Equip yourself with skills, knowledge and abilities that will help you into other jobs and career paths in and around cruises!

The International Travel College of New Zealand can help you! They are one of the Top Ten Airline Training Colleges in the world, and a leader in provision of training for the airline, travel and tourism industries. As a Tourism Award Winner, ISO accredited, Edexcel [UK], and IATA accredited, they can provide you with the right training course and employment assistance to establish your career goals and dreams.

Contact them now on 0800 TOURISM [0800 868 747] or college@itc.co.nz [web: site www.itc.co.nz)  for further information on Distance Online Learning courses and on-campus programs.

 

 

Cruise Training Online – Job Interviews

Before your Interview

  • Check that you are aware of the exact location where the interview is being held.
  • Plan your route or journey and allow yourself an extra half hour in case of any unforeseen delays. Under no circumstances arrive late!
  • If you are driving make sure you check for parking facilities, and the location of these.

Dress Code & GroomingCartoon call centre person

Recruitment decisions are based on several different factors, but it is worth remembering that first impressions really do count! You should dress appropriately for a cruising position, such as:

  • Office style smart attire to wear for your interview – a businesslike suit in a conservative colour
  • Ensure that you are well groomed, with clean tidy hair, make up (if applicable) and clean, smart shoes.
  • Your clothes must be tidy, clean, and crisply ironed
  • Hair should be clean and neatly styled
  • Visible body piercings should be removed
  • Make-up should be neat and natural in appearance
  • Jewellery should be minimal and unobtrusive
  • Make sure that you feel comfortable with your appearance.
  • Do one final check of your overall appearance prior to arriving at the interview venue and during break times.

Documentation

  • If you are required to take documents/certificates with you, ensure that you have them all laid out in a smart folder and available for the interviewers to see.
  • Always prepare your documents a few days before the interview to ensure that you have all the necessary certificates and paperwork that you are required to take.

Research and Preparation

  • Find out as much as possible about the company you have applied to. You may be asked at the interview to provide information about the cruise company that demonstrates your background knowledge and interest. Typical information to research includes history of the company, ships in the fleet, ports of call and special features of their services.
  • If available, print out the Position/Job Description. Read it, and make notes (for yourself) on particular requirements, and how you know you can meet them. Have examples ready of times when you showed your ability to [be a team player; solve customer problems; apply first aid. These need to be real examples, not made up!

Nerves

  • It is perfectly normal to feel nervous before and during the interview process! Prior to attending the interview ensure that you spend some time relaxing and that you get a good night’s sleep before.
  • To help your nerves take deep breaths and remember that the recruitment team will make allowances for the fact that people are nervous.
  • Prior preparation will help to ease nerves.

Cartoon two people communicating

During The Interview Process

Communication with People You Meet

  • From the minute you arrive at the interview you will be assessed by the recruitment team. Your appearance, your welcoming behaviour and warm disposition will be crucial at this stage as first impressions are vital.
  • Make use of the time you have available prior to starting to get to know the other candidates attending the interview. Try to memorise names and other information you may find out from the other candidates.
  • Remember to always address people in a friendly and courteous way.
  • Never try to be someone you are not. Be yourself. Recruitment personnel are highly trained and will spot anyone who tries to impress by being someone they are not.
  • Your body language will be vital during the whole recruitment event, and you must maintain open body language to make you appear welcoming and receptive to the recruitment team and fellow candidates.

Team Work & Exercises

  • At almost all interviews you will be required to take part in team work exercises. Ensure that you are an open communicator with all team members, and participate in all discussions and exercises.
  • You should make yourself aware of current affairs and news relating to the cruise industry, so read newspapers and online stories about travel and cruises. Some exercises or questions may involve these topics.
  • Remember to demonstrate open and friendly attitudes and behaviour to other candidates.
  • Don’t try to hog the conversation! Allow other people to contribute – demonstrate you are a good listener as well as a good talker!

Examples of areas discussed during interviews

During the interview process you may be asked questions and have to complete exercises on the following subjects:

>            Team WorkTeam Work at ITC

>            Communication

>            Customer Service

>            Safety

>            Current Affairs

>            Cruise Industry

Have examples prepared on the above subjects as the interviewing panel may ask you to give examples of previous experience and/or knowledge on the above.

Questions

  • Think of good questions to ask about at the interview. You will normally be given the opportunity to ask the recruitment team any questions you may have.
  • Questions must be relevant to the company and the job. Avoid asking questions on issues that have been covered during any presentations given to you by the recruitment team. Here are some classic questions NOT to ask at interview:

 

How much is the salary?

When could I take some holiday?

How soon could I take a cheap flight?

What perks come with the job?

When will the next pay review be?

Listed below is a list of ‘Don’t do this at Interview unless you Don’t Want the Job!

If these seem extreme, you’ll be surprised to learn that at some time the author of this course has seen all of these things happen at interview!

DON’T:Hostie in circle

  • Be late
  • Turn up clutching your dry cleaning or bags of groceries
  • Bring your boyfriend to the interview
  • Wear a skirt that is shorter than your jacket
  • For the guys ~ don’t arrive ‘tieless’
  • Wear dirty shoes
  • Wear heaps of make up and stacks of fashion jewellery
  • Paint each nail a different colour
  • Get a large visible tattoo the previous day, and pierce your nose
  • Wear the blouse with the red wine stain on
  • Look bored and disinterested
  • Spend a lot of time looking at the floor or gaze out of the window
  • Speak in a low monotonous voice tone and use lots of slang
  • Be expressionless with grumpy face
  • Sit on the edge of your chair nervously
  • Just make up answers as you go
  • Waffle
  • Give one-word answers to questions
  • Come with no prepared questions
  • Criticise your previous employer, school, or life in general
  • Tell them your hobbies are socialising and watching TV
  • Fiddle constantly with your hair, underwear, earrings, fingernails and other body parts
  • Say you have no strengths or weaknesses
  • Know anything out about the company
  • Use slang words like ‘youse’
  • Slouch

After the interview

  • Remember to thank the recruitment team for inviting you to attend an interview. Recruitment teams work hard during such events and your genuine appreciation will be welcomed.
  • Remember that in some companies the recruitment process may be divided into different sessions. This may be completed in one day or in some cases you will be invited to attend on a later date.
  • Don’t ask for feedback on your performance as many companies never provide such information. In addition, after you have left the interview the recruitment team will still be discussing your performance and assessing your qualities.

If you don’t get the job it’s worth reviewing how you conducted yourself at interview in order to learn from the event and do better next time!

Check out this chart on Reasons for Failure at Interviews! This is the list of ‘what not to do’ next time round!!

Here are some more interview tips – useful for any type of interview

STEPS FOR SUCCESSBoarding Pass to success

Be it face-to-face, over the phone, via fax, e-mail or video conference, it is very important to come across in a positive light, especially the first time.  You only get once chance to make a first impression!

We’ve all met people that we instantly “like” and want to get to know more or do business with. Most of the time, these people follow a few basic rules that make their first impression a GREAT one.

Dress to impress: Dress modestly and appropriately, clothing must be clean and fit well.

Speak clearly:  Volume, tone, clarity, pace, correct grammar & no slang, polite and courteous

Use the person’s name: Friendly greeting, memorise their name and use it appropriately

Avoid jokes:  Humour is generally a good thing — if used prudently, an off-colour joke will have the opposite effect

Be a good listener: Ask and answer questions maturely, never interrupt when someone else is speaking, pay close attention to the conversation; those little details may be useful in the future

Let the other person be the centre of attention: Avoid hogging the spotlight. Let the other person be the centre of attention, don’t talk incessantly about yourself.

Where To From Here?

After completing this training course and checking out some of the websites suggested you will have determined whether this is the right job for you, and whether you are likely to meet the cruise industry entry criteria.

a)     If you believe you meet the entry criteria you are then ready to make your application directly to the cruise company of your choice

b)     If you do not meet the entry criteria, and need to improve your potential for selection for interview, you should start acquiring qualifications and experience that are relevant to a career as cruising crew.

Studying a general travel and tourism programme which includes customer service workshops will help you to build your qualifications ready for the day that you make your application. Learning about the travel and tourism industries, aviation and international travel will prepare you for a career in travel and tourism, and will provide you with a huge range of career opportunities around these exciting industries!

Equip yourself with skills, knowledge and abilities that will help you into other jobs and career paths in and around cruises!

The International Travel College of New Zealand can help you! They are one of the Top Ten Airline Training Colleges in the world, and a leader in provision of training for the airline, travel and tourism industries. As a Tourism Award Winner, ISO accredited, Edexcel [UK], and IATA accredited, they can provide you with the right training course and employment assistance to establish your career goals and dreams.

Contact them now on 0800 TOURISM [0800 868 747] or college@itc.co.nz [web: site www.itc.co.nz)  for further information on Distance Online Learning courses and on-campus programs.

 

 

Cruise Training Online – Job Interviews

Before your Interview

  • Check that you are aware of the exact location where the interview is being held.
  • Plan your route or journey and allow yourself an extra half hour in case of any unforeseen delays. Under no circumstances arrive late!
  • If you are driving make sure you check for parking facilities, and the location of these.

Dress Code & GroomingCartoon call centre person

Recruitment decisions are based on several different factors, but it is worth remembering that first impressions really do count! You should dress appropriately for a cruising position, such as:

  • Office style smart attire to wear for your interview – a businesslike suit in a conservative colour
  • Ensure that you are well groomed, with clean tidy hair, make up (if applicable) and clean, smart shoes.
  • Your clothes must be tidy, clean, and crisply ironed
  • Hair should be clean and neatly styled
  • Visible body piercings should be removed
  • Make-up should be neat and natural in appearance
  • Jewellery should be minimal and unobtrusive
  • Make sure that you feel comfortable with your appearance.
  • Do one final check of your overall appearance prior to arriving at the interview venue and during break times.

Documentation

  • If you are required to take documents/certificates with you, ensure that you have them all laid out in a smart folder and available for the interviewers to see.
  • Always prepare your documents a few days before the interview to ensure that you have all the necessary certificates and paperwork that you are required to take.

Research and Preparation

  • Find out as much as possible about the company you have applied to. You may be asked at the interview to provide information about the cruise company that demonstrates your background knowledge and interest. Typical information to research includes history of the company, ships in the fleet, ports of call and special features of their services.
  • If available, print out the Position/Job Description. Read it, and make notes (for yourself) on particular requirements, and how you know you can meet them. Have examples ready of times when you showed your ability to [be a team player; solve customer problems; apply first aid. These need to be real examples, not made up!

Nerves

  • It is perfectly normal to feel nervous before and during the interview process! Prior to attending the interview ensure that you spend some time relaxing and that you get a good night’s sleep before.
  • To help your nerves take deep breaths and remember that the recruitment team will make allowances for the fact that people are nervous.
  • Prior preparation will help to ease nerves.

Cartoon two people communicating

During The Interview Process

Communication with People You Meet

  • From the minute you arrive at the interview you will be assessed by the recruitment team. Your appearance, your welcoming behaviour and warm disposition will be crucial at this stage as first impressions are vital.
  • Make use of the time you have available prior to starting to get to know the other candidates attending the interview. Try to memorise names and other information you may find out from the other candidates.
  • Remember to always address people in a friendly and courteous way.
  • Never try to be someone you are not. Be yourself. Recruitment personnel are highly trained and will spot anyone who tries to impress by being someone they are not.
  • Your body language will be vital during the whole recruitment event, and you must maintain open body language to make you appear welcoming and receptive to the recruitment team and fellow candidates.

Team Work & Exercises

  • At almost all interviews you will be required to take part in team work exercises. Ensure that you are an open communicator with all team members, and participate in all discussions and exercises.
  • You should make yourself aware of current affairs and news relating to the cruise industry, so read newspapers and online stories about travel and cruises. Some exercises or questions may involve these topics.
  • Remember to demonstrate open and friendly attitudes and behaviour to other candidates.
  • Don’t try to hog the conversation! Allow other people to contribute – demonstrate you are a good listener as well as a good talker!

Examples of areas discussed during interviews

During the interview process you may be asked questions and have to complete exercises on the following subjects:

>            Team WorkTeam Work at ITC

>            Communication

>            Customer Service

>            Safety

>            Current Affairs

>            Cruise Industry

Have examples prepared on the above subjects as the interviewing panel may ask you to give examples of previous experience and/or knowledge on the above.

Questions

  • Think of good questions to ask about at the interview. You will normally be given the opportunity to ask the recruitment team any questions you may have.
  • Questions must be relevant to the company and the job. Avoid asking questions on issues that have been covered during any presentations given to you by the recruitment team. Here are some classic questions NOT to ask at interview:

 

How much is the salary?

When could I take some holiday?

How soon could I take a cheap flight?

What perks come with the job?

When will the next pay review be?

Listed below is a list of ‘Don’t do this at Interview unless you Don’t Want the Job!

If these seem extreme, you’ll be surprised to learn that at some time the author of this course has seen all of these things happen at interview!

DON’T:Hostie in circle

  • Be late
  • Turn up clutching your dry cleaning or bags of groceries
  • Bring your boyfriend to the interview
  • Wear a skirt that is shorter than your jacket
  • For the guys ~ don’t arrive ‘tieless’
  • Wear dirty shoes
  • Wear heaps of make up and stacks of fashion jewellery
  • Paint each nail a different colour
  • Get a large visible tattoo the previous day, and pierce your nose
  • Wear the blouse with the red wine stain on
  • Look bored and disinterested
  • Spend a lot of time looking at the floor or gaze out of the window
  • Speak in a low monotonous voice tone and use lots of slang
  • Be expressionless with grumpy face
  • Sit on the edge of your chair nervously
  • Just make up answers as you go
  • Waffle
  • Give one-word answers to questions
  • Come with no prepared questions
  • Criticise your previous employer, school, or life in general
  • Tell them your hobbies are socialising and watching TV
  • Fiddle constantly with your hair, underwear, earrings, fingernails and other body parts
  • Say you have no strengths or weaknesses
  • Know anything out about the company
  • Use slang words like ‘youse’
  • Slouch

After the interview

  • Remember to thank the recruitment team for inviting you to attend an interview. Recruitment teams work hard during such events and your genuine appreciation will be welcomed.
  • Remember that in some companies the recruitment process may be divided into different sessions. This may be completed in one day or in some cases you will be invited to attend on a later date.
  • Don’t ask for feedback on your performance as many companies never provide such information. In addition, after you have left the interview the recruitment team will still be discussing your performance and assessing your qualities.

If you don’t get the job it’s worth reviewing how you conducted yourself at interview in order to learn from the event and do better next time!

Check out this chart on Reasons for Failure at Interviews! This is the list of ‘what not to do’ next time round!!

Here are some more interview tips – useful for any type of interview

STEPS FOR SUCCESSBoarding Pass to success

Be it face-to-face, over the phone, via fax, e-mail or video conference, it is very important to come across in a positive light, especially the first time.  You only get once chance to make a first impression!

We’ve all met people that we instantly “like” and want to get to know more or do business with. Most of the time, these people follow a few basic rules that make their first impression a GREAT one.

Dress to impress: Dress modestly and appropriately, clothing must be clean and fit well.

Speak clearly:  Volume, tone, clarity, pace, correct grammar & no slang, polite and courteous

Use the person’s name: Friendly greeting, memorise their name and use it appropriately

Avoid jokes:  Humour is generally a good thing — if used prudently, an off-colour joke will have the opposite effect

Be a good listener: Ask and answer questions maturely, never interrupt when someone else is speaking, pay close attention to the conversation; those little details may be useful in the future

Let the other person be the centre of attention: Avoid hogging the spotlight. Let the other person be the centre of attention, don’t talk incessantly about yourself.

Where To From Here?

After completing this training course and checking out some of the websites suggested you will have determined whether this is the right job for you, and whether you are likely to meet the cruise industry entry criteria.

a)     If you believe you meet the entry criteria you are then ready to make your application directly to the cruise company of your choice

b)     If you do not meet the entry criteria, and need to improve your potential for selection for interview, you should start acquiring qualifications and experience that are relevant to a career as cruising crew.

Studying a general travel and tourism programme which includes customer service workshops will help you to build your qualifications ready for the day that you make your application. Learning about the travel and tourism industries, aviation and international travel will prepare you for a career in travel and tourism, and will provide you with a huge range of career opportunities around these exciting industries!

Equip yourself with skills, knowledge and abilities that will help you into other jobs and career paths in and around cruises!

The International Travel College of New Zealand can help you! They are one of the Top Ten Airline Training Colleges in the world, and a leader in provision of training for the airline, travel and tourism industries. As a Tourism Award Winner, ISO accredited, Edexcel [UK], and IATA accredited, they can provide you with the right training course and employment assistance to establish your career goals and dreams.

Contact them now on 0800 TOURISM [0800 868 747] or college@itc.co.nz [web: site www.itc.co.nz)  for further information on Distance Online Learning courses and on-campus programs.

 

 

Cruise Training Online – Your CV & Application

CV Layout and Content

If you’re producing a hard-copy, the front cover needs to be eye catching. This is a great place for a photograph and for personal details. Try an attractive ‘hand writing’ style font for your name, but don’t be tempted into fonts which are so exotic that they can’t be read easily.  Any boxes or lines need to be carefully thought through – aim always for a crisp, professional, uncluttered look.  However, don’t include this ‘cover’ on your electronic, soft copy.

The second page starts with your Personal Details. These should include:

  • Your full name
  • Your e mail address (preferably within the area you are intending to work)
  • Your contact phone number, including a daytime number. You must ensure you can be easily contacted when job hunting – don’t make it difficult for potential employers to find you!
  • Your mailing address
  • Date of birth is optional, but useful to show, particularly if you are a recent school leaver, as this will explain lack of extensive work experience.
  • Driver’s licence: Indicate what type of licence you have.
  • Health: Jobs as flight attendants require you to be in good health, and a full medical will form part of the recruitment process.
  • Languages: List any spoken, including level, i.e. Conversational French, Fluent Spanish.

family with luggage cartoonListing your smoking status, marital status, numbers of children etc are unnecessary and take up valuable space and reading time!

 

 

Travel Experience can be included here, particularly if you are well travelled. List places visited on page one. You can use a bullet point format, or sentence style, including information on length of time you visited the countries, and how extensively you know an area. If you haven’t yet travelled outside the city you live in… keep this to yourself!Venice 4

Personal Statement/Key Skills/Core Strengths/Special skills: Use the remainder of the first page to ‘sell yourself:

 

  • Personal statements can be difficult to write, but if you use one you MUST have written it yourself (or at least drafted it!) and it should accurately reflect the type of person you are. There is a current trend away from these statements and you might like to use this area on the CV to summarise your key or greatest strengths in bullet point format.

 

  • This is an opportunity to bring out previous work experience, qualifications or interests you have that make you a great candidate for this position. Write one good paragraph that will make the reader want to meet you. Remember – the CV is not the place to be modest about yourself! Use positive statements or phrases.

 

  • Make this personal statement relevant to the job you are applying for. Don’t have a general statement about how wonderful you are, and have this as a standard part of your CV. Whoever reads your CV wants to see you are interested in working for that company, in that particular role (not just any job in any company).

Education History usually follows your personal details:

  •  Start with what you did most recently, making sure you describe it accurately.
  • Only include details of Tertiary or Secondary schooling – nobody needs to know where you went to kindergarten! Include details of years attended and brief details of qualifications achieved. Provide the name of the College or school, the years you attended, and the names of key qualifications you gained. Information on Grades is not essential.
  • If you went to secondary school more than 10 years ago, then don’t mention it. Hopefully you’ve done some worthwhile studies since then that are more important to mention.

 

Employment History follows next:

  •  As with the previous section, work backwards from the most recent position you held. You can be selective here and leave out temporary or short-term positions that are not relevant to the job e.g., 2 months spent kiwi fruit picking when you were 16 may be excluded!Eden_1

 

  • Give the years you were employed in each position, together with the name of the company (in bold), job title, and a brief description of key responsibilities or roles. Only one or two sentences are required, or you could use bullet points. If you completed 12 different tasks at your previous job, try to group them together into two or three relevant and descriptive short sentences.

 

  • Remember to provide information on career gaps – showing the years and one line description of what you were doing at that time e.g., 2000 – 2004  Time out to raise a family.

You should now provide basic/brief details of your interests/activities:

  • List one or two hobbies or interests, remembering that employers are looking for people who are well balanced, and you should take care to paint a picture of both physical activity and mental agility! Don’t list too many as it suggests that your life is too busy to fit work in!

 

  • Be careful here – socialising, going out and relaxing are not hobbies – but lifestyles!

 

  • Special Awards and Achievements fit well on this page – giving you the opportunity to highlight aspects of your life that suggest honesty, integrity, team skills, leadership ability, commitment and dedication. This includes achievements at school (if you are under 25!), at work, or within the community.

Personal Referees should always be included within the CV as the final section:

  •  Include details of two people who will say good things about you! These should preferably be former employers. If you have little or no work experience you may use a school teacher, sports group manager or organiser, church or voluntary work organiser etc. Referees cannot be family members or friends!Toni at reception

 

  • Give their name and job title, together with their contact details. This should include phone or email contact as most references are sought in this way.

Lastly, spellcheck, double spellcheck, print it out and proof read it really carefully before sending it to anybody!

If you are not completing an online application you might be e-mailing your CV to the HR department. Be careful with email. You should take the same care with an e-mail as you would a letter or CV, so follow these tips and you won’t go too far wrong!

Email Etiquette

An Email is not a text message! It’s an electronic letter, so apply the same writing standards that you would to a letter, especially when applying for a job.

Address the message appropriately using Dear (Name of person) and close the e-mail with ‘Yours sincerely’, followed by your full name.

Use the subject window effectively – people get so many Emails these days that they often trash them based on what’s in the subject window. Viruses often arrive without a subject line.

Do’s

Be careful about the message’s tone! No voice and visual means that your word choice is especially important

Write proper English. Note-form language may be quicker to write, but actually it’s harder to readImage of laptop and plane

Proof-read and edit your email before you click send

Don’ts

Don’t write in capitals. IF YOU DO IT IS KNOWN AS SHOUTING!

Don’t email when you really ought to phone or meet. Don’t use writing to avoid talk when talk is needed.

I repeat. Don’t Use Text Language!

Interviews

Once you have applied for a position you may be invited to interview and should prepare well for that event.  You will need to prepare yourself fully so that you perform to the best of your ability.

But first, DID YOU KNOW?

  • If you get to interview you have a 33% chance of getting the job.
  • Of those who are offered an interview at least 40% lose the job before they even speak!
  • Most people interviewing you have prior experience, and will try to make you feel at ease. They are interested in getting to know you.
  • Don’t expect all interviews to be the same. Everyone has their own preferred interviewing style.
  • Interviews may be conducted one to one, or several people may interview you.  Airlines and bigger companies may even conduct group interviews.
  • Interviewers WANT you to be the right candidate for the job!

Interviews for flight attendants/cabin crew normally includes a panel or group interview which involves you and a number of other candidates meeting together with airline assessors.

The process may take the form of a group discussion, with opportunities for each candidate to talk about themselves and their career goals, followed by participation in group tasks or activities. During these activities the assessors will evaluate how well you get along with other people, how easy you find it to work with new people, what kind of personality you have etc.  You may be asked to perform practical tasks such as making morning tea for another group, solving a puzzle or debating a topical issue.

After the group interview there may be an opportunity for you to meet the interviewer/assessor on a one-on-one basis. Most airlines make a selection of people from this process to move forward to the next stage and you will be notified if you have made it through to the second stage. If it’s starting to sound a lot like American Idol, it’s because it’s the same formulae!

The second stage varies from airline to airline, but may involve individual interviews, written assessments or personality profiles/questionnaires. Candidates who make it through the second stage may then be invited to the final process, which may also involve a medical check. The process may seem quite lengthy – but if you make it through you’ll have a fantastic job!

Interview No Nos_v2

Cruise Training Online – Your CV & Application

CV Layout and Content

If you’re producing a hard-copy, the front cover needs to be eye catching. This is a great place for a photograph and for personal details. Try an attractive ‘hand writing’ style font for your name, but don’t be tempted into fonts which are so exotic that they can’t be read easily.  Any boxes or lines need to be carefully thought through – aim always for a crisp, professional, uncluttered look.  However, don’t include this ‘cover’ on your electronic, soft copy.

The second page starts with your Personal Details. These should include:

  • Your full name
  • Your e mail address (preferably within the area you are intending to work)
  • Your contact phone number, including a daytime number. You must ensure you can be easily contacted when job hunting – don’t make it difficult for potential employers to find you!
  • Your mailing address
  • Date of birth is optional, but useful to show, particularly if you are a recent school leaver, as this will explain lack of extensive work experience.
  • Driver’s licence: Indicate what type of licence you have.
  • Health: Jobs as flight attendants require you to be in good health, and a full medical will form part of the recruitment process.
  • Languages: List any spoken, including level, i.e. Conversational French, Fluent Spanish.

family with luggage cartoonListing your smoking status, marital status, numbers of children etc are unnecessary and take up valuable space and reading time!

 

 

Travel Experience can be included here, particularly if you are well travelled. List places visited on page one. You can use a bullet point format, or sentence style, including information on length of time you visited the countries, and how extensively you know an area. If you haven’t yet travelled outside the city you live in… keep this to yourself!Venice 4

Personal Statement/Key Skills/Core Strengths/Special skills:

Use the remainder of the first page to ‘sell yourself:

 

  • Personal statements can be difficult to write, but if you use one you MUST have written it yourself (or at least drafted it!) and it should accurately reflect the type of person you are. There is a current trend away from these statements and you might like to use this area on the CV to summarise your key or greatest strengths in bullet point format.

 

  • This is an opportunity to bring out previous work experience, qualifications or interests you have that make you a great candidate for this position. Write one good paragraph that will make the reader want to meet you. Remember – the CV is not the place to be modest about yourself! Use positive statements or phrases.

 

  • Make this personal statement relevant to the job you are applying for. Don’t have a general statement about how wonderful you are, and have this as a standard part of your CV. Whoever reads your CV wants to see you are interested in working for that company, in that particular role (not just any job in any company).

Education History

Educational details usually follow your personal details:

  • Start with what you did most recently, making sure you describe it accurately.
  • Only include details of Tertiary or Secondary schooling – nobody needs to know where you went to kindergarten! Include details of years attended and brief details of qualifications achieved. Provide the name of the College or school, the years you attended, and the names of key qualifications you gained. Information on Grades is not essential.
  • If you went to secondary school more than 10 years ago, then don’t mention it. Hopefully you’ve done some worthwhile studies since then that are more important to mention.

 

Employment History follows next:

  •  As with the previous section, work backwards from the most recent position you held. You can be selective here and leave out temporary or short-term positions that are not relevant to the job e.g., 2 months spent kiwi fruit picking when you were 16 may be excluded!Eden_1

 

  • Give the years you were employed in each position, together with the name of the company (in bold), job title, and a brief description of key responsibilities or roles. Only one or two sentences are required, or you could use bullet points. If you completed 12 different tasks at your previous job, try to group them together into two or three relevant and descriptive short sentences.

 

  • Remember to provide information on career gaps – showing the years and one line description of what you were doing at that time e.g., 2000 – 2004  Time out to raise a family.

You should now provide basic/brief details of your interests/activities:

  • List one or two hobbies or interests, remembering that employers are looking for people who are well balanced, and you should take care to paint a picture of both physical activity and mental agility! Don’t list too many as it suggests that your life is too busy to fit work in!

 

  • Be careful here – socialising, going out and relaxing are not hobbies – but lifestyles!

 

  • Special Awards and Achievements fit well on this page – giving you the opportunity to highlight aspects of your life that suggest honesty, integrity, team skills, leadership ability, commitment and dedication. This includes achievements at school (if you are under 25!) at work, or within the community.

Personal Referees should always be included within the CV as the final section:

  •  Include details of two people who will say good things about you! These should preferably be former employers. If you have little or no work experience you may use a school teacher, sports group manager or organiser, church or voluntary work organiser etc. Referees cannot be family members or friends!Toni at reception

 

  • Give their name and job title, together with their contact details. This should include phone or email contact as most references are sought in this way.

Lastly, spellcheck, double spellcheck, print it out and proof read it really carefully before sending it to anybody!

If you are not completing an online application you might be e-mailing your CV to the HR department. Be careful with email. You should take the same care with an e-mail as you would a letter or CV, so follow these tips and you won’t go too far wrong!

Email Etiquette

An Email is not a text message! It’s an electronic letter, so apply the same writing standards that you would to a letter, especially when applying for a job.

Address the message appropriately using Dear (Name of person) and close the e-mail with ‘Yours sincerely’, followed by your full name.

Use the subject window effectively – people get so many Emails these days that they often trash them based on what’s in the subject window. Viruses often arrive without a subject line.

Do’s

Be careful about the message’s tone! No voice and visual means that your word choice is especially important

Write proper English. Note-form language may be quicker to write, but actually it’s harder to readImage of laptop and plane

Proof-read and edit your email before you click send

Don’ts

Don’t write in capitals. IF YOU DO IT IS KNOWN AS SHOUTING!

Don’t email when you really ought to phone or meet. Don’t use writing to avoid talk when talk is needed.

I repeat. Don’t Use Text Language!

Interviews

Once you have applied for a position you may be invited to interview and should prepare well for that event.  You will need to prepare yourself fully so that you perform to the best of your ability.

But first, DID YOU KNOW?

  • If you get to interview you have a 33% chance of getting the job.
  • Of those who are offered an interview at least 40% lose the job before they even speak!
  • Most people interviewing you have prior experience, and will try to make you feel at ease. They are interested in getting to know you.
  • Don’t expect all interviews to be the same. Everyone has their own preferred interviewing style.
  • Interviews may be conducted one to one, or several people may interview you.  Airlines and bigger companies may even conduct group interviews.
  • Interviewers WANT you to be the right candidate for the job!

Interviews for flight attendants/cabin crew normally includes a panel or group interview which involves you and a number of other candidates meeting together with airline assessors.

The process may take the form of a group discussion, with opportunities for each candidate to talk about themselves and their career goals, followed by participation in group tasks or activities. During these activities the assessors will evaluate how well you get along with other people, how easy you find it to work with new people, what kind of personality you have etc.  You may be asked to perform practical tasks such as making morning tea for another group, solving a puzzle or debating a topical issue.

After the group interview there may be an opportunity for you to meet the interviewer/assessor on a one-on-one basis. Most airlines make a selection of people from this process to move forward to the next stage and you will be notified if you have made it through to the second stage. If it’s starting to sound a lot like American Idol, it’s because it’s the same formulae!

The second stage varies from airline to airline, but may involve individual interviews, written assessments or personality profiles/questionnaires. Candidates who make it through the second stage may then be invited to the final process, which may also involve a medical check. The process may seem quite lengthy – but if you make it through you’ll have a fantastic job!

Interview No Nos_v2

Cruise Training Online – Your CV & Application

CV Layout and Content

If you’re producing a hard-copy, the front cover needs to be eye catching. This is a great place for a photograph and for personal details. Try an attractive ‘hand writing’ style font for your name, but don’t be tempted into fonts which are so exotic that they can’t be read easily.  Any boxes or lines need to be carefully thought through – aim always for a crisp, professional, uncluttered look.  However, don’t include this ‘cover’ on your electronic, soft copy.

The second page starts with your Personal Details. These should include:

  • Your full name
  • Your e mail address (preferably within the area you are intending to work)
  • Your contact phone number, including a daytime number. You must ensure you can be easily contacted when job hunting – don’t make it difficult for potential employers to find you!
  • Your mailing address
  • Date of birth is optional, but useful to show, particularly if you are a recent school leaver, as this will explain lack of extensive work experience.
  • Driver’s licence: Indicate what type of licence you have.
  • Health: Jobs as flight attendants require you to be in good health, and a full medical will form part of the recruitment process.
  • Languages: List any spoken, including level, i.e. Conversational French, Fluent Spanish.

family with luggage cartoonListing your smoking status, marital status, numbers of children etc are unnecessary and take up valuable space and reading time!

 

 

Travel Experience can be included here, particularly if you are well travelled. List places visited on page one. You can use a bullet point format, or sentence style, including information on length of time you visited the countries, and how extensively you know an area. If you haven’t yet travelled outside the city you live in… keep this to yourself!Venice 4

Personal Statement/Key Skills/Core Strengths/Special skills:

Use the remainder of the first page to ‘sell yourself:

 

  • Personal statements can be difficult to write, but if you use one you MUST have written it yourself (or at least drafted it!) and it should accurately reflect the type of person you are. There is a current trend away from these statements and you might like to use this area on the CV to summarise your key or greatest strengths in bullet point format.

 

  • This is an opportunity to bring out previous work experience, qualifications or interests you have that make you a great candidate for this position. Write one good paragraph that will make the reader want to meet you. Remember – the CV is not the place to be modest about yourself! Use positive statements or phrases.

 

  • Make this personal statement relevant to the job you are applying for. Don’t have a general statement about how wonderful you are, and have this as a standard part of your CV. Whoever reads your CV wants to see you are interested in working for that company, in that particular role (not just any job in any company).

Education History

Educational details usually follow your personal details:

  • Start with what you did most recently, making sure you describe it accurately.
  • Only include details of Tertiary or Secondary schooling – nobody needs to know where you went to kindergarten! Include details of years attended and brief details of qualifications achieved. Provide the name of the College or school, the years you attended, and the names of key qualifications you gained. Information on Grades is not essential.
  • If you went to secondary school more than 10 years ago, then don’t mention it. Hopefully you’ve done some worthwhile studies since then that are more important to mention.

 

Employment History follows next:

  •  As with the previous section, work backwards from the most recent position you held. You can be selective here and leave out temporary or short-term positions that are not relevant to the job e.g., 2 months spent kiwi fruit picking when you were 16 may be excluded!Eden_1

 

  • Give the years you were employed in each position, together with the name of the company (in bold), job title, and a brief description of key responsibilities or roles. Only one or two sentences are required, or you could use bullet points. If you completed 12 different tasks at your previous job, try to group them together into two or three relevant and descriptive short sentences.

 

  • Remember to provide information on career gaps – showing the years and one line description of what you were doing at that time e.g., 2000 – 2004  Time out to raise a family.

You should now provide basic/brief details of your interests/activities:

  • List one or two hobbies or interests, remembering that employers are looking for people who are well balanced, and you should take care to paint a picture of both physical activity and mental agility! Don’t list too many as it suggests that your life is too busy to fit work in!

 

  • Be careful here – socialising, going out and relaxing are not hobbies – but lifestyles!

 

  • Special Awards and Achievements fit well on this page – giving you the opportunity to highlight aspects of your life that suggest honesty, integrity, team skills, leadership ability, commitment and dedication. This includes achievements at school (if you are under 25!) at work, or within the community.

Personal Referees should always be included within the CV as the final section:

  •  Include details of two people who will say good things about you! These should preferably be former employers. If you have little or no work experience you may use a school teacher, sports group manager or organiser, church or voluntary work organiser etc. Referees cannot be family members or friends!Toni at reception

 

  • Give their name and job title, together with their contact details. This should include phone or email contact as most references are sought in this way.

Lastly, spellcheck, double spellcheck, print it out and proof read it really carefully before sending it to anybody!

If you are not completing an online application you might be e-mailing your CV to the HR department. Be careful with email. You should take the same care with an e-mail as you would a letter or CV, so follow these tips and you won’t go too far wrong!

Email Etiquette

An Email is not a text message! It’s an electronic letter, so apply the same writing standards that you would to a letter, especially when applying for a job.

Address the message appropriately using Dear (Name of person) and close the e-mail with ‘Yours sincerely’, followed by your full name.

Use the subject window effectively – people get so many Emails these days that they often trash them based on what’s in the subject window. Viruses often arrive without a subject line.

Do’s

Be careful about the message’s tone! No voice and visual means that your word choice is especially important

Write proper English. Note-form language may be quicker to write, but actually it’s harder to readImage of laptop and plane

Proof-read and edit your email before you click send

Don’ts

Don’t write in capitals. IF YOU DO IT IS KNOWN AS SHOUTING!

Don’t email when you really ought to phone or meet. Don’t use writing to avoid talk when talk is needed.

I repeat. Don’t Use Text Language!

Interviews

Once you have applied for a position you may be invited to interview and should prepare well for that event.  You will need to prepare yourself fully so that you perform to the best of your ability.

But first, DID YOU KNOW?

  • If you get to interview you have a 33% chance of getting the job.
  • Of those who are offered an interview at least 40% lose the job before they even speak!
  • Most people interviewing you have prior experience, and will try to make you feel at ease. They are interested in getting to know you.
  • Don’t expect all interviews to be the same. Everyone has their own preferred interviewing style.
  • Interviews may be conducted one to one, or several people may interview you.  Airlines and bigger companies may even conduct group interviews.
  • Interviewers WANT you to be the right candidate for the job!

Interviews for flight attendants/cabin crew normally includes a panel or group interview which involves you and a number of other candidates meeting together with airline assessors.

The process may take the form of a group discussion, with opportunities for each candidate to talk about themselves and their career goals, followed by participation in group tasks or activities. During these activities the assessors will evaluate how well you get along with other people, how easy you find it to work with new people, what kind of personality you have etc.  You may be asked to perform practical tasks such as making morning tea for another group, solving a puzzle or debating a topical issue.

After the group interview there may be an opportunity for you to meet the interviewer/assessor on a one-on-one basis. Most airlines make a selection of people from this process to move forward to the next stage and you will be notified if you have made it through to the second stage. If it’s starting to sound a lot like American Idol, it’s because it’s the same formulae!

The second stage varies from airline to airline, but may involve individual interviews, written assessments or personality profiles/questionnaires. Candidates who make it through the second stage may then be invited to the final process, which may also involve a medical check. The process may seem quite lengthy – but if you make it through you’ll have a fantastic job!

Interview No Nos_v2

Cruise Training Online – Job Hunting

JOB HUNTING

Overview

Having studied all the previous lessons you should now be well prepared for job applications and interviews for a role o- board a cruise ship.

Finding a job with a cruise line is like finding any other job – you have to look for it as the job won’t come looking for you!

Most cruise lines are based in the USA and recruit staff from there but many also seek staff from elsewhere, depending on the availability of personnel in the jobs available.

With such a global job market it is possible to obtain a cruise position from anywhere in the world, using the internet as both a seeking and marketing tool.

As with all jobs it’s about having a job-hunting strategy: a plan to find the job of your dreams, and some actions to maximise your chances of success.

Each cruise line has a unique application procedure and these change from time to time, so we provide here some general guidelines on applications, CV layout tips and preparation for interviews.

Use this lesson as a preparation for the application and interview process. If you’re serious about working on board a cruise ship you will find the notes here relevant and helpful, and the interview preparation could make the difference between success and failure on the day!

Good luck – and best wishes in your career!

 worlds-biggest-cruise-ship-allure-of-the-seas-royal-carribean-11

How to find the jobs?

Some cruise lines use specialist recruitment agencies to conduct pre-screening and selection of candidates, then carry out the interviews themselves. Or the agency may carry out initial interviews and presents the final selection to the cruise line for final interview.

Many cruise lines provide online applications which make it much easier to apply for a position,  but it’s important to not rush through that process just because its’ online as it doesn’t make it less important!

In all cases interviews will be stringent, often involving a panel or several people who will be evaluating your appearance, your communication skills, your ability to mix and work with others, and your general attitude.

There may also be ‘psychometric testing’ – these are written or online tests that are designed to assess your personality and your ‘fit’ with the organisation, and with life on board a ship. You cannot easily prepare for those and just have to accept them as they come!

Do your research

The first task in your career preparation is to conduct research on the cruise lines. Checkout their own websites before doing some research on what it might be like to work for each cruise lines. There are plenty of web sites devoted to cruise crew reviews and these are places that people tell it like it is – no holds barred!

Brochures

Consider each cruise line: Is this the type of company you would like to work for? What kind of ships do they operate? How large is company? How many staff work for them? Are they recruiting at the moment? If so, how?

CV Preparation

CVs and Letters

If you are preparing a CV to send to an airline rather than use an online application process, ensure that the CV meets the highest standards of professional presentation. The content must include, as a minimum all your personal details, including weight, height, nationality, passport status, education and qualifications, work history, interests, and recent references.

Letters accompanying CVs should match the font and style of your CV, and should be professionally laid out, grammatically correct and error free. The internet is an excellent source of examples of both CVs and application letters, and your local library will also contain reference books to help you.

Photographs

It is usual for companies to request a full length photo either at the initial application stage or prior to interview. A number of photographers specialize in these photos, and it is recommended that you invest in professional photos. In any event these should be of yourself in your corporate suit – dressed exactly as you would attend an interview. The photo should not be of you on your last holiday, at the beach, or washing the car with your dog beside you!

What is a CV?

  • An up to date and concise summary of all the information about you that will interest an employer.
  • A short account of your career and qualifications RELEVANT to the position you are applying for or for the position you are seeking to find.
  • An advertisement for you.
  • A positive picture of what you have done and can do.
  • It’s the same as a resume

What is its purpose?

  • To get you an interview! An employer’s decision to interview you, or not, is usually based on the quality and content of your CV (if you get to interview, you usually have a 33% chance of getting the job)
  • The CV creates an impression of you in the mind of the employer. First impressions are very resistant to change. Do all that you can do to make yours a good one.

Cartoon small person at computer

When is a CV used?

* When applying for a position advertised that you are interested in.

* When carrying out a ‘mail out’ to prospective employers

* During an interview – by both yourself and the interviewer. You will take one with you in case the interviewer doesn’t have one, and the interviewer will refer to it to refresh their memory, and to compare you with the other candidates they have in mind.

* To represent where you are at with regard to industry skills training & experience

Top Tips to a Great CV!

 

Top Tips for a Great CV_v2

Cruise Training Online – Job Hunting

JOB HUNTING

Overview

Having studied all the previous lessons you should now be well prepared for job applications and interviews for a role on-board a cruise ship.

Finding a job with a cruise line is like finding any other job – you have to look for it as the job won’t come looking for you!

Most cruise lines are based in the USA and recruit staff from there but many also seek staff from elsewhere, depending on the availability of personnel in the jobs available.

With such a global job market it is possible to obtain a cruise position from anywhere in the world, using the internet as both a seeking and marketing tool.

As with all jobs it’s about having a job-hunting strategy: a plan to find the job of your dreams, and some actions to maximise your chances of success.

Each cruise line has a unique application procedure and these change from time to time, so we provide here some general guidelines on applications, CV layout tips and preparation for interviews.

Use this lesson as a preparation for the application and interview process. If you’re serious about working o- board a cruise ship you will find the notes here relevant and helpful, and the interview preparation could make the difference between success and failure on the day!

Good luck – and best wishes in your career!

 worlds-biggest-cruise-ship-allure-of-the-seas-royal-carribean-11

How to find the jobs?

Some cruise lines use specialist recruitment agencies to conduct pre-screening and selection of candidates, then carry out the interviews themselves. Or the agency may carry out initial interviews and presents the final selection to the cruise line for final interview.

Many cruise lines provide online applications which make it much easier to apply for a position,  but it’s important to not rush through that process just because its’ online as it doesn’t make it less important!

In all cases interviews will be stringent, often involving a panel or several people who will be evaluating your appearance, your communication skills, your ability to mix and work with others, and your general attitude.

There may also be ‘psychometric testing’ – these are written or online tests that are designed to assess your personality and your ‘fit’ with the organisation, and with life on board a ship. You cannot easily prepare for those and just have to accept them as they come!

Do your research

The first task in your career preparation is to conduct research on the cruise lines. Checkout their own websites before doing some research on what it might be like to work for each cruise lines. There are plenty of web sites devoted to cruise crew reviews and these are places that people tell it like it is – no holds barred!

Brochures

Consider each cruise line: Is this the type of company you would like to work for? What kind of ships do they operate? How large is company? How many staff work for them? Are they recruiting at the moment? If so, how?

CV Preparation

CVs and Letters

If you are preparing a CV (resume) to send to an airline rather than use an online application process, ensure that the CV meets the highest standards of professional presentation. The content must include, as a minimum all your personal details, including weight, height, nationality, passport status, education and qualifications, work history, interests, and recent references.

Letters accompanying CVs should match the font and style of your CV, and should be professionally laid out, grammatically correct and error free. The internet is an excellent source of examples of both CVs and application letters, and your local library will also contain reference books to help you.

Photographs

It is usual for companies to request a full length photo either at the initial application stage or prior to interview. A number of photographers specialize in these photos, and it is recommended that you invest in professional photos. In any event these should be of yourself in your corporate suit – dressed exactly as you would attend an interview. The photo should not be of you on your last holiday, at the beach, or washing the car with your dog beside you!

What is a CV?

  • An up to date and concise summary of all the information about you that will interest an employer.
  • A short account of your career and qualifications RELEVANT to the position you are applying for or for the position you are seeking to find.
  • An advertisement for you.
  • A positive picture of what you have done and can do.
  • It’s the same as a resume

What is its purpose?

  • To get you an interview! An employer’s decision to interview you, or not, is usually based on the quality and content of your CV (if you get to interview, you usually have a 33% chance of getting the job)
  • The CV creates an impression of you in the mind of the employer. First impressions are very resistant to change. Do all that you can do to make yours a good one.

Cartoon small person at computer

When is a CV used?

* When applying for a position advertised that you are interested in.

* When carrying out a ‘mail out’ to prospective employers

* During an interview – by both yourself and the interviewer. You will take one with you in case the interviewer doesn’t have one, and the interviewer will refer to it to refresh their memory, and to compare you with the other candidates they have in mind.

* To represent where you are at with regard to industry skills training & experience

Top Tips to a Great CV!

 

Top Tips for a Great CV_v2

Cruise Training Online – Job Hunting

JOB HUNTING

Overview

Having studied all the previous lessons you should now be well prepared for job applications and interviews for a role on-board a cruise ship.

Finding a job with a cruise line is like finding any other job – you have to look for it as the job won’t come looking for you!

Most cruise lines are based in the USA and recruit staff from there but many also seek staff from elsewhere, depending on the availability of personnel in the jobs available.

With such a global job market it is possible to obtain a cruise position from anywhere in the world, using the internet as both a seeking and marketing tool.

As with all jobs it’s about having a job-hunting strategy: a plan to find the job of your dreams, and some actions to maximise your chances of success.

Each cruise line has a unique application procedure and these change from time to time, so we provide here some general guidelines on applications, CV layout tips and preparation for interviews.

Use this lesson as a preparation for the application and interview process. If you’re serious about working o- board a cruise ship you will find the notes here relevant and helpful, and the interview preparation could make the difference between success and failure on the day!

Good luck – and best wishes in your career!

 worlds-biggest-cruise-ship-allure-of-the-seas-royal-carribean-11

How to find the jobs?

Some cruise lines use specialist recruitment agencies to conduct pre-screening and selection of candidates, then carry out the interviews themselves. Or the agency may carry out initial interviews and presents the final selection to the cruise line for final interview.

Many cruise lines provide online applications which make it much easier to apply for a position,  but it’s important to not rush through that process just because its’ online as it doesn’t make it less important!

In all cases interviews will be stringent, often involving a panel or several people who will be evaluating your appearance, your communication skills, your ability to mix and work with others, and your general attitude.

There may also be ‘psychometric testing’ – these are written or online tests that are designed to assess your personality and your ‘fit’ with the organisation, and with life on board a ship. You cannot easily prepare for those and just have to accept them as they come!

Do your research

The first task in your career preparation is to conduct research on the cruise lines. Checkout their own websites before doing some research on what it might be like to work for each cruise lines. There are plenty of web sites devoted to cruise crew reviews and these are places that people tell it like it is – no holds barred!

Brochures

Consider each cruise line: Is this the type of company you would like to work for? What kind of ships do they operate? How large is company? How many staff work for them? Are they recruiting at the moment? If so, how?

CV Preparation

CVs and Letters

If you are preparing a CV (resume) to send to an airline rather than use an online application process, ensure that the CV meets the highest standards of professional presentation. The content must include, as a minimum all your personal details, including weight, height, nationality, passport status, education and qualifications, work history, interests, and recent references.

Letters accompanying CVs should match the font and style of your CV, and should be professionally laid out, grammatically correct and error free. The internet is an excellent source of examples of both CVs and application letters, and your local library will also contain reference books to help you.

Photographs

It is usual for companies to request a full length photo either at the initial application stage or prior to interview. A number of photographers specialize in these photos, and it is recommended that you invest in professional photos. In any event these should be of yourself in your corporate suit – dressed exactly as you would attend an interview. The photo should not be of you on your last holiday, at the beach, or washing the car with your dog beside you!

What is a CV?

  • An up to date and concise summary of all the information about you that will interest an employer.
  • A short account of your career and qualifications RELEVANT to the position you are applying for or for the position you are seeking to find.
  • An advertisement for you.
  • A positive picture of what you have done and can do.
  • It’s the same as a resume

What is its purpose?

  • To get you an interview! An employer’s decision to interview you, or not, is usually based on the quality and content of your CV (if you get to interview, you usually have a 33% chance of getting the job)
  • The CV creates an impression of you in the mind of the employer. First impressions are very resistant to change. Do all that you can do to make yours a good one.

Cartoon small person at computer

When is a CV used?

* When applying for a position advertised that you are interested in.

* When carrying out a ‘mail out’ to prospective employers

* During an interview – by both yourself and the interviewer. You will take one with you in case the interviewer doesn’t have one, and the interviewer will refer to it to refresh their memory, and to compare you with the other candidates they have in mind.

* To represent where you are at with regard to industry skills training & experience

Top Tips to a Great CV!

 

Top Tips for a Great CV_v2

Cruise Training Online – Other Cruise Careers

Jobs beyond the Cruise Ships!Istanbul

Cruise Lines don’t just employ staff to work on board their ships, but have staff working in their offices around the world. The staff may be in reservations, sales or administrative support roles, or may be front-facing staff working at the ports of departure helping in the check-in and embarkation processes.  They may also employ staff on shore to organise shore excursions for their passengers.

In addition, there are job opportunities working for GSAs (General Sales Agents) or travel agents as sales consultants.

Checkout these job vacancy ads for example, both fore shore based positions

Shore based job ads

On-board and on-shore job choices are huge!

Checkout the descriptions here of the wide variety of jobs available on a typical mid to large cruise ship:

Cruise Director

One of the most prestigious positions on board cruise ships. Cruise Director supervises the cruise and entertainment staff. Leadership, excellent communications, teamwork administration, strong organizational and creative skills required. Entertainment and public relations background preferable.

Assistant Cruise Director

Working closely with Cruise Director in organizing passenger activities and administration of cruise staff. Flexibility and ability to get along with all sorts of people, willingness to learn and loads of energy required.

Host/Hostess (this can also be an on-shore only role)

Welcoming passengers aboard, checking embarkation cards, directing passengers to their cabins, organizing Captain’s Cocktail Parties and shore excursions, special events and activities. Several years experience in hospitality industry usually required.

Sports and Fitness Instructorsworlds-biggest-cruise-ship-allure-of-the-seas-royal-carribean-13

Water sports instructors mainly hired for shore visit programmes such as diving and windsurfing. Full qualification and experience at instructor level required. In addition cruises offer a range of onboard fitness activities and if you have a background in instructing along with back up qualifications this could be a fabulous role for you.

Expedition and Tour Leaders (this can also be an on-shore only role)

Using your specialist knowledge of marine life, native cultures, geography, history etc to lead and educate cruise passengers on their shore-visit expeditions.

Youth Counsellor

Most cruises offer a full range of activities for children of all ages. Qualification and/or experience in child care or youth activities required.

Casino Staff

Previous casino experience required and adherence to laws regarding employment age.

Photographer

Must be able to do all photographic activities from taking passengers photos to developing them on an onboard lab.

Spa and Salon Staff

Health and beauty programmes include massage therapy, hairdressing, and make-up for the special cruise events and dinners. Certification required.

Shop Staff

Previous retail experience could have you working on a range of concessions onboard including boutiques, gift and duty free shops.

Purser Staff

Handles a full range of administrative services for passengers. Hospitality experience, computer literacy, customer relations background, excellent verbal and written communications are required. English and another language are a definite advantage.

Hotel and Catering StaffCartoon drinks glasses

Full range of roles include food & beverage services, room attendants. Hotel experience is preferable, along with hospitality qualifications.

Disc Jockey

DJs should have a diverse music foundation to span the generations of the passengers – hotel, resort or night club experience preferred.

Whatever the job, life on board a cruise ship could never be described as dull, and could be the career of your dreams!

ITC Student Success in the Cruising Industry

On completion of her Level 3 & 4 course with ITC, Angela worked in the quality department of an Auckland wholesale company, then in reservations and sales for one of New Zealand’s. Now working for Carnival New Zealand as Business Development Co-ordinator, here is what she has to say about her career path and current job.

“After leaving ITC I felt confident I had come away with a broad knowledge of the tourism industry and how each sector interacted. Having gained my qualifications I was well-equipped to tackle any entry level position across the entire spectrum.

ITC is dedicated to helping their students obtain employment after graduation, so it was with their help I was employed in documentation and dispatch for a major wholesaler which was a vital step and gave me insight to the way the wholesale operation is conducted and how important their link is in the chain between consumer and supplier.

After a 6 month contract, for me, it was time to move on. So yet again with the help of the ITC team I was employed by Heritage Hotels in their reservations call centre, a small team servicing eight 3.5 – 5 star properties throughout the country. I enjoyed this role very much, everyday brought new challenges and rewards and I still have cards and notes of thanks from guests who were touched by small gestures I made to make their stays particularly memorable.

However after 16 months in this role with Heritage Hotels, I was getting itchy feet, for me it was time to move up or move on. As luck would have it there was an opening in their sales and marketing office. This was a huge step for me and I embraced the role even though it meant starting early, often working through lunch and working late into the evening. However this was necessary if I was serious about gaining as much knowledge as possible.

Eventually I felt it time for me to explore other options, and started discretely looking at job advertisements. ITC had helped me create a dynamic CV that I was proud of. They taught me to keep it maintained so I was able to take a chance and forward my CV to an agency that had placed an ad in a travel publication. The role sounded very interesting and I thought it would help me build on the skills I had already. (The ad however did not disclose the name of the company that the position was for. So I didn’t even know whether I would want to work for them)

Having worked in a call centre for over a year I had developed a fairly confident phone manner. So after my phone interview I was called to attend a face-to-face interview. It was then that I was told the company was P&O Princess Cruises (now known as Carnival  New Zealand) I was excited! ITC taught me how to dress for an interview so with hair up and suit on I headed over to their office. I thought my interview had gone quite well but I was the last one and I did not know the calibre of the candidates interviewed before me. When I received a call my way home I was surprised to be told I had got the job!

I am the Business Development Co-ordinator for Carnival New Zealand and I love it! It’s such a varied role with a fantastic team of people. I’m involved not only in the day to day running of the office but also sending out reports & sales figures, assisting in the approval of marketing collateral, organising functions and events, hosting walk-arounds & lunches on ships, planning and hosting famils on cruises around Australia and the South Pacific, attending expos and promo days, assisting agents and the general public with queries and issues, attending conferences here and overseas plus anything else that may come up.

carnival-spirit-acapulco-port

So far I have been to Sydney for induction, hosted a 7 night cruise famil from Brisbane to Tropical North Queensland, attended a Sales Conference in Sydney, hosted a 10 night cruise famil from Auckland to Tonga and Fiji, hosted an overnight cruise for 750 travel agents in Auckland, hosted a 2 day conference onboard a ship out of Sydney, met Lisa Currie-Kenny (Australian Olympic Swimmer and ambassador for P&O Cruises Australia) and hosted a number of walk-arounds on international cruise ships including Sapphire Princess, Oriana and Pacific Princess. It’s always a great feeling to see one of our ships in port and people crowding around all imagining what it would be like to sail away into the wide blue yonder.

The next step up for me would be a District Sales Manager role. This would mean that I would be out on the road full time across the country promoting the product, conducting sales calls with agents and assisting them by conducting presentations at their cruise nights and other promotional ventures. It is a revenue-driven role with an emphasis on sales tracking and promoting growth. I have a lot to learn before the time comes for me to feel confident in applying for the role however at this point in time I am well on my way to achieving my goal.”

Angela Bartlam

Business Development Co-ordinator

Carnival New Zealand

Representing P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises UK.

 

Cruise Training Online – Other Cruise Careers

Jobs beyond the Cruise Ships!Istanbul

Cruise Lines don’t just employ staff to work on board their ships, but have staff working in their offices around the world. The staff may be in reservations, sales or administrative support roles, or may be front-facing staff working at the ports of departure helping in the check-in and embarkation processes.  They may also employ staff on shore to organise shore excursions for their passengers.

In addition, there are job opportunities working for GSAs (General Sales Agents) or travel agents as sales consultants.

Checkout these job vacancy ads for example, both fore shore based positions

Shore based job ads

On-board and on-shore job choices are huge!

Checkout the descriptions here of the wide variety of jobs available on a typical mid to large cruise ship:

Cruise Director

One of the most prestigious positions on board cruise ships. Cruise Director supervises the cruise and entertainment staff. Leadership, excellent communications, teamwork administration, strong organizational and creative skills required. Entertainment and public relations background preferable.

Assistant Cruise Director

Working closely with Cruise Director in organizing passenger activities and administration of cruise staff. Flexibility and ability to get along with all sorts of people, willingness to learn and loads of energy required.

Host/Hostess (this can also be an on-shore only role)

Welcoming passengers aboard, checking embarkation cards, directing passengers to their cabins, organizing Captain’s Cocktail Parties and shore excursions, special events and activities. Several years experience in hospitality industry usually required.

Sports and Fitness Instructorsworlds-biggest-cruise-ship-allure-of-the-seas-royal-carribean-13

Water sports instructors mainly hired for shore visit programmes such as diving and windsurfing. Full qualification and experience at instructor level required. In addition cruises offer a range of onboard fitness activities and if you have a background in instructing along with back up qualifications this could be a fabulous role for you.

Expedition and Tour Leaders (this can also be an on-shore only role)

Using your specialist knowledge of marine life, native cultures, geography, history etc to lead and educate cruise passengers on their shore-visit expeditions.

Youth Counsellor

Most cruises offer a full range of activities for children of all ages. Qualification and/or experience in child care or youth activities required.

Casino Staff

Previous casino experience required and adherence to laws regarding employment age.

Photographer

Must be able to do all photographic activities from taking passengers photos to developing them on an onboard lab.

Spa and Salon Staff

Health and beauty programmes include massage therapy, hairdressing, and make-up for the special cruise events and dinners. Certification required.

Shop Staff

Previous retail experience could have you working on a range of concessions onboard including boutiques, gift and duty free shops.

Purser Staff

Handles a full range of administrative services for passengers. Hospitality experience, computer literacy, customer relations background, excellent verbal and written communications are required. English and another language are a definite advantage.

Hotel and Catering StaffCartoon drinks glasses

Full range of roles include food & beverage services, room attendants. Hotel experience is preferable, along with hospitality qualifications.

Disc Jockey

DJs should have a diverse music foundation to span the generations of the passengers) – hotel, resort or night club experience preferred.

Whatever the job, life on board a cruise ship could never be described as dull, and could be the career of your dreams!

ITC Student Success in the Cruising Industry

On completion of her Level 3 & 4 course with ITC, Angela worked in the quality department of an Auckland wholesale company, then in reservations and sales for one of New Zealand’s. Now working for Carnival New Zealand as Business Development Co-ordinator, here is what she has to say about her career path and current job.

“After leaving ITC I felt confident I had come away with a broad knowledge of the tourism industry and how each sector interacted. Having gained my qualifications I was well-equipped to tackle any entry level position across the entire spectrum.

ITC is dedicated to helping their students obtain employment after graduation, so it was with their help I was employed in documentation and dispatch for a major wholesaler which was a vital step and gave me insight to the way the wholesale operation is conducted and how important their link is in the chain between consumer and supplier.

After a 6 month contract, for me, it was time to move on. So yet again with the help of the ITC team I was employed by Heritage Hotels in their reservations call centre, a small team servicing eight 3.5 – 5 star properties throughout the country. I enjoyed this role very much, everyday brought new challenges and rewards and I still have cards and notes of thanks from guests who were touched by small gestures I made to make their stays particularly memorable.

However after 16 months in this role with Heritage Hotels, I was getting itchy feet, for me it was time to move up or move on. As luck would have it there was an opening in their sales and marketing office. This was a huge step for me and I embraced the role even though it meant starting early, often working through lunch and working late into the evening. However this was necessary if I was serious about gaining as much knowledge as possible.

Eventually I felt it time for me to explore other options, and started discretely looking at job advertisements. ITC had helped me create a dynamic CV that I was proud of. They taught me to keep it maintained so I was able to take a chance and forward my CV to an agency that had placed an ad in a travel publication. The role sounded very interesting and I thought it would help me build on the skills I had already. (The ad however did not disclose the name of the company that the position was for. So I didn’t even know whether I would want to work for them)

Having worked in a call centre for over a year I had developed a fairly confident phone manner. So after my phone interview I was called to attend a face-to-face interview. It was then that I was told the company was P&O Princess Cruises (now known as Carnival  New Zealand) I was excited! ITC taught me how to dress for an interview so with hair up and suit on I headed over to their office. I thought my interview had gone quite well but I was the last one and I did not know the calibre of the candidates interviewed before me. When I received a call my way home I was surprised to be told I had got the job!

I am the Business Development Co-ordinator for Carnival New Zealand and I love it! It’s such a varied role with a fantastic team of people. I’m involved not only in the day to day running of the office but also sending out reports & sales figures, assisting in the approval of marketing collateral, organising functions and events, hosting walk-arounds & lunches on ships, planning and hosting famils on cruises around Australia and the South Pacific, attending expos and promo days, assisting agents and the general public with queries and issues, attending conferences here and overseas plus anything else that may come up.

carnival-spirit-acapulco-port

So far I have been to Sydney for induction, hosted a 7 night cruise famil from Brisbane to Tropical North Queensland, attended a Sales Conference in Sydney, hosted a 10 night cruise famil from Auckland to Tonga and Fiji, hosted an overnight cruise for 750 travel agents in Auckland, hosted a 2 day conference onboard a ship out of Sydney, met Lisa Currie-Kenny (Australian Olympic Swimmer and ambassador for P&O Cruises Australia) and hosted a number of walk-arounds on international cruise ships including Sapphire Princess, Oriana and Pacific Princess. It’s always a great feeling to see one of our ships in port and people crowding around all imagining what it would be like to sail away into the wide blue yonder.

The next step up for me would be a District Sales Manager role. This would mean that I would be out on the road full time across the country promoting the product, conducting sales calls with agents and assisting them by conducting presentations at their cruise nights and other promotional ventures. It is a revenue-driven role with an emphasis on sales tracking and promoting growth. I have a lot to learn before the time comes for me to feel confident in applying for the role however at this point in time I am well on my way to achieving my goal.”

Angela Bartlam

Business Development Co-ordinator

Carnival New Zealand

Representing P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises UK.

 

Cruise Training Online – Other Cruise Careers

Jobs beyond the Cruise Ships!Istanbul

Cruise Lines don’t just employ staff to work on board their ships, but have staff working in their offices around the world. The staff may be in reservations, sales or administrative support roles, or may be front-facing staff working at the ports of departure helping in the check-in and embarkation processes.  They may also employ staff on shore to organise shore excursions for their passengers.

In addition, there are job opportunities working for GSAs (General Sales Agents) or travel agents as sales consultants.

Checkout these job vacancy ads for example, both fore shore based positions

Shore based job ads

On-board and on-shore job choices are huge!

Checkout the descriptions here of the wide variety of jobs available on a typical mid to large cruise ship:

Cruise Director

One of the most prestigious positions on board cruise ships. Cruise Director supervises the cruise and entertainment staff. Leadership, excellent communications, teamwork administration, strong organizational and creative skills required. Entertainment and public relations background preferable.

Assistant Cruise Director

Working closely with Cruise Director in organizing passenger activities and administration of cruise staff. Flexibility and ability to get along with all sorts of people, willingness to learn and loads of energy required.

Host/Hostess (this can also be an on-shore only role)

Welcoming passengers aboard, checking embarkation cards, directing passengers to their cabins, organizing Captain’s Cocktail Parties and shore excursions, special events and activities. Several years experience in hospitality industry usually required.

Sports and Fitness Instructorsworlds-biggest-cruise-ship-allure-of-the-seas-royal-carribean-13

Water sports instructors mainly hired for shore visit programmes such as diving and windsurfing. Full qualification and experience at instructor level required. In addition cruises offer a range of onboard fitness activities and if you have a background in instructing along with back up qualifications this could be a fabulous role for you.

Expedition and Tour Leaders (this can also be an on-shore only role)

Using your specialist knowledge of marine life, native cultures, geography, history etc to lead and educate cruise passengers on their shore-visit expeditions.

Youth Counsellor

Most cruises offer a full range of activities for children of all ages. Qualification and/or experience in child care or youth activities required.

Casino Staff

Previous casino experience required and adherence to laws regarding employment age.

Photographer

Must be able to do all photographic activities from taking passengers photos to developing them on an onboard lab.

Spa and Salon Staff

Health and beauty programmes include massage therapy, hairdressing, and make-up for the special cruise events and dinners. Certification required.

Shop Staff

Previous retail experience could have you working on a range of concessions onboard including boutiques, gift and duty free shops.

Purser Staff

Handles a full range of administrative services for passengers. Hospitality experience, computer literacy, customer relations background, excellent verbal and written communications are required. English and another language are a definite advantage.

Hotel and Catering StaffCartoon drinks glasses

Full range of roles include food & beverage services, room attendants. Hotel experience is preferable, along with hospitality qualifications.

Disc Jockey

DJs should have a diverse music foundation to span the generations of the passengers) – hotel, resort or night club experience preferred.

Whatever the job, life on board a cruise ship could never be described as dull, and could be the career of your dreams!

ITC Student Success in the Cruising Industry

On completion of her Level 3 & 4 course with ITC, Angela worked in the quality department of an Auckland wholesale company, then in reservations and sales for one of New Zealand’s. Now working for Carnival New Zealand as Business Development Co-ordinator, here is what she has to say about her career path and current job.

“After leaving ITC I felt confident I had come away with a broad knowledge of the tourism industry and how each sector interacted. Having gained my qualifications I was well-equipped to tackle any entry level position across the entire spectrum.

ITC is dedicated to helping their students obtain employment after graduation, so it was with their help I was employed in documentation and dispatch for a major wholesaler which was a vital step and gave me insight to the way the wholesale operation is conducted and how important their link is in the chain between consumer and supplier.

After a 6 month contract, for me, it was time to move on. So yet again with the help of the ITC team I was employed by Heritage Hotels in their reservations call centre, a small team servicing eight 3.5 – 5 star properties throughout the country. I enjoyed this role very much, everyday brought new challenges and rewards and I still have cards and notes of thanks from guests who were touched by small gestures I made to make their stays particularly memorable.

However after 16 months in this role with Heritage Hotels, I was getting itchy feet, for me it was time to move up or move on. As luck would have it there was an opening in their sales and marketing office. This was a huge step for me and I embraced the role even though it meant starting early, often working through lunch and working late into the evening. However this was necessary if I was serious about gaining as much knowledge as possible.

Eventually I felt it time for me to explore other options, and started discretely looking at job advertisements. ITC had helped me create a dynamic CV that I was proud of. They taught me to keep it maintained so I was able to take a chance and forward my CV to an agency that had placed an ad in a travel publication. The role sounded very interesting and I thought it would help me build on the skills I had already. (The ad however did not disclose the name of the company that the position was for. So I didn’t even know whether I would want to work for them)

Having worked in a call centre for over a year I had developed a fairly confident phone manner. So after my phone interview I was called to attend a face-to-face interview. It was then that I was told the company was P&O Princess Cruises (now known as Carnival  New Zealand) I was excited! ITC taught me how to dress for an interview so with hair up and suit on I headed over to their office. I thought my interview had gone quite well but I was the last one and I did not know the calibre of the candidates interviewed before me. When I received a call my way home I was surprised to be told I had got the job!

I am the Business Development Co-ordinator for Carnival New Zealand and I love it! It’s such a varied role with a fantastic team of people. I’m involved not only in the day to day running of the office but also sending out reports & sales figures, assisting in the approval of marketing collateral, organising functions and events, hosting walk-arounds & lunches on ships, planning and hosting famils on cruises around Australia and the South Pacific, attending expos and promo days, assisting agents and the general public with queries and issues, attending conferences here and overseas plus anything else that may come up.

carnival-spirit-acapulco-port

So far I have been to Sydney for induction, hosted a 7 night cruise famil from Brisbane to Tropical North Queensland, attended a Sales Conference in Sydney, hosted a 10 night cruise famil from Auckland to Tonga and Fiji, hosted an overnight cruise for 750 travel agents in Auckland, hosted a 2 day conference onboard a ship out of Sydney, met Lisa Currie-Kenny (Australian Olympic Swimmer and ambassador for P&O Cruises Australia) and hosted a number of walk-arounds on international cruise ships including Sapphire Princess, Oriana and Pacific Princess. It’s always a great feeling to see one of our ships in port and people crowding around all imagining what it would be like to sail away into the wide blue yonder.

The next step up for me would be a District Sales Manager role. This would mean that I would be out on the road full time across the country promoting the product, conducting sales calls with agents and assisting them by conducting presentations at their cruise nights and other promotional ventures. It is a revenue-driven role with an emphasis on sales tracking and promoting growth. I have a lot to learn before the time comes for me to feel confident in applying for the role however at this point in time I am well on my way to achieving my goal.”

Angela Bartlam

Business Development Co-ordinator

Carnival New Zealand

Representing P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises UK.

 

Cruise Training Online – A Career in Cruising

CHAPTER EIGHT – CRUISING CAREERS

Overview

Working on a cruise ship gives you the opportunity to be part of a team in one of the finest and most interesting hospitality/travel sectors.

People working on board cruise ships develop a real sense of pride in being able to provide their passengers with the best cruise experience that they could possibly get.

Cruise lines put great emphasis on the skill, expertise and customer oriented crews, and look for the best people they can employ to care for and entertain their passengers.

Cruise jobs typically include cruise staff (activities directors), children counsellors , entertainers, musicians, shore excursion staff, casino personnel, stage staff, sound/light technicians, photographers, pursers (similar to hotel front desk staff), masseuses, hairdressers, and gift shop attendants.

In this Module you will learn about the career opportunities available on board cruise ships, along with the upsides and downsides of life on board ship as a crew member rather than as a passenger.

Learning Objectives:

On completion of this Module you will be able to:

  • Identify six key attributes required for employment on a cruise ship
  • Identify three benefits of working for a cruise ship
  • Identify four negatives of working for a cruise ship
  • Identify six job roles commonly found on a cruise ship

 

Introduction

Every year the cruise industry continues to construct larger ships to meet the increasing demand for this popular type of holiday choice and, of course, this creates higher demand for the cruise staff, marine staff and crew.

While working for cruise lines you enjoy a winning combination – having a profitable and exciting job, travelling all over the world and always following the sun and the good weather, meeting crew members, passengers and local people and in the same time saving substantial amount of money (since you do not have to pay for accommodation and food).

Cruise line jobs are in fact so addictive, that many crew members find it quite difficult to live on land after completing a contract aboard a cruise ship. It feels kind of strange to eat in a restaurant and to pay the bill after when you’ve been doing it for free for months while working aboard a cruise ship!

Whilst jobs on board ship can be both very rewarding and financially very lucrative, it has to be balanced with the reality that it can be a disruptive and physically demanding life, with little personal space or time.

If you enjoy high levels of focus on your job and career combined with the chance to join an interesting career ladder whilst seeing the world, then this is a great industry for you!

 

Essentials for employment on a cruise ship

A working knowledge of the English language is a must for those who wish to work on-board cruise ships of the major cruise lines, and fluency is preferred.Silverseas Shadow on deck

Knowledge and experience of the field (position you wish to apply for) is crucial. For example, for hotel side positions such as waiters, bartenders, cabin stewards, etc., you should have at least a year of work experience in that capacity/position in a 4 or 5 star establishment. Remember that cruise ships offer fine dining experience and the service must match that.

You should be in good physical, mental and psychological shape if you wish to be considered for cruise ship jobs. (Physical checks are carried out as part of the recruitment process) Working hours on-board cruise ships are long (12-16 hours a day) and with 7 day a week operations it can be exhausting both physically and mentally. If you like a 9 to 5 work life with weekends off, this is definitely not the life for you!

Be a team player. With so many in a ships’ crew, often of different nationalities, it’s critical that all the staff on board are able to work as a team, willingly and without question. The chain of command on board a ship is very clear – from the Captain who is the outright leader down to the cleaners, everyone knows their position in the team, and works towards a great team performance all the time.

It’s not all about attitude – but it sure does help! Having a positive flexible attitude are great assets when working on a cruise ship. Cruise lines often have to deal with changing situations very quickly, for example changes in weather patterns can affect a cruise itinerary requiring the crew to adapt quickly to the new schedule and deliver new services, food, entertainment or information readily and without fuss.

A friendly and approachable style will be essential in working on a cruise ship – bearing in mind the hundreds of new people you’ll meet every week of the year. You’ll be working with hundreds of people and on the larger cruise ships there may be thousands of passengers, many of them looking for help, assistance or information.  Being willing, ready and able to deliver that will ensure you are recognised and rewarded in your work and will go far in the cruise business!

The minimum age for jobs on board cruise ships is usually 18, and for some jobs 21.

Applicants for cruise ship jobs should always demonstrate a professional appearance at interview as high standards of presentation are required for all on board positions.

The ability to perform duties under pressure is a key requirement for most cruise ship positions.

The Upside of working life on board a cruise ship

On the upside, you will get to travel and see the world for free and get paid for doing it! Many cruise line staff members have visited more than 100 countries in a ten year period.

Barcelona 2

Many cruise line staff gain significant financial benefit from their years on board ships, saving money for food and accommodation that would normally be a key expense in land based jobs but are free whilst working on board a cruise ship.

You would also get to meet a wide range of personalities from different nationalities and learn about their culture and lifestyles.

The Downside of working life on board a cruise ship

In some parts of the world rough seas are an issue, causing sea sickness and difficulties maintaining balance and sleeping.

The noise of a cruise ship is constant and you can’t escape it!

Ships operate with very strict rules and regulations that must be followed – this is not the place for a free spirit or independent free thinker!

Reviews on food serviced to ships crews is very mixed! Some cruise lines produce great food whilst others seem to produce much lower standard food for their crew than is served to passengers. The type of food may also be an issue if you’re working for a cruise line with a different nationality in the kitchen!

Food pic

Crew quarters are often small and crowded, and the recreation facilities may be limited.

Life on board a cruise ship

Ship life revolves around one main principle, and that is to ensure the safety of everyone on board. There are literally hundreds of different job titles on board a cruise ship filled by over 1200 crew on many of the larger ships. For all of them, regardless of position and rank, passenger safety on board is everybody’s main priority. Regular crew drills are held to emphasise safety procedures to all of the crew.

Other than the safety aspects, all crew members and officers are also there to ensure that the passengers have a wonderful cruise. Excellent guest service is a requirement from all crew on board, and crew are encouraged to be on the lookout for any passengers who may need some help, whether it just be a question that needs answering or help going ashore if required.

With the cruise industry as competitive as it is now, all cruise lines are giving extra training to staff to ensure guest service is of the highest standard and that the guests cruise experience is as good as it possibly can be. Each cruise line is looking to gain repeat guests by providing the best service

Working conditions on-board a cruise ship

In order for the ship operation to run smoothly all crew members must work together as a team and always perform their job to a high standard. This involves a lot of on-the-job training, regular meetings and implementing new initiatives as they arise.

Whilst working hours are generally long, and days off can be spasmodic, the exact hours are determined by the department you are in and the operating conditions at the time. (weather etc)

Bora Bora 2

Staff in the food and beverage department or the house keeping department work long 12 – 15 hour days, starting early and finishing late.

For many of the other departments it will depend on where the ship is. If the ship is at sea all day then most other departments such as the boutique and casino staff, cruise staff and photographers will work during the day. If the ship is in port then departments such as the boutiques and casino are not allowed to open, so the staff will not have to work until the ship sails and the shops and casino are allowed to open up for business.

On large ships there may be 1200 crew, and crew accommodation space is limited, with priority going to the passenger cabins. Unless you have senior officer status you will most likely have to share a cabin with somebody else. This can be a little strange but once you learn to adapt to life on board you learn that this is the norm’ and it becomes easier after a while.

Most ships have a crew bar where the crew can go and relax, have a drink and chat with friends. There may be a crew club that organizes events for the crew, such as a disco or a tour to one of the destinations that the ship visits.

Regent ship Seven Seas Mariner  theatre

Whilst a crew ‘mess’ is provided for the ships’ staff/crew to eat their meals it becomes monotonous after a while and for some members of the crew there is provision for them to eat in the passenger areas and restaurants. The food here is obviously of high quality and the environment very different. Many crew members eat ashore when they can so as to enjoy the different cuisine of the ports they are visiting.

Cruise Training Online – A Career in Cruising

CHAPTER EIGHT – CRUISING CAREERS

Overview

Working on a cruise ship gives you the opportunity to be part of a team in one of the finest and most interesting hospitality/travel sectors.

People working on board cruise ships develop a real sense of pride in being able to provide their passengers with the best cruise experience that they could possibly get.

Cruise lines put great emphasis on the skill, expertise and customer oriented crews, and look for the best people they can employ to care for and entertain their passengers.

Cruise jobs typically include cruise staff (activities directors), children counsellors , entertainers, musicians, shore excursion staff, casino personnel, stage staff, sound/light technicians, photographers, pursers (similar to hotel front desk staff), masseuses, hairdressers, and gift shop attendants.

In this Module you will learn about the career opportunities available on board cruise ships, along with the upsides and downsides of life on board ship as a crew member rather than as a passenger.

Learning Objectives:

On completion of this Module you will be able to:

  • Identify six key attributes required for employment on a cruise ship
  • Identify three benefits of working for a cruise ship
  • Identify four negatives of working for a cruise ship
  • Identify six job roles commonly found on a cruise ship

 

Introduction

Every year the cruise industry continues to construct larger ships to meet the increasing demand for this popular type of holiday choice and, of course, this creates higher demand for the cruise staff, marine staff and crew.

While working for cruise lines you enjoy a winning combination – having a profitable and exciting job, travelling all over the world and always following the sun and the good weather, meeting crew members, passengers and local people and in the same time saving substantial amount of money (since you do not have to pay for accommodation and food).

Cruise line jobs are in fact so addictive, that many crew members find it quite difficult to live on land after completing a contract aboard a cruise ship. It feels kind of strange to eat in a restaurant and to pay the bill after when you’ve been doing it for free for months while working aboard a cruise ship!

Whilst jobs on board ship can be both very rewarding and financially very lucrative, it has to be balanced with the reality that it can be a disruptive and physically demanding life, with little personal space or time.

If you enjoy high levels of focus on your job and career combined with the chance to join an interesting career ladder whilst seeing the world, then this is a great industry for you!

 

Essentials for employment on a cruise ship

A working knowledge of the English language is a must for those who wish to work on-board cruise ships of the major cruise lines, and fluency is preferred.Silverseas Shadow on deck

Knowledge and experience of the field (position you wish to apply for) is crucial. For example, for hotel side positions such as waiters, bartenders, cabin stewards, etc., you should have at least a year of work experience in that capacity/position in a 4 or 5 star establishment. Remember that cruise ships offer fine dining experience and the service must match that.

You should be in good physical, mental and psychological shape if you wish to be considered for cruise ship jobs. (Physical checks are carried out as part of the recruitment process) Working hours on-board cruise ships are long (12-16 hours a day) and with 7 day a week operations it can be exhausting both physically and mentally. If you like a 9 to 5 work life with weekends off, this is definitely not the life for you!

Be a team player. With so many in a ships’ crew, often of different nationalities, it’s critical that all the staff on board are able to work as a team, willingly and without question. The chain of command on board a ship is very clear – from the Captain who is the outright leader down to the cleaners, everyone knows their position in the team, and works towards a great team performance all the time.

It’s not all about attitude – but it sure does help! Having a positive flexible attitude are great assets when working on a cruise ship. Cruise lines often have to deal with changing situations very quickly, for example changes in weather patterns can affect a cruise itinerary requiring the crew to adapt quickly to the new schedule and deliver new services, food, entertainment or information readily and without fuss.

A friendly and approachable style will be essential in working on a cruise ship – bearing in mind the hundreds of new people you’ll meet every week of the year. You’ll be working with hundreds of people and on the larger cruise ships there may be thousands of passengers, many of them looking for help, assistance or information.  Being willing, ready and able to deliver that will ensure you are recognised and rewarded in your work and will go far in the cruise business!

The minimum age for jobs on board cruise ships is usually 18, and for some jobs 21.

Applicants for cruise ship jobs should always demonstrate a professional appearance at interview as high standards of presentation are required for all on board positions.

The ability to perform duties under pressure is a key requirement for most cruise ship positions.

The Upside of working life on board a cruise ship

On the upside, you will get to travel and see the world for free and get paid for doing it! Many cruise line staff members have visited more than 100 countries in a ten year period.

Barcelona 2

Many cruise line staff gain significant financial benefit from their years on board ships, saving money for food and accommodation that would normally be a key expense in land based jobs but are free whilst working on board a cruise ship.

You would also get to meet a wide range of personalities from different nationalities and learn about their culture and lifestyles.

The Downside of working life on board a cruise ship

In some parts of the world rough seas are an issue, causing sea sickness and difficulties maintaining balance and sleeping.

The noise of a cruise ship is constant and you can’t escape it!

Ships operate with very strict rules and regulations that must be followed – this is not the place for a free spirit or independent free thinker!

Reviews on food serviced to ships crews is very mixed! Some cruise lines produce great food whilst others seem to produce much lower standard food for their crew than is served to passengers. The type of food may also be an issue if you’re working for a cruise line with a different nationality in the kitchen!

Food pic

Crew quarters are often small and crowded, and the recreation facilities may be limited.

Life on board a cruise ship

Ship life revolves around one main principle, and that is to ensure the safety of everyone on board. There are literally hundreds of different job titles on board a cruise ship filled by over 1200 crew on many of the larger ships. For all of them, regardless of position and rank, passenger safety on board is everybody’s main priority. Regular crew drills are held to emphasise safety procedures to all of the crew.

Other than the safety aspects, all crew members and officers are also there to ensure that the passengers have a wonderful cruise. Excellent guest service is a requirement from all crew on board, and crew are encouraged to be on the lookout for any passengers who may need some help, whether it just be a question that needs answering or help going ashore if required.

With the cruise industry as competitive as it is now, all cruise lines are giving extra training to staff to ensure guest service is of the highest standard and that the guests cruise experience is as good as it possibly can be. Each cruise line is looking to gain repeat guests by providing the best service

Working conditions on-board a cruise ship

In order for the ship operation to run smoothly all crew members must work together as a team and always perform their job to a high standard. This involves a lot of on-the-job training, regular meetings and implementing new initiatives as they arise.

Whilst working hours are generally long, and days off can be spasmodic, the exact hours are determined by the department you are in and the operating conditions at the time. (weather etc)

Bora Bora 2

Staff in the food and beverage department or the house keeping department work long 12 – 15 hour days, starting early and finishing late.

For many of the other departments it will depend on where the ship is. If the ship is at sea all day then most other departments such as the boutique and casino staff, cruise staff and photographers will work during the day. If the ship is in port then departments such as the boutiques and casino are not allowed to open, so the staff will not have to work until the ship sails and the shops and casino are allowed to open up for business.

On large ships there may be 1200 crew, and crew accommodation space is limited, with priority going to the passenger cabins. Unless you have senior officer status you will most likely have to share a cabin with somebody else. This can be a little strange but once you learn to adapt to life on board you learn that this is the norm’ and it becomes easier after a while.

Most ships have a crew bar where the crew can go and relax, have a drink and chat with friends. There may be a crew club that organizes events for the crew, such as a disco or a tour to one of the destinations that the ship visits.

Regent ship Seven Seas Mariner  theatre

Whilst a crew ‘mess’ is provided for the ships’ staff/crew to eat their meals it becomes monotonous after a while and for some members of the crew there is provision for them to eat in the passenger areas and restaurants. The food here is obviously of high quality and the environment very different. Many crew members eat ashore when they can so as to enjoy the different cuisine of the ports they are visiting.

Cruise Training Online – A Career in Cruising

CHAPTER EIGHT – CRUISING CAREERS

Overview

Working on a cruise ship gives you the opportunity to be part of a team in one of the finest and most interesting hospitality/travel sectors.

People working on board cruise ships develop a real sense of pride in being able to provide their passengers with the best cruise experience that they could possibly get.

Cruise lines put great emphasis on the skill, expertise and customer oriented crews, and look for the best people they can employ to care for and entertain their passengers.

Cruise jobs typically include cruise staff (activities directors), children counsellors , entertainers, musicians, shore excursion staff, casino personnel, stage staff, sound/light technicians, photographers, pursers (similar to hotel front desk staff), masseuses, hairdressers, and gift shop attendants.

In this Module you will learn about the career opportunities available on board cruise ships, along with the upsides and downsides of life on board ship as a crew member rather than as a passenger.

Learning Objectives:

On completion of this Module you will be able to:

  • Identify six key attributes required for employment on a cruise ship
  • Identify three benefits of working for a cruise ship
  • Identify four negatives of working for a cruise ship
  • Identify six job roles commonly found on a cruise ship

 

Introduction

Every year the cruise industry continues to construct larger ships to meet the increasing demand for this popular type of holiday choice and, of course, this creates higher demand for the cruise staff, marine staff and crew.

While working for cruise lines you enjoy a winning combination – having a profitable and exciting job, travelling all over the world and always following the sun and the good weather, meeting crew members, passengers and local people and in the same time saving substantial amount of money (since you do not have to pay for accommodation and food).

Cruise line jobs are in fact so addictive, that many crew members find it quite difficult to live on land after completing a contract aboard a cruise ship. It feels kind of strange to eat in a restaurant and to pay the bill after when you’ve been doing it for free for months while working aboard a cruise ship!

Whilst jobs on board ship can be both very rewarding and financially very lucrative, it has to be balanced with the reality that it can be a disruptive and physically demanding life, with little personal space or time.

If you enjoy high levels of focus on your job and career combined with the chance to join an interesting career ladder whilst seeing the world, then this is a great industry for you!

 

Essentials for employment on a cruise ship

A working knowledge of the English language is a must for those who wish to work on-board cruise ships of the major cruise lines, and fluency is preferred.Silverseas Shadow on deck

Knowledge and experience of the field (position you wish to apply for) is crucial. For example, for hotel side positions such as waiters, bartenders, cabin stewards, etc., you should have at least a year of work experience in that capacity/position in a 4 or 5 star establishment. Remember that cruise ships offer fine dining experience and the service must match that.

You should be in good physical, mental and psychological shape if you wish to be considered for cruise ship jobs. (Physical checks are carried out as part of the recruitment process) Working hours on-board cruise ships are long (12-16 hours a day) and with 7 day a week operations it can be exhausting both physically and mentally. If you like a 9 to 5 work life with weekends off, this is definitely not the life for you!

Be a team player. With so many in a ships’ crew, often of different nationalities, it’s critical that all the staff on board are able to work as a team, willingly and without question. The chain of command on board a ship is very clear – from the Captain who is the outright leader down to the cleaners, everyone knows their position in the team, and works towards a great team performance all the time.

It’s not all about attitude – but it sure does help! Having a positive flexible attitude are great assets when working on a cruise ship. Cruise lines often have to deal with changing situations very quickly, for example changes in weather patterns can affect a cruise itinerary requiring the crew to adapt quickly to the new schedule and deliver new services, food, entertainment or information readily and without fuss.

A friendly and approachable style will be essential in working on a cruise ship – bearing in mind the hundreds of new people you’ll meet every week of the year. You’ll be working with hundreds of people and on the larger cruise ships there may be thousands of passengers, many of them looking for help, assistance or information.  Being willing, ready and able to deliver that will ensure you are recognised and rewarded in your work and will go far in the cruise business!

The minimum age for jobs on board cruise ships is usually 18, and for some jobs 21.

Applicants for cruise ship jobs should always demonstrate a professional appearance at interview as high standards of presentation are required for all on board positions.

The ability to perform duties under pressure is a key requirement for most cruise ship positions.

The Upside of working life on board a cruise ship

On the upside, you will get to travel and see the world for free and get paid for doing it! Many cruise line staff members have visited more than 100 countries in a ten year period.

Barcelona 2

Many cruise line staff gain significant financial benefit from their years on board ships, saving money for food and accommodation that would normally be a key expense in land based jobs but are free whilst working on board a cruise ship.

You would also get to meet a wide range of personalities from different nationalities and learn about their culture and lifestyles.

The Downside of working life on board a cruise ship

In some parts of the world rough seas are an issue, causing sea sickness and difficulties maintaining balance and sleeping.

The noise of a cruise ship is constant and you can’t escape it!

Ships operate with very strict rules and regulations that must be followed – this is not the place for a free spirit or independent free thinker!

Reviews on food serviced to ships crews is very mixed! Some cruise lines produce great food whilst others seem to produce much lower standard food for their crew than is served to passengers. The type of food may also be an issue if you’re working for a cruise line with a different nationality in the kitchen!

Food pic

Crew quarters are often small and crowded, and the recreation facilities may be limited.

Life on board a cruise ship

Ship life revolves around one main principle, and that is to ensure the safety of everyone on board. There are literally hundreds of different job titles on board a cruise ship filled by over 1200 crew on many of the larger ships. For all of them, regardless of position and rank, passenger safety on board is everybody’s main priority. Regular crew drills are held to emphasise safety procedures to all of the crew.

Other than the safety aspects, all crew members and officers are also there to ensure that the passengers have a wonderful cruise. Excellent guest service is a requirement from all crew on board, and crew are encouraged to be on the lookout for any passengers who may need some help, whether it just be a question that needs answering or help going ashore if required.

With the cruise industry as competitive as it is now, all cruise lines are giving extra training to staff to ensure guest service is of the highest standard and that the guests cruise experience is as good as it possibly can be. Each cruise line is looking to gain repeat guests by providing the best service

Working conditions on-board a cruise ship

In order for the ship operation to run smoothly all crew members must work together as a team and always perform their job to a high standard. This involves a lot of on-the-job training, regular meetings and implementing new initiatives as they arise.

Whilst working hours are generally long, and days off can be spasmodic, the exact hours are determined by the department you are in and the operating conditions at the time. (weather etc)

Bora Bora 2

Staff in the food and beverage department or the house keeping department work long 12 – 15 hour days, starting early and finishing late.

For many of the other departments it will depend on where the ship is. If the ship is at sea all day then most other departments such as the boutique and casino staff, cruise staff and photographers will work during the day. If the ship is in port then departments such as the boutiques and casino are not allowed to open, so the staff will not have to work until the ship sails and the shops and casino are allowed to open up for business.

On large ships there may be 1200 crew, and crew accommodation space is limited, with priority going to the passenger cabins. Unless you have senior officer status you will most likely have to share a cabin with somebody else. This can be a little strange but once you learn to adapt to life on board you learn that this is the norm’ and it becomes easier after a while.

Most ships have a crew bar where the crew can go and relax, have a drink and chat with friends. There may be a crew club that organizes events for the crew, such as a disco or a tour to one of the destinations that the ship visits.

Regent ship Seven Seas Mariner  theatre

Whilst a crew ‘mess’ is provided for the ships’ staff/crew to eat their meals it becomes monotonous after a while and for some members of the crew there is provision for them to eat in the passenger areas and restaurants. The food here is obviously of high quality and the environment very different. Many crew members eat ashore when they can so as to enjoy the different cuisine of the ports they are visiting.

Cruise Training Online – Problem Solving

Problem Solving

When a customer has a problem and complains it can feel a bit like a personal criticism. However, it is most likely to be a signal that something is not quite right within the business.  A complaint is a problem to be solved and as a service-provider this can provide you with an opportunity to build a stronger customer relationship that you had previously.  Have you heard of the following expression?

‘If you liked our service, tell your friends.  If you didn’t – tell us!’

A customer who complains to you is far better than one who ceases to be your customer and goes on to tell all their friends about you!  If you deal effectively with a dissatisfied customer you have more than an 80% chance of retaining their business.  Here are some tips for handling complaints:Winning with Customers GOLD: Would you like to fine-tune your customer service skills, or those of your staff? The lessons on this course, and the quizzes & assessment, do just that! This GOLD course is supported & monitored by an experienced tutor, and includes forum posts with peer students. You will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Take complaints professionally, not personally.  Remember that this complaint is about the product or service, not about you personally! Even if it’s about something you did, the issue is about your actions and not you personally.

Recognise that you CAN influence the customers’ behaviour.  If you become angry or defensive, blame the customer or make excuses, the customer will probably react in much the same way.  But if you empathise, stay calm and in control, the customer is also more likely to calm down and to feel more confident in your ability to solve the problem.

Use the customer’s name!

Listen actively, without interrupting! Customers hate being interrupted in mid-flow when they have a complaint, so let them get it off their chest!

Focus on the issue, not on the person making the complaint or the manner in which they are expressing it.

Avoid inflammatory and emotive language and keep to the facts.

Work towards a ‘win/win’ solution.

Tell the customer what you ‘CAN’ do, not what you ‘CAN’T’ do.  Suggest solutions within your company’s policies. Keep negotiating until you are both ok about the outcome.  If they are not satisfied, refer them to your supervisor. For example, you might not be able to re-seat a dissatisfied passenger, but you may be able to offer them complimentary champagne, or an upgraded meal service that may make them feel at least you are trying to help.

Read through this Problem Solving Model that follows the process in four steps:

Step 1: Deal with their feelings first.

Allow the passenger to express their feelings, deal with them and their emotions first and then find out what the problem is.  Show your concern by listening carefully.  Summarise what the customer has said to check your understanding.

e.g. ‘You seem to be upset about not getting the dinner sitting you requested, is that right?”

Step 2: Deal with the complaint!

If you can’t deal with this complaint, refer upwards to a senior colleague.  Let the customer know that you are treating this as an important matter, and always ‘go the extra mile’ to help resolve any difficult situation that may result in the loss of a customer.  Remember that it costs 7 times more to gain a new customer than to keep this one!

Step 3: Find a solution

There may well be a solution to this problem available to you, within the companies’ policies. Always look for a solution, and seek agreement from the customer that this solution will meet with their approval.  E.g. If I could transfer you to another section of the restaurant would that be ok for you?”

Step 4: Follow Up

If you have found a mutually acceptable solution, take the appropriate action and follow-up. Visit the passenger later to see that everything is ok. ‘How are you getting on Mrs Wilson – are you more comfortable now?’

Chapter SummaryImage of laptop and plane

Giving great service to each other, whether at home or at work, in person, over the telephone or in writing – really is about giving people a sense of well being.  This requires a wide range of skills from YOU as the service-provider.

In the competitive cruise industry passengers can take their pick of cruise lines and ships. Your role is to help each passenger become a loyal customer who always thinks of your company first when planning their next holiday.

Apart from the size and amenities on board their ships, one of the main points of difference for cruise lines is in the delivery of passenger service excellence, and as a cruise line employee we hope you will do what you can to ensure your passengers get the very best service you can deliver!

Cruise Training Online – Problem Solving

Problem Solving

When a customer has a problem and complains it can feel a bit like a personal criticism. However, it is most likely to be a signal that something is not quite right within the business.  A complaint is a problem to be solved and as a service-provider this can provide you with an opportunity to build a stronger customer relationship that you had previously.  Have you heard of the following expression?

‘If you liked our service, tell your friends.  If you didn’t – tell us!’

A customer who complains to you is far better than one who ceases to be your customer and goes on to tell all their friends about you!  If you deal effectively with a dissatisfied customer you have more than an 80% chance of retaining their business.  Here are some tips for handling complaints:Winning with Customers GOLD: Would you like to fine-tune your customer service skills, or those of your staff? The lessons on this course, and the quizzes & assessment, do just that! This GOLD course is supported & monitored by an experienced tutor, and includes forum posts with peer students. You will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Take complaints professionally, not personally.  Remember that this complaint is about the product or service, not about you personally! Even if it’s about something you did, the issue is about your actions and not you personally.

Recognise that you CAN influence the customers’ behaviour.  If you become angry or defensive, blame the customer or make excuses, the customer will probably react in much the same way.  But if you empathise, stay calm and in control, the customer is also more likely to calm down and to feel more confident in your ability to solve the problem.

Use the customer’s name!

Listen actively, without interrupting! Customers hate being interrupted in mid-flow when they have a complaint, so let them get it off their chest!

Focus on the issue, not on the person making the complaint or the manner in which they are expressing it.

Avoid inflammatory and emotive language and keep to the facts.

Work towards a ‘win/win’ solution.

Tell the customer what you ‘CAN’ do, not what you ‘CAN’T’ do.  Suggest solutions within your company’s policies. Keep negotiating until you are both ok about the outcome.  If they are not satisfied, refer them to your supervisor. For example, you might not be able to re-seat a dissatisfied passenger, but you may be able to offer them complimentary champagne, or an upgraded meal service that may make them feel at least you are trying to help.

Read through this Problem Solving Model that follows the process in four steps:

Step 1: Deal with their feelings first.

Allow the passenger to express their feelings, deal with them and their emotions first and then find out what the problem is.  Show your concern by listening carefully.  Summarise what the customer has said to check your understanding.

e.g. ‘You seem to be upset about not getting the dinner sitting you requested, is that right?”

Step 2: Deal with the complaint!

If you can’t deal with this complaint, refer upwards to a senior colleague.  Let the customer know that you are treating this as an important matter, and always ‘go the extra mile’ to help resolve any difficult situation that may result in the loss of a customer.  Remember that it costs 7 times more to gain a new customer than to keep this one!

Step 3: Find a solution

There may well be a solution to this problem available to you, within the companies’ policies. Always look for a solution, and seek agreement from the customer that this solution will meet with their approval.  E.g. If I could transfer you to another section of the restaurant would that be ok for you?”

Step 4: Follow Up

If you have found a mutually acceptable solution, take the appropriate action and follow-up. Visit the passenger later to see that everything is ok. ‘How are you getting on Mrs Wilson – are you more comfortable now?’

Chapter SummaryImage of laptop and plane

Giving great service to each other, whether at home or at work, in person, over the telephone or in writing – really is about giving people a sense of well being.  This requires a wide range of skills from YOU as the service-provider.

In the competitive cruise industry passengers can take their pick of cruise lines and ships. Your role is to help each passenger become a loyal customer who always thinks of your company first when planning their next holiday.

Apart from the size and amenities on board their ships, one of the main points of difference for cruise lines is in the delivery of passenger service excellence, and as a cruise line employee we hope you will do what you can to ensure your passengers get the very best service you can deliver!

Cruise Training Online – Problem Solving

Problem Solving

When a customer has a problem and complains it can feel a bit like a personal criticism. However, it is most likely to be a signal that something is not quite right within the business.  A complaint is a problem to be solved and as a service-provider this can provide you with an opportunity to build a stronger customer relationship that you had previously.  Have you heard of the following expression?

‘If you liked our service, tell your friends.  If you didn’t – tell us!’

A customer who complains to you is far better than one who ceases to be your customer and goes on to tell all their friends about you!  If you deal effectively with a dissatisfied customer you have more than an 80% chance of retaining their business.  Here are some tips for handling complaints:Winning with Customers GOLD: Would you like to fine-tune your customer service skills, or those of your staff? The lessons on this course, and the quizzes & assessment, do just that! This GOLD course is supported & monitored by an experienced tutor, and includes forum posts with peer students. You will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Take complaints professionally, not personally.  Remember that this complaint is about the product or service, not about you personally! Even if it’s about something you did, the issue is about your actions and not you personally.

Recognise that you CAN influence the customers’ behaviour.  If you become angry or defensive, blame the customer or make excuses, the customer will probably react in much the same way.  But if you empathise, stay calm and in control, the customer is also more likely to calm down and to feel more confident in your ability to solve the problem.

Use the customer’s name!

Listen actively, without interrupting! Customers hate being interrupted in mid-flow when they have a complaint, so let them get it off their chest!

Focus on the issue, not on the person making the complaint or the manner in which they are expressing it.

Avoid inflammatory and emotive language and keep to the facts.

Work towards a ‘win/win’ solution.

Tell the customer what you ‘CAN’ do, not what you ‘CAN’T’ do.  Suggest solutions within your company’s policies. Keep negotiating until you are both ok about the outcome.  If they are not satisfied, refer them to your supervisor. For example, you might not be able to re-seat a dissatisfied passenger, but you may be able to offer them complimentary champagne, or an upgraded meal service that may make them feel at least you are trying to help.

Read through this Problem Solving Model that follows the process in four steps:

Step 1: Deal with their feelings first.

Allow the passenger to express their feelings, deal with them and their emotions first and then find out what the problem is.  Show your concern by listening carefully.  Summarise what the customer has said to check your understanding.

e.g. ‘You seem to be upset about not getting the dinner sitting you requested, is that right?”

Step 2: Deal with the complaint!

If you can’t deal with this complaint, refer upwards to a senior colleague.  Let the customer know that you are treating this as an important matter, and always ‘go the extra mile’ to help resolve any difficult situation that may result in the loss of a customer.  Remember that it costs 7 times more to gain a new customer than to keep this one!

Step 3: Find a solution

There may well be a solution to this problem available to you, within the companies’ policies. Always look for a solution, and seek agreement from the customer that this solution will meet with their approval.  E.g. If I could transfer you to another section of the restaurant would that be ok for you?”

Step 4: Follow Up

If you have found a mutually acceptable solution, take the appropriate action and follow-up. Visit the passenger later to see that everything is ok. ‘How are you getting on Mrs Wilson – are you more comfortable now?’

Chapter SummaryImage of laptop and plane

Giving great service to each other, whether at home or at work, in person, over the telephone or in writing – really is about giving people a sense of well being.  This requires a wide range of skills from YOU as the service-provider.

In the competitive cruise industry passengers can take their pick of cruise lines and ships. Your role is to help each passenger become a loyal customer who always thinks of your company first when planning their next holiday.

Apart from the size and amenities on board their ships, one of the main points of difference for cruise lines is in the delivery of passenger service excellence, and as a cruise line employee we hope you will do what you can to ensure your passengers get the very best service you can deliver!

Cruise Training Online – Excellence in Customer Service

CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS 

So far in this Chapter we have focused on developing improved communication skills as these are the cornerstone of any customer service position. It’s considered a key skill for many roles on board a cruise ship and will be evaluated at interview.

These communication skills underpin the delivery of quality customer service to the passengers on board a cruise ship.

Whether you are working in reservations, in the pursers office, or even as a cabin steward we are surrounded by existing and potential customers.  Anyone dealing with the public is engaged in customer relations, persuading customers to return to that organisation whenever a product or service is needed.worlds-biggest-cruise-ship-allure-of-the-seas-royal-carribean-5

Anyone working in the cruise industry has the opportunity to improve the reputation and standing of the organisation through applying a range of skills designed to deliver quality customer service to passengers, and even to attract additional passengers.

There are different levels of customer service, from no service (for example, shopping online) through self service (buying gas at a petrol station where you pump it yourself) into assisted service where somebody helps you either with your purchasing or with the product itself.

Even within assisted service situations, customer service ranges from poor to excellent, and you may well have experienced all of those! Poor customer service is often defined by slow delivery of the service and impolite or inattentive staff. If we’re lucky most of our customer service experiences will fall within the standard/acceptable range, where the service met our original expectations. It takes no real effort to deliver standard customer service, and customers are not surprised by it.

Excellent customer service stands out from the rest and is delivered by professionals who go the extra mile to make the customer super satisfied! Hopefully you will have experienced examples of this, and have been surprised and delighted to be on the receiving end of such service! When we experience such service we make a note to return to that place for more of that great service, and we tell all our friends about it, we make postings on Facebook about it, we become, in the words of a customer service guru,  ‘raving fans’!

Excellent customer service is service which meets or exceeds customer expectations. As an cruise line employee you can aim to deliver good customer service, but we would urge you to make it your personal goal to deliver excellent customer service to your passengers.  This will make you stand out from the crowd, will provide you with much higher levels of job satisfaction, and will make a significant contribution to the cruise lines’ reputation, and therefore yours! When promotion opportunities arise your name will surely be mentioned as you will be a star performer!

It is worth remembering that excellent customer service is constant, delivered at all times, to all customers, regardless of who they are, when the service is delivered, or for how long. The customer you meet at the end of a busy shift is just as important as the first one of the day, and deserves the same smiling, helpful service.

Customer service tips for cruise ships_v1

Remember that we have external and internal customers

External customers are those to whom we deliver or service our product. (cruise line passengers)  Internal customers work with us, they are our colleagues or co-workers.  They may work in another department, even another city or country – but they are as important as external customers.  Delivering quality service to your colleagues will help them to deliver quality service to external customers, and helps ensure the efficiency of your organisation.

The quality of service to the external customer starts with the quality of service throughout the organisation.

Developing a Positive Attitude

Delivering excellent customer service starts with your attitude! You have to want to be a person who gives of their best, rather than doing your best because somebody told you to do it that way! And attitudes come from inside you, they influence everything you say and do, so fixing your attitude is often the first and most important action in changing your life/career towards success.

Attitude is so important to employers that they will often employ somebody based on their positive attitude rather than their level of education or previous experience.  This is because a positive attitude, unlike skills, is so hard to teach!

We aren’t always conscious that we show our attitudes to others.  Whether meeting a prospective customer for the first time, handling a customer complaint, or selling a product, it is always good to remember your attitude is showing all the time!

Checkout this chart that illustrates the kind of attitude that leads to success, versus the kind of attitudes that lead to failure.

 

Your Choices:

Successes
Failures
Those who learn and then practice accepted customer care techniques Those who depend 100% on their personalities
Those who remain positive despite difficulties People who turn negative when the going gets tough
People who listen to their customers Those who do all the talking and never even find out a customers needs
People who learn about their products People who don’t bother to learn product features and benefits
Those who consider themselves problem-solvers People who don’t learn from their mistakes

Attitude is the way you communicate your mood or disposition to others.  When you are optimistic and anticipate successful encounters with others, you transmit a positive attitude, and they usually respond favourably.

When you are pessimistic, and expect the worst, your attitude is often negative and people may tend to avoid you.

To be an effective quality service provider, you must have a positive attitude.  Nothing else has higher priority.  A positive attitude is the way you look at things, and projects in everything you say and do.  It reflects in your body language as well as in what you say.

Remember also that people who feel good about themselves produce good results, and is a key ingredient in producing a positive attitude.

Consider your own attitude to life, to others, to your work. How often do you use positive language and demonstrate positive behaviours? Start evaluating yourself to see how well you match up to the description of a person with a great positive attitude. Is your cup ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’? Cruise line recruiters are looking for ‘half full’ people! They need these kinds of attitudes in people working on board ships – people who can stay cheerful in difficult situations, who can inspire confidence in others, who can take the lead where needed, and after 14 hours on duty, maybe even in rough seas, can still smile and wish people ‘have a nice day’, and mean it!

Checkout this link insert link here and read up on how to develop a positive attitude. It can make a major difference in your life.

Delivering Excellent Customer Service

Firstly remember that the customer is at the heart of your organisation. Without them, there would be no cruise line! The cruise line needs passengers to choose them over other cruise lines, and to do so again and again, and then to recommend the company to friends and family.

Building loyalty in the cruise market is a crucial part of their business success, and the ships’ crew have a key role in this. You can add value to the passengers experience by making it a great cruise despite bad weather or other adverse conditions beyond the cruise lines’ control. How you go about your job and your attitude to the passengers will make all the difference.

Your key aim should be that as passengers disembark from their cruise with you they will say ‘Thanks for a great time, look forward to seeing you again soon!” If you hear that, you know you’ve succeeded!Wine pic 2

Checkout some tips here which may help make the difference between ‘ok’ service and ‘excellent’ service in a cruise line environment:

  • Most importantly – smile!!
    • At the risk of being repetitive, remember that great customer service begins with a great attitude!  You have to get this right.
    • Check the passenger manifest and use passenger’s names when addressing them. Everyone likes to hear their name; it makes them feel special and valued. Use a proper greeting unless permission is given otherwise, ie: Mrs., Mr., Ms., Sir, etc.
    • Be on the lookout for ways you can help passengers. Do they need extra cabin services, help with luggage, with directions to get around the ship? Elderly passengers may need extra help and care.
    • If there’s a problem, listen to their concerns. No one likes to be ignored. Everyone wants to know that not only are they being heard but that they’re being understood as well.
    • Think outside the square and look for solutions to any problems that occur. Could passengers be relocated to a different cabin to overcome a problem? Do you have different catering that might resolve a food problem?
    • Be genuine. A lack of sincerity comes across easier than you think.
    • Put yourself in your passenger shoes. How would you feel if this situation was happening to you? This will help you to establish rapport with the passenger and may reduce tension.
    • Don’t hide behind the organisational rules – people universally hate to be told ‘Its company policy I’m afraid’ or even worse, blaming somebody else! (as in ‘the travel agent should have told you…’) Spend more time sorting out the problem, not analysing what happened.
    • Be honest and sincere with passengers and don’t lie to them. There’s no point in promising something you can’t deliver. For example, if a passenger is asking to be moved to a larger stateroom and you don’t have any you have to be honest and explain that, then look at other solutions.
    • Never forget what it’s like to be a customer! We are all customers in one way or another and deserve the same respect we demand from others.

By doing these things you will inspire a customer base that’s loyal and will return to you again and again. These passenger will also provide the best free advertising imaginable – word of mouth!

By the same token one bad passenger recommendation can cost you a large number of potential sales by the time they’ve told everybody how they were treated on this cruise of a lifetime!

Don’t forget that with the internet a bad experience can be viral and round the world in hours. Use your common sense and treat people the way you would like to be treated. If your passengers genuinely feel appreciated and valued you have succeeded in delivering exceptional customer service and you will have set in motion a winning formula that will guarantee your success!

Inter-Cultural CommunicationMexican dancer

When communicating between cultures, we need to take special care to see that any cultural differences that exist do not prevent meaningful interaction, but instead serve as sources for enriching our communication experiences.  If we understand the common barriers and principles of effectiveness, we can maximise these opportunities.

Inter-cultural Communication Principles:

Language reflects the cultures of which they are a part.

The more widely different the cultures, the greater the communication differences in both language and non-verbal signals.

Beware of making initial judgments of people based on their culture.

As we have already seen people naturally judge others quickly, and sometimes permanently.  A judgment made too early can be based on too little information.  It is important to be flexible, keep an open mind and be willing to revise first impressions.

People will interact with those they think are most like themselves.

It has been shown that in most situations people will talk with the person who is most similar to, rather than different from themselves.  Why not extend and stretch yourself, increase your communication range, develop your experiences, and speak to someone you perceive is different?

Barriers To Intercultural Communication

Ignoring the differences

One of the greatest barriers to inter-cultural communication arises when you assume that similarities exist, and that differences don’t!  We can easily see, and accept, different hairstyles, clothing and foods, but in basic values and beliefs we assume that deep down we are really all alike.  We aren’t!  When you do this, you are non-verbally saying to others that yours are the right ways and that their ways are not important to you.

Grouping cultures together

Within every cultural group there are wide and important differences.  As all New Zealanders are not alike, neither are all Indonesians, Greeks, Italians, British etc.  When we ignore the differences, we are guilty of stereotyping.  We assume that all people covered by the same label are the same.

Words mean different things

The differences in meaning in words can cause huge barriers between cultures.  For example, the word ‘lunch’ means totally different things when used by a Wall Street executive, compared to a Chinese rice farmer.  Phrases like ‘job-security’ become meaningless in some places of the world where ‘jobs’ are scarce.

Non-verbal  ‘mixed messages’

With non-verbal messages the potential differences seem even greater.  Consider the classic holding up two fingers in a V (for victory) sign.  It might mean victory to many English speaking nations, but in many cultures it is an obscene gesture.  The wearing of a short skirt may be seen as smart and fashionable in one country, whereas a woman showing her legs is seen as disrespectful and rude in another!

Violating cultural rulesFiji dancer warriors

Each culture has its own rule for communicating, which identify what is appropriate and what is not.  For example, calling someone you want to invite out – in European cultures you might call 3 or 4 days in advance, or even the same day, whereas in some Asian cultures you might call the person’s parents weeks, or even months in advance.

Invitations are often fraught with cultural difficulties, about timings, what to eat, how to eat it, whether to take a gift – the Kiwi ‘bring a plate’ for example is not universal!

Eye contact rules vary from culture to culture – with some cultures showing respect by avoiding direct eye contact with the person to whom they are speaking – and in other cultures this avoidance would be seen as rude or disinterested.

Body contact is another difficult area – with Latin cultures favouring considerable touching amongst people, whilst other cultures do not like to be touched and prefer to keep a respectful distance.

EthnocentrismFifi maiden dancers

It is important to perceive differences between cultures, however evaluating them as lesser than your culture is known as ‘ethnocentrism’.

Consider for example, the act of spitting – in most Western cultures this is a sign of disgust and displeasure, and is not to be performed in public.  For many other cultures, it means different things: for the Masai of Africa it is a sign of affection, for the American Indian, it may be an act of kindness, whereby the medicine man spits on the sick to cure them.

Sticking out the tongue – to Westerners this is seen as an insult, to the Chinese it may express embarrassment over a social mistake.

The examples above are neither negative nor positive, right or wrong, good or bad – if you see them as one or the other you could be guilty of ethnocentric thinking.

Language Taboos

These are those words, phrases or topics that are forbidden by society – and whilst known by members of a specific society, may not be known to others.  It is easy to violate cultural rules and customs, when you don’t know which terms are considered taboo.  The most common taboo areas are:

Religion

Disease

Death

Sex

Illness

The first step in identifying the gateways to intercultural communications success is to note the barriers – and then work consciously to AVOID THEM!

Hula dancers in Hawaii

Recognise the differences between yourself and the culturally different person.

  • Ask questions, avoid making assumptions.
  • Recognise that differences exist within any group.  Do not stereotype, over-generalise, or assume that differences within a group are not important.
  • Remember that meaning is ‘in the person’, and not in the words or gestures used.  Check your meaning with the other persons’.
  • Be aware of the cultural rules operating in any intercultural communication context. Become sensitive to the rules the other person is following.
    • Avoid negative evaluation of cultural differences, both verbally and non-verbally.
    • Avoid taboo expressions.  They will reflect negatively on you in most communication situations, and may create serious barriers to understanding.
    • Respect the rights of the other person to be treated with respect.

Cruise Training Online – Excellence in Customer Service

CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS 

So far in this Chapter we have focused on developing improved communication skills as these are the cornerstone of any customer service position. It’s considered a key skill for many roles on-board a cruise ship and will be evaluated at interview.

These communication skills underpin the delivery of quality customer service to the passengers on-board a cruise ship.

Whether you are working in reservations, in the pursers office, or even as a cabin steward we are surrounded by existing and potential customers.  Anyone dealing with the public is engaged in customer relations, persuading customers to return to that organisation whenever a product or service is needed.worlds-biggest-cruise-ship-allure-of-the-seas-royal-carribean-5

Anyone working in the cruise industry has the opportunity to improve the reputation and standing of the organisation through applying a range of skills designed to deliver quality customer service to passengers, and even to attract additional passengers.

There are different levels of customer service, from no service (for example, shopping online) through self service (buying gas at a petrol station where you pump it yourself) into assisted service where somebody helps you either with your purchasing or with the product itself.

Even within assisted service situations, customer service ranges from poor to excellent, and you may well have experienced all of those! Poor customer service is often defined by slow delivery of the service and impolite or inattentive staff. If we’re lucky most of our customer service experiences will fall within the standard/acceptable range, where the service met our original expectations. It takes no real effort to deliver standard customer service, and customers are not surprised by it.

Excellent customer service stands out from the rest and is delivered by professionals who go the extra mile to make the customer super satisfied! Hopefully you will have experienced examples of this, and have been surprised and delighted to be on the receiving end of such service! When we experience such service we make a note to return to that place for more of that great service, and we tell all our friends about it, we make postings on Facebook about it, we become, in the words of a customer service guru,  ‘raving fans’!

Excellent customer service is service which meets or exceeds customer expectations. As an cruise line employee you can aim to deliver good customer service, but we would urge you to make it your personal goal to deliver excellent customer service to your passengers.  This will make you stand out from the crowd, will provide you with much higher levels of job satisfaction, and will make a significant contribution to the cruise lines’ reputation, and therefore yours! When promotion opportunities arise your name will surely be mentioned as you will be a star performer!

It is worth remembering that excellent customer service is constant, delivered at all times, to all customers, regardless of who they are, when the service is delivered, or for how long. The customer you meet at the end of a busy shift is just as important as the first one of the day, and deserves the same smiling, helpful service.

Customer service tips for cruise ships_v1

Remember that we have external and internal customers  

External customers are those to whom we deliver or service our product. (cruise line passengers)  Internal customers work with us, they are our colleagues or co-workers.  They may work in another department, even another city or country – but they are as important as external customers.  Delivering quality service to your colleagues will help them to deliver quality service to external customers, and helps ensure the efficiency of your organisation.

The quality of service to the external customer starts with the quality of service throughout the organisation.

Developing a Positive Attitude

Delivering excellent customer service starts with your attitude! You have to want to be a person who gives of their best, rather than doing your best because somebody told you to do it that way! And attitudes come from inside you, they influence everything you say and do, so fixing your attitude is often the first and most important action in changing your life/career towards success.

Attitude is so important to employers that they will often employ somebody based on their positive attitude rather than their level of education or previous experience.  This is because a positive attitude, unlike skills, is so hard to teach!

We aren’t always conscious that we show our attitudes to others.  Whether meeting a prospective customer for the first time, handling a customer complaint, or selling a product, it is always good to remember your attitude is showing all the time!

Checkout this chart that illustrates the kind of attitude that leads to success, versus the kind of attitudes that lead to failure.

 

Your Choices:

Successes
Failures
Those who learn and then practice accepted customer care techniques Those who depend 100% on their personalities
Those who remain positive despite difficulties People who turn negative when the going gets tough
People who listen to their customers Those who do all the talking and never even find out a customers needs
People who learn about their products People who don’t bother to learn product features and benefits
Those who consider themselves problem-solvers People who don’t learn from their mistakes

Attitude is the way you communicate your mood or disposition to others.  When you are optimistic and anticipate successful encounters with others, you transmit a positive attitude, and they usually respond favourably.

When you are pessimistic, and expect the worst, your attitude is often negative and people may tend to avoid you.

To be an effective quality service provider, you must have a positive attitude.  Nothing else has higher priority.  A positive attitude is the way you look at things, and projects in everything you say and do.  It reflects in your body language as well as in what you say.

Remember also that people who feel good about themselves produce good results, and is a key ingredient in producing a positive attitude.

Consider your own attitude to life, to others, to your work. How often do you use positive language and demonstrate positive behaviours? Start evaluating yourself to see how well you match up to the description of a person with a great positive attitude. Is your cup ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’? Cruise line recruiters are looking for ‘half full’ people! They need these kinds of attitudes in people working on board ships – people who can stay cheerful in difficult situations, who can inspire confidence in others, who can take the lead where needed, and after 14 hours on duty, maybe even in rough seas, can still smile and wish people ‘have a nice day’, and mean it!

Checkout this link insert link here and read up on how to develop a positive attitude. It can make a major difference in your life.

Delivering Excellent Customer Service

Firstly remember that the customer is at the heart of your organisation. Without them, there would be no cruise line! The cruise line needs passengers to choose them over other cruise lines, and to do so again and again, and then to recommend the company to friends and family.

Building loyalty in the cruise market is a crucial part of their business success, and the ships’ crew have a key role in this. You can add value to the passengers experience by making it a great cruise despite bad weather or other adverse conditions beyond the cruise lines’ control. How you go about your job and your attitude to the passengers will make all the difference.

Your key aim should be that as passengers disembark from their cruise with you they will say ‘Thanks for a great time, look forward to seeing you again soon!” If you hear that, you know you’ve succeeded!Wine pic 2

Checkout some tips here which may help make the difference between ‘ok’ service and ‘excellent’ service in a cruise line environment:

  • Most importantly – smile!!
    • At the risk of being repetitive, remember that great customer service begins with a great attitude!  You have to get this right.
    • Check the passenger manifest and use passenger’s names when addressing them. Everyone likes to hear their name; it makes them feel special and valued. Use a proper greeting unless permission is given otherwise, ie: Mrs., Mr., Ms., Sir, etc.
    • Be on the lookout for ways you can help passengers. Do they need extra cabin services, help with luggage, with directions to get around the ship? Elderly passengers may need extra help and care.
    • If there’s a problem, listen to their concerns. No one likes to be ignored. Everyone wants to know that not only are they being heard but that they’re being understood as well.
    • Think outside the square and look for solutions to any problems that occur. Could passengers be relocated to a different cabin to overcome a problem? Do you have different catering that might resolve a food problem?
    • Be genuine. A lack of sincerity comes across easier than you think.
    • Put yourself in your passenger shoes. How would you feel if this situation was happening to you? This will help you to establish rapport with the passenger and may reduce tension.
    • Don’t hide behind the organisational rules – people universally hate to be told ‘Its company policy I’m afraid’ or even worse, blaming somebody else! (as in ‘the travel agent should have told you…’) Spend more time sorting out the problem, not analysing what happened.
    • Be honest and sincere with passengers and don’t lie to them. There’s no point in promising something you can’t deliver. For example, if a passenger is asking to be moved to a larger stateroom and you don’t have any you have to be honest and explain that, then look at other solutions.
    • Never forget what it’s like to be a customer! We are all customers in one way or another and deserve the same respect we demand from others.

By doing these things you will inspire a customer base that’s loyal and will return to you again and again. These passenger will also provide the best free advertising imaginable – word of mouth!

By the same token one bad passenger recommendation can cost you a large number of potential sales by the time they’ve told everybody how they were treated on this cruise of a lifetime!

Don’t forget that with the internet a bad experience can be viral and round the world in hours. Use your common sense and treat people the way you would like to be treated. If your passengers genuinely feel appreciated and valued you have succeeded in delivering exceptional customer service and you will have set in motion a winning formula that will guarantee your success!

Inter-Cultural CommunicationMexican dancer

When communicating between cultures, we need to take special care to see that any cultural differences that exist do not prevent meaningful interaction, but instead serve as sources for enriching our communication experiences.  If we understand the common barriers and principles of effectiveness, we can maximise these opportunities.

Inter-cultural Communication Principles:

Language reflects the cultures of which they are a part.

The more widely different the cultures, the greater the communication differences in both language and non-verbal signals.

Beware of making initial judgments of people based on their culture.

As we have already seen people naturally judge others quickly, and sometimes permanently.  A judgment made too early can be based on too little information.  It is important to be flexible, keep an open mind and be willing to revise first impressions.

People will interact with those they think are most like themselves.

It has been shown that in most situations people will talk with the person who is most similar to, rather than different from themselves.  Why not extend and stretch yourself, increase your communication range, develop your experiences, and speak to someone you perceive is different?

Barriers To Intercultural Communication

Ignoring the differences

One of the greatest barriers to inter-cultural communication arises when you assume that similarities exist, and that differences don’t!  We can easily see, and accept, different hairstyles, clothing and foods, but in basic values and beliefs we assume that deep down we are really all alike.  We aren’t!  When you do this, you are non-verbally saying to others that yours are the right ways and that their ways are not important to you.

Grouping cultures together

Within every cultural group there are wide and important differences.  As all New Zealanders are not alike, neither are all Indonesians, Greeks, Italians, British etc.  When we ignore the differences, we are guilty of stereotyping.  We assume that all people covered by the same label are the same.

Words mean different things

The differences in meaning in words can cause huge barriers between cultures.  For example, the word ‘lunch’ means totally different things when used by a Wall Street executive, compared to a Chinese rice farmer.  Phrases like ‘job-security’ become meaningless in some places of the world where ‘jobs’ are scarce.

Non-verbal  ‘mixed messages’

With non-verbal messages the potential differences seem even greater.  Consider the classic holding up two fingers in a V (for victory) sign.  It might mean victory to many English speaking nations, but in many cultures it is an obscene gesture.  The wearing of a short skirt may be seen as smart and fashionable in one country, whereas a woman showing her legs is seen as disrespectful and rude in another!

Violating cultural rulesFiji dancer warriors

Each culture has its own rule for communicating, which identify what is appropriate and what is not.  For example, calling someone you want to invite out – in European cultures you might call 3 or 4 days in advance, or even the same day, whereas in some Asian cultures you might call the person’s parents weeks, or even months in advance.

Invitations are often fraught with cultural difficulties, about timings, what to eat, how to eat it, whether to take a gift – the Kiwi ‘bring a plate’ for example is not universal!

Eye contact rules vary from culture to culture – with some cultures showing respect by avoiding direct eye contact with the person to whom they are speaking – and in other cultures this avoidance would be seen as rude or disinterested.

Body contact is another difficult area – with Latin cultures favouring considerable touching amongst people, whilst other cultures do not like to be touched and prefer to keep a respectful distance.

EthnocentrismFifi maiden dancers

It is important to perceive differences between cultures, however evaluating them as lesser than your culture is known as ‘ethnocentrism’.

Consider for example, the act of spitting – in most Western cultures this is a sign of disgust and displeasure, and is not to be performed in public.  For many other cultures, it means different things: for the Masai of Africa it is a sign of affection, for the American Indian, it may be an act of kindness, whereby the medicine man spits on the sick to cure them.

Sticking out the tongue – to Westerners this is seen as an insult, to the Chinese it may express embarrassment over a social mistake.

The examples above are neither negative nor positive, right or wrong, good or bad – if you see them as one or the other you could be guilty of ethnocentric thinking.

Language Taboos

These are those words, phrases or topics that are forbidden by society – and whilst known by members of a specific society, may not be known to others.  It is easy to violate cultural rules and customs, when you don’t know which terms are considered taboo.  The most common taboo areas are:

Religion

Disease

Death

Sex

Illness

The first step in identifying the gateways to intercultural communications success is to note the barriers – and then work consciously to AVOID THEM!

Hula dancers in Hawaii

Recognise the differences between yourself and the culturally different person.

  • Ask questions, avoid making assumptions.
  • Recognise that differences exist within any group.  Do not stereotype, over-generalise, or assume that differences within a group are not important.
  • Remember that meaning is ‘in the person’, and not in the words or gestures used.  Check your meaning with the other persons’.
  • Be aware of the cultural rules operating in any intercultural communication context. Become sensitive to the rules the other person is following.
    • Avoid negative evaluation of cultural differences, both verbally and non-verbally.
    • Avoid taboo expressions.  They will reflect negatively on you in most communication situations, and may create serious barriers to understanding.
    • Respect the rights of the other person to be treated with respect.

Cruise Training Online – Excellence in Customer Service

CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS 

So far in this Chapter we have focused on developing improved communication skills as these are the cornerstone of any customer service position. It’s considered a key skill for many roles on-board a cruise ship and will be evaluated at interview.

These communication skills underpin the delivery of quality customer service to the passengers on-board a cruise ship.

Whether you are working in reservations, in the pursers office, or even as a cabin steward we are surrounded by existing and potential customers.  Anyone dealing with the public is engaged in customer relations, persuading customers to return to that organisation whenever a product or service is needed.worlds-biggest-cruise-ship-allure-of-the-seas-royal-carribean-5

Anyone working in the cruise industry has the opportunity to improve the reputation and standing of the organisation through applying a range of skills designed to deliver quality customer service to passengers, and even to attract additional passengers.

There are different levels of customer service, from no service (for example, shopping online) through self service (buying gas at a petrol station where you pump it yourself) into assisted service where somebody helps you either with your purchasing or with the product itself.

Even within assisted service situations, customer service ranges from poor to excellent, and you may well have experienced all of those! Poor customer service is often defined by slow delivery of the service and impolite or inattentive staff. If we’re lucky most of our customer service experiences will fall within the standard/acceptable range, where the service met our original expectations. It takes no real effort to deliver standard customer service, and customers are not surprised by it.

Excellent customer service stands out from the rest and is delivered by professionals who go the extra mile to make the customer super satisfied! Hopefully you will have experienced examples of this, and have been surprised and delighted to be on the receiving end of such service! When we experience such service we make a note to return to that place for more of that great service, and we tell all our friends about it, we make postings on Facebook about it, we become, in the words of a customer service guru,  ‘raving fans’!

Excellent customer service is service which meets or exceeds customer expectations. As an cruise line employee you can aim to deliver good customer service, but we would urge you to make it your personal goal to deliver excellent customer service to your passengers.  This will make you stand out from the crowd, will provide you with much higher levels of job satisfaction, and will make a significant contribution to the cruise lines’ reputation, and therefore yours! When promotion opportunities arise your name will surely be mentioned as you will be a star performer!

It is worth remembering that excellent customer service is constant, delivered at all times, to all customers, regardless of who they are, when the service is delivered, or for how long. The customer you meet at the end of a busy shift is just as important as the first one of the day, and deserves the same smiling, helpful service.

Customer service tips for cruise ships_v1

Remember that we have external and internal customers  

External customers are those to whom we deliver or service our product. (cruise line passengers)  Internal customers work with us, they are our colleagues or co-workers.  They may work in another department, even another city or country – but they are as important as external customers.  Delivering quality service to your colleagues will help them to deliver quality service to external customers, and helps ensure the efficiency of your organisation.

The quality of service to the external customer starts with the quality of service throughout the organisation.

Developing a Positive Attitude

Delivering excellent customer service starts with your attitude! You have to want to be a person who gives of their best, rather than doing your best because somebody told you to do it that way! And attitudes come from inside you, they influence everything you say and do, so fixing your attitude is often the first and most important action in changing your life/career towards success.

Attitude is so important to employers that they will often employ somebody based on their positive attitude rather than their level of education or previous experience.  This is because a positive attitude, unlike skills, is so hard to teach!

We aren’t always conscious that we show our attitudes to others.  Whether meeting a prospective customer for the first time, handling a customer complaint, or selling a product, it is always good to remember your attitude is showing all the time!

Checkout this chart that illustrates the kind of attitude that leads to success, versus the kind of attitudes that lead to failure.

 

Your Choices:

Successes
Failures
Those who learn and then practice accepted customer care techniques Those who depend 100% on their personalities
Those who remain positive despite difficulties People who turn negative when the going gets tough
People who listen to their customers Those who do all the talking and never even find out a customers needs
People who learn about their products People who don’t bother to learn product features and benefits
Those who consider themselves problem-solvers People who don’t learn from their mistakes

Attitude is the way you communicate your mood or disposition to others.  When you are optimistic and anticipate successful encounters with others, you transmit a positive attitude, and they usually respond favourably.

When you are pessimistic, and expect the worst, your attitude is often negative and people may tend to avoid you.

To be an effective quality service provider, you must have a positive attitude.  Nothing else has higher priority.  A positive attitude is the way you look at things, and projects in everything you say and do.  It reflects in your body language as well as in what you say.

Remember also that people who feel good about themselves produce good results, and is a key ingredient in producing a positive attitude.

Consider your own attitude to life, to others, to your work. How often do you use positive language and demonstrate positive behaviours? Start evaluating yourself to see how well you match up to the description of a person with a great positive attitude. Is your cup ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’? Cruise line recruiters are looking for ‘half full’ people! They need these kinds of attitudes in people working on board ships – people who can stay cheerful in difficult situations, who can inspire confidence in others, who can take the lead where needed, and after 14 hours on duty, maybe even in rough seas, can still smile and wish people ‘have a nice day’, and mean it!

Checkout this link insert link here and read up on how to develop a positive attitude. It can make a major difference in your life.

Delivering Excellent Customer Service

Firstly remember that the customer is at the heart of your organisation. Without them, there would be no cruise line! The cruise line needs passengers to choose them over other cruise lines, and to do so again and again, and then to recommend the company to friends and family.

Building loyalty in the cruise market is a crucial part of their business success, and the ships’ crew have a key role in this. You can add value to the passengers experience by making it a great cruise despite bad weather or other adverse conditions beyond the cruise lines’ control. How you go about your job and your attitude to the passengers will make all the difference.

Your key aim should be that as passengers disembark from their cruise with you they will say ‘Thanks for a great time, look forward to seeing you again soon!” If you hear that, you know you’ve succeeded!Wine pic 2

Checkout some tips here which may help make the difference between ‘ok’ service and ‘excellent’ service in a cruise line environment:

  • Most importantly – smile!!
    • At the risk of being repetitive, remember that great customer service begins with a great attitude!  You have to get this right.
    • Check the passenger manifest and use passenger’s names when addressing them. Everyone likes to hear their name; it makes them feel special and valued. Use a proper greeting unless permission is given otherwise, ie: Mrs., Mr., Ms., Sir, etc.
    • Be on the lookout for ways you can help passengers. Do they need extra cabin services, help with luggage, with directions to get around the ship? Elderly passengers may need extra help and care.
    • If there’s a problem, listen to their concerns. No one likes to be ignored. Everyone wants to know that not only are they being heard but that they’re being understood as well.
    • Think outside the square and look for solutions to any problems that occur. Could passengers be relocated to a different cabin to overcome a problem? Do you have different catering that might resolve a food problem?
    • Be genuine. A lack of sincerity comes across easier than you think.
    • Put yourself in your passenger shoes. How would you feel if this situation was happening to you? This will help you to establish rapport with the passenger and may reduce tension.
    • Don’t hide behind the organisational rules – people universally hate to be told ‘Its company policy I’m afraid’ or even worse, blaming somebody else! (as in ‘the travel agent should have told you…’) Spend more time sorting out the problem, not analysing what happened.
    • Be honest and sincere with passengers and don’t lie to them. There’s no point in promising something you can’t deliver. For example, if a passenger is asking to be moved to a larger stateroom and you don’t have any you have to be honest and explain that, then look at other solutions.
    • Never forget what it’s like to be a customer! We are all customers in one way or another and deserve the same respect we demand from others.

By doing these things you will inspire a customer base that’s loyal and will return to you again and again. These passenger will also provide the best free advertising imaginable – word of mouth!

By the same token one bad passenger recommendation can cost you a large number of potential sales by the time they’ve told everybody how they were treated on this cruise of a lifetime!

Don’t forget that with the internet a bad experience can be viral and round the world in hours. Use your common sense and treat people the way you would like to be treated. If your passengers genuinely feel appreciated and valued you have succeeded in delivering exceptional customer service and you will have set in motion a winning formula that will guarantee your success!

Inter-Cultural CommunicationMexican dancer

When communicating between cultures, we need to take special care to see that any cultural differences that exist do not prevent meaningful interaction, but instead serve as sources for enriching our communication experiences.  If we understand the common barriers and principles of effectiveness, we can maximise these opportunities.

Inter-cultural Communication Principles:

Language reflects the cultures of which they are a part.

The more widely different the cultures, the greater the communication differences in both language and non-verbal signals.

Beware of making initial judgments of people based on their culture.

As we have already seen people naturally judge others quickly, and sometimes permanently.  A judgment made too early can be based on too little information.  It is important to be flexible, keep an open mind and be willing to revise first impressions.

People will interact with those they think are most like themselves.

It has been shown that in most situations people will talk with the person who is most similar to, rather than different from themselves.  Why not extend and stretch yourself, increase your communication range, develop your experiences, and speak to someone you perceive is different?

Barriers To Intercultural Communication

Ignoring the differences

One of the greatest barriers to inter-cultural communication arises when you assume that similarities exist, and that differences don’t!  We can easily see, and accept, different hairstyles, clothing and foods, but in basic values and beliefs we assume that deep down we are really all alike.  We aren’t!  When you do this, you are non-verbally saying to others that yours are the right ways and that their ways are not important to you.

Grouping cultures together

Within every cultural group there are wide and important differences.  As all New Zealanders are not alike, neither are all Indonesians, Greeks, Italians, British etc.  When we ignore the differences, we are guilty of stereotyping.  We assume that all people covered by the same label are the same.

Words mean different things

The differences in meaning in words can cause huge barriers between cultures.  For example, the word ‘lunch’ means totally different things when used by a Wall Street executive, compared to a Chinese rice farmer.  Phrases like ‘job-security’ become meaningless in some places of the world where ‘jobs’ are scarce.

Non-verbal  ‘mixed messages’

With non-verbal messages the potential differences seem even greater.  Consider the classic holding up two fingers in a V (for victory) sign.  It might mean victory to many English speaking nations, but in many cultures it is an obscene gesture.  The wearing of a short skirt may be seen as smart and fashionable in one country, whereas a woman showing her legs is seen as disrespectful and rude in another!

Violating cultural rulesFiji dancer warriors

Each culture has its own rule for communicating, which identify what is appropriate and what is not.  For example, calling someone you want to invite out – in European cultures you might call 3 or 4 days in advance, or even the same day, whereas in some Asian cultures you might call the person’s parents weeks, or even months in advance.

Invitations are often fraught with cultural difficulties, about timings, what to eat, how to eat it, whether to take a gift – the Kiwi ‘bring a plate’ for example is not universal!

Eye contact rules vary from culture to culture – with some cultures showing respect by avoiding direct eye contact with the person to whom they are speaking – and in other cultures this avoidance would be seen as rude or disinterested.

Body contact is another difficult area – with Latin cultures favouring considerable touching amongst people, whilst other cultures do not like to be touched and prefer to keep a respectful distance.

EthnocentrismFifi maiden dancers

It is important to perceive differences between cultures, however evaluating them as lesser than your culture is known as ‘ethnocentrism’.

Consider for example, the act of spitting – in most Western cultures this is a sign of disgust and displeasure, and is not to be performed in public.  For many other cultures, it means different things: for the Masai of Africa it is a sign of affection, for the American Indian, it may be an act of kindness, whereby the medicine man spits on the sick to cure them.

Sticking out the tongue – to Westerners this is seen as an insult, to the Chinese it may express embarrassment over a social mistake.

The examples above are neither negative nor positive, right or wrong, good or bad – if you see them as one or the other you could be guilty of ethnocentric thinking.

Language Taboos

These are those words, phrases or topics that are forbidden by society – and whilst known by members of a specific society, may not be known to others.  It is easy to violate cultural rules and customs, when you don’t know which terms are considered taboo.  The most common taboo areas are:

Religion

Disease

Death

Sex

Illness

The first step in identifying the gateways to intercultural communications success is to note the barriers – and then work consciously to AVOID THEM!

Hula dancers in Hawaii

Recognise the differences between yourself and the culturally different person.

  • Ask questions, avoid making assumptions.
  • Recognise that differences exist within any group.  Do not stereotype, over-generalise, or assume that differences within a group are not important.
  • Remember that meaning is ‘in the person’, and not in the words or gestures used.  Check your meaning with the other persons’.
  • Be aware of the cultural rules operating in any intercultural communication context. Become sensitive to the rules the other person is following.
    • Avoid negative evaluation of cultural differences, both verbally and non-verbally.
    • Avoid taboo expressions.  They will reflect negatively on you in most communication situations, and may create serious barriers to understanding.
    • Respect the rights of the other person to be treated with respect.

Cruise Training Online – Body Language

Body Language

‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression!’

We have learned about communications in the workplace through speaking and using appropriate voice tone. However these add up to only two thirds of how effectively we communicate. The remaining third is through non-verbal communications, also known as ‘Body Language’

Remember that less than 10% of our understanding of a message/situation comes from words alone!  The vast majority of understanding in communications comes from body language, and to become effective communicators we need to understand the language our body speaks.

Information reaching our brains can only enter via the five senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell.  Of those senses, the eyes are the most valuable, transmitting approximately 85% of the information that reaches our brains.  About 10% goes in through our ears and the other senses handle the remaining 5%.Cartoon call centre person 2

The fact that most of our communication is received visually is no bad thing.  The problem is that we put most of our effort into organising and delivering the words we use.  Our ‘body-talk’ is left to fend for itself, and as a result tends to come out ‘unedited’, communicating what we really feel.

So, if the major part of our communication is with ‘body-talk’ and seemingly unintentional, in that it can either support or contradict what we think we are communicating, it makes sense to learn more about it!

Body language goes both ways of course:

  • Your own body language reveals your feelings and meanings to others.
  • Other people’s body language reveals their feelings and meanings to you.

Body Language is made up of everything we DO rather than what we SAY to communicate to others. This includes:

  • Posture
  • Eye contact
  • Tone of voice
  • Facial expressions
  • Proximity to others

Practitioners who study body language have written on all aspects of what different movements mean, and how to interpret them, so in this manual we will restrict the content to some of the main aspects of body language as it impacts on the workplace.

This website has a detailed description of body language and gives more detailed insight into every movement and inflection.

Let’s look at some key points:

PostureSmiling Receptionist

Posture concerns the overall bearing of the body.  It comprises the angle of the head, shoulders, hips and feet, direction and angle of inclination and position of arms and legs.

In general, people who feel comfortable with a situation and with themselves raise their head and look openly at you. They may lean back slightly indicating that they are relaxed or lean forward slightly to indicate attentiveness.

People who are on the attack or who feel aggressive generally adopt a ‘full-frontal’ stance with head, shoulders, hips and feet all pointing at you.  They will probably raise themselves up and lean forward in a dominating manner.  Those who are feeling defensive will probably ‘close-up’ physically, making themselves smaller; hands and arms may protect their mouth or abdomen; legs may be crossed tightly.

Arms

People use their arms in a variety of ways.  Some gesticulate frequently and others hardly at all.  Points worth noting are:

  • Arm’s can be used to signify self-protection and defensiveness when they are folded tightly across the abdomen; or if they are clasped casually together on the lap can signify relaxed state.
  • Hand’s can be used to hide behind, covering part of the face; they can be used to demonstrate openness and honesty by showing open palms; they can be used to cut the air aggressively to emphasise points.
  • Finger’s can be used to fidget, as in drumming the table to indicate impatience or boredom; they can be used to jab the air pointing to you; they can be used to wag at someone like a schoolteacher talking to a naughty pupil; they can be wagged threateningly like a stick.

Handshake

Shaking hands dates back to the caveman era – whenever cavemen met they would hold their arms in the air with their palms exposes, to show that no weapons were being held or concealed.  This gesture became modified over the centuries and is now a form of ritual greeting in most English-speaking countries. Checkout this chart that typifies some common handshakes. In the business world you need to use a firm (but not too firm!) handshake that is brisk and businesslike. If you’re not someone who shakes hands much, practice on family and friends and shake hands whenever you meet new people. Its considered standard business practice in most parts of the world and there is an expectation that people employed in airlines where social ‘niceties’ are observed that you will shake hands readily when introduced to people or meeting people who you’ve not seen in a while.

 

Some types of handshake! 
The ‘Dead Fish’.  When the hand is cold or clammy; soft and placid, like a dead fish, people relate it to a weak character.
The ‘Knuckle Grinder’.  When people grip your hand so firmly, that you think it will truly break! This handshake is the trademark of the aggressive ‘tough guy’ type.
The ‘Stiff-Arm Thrust’.  They are out of their intimate zone.  It is also used by people who originate from country areas who feel the need to protect their personal territory.
The ‘Finger-Tip Grab’.  This feels a bit like the ‘stiff-arm thrust’ that has missed its mark.  It is also designed to keep the receiver at a distance. The initiator may appear to have a keen and enthusiastic attitude towards the receiver, however they often lack confidence.
The ‘Double-Hander’.  Very popular with politicians! The intention is to show sincerity, trust or depth of feeling towards the receiver.  They are really only suitable for close family members, or when the initiator wishes to convey empathy. If these circumstances are not present – the receiver may become suspicious and be ‘put-off’!

Legs

Like arm gestures, the gestures of our legs can also tell us a lot about people’s feelings.

Crossed legs are often a signal that a negative or defensive attitude may exist.  Where arm-crossing was originally used to defend the heart and upper-body region, leg-crossing may be an attempt to shield the genital area.  Crossed legs are less negative than crossed arms, however, care should be taken when interpreting this gesture with women.   Many women have been taught that it is the ‘ladylike’ way to sit!  It is unfortunate that this gesture can make them appear defensive.

Facial ExpressionsSmiley student

Human beings have more control over their facial muscles than any other animal on this planet!  As a result, the face is the most expressive part of our bodies.  The areas around the eyes and mouth are the most expressive.

Raised eyebrows and an ‘O’ shaped mouth signifies surprise, however raised eyebrows and an open smile indicate real pleasure; knotted eyebrows and a downturned mouth signify sadness, while knotted eyebrows and tightly pursed lips signify displeasure.  There is hardly a single emotion that does not show in the face in such a way as to be instantly recognisable by someone else.

Eyes

Although the eyes are part of the face, they are important enough to warrant specific mention.  Eye contact is very important to customer care.  If we avoid eye contact we can give the impression that we are shifty, lacking in confidence or disinterested. If eye contact is too intense we appear aggressive and make people feel uncomfortable,  If our eye contact is immediate and moderate (about 50-70% of the time) we give an entirely different impression.  Especially if accompanied by a pleasant facial expression. We are effectively saying, ‘I am pleased to see you, I feel confident in myself, I am looking forward to our transaction!’.

Cruise Training Online – Body Language

Body Language

‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression!’

We have learned about communications in the workplace through speaking and using appropriate voice tone. However these add up to only two thirds of how effectively we communicate. The remaining third is through non-verbal communications, also known as ‘Body Language’

Remember that less than 10% of our understanding of a message/situation comes from words alone!  The vast majority of understanding in communications comes from body language, and to become effective communicators we need to understand the language our body speaks.

Information reaching our brains can only enter via the five senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell.  Of those senses, the eyes are the most valuable, transmitting approximately 85% of the information that reaches our brains.  About 10% goes in through our ears and the other senses handle the remaining 5%.Cartoon call centre person 2

The fact that most of our communication is received visually is no bad thing.  The problem is that we put most of our effort into organising and delivering the words we use.  Our ‘body-talk’ is left to fend for itself, and as a result tends to come out ‘unedited’, communicating what we really feel.

So, if the major part of our communication is with ‘body-talk’ and seemingly unintentional, in that it can either support or contradict what we think we are communicating, it makes sense to learn more about it!

Body language goes both ways of course:

  • Your own body language reveals your feelings and meanings to others.
  • Other people’s body language reveals their feelings and meanings to you.

Body Language is made up of everything we DO rather than what we SAY to communicate to others. This includes:

  • Posture
  • Eye contact
  • Tone of voice
  • Facial expressions
  • Proximity to others

Practitioners who study body language have written on all aspects of what different movements mean, and how to interpret them, so in this manual we will restrict the content to some of the main aspects of body language as it impacts on the workplace.

This website has a detailed description of body language and gives more detailed insight into every movement and inflection.

Let’s look at some key points:

PostureSmiling Receptionist

Posture concerns the overall bearing of the body.  It comprises the angle of the head, shoulders, hips and feet, direction and angle of inclination and position of arms and legs.

In general, people who feel comfortable with a situation and with themselves raise their head and look openly at you. They may lean back slightly indicating that they are relaxed or lean forward slightly to indicate attentiveness.

People who are on the attack or who feel aggressive generally adopt a ‘full-frontal’ stance with head, shoulders, hips and feet all pointing at you.  They will probably raise themselves up and lean forward in a dominating manner.  Those who are feeling defensive will probably ‘close-up’ physically, making themselves smaller; hands and arms may protect their mouth or abdomen; legs may be crossed tightly.

Arms

People use their arms in a variety of ways.  Some gesticulate frequently and others hardly at all.  Points worth noting are:

  • Arm’s can be used to signify self-protection and defensiveness when they are folded tightly across the abdomen; or if they are clasped casually together on the lap can signify relaxed state.
  • Hand’s can be used to hide behind, covering part of the face; they can be used to demonstrate openness and honesty by showing open palms; they can be used to cut the air aggressively to emphasise points.
  • Finger’s can be used to fidget, as in drumming the table to indicate impatience or boredom; they can be used to jab the air pointing to you; they can be used to wag at someone like a schoolteacher talking to a naughty pupil; they can be wagged threateningly like a stick.

Handshake

Shaking hands dates back to the caveman era – whenever cavemen met they would hold their arms in the air with their palms exposes, to show that no weapons were being held or concealed.  This gesture became modified over the centuries and is now a form of ritual greeting in most English-speaking countries. Checkout this chart that typifies some common handshakes. In the business world you need to use a firm (but not too firm!) handshake that is brisk and businesslike. If you’re not someone who shakes hands much, practice on family and friends and shake hands whenever you meet new people. Its considered standard business practice in most parts of the world and there is an expectation that people employed in airlines where social ‘niceties’ are observed that you will shake hands readily when introduced to people or meeting people who you’ve not seen in a while.

 

Some types of handshake! 
The ‘Dead Fish’.  When the hand is cold or clammy; soft and placid, like a dead fish, people relate it to a weak character.
The ‘Knuckle Grinder’.  When people grip your hand so firmly, that you think it will truly break! This handshake is the trademark of the aggressive ‘tough guy’ type.
The ‘Stiff-Arm Thrust’.  They are out of their intimate zone.  It is also used by people who originate from country areas who feel the need to protect their personal territory.
The ‘Finger-Tip Grab’.  This feels a bit like the ‘stiff-arm thrust’ that has missed its mark.  It is also designed to keep the receiver at a distance. The initiator may appear to have a keen and enthusiastic attitude towards the receiver, however they often lack confidence.
The ‘Double-Hander’.  Very popular with politicians! The intention is to show sincerity, trust or depth of feeling towards the receiver.  They are really only suitable for close family members, or when the initiator wishes to convey empathy. If these circumstances are not present – the receiver may become suspicious and be ‘put-off’!

Legs

Like arm gestures, the gestures of our legs can also tell us a lot about people’s feelings.

Crossed legs are often a signal that a negative or defensive attitude may exist.  Where arm-crossing was originally used to defend the heart and upper-body region, leg-crossing may be an attempt to shield the genital area.  Crossed legs are less negative than crossed arms, however, care should be taken when interpreting this gesture with women.   Many women have been taught that it is the ‘ladylike’ way to sit!  It is unfortunate that this gesture can make them appear defensive.

Facial ExpressionsSmiley student

Human beings have more control over their facial muscles than any other animal on this planet!  As a result, the face is the most expressive part of our bodies.  The areas around the eyes and mouth are the most expressive.

Raised eyebrows and an ‘O’ shaped mouth signifies surprise, however raised eyebrows and an open smile indicate real pleasure; knotted eyebrows and a downturned mouth signify sadness, while knotted eyebrows and tightly pursed lips signify displeasure.  There is hardly a single emotion that does not show in the face in such a way as to be instantly recognisable by someone else.

Eyes

Although the eyes are part of the face, they are important enough to warrant specific mention.  Eye contact is very important to customer care.  If we avoid eye contact we can give the impression that we are shifty, lacking in confidence or disinterested. If eye contact is too intense we appear aggressive and make people feel uncomfortable,  If our eye contact is immediate and moderate (about 50-70% of the time) we give an entirely different impression.  Especially if accompanied by a pleasant facial expression. We are effectively saying, ‘I am pleased to see you, I feel confident in myself, I am looking forward to our transaction!’.

Cruise Training Online – Body Language

Body Language

‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression!’

We have learned about communications in the workplace through speaking and using appropriate voice tone. However these add up to only two thirds of how effectively we communicate. The remaining third is through non-verbal communications, also known as ‘Body Language’

Remember that less than 10% of our understanding of a message/situation comes from words alone!  The vast majority of understanding in communications comes from body language, and to become effective communicators we need to understand the language our body speaks.

Information reaching our brains can only enter via the five senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell.  Of those senses, the eyes are the most valuable, transmitting approximately 85% of the information that reaches our brains.  About 10% goes in through our ears and the other senses handle the remaining 5%.Cartoon call centre person 2

The fact that most of our communication is received visually is no bad thing.  The problem is that we put most of our effort into organising and delivering the words we use.  Our ‘body-talk’ is left to fend for itself, and as a result tends to come out ‘unedited’, communicating what we really feel.

So, if the major part of our communication is with ‘body-talk’ and seemingly unintentional, in that it can either support or contradict what we think we are communicating, it makes sense to learn more about it!

Body language goes both ways of course:

  • Your own body language reveals your feelings and meanings to others.
  • Other people’s body language reveals their feelings and meanings to you.

Body Language is made up of everything we DO rather than what we SAY to communicate to others. This includes:

  • Posture
  • Eye contact
  • Tone of voice
  • Facial expressions
  • Proximity to others

Practitioners who study body language have written on all aspects of what different movements mean, and how to interpret them, so in this manual we will restrict the content to some of the main aspects of body language as it impacts on the workplace.

This website has a detailed description of body language and gives more detailed insight into every movement and inflection.

Let’s look at some key points:

PostureSmiling Receptionist

Posture concerns the overall bearing of the body.  It comprises the angle of the head, shoulders, hips and feet, direction and angle of inclination and position of arms and legs.

In general, people who feel comfortable with a situation and with themselves raise their head and look openly at you. They may lean back slightly indicating that they are relaxed or lean forward slightly to indicate attentiveness.

People who are on the attack or who feel aggressive generally adopt a ‘full-frontal’ stance with head, shoulders, hips and feet all pointing at you.  They will probably raise themselves up and lean forward in a dominating manner.  Those who are feeling defensive will probably ‘close-up’ physically, making themselves smaller; hands and arms may protect their mouth or abdomen; legs may be crossed tightly.

Arms

People use their arms in a variety of ways.  Some gesticulate frequently and others hardly at all.  Points worth noting are:

  • Arm’s can be used to signify self-protection and defensiveness when they are folded tightly across the abdomen; or if they are clasped casually together on the lap can signify relaxed state.
  • Hand’s can be used to hide behind, covering part of the face; they can be used to demonstrate openness and honesty by showing open palms; they can be used to cut the air aggressively to emphasise points.
  • Finger’s can be used to fidget, as in drumming the table to indicate impatience or boredom; they can be used to jab the air pointing to you; they can be used to wag at someone like a schoolteacher talking to a naughty pupil; they can be wagged threateningly like a stick.

Handshake

Shaking hands dates back to the caveman era – whenever cavemen met they would hold their arms in the air with their palms exposes, to show that no weapons were being held or concealed.  This gesture became modified over the centuries and is now a form of ritual greeting in most English-speaking countries. Checkout this chart that typifies some common handshakes. In the business world you need to use a firm (but not too firm!) handshake that is brisk and businesslike. If you’re not someone who shakes hands much, practice on family and friends and shake hands whenever you meet new people. Its considered standard business practice in most parts of the world and there is an expectation that people employed in airlines where social ‘niceties’ are observed that you will shake hands readily when introduced to people or meeting people who you’ve not seen in a while.

 

Some types of handshake! 
The ‘Dead Fish’.  When the hand is cold or clammy; soft and placid, like a dead fish, people relate it to a weak character.
The ‘Knuckle Grinder’.  When people grip your hand so firmly, that you think it will truly break! This handshake is the trademark of the aggressive ‘tough guy’ type.
The ‘Stiff-Arm Thrust’.  They are out of their intimate zone.  It is also used by people who originate from country areas who feel the need to protect their personal territory.
The ‘Finger-Tip Grab’.  This feels a bit like the ‘stiff-arm thrust’ that has missed its mark.  It is also designed to keep the receiver at a distance. The initiator may appear to have a keen and enthusiastic attitude towards the receiver, however they often lack confidence.
The ‘Double-Hander’.  Very popular with politicians! The intention is to show sincerity, trust or depth of feeling towards the receiver.  They are really only suitable for close family members, or when the initiator wishes to convey empathy. If these circumstances are not present – the receiver may become suspicious and be ‘put-off’!

Legs

Like arm gestures, the gestures of our legs can also tell us a lot about people’s feelings.

Crossed legs are often a signal that a negative or defensive attitude may exist.  Where arm-crossing was originally used to defend the heart and upper-body region, leg-crossing may be an attempt to shield the genital area.  Crossed legs are less negative than crossed arms, however, care should be taken when interpreting this gesture with women.   Many women have been taught that it is the ‘ladylike’ way to sit!  It is unfortunate that this gesture can make them appear defensive.

Facial ExpressionsSmiley student

Human beings have more control over their facial muscles than any other animal on this planet!  As a result, the face is the most expressive part of our bodies.  The areas around the eyes and mouth are the most expressive.

Raised eyebrows and an ‘O’ shaped mouth signifies surprise, however raised eyebrows and an open smile indicate real pleasure; knotted eyebrows and a downturned mouth signify sadness, while knotted eyebrows and tightly pursed lips signify displeasure.  There is hardly a single emotion that does not show in the face in such a way as to be instantly recognisable by someone else.

Eyes

Although the eyes are part of the face, they are important enough to warrant specific mention.  Eye contact is very important to customer care.  If we avoid eye contact we can give the impression that we are shifty, lacking in confidence or disinterested. If eye contact is too intense we appear aggressive and make people feel uncomfortable,  If our eye contact is immediate and moderate (about 50-70% of the time) we give an entirely different impression.  Especially if accompanied by a pleasant facial expression. We are effectively saying, ‘I am pleased to see you, I feel confident in myself, I am looking forward to our transaction!’.

Cruise Training Online – Listening Skills

Listening Skills

“We were born with two ears and one mouth – we should learn to use them in that order!”

As small children we learn speech from the adults around us and begin to develop this skill, increasing our vocabulary as we progress through life.  Listening, although the most important skill in effective communication, is not taught and we tend to think of it as a natural function…  Provided we have no physical hearing disability, we assume that because we can hear, we already know how to listen, so why do we need to learn to listen effectively?

If you are at all typical, studies have shown that listening takes up more of your waking hours than any other activity! A study of people of various backgrounds showed that 70% of their waking moments were spent in communication, and of that time:

Writing =  9%           Reading =  16%

Talking =  30%                   Listening =  45%

Unfortunately – few people are good listeners.  Researchers claim that 75% of oral communication is ignored, misunderstood or quickly forgotten!

Listening is NOT the same as hearing!  Hearing is a physiological process – a passive process that occurs without any attention or effort.  Listening is quite different – and unlike hearing is an ACTIVE process.  Listening doesn’t just happen – you must make it happen.  Listening takes energy and commitment.

Being able to listen efficiently and effectively will increase your ability to communicate with others.

Remember that the speaker and listener are partners in communication, both are equally important if full understanding is to take place, and both have 50% responsibility for the success of the outcome!

Checkout this list of ‘poor listening habits and consider each one before deciding if you have any of these habits? Most of us would have to say ‘yes’ to quite a few!

Listening habits

Let’s take a look next at what it is that stops of listening actively, and how we can improve.

Barriers To Active Listening

Although nearly half our time is spent listening, most of us do not listen well, largely because we can think far faster than we can speak.  In fact, our brains can process approximately 500 – 800 words in the same time it takes us to speak 200 – 250 words.

This gives us a lot of spare thinking time while we are listening to a person speak.  Rather than use this spare time to gather our own thoughts together in order to respond to what the speaker is saying, we let our minds wander.  This is just one of the many ways in which we can be distracted and which act as a barrier to effective listening.

Preoccupation with self

In the famous words of Bette Middler,Bette Middler

‘That’s enough about me, let’s talk about you.  What do you think about me!’’

This is a classic barrier to active listening because we appear to be listening to somebody speaking but actually we’re thinking about our self, about a similar situation we found ourselves in, or even let our minds wander about other things that happened to you, but bigger and more interesting!

You even begin to rehearse your responses, while the other person is still speaking, or you may even fall into the habit of ‘capping’!  Whatever has happened to them has happened to you – only far worse in your case.  So, in an effort to make them feel better about their experience, you respond with something like; ‘Oh, if you think that’s bad, wait until I tell you what happened to me.’!  During this time of self-focus, you have inevitably missed what the speaker is saying.

Prejudices

Our personal prejudices can cause us either to switch off mentally, or to be over sensitive to the remarks made by the speaker.  Such reactions can be triggered off by the speaker’s clothes, accessories, hair, accent, looks, style of delivery, words used – even the sex or race of the speaker can affect our prejudices.

When our prejudices are active ‘we hear what we want to hear’, and put our own interpretation on what is said.  We then spend our thinking time composing rebuttals, questions or even clever responses to trip up or antagonize the speaker.

Environmental/Physical

All of the following factors can make us ‘switch off’ from listening to what is being said, to allow our minds to temporarily concentrate on our surroundings:

room too hot; too cold – chair too hard; too soft – noise (e.g. telephone) –

Man with headphones

lighting too bright; too dim – draughts –

poor ventilation; stuffy/smoky atmosphere – smells; perfume/cigarette smoke – interruptions

 

 

Linguistics

How often have you heard, ‘That’s not what I meant’.  If you want to improve your communication skills, then avoid the following situations, they are all distractions to effective listening.

* jargon or specialist language

* complex sentences or vocabulary

* patronising manner

* delivery too fast or too slow

* delivery too loud or too quiet

“Are you listening – or are you just waiting for you chance to speak?”

Tips for Active Listening

Paraphrasing and Reflecting

These two active listening skills usually work together and are strategies we use to let somebody know that we’ve not only heard what they’ve been saying, but we’ve listening and understood.

When we paraphrase we reword or summarise what has been said, and when we reflect we repeat back the feelings associated with the message. Together these actions:

  • show that we have understood the main points
  • show that we have accepted what has been said
  • show that we are interested in understanding the whole picture, feelings as well as facts
  • give the other person the opportunity to put us right
  • help the other person to hear how they are coming across and if necessary to reword it more clearly
  • are crucial when the message has a strong emotional content.

Paraphrasing:

Repeat back the main points, concisely and in our own words:

 ‘So, from what you’re saying, you booked an outside cabin four weeks ago through your travel agent. Is that the case?”

Reflecting:

Repeat back the feelings associated with the message:

‘I can see how disappointed you are at not getting the stateroom you asked for’

We can use these skills to improve our effective listening by:

* using them selectively – not every statement warrants them!

*choosing words which accurately reflect the meaning and feeling.

* using tentative language – we are checking our understanding of what they said – not telling them what they said!

* observing their non-verbal reactions – their facial expressions will tell us if we got it right.

* focusing on feelings as well as information.

Giving Feedback 

This is a very useful active listening skill and is essential in good communications. Giving and receiving feedback tells you how well your message has been received and understood.Cartoon Next word

Feedback can come from either the sender or the receiver, and is usually used to clarify understanding.  It could be verbal or non-verbal and may suggest that one party to the communication requires more information.

Feedback includes nodding (yes) or shaking your head (no), giving affirmations through eye contact, making notes or actually saying ‘Yes, I understand’ or ‘I’m not sure I understand that’.

Asking questions is another excellent way to give feedback, seeking understanding and clarification (‘So what time exactly would you like me to do that?’), and if you’re the sender of the message and the receiver asks questions it’s a signal that you’ll need some more communication before mutual understanding is assured.

Cruise Training Online – Listening Skills

Listening Skills

“We were born with two ears and one mouth – we should learn to use them in that order!”

As small children we learn speech from the adults around us and begin to develop this skill, increasing our vocabulary as we progress through life.  Listening, although the most important skill in effective communication, is not taught and we tend to think of it as a natural function…  Provided we have no physical hearing disability, we assume that because we can hear, we already know how to listen, so why do we need to learn to listen effectively?

If you are at all typical, studies have shown that listening takes up more of your waking hours than any other activity! A study of people of various backgrounds showed that 70% of their waking moments were spent in communication, and of that time:

Writing =  9%           Reading =  16%

Talking =  30%        Listening =  45%

Unfortunately – few people are good listeners.  Researchers claim that 75% of oral communication is ignored, misunderstood or quickly forgotten!

Listening is NOT the same as hearing!  Hearing is a physiological process – a passive process that occurs without any attention or effort.  Listening is quite different – and unlike hearing is an ACTIVE process.  Listening doesn’t just happen – you must make it happen.  Listening takes energy and commitment.

Being able to listen efficiently and effectively will increase your ability to communicate with others.

Remember that the speaker and listener are partners in communication, both are equally important if full understanding is to take place, and both have 50% responsibility for the success of the outcome!

Checkout this list of ‘poor listening habits and consider each one before deciding if you have any of these habits? Most of us would have to say ‘yes’ to quite a few!

Listening habits

Let’s take a look next at what it is that stops of listening actively, and how we can improve.

Barriers To Active Listening

Although nearly half our time is spent listening, most of us do not listen well, largely because we can think far faster than we can speak.  In fact, our brains can process approximately 500 – 800 words in the same time it takes us to speak 200 – 250 words.

This gives us a lot of spare thinking time while we are listening to a person speak.  Rather than use this spare time to gather our own thoughts together in order to respond to what the speaker is saying, we let our minds wander.  This is just one of the many ways in which we can be distracted and which act as a barrier to effective listening.

Preoccupation with self

In the famous words of Bette Middler,Bette Middler

‘That’s enough about me, let’s talk about you.  What do you think about me!’’

This is a classic barrier to active listening because we appear to be listening to somebody speaking but actually we’re thinking about our self, about a similar situation we found ourselves in, or even let our minds wander about other things that happened to you, but bigger and more interesting!

You even begin to rehearse your responses, while the other person is still speaking, or you may even fall into the habit of ‘capping’!  Whatever has happened to them has happened to you – only far worse in your case.  So, in an effort to make them feel better about their experience, you respond with something like; ‘Oh, if you think that’s bad, wait until I tell you what happened to me.’!  During this time of self-focus, you have inevitably missed what the speaker is saying.

Prejudices

Our personal prejudices can cause us either to switch off mentally, or to be over sensitive to the remarks made by the speaker.  Such reactions can be triggered off by the speaker’s clothes, accessories, hair, accent, looks, style of delivery, words used – even the sex or race of the speaker can affect our prejudices.

When our prejudices are active ‘we hear what we want to hear’, and put our own interpretation on what is said.  We then spend our thinking time composing rebuttals, questions or even clever responses to trip up or antagonize the speaker.

Environmental/Physical

All of the following factors can make us ‘switch off’ from listening to what is being said, to allow our minds to temporarily concentrate on our surroundings:

room too hot; too cold – chair too hard; too soft – noise (e.g. telephone) –

Man with headphones

lighting too bright; too dim – draughts –

poor ventilation; stuffy/smoky atmosphere – smells; perfume/cigarette smoke – interruptions

 

 

Linguistics

How often have you heard, ‘That’s not what I meant’.  If you want to improve your communication skills, then avoid the following situations, they are all distractions to effective listening.

* jargon or specialist language

* complex sentences or vocabulary

* patronising manner

* delivery too fast or too slow

* delivery too loud or too quiet

“Are you listening – or are you just waiting for you chance to speak?”

Tips for Active Listening

Paraphrasing and Reflecting

These two active listening skills usually work together and are strategies we use to let somebody know that we’ve not only heard what they’ve been saying, but we’ve listening and understood.

When we paraphrase we reword or summarise what has been said, and when we reflect we repeat back the feelings associated with the message. Together these actions:

  • show that we have understood the main points
  • show that we have accepted what has been said
  • show that we are interested in understanding the whole picture, feelings as well as facts
  • give the other person the opportunity to put us right
  • help the other person to hear how they are coming across and if necessary to reword it more clearly
  • are crucial when the message has a strong emotional content.

Paraphrasing:

Repeat back the main points, concisely and in our own words:

 ‘So, from what you’re saying, you booked an outside cabin four weeks ago through your travel agent. Is that the case?”

Reflecting:

Repeat back the feelings associated with the message:

‘I can see how disappointed you are at not getting the stateroom you asked for’

We can use these skills to improve our effective listening by:

* using them selectively – not every statement warrants them!

*choosing words which accurately reflect the meaning and feeling.

* using tentative language – we are checking our understanding of what they said – not telling them what they said!

* observing their non-verbal reactions – their facial expressions will tell us if we got it right.

* focusing on feelings as well as information.

Giving Feedback 

This is a very useful active listening skill and is essential in good communications. Giving and receiving feedback tells you how well your message has been received and understood.Cartoon Next word

Feedback can come from either the sender or the receiver, and is usually used to clarify understanding.  It could be verbal or non-verbal and may suggest that one party to the communication requires more information.

Feedback includes nodding (yes) or shaking your head (no), giving affirmations through eye contact, making notes or actually saying ‘Yes, I understand’ or ‘I’m not sure I understand that’.

Asking questions is another excellent way to give feedback, seeking understanding and clarification (‘So what time exactly would you like me to do that?’), and if you’re the sender of the message and the receiver asks questions it’s a signal that you’ll need some more communication before mutual understanding is assured.

Cruise Training Online – Listening Skills

Listening Skills

“We were born with two ears and one mouth – we should learn to use them in that order!”

As small children we learn speech from the adults around us and begin to develop this skill, increasing our vocabulary as we progress through life.  Listening, although the most important skill in effective communication, is not taught and we tend to think of it as a natural function…  Provided we have no physical hearing disability, we assume that because we can hear, we already know how to listen, so why do we need to learn to listen effectively?

If you are at all typical, studies have shown that listening takes up more of your waking hours than any other activity! A study of people of various backgrounds showed that 70% of their waking moments were spent in communication, and of that time:

Writing =  9%           Reading =  16%

Talking =  30%        Listening =  45%

Unfortunately – few people are good listeners.  Researchers claim that 75% of oral communication is ignored, misunderstood or quickly forgotten!

Listening is NOT the same as hearing!  Hearing is a physiological process – a passive process that occurs without any attention or effort.  Listening is quite different – and unlike hearing is an ACTIVE process.  Listening doesn’t just happen – you must make it happen.  Listening takes energy and commitment.

Being able to listen efficiently and effectively will increase your ability to communicate with others.

Remember that the speaker and listener are partners in communication, both are equally important if full understanding is to take place, and both have 50% responsibility for the success of the outcome!

Checkout this list of ‘poor listening habits and consider each one before deciding if you have any of these habits? Most of us would have to say ‘yes’ to quite a few!

Listening habits

Let’s take a look next at what it is that stops of listening actively, and how we can improve.

Barriers To Active Listening

Although nearly half our time is spent listening, most of us do not listen well, largely because we can think far faster than we can speak.  In fact, our brains can process approximately 500 – 800 words in the same time it takes us to speak 200 – 250 words.

This gives us a lot of spare thinking time while we are listening to a person speak.  Rather than use this spare time to gather our own thoughts together in order to respond to what the speaker is saying, we let our minds wander.  This is just one of the many ways in which we can be distracted and which act as a barrier to effective listening.

Preoccupation with self

In the famous words of Bette Middler,Bette Middler

‘That’s enough about me, let’s talk about you.  What do you think about me!’’

This is a classic barrier to active listening because we appear to be listening to somebody speaking but actually we’re thinking about our self, about a similar situation we found ourselves in, or even let our minds wander about other things that happened to you, but bigger and more interesting!

You even begin to rehearse your responses, while the other person is still speaking, or you may even fall into the habit of ‘capping’!  Whatever has happened to them has happened to you – only far worse in your case.  So, in an effort to make them feel better about their experience, you respond with something like; ‘Oh, if you think that’s bad, wait until I tell you what happened to me.’!  During this time of self-focus, you have inevitably missed what the speaker is saying.

Prejudices

Our personal prejudices can cause us either to switch off mentally, or to be over sensitive to the remarks made by the speaker.  Such reactions can be triggered off by the speaker’s clothes, accessories, hair, accent, looks, style of delivery, words used – even the sex or race of the speaker can affect our prejudices.

When our prejudices are active ‘we hear what we want to hear’, and put our own interpretation on what is said.  We then spend our thinking time composing rebuttals, questions or even clever responses to trip up or antagonize the speaker.

Environmental/Physical

All of the following factors can make us ‘switch off’ from listening to what is being said, to allow our minds to temporarily concentrate on our surroundings:

room too hot; too cold – chair too hard; too soft – noise (e.g. telephone) –

Man with headphones

lighting too bright; too dim – draughts –

poor ventilation; stuffy/smoky atmosphere – smells; perfume/cigarette smoke – interruptions

 

 

Linguistics

How often have you heard, ‘That’s not what I meant’.  If you want to improve your communication skills, then avoid the following situations, they are all distractions to effective listening.

* jargon or specialist language

* complex sentences or vocabulary

* patronising manner

* delivery too fast or too slow

* delivery too loud or too quiet

“Are you listening – or are you just waiting for you chance to speak?”

Tips for Active Listening

Paraphrasing and Reflecting

These two active listening skills usually work together and are strategies we use to let somebody know that we’ve not only heard what they’ve been saying, but we’ve listening and understood.

When we paraphrase we reword or summarise what has been said, and when we reflect we repeat back the feelings associated with the message. Together these actions:

  • show that we have understood the main points
  • show that we have accepted what has been said
  • show that we are interested in understanding the whole picture, feelings as well as facts
  • give the other person the opportunity to put us right
  • help the other person to hear how they are coming across and if necessary to reword it more clearly
  • are crucial when the message has a strong emotional content.

Paraphrasing:

Repeat back the main points, concisely and in our own words:

 ‘So, from what you’re saying, you booked an outside cabin four weeks ago through your travel agent. Is that the case?”

Reflecting:

Repeat back the feelings associated with the message:

‘I can see how disappointed you are at not getting the stateroom you asked for’

We can use these skills to improve our effective listening by:

* using them selectively – not every statement warrants them!

*choosing words which accurately reflect the meaning and feeling.

* using tentative language – we are checking our understanding of what they said – not telling them what they said!

* observing their non-verbal reactions – their facial expressions will tell us if we got it right.

* focusing on feelings as well as information.

Giving Feedback 

This is a very useful active listening skill and is essential in good communications. Giving and receiving feedback tells you how well your message has been received and understood.Cartoon Next word

Feedback can come from either the sender or the receiver, and is usually used to clarify understanding.  It could be verbal or non-verbal and may suggest that one party to the communication requires more information.

Feedback includes nodding (yes) or shaking your head (no), giving affirmations through eye contact, making notes or actually saying ‘Yes, I understand’ or ‘I’m not sure I understand that’.

Asking questions is another excellent way to give feedback, seeking understanding and clarification (‘So what time exactly would you like me to do that?’), and if you’re the sender of the message and the receiver asks questions it’s a signal that you’ll need some more communication before mutual understanding is assured.

Cruise Training Online – The Communication ‘Cake’

The Communication Cake

When people use spoken languages to communicate they don’t just listen to what is said in order to understand the message. They also look at the person who is speaking to see what their body is doing, and listen to the way they are saying the words. This helps them understand the full message.

Studies tell us that the percentage of understanding that is gained from the spoken word is considerably less than the meaning that people gain from listening to a person’s tone of voice and looking at their non-verbal communication.Cartoon angry person

Choosing the right words

Often the ideas we have in our mind can not be easily put into words.  They include feelings and attitudes which may not be easy for others to understand.  We all know how difficult it is to talk to someone who doesn’t know our language, but it’s just as difficult when the people we are talking to interpret our words differently.

Consider the problems when someone:

  • uses jargon or technical terms we do not know
  • uses words we don’t know
  • uses slang or swearing which we don’t like

Words are far more than just a dictionary meaning.  They are a wealth of meaning and layers of feeling built into them.

We also use different layers of language for different situations.  Our casual slang may be OK for the pub or club – but you may find yourself in trouble if you were to use it with an airline passenger or your boss at work! This chart insert popup? Shows that language ranges from very formal through to very casual, with everything in between.

 

Language Style: Words Used:
Very Formal What progress are you making with the project?
Moderately Formal Is everything going well?
Fairly Informal How is it going?
Very Casual Whatya up to?

When you are deciding what language style to use to communicate with you should consider four key questions:

The formality of the situation? A job interview, for example, requires at least moderately formal, and maybe very formal if it is a panel interview for a senior position. A lunch with a colleague would almost certainly be fairly informal or even casual, depending on how well you know the other person.

How well do you know the receiver? As mentioned above, the language style you choose to communicate with depends a lot on your relationship with the other person. You can be very informal with friends, but if you’re meeting your boyfriend/girlfriend’s mother for the first time you will almost certainly start of moderately formal until you know her better.

What will the other person be comfortable with? Some people make it clear from the beginning that they are an informal friendly person who wants to be known by his first name, enjoys a laugh, and may even want to give you a warm hug when you leave. Other people prefer to stay more formal until they know you better, so don’t rush this and allow the communication to unfold before you start lapsing into casual communications with a new person.

The sensitivity of the message? Some communications are more sensitive than others, such as discussions around lack of performance in a job, ill health or bereavement, problems in the home or workplace. Most of this type of communication requires at least a moderately formal style, out of respect, and professionalism. This is not the place for casual chats.

As a member of a cruise ship staff, when dealing with passengers you should always assume a moderately formal style. Passengers are always ‘Sir’ and ‘Madam’. Social etiquette should be followed, such as the use of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ frequently, accompanied with a warm smile and eye contact. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some friendly chat with passengers, always remember that you are providing a service to them, and must retain your professionalism.Beautiful flight attendant or stewardess talking on intercom

Try to avoid using jargon that passengers may not know, and never use slang words or ‘street’ language – it’s just not professional, Rude or offensive language of course is an absolute ‘no no’ in any workplace, particular working for an airlines.

As the speaker you have the responsibility to get your message across in as clear as way as you can so that the receiver understands it in the way you meant it.   If others don’t understand what you are saying – don’t just repeat it again, or even worse, say it louder!

If you find yourselves having to repeat yourself, or in confused situations because the other person didn’t understand you, try not to blame the receiver of the message! Remember that you have 50% of the responsibility to ensure that the communication goes well, and the first thing to do is evaluate how well you communicated your message.

Did you use the right words? Ones which the other person would understand? Did you speak clearly, establishing eye contact where possible, and what about your voice tone?

Often when we have a problem with our communication it is often because we have not stopped to think about what we want to say or how we want to say it.  Nor have we stopped to think about whether the other person has heard what we intended to say.

Thinking about how to structure your message using words, ideas and language that the other person is likely to understand helps to avoid misunderstanding.  It’s best to not just open your mouth and let words fall out! Spending a moment or two thinking before you speak, particularly in work based situations, is time well spent. As we think much faster than we speak we all have spare ‘thinking time’ to prepare what we are going to say and if we use that time well we will have fewer misunderstandings along the way.

Take care to select words which will:

  • convey the exact meaning
  • indicate the appropriate emotion
  • suggest the appropriate level of intensity
  • suit the formality level of the situation
  • be understood and accepted

Voice Tone and Clarity

Even when we have chosen the words carefully we may still fine that our message is not understood in the way that we had hoped.

When this happens it’s worth thinking about one of the other aspects of verbal communication: voice tone

Your tone of voice may say more than the actual words you use. This important feature of everyday speech is so powerful that it can make or break a communication, so it’s worth learning a little about it.

We all have the ability to adjust the tone of our voice to suit the moment as voice tone is very useful in expressing emotions. For example curt, harsh, loud words can illustrate anger. Soft, murmuring, soothing tones can express pleasure. Tone is also used in other ways, to indicate the end of a sentence or message (lowering the tone), or indicating a question (raising the tone). The kiwi accent is known for its rising tone at the end of sentences, suggesting a constant round of questions!

Voice tone includes a number of other factors:

Pitch: This relates to the sound of your voice, such as a very high shrieky voice or low voice. Voice pitch can be changed through training and practice, for example if you have a very high voice you can work on lowering it so it sounds more imposing and authoritative.

Cartoon lady animated voice

Volume: How loud you speak influences your message significantly, and we all know how shouting, for example, changes the way in which a message is received. Speaking too softly can also affect how a communication is received, particularly if the receiver can’t hear you, but speaking softly can also be very powerful as others have to listen very actively to your message.

The effects of voice tone are significant. People develop much of their perception of you based purely on your tone of voice. If your tone is clear and strong they will think of you as confident. People who speak hesitantly in a soft voice tone are often considered weak or shy. People who speak with no inflection at all, with little variation in voice tone, are often thought of as boring or dull.

A good test of the power of voice tone is to try it out on a dog! Speak to him in a loud, angry tone, saying the words ‘Good dog!’ and he’ll usually cower and look sad, even though you’re actually giving him a compliment. Change your tone to a soothing, happy, upbeat tone and say ‘Bad dog!’ and he’ll wag his tail and look excited and happy! He doesn’t understand the words, just the voice tone, and responds almost totally to that alone.

The good news is that whatever your voice, your tone can be worked on and changed. If you’re not sure how you sound why not record your voice using your phone, camera or other device, play it back and see what you think? Play it to family members and friends and ask them what message they get from your usual voice tone? If you’re not happy with it, work on changing it, record it again and compare it with your original recording. Most actors, TV presenters, singers and others in public life have worked on making their voice better, so why not you!

Barriers To Communication

Despite all your best efforts at communicating effectively there may still be problems with getting your message across! These problems are described as ‘interference’ in the Communications Model, and are collectively known as ‘Barriers to Communication’

Barriers to communication exist at both the sending and receiving stages of a communication. Let’s look at some of the most frequent barriers that exist in the workplace:

Not Listening Actively

Inattention (not listening!) accounts for much of the problem!  There is a huge difference between listening and hearing – hearing is a physiological process (“I have ears, I can hear”), whereas active listening requires real effort. Competition for attention from everything else going on around us makes it extremely difficult to concentrate solely on listening to what’s being said, and most of us are pretty good at pretending to listen whilst thinking about/doing/looking at something else!

Personal barriers

Often if we have a headache, or are feeling tired or unwell, we may find it difficult to communicate effectively with others.  From time to time we even encounter someone that we really don’t like, and that too can create a personal barrier in our ability to communicate effectively.

Lack of Interest

If you have no interest in what is being said -boredom sets in pretty quickly!

Lack of Clarity

Communicating ambiguously (double meanings), or using unclear meanings will result in confusion all round! If you choose the wrong words, or use words which even you don’t understand, there’s a high chance that the receiver will struggle to understand clearly what you’re saying.  The Oxford English Dictionary has over a quarter of a million words – yet most of us use less than 10% of those! As a result, we often use inappropriate or unclear words – and hope the receiver is on the same wavelength as we are!  It isn’t necessary to use long words, or more words than necessary – just use the right words.

Lack of clarity is often associated with articulation, as the way we chose to articulate our words and what we want to say can be the difference in whether we are understood or not. Articulation requires us to choose words that will make sense to the receiver and that we can say clearly – as mispronunciation can cause ambiguity and mixed messages.

Premature Evaluation

… or jumping to conclusions! You think you know what’s coming next…. so don’t bother listening to the rest of the message.

Not Speaking Clearly (Articulation)

What doesn’t work when communicating…? mumbling…….bumbling……whispering…speaking to the floor….!! “It’s not what you say but the way that you say it…”  It doesn’t matter how interesting your message is, if you don’t project a clear voice, in the direction of the ‘audience’, how will they even hear what is said, let alone understand it?!

Language problems (word choice)

People who do not share the same first language often experience difficulties in communicating – both verbally and in writing.  When speaking your native language, you probably speak with a particular accent, use jargon or slang or confusing expressions… which can sometimes mean the opposite of what you mean!

Tone of Voice

Even your voice tone can imply something different when speaking to other native speakers of your language – and voice tone often doesn’t translate easily!  We use voice tone to convey attitudes and feelings outside the meaning of the words – to express sarcasm, irony, love, fear, dislike etc.

Non-verbal Communication

Often what we don’t say can cause barriers, especially between cultures. Some gestures have different meanings in different cultures.  For example, in some cultures it is polite to belch loudly after a meal to show appreciation, whereas in other cultures, this would be considered very rude. Pointing and spitting are acceptable in some cultures, and not in others. In the PacificIslands it is considered very rude to sit on a desk or table, whereas in other parts of the world it wouldn’t be an issue.

Lack of eye contact is another area that can create barriers in communication.  Different cultures have different customs regarding eye contact.  Most western cultures regard eye contact positively during conversation and will think a person is rather suspicious or rude  if they show reluctance in maintaining eye contact.  However in other cultures it can be considered extremely rude and arrogant if you continue eye contact while conversing.

Emotions

Emotions often act as communication barriers. When we feel intensely, whether it be love, hate, fear, anger… we can’t communicate well!  Emotions block out the rational and logical side of our brain therefore stopping us from evaluating and interpreting messages clearly.

Cultural DifferencesEffective  Intercultural Communication

Mistrust and prejudice often affect the communications between cultures. When people of different colour, culture or language interact with one another, there may be an undercurrent of antagonism or suspicion.

When people from different cultures interact – they may each follow different rules of communication – rules that are often unknown to others in the communication.  This can result in unintentional insult, inaccurate judgments, and a range of other miscommunications.  In the same way, communication techniques that work well to members of one culture may prove disturbing or offensive to members of another.

Stereotyping

How often have you heard remarks like “Young people nowadays, they’re so selfish/loud/rude….etc..”…?  This is a standard ‘ stereotypical behaviour – where a group of people (often an entire nation!) are judged by the behaviours of a few, and you may well end up treated in a particular way as a result of your age, nationality, appearance or other factors. We tend to approve or disapprove of other people based on our own views and experiences – and this can have a major impact on our interpersonal communication.

Physical Differences

A range of physical barriers exist that can be major causes of misunderstandings or communication breakdowns. Examples include:

  • noise from machinery or people
  • poor eyesight or hearing
  • tiredness
  • poor ventilation
  • stress
  • literacy problems (reading or writing)

Age Differencestravel agent_UK pic

An age difference is a major cause of communication difficulties within families. Interests and activities of different age groups don’t always mix! The social conventions of a particular generation may be different to another generation – and anyone who does not follow the ‘rules’ or conventions are considered ‘in the wrong’.  Parents have difficulty communicating with their children because a child cannot share the parental experience – while the parent may have forgotten what it’s like to be a child!

Organisational Differences

Within organisations there may be levels of ‘hierarchy’ where people work alongside each other at different levels of authority, for example, Managing Director, Manager, Supervisor, Clerk, Office Junior. Often – people at different levels may experience difficulties in having good effective communication – as their status and role in the organisation is so different.

Organisations often create communications barriers themselves – the way that information is circulated or how processes are managed can cause this.  Excessive paperwork, secrecy, unnecessary rules and regulations often create barriers and misunderstandings.

It’s clear from the above list that communication barriers can be set up all too easily – and that gaining rapport and achieving smooth relationships can be quite tricky!

How often are relationships in the work or home setting affected because people don’t seem to really hear what others are saying?

And how often are decisions made because of what people thought they heard instead what was really said?

Cruise Training Online – The Communication ‘Cake’

The Communication Cake

When people use spoken languages to communicate they don’t just listen to what is said in order to understand the message. They also look at the person who is speaking to see what their body is doing, and listen to the way they are saying the words. This helps them understand the full message.

Studies tell us that the percentage of understanding that is gained from the spoken word is considerably less than the meaning that people gain from listening to a person’s tone of voice and looking at their non-verbal communication.Cartoon angry person

Choosing the right words

Often the ideas we have in our mind can not be easily put into words.  They include feelings and attitudes which may not be easy for others to understand.  We all know how difficult it is to talk to someone who doesn’t know our language, but it’s just as difficult when the people we are talking to interpret our words differently.

Consider the problems when someone:

  • uses jargon or technical terms we do not know
  • uses words we don’t know
  • uses slang or swearing which we don’t like

Words are far more than just a dictionary meaning.  They are a wealth of meaning and layers of feeling built into them.

We also use different layers of language for different situations.  Our casual slang may be OK for the pub or club – but you may find yourself in trouble if you were to use it with an airline passenger or your boss at work! This chart insert popup? Shows that language ranges from very formal through to very casual, with everything in between.

 

Language Style: Words Used:
Very Formal What progress are you making with the project?
Moderately Formal Is everything going well?
Fairly Informal How is it going?
Very Casual Whatya up to?

When you are deciding what language style to use to communicate with you should consider four key questions:

The formality of the situation? A job interview, for example, requires at least moderately formal, and maybe very formal if it is a panel interview for a senior position. A lunch with a colleague would almost certainly be fairly informal or even casual, depending on how well you know the other person.

How well do you know the receiver? As mentioned above, the language style you choose to communicate with depends a lot on your relationship with the other person. You can be very informal with friends, but if you’re meeting your boyfriend/girlfriend’s mother for the first time you will almost certainly start of moderately formal until you know her better.

What will the other person be comfortable with? Some people make it clear from the beginning that they are an informal friendly person who wants to be known by his first name, enjoys a laugh, and may even want to give you a warm hug when you leave. Other people prefer to stay more formal until they know you better, so don’t rush this and allow the communication to unfold before you start lapsing into casual communications with a new person.

The sensitivity of the message? Some communications are more sensitive than others, such as discussions around lack of performance in a job, ill health or bereavement, problems in the home or workplace. Most of this type of communication requires at least a moderately formal style, out of respect, and professionalism. This is not the place for casual chats.

As a member of a cruise ship staff, when dealing with passengers you should always assume a moderately formal style. Passengers are always ‘Sir’ and ‘Madam’. Social etiquette should be followed, such as the use of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ frequently, accompanied with a warm smile and eye contact. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some friendly chat with passengers, always remember that you are providing a service to them, and must retain your professionalism.Beautiful flight attendant or stewardess talking on intercom

Try to avoid using jargon that passengers may not know, and never use slang words or ‘street’ language – it’s just not professional, Rude or offensive language of course is an absolute ‘no no’ in any workplace, particular working for an airlines.

As the speaker you have the responsibility to get your message across in as clear as way as you can so that the receiver understands it in the way you meant it.   If others don’t understand what you are saying – don’t just repeat it again, or even worse, say it louder!

If you find yourselves having to repeat yourself, or in confused situations because the other person didn’t understand you, try not to blame the receiver of the message! Remember that you have 50% of the responsibility to ensure that the communication goes well, and the first thing to do is evaluate how well you communicated your message.

Did you use the right words? Ones which the other person would understand? Did you speak clearly, establishing eye contact where possible, and what about your voice tone?

Often when we have a problem with our communication it is often because we have not stopped to think about what we want to say or how we want to say it.  Nor have we stopped to think about whether the other person has heard what we intended to say.

Thinking about how to structure your message using words, ideas and language that the other person is likely to understand helps to avoid misunderstanding.  It’s best to not just open your mouth and let words fall out! Spending a moment or two thinking before you speak, particularly in work based situations, is time well spent. As we think much faster than we speak we all have spare ‘thinking time’ to prepare what we are going to say and if we use that time well we will have fewer misunderstandings along the way.

Take care to select words which will:

  • convey the exact meaning
  • indicate the appropriate emotion
  • suggest the appropriate level of intensity
  • suit the formality level of the situation
  • be understood and accepted

Voice Tone and Clarity

Even when we have chosen the words carefully we may still fine that our message is not understood in the way that we had hoped.

When this happens it’s worth thinking about one of the other aspects of verbal communication: voice tone

Your tone of voice may say more than the actual words you use. This important feature of everyday speech is so powerful that it can make or break a communication, so it’s worth learning a little about it.

We all have the ability to adjust the tone of our voice to suit the moment as voice tone is very useful in expressing emotions. For example curt, harsh, loud words can illustrate anger. Soft, murmuring, soothing tones can express pleasure. Tone is also used in other ways, to indicate the end of a sentence or message (lowering the tone), or indicating a question (raising the tone). The kiwi accent is known for its rising tone at the end of sentences, suggesting a constant round of questions!

Voice tone includes a number of other factors:

Pitch: This relates to the sound of your voice, such as a very high shrieky voice or low voice. Voice pitch can be changed through training and practice, for example if you have a very high voice you can work on lowering it so it sounds more imposing and authoritative.

Cartoon lady animated voice

Volume: How loud you speak influences your message significantly, and we all know how shouting, for example, changes the way in which a message is received. Speaking too softly can also affect how a communication is received, particularly if the receiver can’t hear you, but speaking softly can also be very powerful as others have to listen very actively to your message.

The effects of voice tone are significant. People develop much of their perception of you based purely on your tone of voice. If your tone is clear and strong they will think of you as confident. People who speak hesitantly in a soft voice tone are often considered weak or shy. People who speak with no inflection at all, with little variation in voice tone, are often thought of as boring or dull.

A good test of the power of voice tone is to try it out on a dog! Speak to him in a loud, angry tone, saying the words ‘Good dog!’ and he’ll usually cower and look sad, even though you’re actually giving him a compliment. Change your tone to a soothing, happy, upbeat tone and say ‘Bad dog!’ and he’ll wag his tail and look excited and happy! He doesn’t understand the words, just the voice tone, and responds almost totally to that alone.

The good news is that whatever your voice, your tone can be worked on and changed. If you’re not sure how you sound why not record your voice using your phone, camera or other device, play it back and see what you think? Play it to family members and friends and ask them what message they get from your usual voice tone? If you’re not happy with it, work on changing it, record it again and compare it with your original recording. Most actors, TV presenters, singers and others in public life have worked on making their voice better, so why not you!

Barriers To Communication

Despite all your best efforts at communicating effectively there may still be problems with getting your message across! These problems are described as ‘interference’ in the Communications Model, and are collectively known as ‘Barriers to Communication’

Barriers to communication exist at both the sending and receiving stages of a communication. Let’s look at some of the most frequent barriers that exist in the workplace:

Not Listening Actively

Inattention (not listening!) accounts for much of the problem!  There is a huge difference between listening and hearing – hearing is a physiological process (“I have ears, I can hear”), whereas active listening requires real effort. Competition for attention from everything else going on around us makes it extremely difficult to concentrate solely on listening to what’s being said, and most of us are pretty good at pretending to listen whilst thinking about/doing/looking at something else!

Personal barriers

Often if we have a headache, or are feeling tired or unwell, we may find it difficult to communicate effectively with others.  From time to time we even encounter someone that we really don’t like, and that too can create a personal barrier in our ability to communicate effectively.

Lack of Interest

If you have no interest in what is being said -boredom sets in pretty quickly!

Lack of Clarity

Communicating ambiguously (double meanings), or using unclear meanings will result in confusion all round! If you choose the wrong words, or use words which even you don’t understand, there’s a high chance that the receiver will struggle to understand clearly what you’re saying.  The Oxford English Dictionary has over a quarter of a million words – yet most of us use less than 10% of those! As a result, we often use inappropriate or unclear words – and hope the receiver is on the same wavelength as we are!  It isn’t necessary to use long words, or more words than necessary – just use the right words.

Lack of clarity is often associated with articulation, as the way we chose to articulate our words and what we want to say can be the difference in whether we are understood or not. Articulation requires us to choose words that will make sense to the receiver and that we can say clearly – as mispronunciation can cause ambiguity and mixed messages.

Premature Evaluation

… or jumping to conclusions! You think you know what’s coming next…. so don’t bother listening to the rest of the message.

Not Speaking Clearly (Articulation)

What doesn’t work when communicating…? mumbling…….bumbling……whispering…speaking to the floor….!! “It’s not what you say but the way that you say it…”  It doesn’t matter how interesting your message is, if you don’t project a clear voice, in the direction of the ‘audience’, how will they even hear what is said, let alone understand it?!

Language problems (word choice)

People who do not share the same first language often experience difficulties in communicating – both verbally and in writing.  When speaking your native language, you probably speak with a particular accent, use jargon or slang or confusing expressions… which can sometimes mean the opposite of what you mean!

Tone of Voice

Even your voice tone can imply something different when speaking to other native speakers of your language – and voice tone often doesn’t translate easily!  We use voice tone to convey attitudes and feelings outside the meaning of the words – to express sarcasm, irony, love, fear, dislike etc.

Non-verbal Communication

Often what we don’t say can cause barriers, especially between cultures. Some gestures have different meanings in different cultures.  For example, in some cultures it is polite to belch loudly after a meal to show appreciation, whereas in other cultures, this would be considered very rude. Pointing and spitting are acceptable in some cultures, and not in others. In the PacificIslands it is considered very rude to sit on a desk or table, whereas in other parts of the world it wouldn’t be an issue.

Lack of eye contact is another area that can create barriers in communication.  Different cultures have different customs regarding eye contact.  Most western cultures regard eye contact positively during conversation and will think a person is rather suspicious or rude  if they show reluctance in maintaining eye contact.  However in other cultures it can be considered extremely rude and arrogant if you continue eye contact while conversing.

Emotions

Emotions often act as communication barriers. When we feel intensely, whether it be love, hate, fear, anger… we can’t communicate well!  Emotions block out the rational and logical side of our brain therefore stopping us from evaluating and interpreting messages clearly.

Cultural DifferencesEffective  Intercultural Communication

Mistrust and prejudice often affect the communications between cultures. When people of different colour, culture or language interact with one another, there may be an undercurrent of antagonism or suspicion.

When people from different cultures interact – they may each follow different rules of communication – rules that are often unknown to others in the communication.  This can result in unintentional insult, inaccurate judgments, and a range of other miscommunications.  In the same way, communication techniques that work well to members of one culture may prove disturbing or offensive to members of another.

Stereotyping

How often have you heard remarks like “Young people nowadays, they’re so selfish/loud/rude….etc..”…?  This is a standard ‘ stereotypical behaviour – where a group of people (often an entire nation!) are judged by the behaviours of a few, and you may well end up treated in a particular way as a result of your age, nationality, appearance or other factors. We tend to approve or disapprove of other people based on our own views and experiences – and this can have a major impact on our interpersonal communication.

Physical Differences

A range of physical barriers exist that can be major causes of misunderstandings or communication breakdowns. Examples include:

  • noise from machinery or people
  • poor eyesight or hearing
  • tiredness
  • poor ventilation
  • stress
  • literacy problems (reading or writing)

Age Differencestravel agent_UK pic

An age difference is a major cause of communication difficulties within families. Interests and activities of different age groups don’t always mix! The social conventions of a particular generation may be different to another generation – and anyone who does not follow the ‘rules’ or conventions are considered ‘in the wrong’.  Parents have difficulty communicating with their children because a child cannot share the parental experience – while the parent may have forgotten what it’s like to be a child!

Organisational Differences

Within organisations there may be levels of ‘hierarchy’ where people work alongside each other at different levels of authority, for example, Managing Director, Manager, Supervisor, Clerk, Office Junior. Often – people at different levels may experience difficulties in having good effective communication – as their status and role in the organisation is so different.

Organisations often create communications barriers themselves – the way that information is circulated or how processes are managed can cause this.  Excessive paperwork, secrecy, unnecessary rules and regulations often create barriers and misunderstandings.

It’s clear from the above list that communication barriers can be set up all too easily – and that gaining rapport and achieving smooth relationships can be quite tricky!

How often are relationships in the work or home setting affected because people don’t seem to really hear what others are saying?

And how often are decisions made because of what people thought they heard instead what was really said?

Cruise Training Online – The Communication ‘Cake’

The Communication Cake

When people use spoken languages to communicate they don’t just listen to what is said in order to understand the message. They also look at the person who is speaking to see what their body is doing, and listen to the way they are saying the words. This helps them understand the full message.

Studies tell us that the percentage of understanding that is gained from the spoken word is considerably less than the meaning that people gain from listening to a person’s tone of voice and looking at their non-verbal communication.Cartoon angry person

Choosing the right words

Often the ideas we have in our mind can not be easily put into words.  They include feelings and attitudes which may not be easy for others to understand.  We all know how difficult it is to talk to someone who doesn’t know our language, but it’s just as difficult when the people we are talking to interpret our words differently.

Consider the problems when someone:

  • uses jargon or technical terms we do not know
  • uses words we don’t know
  • uses slang or swearing which we don’t like

Words are far more than just a dictionary meaning.  They are a wealth of meaning and layers of feeling built into them.

We also use different layers of language for different situations.  Our casual slang may be OK for the pub or club – but you may find yourself in trouble if you were to use it with an airline passenger or your boss at work! This chart insert popup? Shows that language ranges from very formal through to very casual, with everything in between.

 

Language Style: Words Used:
Very Formal What progress are you making with the project?
Moderately Formal Is everything going well?
Fairly Informal How is it going?
Very Casual Whatya up to?

When you are deciding what language style to use to communicate with you should consider four key questions:

The formality of the situation? A job interview, for example, requires at least moderately formal, and maybe very formal if it is a panel interview for a senior position. A lunch with a colleague would almost certainly be fairly informal or even casual, depending on how well you know the other person.

How well do you know the receiver? As mentioned above, the language style you choose to communicate with depends a lot on your relationship with the other person. You can be very informal with friends, but if you’re meeting your boyfriend/girlfriend’s mother for the first time you will almost certainly start of moderately formal until you know her better.

What will the other person be comfortable with? Some people make it clear from the beginning that they are an informal friendly person who wants to be known by his first name, enjoys a laugh, and may even want to give you a warm hug when you leave. Other people prefer to stay more formal until they know you better, so don’t rush this and allow the communication to unfold before you start lapsing into casual communications with a new person.

The sensitivity of the message? Some communications are more sensitive than others, such as discussions around lack of performance in a job, ill health or bereavement, problems in the home or workplace. Most of this type of communication requires at least a moderately formal style, out of respect, and professionalism. This is not the place for casual chats.

As a member of a cruise ship staff, when dealing with passengers you should always assume a moderately formal style. Passengers are always ‘Sir’ and ‘Madam’. Social etiquette should be followed, such as the use of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ frequently, accompanied with a warm smile and eye contact. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some friendly chat with passengers, always remember that you are providing a service to them, and must retain your professionalism.Beautiful flight attendant or stewardess talking on intercom

Try to avoid using jargon that passengers may not know, and never use slang words or ‘street’ language – it’s just not professional, Rude or offensive language of course is an absolute ‘no no’ in any workplace, particular working for an airlines.

As the speaker you have the responsibility to get your message across in as clear as way as you can so that the receiver understands it in the way you meant it.   If others don’t understand what you are saying – don’t just repeat it again, or even worse, say it louder!

If you find yourselves having to repeat yourself, or in confused situations because the other person didn’t understand you, try not to blame the receiver of the message! Remember that you have 50% of the responsibility to ensure that the communication goes well, and the first thing to do is evaluate how well you communicated your message.

Did you use the right words? Ones which the other person would understand? Did you speak clearly, establishing eye contact where possible, and what about your voice tone?

Often when we have a problem with our communication it is often because we have not stopped to think about what we want to say or how we want to say it.  Nor have we stopped to think about whether the other person has heard what we intended to say.

Thinking about how to structure your message using words, ideas and language that the other person is likely to understand helps to avoid misunderstanding.  It’s best to not just open your mouth and let words fall out! Spending a moment or two thinking before you speak, particularly in work based situations, is time well spent. As we think much faster than we speak we all have spare ‘thinking time’ to prepare what we are going to say and if we use that time well we will have fewer misunderstandings along the way.

Take care to select words which will:

  • convey the exact meaning
  • indicate the appropriate emotion
  • suggest the appropriate level of intensity
  • suit the formality level of the situation
  • be understood and accepted

Voice Tone and Clarity

Even when we have chosen the words carefully we may still fine that our message is not understood in the way that we had hoped.

When this happens it’s worth thinking about one of the other aspects of verbal communication: voice tone

Your tone of voice may say more than the actual words you use. This important feature of everyday speech is so powerful that it can make or break a communication, so it’s worth learning a little about it.

We all have the ability to adjust the tone of our voice to suit the moment as voice tone is very useful in expressing emotions. For example curt, harsh, loud words can illustrate anger. Soft, murmuring, soothing tones can express pleasure. Tone is also used in other ways, to indicate the end of a sentence or message (lowering the tone), or indicating a question (raising the tone). The kiwi accent is known for its rising tone at the end of sentences, suggesting a constant round of questions!

Voice tone includes a number of other factors:

Pitch: This relates to the sound of your voice, such as a very high shrieky voice or low voice. Voice pitch can be changed through training and practice, for example if you have a very high voice you can work on lowering it so it sounds more imposing and authoritative.

Cartoon lady animated voice

Volume: How loud you speak influences your message significantly, and we all know how shouting, for example, changes the way in which a message is received. Speaking too softly can also affect how a communication is received, particularly if the receiver can’t hear you, but speaking softly can also be very powerful as others have to listen very actively to your message.

The effects of voice tone are significant. People develop much of their perception of you based purely on your tone of voice. If your tone is clear and strong they will think of you as confident. People who speak hesitantly in a soft voice tone are often considered weak or shy. People who speak with no inflection at all, with little variation in voice tone, are often thought of as boring or dull.

A good test of the power of voice tone is to try it out on a dog! Speak to him in a loud, angry tone, saying the words ‘Good dog!’ and he’ll usually cower and look sad, even though you’re actually giving him a compliment. Change your tone to a soothing, happy, upbeat tone and say ‘Bad dog!’ and he’ll wag his tail and look excited and happy! He doesn’t understand the words, just the voice tone, and responds almost totally to that alone.

The good news is that whatever your voice, your tone can be worked on and changed. If you’re not sure how you sound why not record your voice using your phone, camera or other device, play it back and see what you think? Play it to family members and friends and ask them what message they get from your usual voice tone? If you’re not happy with it, work on changing it, record it again and compare it with your original recording. Most actors, TV presenters, singers and others in public life have worked on making their voice better, so why not you!

Barriers To Communication

Despite all your best efforts at communicating effectively there may still be problems with getting your message across! These problems are described as ‘interference’ in the Communications Model, and are collectively known as ‘Barriers to Communication’

Barriers to communication exist at both the sending and receiving stages of a communication. Let’s look at some of the most frequent barriers that exist in the workplace:

Not Listening Actively

Inattention (not listening!) accounts for much of the problem!  There is a huge difference between listening and hearing – hearing is a physiological process (“I have ears, I can hear”), whereas active listening requires real effort. Competition for attention from everything else going on around us makes it extremely difficult to concentrate solely on listening to what’s being said, and most of us are pretty good at pretending to listen whilst thinking about/doing/looking at something else!

Personal barriers

Often if we have a headache, or are feeling tired or unwell, we may find it difficult to communicate effectively with others.  From time to time we even encounter someone that we really don’t like, and that too can create a personal barrier in our ability to communicate effectively.

Lack of Interest

If you have no interest in what is being said -boredom sets in pretty quickly!

Lack of Clarity

Communicating ambiguously (double meanings), or using unclear meanings will result in confusion all round! If you choose the wrong words, or use words which even you don’t understand, there’s a high chance that the receiver will struggle to understand clearly what you’re saying.  The Oxford English Dictionary has over a quarter of a million words – yet most of us use less than 10% of those! As a result, we often use inappropriate or unclear words – and hope the receiver is on the same wavelength as we are!  It isn’t necessary to use long words, or more words than necessary – just use the right words.

Lack of clarity is often associated with articulation, as the way we chose to articulate our words and what we want to say can be the difference in whether we are understood or not. Articulation requires us to choose words that will make sense to the receiver and that we can say clearly – as mispronunciation can cause ambiguity and mixed messages.

Premature Evaluation

… or jumping to conclusions! You think you know what’s coming next…. so don’t bother listening to the rest of the message.

Not Speaking Clearly (Articulation)

What doesn’t work when communicating…? mumbling…….bumbling……whispering…speaking to the floor….!! “It’s not what you say but the way that you say it…”  It doesn’t matter how interesting your message is, if you don’t project a clear voice, in the direction of the ‘audience’, how will they even hear what is said, let alone understand it?!

Language problems (word choice)

People who do not share the same first language often experience difficulties in communicating – both verbally and in writing.  When speaking your native language, you probably speak with a particular accent, use jargon or slang or confusing expressions… which can sometimes mean the opposite of what you mean!

Tone of Voice

Even your voice tone can imply something different when speaking to other native speakers of your language – and voice tone often doesn’t translate easily!  We use voice tone to convey attitudes and feelings outside the meaning of the words – to express sarcasm, irony, love, fear, dislike etc.

Non-verbal Communication

Often what we don’t say can cause barriers, especially between cultures. Some gestures have different meanings in different cultures.  For example, in some cultures it is polite to belch loudly after a meal to show appreciation, whereas in other cultures, this would be considered very rude. Pointing and spitting are acceptable in some cultures, and not in others. In the PacificIslands it is considered very rude to sit on a desk or table, whereas in other parts of the world it wouldn’t be an issue.

Lack of eye contact is another area that can create barriers in communication.  Different cultures have different customs regarding eye contact.  Most western cultures regard eye contact positively during conversation and will think a person is rather suspicious or rude  if they show reluctance in maintaining eye contact.  However in other cultures it can be considered extremely rude and arrogant if you continue eye contact while conversing.

Emotions

Emotions often act as communication barriers. When we feel intensely, whether it be love, hate, fear, anger… we can’t communicate well!  Emotions block out the rational and logical side of our brain therefore stopping us from evaluating and interpreting messages clearly.

Cultural DifferencesEffective  Intercultural Communication

Mistrust and prejudice often affect the communications between cultures. When people of different colour, culture or language interact with one another, there may be an undercurrent of antagonism or suspicion.

When people from different cultures interact – they may each follow different rules of communication – rules that are often unknown to others in the communication.  This can result in unintentional insult, inaccurate judgments, and a range of other miscommunications.  In the same way, communication techniques that work well to members of one culture may prove disturbing or offensive to members of another.

Stereotyping

How often have you heard remarks like “Young people nowadays, they’re so selfish/loud/rude….etc..”…?  This is a standard ‘ stereotypical behaviour – where a group of people (often an entire nation!) are judged by the behaviours of a few, and you may well end up treated in a particular way as a result of your age, nationality, appearance or other factors. We tend to approve or disapprove of other people based on our own views and experiences – and this can have a major impact on our interpersonal communication.

Physical Differences

A range of physical barriers exist that can be major causes of misunderstandings or communication breakdowns. Examples include:

  • noise from machinery or people
  • poor eyesight or hearing
  • tiredness
  • poor ventilation
  • stress
  • literacy problems (reading or writing)

Age Differencestravel agent_UK pic

An age difference is a major cause of communication difficulties within families. Interests and activities of different age groups don’t always mix! The social conventions of a particular generation may be different to another generation – and anyone who does not follow the ‘rules’ or conventions are considered ‘in the wrong’.  Parents have difficulty communicating with their children because a child cannot share the parental experience – while the parent may have forgotten what it’s like to be a child!

Organisational Differences

Within organisations there may be levels of ‘hierarchy’ where people work alongside each other at different levels of authority, for example, Managing Director, Manager, Supervisor, Clerk, Office Junior. Often – people at different levels may experience difficulties in having good effective communication – as their status and role in the organisation is so different.

Organisations often create communications barriers themselves – the way that information is circulated or how processes are managed can cause this.  Excessive paperwork, secrecy, unnecessary rules and regulations often create barriers and misunderstandings.

It’s clear from the above list that communication barriers can be set up all too easily – and that gaining rapport and achieving smooth relationships can be quite tricky!

How often are relationships in the work or home setting affected because people don’t seem to really hear what others are saying?

And how often are decisions made because of what people thought they heard instead what was really said?

Cruise Training Online – Terminology & Communication

CHAPTER SIX –  Cruise Terminology

Overview

As with many industries, and all travel products, a number of common terms and abbreviations are used that can seem confusing to the lay person! Many of these terms are historical terms related to shipping generally, and others to cruising in particular.

Cruise brochures are designed for the public and generally avoid heavy use of industry jargon, and cruise companies are becoming better and better at making the cruise lingo more user friendly!

In the cruise or travel workplace however you would be expected to know the most commonly used terms or abbreviations for this sector, especially if you are working directly for the cruise line or their representative.

In this Chapter you will learn the most commonly used terms and abbreviations related to cruising. Of course this terminology is for use with fellow industry people – not in your communication with your customers!

Learning Objectives:

On completion of this Chapter you will be able to:

  • Code  twenty most common cruise related abbreviations
  • Decode twenty most common cruise related terms

Terms and Abbreviations

The ‘Shipping Dictionary’ is the guide to all the terms and abbreviations you might need when working with cruise products.

Cruise Dictionary_A to D

 

Cruise Dictionary_ E to M

Cruise Dictionary_N to R

Cruise Dictionary_S to W

 

Read through the dictionaries and ensure that you understand each term or abbreviation.

As a general principal it’s useful to use shipping terminology whenever you are discussing or referring to ships. For example, no shipping person would ever describe the front of the ship as – well, the front! It is always known as the bow. (Pronounced bow as in taking a bow rather than bow as in bow tie!)

CHAPTER SEVEN –  Cruise Service Excellence

Overview

Cruise lines work hard at promoting levels of personal service and attention that are above those of land based hotels, restaurants etc. As a result cruise passengers have high expectations of service on board their ship and staff working for cruise lines are trained in delivering the kind of excellence that suits both the ship and the cruise line.

A number of shipping lines operate training ‘schools’ or academies where all newly Team Work at ITCrecruited staff are trained prior to being assigned to a particular ship. Others operate on-board training, matching newly recruited staff with experienced staff who will pass on the required standards and ‘house style’ of the cruise line.

Whatever role you take on the care of passengers is paramount, and going the extra mile is the norm in the cruise world.

During this Chapter you will learn how to deliver service that is not just good but excellent, and will develop an appreciation of the kind of qualities and attention to detail that recruiters and cruise lines are looking for when they employ new staff for work on board cruise ships.

Most importantly this Chapter will help you to understand what YOU, as a member of a cruise line, can do to deliver excellent customer service consistently, ensuring your employment and career promotion along the way.

Remember that anybody can deliver ordinary customer service, it takes skill to rise above that and to be excellent!

Learning Objectives:

On completion of this Chapter you will be able to:

  • Recommend appropriate actions to ensure optimum passenger satisfaction with service delivery
  • Identify a problem solving model
  • Identify key principles of effective communication
  • Identify the impact of body language on communications effectiveness

 Introduction

When employers are asked, ‘What is the most important quality or skill that you look for when employing new staff?’ guess what their answer is?

“Good communication skills!”

It is THE most important skill to develop for success – not only in the cruise business but in all service industries where you deal with people.

The aim of this Chapter is to help you achieve success – not just at work, but at home, with friends, family – with EVERYBODY that you deal with!

Have you every wondered why it is that we get on so well with some people – and not others? How is it that some people seem popular and others not?  What is that causes us to feel so hurt or angry or annoyed with people and how can we better manage some of those feelings?

Cartoon two people communicating

And for success in the workplace – how can we work towards delivering quality service not just to customers, but also to colleagues and workmates? How can we ensure that we make the most of every day?

This Chapter is about developing a quality approach to PEOPLE – one which will bring it’s own rewards, where you will learn to demonstrate the type of communication and attitudes that you would like to receive, where ‘winning’ is a two way process.

Cruise lines are competitive places, and we will help you develop communication skills that will make you stand out above others. To reach that standard you will need to work on the ‘underpinning’ attitudes that will help you achieve success – a positive attitude, a ‘can do’ approach, and a willingness to participate in new and different things.

Communication Skills

In order for us to understand HOW to communicate – it is important to be clear about WHAT communication is, how it works – and why it sometimes doesn’t!

Communication is a two-way activity…. and cannot take place if there is no-body to communicate with!  Just as an actor needs an audience, a teacher needs students; a customer service professional needs customers!!

Customers are called many things, and in the cruise industry they are usually referred to as passengers or guests, but they are customers just the same!

Communication works by messages travelling between a Sender and a Receiver – with both parties swapping roles constantly. The process is dynamic (constantly changing) and circular – with no real beginnings and no endings.

There are many definitions of communication – let’s look at a simple and clear definition:

“Communication is the transmission from one person to another of a message which is understood by the receiver in the way the sender intended”

Did you notice that effective communication consists of both SENDING clear messages and giving FEEDBACK?

Both people in any communicated have shared responsibility for ensuring clear and effective two-way communication.

The emphasis is on ‘shared responsibility’ – if you don’t understand something, or you have a communication breakdown, don’t blame the other person – you are both involved in the communication together!

“..you each have 50% responsibility for the success or failure of the communication”

Communication Model

Communications Model_v1_3

Click here to see a typical Communications Model that explains visually how the communication process works.

The process begins with the Sender, who has a message to communicate.  The sender makes a decision about which channel to use, such as letter, e-mail, telephone, or by speaking directly to the person or people. Choice of channel is important.  How you communicate your message is as important as what you say!

e.g. If you wanted to end a personal relationship, would you send the person an email, txt or fax?  Would you speak to the person in front of other people in public? Or would it be better to speak personally to the individual in private?

Messages often become distorted or confused during the communication process and this distortion is known as ‘Interference.’  Interference is anything that prevents the message from being received in the way the sender intended.

Most people retain only about 20% of what they hear, so we also need to recognize that people will probably forget most of what we tell them anyway!

When the Receiver gets the message, they process the information mentally, and develop an understanding of what was meant.  Sometimes the understanding of the receiver is very different from the understanding of the sender!  Life is full of conversations which start with ‘Don’t get me wrong but’….. or ‘Don’t take this the wrong way….’.  These sayings are used because we know in advance that what we are about to say could be misunderstood!

Because of the importance of checking our understanding in effective communication, the receiver will offer feedback to the sender, checking and testing understanding, making sure that they are clear on what has been said.

Feedback represents a unique form of message – sent in response to other messages – and like other messages, can take many forms: a frown, a smile, a shake or nod of the head, a punch in the mouth – these are all forms of feedback!  Feedback tells you how your communication is being received, how well it is being understood – or not.  Effectiveness in communicating with others depends greatly on your ability to give and receive appropriate feedback.

The feedback is transmitted back to the sender.  This feedback is also subject to interference. Interference could include noise, language problems, geographical distance, or many other causes. These interferences are known as “Barriers to Communication” – things that get in the way and stop us from communicating effectively. To increase our chances for successful communication we need to identify what the barriers could be, and try to eliminate them.Communications barrier graphic

Once the sender has given some feedback, the communications cycle is complete! The sender who started the whole process receives a message back from the receiver, and the cycle continues as they now decode the message they are receiving, develop an understanding, and give feedback.

Cruise Training Online – Terminology & Communication

CHAPTER SIX –  Cruise Terminology

Overview

As with many industries, and all travel products, a number of common terms and abbreviations are used that can seem confusing to the lay person! Many of these terms are historical terms related to shipping generally, and others to cruising in particular.

Cruise brochures are designed for the public and generally avoid heavy use of industry jargon, and cruise companies are becoming better and better at making the cruise lingo more user friendly!

In the cruise or travel workplace however you would be expected to know the most commonly used terms or abbreviations for this sector, especially if you are working directly for the cruise line or their representative.

In this Chapter you will learn the most commonly used terms and abbreviations related to cruising. Of course this terminology is for use with fellow industry people – not in your communication with your customers!

Learning Objectives:

On completion of this Chapter you will be able to:

  • Code  twenty most common cruise related abbreviations
  • Decode twenty most common cruise related terms

Terms and Abbreviations

The ‘Shipping Dictionary’ is the guide to all the terms and abbreviations you might need when working with cruise products.

Cruise Dictionary_A to D

 

Cruise Dictionary_ E to M

Cruise Dictionary_N to R

Cruise Dictionary_S to W

 

Read through the dictionaries and ensure that you understand each term or abbreviation.

As a general principal it’s useful to use shipping terminology whenever you are discussing or referring to ships. For example, no shipping person would ever describe the front of the ship as – well, the front! It is always known as the bow. (Pronounced bow as in taking a bow rather than bow as in bow tie!)

CHAPTER SEVEN –  Cruise Service Excellence

Overview

Cruise lines work hard at promoting levels of personal service and attention that are above those of land based hotels, restaurants etc. As a result cruise passengers have high expectations of service on board their ship and staff working for cruise lines are trained in delivering the kind of excellence that suits both the ship and the cruise line.

A number of shipping lines operate training ‘schools’ or academies where all newly Team Work at ITCrecruited staff are trained prior to being assigned to a particular ship. Others operate on-board training, matching newly recruited staff with experienced staff who will pass on the required standards and ‘house style’ of the cruise line.

Whatever role you take on the care of passengers is paramount, and going the extra mile is the norm in the cruise world.

During this Chapter you will learn how to deliver service that is not just good but excellent, and will develop an appreciation of the kind of qualities and attention to detail that recruiters and cruise lines are looking for when they employ new staff for work on board cruise ships.

Most importantly this Chapter will help you to understand what YOU, as a member of a cruise line, can do to deliver excellent customer service consistently, ensuring your employment and career promotion along the way.

Remember that anybody can deliver ordinary customer service, it takes skill to rise above that and to be excellent!

Learning Objectives:

On completion of this Chapter you will be able to:

  • Recommend appropriate actions to ensure optimum passenger satisfaction with service delivery
  • Identify a problem solving model
  • Identify key principles of effective communication
  • Identify the impact of body language on communications effectiveness

 Introduction

When employers are asked, ‘What is the most important quality or skill that you look for when employing new staff?’ guess what their answer is?

“Good communication skills!”

It is THE most important skill to develop for success – not only in the cruise business but in all service industries where you deal with people.

The aim of this Chapter is to help you achieve success – not just at work, but at home, with friends, family – with EVERYBODY that you deal with!

Have you every wondered why it is that we get on so well with some people – and not others? How is it that some people seem popular and others not?  What is that causes us to feel so hurt or angry or annoyed with people and how can we better manage some of those feelings?

Cartoon two people communicating

And for success in the workplace – how can we work towards delivering quality service not just to customers, but also to colleagues and workmates? How can we ensure that we make the most of every day?

This Chapter is about developing a quality approach to PEOPLE – one which will bring it’s own rewards, where you will learn to demonstrate the type of communication and attitudes that you would like to receive, where ‘winning’ is a two way process.

Cruise lines are competitive places, and we will help you develop communication skills that will make you stand out above others. To reach that standard you will need to work on the ‘underpinning’ attitudes that will help you achieve success – a positive attitude, a ‘can do’ approach, and a willingness to participate in new and different things.

Communication Skills

In order for us to understand HOW to communicate – it is important to be clear about WHAT communication is, how it works – and why it sometimes doesn’t!

Communication is a two-way activity…. and cannot take place if there is no-body to communicate with!  Just as an actor needs an audience, a teacher needs students; a customer service professional needs customers!!

Customers are called many things, and in the cruise industry they are usually referred to as passengers or guests, but they are customers just the same!

Communication works by messages travelling between a Sender and a Receiver – with both parties swapping roles constantly. The process is dynamic (constantly changing) and circular – with no real beginnings and no endings.

There are many definitions of communication – let’s look at a simple and clear definition:

“Communication is the transmission from one person to another of a message which is understood by the receiver in the way the sender intended”

Did you notice that effective communication consists of both SENDING clear messages and giving FEEDBACK?

Both people in any communicated have shared responsibility for ensuring clear and effective two-way communication.

The emphasis is on ‘shared responsibility’ – if you don’t understand something, or you have a communication breakdown, don’t blame the other person – you are both involved in the communication together!

“..you each have 50% responsibility for the success or failure of the communication”

Communication Model

Communications Model_v1_3

Click here to see a typical Communications Model that explains visually how the communication process works.

The process begins with the Sender, who has a message to communicate.  The sender makes a decision about which channel to use, such as letter, e-mail, telephone, or by speaking directly to the person or people. Choice of channel is important.  How you communicate your message is as important as what you say!

e.g. If you wanted to end a personal relationship, would you send the person an email, txt or fax?  Would you speak to the person in front of other people in public? Or would it be better to speak personally to the individual in private?

Messages often become distorted or confused during the communication process and this distortion is known as ‘Interference.’  Interference is anything that prevents the message from being received in the way the sender intended.

Most people retain only about 20% of what they hear, so we also need to recognize that people will probably forget most of what we tell them anyway!

When the Receiver gets the message, they process the information mentally, and develop an understanding of what was meant.  Sometimes the understanding of the receiver is very different from the understanding of the sender!  Life is full of conversations which start with ‘Don’t get me wrong but’….. or ‘Don’t take this the wrong way….’.  These sayings are used because we know in advance that what we are about to say could be misunderstood!

Because of the importance of checking our understanding in effective communication, the receiver will offer feedback to the sender, checking and testing understanding, making sure that they are clear on what has been said.

Feedback represents a unique form of message – sent in response to other messages – and like other messages, can take many forms: a frown, a smile, a shake or nod of the head, a punch in the mouth – these are all forms of feedback!  Feedback tells you how your communication is being received, how well it is being understood – or not.  Effectiveness in communicating with others depends greatly on your ability to give and receive appropriate feedback.

The feedback is transmitted back to the sender.  This feedback is also subject to interference. Interference could include noise, language problems, geographical distance, or many other causes. These interferences are known as “Barriers to Communication” – things that get in the way and stop us from communicating effectively. To increase our chances for successful communication we need to identify what the barriers could be, and try to eliminate them.Communications barrier graphic

Once the sender has given some feedback, the communications cycle is complete! The sender who started the whole process receives a message back from the receiver, and the cycle continues as they now decode the message they are receiving, develop an understanding, and give feedback.

Cruise Training Online – Terminology & Communication

CHAPTER SIX –  Cruise Terminology

Overview

As with many industries, and all travel products, a number of common terms and abbreviations are used that can seem confusing to the lay person! Many of these terms are historical terms related to shipping generally, and others to cruising in particular.

Cruise brochures are designed for the public and generally avoid heavy use of industry jargon, and cruise companies are becoming better and better at making the cruise lingo more user friendly!

In the cruise or travel workplace however you would be expected to know the most commonly used terms or abbreviations for this sector, especially if you are working directly for the cruise line or their representative.

In this Chapter you will learn the most commonly used terms and abbreviations related to cruising. Of course this terminology is for use with fellow industry people – not in your communication with your customers!

Learning Objectives:

On completion of this Chapter you will be able to:

  • Code  twenty most common cruise related abbreviations
  • Decode twenty most common cruise related terms

Terms and Abbreviations

The ‘Shipping Dictionary’ is the guide to all the terms and abbreviations you might need when working with cruise products.

Cruise Dictionary_A to D

 

Cruise Dictionary_ E to M

Cruise Dictionary_N to R

Cruise Dictionary_S to W

 

Read through the dictionaries and ensure that you understand each term or abbreviation.

As a general principal it’s useful to use shipping terminology whenever you are discussing or referring to ships. For example, no shipping person would ever describe the front of the ship as – well, the front! It is always known as the bow. (Pronounced bow as in taking a bow rather than bow as in bow tie!)

CHAPTER SEVEN –  Cruise Service Excellence

Overview

Cruise lines work hard at promoting levels of personal service and attention that are above those of land based hotels, restaurants etc. As a result cruise passengers have high expectations of service on board their ship and staff working for cruise lines are trained in delivering the kind of excellence that suits both the ship and the cruise line.

A number of shipping lines operate training ‘schools’ or academies where all newly Team Work at ITCrecruited staff are trained prior to being assigned to a particular ship. Others operate on-board training, matching newly recruited staff with experienced staff who will pass on the required standards and ‘house style’ of the cruise line.

Whatever role you take on the care of passengers is paramount, and going the extra mile is the norm in the cruise world.

During this Chapter you will learn how to deliver service that is not just good but excellent, and will develop an appreciation of the kind of qualities and attention to detail that recruiters and cruise lines are looking for when they employ new staff for work on board cruise ships.

Most importantly this Chapter will help you to understand what YOU, as a member of a cruise line, can do to deliver excellent customer service consistently, ensuring your employment and career promotion along the way.

Remember that anybody can deliver ordinary customer service, it takes skill to rise above that and to be excellent!

Learning Objectives:

On completion of this Chapter you will be able to:

  • Recommend appropriate actions to ensure optimum passenger satisfaction with service delivery
  • Identify a problem solving model
  • Identify key principles of effective communication
  • Identify the impact of body language on communications effectiveness

 Introduction

When employers are asked, ‘What is the most important quality or skill that you look for when employing new staff?’ guess what their answer is?

“Good communication skills!”

It is THE most important skill to develop for success – not only in the cruise business but in all service industries where you deal with people.

The aim of this Chapter is to help you achieve success – not just at work, but at home, with friends, family – with EVERYBODY that you deal with!

Have you every wondered why it is that we get on so well with some people – and not others? How is it that some people seem popular and others not?  What is that causes us to feel so hurt or angry or annoyed with people and how can we better manage some of those feelings?

Cartoon two people communicating

And for success in the workplace – how can we work towards delivering quality service not just to customers, but also to colleagues and workmates? How can we ensure that we make the most of every day?

This Chapter is about developing a quality approach to PEOPLE – one which will bring it’s own rewards, where you will learn to demonstrate the type of communication and attitudes that you would like to receive, where ‘winning’ is a two way process.

Cruise lines are competitive places, and we will help you develop communication skills that will make you stand out above others. To reach that standard you will need to work on the ‘underpinning’ attitudes that will help you achieve success – a positive attitude, a ‘can do’ approach, and a willingness to participate in new and different things.

Communication Skills

In order for us to understand HOW to communicate – it is important to be clear about WHAT communication is, how it works – and why it sometimes doesn’t!

Communication is a two-way activity…. and cannot take place if there is no-body to communicate with!  Just as an actor needs an audience, a teacher needs students; a customer service professional needs customers!!

Customers are called many things, and in the cruise industry they are usually referred to as passengers or guests, but they are customers just the same!

Communication works by messages travelling between a Sender and a Receiver – with both parties swapping roles constantly. The process is dynamic (constantly changing) and circular – with no real beginnings and no endings.

There are many definitions of communication – let’s look at a simple and clear definition:

“Communication is the transmission from one person to another of a message which is understood by the receiver in the way the sender intended”

Did you notice that effective communication consists of both SENDING clear messages and giving FEEDBACK?

Both people in any communicated have shared responsibility for ensuring clear and effective two-way communication.

The emphasis is on ‘shared responsibility’ – if you don’t understand something, or you have a communication breakdown, don’t blame the other person – you are both involved in the communication together!

“..you each have 50% responsibility for the success or failure of the communication”

Communication Model

Communications Model_v1_3

Click here to see a typical Communications Model that explains visually how the communication process works.

The process begins with the Sender, who has a message to communicate.  The sender makes a decision about which channel to use, such as letter, e-mail, telephone, or by speaking directly to the person or people. Choice of channel is important.  How you communicate your message is as important as what you say!

e.g. If you wanted to end a personal relationship, would you send the person an email, txt or fax?  Would you speak to the person in front of other people in public? Or would it be better to speak personally to the individual in private?

Messages often become distorted or confused during the communication process and this distortion is known as ‘Interference.’  Interference is anything that prevents the message from being received in the way the sender intended.

Most people retain only about 20% of what they hear, so we also need to recognize that people will probably forget most of what we tell them anyway!

When the Receiver gets the message, they process the information mentally, and develop an understanding of what was meant.  Sometimes the understanding of the receiver is very different from the understanding of the sender!  Life is full of conversations which start with ‘Don’t get me wrong but’….. or ‘Don’t take this the wrong way….’.  These sayings are used because we know in advance that what we are about to say could be misunderstood!

Because of the importance of checking our understanding in effective communication, the receiver will offer feedback to the sender, checking and testing understanding, making sure that they are clear on what has been said.

Feedback represents a unique form of message – sent in response to other messages – and like other messages, can take many forms: a frown, a smile, a shake or nod of the head, a punch in the mouth – these are all forms of feedback!  Feedback tells you how your communication is being received, how well it is being understood – or not.  Effectiveness in communicating with others depends greatly on your ability to give and receive appropriate feedback.

The feedback is transmitted back to the sender.  This feedback is also subject to interference. Interference could include noise, language problems, geographical distance, or many other causes. These interferences are known as “Barriers to Communication” – things that get in the way and stop us from communicating effectively. To increase our chances for successful communication we need to identify what the barriers could be, and try to eliminate them.Communications barrier graphic

Once the sender has given some feedback, the communications cycle is complete! The sender who started the whole process receives a message back from the receiver, and the cycle continues as they now decode the message they are receiving, develop an understanding, and give feedback.

Cruise Training Online – Indirect & direct bookings

INDIRECT BOOKINGS

Here are some examples of ‘indirect’ cruise bookings, using GSAs located in the country of origin (where the customer lives). These are New Zealand-based examples, but in essence these GSAs could be anywhere in the world.

Francis Travel Marketing

(www.francistravelmarketing.co.nz)

Francis Travel Marketing is the GSA representing Holland America Line, Windstar Cruises and Carnival Cruise Lines.

Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. Its 13 ships sail to more than 280 ports of call on all seven continents, ranging from popular Caribbean and Alaska itineraries to exotic cruises to the far corners of the world. The 13 ships of the world’s leading premium cruise line will offer nearly 500 sailings to all seven continents from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam_verandah cabinto 108 days and feature many ports, including such new ones as Benghazi, Libya; Pearl Island, Panama; South Georgia Island in the sub-Antarctic islands; and Narvik, Norway. Guests will have more destination choices in every corner of the world that will bring them not just to new and exciting locations but into the culture and heart of each place to create a truly memorable and unique experience.

Windstar Cruises sail under the banner of its appropriate tag line “180º From Ordinary,” Windstar was created in the mid-1980’s with the vision to offer an alternative to the typical cruise or resort vacation. The Windstar passenger sees the world from a romantic sailing ship with luxurious accommodations, a casual yet elegant atmosphere, and exquisite service and cuisine. Windstar’s ships are officially motor-sail-yachts (MS), but the designation belies the vessels unique rigging. Unfurling in two minutes at the push of a button, billowing white sails reach to the sky. All functions are operated from the bridge by computer micro-chips and navigational devices. The unusual “open-bridge” operation Wind Star sternallows guests to drop by and acquaint themselves with the veteran captains and officers who demonstrate the ship’s intriguing capabilities to modern day explorers. The 148-passenger Wind Star was joined by sister ships the MS Wind Song in 1987, and MS Wind Spirit in 1988. A new era in luxury cruising was now being pioneered by Windstar Cruises. Nearly a decade later in 1998, the 308-passenger MS Wind Surf was acquired by Windstar. Sailing originally as Club Med I, the Wind Surf was built in 1990 in the same shipyard to strikingly similar specifications as her sister ships, making her a perfect match for the four fleet family. Carrying just 148 to 308 guests, Windstar ships exude a private-yacht-like atmosphere creating camaraderie and lasting friendships between fellow sailors. Every day aboard Windstar brings the promise of new horizons and harbours to explore.

Carnival Cruise Lines prides itself on being “The World’s Most Popular Cruise Vacation®” – a distinction achieved by offering a wide array of quality cruise vacations which present outstanding value for the money. Every one of Carnival’s “Fun Ships”® is a unique floating resort designed with fun in mind. Venture out of the spacious stateroom and experience the outdoor areas, wonderful restaurants, friendly casino, relaxing lounges, invigorating spa, exciting nightclubs and duty-free shopping. The “Fun Ships” are also known as floating resorts and are a destination in itself. They cruise to well over 60 destinations including: Carnival Dream waves pool and moviesThe Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska and even Europe.

Adventure World

(www.adventureworld.co.nz)

iCruise is the Specialist Cruise Division of Adventure World (www.icruise.co.nz) and is managed by some of New Zealand’s most experienced cruise experts to service the increasing cruise holiday market.  iCruise delivers to the travelling public hundreds of departures on all major cruise lines on a weekly basis. iCruise represents a large number of cruise lines including:

Hogan & Associates

Hogan & Associates, NZ represent:

Captain Cook Cruises are the small ship destination cruise line specialists of Australia and the Pacific. An award winning Australian family owned and operated company for 30 years, we have 20 ships operating a variety of short duration and extended cruises on Sydney Harbour, the Great Barrier Reef, Murray River and the Fiji Islands. Itineraries range from 1 hour 15 minutes to 7 nights, and all ships in our fleet are available for charter.

Fiji Captain Cook cruises

Blue Lagoon Cruises (www.bluelagooncruises.co.nz)

Blue Lagoon Cruises operate in Fiji. Departing from the crowds, and sailing past the Manamuca Islands, passengers visit the exquisitely remote Yasawa Islands. Only a few hours each day is spent underway on the cruise ship, with the rest spent at anchor in sheltered lagoons and ashore, so passengers can go exploring, play water sports, enjoy cultural activities or simply do nothing at all.

With over 50 years experience in cruising these islands, a fleet of five boutique cruise ships, and six unique itineraries, Blue Lagoon Cruises offers a great boutique product in this South Pacific paradise.

P&O Cruises

(www.pocruises.com)

The owner of a rich and illustrious history, P&O Cruises have always been synonymous with cruising holidays of the highest quality. P&O Princess Cruises demerged from the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company in 2000 when it started trading as an independent company.Aurora_P & O

P & O is now owned by Carnival PLC, who, with their 11 cruise companies are the third largest cruise company in the world by revenue. Bookings can be made directly with P&O, using their website.

Cruise Training Online – Indirect & direct bookings

INDIRECT BOOKINGS

Here are some examples of ‘indirect’ cruise bookings, using GSAs located in the country of origin (where the customer lives). These are New Zealand-based examples, but in essence these GSAs could be anywhere in the world.

Francis Travel Marketing

(www.francistravelmarketing.co.nz)

Francis Travel Marketing is the GSA representing Holland America Line, Windstar Cruises and Carnival Cruise Lines.

Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. Its 13 ships sail to more than 280 ports of call on all seven continents, ranging from popular Caribbean and Alaska itineraries to exotic cruises to the far corners of the world. The 13 ships of the world’s leading premium cruise line will offer nearly 500 sailings to all seven continents from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam_verandah cabinto 108 days and feature many ports, including such new ones as Benghazi, Libya; Pearl Island, Panama; South Georgia Island in the sub-Antarctic islands; and Narvik, Norway. Guests will have more destination choices in every corner of the world that will bring them not just to new and exciting locations but into the culture and heart of each place to create a truly memorable and unique experience.

Windstar Cruises sail under the banner of its appropriate tag line “180º From Ordinary,” Windstar was created in the mid-1980’s with the vision to offer an alternative to the typical cruise or resort vacation. The Windstar passenger sees the world from a romantic sailing ship with luxurious accommodations, a casual yet elegant atmosphere, and exquisite service and cuisine. Windstar’s ships are officially motor-sail-yachts (MS), but the designation belies the vessels unique rigging. Unfurling in two minutes at the push of a button, billowing white sails reach to the sky. All functions are operated from the bridge by computer micro-chips and navigational devices. The unusual “open-bridge” operation Wind Star sternallows guests to drop by and acquaint themselves with the veteran captains and officers who demonstrate the ship’s intriguing capabilities to modern day explorers. The 148-passenger Wind Star was joined by sister ships the MS Wind Song in 1987, and MS Wind Spirit in 1988. A new era in luxury cruising was now being pioneered by Windstar Cruises. Nearly a decade later in 1998, the 308-passenger MS Wind Surf was acquired by Windstar. Sailing originally as Club Med I, the Wind Surf was built in 1990 in the same shipyard to strikingly similar specifications as her sister ships, making her a perfect match for the four fleet family. Carrying just 148 to 308 guests, Windstar ships exude a private-yacht-like atmosphere creating camaraderie and lasting friendships between fellow sailors. Every day aboard Windstar brings the promise of new horizons and harbours to explore.

Carnival Cruise Lines prides itself on being “The World’s Most Popular Cruise Vacation®” – a distinction achieved by offering a wide array of quality cruise vacations which present outstanding value for the money. Every one of Carnival’s “Fun Ships”® is a unique floating resort designed with fun in mind. Venture out of the spacious stateroom and experience the outdoor areas, wonderful restaurants, friendly casino, relaxing lounges, invigorating spa, exciting nightclubs and duty-free shopping. The “Fun Ships” are also known as floating resorts and are a destination in itself. They cruise to well over 60 destinations including: Carnival Dream waves pool and moviesThe Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska and even Europe.

Adventure World

(www.adventureworld.co.nz)

iCruise is the Specialist Cruise Division of Adventure World (www.icruise.co.nz) and is managed by some of New Zealand’s most experienced cruise experts to service the increasing cruise holiday market.  iCruise delivers to the travelling public hundreds of departures on all major cruise lines on a weekly basis. iCruise represents a large number of cruise lines including:

Hogan & Associates

Hogan & Associates, NZ represent:

Captain Cook Cruises are the small ship destination cruise line specialists of Australia and the Pacific. An award winning Australian family owned and operated company for 30 years, we have 20 ships operating a variety of short duration and extended cruises on Sydney Harbour, the Great Barrier Reef, Murray River and the Fiji Islands. Itineraries range from 1 hour 15 minutes to 7 nights, and all ships in our fleet are available for charter.

Fiji Captain Cook cruises

Blue Lagoon Cruises (www.bluelagooncruises.co.nz)

Blue Lagoon Cruises operate in Fiji. Departing from the crowds, and sailing past the Manamuca Islands, passengers visit the exquisitely remote Yasawa Islands. Only a few hours each day is spent underway on the cruise ship, with the rest spent at anchor in sheltered lagoons and ashore, so passengers can go exploring, play water sports, enjoy cultural activities or simply do nothing at all.

With over 50 years experience in cruising these islands, a fleet of five boutique cruise ships, and six unique itineraries, Blue Lagoon Cruises offers a great boutique product in this South Pacific paradise.

P&O Cruises

(www.pocruises.com)

The owner of a rich and illustrious history, P&O Cruises have always been synonymous with cruising holidays of the highest quality. P&O Princess Cruises demerged from the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company in 2000 when it started trading as an independent company.Aurora_P & O

P & O is now owned by Carnival PLC, who, with their 11 cruise companies are the third largest cruise company in the world by revenue. Bookings can be made directly with P&O, using their website.

Cruise Training Online – Indirect & direct bookings

INDIRECT BOOKINGS

Here are some examples of ‘indirect’ cruise bookings, using GSAs located in the country of origin (where the customer lives). These are New Zealand-based examples, but in essence these GSAs could be anywhere in the world.

Francis Travel Marketing

(www.francistravelmarketing.co.nz)

Francis Travel Marketing is the GSA representing Holland America Line, Windstar Cruises and Carnival Cruise Lines.

Holland America Line is recognized as the undisputed leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. Its 13 ships sail to more than 280 ports of call on all seven continents, ranging from popular Caribbean and Alaska itineraries to exotic cruises to the far corners of the world. The 13 ships of the world’s leading premium cruise line will offer nearly 500 sailings to all seven continents from more than 25 home ports. Itineraries range from two Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam_verandah cabinto 108 days and feature many ports, including such new ones as Benghazi, Libya; Pearl Island, Panama; South Georgia Island in the sub-Antarctic islands; and Narvik, Norway. Guests will have more destination choices in every corner of the world that will bring them not just to new and exciting locations but into the culture and heart of each place to create a truly memorable and unique experience.

Windstar Cruises sail under the banner of its appropriate tag line “180º From Ordinary,” Windstar was created in the mid-1980’s with the vision to offer an alternative to the typical cruise or resort vacation. The Windstar passenger sees the world from a romantic sailing ship with luxurious accommodations, a casual yet elegant atmosphere, and exquisite service and cuisine. Windstar’s ships are officially motor-sail-yachts (MS), but the designation belies the vessels unique rigging. Unfurling in two minutes at the push of a button, billowing white sails reach to the sky. All functions are operated from the bridge by computer micro-chips and navigational devices. The unusual “open-bridge” operation Wind Star sternallows guests to drop by and acquaint themselves with the veteran captains and officers who demonstrate the ship’s intriguing capabilities to modern day explorers. The 148-passenger Wind Star was joined by sister ships the MS Wind Song in 1987, and MS Wind Spirit in 1988. A new era in luxury cruising was now being pioneered by Windstar Cruises. Nearly a decade later in 1998, the 308-passenger MS Wind Surf was acquired by Windstar. Sailing originally as Club Med I, the Wind Surf was built in 1990 in the same shipyard to strikingly similar specifications as her sister ships, making her a perfect match for the four fleet family. Carrying just 148 to 308 guests, Windstar ships exude a private-yacht-like atmosphere creating camaraderie and lasting friendships between fellow sailors. Every day aboard Windstar brings the promise of new horizons and harbours to explore.

Carnival Cruise Lines prides itself on being “The World’s Most Popular Cruise Vacation®” – a distinction achieved by offering a wide array of quality cruise vacations which present outstanding value for the money. Every one of Carnival’s “Fun Ships”® is a unique floating resort designed with fun in mind. Venture out of the spacious stateroom and experience the outdoor areas, wonderful restaurants, friendly casino, relaxing lounges, invigorating spa, exciting nightclubs and duty-free shopping. The “Fun Ships” are also known as floating resorts and are a destination in itself. They cruise to well over 60 destinations including: Carnival Dream waves pool and moviesThe Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska and even Europe.

Adventure World

(www.adventureworld.co.nz)

iCruise is the Specialist Cruise Division of Adventure World (www.icruise.co.nz) and is managed by some of New Zealand’s most experienced cruise experts to service the increasing cruise holiday market.  iCruise delivers to the travelling public hundreds of departures on all major cruise lines on a weekly basis. iCruise represents a large number of cruise lines including:

Hogan & Associates

Hogan & Associates, NZ represent:

Captain Cook Cruises are the small ship destination cruise line specialists of Australia and the Pacific. An award winning Australian family owned and operated company for 30 years, we have 20 ships operating a variety of short duration and extended cruises on SydneyHarbour, the Great Barrier Reef, Murray River and the FijiIslands. Itineraries range from 1 hour 15 minutes to 7 nights, and all ships in our fleet are available for charter.Fiji Captain Cook cruises

Blue Lagoon Cruises (www.bluelagooncruises.co.nz)

Blue Lagoon Cruises operate in Fiji. Departing from the crowds, and sailing past the Manamuc aIslands, passengers visit the exquisitely remote Yasawa Islands. Only a few hours each day is spent underway on the cruise ship, with the rest spent at anchor in sheltered lagoons and ashore, so passengers can go exploring, play water sports, enjoy cultural activities or simply do nothing at all.

With over 50 years experience in cruising these islands, a fleet of five boutique cruise ships, and six unique itineraries, Blue Lagoon Cruises offers a great boutique product in this South Pacific paradise.

P&O Cruises

(www.pocruises.com)

The owner of a rich and illustrious history, P&O Cruises have always been synonymous with cruising holidays of the highest quality. P&O Princess Cruises demerged from the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company in 2000 when it started trading as an independent company.Aurora_P & O

P & O is now owned by Carnival PLC, who, with their 11 cruise companies are the third largest cruise company in the world by revenue. Bookings can be made directly with P&O, using their website.

Cruise Training Online – Example of a GSA

Making a cruise booking

In cruising the first kind of cabins to sell out are the suites followed by large staterooms with verandas.

The next cabins to sell out are the least expensive ones, usually the inside cabins.

Midship cabins always sell first as they are central to the ‘action’ and involve less walking from end to end of the ship.Regent ship Seven Seas Mariner  theatre

When the client has chosen the cruise the consultant should complete a Cruise Reservations form.  This maximises efficiency and has all the information needed to make a complete booking.

Travel consultants can make bookings online through a computer reservations system, or on the internet directly with the cruise line.  Some agents still choose to make telephone reservations with the cruise line reservations team or shipping agent as questions can be handled directly and additional information gathered.

When making a booking the following choices will be commonly offered to the client:

A confirmed cabin category, stateroom number and price. This is a great option if available as the client can be shown the exact location of the cabin in the brochure, or even better, using the online deck plans most cruise lines now feature on their websites.

A guarantee run-of-the-ship reservation. This is where the cruise lines confirms the date, specific cruise and price but doesn’t give a precise cabin number. They guarantee a minimum standard of cabin and they may be upgraded if better cabins become available but won’t be asked to pay more. This is a good option for flexible clients who are happy to take a chance but for people who want to be assured of specific cabin types or standards it might not be the best option.

A guaranteed upgrade. The specific cabin or stateroom isn’t booked but the client is assured of a cabin at a higher level than what they pay for.Oceania ship Marina Vista Suite

On some cruise lines a ‘guaranteed share’ option may also be available for passengers travelling alone. Passengers can opt to book a ‘sole occupancy’ cabin which is a standard twin cabin but they occupy it on their own, and pay a large supplement for doing so. The alternative is to share the cabin with another passenger also travelling alone.  The cruise line will guarantee that the sharing passenger will be of the same sex and even if they don’t find a suitable sharing person the passenger who books this type of cabin will not be charged a single occupancy supplement.

Having been through all the details of the cruise thoroughly with your client, and they have accepted and agreed to the terms and conditions as outlined by the cruise company, it is time to go ahead and confirm the booking.

Cruise companies all have their own reservation methods and documentation and it is important that you check their requirements.

If you are taking advantage of airfares and/or accommodation offered by the cruise company in conjunction with the cruise, you may need to book these yourself and forward the details to the cruise company, or they may need to make the bookings from their own allotment of seats/rooms with the suppliers.

Remember that you usually need to collect at least a deposit from the client before you request a reservation with the cruise company.

If you are not holding a deposit at the time of booking confirmation and the client changes their mind, your agency may be liable to pay the non-refundable deposit to the cruise company and it is often very difficult for you to collect this from the client.

In most cases the booking procedure is simple:

* The client accepts the terms and conditions and requests that a booking be made

* The agent notes all details about the client and the cruise (usually on an in-house agency booking form)

* The agent collects the minimum payable amount from the client (this could be a deposit, or full payment, depending on how far in advance of the departure date the booking is being made, and subject to the payment conditions)

* The agent contacts the cruise company to request the booking, providing all the necessary details as required by the cruise company

* The cruise company representative loads all the relevant information into their own computer reservation system

* Agent and client sometimes have to wait for confirmation advice from the cruise company, but in some cases this can be done at the time the initial reservation request is being made

* Cruise companies have different formats and details on their booking or reservation forms and you need to work your way through each section to ensure you have completed it correctly and fully before submitting it to the cruise company.

* Those companies who require a hard copy of a booking form to be completed usually include this in their brochure.

Product Information: Cruise Representatives & their Cruise Lines

Cruise lines are often represented overseas by a General Sales Agent – known as a GSA. These GSA’s undertake to sell cruises operated by that cruise line, with particularly emphasis on the local market.

GSA representation is chosen carefully to ensure products don’t conflict, and to ensure fair coverage of the products.

In this section we have provided information on cruise representation within New Zealand. In other areas of the world such information is available online, on shipping websites and through international cruise information pages.

Cruise Holidays

(www.cruiseholidays.co.nz)

Cruise Holidays is a Cruise Company with more than 10 years experience focusing exclusively on cruise holidays. Specialising in the sale and marketing of many major brands of worldwide cruises they are experts when it comes to choosing cruises.

Cruise Holidays represent:

Celebrity Cruises

The experience of cruising is unlike any other type of vacation. The things you can do on a Celebrity ship are limitless. On every deck you’ll find a wide variety of activities and amenities designed to relax, rejuvenate, enrich and entertain. Cool-off with a chilled towel and refreshing sorbet at the pool. Partake in a cooking or cocktail demonstration. Take advantage of both extended gym and dining hours. Participate in a guest lectures. On a Celebrity cruise, you’ll run out of time before you run out of things to do. Celebrity is passionate about delivering an extraordinary combination of exceptional gourmet cuisine, impeccable service, and luxurious amenities aboard the youngest and most innovative fleet in the world. This promise has become the definition of Celebrity Cruises, and has set today’s worldwide standard for what first made cruising famous: grand style, well-appointed accommodations, superior design, attentive service, and award-winning cuisine.

Clipper Cruise Line

This cruise company offers a wide array of international and domestic voyages aboard its four small ships. These ships sail a diverse selection of itineraries along the waterways of the Americas and in the Caribbean. To satisfy the demand for itineraries further afield, the 122-passenger expedition vessel Clipper Adventurer, which sails from Europe to the High Arctic to Antarctica, and the luxurious 128-passenger Clipper Odyssey, with itineraries in the Far East and Pacific, were added to the fleet, offering a wide array of new voyages to our passengers. The lifestyle aboard Clipper’s ships is informal and relaxed, with an ambience made possible by small numbers of guests and excellent service provided by their personable young crew. The well-appointed interiors provide welcoming settings without ostentation. You’ll feel at home in their elegant, window-lined dining room and spacious Observation Lounge, as well as comfortable, all-outside cabins, with lower beds and private baths.

Crystal Cruises

At Crystal Cruises, they take pride in navigating that magical highway of the sea, Crystal Symphony  pooltransporting you to the best the world has to offer. Like the open sea, each day is limitless. You can chart a course, then change it at your whim. Let possibility fill the sails of your imagination and see what magic might appear. Crystal Cruises ships have space to stretch out and explore. There are broad, sunny decks to stroll and inviting corners to settle into and cosy nooks for some quiet time. Passengers can join a spellbound audience at an exciting Broadway-style show or get together with a few new friends over a frothy cappuccino. There is a spirit of cheerfulness and good humour to be found wherever you are on the ship. Guests say that’s the real magic of a Crystal cruise. There’s no mystery to it; it’s simply a commitment to heartfelt service that creates an atmosphere of enchantment, every day.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

Impeccable service, traditional comforts and smiling faces make Fred Olsen Cruises one of the friendliest cruise companies afloat. By operating smaller vessels they can moor in the very heart of things where it is often a short walk down the gang-plank to shore rather than a lengthy tender ride to port. What’s more you will be able to come and go as you please, maybe to pop back for lunch or drop off your shopping bags before you head back ashore to explore some more.

MSC Cruises

The Mediterranean is home to MSC Cruises, not just a destination. Passengers are invited to embark on an adventure that unfolds amidst the beauty and charm of the azure seas of the Mediterranean, this region which was the cradle of this civilization. The Italian cruises to the Old World, as well as Caribbean cruises, let guests savour the unique Italian Hospitality. They aim to make passenger feel part of their family on smaller sized cruise ships where you are not just a face in the crowd. MSC Cruises and their wonderful crews help passengers to discover the Mediterranean and Caribbean the Italian way.

Norwegian Cruises

Modern ships are classically designed with elegant lounges, dazzling discos and acres of Norwegian Epic Spice H2O beach clubbroad promenades and decks so there’s more room to roam, more places to get lost. Passengers will find more entertainment per nautical mile, an exceptional choice of dining alternatives and by far the best Sports Afloat®. From lavish spas to fully-equipped fitness centres, passengers will experience all the facilities of a fine land-based resort on a Norwegian ship. Passengers can shoot a few hoops at the basketball court, swing a nine-iron, go for a jog or mingle with friends in the Sports Bar. The satellite TVs are equipped with ESPN International programming to keep up with favourite teams back home. And when the sun goes down the fun keeps going with live music, variety acts, dancing under the stars, lavish Broadway musicals, and dazzling Las Vegas-style casinos with the friendliest dealers at sea. So whether it’s see glaciers in Alaska, the Byzantine treasures of Istanbul or island-hopping from San Juan, people enjoy an unrivalled cruise experience when cruising The Norwegian Way.

Oceania Cruises was formed in 2002 by cruise industry veterans Joe Watters and Frank Del Rio. Best in class cuisine, destination oriented itineraries, and outstanding value define Oceania Cruises’ five-star product and position the company as the cruise line of choice for traditional premium and luxury category cruisers. There are three intimate and luxurious 684 passenger ships, Regatta, Insignia & Nautica. The itineraries have been tailored to include many overnight port stays to allow passengers to immerse themselves in the history, culture and local flavour of the region. Passengers can enjoy the good life while leaving the tuxedos and evening gowns at home.

Orient Lines specializes in providing an affordable, in-depth “destinational” experience in some of the most exciting and exotic parts of the globe. This formula has proven very successful for the line, which was recognized as having the “Best Itineraries” and “Best Value” by the World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society. The line’s creative itinerary planning features include hotel stays and sightseeing in most embarkation and disembarkation cities, longer daytime stays/frequent overnight visits in ports of call and imaginative shore excursions. Because of these added elements, every itinerary is presented as a “cruise-tour,” rather than just a “cruise”.  Gracious service is provided by Scandinavian officers and a warm and friendly Filipino crew. To appeal to younger and first-time cruisers, most European itineraries are marketed as casual cruises with no formal dress required.

Orion Expedition Cruises is Australia’s first world-class expedition cruise ship offering year-round itineraries to many destinations that are inaccessible to large passenger liners.’ East Timor and Antarctica are on her programme, as well as Australia’s Top End ports, including Cape York, Arnhem Land and Kimberley and anchorages in the Great Barrier Reef.

Royal Caribbean Cruises ships are some of the most innovative in the industry – they’re bigger and brighter, with a lot more open spaces and private balconies. Onboard and shore side activities appeal to everyone from the rock climber, to the sun worshiper. When you’re Launch of Royal Caribbean International's Allure of the Seas.onboard one of these cruise ships, almost everything is taken care of – accommodations, gourmet meals in the dining rooms and cafés, and snacks throughout the day. All activities including amazing fitness centre, entertainment and award-winning Adventure Ocean Youth Program are all paid for. Even 24-hour room service is included. Passengers looking for an incredible value cruise should look no further. From kids to grandparents, a Royal Caribbean cruise is the perfect vacation no matter what your age. There is a wide variety of activities – from rock climbing, to wine tasting, to sitting poolside.

Silversea Cruises It is the magical experience of discovering the world and enjoying the special ambiance of an immaculately run ship that drives everything that Silversea Cruises do. Silversea’s all-inclusive ultra luxury vacations appeal to discriminating travellers accustomed to plush accommodations and attentive, individual service. Silversea is distinguished by its award-winning all-suite ships, impeccable service and all-inclusive fares featuring: all outside suites (more than 75 percent with private verandas); all beverages, including select wines and spirits; all gratuities; all port charges; all transfers and porterage. Passengers revel in the space, privacy and fine appointments of these ships, an onboard experience like no other.

Star Cruises fleet offers three classes of cruising – the SuperStar Series, the Star Series and the MegaStar Series, accommodating individual needs of lifestyle and budget. Each ship has its own distinct unique quality which is appealing to various people and has non-stop array Dried Starfish on a Towel --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbisof activities for passengers to take part in. However, the fleet of ships are designed to provide comfort and are fully equipped with facilities such as restaurants, pools, gymnasium, recreation areas, spas, lounges, karaoke rooms, entertainment, library, mah-jong, card and games room, cinema and shopping.

Cruise Training Online – Example of a GSA

Making a cruise booking

In cruising the first kind of cabins to sell out are the suites followed by large staterooms with verandas.

The next cabins to sell out are the least expensive ones, usually the inside cabins.

Midship cabins always sell first as they are central to the ‘action’ and involve less walking from end to end of the ship.Regent ship Seven Seas Mariner  theatre

When the client has chosen the cruise the consultant should complete a Cruise Reservations form.  This maximises efficiency and has all the information needed to make a complete booking.

Travel consultants can make bookings online through a computer reservations system, or on the internet directly with the cruise line.  Some agents still choose to make telephone reservations with the cruise line reservations team or shipping agent as questions can be handled directly and additional information gathered.

When making a booking the following choices will be commonly offered to the client:

A confirmed cabin category, stateroom number and price. This is a great option if available as the client can be shown the exact location of the cabin in the brochure, or even better, using the online deck plans most cruise lines now feature on their websites.

A guarantee run-of-the-ship reservation. This is where the cruise lines confirms the date, specific cruise and price but doesn’t give a precise cabin number. They guarantee a minimum standard of cabin and they may be upgraded if better cabins become available but won’t be asked to pay more. This is a good option for flexible clients who are happy to take a chance but for people who want to be assured of specific cabin types or standards it might not be the best option.

A guaranteed upgrade. The specific cabin or stateroom isn’t booked but the client is assured of a cabin at a higher level than what they pay for.Oceania ship Marina Vista Suite

On some cruise lines a ‘guaranteed share’ option may also be available for passengers travelling alone. Passengers can opt to book a ‘sole occupancy’ cabin which is a standard twin cabin but they occupy it on their own, and pay a large supplement for doing so. The alternative is to share the cabin with another passenger also travelling alone.  The cruise line will guarantee that the sharing passenger will be of the same sex and even if they don’t find a suitable sharing person the passenger who books this type of cabin will not be charged a single occupancy supplement.

Having been through all the details of the cruise thoroughly with your client, and they have accepted and agreed to the terms and conditions as outlined by the cruise company, it is time to go ahead and confirm the booking.

Cruise companies all have their own reservation methods and documentation and it is important that you check their requirements.

If you are taking advantage of airfares and/or accommodation offered by the cruise company in conjunction with the cruise, you may need to book these yourself and forward the details to the cruise company, or they may need to make the bookings from their own allotment of seats/rooms with the suppliers.

Remember that you usually need to collect at least a deposit from the client before you request a reservation with the cruise company.

If you are not holding a deposit at the time of booking confirmation and the client changes their mind, your agency may be liable to pay the non-refundable deposit to the cruise company and it is often very difficult for you to collect this from the client.

In most cases the booking procedure is simple:

* The client accepts the terms and conditions and requests that a booking be made

* The agent notes all details about the client and the cruise (usually on an in-house agency booking form)

* The agent collects the minimum payable amount from the client (this could be a deposit, or full payment, depending on how far in advance of the departure date the booking is being made, and subject to the payment conditions)

* The agent contacts the cruise company to request the booking, providing all the necessary details as required by the cruise company

* The cruise company representative loads all the relevant information into their own computer reservation system

* Agent and client sometimes have to wait for confirmation advice from the cruise company, but in some cases this can be done at the time the initial reservation request is being made

* Cruise companies have different formats and details on their booking or reservation forms and you need to work your way through each section to ensure you have completed it correctly and fully before submitting it to the cruise company.

* Those companies who require a hard copy of a booking form to be completed usually include this in their brochure.

Product Information: Cruise Representatives & their Cruise Lines

Cruise lines are often represented overseas by a General Sales Agent – known as a GSA. These GSA’s undertake to sell cruises operated by that cruise line, with particularly emphasis on the local market.

GSA representation is chosen carefully to ensure products don’t conflict, and to ensure fair coverage of the products.

In this section we have provided information on cruise representation within New Zealand. In other areas of the world such information is available online, on shipping websites and through international cruise information pages.

Cruise Holidays

(www.cruiseholidays.co.nz)

Cruise Holidays is a Cruise Company with more than 10 years experience focusing exclusively on cruise holidays. Specialising in the sale and marketing of many major brands of worldwide cruises they are experts when it comes to choosing cruises.

Cruise Holidays represent:

Celebrity Cruises

The experience of cruising is unlike any other type of vacation. The things you can do on a Celebrity ship are limitless. On every deck you’ll find a wide variety of activities and amenities designed to relax, rejuvenate, enrich and entertain. Cool-off with a chilled towel and refreshing sorbet at the pool. Partake in a cooking or cocktail demonstration. Take advantage of both extended gym and dining hours. Participate in a guest lectures. On a Celebrity cruise, you’ll run out of time before you run out of things to do. Celebrity is passionate about delivering an extraordinary combination of exceptional gourmet cuisine, impeccable service, and luxurious amenities aboard the youngest and most innovative fleet in the world. This promise has become the definition of Celebrity Cruises, and has set today’s worldwide standard for what first made cruising famous: grand style, well-appointed accommodations, superior design, attentive service, and award-winning cuisine.

Clipper Cruise Line

This cruise company offers a wide array of international and domestic voyages aboard its four small ships. These ships sail a diverse selection of itineraries along the waterways of the Americas and in the Caribbean. To satisfy the demand for itineraries further afield, the 122-passenger expedition vessel Clipper Adventurer, which sails from Europe to the High Arctic to Antarctica, and the luxurious 128-passenger Clipper Odyssey, with itineraries in the Far East and Pacific, were added to the fleet, offering a wide array of new voyages to our passengers. The lifestyle aboard Clipper’s ships is informal and relaxed, with an ambience made possible by small numbers of guests and excellent service provided by their personable young crew. The well-appointed interiors provide welcoming settings without ostentation. You’ll feel at home in their elegant, window-lined dining room and spacious Observation Lounge, as well as comfortable, all-outside cabins, with lower beds and private baths.

Crystal Cruises

At Crystal Cruises, they take pride in navigating that magical highway of the sea, Crystal Symphony  pooltransporting you to the best the world has to offer. Like the open sea, each day is limitless. You can chart a course, then change it at your whim. Let possibility fill the sails of your imagination and see what magic might appear. Crystal Cruises ships have space to stretch out and explore. There are broad, sunny decks to stroll and inviting corners to settle into and cosy nooks for some quiet time. Passengers can join a spellbound audience at an exciting Broadway-style show or get together with a few new friends over a frothy cappuccino. There is a spirit of cheerfulness and good humour to be found wherever you are on the ship. Guests say that’s the real magic of a Crystal cruise. There’s no mystery to it; it’s simply a commitment to heartfelt service that creates an atmosphere of enchantment, every day.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

Impeccable service, traditional comforts and smiling faces make Fred Olsen Cruises one of the friendliest cruise companies afloat. By operating smaller vessels they can moor in the very heart of things where it is often a short walk down the gang-plank to shore rather than a lengthy tender ride to port. What’s more you will be able to come and go as you please, maybe to pop back for lunch or drop off your shopping bags before you head back ashore to explore some more.

MSC Cruises

The Mediterranean is home to MSC Cruises, not just a destination. Passengers are invited to embark on an adventure that unfolds amidst the beauty and charm of the azure seas of the Mediterranean, this region which was the cradle of this civilization. The Italian cruises to the Old World, as well as Caribbean cruises, let guests savour the unique Italian Hospitality. They aim to make passenger feel part of their family on smaller sized cruise ships where you are not just a face in the crowd. MSC Cruises and their wonderful crews help passengers to discover the Mediterranean and Caribbean the Italian way.

Norwegian Cruises

Modern ships are classically designed with elegant lounges, dazzling discos and acres of Norwegian Epic Spice H2O beach clubbroad promenades and decks so there’s more room to roam, more places to get lost. Passengers will find more entertainment per nautical mile, an exceptional choice of dining alternatives and by far the best Sports Afloat®. From lavish spas to fully-equipped fitness centres, passengers will experience all the facilities of a fine land-based resort on a Norwegian ship. Passengers can shoot a few hoops at the basketball court, swing a nine-iron, go for a jog or mingle with friends in the Sports Bar. The satellite TVs are equipped with ESPN International programming to keep up with favourite teams back home. And when the sun goes down the fun keeps going with live music, variety acts, dancing under the stars, lavish Broadway musicals, and dazzling Las Vegas-style casinos with the friendliest dealers at sea. So whether it’s see glaciers in Alaska, the Byzantine treasures of Istanbul or island-hopping from San Juan, people enjoy an unrivalled cruise experience when cruising The Norwegian Way.

Oceania Cruises was formed in 2002 by cruise industry veterans Joe Watters and Frank Del Rio. Best in class cuisine, destination oriented itineraries, and outstanding value define Oceania Cruises’ five-star product and position the company as the cruise line of choice for traditional premium and luxury category cruisers. There are three intimate and luxurious 684 passenger ships, Regatta, Insignia & Nautica. The itineraries have been tailored to include many overnight port stays to allow passengers to immerse themselves in the history, culture and local flavour of the region. Passengers can enjoy the good life while leaving the tuxedos and evening gowns at home.

Orient Lines specializes in providing an affordable, in-depth “destinational” experience in some of the most exciting and exotic parts of the globe. This formula has proven very successful for the line, which was recognized as having the “Best Itineraries” and “Best Value” by the World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society. The line’s creative itinerary planning features include hotel stays and sightseeing in most embarkation and disembarkation cities, longer daytime stays/frequent overnight visits in ports of call and imaginative shore excursions. Because of these added elements, every itinerary is presented as a “cruise-tour,” rather than just a “cruise”.  Gracious service is provided by Scandinavian officers and a warm and friendly Filipino crew. To appeal to younger and first-time cruisers, most European itineraries are marketed as casual cruises with no formal dress required.

Orion Expedition Cruises is Australia’s first world-class expedition cruise ship offering year-round itineraries to many destinations that are inaccessible to large passenger liners.’ East Timor and Antarctica are on her programme, as well as Australia’s Top End ports, including Cape York, Arnhem Land and Kimberley and anchorages in the Great Barrier Reef.

Royal Caribbean Cruises ships are some of the most innovative in the industry – they’re bigger and brighter, with a lot more open spaces and private balconies. Onboard and shore side activities appeal to everyone from the rock climber, to the sun worshiper. When you’re Launch of Royal Caribbean International's Allure of the Seas.onboard one of these cruise ships, almost everything is taken care of – accommodations, gourmet meals in the dining rooms and cafés, and snacks throughout the day. All activities including amazing fitness centre, entertainment and award-winning Adventure Ocean Youth Program are all paid for. Even 24-hour room service is included. Passengers looking for an incredible value cruise should look no further. From kids to grandparents, a Royal Caribbean cruise is the perfect vacation no matter what your age. There is a wide variety of activities – from rock climbing, to wine tasting, to sitting poolside.

Silversea Cruises – It is the magical experience of discovering the world and enjoying the special ambiance of an immaculately run ship that drives everything that Silversea Cruises do. Silversea’s all-inclusive ultra luxury vacations appeal to discriminating travellers accustomed to plush accommodations and attentive, individual service. Silversea is distinguished by its award-winning all-suite ships, impeccable service and all-inclusive fares featuring: all outside suites (more than 75 percent with private verandas); all beverages, including select wines and spirits; all gratuities; all port charges; all transfers and porterage. Passengers revel in the space, privacy and fine appointments of these ships, an onboard experience like no other.

Star Cruises fleet offers three classes of cruising – the SuperStar Series, the Star Series and the MegaStar Series, accommodating individual needs of lifestyle and budget. Each ship has its own distinct unique quality which is appealing to various people and has non-stop array Dried Starfish on a Towel --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbisof activities for passengers to take part in. However, the fleet of ships are designed to provide comfort and are fully equipped with facilities such as restaurants, pools, gymnasium, recreation areas, spas, lounges, karaoke rooms, entertainment, library, mah-jong, card and games room, cinema and shopping.

Cruise Training Online – Example of a GSA

Making a cruise booking

In cruising the first kind of cabins to sell out are the suites followed by large staterooms with verandas.

The next cabins to sell out are the least expensive ones, usually the inside cabins.

Midship cabins always sell first as they are central to the ‘action’ and involve less walking from end to end of the ship.Regent ship Seven Seas Mariner  theatre

When the client has chosen the cruise the consultant should complete a Cruise Reservations form.  This maximises efficiency and has all the information needed to make a complete booking.

Travel consultants can make bookings online through a computer reservations system, or on the internet directly with the cruise line.  Some agents still choose to make telephone reservations with the cruise line reservations team or shipping agent as questions can be handled directly and additional information gathered.

When making a booking the following choices will be commonly offered to the client:

A confirmed cabin category, stateroom number and price. This is a great option if available as the client can be shown the exact location of the cabin in the brochure, or even better, using the online deck plans most cruise lines now feature on their websites.

A guarantee run-of-the-ship reservation. This is where the cruise lines confirms the date, specific cruise and price but doesn’t give a precise cabin number. They guarantee a minimum standard of cabin and they may be upgraded if better cabins become available but won’t be asked to pay more. This is a good option for flexible clients who are happy to take a chance but for people who want to be assured of specific cabin types or standards it might not be the best option.

A guaranteed upgrade. The specific cabin or stateroom isn’t booked but the client is assured of a cabin at a higher level than what they pay for.Oceania ship Marina Vista Suite

On some cruise lines a ‘guaranteed share’ option may also be available for passengers travelling alone. Passengers can opt to book a ‘sole occupancy’ cabin which is a standard twin cabin but they occupy it on their own, and pay a large supplement for doing so. The alternative is to share the cabin with another passenger also travelling alone.  The cruise line will guarantee that the sharing passenger will be of the same sex and even if they don’t find a suitable sharing person the passenger who books this type of cabin will not be charged a single occupancy supplement.

Having been through all the details of the cruise thoroughly with your client, and they have accepted and agreed to the terms and conditions as outlined by the cruise company, it is time to go ahead and confirm the booking.

Cruise companies all have their own reservation methods and documentation and it is important that you check their requirements.

If you are taking advantage of airfares and/or accommodation offered by the cruise company in conjunction with the cruise, you may need to book these yourself and forward the details to the cruise company, or they may need to make the bookings from their own allotment of seats/rooms with the suppliers.

Remember that you usually need to collect at least a deposit from the client before you request a reservation with the cruise company.

If you are not holding a deposit at the time of booking confirmation and the client changes their mind, your agency may be liable to pay the non-refundable deposit to the cruise company and it is often very difficult for you to collect this from the client.

In most cases the booking procedure is simple:

* The client accepts the terms and conditions and requests that a booking be made

* The agent notes all details about the client and the cruise (usually on an in-house agency booking form)

* The agent collects the minimum payable amount from the client (this could be a deposit, or full payment, depending on how far in advance of the departure date the booking is being made, and subject to the payment conditions)

* The agent contacts the cruise company to request the booking, providing all the necessary details as required by the cruise company

* The cruise company representative loads all the relevant information into their own computer reservation system

* Agent and client sometimes have to wait for confirmation advice from the cruise company, but in some cases this can be done at the time the initial reservation request is being made

* Cruise companies have different formats and details on their booking or reservation forms and you need to work your way through each section to ensure you have completed it correctly and fully before submitting it to the cruise company.

* Those companies who require a hard copy of a booking form to be completed usually include this in their brochure.

Product Information: Cruise Representatives & their Cruise Lines

Cruise lines are often represented overseas by a General Sales Agent – known as a GSA. These GSA’s undertake to sell cruises operated by that cruise line, with particularly emphasis on the local market.

GSA representation is chosen carefully to ensure products don’t conflict, and to ensure fair coverage of the products.

In this section we have provided information on cruise representation within New Zealand. In other areas of the world such information is available online, on shipping websites and through international cruise information pages.

Cruise Holidays

(www.cruiseholidays.co.nz)

Cruise Holidays is a Cruise Company with more than 10 years experience focusing exclusively on cruise holidays. Specialising in the sale and marketing of many major brands of worldwide cruises they are experts when it comes to choosing cruises.

Cruise Holidays represent:

Celebrity Cruises

The experience of cruising is unlike any other type of vacation. The things you can do on a Celebrity ship are limitless. On every deck you’ll find a wide variety of activities and amenities designed to relax, rejuvenate, enrich and entertain. Cool-off with a chilled towel and refreshing sorbet at the pool. Partake in a cooking or cocktail demonstration. Take advantage of both extended gym and dining hours. Participate in a guest lectures. On a Celebrity cruise, you’ll run out of time before you run out of things to do. Celebrity is passionate about delivering an extraordinary combination of exceptional gourmet cuisine, impeccable service, and luxurious amenities aboard the youngest and most innovative fleet in the world. This promise has become the definition of Celebrity Cruises, and has set today’s worldwide standard for what first made cruising famous: grand style, well-appointed accommodations, superior design, attentive service, and award-winning cuisine.

Clipper Cruise Line

This cruise company offers a wide array of international and domestic voyages aboard its four small ships. These ships sail a diverse selection of itineraries along the waterways of the Americas and in the Caribbean. To satisfy the demand for itineraries further afield, the 122-passenger expedition vessel Clipper Adventurer, which sails from Europe to the High Arctic to Antarctica, and the luxurious 128-passenger Clipper Odyssey, with itineraries in the Far East and Pacific, were added to the fleet, offering a wide array of new voyages to our passengers. The lifestyle aboard Clipper’s ships is informal and relaxed, with an ambience made possible by small numbers of guests and excellent service provided by their personable young crew. The well-appointed interiors provide welcoming settings without ostentation. You’ll feel at home in their elegant, window-lined dining room and spacious Observation Lounge, as well as comfortable, all-outside cabins, with lower beds and private baths.

Crystal Cruises

At Crystal Cruises, they take pride in navigating that magical highway of the sea, Crystal Symphony  pooltransporting you to the best the world has to offer. Like the open sea, each day is limitless. You can chart a course, then change it at your whim. Let possibility fill the sails of your imagination and see what magic might appear. Crystal Cruises ships have space to stretch out and explore. There are broad, sunny decks to stroll and inviting corners to settle into and cosy nooks for some quiet time. Passengers can join a spellbound audience at an exciting Broadway-style show or get together with a few new friends over a frothy cappuccino. There is a spirit of cheerfulness and good humour to be found wherever you are on the ship. Guests say that’s the real magic of a Crystal cruise. There’s no mystery to it; it’s simply a commitment to heartfelt service that creates an atmosphere of enchantment, every day.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

Impeccable service, traditional comforts and smiling faces make Fred Olsen Cruises one of the friendliest cruise companies afloat. By operating smaller vessels they can moor in the very heart of things where it is often a short walk down the gang-plank to shore rather than a lengthy tender ride to port. What’s more you will be able to come and go as you please, maybe to pop back for lunch or drop off your shopping bags before you head back ashore to explore some more.

MSC Cruises

The Mediterranean is home to MSC Cruises, not just a destination. Passengers are invited to embark on an adventure that unfolds amidst the beauty and charm of the azure seas of the Mediterranean, this region which was the cradle of this civilization. The Italian cruises to the Old World, as well as Caribbean cruises, let guests savour the unique Italian Hospitality. They aim to make passenger feel part of their family on smaller sized cruise ships where you are not just a face in the crowd. MSC Cruises and their wonderful crews help passengers to discover the Mediterranean and Caribbean the Italian way.

Norwegian Cruises

Modern ships are classically designed with elegant lounges, dazzling discos and acres of Norwegian Epic Spice H2O beach clubbroad promenades and decks so there’s more room to roam, more places to get lost. Passengers will find more entertainment per nautical mile, an exceptional choice of dining alternatives and by far the best Sports Afloat®. From lavish spas to fully-equipped fitness centres, passengers will experience all the facilities of a fine land-based resort on a Norwegian ship. Passengers can shoot a few hoops at the basketball court, swing a nine-iron, go for a jog or mingle with friends in the Sports Bar. The satellite TVs are equipped with ESPN International programming to keep up with favourite teams back home. And when the sun goes down the fun keeps going with live music, variety acts, dancing under the stars, lavish Broadway musicals, and dazzling Las Vegas-style casinos with the friendliest dealers at sea. So whether it’s see glaciers in Alaska, the Byzantine treasures of Istanbul or island-hopping from San Juan, people enjoy an unrivalled cruise experience when cruising The Norwegian Way.

Oceania Cruises was formed in 2002 by cruise industry veterans Joe Watters and Frank Del Rio. Best in class cuisine, destination oriented itineraries, and outstanding value define Oceania Cruises’ five-star product and position the company as the cruise line of choice for traditional premium and luxury category cruisers. There are three intimate and luxurious 684 passenger ships, Regatta, Insignia & Nautica. The itineraries have been tailored to include many overnight port stays to allow passengers to immerse themselves in the history, culture and local flavour of the region. Passengers can enjoy the good life while leaving the tuxedos and evening gowns at home.

Orient Lines specializes in providing an affordable, in-depth “destinational” experience in some of the most exciting and exotic parts of the globe. This formula has proven very successful for the line, which was recognized as having the “Best Itineraries” and “Best Value” by the World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society. The line’s creative itinerary planning features include hotel stays and sightseeing in most embarkation and disembarkation cities, longer daytime stays/frequent overnight visits in ports of call and imaginative shore excursions. Because of these added elements, every itinerary is presented as a “cruise-tour,” rather than just a “cruise”.  Gracious service is provided by Scandinavian officers and a warm and friendly Filipino crew. To appeal to younger and first-time cruisers, most European itineraries are marketed as casual cruises with no formal dress required.

Orion Expedition Cruises is Australia’s first world-class expedition cruise ship offering year-round itineraries to many destinations that are inaccessible to large passenger liners.’ East Timor and Antarctica are on her programme, as well as Australia’s Top End ports, including Cape York, Arnhem Land and Kimberley and anchorages in the Great Barrier Reef.

Royal Caribbean Cruises ships are some of the most innovative in the industry – they’re bigger and brighter, with a lot more open spaces and private balconies. Onboard and shore side activities appeal to everyone from the rock climber, to the sun worshiper. When you’re Launch of Royal Caribbean International's Allure of the Seas.onboard one of these cruise ships, almost everything is taken care of – accommodations, gourmet meals in the dining rooms and cafés, and snacks throughout the day. All activities including amazing fitness centre, entertainment and award-winning Adventure Ocean Youth Program are all paid for. Even 24-hour room service is included. Passengers looking for an incredible value cruise should look no further. From kids to grandparents, a Royal Caribbean cruise is the perfect vacation no matter what your age. There is a wide variety of activities – from rock climbing, to wine tasting, to sitting poolside.

Silversea Cruises – It is the magical experience of discovering the world and enjoying the special ambiance of an immaculately run ship that drives everything that Silversea Cruises do. Silversea’s all-inclusive ultra luxury vacations appeal to discriminating travellers accustomed to plush accommodations and attentive, individual service. Silversea is distinguished by its award-winning all-suite ships, impeccable service and all-inclusive fares featuring: all outside suites (more than 75 percent with private verandas); all beverages, including select wines and spirits; all gratuities; all port charges; all transfers and porterage. Passengers revel in the space, privacy and fine appointments of these ships, an onboard experience like no other.

Star Cruises fleet offers three classes of cruising – the SuperStar Series, the Star Series and the MegaStar Series, accommodating individual needs of lifestyle and budget. Each ship has its own distinct unique quality which is appealing to various people and has non-stop array Dried Starfish on a Towel --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbisof activities for passengers to take part in. However, the fleet of ships are designed to provide comfort and are fully equipped with facilities such as restaurants, pools, gymnasium, recreation areas, spas, lounges, karaoke rooms, entertainment, library, mah-jong, card and games room, cinema and shopping.

Cruise Training Online – Closing a sale

Myths about cruising

Cruise passengers are not for old folk! They’re for everybody.

Cruises are not expensive when compared to other types of holidays.Carnival Inspiration-pool-area

Cruise ships have stabilisers which means that sea sickness is rarely experienced, particularly in the large ships.

It’s not boring, and you won’t get claustrophobia! Today’s ships are like floating resorts with so much on offer that you’ll never need to repeat the same experience.

You won’t get fat! The food on cruise ships is excellent, and yes, there’ll be plenty of it, but you don’t have to eat it, and with so many choices of dining venues on board ships the healthy eater is well catered for.

If the product you have offered doesn’t ‘click’ with your client, find out why by asking some more questions. Sometimes there may be a hidden need that you haven’t yet uncovered or which the client is reluctant to divulge. This is often a price related issue and they may have suggested a higher level budget, or even that budget wasn’t important at all whereas it may actually be critical to the decision to buy or not buy.

Having asked some more questions and re-qualified the client, return to your product knowledge and see if you have another cruise option that would fit these clients’ needs. You are then ready to re-offer using features and benefits.

Quoting Cruises

An integral part of the process and key influencer in the client’s buying decision is the price, and it is essential that you quote accurately so as to avoid problems later.

Whilst it isn’t essential to provide a full and final quote at the time of offering the product to the client, it is important to remember that the client can’t make up their mind if they don’t know the approximate cost of the cruise!

With that in mind you need to be able to gather together price information to include it in your information to present to your client.

Key areas to check for and get right are:

Correct season and/or departure date. If you quote a low season price for a high season departure the difference could be several hundreds of dollars!

Per person or per cabin? Check the price details before quoting your client.

Cabin configuration. Ensure you quote appropriately on a share twin/triple/quad or single supplement basis. If you quote your client a share twin price when they insist on having a single room to themselves, you could be under-charging considerably.

Inclusions. Make sure that you and your client are both perfectly clear about what is and what is not included in the price. Pay particular attention to taxes and gratuities.

Extras. Sometimes there are extra costs that must be pre-paid but are not included in the original cruise price. Examples are shore excursions, tips and taxes.

Currency. While many brochures available in New Zealand quote prices in NZ$, it is important to check. Currency details are usually found with or near the individual cruise prices on an itinerary page, in a general information section towards the front of a brochure, or in the terms and conditions which are usually on the last or back page.

Quote for the right cabin. Looking over the ship’s deck plans with your customer will ensure you quote for a cabin in the right location on the ship. Price differences between inside and outside cabins, and on different decks can be substantial.

A number of cruise lines are posting fully inclusive fares on their websites, or are suggesting agents contact them for latest pricing information/deals etc. A good cruise consultant will keep up to date with latest cruise offers and will have them at the forefront of the mind when discussing cruise options with a client.

Closing the SaleWind Star stern

Having offered a cruise product using features and benefits, and having covered off approximate costs for the cruise, the natural expectation, and the positive attitude we have – tells us that we should be leading towards some sort of action – and the required action is that the client should buy!

Buying is an emotional decision – and one which most people need help with. It is the role of the sales consultant to close the sale, not the clients, and many sales are lost at this stage as the sales person waits for the client to utter the words…”I’ll buy it….”!

How do we know the client is ready to buy?

Watch out for buying signals. Buying signals are an important aspect of the selling process. They are the buyer’s way of saying  “I am (or may be) ready to buy”.

Salespeople who are successful hear their customers buying signals. To be effective in closing you must recognise these signals.

Buying signals include the client asking questions, nodding, leaning forward and commenting favourably on the brochure you are using, asking questions, making statements that clearly indicate their ‘vision’ of having bought already.  Even silence is a buying signal as it indicates that they have no more questions and are quite happy with the product.

Strong buying signals:

­          “Let’s book that one”

­          “Fix that up for me now and I’ll call back later with the deposit.”

­          “Send me the quote as soon as you have it ready.”

­          “I wonder whether to book the C or D deck stateroom?”

­          “Can I pay by credit card?”

­          “That looks great…. could you see if there’s space available…?”

­          “What will the weather be like at that time of the year…..?”

­          “Hmmmmm…..”

A buying signal is a closing opportunity.

The longer you take in responding to the signal, the weaker the impact of a response, and the less likely you will close successfully.

Having recognised the buying signal, your response needs to be a “trial close”. This is where you attempt to close the sale with the customer.

Closing Methods

Direct close

Just ask for the booking!  “Shall I go ahead and book that for you now Mr  Brown…?”

I’ll confirm that for you now then Mrs Green….?”

“I can confirm that now if you’d like Debbie”

Choice close

“Would you like me to book connecting flights with Air New Zealand?”

“Which of those cabin options would you most prefer?”

Once you have closed – shut up!  (Or you’ll talk yourself out of a sale) Allow the client to respond and give feedback. If they are ready to buy, and give positive feedback, move into a confirmation stage,  by taking passenger details, payment details, invoicing information etc.

If the client is not ready to buy they’ll soon tell you! They may ask additional questions, or need further reassurance. This is fine! Don’t regard such action as a put off – they’re just not ready yet. Don’t rush the client at this stage or they’ll lose the trust in you that you have developed during the transaction.

If the client needs time to think it over you may be able to hold a booking for a short period of time, without deposits or obligation. This will depend on the supplier/operator. If this option is available offer this to clients, and give them a printout of what you are holding, your business card with name and phone number, and details of how long the booking is being held.

If you are dealing with a client over the phone and the client is not ready to commit to a booking you should confirm your suggested product via e mail so that they have something in writing to think over.

After closing the sale, i.e. gaining the clients agreement to buy, you will need to complete any necessary documentation relevant to the product you have sold the client.  Documentation will vary by product, and is also dependent on the client’s personal details, and how long before departure the product is booked.

DOCUMENTATIONShips in dock at San Diego

Documentation could include:

* Completion of a booking form, signed by the client, containing all passenger details.

*Checking of passport and visa information – and completion of any necessary forms.

* Completion of insurance forms

* Issuance of receipt of deposit paid by client

Different travel agencies will operate a range of operating systems. All agencies will expect a consultant to confirm clearly any bookings made with the client, so that both the client and agency are in agreement as to what is being booked.

No product should be confirmed that has not been agreed with the client in writing, either through the signing of a booking form or other document.

Once the sale is complete, you can sit back and enjoy the feeling of success!! You will have earned a booking for your agency, and valuable commission. More importantly you will have forged a new relationship with a customer who, if you have done your work well, will become a long term loyal customer, who you can help with future trips for years to come.

Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions are the rules and regulations put in place by all travel companies that govern the legal agreement between all parties involved in a booking (the cruise line and its contracted suppliers, the travel agent, and the customer). They explain the responsibilities and obligations that each party must meet.

Often referred to as the Booking Conditions, Terms and Conditions must be clearly understood and agreed to by the customer before they make a reservation.

It is the responsibility of the cruise consultant to point out (or better still, to thoroughly go through) the conditions with their client as part of the sales process. Sometimes, to cover themselves, travel agents will ask their client to sign a disclaimer that states that the client has read, understood, and accepted the terms and conditions of a booking.

Normally one of the last pages in a brochure, Terms and Conditions are one of the most important components of the reservation process.

While headings vary there are common areas that you will find in all brochures as follows:

Terms and Conditions graphic

Glossary

As these conditions are legally binding, some of the wording is very formal and it is important that you gain a good understanding of the meanings of words and phrases contained in the material provided in cruise brochures, and we provide here a glossary of terms for your reference.

Glossary of booking terms

 

Cruise Training Online – Closing a sale

Myths about cruising

Cruise passengers are not for old folk! They’re for everybody.

Cruises are not expensive when compared to other types of holidays.Carnival Inspiration-pool-area

Cruise ships have stabilisers which means that sea sickness is rarely experienced, particularly in the large ships.

It’s not boring, and you won’t get claustrophobia! Today’s ships are like floating resorts with so much on offer that you’ll never need to repeat the same experience.

You won’t get fat! The food on cruise ships is excellent, and yes, there’ll be plenty of it, but you don’t have to eat it, and with so many choices of dining venues on board ships the healthy eater is well catered for.

If the product you have offered doesn’t ‘click’ with your client, find out why by asking some more questions. Sometimes there may be a hidden need that you haven’t yet uncovered or which the client is reluctant to divulge. This is often a price related issue and they may have suggested a higher level budget, or even that budget wasn’t important at all whereas it may actually be critical to the decision to buy or not buy.

Having asked some more questions and re-qualified the client, return to your product knowledge and see if you have another cruise option that would fit these clients’ needs. You are then ready to re-offer using features and benefits.

Quoting Cruises

An integral part of the process and key influencer in the client’s buying decision is the price, and it is essential that you quote accurately so as to avoid problems later.

Whilst it isn’t essential to provide a full and final quote at the time of offering the product to the client, it is important to remember that the client can’t make up their mind if they don’t know the approximate cost of the cruise!

With that in mind you need to be able to gather together price information to include it in your information to present to your client.

Key areas to check for and get right are:

Correct season and/or departure date. If you quote a low season price for a high season departure the difference could be several hundreds of dollars!

Per person or per cabin? Check the price details before quoting your client.

Cabin configuration. Ensure you quote appropriately on a share twin/triple/quad or single supplement basis. If you quote your client a share twin price when they insist on having a single room to themselves, you could be under-charging considerably.

Inclusions. Make sure that you and your client are both perfectly clear about what is and what is not included in the price. Pay particular attention to taxes and gratuities.

Extras. Sometimes there are extra costs that must be pre-paid but are not included in the original cruise price. Examples are shore excursions, tips and taxes.

Currency. While many brochures available in New Zealand quote prices in NZ$, it is important to check. Currency details are usually found with or near the individual cruise prices on an itinerary page, in a general information section towards the front of a brochure, or in the terms and conditions which are usually on the last or back page.

Quote for the right cabin. Looking over the ship’s deck plans with your customer will ensure you quote for a cabin in the right location on the ship. Price differences between inside and outside cabins, and on different decks can be substantial.

A number of cruise lines are posting fully inclusive fares on their websites, or are suggesting agents contact them for latest pricing information/deals etc. A good cruise consultant will keep up to date with latest cruise offers and will have them at the forefront of the mind when discussing cruise options with a client.

Closing the SaleWind Star stern

Having offered a cruise product using features and benefits, and having covered off approximate costs for the cruise, the natural expectation, and the positive attitude we have – tells us that we should be leading towards some sort of action – and the required action is that the client should buy!

Buying is an emotional decision – and one which most people need help with. It is the role of the sales consultant to close the sale, not the clients, and many sales are lost at this stage as the sales person waits for the client to utter the words…”I’ll buy it….”!

How do we know the client is ready to buy?

Watch out for buying signals. Buying signals are an important aspect of the selling process. They are the buyer’s way of saying  “I am (or may be) ready to buy”.

Salespeople who are successful hear their customers buying signals. To be effective in closing you must recognise these signals.

Buying signals include the client asking questions, nodding, leaning forward and commenting favourably on the brochure you are using, asking questions, making statements that clearly indicate their ‘vision’ of having bought already.  Even silence is a buying signal as it indicates that they have no more questions and are quite happy with the product.

Strong buying signals:

­          “Let’s book that one”

­          “Fix that up for me now and I’ll call back later with the deposit.”

­          “Send me the quote as soon as you have it ready.”

­          “I wonder whether to book the C or D deck stateroom?”

­          “Can I pay by credit card?”

­          “That looks great…. could you see if there’s space available…?”

­          “What will the weather be like at that time of the year…..?”

­          “Hmmmmm…..”

A buying signal is a closing opportunity.

The longer you take in responding to the signal, the weaker the impact of a response, and the less likely you will close successfully.

Having recognised the buying signal, your response needs to be a “trial close”. This is where you attempt to close the sale with the customer.

Closing Methods

Direct close

Just ask for the booking!  “Shall I go ahead and book that for you now Mr  Brown…?”

I’ll confirm that for you now then Mrs Green….?”

“I can confirm that now if you’d like Debbie”

Choice close

“Would you like me to book connecting flights with Air New Zealand?”

“Which of those cabin options would you most prefer?”

Once you have closed – shut up!  (Or you’ll talk yourself out of a sale) Allow the client to respond and give feedback. If they are ready to buy, and give positive feedback, move into a confirmation stage,  by taking passenger details, payment details, invoicing information etc.

If the client is not ready to buy they’ll soon tell you! They may ask additional questions, or need further reassurance. This is fine! Don’t regard such action as a put off – they’re just not ready yet. Don’t rush the client at this stage or they’ll lose the trust in you that you have developed during the transaction.

If the client needs time to think it over you may be able to hold a booking for a short period of time, without deposits or obligation. This will depend on the supplier/operator. If this option is available offer this to clients, and give them a printout of what you are holding, your business card with name and phone number, and details of how long the booking is being held.

If you are dealing with a client over the phone and the client is not ready to commit to a booking you should confirm your suggested product via e mail so that they have something in writing to think over.

After closing the sale, i.e. gaining the clients agreement to buy, you will need to complete any necessary documentation relevant to the product you have sold the client.  Documentation will vary by product, and is also dependent on the client’s personal details, and how long before departure the product is booked.

DOCUMENTATIONShips in dock at San Diego

Documentation could include:

* Completion of a booking form, signed by the client, containing all passenger details.

*Checking of passport and visa information – and completion of any necessary forms.

* Completion of insurance forms

* Issuance of receipt of deposit paid by client

Different travel agencies will operate a range of operating systems. All agencies will expect a consultant to confirm clearly any bookings made with the client, so that both the client and agency are in agreement as to what is being booked.

No product should be confirmed that has not been agreed with the client in writing, either through the signing of a booking form or other document.

Once the sale is complete, you can sit back and enjoy the feeling of success!! You will have earned a booking for your agency, and valuable commission. More importantly you will have forged a new relationship with a customer who, if you have done your work well, will become a long term loyal customer, who you can help with future trips for years to come.

Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions are the rules and regulations put in place by all travel companies that govern the legal agreement between all parties involved in a booking (the cruise line and its contracted suppliers, the travel agent, and the customer). They explain the responsibilities and obligations that each party must meet.

Often referred to as the Booking Conditions, Terms and Conditions must be clearly understood and agreed to by the customer before they make a reservation.

It is the responsibility of the cruise consultant to point out (or better still, to thoroughly go through) the conditions with their client as part of the sales process. Sometimes, to cover themselves, travel agents will ask their client to sign a disclaimer that states that the client has read, understood, and accepted the terms and conditions of a booking.

Normally one of the last pages in a brochure, Terms and Conditions are one of the most important components of the reservation process.

While headings vary there are common areas that you will find in all brochures as follows:

Terms and Conditions graphic

Glossary

As these conditions are legally binding, some of the wording is very formal and it is important that you gain a good understanding of the meanings of words and phrases contained in the material provided in cruise brochures, and we provide here a glossary of terms for your reference.

Glossary of booking terms

We suggest you have a look at a variety of brochures (online or in hard copy for your local travel agent) to learn to fully understand the terms and conditions which might apply to cruise bookings.

Here are some suggested websites which feature relevant Terms and Conditions (T&Cs):

https://www.murrayprincess.com.au/terms-and-conditions

http://www.celebritycruises.com/about-celebrity/price-terms?cS=Footer&ICID=Cel_11Q4_web_hp_ftr_price

http://www.hollandamerica.com/cruise-vacation-planning/PlanningAndAdvice.action?tabName=Cruise+Preparation&contentMenu=Changes+%26+Cancellations&contentSubMenu=Do+You+Offer+A+Cancellation+Protection+Plan%3F&WT.ac=footer_CPP

 

 

Cruise Training Online – Closing a sale

Myths about cruising

Cruise passengers are not for old folk! They’re for everybody.

Cruises are not expensive when compared to other types of holidays.Carnival Inspiration-pool-area

Cruise ships have stabilisers which means that sea sickness is rarely experienced, particularly in the large ships.

It’s not boring, and you won’t get claustrophobia! Today’s ships are like floating resorts with so much on offer that you’ll never need to repeat the same experience.

You won’t get fat! The food on cruise ships is excellent, and yes, there’ll be plenty of it, but you don’t have to eat it, and with so many choices of dining venues on board ships the healthy eater is well catered for.

If the product you have offered doesn’t ‘click’ with your client, find out why by asking some more questions. Sometimes there may be a hidden need that you haven’t yet uncovered or which the client is reluctant to divulge. This is often a price related issue and they may have suggested a higher level budget, or even that budget wasn’t important at all whereas it may actually be critical to the decision to buy or not buy.

Having asked some more questions and re-qualified the client, return to your product knowledge and see if you have another cruise option that would fit these clients’ needs. You are then ready to re-offer using features and benefits.

Quoting Cruises

An integral part of the process and key influencer in the client’s buying decision is the price, and it is essential that you quote accurately so as to avoid problems later.

Whilst it isn’t essential to provide a full and final quote at the time of offering the product to the client, it is important to remember that the client can’t make up their mind if they don’t know the approximate cost of the cruise!

With that in mind you need to be able to gather together price information to include it in your information to present to your client.

Key areas to check for and get right are:

Correct season and/or departure date. If you quote a low season price for a high season departure the difference could be several hundreds of dollars!

Per person or per cabin? Check the price details before quoting your client.

Cabin configuration. Ensure you quote appropriately on a share twin/triple/quad or single supplement basis. If you quote your client a share twin price when they insist on having a single room to themselves, you could be under-charging considerably.

Inclusions. Make sure that you and your client are both perfectly clear about what is and what is not included in the price. Pay particular attention to taxes and gratuities.

Extras. Sometimes there are extra costs that must be pre-paid but are not included in the original cruise price. Examples are shore excursions, tips and taxes.

Currency. While many brochures available in New Zealand quote prices in NZ$, it is important to check. Currency details are usually found with or near the individual cruise prices on an itinerary page, in a general information section towards the front of a brochure, or in the terms and conditions which are usually on the last or back page.

Quote for the right cabin. Looking over the ship’s deck plans with your customer will ensure you quote for a cabin in the right location on the ship. Price differences between inside and outside cabins, and on different decks can be substantial.

A number of cruise lines are posting fully inclusive fares on their websites, or are suggesting agents contact them for latest pricing information/deals etc. A good cruise consultant will keep up to date with latest cruise offers and will have them at the forefront of the mind when discussing cruise options with a client.

Closing the SaleWind Star stern

Having offered a cruise product using features and benefits, and having covered off approximate costs for the cruise, the natural expectation, and the positive attitude we have – tells us that we should be leading towards some sort of action – and the required action is that the client should buy!

Buying is an emotional decision – and one which most people need help with. It is the role of the sales consultant to close the sale, not the clients, and many sales are lost at this stage as the sales person waits for the client to utter the words…”I’ll buy it….”!

How do we know the client is ready to buy?

Watch out for buying signals. Buying signals are an important aspect of the selling process. They are the buyer’s way of saying  “I am (or may be) ready to buy”.

Salespeople who are successful hear their customers buying signals. To be effective in closing you must recognise these signals.

Buying signals include the client asking questions, nodding, leaning forward and commenting favourably on the brochure you are using, asking questions, making statements that clearly indicate their ‘vision’ of having bought already.  Even silence is a buying signal as it indicates that they have no more questions and are quite happy with the product.

Strong buying signals:

­          “Let’s book that one”

­          “Fix that up for me now and I’ll call back later with the deposit.”

­          “Send me the quote as soon as you have it ready.”

­          “I wonder whether to book the C or D deck stateroom?”

­          “Can I pay by credit card?”

­          “That looks great…. could you see if there’s space available…?”

­          “What will the weather be like at that time of the year…..?”

­          “Hmmmmm…..”

A buying signal is a closing opportunity.

The longer you take in responding to the signal, the weaker the impact of a response, and the less likely you will close successfully.

Having recognised the buying signal, your response needs to be a “trial close”. This is where you attempt to close the sale with the customer.

Closing Methods

Direct close

Just ask for the booking!  “Shall I go ahead and book that for you now Mr  Brown…?”

I’ll confirm that for you now then Mrs Green….?”

“I can confirm that now if you’d like Debbie”

Choice close

“Would you like me to book connecting flights with Air New Zealand?”

“Which of those cabin options would you most prefer?”

Once you have closed – shut up!  (Or you’ll talk yourself out of a sale) Allow the client to respond and give feedback. If they are ready to buy, and give positive feedback, move into a confirmation stage,  by taking passenger details, payment details, invoicing information etc.

If the client is not ready to buy they’ll soon tell you! They may ask additional questions, or need further reassurance. This is fine! Don’t regard such action as a put off – they’re just not ready yet. Don’t rush the client at this stage or they’ll lose the trust in you that you have developed during the transaction.

If the client needs time to think it over you may be able to hold a booking for a short period of time, without deposits or obligation. This will depend on the supplier/operator. If this option is available offer this to clients, and give them a printout of what you are holding, your business card with name and phone number, and details of how long the booking is being held.

If you are dealing with a client over the phone and the client is not ready to commit to a booking you should confirm your suggested product via e mail so that they have something in writing to think over.

After closing the sale, i.e. gaining the clients agreement to buy, you will need to complete any necessary documentation relevant to the product you have sold the client.  Documentation will vary by product, and is also dependent on the client’s personal details, and how long before departure the product is booked.

DOCUMENTATIONShips in dock at San Diego

Documentation could include:

* Completion of a booking form, signed by the client, containing all passenger details.

*Checking of passport and visa information – and completion of any necessary forms.

* Completion of insurance forms

* Issuance of receipt of deposit paid by client

Different travel agencies will operate a range of operating systems. All agencies will expect a consultant to confirm clearly any bookings made with the client, so that both the client and agency are in agreement as to what is being booked.

No product should be confirmed that has not been agreed with the client in writing, either through the signing of a booking form or other document.

Once the sale is complete, you can sit back and enjoy the feeling of success!! You will have earned a booking for your agency, and valuable commission. More importantly you will have forged a new relationship with a customer who, if you have done your work well, will become a long term loyal customer, who you can help with future trips for years to come.

Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions are the rules and regulations put in place by all travel companies that govern the legal agreement between all parties involved in a booking (the cruise line and its contracted suppliers, the travel agent, and the customer). They explain the responsibilities and obligations that each party must meet.

Often referred to as the Booking Conditions, Terms and Conditions must be clearly understood and agreed to by the customer before they make a reservation.

It is the responsibility of the cruise consultant to point out (or better still, to thoroughly go through) the conditions with their client as part of the sales process. Sometimes, to cover themselves, travel agents will ask their client to sign a disclaimer that states that the client has read, understood, and accepted the terms and conditions of a booking.

Normally one of the last pages in a brochure, Terms and Conditions are one of the most important components of the reservation process.

While headings vary there are common areas that you will find in all brochures as follows:

Terms and Conditions graphic

Glossary

As these conditions are legally binding, some of the wording is very formal and it is important that you gain a good understanding of the meanings of words and phrases contained in the material provided in cruise brochures, and we provide here a glossary of terms for your reference.

Glossary of booking terms

 

Cruise Training Online – Customer requirements

Determining Customer RequirementsCartoon bird

Old fashioned ‘hard sell’ techniques don’t work well in the cruise market and if you want to succeed it’s important to adopt a much more solutions oriented approach to any transaction. Cruise clients are looking for travel consultants who are sensitive to their needs, who wish to establish a business relationship with them not just for this one transaction, but into the future. They’re looking for a professional relationship, not a quick sales deal.

The key here is the building of the relationship. Get to know your client early on by entering into a discussion with them and building in some good questions that gives you more than just their name and phone number.

Where do they live, who will they be travelling with, what is the main reason for the trip they are enquiring about? Have they been on a cruise before? If so, where to, what did they like about it? What are they looking for from this cruise? Who will be going with them on the trip?

Many of these questions are Open Questions – the very best kind to widen the conversation and get information that you’ll need in order to ‘qualify’ the client. A qualifying question is one that is used to find out the clients’ ‘needs’.

Needs are much more than ‘wants’ and tell us much more about what is important to somebody when they’re considering a purchase..

For example:

I want to go on a cruise, but I really need to be in an outside cabin with a balcony as I suffer from claustrophobia.

I want to see Europe, but I only have two weeks holiday time available so it needs to be on a cruise ship so we can see as much as possible

I want to go on a five star ship but only have $2000 to spend so it needs to be more affordable

The role of the sales consultant is to get beyond what they WANT, and find out what they really NEED – by finding out what’s really most important to them with their holiday or travel plans.

Most of us have lots of wants, and a much shorter list of needs – the things on which we are likely to be inflexible.  If we find out what those needs are – we can then use our product knowledge to put together a set of travel arrangements that matches those needs – and which will have a better chance of being acceptable to the client.

With good questioning techniques you’ll be able to establish the clients’ needs and start to qualify which cruise line, ship, and destination are likely to meet those needs.

How do we find out our clients’ needs? By communicating with the client – asking questions, actively listening to the responses – both spoken and unspoken.

Remember that asking questions is useful only if we listen to the answer!  It can be difficult to pay full attention to customers, working in open plan offices with ringing phones, lots of customers chatting, background noise etc. Using active listening techniques will help the consultant focus on the clients needs, and to pick up on buying clues from your client.

Listening empathically – in a way that is understanding and responsive – will help you to see the situation from the client’s perspective.  As with all listening it is important to listen ‘between the lines’ for the unspoken, as well as the spoken needs.

When establishing needs you should use a variety of questions:

Open Questions start with when, where, how, which, who, or even why. They are great for gathering information as they are hard to give a yes/no answer to! Examples include:

When would you like to travel?

Who will you be travelling with on this trip?

How long would you like to be away for in total?

Which area were you considering visiting?

What type of budget did you have in mind?

What is the main purpose of the trip?

Avoid the sensation of this being an interrogation and space the questions out during the transaction, i.e. ask a selected few questions at the beginning, listen to the client, follow up on some of the information, then ask a few more. Start to suggest some products – get a response – ask a few more etc.

It’s also good to use ‘openers’ such as:

Tell me

Thinking about

How would you feel

Have you considered

Examples of this in action are:

Tell me, what type of budget did you have in mind?

Thinking about the Caribbean as your main cruise area, what time of the year would you like to take this trip?

­ How would you feel about a bigger ship that would give you more entertainment options?

­ Have you considered one of the new resort-style ships?

Closed Questions are good for narrowing down or eliminating options, and for gaining agreement. The answer to a closed question strictly speaking is yes or no, but people will often give that answer but add additional information to support their answer. Be careful with this type of question as they can shut down a conversation and sound more like a serious interview and too many ‘no’ replies can put the client in a very negative frame of mind! Examples of closed questions in action:

Would you be interested in a cruise to Fiji?

Is 30 days too long?

Would you consider uplifting your budget?

If we could find a cruise to the Galapagos Islands am I right in thinking that would be of interest to you?

So if there was a GreekIsland cruise with full veranda suite at less than $3000 we’d be in business?

Note that the last three examples were closed questions all designed to elicit a ‘yes’ answer which is really helpful in confirming the fact that you’ve met their needs and gets them ready to say ‘yes’ when you get ready to book it.

Choice Questions are also very useful in eliminating options and in narrowing down the field. Most people like the feeling of having choice but it’s well known that too much choice confuses! Offering a client a choice of 6 or 7 cruise lines or ships is just too many, and a good cruise consultant will have established the best cruise for this client by asking open questions early on. The choice questions are usually used in the latter part of the sales process when you’re ready to present the products to the client:

Do you like the RCL or Princess Cruises itinerary?

Would you prefer a veranda suite or owners stateroom?

Which one appeals most – the 10 day itinerary or the two week cruise?

Determining clients needs graphic_v2

 

Listening SkillsCartoon person listening

Whilst asking questions is a critical skill in selling, listening to the answer is equally important! How many times have you been asked to repeat what you’ve said, particularly on the phone, when the person has asked you your name, phone number, or even why you’re ringing! It may be that there is interference on the phone line, but more often it’s a lack of listening that causes the ‘could you repeat’ that question.

Remember that just because you have two ears doesn’t mean you are automatically listening! Having ears leads to passive hearing and we often blank out conversations/noises because we’re concentrating on something else or just not interested in what is being said! Listening is an active skill and you can raise your listening levels by:

Taking notes

Concentrating on the speaker rather on what you’re doing

Giving feedback on what is being said

Asking questions that clarify your understanding of what you’ve heard

For a cruise consultant the act of taking notes is critical here.  Just writing down the client’s details and needs will provide you with a visual reminder of what information you’ve gathered as you look to find a good product match for the client.

Offering the cruise product with features and benefits

Once you have obtained your client’s needs and expectations through effective questioning and listening skills, you then need to use your product knowledge and cruise resources to find a cruise (or cruises) to recommend to them.

By matching their needs with features of the cruise you will inspire their interest and allow them to feel confident that you are indeed looking after them.

By using feature and benefit statements you will be able to emotionally and personally involve the client with the opportunities of a cruise, and this will help you to make a sale.

A feature is a FACT. It could be a cruise inclusion such as all meals, or a range of optional shore or onboard excursions. A feature is the fact about the cruise as stated by the cruise line in their brochure.

A benefit is the “WHAT’s IN IT FOR ME?” aspect that a client can relate to personally. It is how the feature would personally and positively advantage the client. It could be that their comfort, budget, in general that their personal needs will be taken care of.

Matching features with benefits in single sentences is the most powerful way to have the client feeling that this really is the cruise for them.

Here are some good examples of that technique

Examples of feature+benefit statements

“…so that means you…”… is a very helpful phrase to match up the features of a cruise with the benefits to the passenger, and is also a classic selling technique when you’re trying to help the customer see the relevance of each feature to their needs.

Top Tips for using Features and Benefits

What makes a cruise so appealing or different when compared to a land-based holiday? This is the kind of question that a cruise consultant will be often asked.

There are a number of answers to the question but they’ll certainly include reference to some of the key features and benefits of the cruise product:

Cruising offers the most for the least as the all inclusive price often beats a regular holiday in value for money

No time is wasted with air travel. You get on board the ship, unpack, and you’re ready!

World class entertainment is on hand, and it’s free!

Activities and fun can be had if you want it, relaxation and laid back time if you want that.

Cruising is an adventure unknown ports and places with exotic cultures and people.  Every cruise travels thousands of miles and visits wonderful and interesting places

Cruising is a social event – either because they work so well for families travelling together, or because the social environment is like a really friendly resort or hotel. With people sharing the experience of travelling from port to port there’s always lots to talk about with each other, and the shared ‘camaraderie’ creates lasting friendships.Carnival Dream kids zone

Cruising is educational as the ships visit ports and destinations chosen because they are interesting and people want to go there.

Cruising is fun! People have fun joining in the various activities on offer, or can sit back and watch other people  Unlike many land-based holidays cruising is a 24 hour-a-day experience. Whether passengers choose to lounge in the sun, join in the poolside activities, play games, take dance lessons, enjoy shore excursions, go shopping, watch movies or participate in sporting events the entire cruise experience designed to be a total break from routine, and to be great fun!

 

 

Cruise Training Online – Customer requirements

Determining Customer RequirementsCartoon bird

Old fashioned ‘hard sell’ techniques don’t work well in the cruise market and if you want to succeed it’s important to adopt a much more solutions oriented approach to any transaction. Cruise clients are looking for travel consultants who are sensitive to their needs, who wish to establish a business relationship with them not just for this one transaction, but into the future. They’re looking for a professional relationship, not a quick sales deal.

The key here is the building of the relationship. Get to know your client early on by entering into a discussion with them and building in some good questions that gives you more than just their name and phone number.

Where do they live, who will they be travelling with, what is the main reason for the trip they are enquiring about? Have they been on a cruise before? If so, where to, what did they like about it? What are they looking for from this cruise? Who will be going with them on the trip? Important other information you want to find out about:

  • Purpose of their trip (relaxation; fitness holiday; conference; family catch-up)
  • Date of departure
  • Duration of the holiday/cruise
  • Expectations & interests (party/fun; relaxation; cultural interests)
  • Preferred places to visit
  • Budget
  • On-board services & facilities
  • Special services required

Many of these questions are Open Questions – the very best kind to widen the conversation and get information that you’ll need in order to ‘qualify’ the client. A qualifying question is one that is used to find out the clients’ ‘needs’.

Needs are much more than ‘wants’ and tell us much more about what is important to somebody when they’re considering a purchase..

For example:

I want to go on a cruise, but I really need to be in an outside cabin with a balcony as I suffer from claustrophobia.

I want to see Europe, but I only have two weeks holiday time available so it needs to be on a cruise ship so we can see as much as possible

I want to go on a five star ship but only have $2000 to spend so it needs to be more affordable

The role of the sales consultant is to get beyond what they WANT, and find out what they really NEED – by finding out what’s really most important to them with their holiday or travel plans.

Most of us have lots of wants, and a much shorter list of needs – the things on which we are likely to be inflexible.  If we find out what those needs are – we can then use our product knowledge to put together a set of travel arrangements that matches those needs – and which will have a better chance of being acceptable to the client.

With good questioning techniques you’ll be able to establish the clients’ needs and start to qualify which cruise line, ship, and destination are likely to meet those needs.

How do we find out our clients’ needs? By communicating with the client – asking questions, actively listening to the responses – both spoken and unspoken.

Remember that asking questions is useful only if we listen to the answer!  It can be difficult to pay full attention to customers, working in open plan offices with ringing phones, lots of customers chatting, background noise etc. Using active listening techniques will help the consultant focus on the clients needs, and to pick up on buying clues from your client.

Listening empathically – in a way that is understanding and responsive – will help you to see the situation from the client’s perspective.  As with all listening it is important to listen ‘between the lines’ for the unspoken, as well as the spoken needs.

When establishing needs you should use a variety of questions:

Open Questions start with when, where, how, which, who, or even why. They are great for gathering information as they are hard to give a yes/no answer to! Examples include:

­          When would you like to travel?

­          Who will you be travelling with on this trip?

­          How long would you like to be away for in total?

­          Which area were you considering visiting?

­          What type of budget did you have in mind?

­          What is the main purpose of the trip?

Avoid the sensation of this being an interrogation and space the questions out during the transaction, i.e. ask a selected few questions at the beginning, listen to the client, follow up on some of the information, then ask a few more. Start to suggest some products – get a response – ask a few more etc.

It’s also good to use ‘openers’ such as:

Tell me

Thinking about

How would you feel

Have you considered

Examples of this in action are:

Tell me, what type of budget did you have in mind?

Thinking about the Caribbean as your main cruise area, what time of the year would      you like to take this trip?

How would you feel about a bigger ship that would give you more entertainment options?

Have you considered one of the new resort-style ships?

Closed Questions are good for narrowing down or eliminating options, and for gaining agreement. The answer to a closed question strictly speaking is yes or no, but people will often give that answer but add additional information to support their answer. Be careful with this type of question as they can shut down a conversation and sound more like a serious interview and too many ‘no’ replies can put the client in a very negative frame of mind! Examples of closed questions in action:

Would you be interested in a cruise to Fiji?

Is 30 days too long?

Would you consider uplifting your budget?

If we could find a cruise to the Galapagos Islands am I right in thinking that would be of interest to you?

So if there was a Greek Island cruise with full veranda suite at less than $3000 we’d be in business?

Note that the last three examples were closed questions all designed to elicit a ‘yes’ answer which is really helpful in confirming the fact that you’ve met their needs and gets them ready to say ‘yes’ when you get ready to book it.

Choice Questions are also very useful in eliminating options and in narrowing down the field. Most people like the feeling of having choice but it’s well known that too much choice confuses! Offering a client a choice of 6 or 7 cruise lines or ships is just too many, and a good cruise consultant will have established the best cruise for this client by asking open questions early on. The choice questions are usually used in the latter part of the sales process when you’re ready to present the products to the client:

Do you like the RCL or Princess Cruises itinerary?

Would you prefer a veranda suite or owners stateroom?

Which one appeals most – the 10 day itinerary or the two week cruise?

Determining clients needs graphic_v2

 

Listening SkillsCartoon person listening

Whilst asking questions is a critical skill in selling, listening to the answer is equally important! How many times have you been asked to repeat what you’ve said, particularly on the phone, when the person has asked you your name, phone number, or even why you’re ringing! It may be that there is interference on the phone line, but more often it’s a lack of listening that causes the ‘could you repeat’ that question.

Remember that just because you have two ears doesn’t mean you are automatically listening! Having ears leads to passive hearing and we often blank out conversations/noises because we’re concentrating on something else or just not interested in what is being said! Listening is an active skill and you can raise your listening levels by:

Taking notes

Concentrating on the speaker rather on what you’re doing

Giving feedback on what is being said

Asking questions that clarify your understanding of what you’ve heard

For a cruise consultant the act of taking notes is critical here.  Just writing down the client’s details and needs will provide you with a visual reminder of what information you’ve gathered as you look to find a good product match for the client.

Offering the cruise product with features and benefits

Once you have obtained your client’s needs and expectations through effective questioning and listening skills, you then need to use your product knowledge and cruise resources to find a cruise (or cruises) to recommend to them.Carnival Dream kids zone

By matching their needs with features of the cruise you will inspire their interest and allow them to feel confident that you are indeed looking after them.

By using feature and benefit statements you will be able to emotionally and personally involve the client with the opportunities of a cruise, and this will help you to make a sale.

A feature is a FACT. It could be a cruise inclusion such as all meals, or a range of optional shore or onboard excursions. A feature is the fact about the cruise as stated by the cruise line in their brochure.

A benefit is the “WHAT’s IN IT FOR ME?” aspect that a client can relate to personally. It is how the feature would personally and positively advantage the client. It could be that their comfort, budget, in general that their personal needs will be taken care of.

Matching features with benefits in single sentences is the most powerful way to have the client feeling that this really is the cruise for them.

Here are some good examples of that technique

Examples of feature+benefit statements

“…so that means you…”… is a very helpful phrase to match up the features of a cruise with the benefits to the passenger, and is also a classic selling technique when you’re trying to help the customer see the relevance of each feature to their needs.

Top Tips for using Features and Benefits

What makes a cruise so appealing or different when compared to a land-based holiday? This is the kind of question that a cruise consultant will be often asked.

There are a number of answers to the question but they’ll certainly include reference to some of the key features and benefits of the cruise product:

Cruising offers the most for the least as the all inclusive price often beats a regular holiday in value for money

No time is wasted with air travel. You get on board the ship, unpack, and you’re ready!

World class entertainment is on hand, and it’s free!

Activities and fun can be had if you want it, relaxation and laid back time if you want that.

Cruising is an adventure unknown ports and places with exotic cultures and people.  Every cruise travels thousands of miles and visits wonderful and interesting places

Cruising is a social event – either because they work so well for families travelling together, or because the social environment is like a really friendly resort or hotel. With people sharing the experience of travelling from port to port there’s always lots to talk about with each other, and the shared ‘camaraderie’ creates lasting friendships.

Cruising is educational as the ships visit ports and destinations chosen because they are interesting and people want to go there.

Cruising is fun! People have fun joining in the various activities on offer, or can sit back and watch other people  Unlike many land-based holidays cruising is a 24 hour-a-day experience. Whether passengers choose to lounge in the sun, join in the poolside activities, play games, take dance lessons, enjoy shore excursions, go shopping, watch movies or participate in sporting events the entire cruise experience designed to be a total break from routine, and to be great fun!

 

Cruise Training Online – Customer requirements

Determining Customer RequirementsCartoon bird

Old fashioned ‘hard sell’ techniques don’t work well in the cruise market and if you want to succeed it’s important to adopt a much more solutions oriented approach to any transaction. Cruise clients are looking for travel consultants who are sensitive to their needs, who wish to establish a business relationship with them not just for this one transaction, but into the future. They’re looking for a professional relationship, not a quick sales deal.

The key here is the building of the relationship. Get to know your client early on by entering into a discussion with them and building in some good questions that gives you more than just their name and phone number.

Where do they live, who will they be travelling with, what is the main reason for the trip they are enquiring about? Have they been on a cruise before? If so, where to, what did they like about it? What are they looking for from this cruise? Who will be going with them on the trip?

Many of these questions are Open Questions – the very best kind to widen the conversation and get information that you’ll need in order to ‘qualify’ the client. A qualifying question is one that is used to find out the clients’ ‘needs’.

Needs are much more than ‘wants’ and tell us much more about what is important to somebody when they’re considering a purchase..

For example:

I want to go on a cruise, but I really need to be in an outside cabin with a balcony as I suffer from claustrophobia.

I want to see Europe, but I only have two weeks holiday time available so it needs to be on a cruise ship so we can see as much as possible

I want to go on a five star ship but only have $2000 to spend so it needs to be more affordable

The role of the sales consultant is to get beyond what they WANT, and find out what they really NEED – by finding out what’s really most important to them with their holiday or travel plans.

Most of us have lots of wants, and a much shorter list of needs – the things on which we are likely to be inflexible.  If we find out what those needs are – we can then use our product knowledge to put together a set of travel arrangements that matches those needs – and which will have a better chance of being acceptable to the client.

With good questioning techniques you’ll be able to establish the clients’ needs and start to qualify which cruise line, ship, and destination are likely to meet those needs.

How do we find out our clients’ needs? By communicating with the client – asking questions, actively listening to the responses – both spoken and unspoken.

Remember that asking questions is useful only if we listen to the answer!  It can be difficult to pay full attention to customers, working in open plan offices with ringing phones, lots of customers chatting, background noise etc. Using active listening techniques will help the consultant focus on the clients needs, and to pick up on buying clues from your client.

Listening empathically – in a way that is understanding and responsive – will help you to see the situation from the client’s perspective.  As with all listening it is important to listen ‘between the lines’ for the unspoken, as well as the spoken needs.

When establishing needs you should use a variety of questions:

Open Questions start with when, where, how, which, who, or even why. They are great for gathering information as they are hard to give a yes/no answer to! Examples include:

­          When would you like to travel?

­          Who will you be travelling with on this trip?

­          How long would you like to be away for in total?

­          Which area were you considering visiting?

­          What type of budget did you have in mind?

­          What is the main purpose of the trip?

Avoid the sensation of this being an interrogation and space the questions out during the transaction, i.e. ask a selected few questions at the beginning, listen to the client, follow up on some of the information, then ask a few more. Start to suggest some products – get a response – ask a few more etc.

It’s also good to use ‘openers’ such as:

Tell me

Thinking about

How would you feel

Have you considered

Examples of this in action are:

Tell me, what type of budget did you have in mind?

Thinking about the Caribbean as your main cruise area, what time of the year would      you like to take this trip?

How would you feel about a bigger ship that would give you more entertainment options?

Have you considered one of the new resort-style ships?

Closed Questions are good for narrowing down or eliminating options, and for gaining agreement. The answer to a closed question strictly speaking is yes or no, but people will often give that answer but add additional information to support their answer. Be careful with this type of question as they can shut down a conversation and sound more like a serious interview and too many ‘no’ replies can put the client in a very negative frame of mind! Examples of closed questions in action:

Would you be interested in a cruise to Fiji?

Is 30 days too long?

Would you consider uplifting your budget?

If we could find a cruise to the Galapagos Islands am I right in thinking that would be of interest to you?

So if there was a Greek Island cruise with full veranda suite at less than $3000 we’d be in business?

Note that the last three examples were closed questions all designed to elicit a ‘yes’ answer which is really helpful in confirming the fact that you’ve met their needs and gets them ready to say ‘yes’ when you get ready to book it.

Choice Questions are also very useful in eliminating options and in narrowing down the field. Most people like the feeling of having choice but it’s well known that too much choice confuses! Offering a client a choice of 6 or 7 cruise lines or ships is just too many, and a good cruise consultant will have established the best cruise for this client by asking open questions early on. The choice questions are usually used in the latter part of the sales process when you’re ready to present the products to the client:

Do you like the RCL or Princess Cruises itinerary?

Would you prefer a veranda suite or owners stateroom?

Which one appeals most – the 10 day itinerary or the two week cruise?

Determining clients needs graphic_v2

 

Listening SkillsCartoon person listening

Whilst asking questions is a critical skill in selling, listening to the answer is equally important! How many times have you been asked to repeat what you’ve said, particularly on the phone, when the person has asked you your name, phone number, or even why you’re ringing! It may be that there is interference on the phone line, but more often it’s a lack of listening that causes the ‘could you repeat’ that question.

Remember that just because you have two ears doesn’t mean you are automatically listening! Having ears leads to passive hearing and we often blank out conversations/noises because we’re concentrating on something else or just not interested in what is being said! Listening is an active skill and you can raise your listening levels by:

Taking notes

Concentrating on the speaker rather on what you’re doing

Giving feedback on what is being said

Asking questions that clarify your understanding of what you’ve heard

For a cruise consultant the act of taking notes is critical here.  Just writing down the client’s details and needs will provide you with a visual reminder of what information you’ve gathered as you look to find a good product match for the client.

Offering the cruise product with features and benefits

Once you have obtained your client’s needs and expectations through effective questioning and listening skills, you then need to use your product knowledge and cruise resources to find a cruise (or cruises) to recommend to them.Carnival Dream kids zone

By matching their needs with features of the cruise you will inspire their interest and allow them to feel confident that you are indeed looking after them.

By using feature and benefit statements you will be able to emotionally and personally involve the client with the opportunities of a cruise, and this will help you to make a sale.

A feature is a FACT. It could be a cruise inclusion such as all meals, or a range of optional shore or onboard excursions. A feature is the fact about the cruise as stated by the cruise line in their brochure.

A benefit is the “WHAT’s IN IT FOR ME?” aspect that a client can relate to personally. It is how the feature would personally and positively advantage the client. It could be that their comfort, budget, in general that their personal needs will be taken care of.

Matching features with benefits in single sentences is the most powerful way to have the client feeling that this really is the cruise for them.

Here are some good examples of that technique

Examples of feature+benefit statements

“…so that means you…”… is a very helpful phrase to match up the features of a cruise with the benefits to the passenger, and is also a classic selling technique when you’re trying to help the customer see the relevance of each feature to their needs.

Top Tips for using Features and Benefits

What makes a cruise so appealing or different when compared to a land-based holiday? This is the kind of question that a cruise consultant will be often asked.

There are a number of answers to the question but they’ll certainly include reference to some of the key features and benefits of the cruise product:

Cruising offers the most for the least as the all inclusive price often beats a regular holiday in value for money

No time is wasted with air travel. You get on board the ship, unpack, and you’re ready!

World class entertainment is on hand, and it’s free!

Activities and fun can be had if you want it, relaxation and laid back time if you want that.

Cruising is an adventure unknown ports and places with exotic cultures and people.  Every cruise travels thousands of miles and visits wonderful and interesting places

Cruising is a social event – either because they work so well for families travelling together, or because the social environment is like a really friendly resort or hotel. With people sharing the experience of travelling from port to port there’s always lots to talk about with each other, and the shared ‘camaraderie’ creates lasting friendships.

Cruising is educational as the ships visit ports and destinations chosen because they are interesting and people want to go there.

Cruising is fun! People have fun joining in the various activities on offer, or can sit back and watch other people  Unlike many land-based holidays cruising is a 24 hour-a-day experience. Whether passengers choose to lounge in the sun, join in the poolside activities, play games, take dance lessons, enjoy shore excursions, go shopping, watch movies or participate in sporting events the entire cruise experience designed to be a total break from routine, and to be great fun!

 

Cruise Training Online – Cruise sales

CHAPTER FIVE:  Selling the Cruise Product

Even with the presence of so many great online websites packed within formation on cruising, it may surprise you to know that 90% of cruises are booked through travel agents.  The cruise segment of the travel industry is experiencing unprecedented growth and cruise lines need travel professionals capable of filling the increased capacity with both first time cruisers and repeat cruisers alike.

The sales process of more complex than many other types of travel products and doesn’t lend itself to an electronic transaction such as online bookings directly with the cruise operator. In fact many cruise companies don’t accept direct bookings at all and work exclusively through travel agents around the world.  An effective and cruise-knowledgeable travel consultant is the best medium for booking cruises as the client will get help with both the choosing and booking processes, and the consultant will earn valuable commissions for their agency.cartoon cruise ship 2

Cruisers tend to evolve from first timers, to repetitive cruisers and then on to become sophisticated cruisers looking for unique and unusual cruising opportunities. They increasingly want to experience a wider venue of niche small ships and exotic itineraries. These lead to increasingly complex transactions where travel consultants can play a lead role in navigating the cruise market and securing the right accommodation on the right ship with the right itinerary.

If you are interested in becoming a travel agent/consultant specialising in the cruise product this Chapter will provide you with a useful introduction to the skills needed to sell cruising, the product knowledge needed to recommend cruises that meet differing needs, and the practical techniques needed to quote and book a typical cruise.

Learning Objectives:

On completion of this Chapter you will be able to:

  • Read and understand cruise brochures and web sites
  • Accurately quote inclusive cruise prices for four given client groups
  • Identify key stages in booking a cruise holiday

 

Introduction

More than 10 million people take a cruise each year, and around 80% of those people will cruise in North American waters. That still leaves 2 million people cruising elsewhere!

With over 2,000 ports of call and over 300 sea-going cruise ships around the world accommodating over 250,000 passengers at any one time you can see that the cruise product is significant.

Add to that the fact than in surveys of people aged 25+ with an income of more than $40,000 around 85% of them indicate that have a vision of taking a cruise holiday in the future. That tells us that the market for cruising is pretty large!

Today’s cruisers are much younger than before. They’re younger, they like to cruise with their families, so much so multi-generational family cruises are becoming commonplace. They are looking for a holiday that provides them with the conveniences of not packing and unpacking every day while providing a wealth of new experiences that can only be achieved by multiple new destinations during the same trip… Cruises offer a variety of on-board activities that appeal to all age groups and while meeting the needs of each person. No other type of holiday can provide everything that a cruise can.Ship docking in Bahamas

Cruises departing from Florida in the USA make up about 50% of all cruise passenger departures, and more people cruise to the Caribbean than to any other destination.

For many cruisers the ship itself is the primary destination of their trip, rather than the ports of call. This makes knowledge of the cruise lines, and ships, particularly important. To be able to establish a clients’ prime motivation and needs, and to match that to the cruise product, is a great skill and much valued in the travel agency arena.

For travel agents the cruise business is now big business. Most cruise lines pay a minimum 10% commission and in view of the higher basic price for a cruise (as they include food, transport, accommodation and entertainment) this type of booking is more productive than other travel products sold in a travel agency.

Some cruise lines also pay a 10% commission on optional shore excursions prepaid by the travel agent.

If an agent supports a particular cruise line with enough bookings they may qualify for additional commissions up to 15%-18% based on productivity of the agent. By focusing on “preferred” cruise lines for each market, an agent can produce very profitable results.

Eden_1

Selling cruises does require good product knowledge. The travel consultant should know the individual cruise lines and ships they represent, and should be familiar with the range of itineraries and destinations offered by those cruise lines, particularly in their local geographic area. For example, if you are based in New Zealand you should know which cruise lines offer cruises from New Zealand, which ships are on those routes, the latest range of itineraries, and how to make bookings for these cruises!

Personal experience of the individual ships is the absolute best way to develop the level of knowledge required to properly match your client with the appropriate ship. Cruise lines help in this task and operate programmes of ‘famils’ or ‘educationals’ aimed at cruise consultants and designed to provide first-hand experience of both the ship and the cruise line. They may also offer reduced price cruises for travel consultants to help with product knowledge and build a network of ‘fans’ who will spread the word to their clients!

In addition cruise specialists should spend time familiarising themselves with the cruise brochures, web sites, and attend training sessions organised for sales staff. Cruise companies also provide excellent product training DVD’s and many provide online access to training on their ships and cruises.

Working on your product knowledge will pay dividends as you build confidence and start achieving sales and even better, happy clients who come back to book with you again!

 

Some key factors that help achieve cruise sales

Cruising is for all ages 

Cartoon Yes word

The average age of cruise passengers is coming down and many ships are now targeting much younger passengers with facilities such as ice skating ring, climbing walls and Nintendo Wii duels. Royal Caribbean’s current average age across their ships is 42 – about 20 years younger than it was 20 years ago!

Cruising is about time on-board and time in port

Cruises are designed to allow passengers as much time ashore as possible, sailing at night and waking up in a new port. There are organised excursions, or passengers can explore alone. Travel consultants should focus on the total experience, and on the shore based activities that add value to any cruise. (such as snorkeling, diving, dog sledging, bike tours)

Cruising is good value for money

Prices of traditional cruises are dropping, and with the all inclusive nature of the product represent very good value. Cheaper cruise lines are coming into the market and special deals are available for first time cruisers that bring them into the affordable category for more and more people

Seasickness is a thing of the past

Modern ships all have stabilizers that keep the ships from rocking and rolling and are so stable you might even forget you are on a ship! Clients who are worried about this aspect of cruising might consider bigger ships and choosing a cabin on a lower deck in the centre of the ship, where there is less movement. Cruising more sheltered sea areas such as the Baltic and Adriatic also avoids any swell or tendency towards seasickness.

Attracting repeat customers

Cruising is contagious! Once people have been cruising they tend to want to repeat the experience, and may become regular cruisers for your agency. For experienced cruisers consider these tips:

  • Unusual destinations such as Hurtigruten for Antarctica and Star Cruises for Asia
  • Keep them up to date with new facilities, new ships and new routes
  • Recommend luxury options for special occasions such as anniversaries etc
  • Suggest a river cruise or an extension to a cruise for a different experience

Develop your product knowledge

We mentioned this before – but it’s worth repeating! You will sell more if you know what you’re talking about! Detailed knowledge will help you identify the right cruise for each customer.  Take time to read up on new ships and itineraries, take a real interest in your clients and learn from each cruise that you book.

Market your expertise

There’s no point gaining all this knowledge if your clients don’t know you’ve got it! Make sure you promote the fact you’re a cruise specialist.

Build your database

Create a booking history of your clients. You can use this information when you’re booking their next trip, and can tailor birthday greetings etc to create that special ‘valued client’ feeling that leads to client loyalty.

Who Buys Cruises?Baggage 3

We’ve looked at some factors that help to achieve sales of cruises, but let’s take a moment to think about the people who buy cruises. Understanding who buys cruises is an important step towards effectiveness in selling cruises.

The Cruise Line International Association based in Florida, USA, undertook a survey to establish patterns of buying, and identified the following six key buyer groups, shown here in order of their size in the group market:

Restless Baby Boomers are in their 50’s and 60’s – this is a huge market of people, either approaching or already retired, many of whom have disposable income and time on their hands. This market is price sensitive as they are conscious of having passed their peak earning years, so are often on the look out for a good value holiday. They also see cruising as an attractive family-based holiday, and one which has high elements of fun.

Enthusiastic Baby Boomers are in their 40’s, and are fun loving and family oriented who may still be adventurous and outgoing, and see cruising as a as an entertaining way to see lots of new places with new and interesting people.  This is a group who also see the romantic aspect of cruising.

Consummate Shoppers are usually in their late 50’s or older, are well travelled and enjoy being pampered, fine dining, dressing up and the high life associated with cruising. While they have the money to spend on cruises they are often thrifty, will shop around for a good deal, and like to feel their money is well spent. This group will want a really great ship as they will regard that as their ‘destination’ as much as any ports of call along the way.

Luxury Cruisers are exactly that! They are 50+ people, well educated, cultured, who also look for great ships, lots of pampering and fine dining, but are more affluent than the Keen Shoppers. As money is not an issue they will pay whatever it takes to get the right accommodation on the best ship.

Explorers are a growing group that see cruising as a safe way to see the world. The ship is less important than the destinations, and itinerary will be a key factor when they are considering which cruise to take. This is a mid to late 60’s group who are still active, well educated, reasonably well off, and want to learn more of the world and other cultures. This is a group that plans well ahead in order to get the right cruise.

Ship Buffs are usually in their 70’s, very experienced cruisers who know all there is about cruise lines, their ships, and ports of call! They are a small but slowly growing segment of the cruise market.

Cruise Training Online – Cruise sales

CHAPTER FIVE:  Selling the Cruise Product

Even with the presence of so many great online websites packed within formation on cruising, it may surprise you to know that 90% of cruises are booked through travel agents.  The cruise segment of the travel industry is experiencing unprecedented growth and cruise lines need travel professionals capable of filling the increased capacity with both first time cruisers and repeat cruisers alike.

The sales process of more complex than many other types of travel products and doesn’t lend itself to an electronic transaction such as online bookings directly with the cruise operator. In fact many cruise companies don’t accept direct bookings at all and work exclusively through travel agents around the world.  An effective and cruise-knowledgeable travel consultant is the best medium for booking cruises as the client will get help with both the choosing and booking processes, and the consultant will earn valuable commissions for their agency.cartoon cruise ship 2

Cruisers tend to evolve from first timers, to repetitive cruisers and then on to become sophisticated cruisers looking for unique and unusual cruising opportunities. They increasingly want to experience a wider venue of niche small ships and exotic itineraries. These lead to increasingly complex transactions where travel consultants can play a lead role in navigating the cruise market and securing the right accommodation on the right ship with the right itinerary.

If you are interested in becoming a travel agent/consultant specialising in the cruise product this Chapter will provide you with a useful introduction to the skills needed to sell cruising, the product knowledge needed to recommend cruises that meet differing needs, and the practical techniques needed to quote and book a typical cruise.

Learning Objectives:

On completion of this Chapter you will be able to:

  • Read and understand cruise brochures and web sites
  • Accurately quote inclusive cruise prices for four given client groups
  • Identify key stages in booking a cruise holiday

 

Introduction

More than 10 million people take a cruise each year, and around 80% of those people will cruise in North American waters. That still leaves 2 million people cruising elsewhere!

With over 2,000 ports of call and over 300 sea-going cruise ships around the world accommodating over 250,000 passengers at any one time you can see that the cruise product is significant.

Add to that the fact than in surveys of people aged 25+ with an income of more than $40,000 around 85% of them indicate that have a vision of taking a cruise holiday in the future. That tells us that the market for cruising is pretty large!

Today’s cruisers are much younger than before. They’re younger, they like to cruise with their families, so much so multi-generational family cruises are becoming commonplace. They are looking for a holiday that provides them with the conveniences of not packing and unpacking every day while providing a wealth of new experiences that can only be achieved by multiple new destinations during the same trip… Cruises offer a variety of on-board activities that appeal to all age groups and while meeting the needs of each person. No other type of holiday can provide everything that a cruise can.Ship docking in Bahamas

Cruises departing from Florida in the USA make up about 50% of all cruise passenger departures, and more people cruise to the Caribbean than to any other destination.

For many cruisers the ship itself is the primary destination of their trip, rather than the ports of call. This makes knowledge of the cruise lines, and ships, particularly important. To be able to establish a clients’ prime motivation and needs, and to match that to the cruise product, is a great skill and much valued in the travel agency arena.

For travel agents the cruise business is now big business. Most cruise lines pay a minimum 10% commission and in view of the higher basic price for a cruise (as they include food, transport, accommodation and entertainment) this type of booking is more productive than other travel products sold in a travel agency.

Some cruise lines also pay a 10% commission on optional shore excursions prepaid by the travel agent.

If an agent supports a particular cruise line with enough bookings they may qualify for additional commissions up to 15%-18% based on productivity of the agent. By focusing on “preferred” cruise lines for each market, an agent can produce very profitable results.

Eden_1

Selling cruises does require good product knowledge. The travel consultant should know the individual cruise lines and ships they represent, and should be familiar with the range of itineraries and destinations offered by those cruise lines, particularly in their local geographic area. For example, if you are based in New Zealand you should know which cruise lines offer cruises from New Zealand, which ships are on those routes, the latest range of itineraries, and how to make bookings for these cruises!

Personal experience of the individual ships is the absolute best way to develop the level of knowledge required to properly match your client with the appropriate ship. Cruise lines help in this task and operate programmes of ‘famils’ or ‘educationals’ aimed at cruise consultants and designed to provide first-hand experience of both the ship and the cruise line. They may also offer reduced price cruises for travel consultants to help with product knowledge and build a network of ‘fans’ who will spread the word to their clients!

In addition cruise specialists should spend time familiarising themselves with the cruise brochures, web sites, and attend training sessions organised for sales staff. Cruise companies also provide excellent product training DVD’s and many provide online access to training on their ships and cruises.

Working on your product knowledge will pay dividends as you build confidence and start achieving sales and even better, happy clients who come back to book with you again!

 

Some key factors that help achieve cruise sales

Cruising is for all ages 

Cartoon Yes word

The average age of cruise passengers is coming down and many ships are now targeting much younger passengers with facilities such as ice skating ring, climbing walls and Nintendo Wii duels. Royal Caribbean’s current average age across their ships is 42 – about 20 years younger than it was 20 years ago!

Cruising is about time on-board and time in port

Cruises are designed to allow passengers as much time ashore as possible, sailing at night and waking up in a new port. There are organised excursions, or passengers can explore alone. Travel consultants should focus on the total experience, and on the shore based activities that add value to any cruise. (such as snorkeling, diving, dog sledging, bike tours)

Cruising is good value for money

Prices of traditional cruises are dropping, and with the all inclusive nature of the product represent very good value. Cheaper cruise lines are coming into the market and special deals are available for first time cruisers that bring them into the affordable category for more and more people

Seasickness is a thing of the past

Modern ships all have stabilizers that keep the ships from rocking and rolling and are so stable you might even forget you are on a ship! Clients who are worried about this aspect of cruising might consider bigger ships and choosing a cabin on a lower deck in the centre of the ship, where there is less movement. Cruising more sheltered sea areas such as the Baltic and Adriatic also avoids any swell or tendency towards seasickness.

Attracting repeat customers

Cruising is contagious! Once people have been cruising they tend to want to repeat the experience, and may become regular cruisers for your agency. For experienced cruisers consider these tips:

  • Unusual destinations such as Hurtigruten for Antarctica and Star Cruises for Asia
  • Keep them up to date with new facilities, new ships and new routes
  • Recommend luxury options for special occasions such as anniversaries etc
  • Suggest a river cruise or an extension to a cruise for a different experience

Develop your product knowledge

We mentioned this before – but it’s worth repeating! You will sell more if you know what you’re talking about! Detailed knowledge will help you identify the right cruise for each customer.  Take time to read up on new ships and itineraries, take a real interest in your clients and learn from each cruise that you book.

Market your expertise

There’s no point gaining all this knowledge if your clients don’t know you’ve got it! Make sure you promote the fact you’re a cruise specialist.

Build your database

Create a booking history of your clients. You can use this information when you’re booking their next trip, and can tailor birthday greetings etc to create that special ‘valued client’ feeling that leads to client loyalty.

Who Buys Cruises?Baggage 3

We’ve looked at some factors that help to achieve sales of cruises, but let’s take a moment to think about the people who buy cruises. Understanding who buys cruises is an important step towards effectiveness in selling cruises.

The Cruise Line International Association based in Florida, USA, undertook a survey to establish patterns of buying, and identified the following six key buyer groups, shown here in order of their size in the group market:

Restless Baby Boomers are in their 50’s and 60’s – this is a huge market of people, either approaching or already retired, many of whom have disposable income and time on their hands. This market is price sensitive as they are conscious of having passed their peak earning years, so are often on the look out for a good value holiday. They also see cruising as an attractive family-based holiday, and one which has high elements of fun.

Enthusiastic Baby Boomers are in their 40’s, and are fun loving and family oriented who may still be adventurous and outgoing, and see cruising as a as an entertaining way to see lots of new places with new and interesting people.  This is a group who also see the romantic aspect of cruising.

Consummate Shoppers are usually in their late 50’s or older, are well travelled and enjoy being pampered, fine dining, dressing up and the high life associated with cruising. While they have the money to spend on cruises they are often thrifty, will shop around for a good deal, and like to feel their money is well spent. This group will want a really great ship as they will regard that as their ‘destination’ as much as any ports of call along the way.

Luxury Cruisers are exactly that! They are 50+ people, well educated, cultured, who also look for great ships, lots of pampering and fine dining, but are more affluent than the Keen Shoppers. As money is not an issue they will pay whatever it takes to get the right accommodation on the best ship.

Explorers are a growing group that see cruising as a safe way to see the world. The ship is less important than the destinations, and itinerary will be a key factor when they are considering which cruise to take. This is a mid to late 60’s group who are still active, well educated, reasonably well off, and want to learn more of the world and other cultures. This is a group that plans well ahead in order to get the right cruise.

Ship Buffs are usually in their 70’s, very experienced cruisers who know all there is about cruise lines, their ships, and ports of call! They are a small but slowly growing segment of the cruise market.

Cruise Training Online – Cruise sales

CHAPTER FIVE:  Selling the Cruise Product

Even with the presence of so many great online websites packed within formation on cruising, it may surprise you to know that 90% of cruises are booked through travel agents.  The cruise segment of the travel industry is experiencing unprecedented growth and cruise lines need travel professionals capable of filling the increased capacity with both first time cruisers and repeat cruisers alike.

The sales process of more complex than many other types of travel products and doesn’t lend itself to an electronic transaction such as online bookings directly with the cruise operator. In fact many cruise companies don’t accept direct bookings at all and work exclusively through travel agents around the world.  An effective and cruise-knowledgeable travel consultant is the best medium for booking cruises as the client will get help with both the choosing and booking processes, and the consultant will earn valuable commissions for their agency.cartoon cruise ship 2

Cruisers tend to evolve from first timers, to repetitive cruisers and then on to become sophisticated cruisers looking for unique and unusual cruising opportunities. They increasingly want to experience a wider venue of niche small ships and exotic itineraries. These lead to increasingly complex transactions where travel consultants can play a lead role in navigating the cruise market and securing the right accommodation on the right ship with the right itinerary.

If you are interested in becoming a travel agent/consultant specialising in the cruise product this Chapter will provide you with a useful introduction to the skills needed to sell cruising, the product knowledge needed to recommend cruises that meet differing needs, and the practical techniques needed to quote and book a typical cruise.

Learning Objectives:

On completion of this Chapter you will be able to:

  • Read and understand cruise brochures and web sites
  • Accurately quote inclusive cruise prices for four given client groups
  • Identify key stages in booking a cruise holiday

 

Introduction

More than 10 million people take a cruise each year, and around 80% of those people will cruise in North American waters. That still leaves 2 million people cruising elsewhere!

With over 2,000 ports of call and over 300 sea-going cruise ships around the world accommodating over 250,000 passengers at any one time you can see that the cruise product is significant.

Add to that the fact than in surveys of people aged 25+ with an income of more than $40,000 around 85% of them indicate that have a vision of taking a cruise holiday in the future. That tells us that the market for cruising is pretty large!

Today’s cruisers are much younger than before. They’re younger, they like to cruise with their families, so much so multi-generational family cruises are becoming commonplace. They are looking for a holiday that provides them with the conveniences of not packing and unpacking every day while providing a wealth of new experiences that can only be achieved by multiple new destinations during the same trip… Cruises offer a variety of on-board activities that appeal to all age groups and while meeting the needs of each person. No other type of holiday can provide everything that a cruise can.Ship docking in Bahamas

Cruises departing from Florida in the USA make up about 50% of all cruise passenger departures, and more people cruise to the Caribbean than to any other destination.

For many cruisers the ship itself is the primary destination of their trip, rather than the ports of call. This makes knowledge of the cruise lines, and ships, particularly important. To be able to establish a clients’ prime motivation and needs, and to match that to the cruise product, is a great skill and much valued in the travel agency arena.

For travel agents the cruise business is now big business. Most cruise lines pay a minimum 10% commission and in view of the higher basic price for a cruise (as they include food, transport, accommodation and entertainment) this type of booking is more productive than other travel products sold in a travel agency.

Some cruise lines also pay a 10% commission on optional shore excursions prepaid by the travel agent.

If an agent supports a particular cruise line with enough bookings they may qualify for additional commissions up to 15%-18% based on productivity of the agent. By focusing on “preferred” cruise lines for each market, an agent can produce very profitable results.

Eden_1

Selling cruises does require good product knowledge. The travel consultant should know the individual cruise lines and ships they represent, and should be familiar with the range of itineraries and destinations offered by those cruise lines, particularly in their local geographic area. For example, if you are based in New Zealand you should know which cruise lines offer cruises from New Zealand, which ships are on those routes, the latest range of itineraries, and how to make bookings for these cruises!

Personal experience of the individual ships is the absolute best way to develop the level of knowledge required to properly match your client with the appropriate ship. Cruise lines help in this task and operate programmes of ‘famils’ or ‘educationals’ aimed at cruise consultants and designed to provide first-hand experience of both the ship and the cruise line. They may also offer reduced price cruises for travel consultants to help with product knowledge and build a network of ‘fans’ who will spread the word to their clients!

In addition cruise specialists should spend time familiarising themselves with the cruise brochures, web sites, and attend training sessions organised for sales staff. Cruise companies also provide excellent product training DVD’s and many provide online access to training on their ships and cruises.

Working on your product knowledge will pay dividends as you build confidence and start achieving sales and even better, happy clients who come back to book with you again!

 

Some key factors that help achieve cruise sales

Cruising is for all ages 

Cartoon Yes word

The average age of cruise passengers is coming down and many ships are now targeting much younger passengers with facilities such as ice skating ring, climbing walls and Nintendo Wii duels. Royal Caribbean’s current average age across their ships is 42 – about 20 years younger than it was 20 years ago!

Cruising is about time on-board and time in port

Cruises are designed to allow passengers as much time ashore as possible, sailing at night and waking up in a new port. There are organised excursions, or passengers can explore alone. Travel consultants should focus on the total experience, and on the shore based activities that add value to any cruise. (such as snorkeling, diving, dog sledging, bike tours)

Cruising is good value for money

Prices of traditional cruises are dropping, and with the all inclusive nature of the product represent very good value. Cheaper cruise lines are coming into the market and special deals are available for first time cruisers that bring them into the affordable category for more and more people

Seasickness is a thing of the past

Modern ships all have stabilizers that keep the ships from rocking and rolling and are so stable you might even forget you are on a ship! Clients who are worried about this aspect of cruising might consider bigger ships and choosing a cabin on a lower deck in the centre of the ship, where there is less movement. Cruising more sheltered sea areas such as the Baltic and Adriatic also avoids any swell or tendency towards seasickness.

Attracting repeat customers

Cruising is contagious! Once people have been cruising they tend to want to repeat the experience, and may become regular cruisers for your agency. For experienced cruisers consider these tips:

  • Unusual destinations such as Hurtigruten for Antarctica and Star Cruises for Asia
  • Keep them up to date with new facilities, new ships and new routes
  • Recommend luxury options for special occasions such as anniversaries etc
  • Suggest a river cruise or an extension to a cruise for a different experience

Develop your product knowledge

We mentioned this before – but it’s worth repeating! You will sell more if you know what you’re talking about! Detailed knowledge will help you identify the right cruise for each customer.  Take time to read up on new ships and itineraries, take a real interest in your clients and learn from each cruise that you book.

Market your expertise

There’s no point gaining all this knowledge if your clients don’t know you’ve got it! Make sure you promote the fact you’re a cruise specialist.

Build your database

Create a booking history of your clients. You can use this information when you’re booking their next trip, and can tailor birthday greetings etc to create that special ‘valued client’ feeling that leads to client loyalty.

Who Buys Cruises?Baggage 3

We’ve looked at some factors that help to achieve sales of cruises, but let’s take a moment to think about the people who buy cruises. Understanding who buys cruises is an important step towards effectiveness in selling cruises.

The Cruise Line International Association based in Florida, USA, undertook a survey to establish patterns of buying, and identified the following six key buyer groups, shown here in order of their size in the group market:

Restless Baby Boomers are in their 50’s and 60’s – this is a huge market of people, either approaching or already retired, many of whom have disposable income and time on their hands. This market is price sensitive as they are conscious of having passed their peak earning years, so are often on the look out for a good value holiday. They also see cruising as an attractive family-based holiday, and one which has high elements of fun.

Enthusiastic Baby Boomers are in their 40’s, and are fun loving and family oriented who may still be adventurous and outgoing, and see cruising as a as an entertaining way to see lots of new places with new and interesting people.  This is a group who also see the romantic aspect of cruising.

Consummate Shoppers are usually in their late 50’s or older, are well travelled and enjoy being pampered, fine dining, dressing up and the high life associated with cruising. While they have the money to spend on cruises they are often thrifty, will shop around for a good deal, and like to feel their money is well spent. This group will want a really great ship as they will regard that as their ‘destination’ as much as any ports of call along the way.

Luxury Cruisers are exactly that! They are 50+ people, well educated, cultured, who also look for great ships, lots of pampering and fine dining, but are more affluent than the Keen Shoppers. As money is not an issue they will pay whatever it takes to get the right accommodation on the best ship.

Explorers are a growing group that see cruising as a safe way to see the world. The ship is less important than the destinations, and itinerary will be a key factor when they are considering which cruise to take. This is a mid to late 60’s group who are still active, well educated, reasonably well off, and want to learn more of the world and other cultures. This is a group that plans well ahead in order to get the right cruise.

Ship Buffs are usually in their 70’s, very experienced cruisers who know all there is about cruise lines, their ships, and ports of call! They are a small but slowly growing segment of the cruise market.

Cruise Training Online – South Pacific & sizes of ships

Cruising in the South Pacific

The only major cruise line to service the region year-round is Paul Gauguin Cruises with its 332-passenger Paul Gauguin. The ship sails 7- to 14-night cruises to the Society Islands, Tuamotus, Cook Islands, Marquesas and New Zealand.

Three lesser-known but worthwhile cruise choices in Tahiti are Bora Bora Cruises, with its two stylish cruise yachts (40 passengers each); the fabled Aranui 3, a mixed passenger/cargo vessel that makes regular 16-day trips from Tahiti to the Marquesas and Tuamotu atolls; and Archipels Cruises, with its fleet of five eight-passenger catamarans, which offer three- to eight-night cruises that provide a true sailing experience.

Tahiti mountain peaks

Small-ship operators Blue Lagoon Cruises and Captain Cook Cruises also offer appealing options. Blue Lagoon Cruises operates a small fleet of ships that explore the Yasawa Islands with three-, four- and seven-night itineraries. In addition, Blue Lagoon’s 70-passenger catamaran, Fiji Princess, sails a six-night historical and cultural cruise three times a year, featuring remote islands north of Fiji like Rabi and Kioa. Similarly, Captain Cook Cruises’ 120-passenger Reef Escape offers three-, four- and seven-night Yasawa cruises, and a seven-night option to remote northern Fiji. Micronesia, one of the world’s premier scuba destinations, is mainly served by diving “live boards.”

Princess Cruises’ 710-passenger Royal Princess spends the fall and winter in the South Pacific, offering several 10-night cruises roundtrip Papeete, as well as longer itineraries that visit Hawaii and Tahiti.

A cruise aboard Star Cruises offers three classes of cruising – the SuperStar, Star and MegaStar Series, accommodating individual needs of lifestyle and budget. Each ship has a non-stop array of activities as well as facilities such as restaurants, pools, gymnasium, karaoke rooms, library, mah-jong, card and games room, cinema and shopping.

Royal Caribbean International cruise ships offer open spaces and private balconies. Enjoy on-board and shore side activities during your cruise, such as rock climbing, relaxing poolside, wine tasting, and the award-winning Adventure Ocean Youth Program. A Royal Caribbean International cruise is a smart and affordable method of cruise travel.

Cruise with the Disney Cruise Line ships and you will find guests of all ages enjoying unforgettable experiences including Disney-style entertainment. Experience incredible on-board activities from original Disney stage shows to dance and comedy clubs, open-air deck parties and fantastic programs for kids and teens. And while the kids are having a great time, there is also indulgent pampering for adults.

 

The Upside and Downside of Ships

The Big Boys! (2,000 to 4,000 passengers) Allure of the Seas meeting Oasis of the Seas

Pros

  • They’re like a big resort hotel, with lots of variety.
  • Activities aplenty, from hairy chest contests to computer classes.
  • Multiple swimming pools; some adult (or kid) only.
  • Plentiful, affordable cabins with balconies.
  • Huge casinos with the latest, trendiest table games, such as Texas Hold ‘Em.
  • Big gyms with state-of-the-art equipment.
  • Lavish spas, often with a dedicated thalasso therapy pool.
  • Multi-tiered children’s’ programs with a range of facilities.
  • Theatres featuring Broadway-esque musical productions.
  • Variety of nightclubs and bars; most of which feature themes and entertainment.
  • Alternative dining options, ranging from ultra-casual to date-night formal.
  • Demographically diverse, ranging from families to seniors and in-between.

Cons

  • Crowds, including lines at buffets and at embarkation and disembarkation.
  • Not enough deck chairs (you may have to get up early to get a good one).
  • Lots of families (for those without kids).
  • Visit ports that are rather standard (those that offer beaches, bars and shopping).
  • You are likely to have an assigned dinner time and table (though more big ships are offering flexible dining).
  • You may need a map to find your way around.
  • Service can be impersonal.

Middle Sized Ships (1,000 to 2,000 passengers)

Pros

Best of both worlds with a more village-like ambience, but room for popular amenities.

Casinos.

Substantial entertainment offerings.

Interesting — even exotic — itineraries.

Enrichment activities.

Several swimming pools.

Functional gyms and spas.

A handful of alternative dining options.

Fewer families (for those travelling without kids).

Generally more value-priced.

Cons

Few lines are building ships this size so they tend to be outdated (unless they are refurbished).

Passengers tend to be older.

Fewer families (for those travelling with kids).

May be more sedate than bigger ships.

Smaller public rooms.

Smaller cabins.

Balconies, if they exist at all, are limited to suite residents.

You may have to eat at an assigned mealtime and at an assigned table.

Small Ships (less than 1,000 passengers) Windstar banner_home_setsail

Pros

New or not as new, these ships have up-to-date features and amenities.

Personalized service.

High levels of cuisine.

Less waiting in lines.

Clever uses of space to enable them to offer more services, such as in-cabin massages.

Exotic itineraries are the norm (and even mainstream ones call at unusual ports).

Fewer families.

Very relaxed pace.

Luxury, particularly in cabins, is emphasized.

Dining is an open-seating, flexible scenario.

Significant enrichment programs featuring world-famous experts.

Smaller scale, more elegant entertainment.

Michelin-level alternative restaurants.

Often, much is included in the fare (alcohol, gratuities).

Cons

Often (though not in all cases), they have fewer balconies; some have none at all.

Activity wise, it’s definitely low key.

Limited kids programs and facilities; some actively discourage them.
Fewer public rooms.

Most expensive cruise fares.

Pools may be small.

If there’s a spa and gym, they may be tiny.

Cruise Training Online – South Pacific & sizes of ships

Cruising in the South Pacific

The only major cruise line to service the region year-round is Paul Gauguin Cruises with its 332-passenger Paul Gauguin. The ship sails 7- to 14-night cruises to the Society Islands, Tuamotus, Cook Islands, Marquesas and New Zealand.

Three lesser-known but worthwhile cruise choices in Tahiti are Bora Bora Cruises, with its two stylish cruise yachts (40 passengers each); the fabled Aranui 3, a mixed passenger/cargo vessel that makes regular 16-day trips from Tahiti to the Marquesas and Tuamotu atolls; and Archipels Cruises, with its fleet of five eight-passenger catamarans, which offer three- to eight-night cruises that provide a true sailing experience.

Tahiti mountain peaks

Small-ship operators Blue Lagoon Cruises and Captain Cook Cruises also offer appealing options. Blue Lagoon Cruises operates a small fleet of ships that explore the Yasawa Islands with three-, four- and seven-night itineraries. In addition, Blue Lagoon’s 70-passenger catamaran, Fiji Princess, sails a six-night historical and cultural cruise three times a year, featuring remote islands north of Fiji like Rabi and Kioa. Similarly, Captain Cook Cruises’ 120-passenger Reef Escape offers three-, four- and seven-night Yasawa cruises, and a seven-night option to remote northern Fiji. Micronesia, one of the world’s premier scuba destinations, is mainly served by diving “live boards.”

Princess Cruises’ 710-passenger Royal Princess spends the fall and winter in the South Pacific, offering several 10-night cruises roundtrip Papeete, as well as longer itineraries that visit Hawaii and Tahiti.

A cruise aboard Star Cruises offers three classes of cruising – the SuperStar, Star and MegaStar Series, accommodating individual needs of lifestyle and budget. Each ship has a non-stop array of activities as well as facilities such as restaurants, pools, gymnasium, karaoke rooms, library, mah-jong, card and games room, cinema and shopping.

Royal Caribbean International cruise ships offer open spaces and private balconies. Enjoy on-board and shore side activities during your cruise, such as rock climbing, relaxing poolside, wine tasting, and the award-winning Adventure Ocean Youth Program. A Royal Caribbean International cruise is a smart and affordable method of cruise travel.

Cruise with the Disney Cruise Line ships and you will find guests of all ages enjoying unforgettable experiences including Disney-style entertainment. Experience incredible on-board activities from original Disney stage shows to dance and comedy clubs, open-air deck parties and fantastic programs for kids and teens. And while the kids are having a great time, there is also indulgent pampering for adults.

 

The Upside and Downside of Ships

The Big Boys! (2,000 to 4,000 passengers) Allure of the Seas meeting Oasis of the Seas

Pros

  • They’re like a big resort hotel, with lots of variety.
  • Activities aplenty, from hairy chest contests to computer classes.
  • Multiple swimming pools; some adult (or kid) only.
  • Plentiful, affordable cabins with balconies.
  • Huge casinos with the latest, trendiest table games, such as Texas Hold ‘Em.
  • Big gyms with state-of-the-art equipment.
  • Lavish spas, often with a dedicated thalasso therapy pool.
  • Multi-tiered children’s’ programs with a range of facilities.
  • Theatres featuring Broadway-esque musical productions.
  • Variety of nightclubs and bars; most of which feature themes and entertainment.
  • Alternative dining options, ranging from ultra-casual to date-night formal.
  • Demographically diverse, ranging from families to seniors and in-between.

Cons

  • Crowds, including lines at buffets and at embarkation and disembarkation.
  • Not enough deck chairs (you may have to get up early to get a good one).
  • Lots of families (for those without kids).
  • Visit ports that are rather standard (those that offer beaches, bars and shopping).
  • You are likely to have an assigned dinner time and table (though more big ships are offering flexible dining).
  • You may need a map to find your way around.
  • Service can be impersonal.

Middle Sized Ships (1,000 to 2,000 passengers)

Pros

Best of both worlds with a more village-like ambience, but room for popular amenities.

Casinos.

Substantial entertainment offerings.

Interesting — even exotic — itineraries.

Enrichment activities.

Several swimming pools.

Functional gyms and spas.

A handful of alternative dining options.

Fewer families (for those travelling without kids).

Generally more value-priced.

Cons

Few lines are building ships this size so they tend to be outdated (unless they are refurbished).

Passengers tend to be older.

Fewer families (for those travelling with kids).

May be more sedate than bigger ships.

Smaller public rooms.

Smaller cabins.

Balconies, if they exist at all, are limited to suite residents.

You may have to eat at an assigned mealtime and at an assigned table.

Small Ships (less than 1,000 passengers) Windstar banner_home_setsail

Pros

New or not as new, these ships have up-to-date features and amenities.

Personalized service.

High levels of cuisine.

Less waiting in lines.

Clever uses of space to enable them to offer more services, such as in-cabin massages.

Exotic itineraries are the norm (and even mainstream ones call at unusual ports).

Fewer families.

Very relaxed pace.

Luxury, particularly in cabins, is emphasized.

Dining is an open-seating, flexible scenario.

Significant enrichment programs featuring world-famous experts.

Smaller scale, more elegant entertainment.

Michelin-level alternative restaurants.

Often, much is included in the fare (alcohol, gratuities).

Cons

Often (though not in all cases), they have fewer balconies; some have none at all.

Activity wise, it’s definitely low key.

Limited kids programs and facilities; some actively discourage them.
Fewer public rooms.

Most expensive cruise fares.

Pools may be small.

If there’s a spa and gym, they may be tiny.

Cruise Training Online – South Pacific & sizes of ships

Cruising in the South Pacific

The only major cruise line to service the region year-round is Paul Gauguin Cruises with its 332-passenger Paul Gauguin. The ship sails 7- to 14-night cruises to the Society Islands, Tuamotus, Cook Islands, Marquesas and New Zealand.

Three lesser-known but worthwhile cruise choices in Tahiti are Bora Bora Cruises, with its two stylish cruise yachts (40 passengers each); the fabled Aranui 3, a mixed passenger/cargo vessel that makes regular 16-day trips from Tahiti to the Marquesas and Tuamotu atolls; and Archipels Cruises, with its fleet of five eight-passenger catamarans, which offer three- to eight-night cruises that provide a true sailing experience.

Tahiti mountain peaks

Small-ship operators Blue Lagoon Cruises and Captain Cook Cruises also offer appealing options. Blue Lagoon Cruises operates a small fleet of ships that explore the Yasawa Islands with three-, four- and seven-night itineraries. In addition, Blue Lagoon’s 70-passenger catamaran, Fiji Princess, sails a six-night historical and cultural cruise three times a year, featuring remote islands north of Fiji like Rabi and Kioa. Similarly, Captain Cook Cruises’ 120-passenger Reef Escape offers three-, four- and seven-night Yasawa cruises, and a seven-night option to remote northern Fiji. Micronesia, one of the world’s premier scuba destinations, is mainly served by diving “live boards.”

Princess Cruises’ 710-passenger Royal Princess spends the fall and winter in the South Pacific, offering several 10-night cruises roundtrip Papeete, as well as longer itineraries that visit Hawaii and Tahiti.

A cruise aboard Star Cruises offers three classes of cruising – the SuperStar, Star and MegaStar Series, accommodating individual needs of lifestyle and budget. Each ship has a non-stop array of activities as well as facilities such as restaurants, pools, gymnasium, karaoke rooms, library, mah-jong, card and games room, cinema and shopping.

Royal Caribbean International cruise ships offer open spaces and private balconies. Enjoy on-board and shore side activities during your cruise, such as rock climbing, relaxing poolside, wine tasting, and the award-winning Adventure Ocean Youth Program. A Royal Caribbean International cruise is a smart and affordable method of cruise travel.

Cruise with the Disney Cruise Line ships and you will find guests of all ages enjoying unforgettable experiences including Disney-style entertainment. Experience incredible on-board activities from original Disney stage shows to dance and comedy clubs, open-air deck parties and fantastic programs for kids and teens. And while the kids are having a great time, there is also indulgent pampering for adults.

 

The Upside and Downside of Ships

The Big Boys! (2,000 to 4,000 passengers) Allure of the Seas meeting Oasis of the Seas

Pros

  • They’re like a big resort hotel, with lots of variety.
  • Activities aplenty, from hairy chest contests to computer classes.
  • Multiple swimming pools; some adult (or kid) only.
  • Plentiful, affordable cabins with balconies.
  • Huge casinos with the latest, trendiest table games, such as Texas Hold ‘Em.
  • Big gyms with state-of-the-art equipment.
  • Lavish spas, often with a dedicated thalasso therapy pool.
  • Multi-tiered children’s’ programs with a range of facilities.
  • Theatres featuring Broadway-esque musical productions.
  • Variety of nightclubs and bars; most of which feature themes and entertainment.
  • Alternative dining options, ranging from ultra-casual to date-night formal.
  • Demographically diverse, ranging from families to seniors and in-between.

Cons

  • Crowds, including lines at buffets and at embarkation and disembarkation.
  • Not enough deck chairs (you may have to get up early to get a good one).
  • Lots of families (for those without kids).
  • Visit ports that are rather standard (those that offer beaches, bars and shopping).
  • You are likely to have an assigned dinner time and table (though more big ships are offering flexible dining).
  • You may need a map to find your way around.
  • Service can be impersonal.

Middle Sized Ships (1,000 to 2,000 passengers)

Pros

Best of both worlds with a more village-like ambience, but room for popular amenities.

Casinos.

Substantial entertainment offerings.

Interesting — even exotic — itineraries.

Enrichment activities.

Several swimming pools.

Functional gyms and spas.

A handful of alternative dining options.

Fewer families (for those travelling without kids).

Generally more value-priced.

Cons

Few lines are building ships this size so they tend to be outdated (unless they are refurbished).

Passengers tend to be older.

Fewer families (for those travelling with kids).

May be more sedate than bigger ships.

Smaller public rooms.

Smaller cabins.

Balconies, if they exist at all, are limited to suite residents.

You may have to eat at an assigned mealtime and at an assigned table.

Small Ships (less than 1,000 passengers) Windstar banner_home_setsail

Pros

New or not as new, these ships have up-to-date features and amenities.

Personalized service.

High levels of cuisine.

Less waiting in lines.

Clever uses of space to enable them to offer more services, such as in-cabin massages.

Exotic itineraries are the norm (and even mainstream ones call at unusual ports).

Fewer families.

Very relaxed pace.

Luxury, particularly in cabins, is emphasized.

Dining is an open-seating, flexible scenario.

Significant enrichment programs featuring world-famous experts.

Smaller scale, more elegant entertainment.

Michelin-level alternative restaurants.

Often, much is included in the fare (alcohol, gratuities).

Cons

Often (though not in all cases), they have fewer balconies; some have none at all.

Activity wise, it’s definitely low key.

Limited kids programs and facilities; some actively discourage them.
Fewer public rooms.

Most expensive cruise fares.

Pools may be small.

If there’s a spa and gym, they may be tiny.

Cruise Training Online – Oceania, Windstar & Disney

OCEANIA CRUISESOceania Cruises logo

Oceania is based in Miami (USA) owned by Prestige Cruise Holdings who also own Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Oceania was formed in 2002 to be the world’s only upper premium cruise line, majoring on being a ‘destination-oriented’ cruise line. There are virtually no days spent ‘at sea’ and Oceania’s ships often stay multi-nights in port so passengers can see places at greater depth.

Their mid sized ships are intimate and luxurious, with two staff to every three passengers which helps to provide good levels of service.  Oceania sails to more than 330 ports with a great range of itineraries that mix must-see places with boutique off-the-track ports. This line’s ships accommodate around 680 passengers, and include the Regatta, Nautica, Insignia and Marina.Oceania ships_insignia-nautica-regatta

The line competes with the mega ships in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean and is known for its value packed itineraries particularly casual atmosphere.  There are no formal nights so dressing up is optional, a real ‘plus’ for many younger cruise passengers.

Oceania cruises are well priced, often well below other premium cruise ships, yet the standards of accommodation and across the ships generally is definitely 4-5 star.

Oceania ship Marina pool deck

Rates are not ‘inclusive’ which means that many items passengers take for granted in other cruise lines are regarded as extras on Oceania ships. (coffees, soft drink, bottled water etc) Oceania charges for nearly every service not normally included in the cruise price.

The Two specialty restaurants, Polo and Toscana, are among the finest restaurants at sea, and the use of Canyon Ranch Spa facilities (one of the best in the USA) provides a well recognised on board amenity that cruise passengers rate highly.

Oceania is a laid-back experience when compared to some of the more frantic mass market lines.

OCEANIA SHIPSOceania ship Marina

Oceania’s mid sized ships (Regatta, Nautica, Insignia and Marina) are very well fitted out, with dark wood, elegant furnishings and a club-like atmosphere. The size of the ships is important, they’re not too big, nor too small.  There are plenty of seating areas and it’s always possible to find deck chairs on the lovely pool deck.

There are no children’s programmes on Oceania ships, so no children! This is a plus for many cruise passengers as it restricts the number of children on board!

The standard of on-board entertainment on Oceania ships is less glitzy than on a cruise line such as Crystal, but is enough to keep people entertained on a night they’re not on shore.

The ships all have a mix of cabins and staterooms, ranging from the cheapest (inside cabins) through to veranda staterooms and penthouse suites.

Oceania ship Marina Owners Suites outdoor hot tub

Oceania ship Marina standard balcony cabin

Each ship has six open seating restaurants, which means no fixed sittings for dinner – an increasingly popular feature of cruising and a break from the traditions of having to eat.

Marina is Oceania’s latest ship, and is already attracting a lot of interest in the cruise market. Checkout this interesting review here and if you don’t fancy going on it I’ll eat my hat!

Oceania_Review of Marina ship

Explore the Oceania ships through these videos here:

http://nz.oceaniacruises.com/ships/pointsofdistinction.aspx?o=OVER

http://nz.oceaniacruises.com

WINDSTARWindstar banner_home_setsail

Windstar Cruises is a small cruise line owned by an American based billionaire with sporting events and entertainments interests, under the holding name TAC Cruises.

The cruise line has three intimate, nautical-themed ships. Their flagship, Wind Surf, has five of the tallest masts at sea, and at sea the 27,000 square feet of white sails is a memorable sight.

Wind Surf carried 312 passengers, and the two smaller ships, Wind Spirit and Wind star each carry 150 passengers and 90 crew members.

The ships has been operating since 1984 and have always been popular with couples looking for romantic honeymoons and a more intimate cruising experience. This cruise line also appeals to contemporary travellers, a younger cruising crowd, who appreciate the casual elegance of the ships, a good choice of dining options, good mix of shore excursions and top line spa facilities.

The casual on-board atmosphere with no formal nights, friendly crew members, open deck space, open-seating dining and nautical-themed staterooms make up the charm of these motorized sail ships.

Windstar features port-intensive itineraries in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean and they sail frequently around the Polynesian Islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora in the South Pacific.

Check out here some recent reviews of Wind Star:

The food is surprisingly good and guests never feel rushed in the dining room. We like the concept of the breakfast and luncheon buffets which are supplemented by a changing menu of daily specials. Guests always have the choice of dining inside or on the open deck. There really is nothing like having warm croissants and coffee on the open deck, sitting under the sails, as the Windstar ship gently glides into port.

Entertainment is virtually non-existent, perhaps the most appreciated of all of Windstar’s amenities! In fact, much of Windstar’s appeal lies in what the ships do not have versus what they have. No organizing-crazed cruise directors, annoying photographers, or D-List comedians. Expect two or three musicians, a small casino, and a wonderful library of DVD’s to be brought back to the cabin for viewing.

Windstar’s often charming British Officers maintain an “Open Bridge” policy. They appreciate late-night visitors and are eager to explain the inner workings of the ship – the first to use Japanese computer technology to maintain an even keel. For this reason, most Windstar guests are surprised at the ships stability in open water.

WINDSTAR SHIPS

Tahiti 3

The ships have all been recently refurbished and all feature flat screen TV’s and Bose IPod decks in all staterooms.


 

Wind Star Deck Plan

Even though these motorized ships only fly their sails about 5% of the time–mostly for show when sailing out a city harbour–the ships are still distinctly majestic in appearance.

They can access much smaller harbours than larger cruise ships, and each ship has a sports deck built into the stern where it operates a range of water sports, including small dinghies, banana boats, snorkelers and scuba divers. The Windstar water sports programme is a unique feature of one of their cruises.

http://www.windstarcruises.com/

DISNEY CRUISE LINE

Disney Cruise Line was setup in 1995, owned and operated by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, a division of The Walt Disney Company and based in Florida (USA).

Disney Cruise Line web home page

Disney Cruise Line currently operates three ships: the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder, both accommodating 2,400 passengers, and the larger Disney Dream than has 4,000 passenger capacity. A fourth ship, the Disney Fantasy is scheduled to sail in 2012

Disney also owns Castaway Cay, a private island in the Bahamas designed as an exclusive port of call for Disney’s ships.

The Disney Cruise Line offers a variety of destinations including; Europe, Panama Canal, Caribbean, Alaska & Pacific Coast, Bahamas, Mexican Riviera, and Transatlantic destinations

Disney Fantasy interior images

Checkout this review of a cruise from www. cruise.critic.com on the Disney Dream:

Disney has kept the same classic design we love. Inspired by the ocean liners of the 1920’s and 1930’s, Dream has a navy blue hull and bright red funnels, but this ship is far from the same-old — a closer look reveals many innovative features and spaces.

The first impressions of Dream are grander than those made by its older counterparts. The lobby is large and luxurious and definitely has a “wow” factor. The Art Deco decor is elegant and jazzy, with a colourful glass chandelier, and there’s also the requisite bronze Disney statue to greet passengers at the foot of the marble stairway — this one is Donald Duck.

Deep blues and reds in the ship’s public spaces offset rich yellow and impart an old-world luxury, mostly refined, but with a touch of glitz. The influence of the Mouse is subtle, if omnipresent. “Hidden” Mickeys can be found just about everywhere on the ship: in artwork, on railings, on dinnerware, in cabins. What’s endearing to some, though, may be overkill to others.

Exploring the ship on our two-night preview cruise, we saw many enhancements to familiar spaces, as well as several Disney firsts: the snazzy new Aqua Duck water coaster; redesigned, tech’ed-up kids’ clubs; and a huge amount of beanbag-chair- and Wii-filled real estate dedicated to ‘tweens and teens. All reveal a noble effort to better cater to older children, especially the older-than-8 crowd, for whom the signature character experiences may be starting to lose their appeal. And, in an attempt to please adults travelling without kids (or parents looking to escape theirs), the new $75-a-head French dining restaurant, Remy, is causing quite a buzz.

There’s a great stage production, “Disney’s Believe,” and innovative uses of technology throughout the ship. (The virtual portholes in inside cabins are genius.) Dream is wired with new technology, which touches most areas of the ship. Paintings and pictures called “Enchanted Art” adorn the walls of hallways and come to life as you admire them. Kids can also pick up a packet at the Mid-ship Detective Agency and use the digital works to solve a mystery. Magic Play floors, a ship-limited social network and a sound studio enhance the kids’ clubs, and wave phones in every cabin can be used to call or text other passengers.

But a few areas were definitely overlooked. The ho-hum adults-only pool area, so welcome on Magic and Wonder, seemed an afterthought on Dream, and don’t plan on breaking a sweat on the new “sports” deck.

Some people (mostly those who’ve never cruised on a Disney ship) are under the mistaken impression that this line is only for families with little kids — kids who love Mickey Mouse and princesses. Sure, young Disney fans are the line’s bread and butter now, and they always have been. But, Dream offers further evidence to debunk the myth that a Disney cruise is only for kids.

While the scales may not be evenly tipped, there’s definitely something for everyone. The experience for children is brought to life through those groundbreaking kids’ clubs, rousing stage productions and entertaining dining experiences.

Disney is strongly influenced by American and Canada travellers, and its primary market, of course, is families (especially those with kids younger than 8). Its new approach to teen cruisers may help the line appeal to families with older kids, as well. Beyond that, Disney has strong appeal for multigenerational travellers, and its superb spa, bar district and alternate dining facilities mean that adults of any age will find their own spaces on-board.

DISNEY SHIPS

The ships are the first in the industry to be designed and built from the keel up as family cruise liners, with the goal of accommodating parents and children. Unlike most ships of their type, they do not include casinos. One of their distinctive fun features is their ship’s horns which play the opening seven-note theme When You Wish Upon a Star from Disney’s Pinocchio!

Disney Dream pics

The ships each contain 900 staterooms and are not identical in their design, with a lot of variations in interior design, restaurants and entertainment venues. They all however contain areas designed exclusively for various age groups, including children, teenagers, and adults.

(Source: http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/)

 

Cruise Training Online – Oceania, Windstar & Disney

OCEANIA CRUISESOceania Cruises logo

Oceania is based in Miami (USA) owned by Prestige Cruise Holdings who also own Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Oceania was formed in 2002 to be the world’s only upper premium cruise line, majoring on being a ‘destination-oriented’ cruise line. There are virtually no days spent ‘at sea’ and Oceania’s ships often stay multi-nights in port so passengers can see places at greater depth.

Their mid sized ships are intimate and luxurious, with two staff to every three passengers which helps to provide good levels of service.  Oceania sails to more than 330 ports with a great range of itineraries that mix must-see places with boutique off-the-track ports. This line’s ships accommodate around 680 passengers, and include the Regatta, Nautica, Insignia and Marina.Oceania ships_insignia-nautica-regatta

The line competes with the mega ships in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean and is known for its value packed itineraries particularly casual atmosphere.  There are no formal nights so dressing up is optional, a real ‘plus’ for many younger cruise passengers.

Oceania cruises are well priced, often well below other premium cruise ships, yet the standards of accommodation and across the ships generally is definitely 4-5 star.

Oceania ship Marina pool deck

Rates are not ‘inclusive’ which means that many items passengers take for granted in other cruise lines are regarded as extras on Oceania ships (coffees, soft drink, bottled water etc) Oceania charges for nearly every service not normally included in the cruise price.

The Two specialty restaurants, Polo and Toscana, are among the finest restaurants at sea, and the use of Canyon Ranch Spa facilities (one of the best in the USA) provides a well recognised on board amenity that cruise passengers rate highly.

Oceania is a laid-back experience when compared to some of the more frantic mass market lines.

OCEANIA SHIPSOceania ship Marina

Oceania’s mid sized ships (Regatta, Nautica, Insignia and Marina) are very well fitted out, with dark wood, elegant furnishings and a club-like atmosphere. The size of the ships is important, they’re not too big, nor too small.  There are plenty of seating areas and it’s always possible to find deck chairs on the lovely pool deck.

There are no children’s programmes on Oceania ships, so no children! This is a plus for many cruise passengers as it restricts the number of children on board!

The standard of on-board entertainment on Oceania ships is less glitzy than on a cruise line such as Crystal, but is enough to keep people entertained on a night they’re not on shore.

The ships all have a mix of cabins and staterooms, ranging from the cheapest (inside cabins) through to veranda staterooms and penthouse suites.

Oceania ship Marina Owners Suites outdoor hot tub

Oceania ship Marina standard balcony cabin

Each ship has six open seating restaurants, which means no fixed sittings for dinner – an increasingly popular feature of cruising and a break from the traditions of having to eat.

Marina is Oceania’s latest ship, and is already attracting a lot of interest in the cruise market. Checkout this interesting review here and if you don’t fancy going on it I’ll eat my hat!

Oceania_Review of Marina ship

Explore the Oceania ships through these videos here:

http://nz.oceaniacruises.com/ships/pointsofdistinction.aspx?o=OVER

http://nz.oceaniacruises.com

WINDSTARWindstar banner_home_setsail

Windstar Cruises is a small cruise line owned by an American based billionaire with sporting events and entertainments interests, under the holding name TAC Cruises.

The cruise line has three intimate, nautical-themed ships. Their flagship, Wind Surf, has five of the tallest masts at sea, and at sea the 27,000 square feet of white sails is a memorable sight.

Wind Surf carried 312 passengers, and the two smaller ships, Wind Spirit and Wind star each carry 150 passengers and 90 crew members.

The ships has been operating since 1984 and have always been popular with couples looking for romantic honeymoons and a more intimate cruising experience. This cruise line also appeals to contemporary travellers, a younger cruising crowd, who appreciate the casual elegance of the ships, a good choice of dining options, good mix of shore excursions and top line spa facilities.

The casual o-nboard atmosphere with no formal nights, friendly crew members, open deck space, open-seating dining and nautical-themed staterooms make up the charm of these motorized sail ships.

Windstar features port-intensive itineraries in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean and they sail frequently around the Polynesian Islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora in the South Pacific.

Check out here some recent reviews of Wind Star:

The food is surprisingly good and guests never feel rushed in the dining room. We like the concept of the breakfast and luncheon buffets which are supplemented by a changing menu of daily specials. Guests always have the choice of dining inside or on the open deck. There really is nothing like having warm croissants and coffee on the open deck, sitting under the sails, as the Windstar ship gently glides into port.

Entertainment is virtually non-existent, perhaps the most appreciated of all of Windstar’s amenities! In fact, much of Windstar’s appeal lies in what the ships do not have versus what they have. No organizing-crazed cruise directors, annoying photographers, or D-List comedians. Expect two or three musicians, a small casino, and a wonderful library of DVD’s to be brought back to the cabin for viewing.

Windstar’s often charming British Officers maintain an “Open Bridge” policy. They appreciate late-night visitors and are eager to explain the inner workings of the ship – the first to use Japanese computer technology to maintain an even keel. For this reason, most Windstar guests are surprised at the ships stability in open water.

WINDSTAR SHIPS

Tahiti 3

The ships have all been recently refurbished and all feature flat screen TV’s and Bose IPod decks in all staterooms.


 

Wind Star Deck Plan

Even though these motorized ships only fly their sails about 5% of the time–mostly for show when sailing out a city harbour–the ships are still distinctly majestic in appearance.

They can access much smaller harbours than larger cruise ships, and each ship has a sports deck built into the stern where it operates a range of water sports, including small dinghies, banana boats, snorkelers and scuba divers. The Windstar water sports programme is a unique feature of one of their cruises.

http://www.windstarcruises.com/

DISNEY CRUISE LINE

Disney Cruise Line was setup in 1995, owned and operated by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, a division of The Walt Disney Company and based in Florida (USA).

Disney Cruise Line web home page

Disney Cruise Line currently operates three ships: the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder, both accommodating 2,400 passengers, and the larger Disney Dream than has 4,000 passenger capacity. A fourth ship, the Disney Fantasy is scheduled to sail in 2012

Disney also owns Castaway Cay, a private island in the Bahamas designed as an exclusive port of call for Disney’s ships.

The Disney Cruise Line offers a variety of destinations including; Europe, Panama Canal, Caribbean, Alaska & Pacific Coast, Bahamas, Mexican Riviera, and Transatlantic destinations

Disney Fantasy interior images

Checkout this review of a cruise from www. cruise.critic.com on the Disney Dream:

Disney has kept the same classic design we love. Inspired by the ocean liners of the 1920’s and 1930’s, Dream has a navy blue hull and bright red funnels, but this ship is far from the same-old — a closer look reveals many innovative features and spaces.

The first impressions of Dream are grander than those made by its older counterparts. The lobby is large and luxurious and definitely has a “wow” factor. The Art Deco decor is elegant and jazzy, with a colourful glass chandelier, and there’s also the requisite bronze Disney statue to greet passengers at the foot of the marble stairway — this one is Donald Duck.

Deep blues and reds in the ship’s public spaces offset rich yellow and impart an old-world luxury, mostly refined, but with a touch of glitz. The influence of the Mouse is subtle, if omnipresent. “Hidden” Mickeys can be found just about everywhere on the ship: in artwork, on railings, on dinnerware, in cabins. What’s endearing to some, though, may be overkill to others.

Exploring the ship on our two-night preview cruise, we saw many enhancements to familiar spaces, as well as several Disney firsts: the snazzy new Aqua Duck water coaster; redesigned, tech’ed-up kids’ clubs; and a huge amount of beanbag-chair- and Wii-filled real estate dedicated to ‘tweens and teens. All reveal a noble effort to better cater to older children, especially the older-than-8 crowd, for whom the signature character experiences may be starting to lose their appeal. And, in an attempt to please adults travelling without kids (or parents looking to escape theirs), the new $75-a-head French dining restaurant, Remy, is causing quite a buzz.

There’s a great stage production, “Disney’s Believe,” and innovative uses of technology throughout the ship. (The virtual portholes in inside cabins are genius.) Dream is wired with new technology, which touches most areas of the ship. Paintings and pictures called “Enchanted Art” adorn the walls of hallways and come to life as you admire them. Kids can also pick up a packet at the Mid-ship Detective Agency and use the digital works to solve a mystery. MagicPlay floors, a ship-limited social network and a sound studio enhance the kids’ clubs, and wave phones in every cabin can be used to call or text other passengers.

But a few areas were definitely overlooked. The ho-hum adults-only pool area, so welcome on Magic and Wonder, seemed an afterthought on Dream, and don’t plan on breaking a sweat on the new “sports” deck.

Some people (mostly those who’ve never cruised on a Disney ship) are under the mistaken impression that this line is only for families with little kids — kids who love Mickey Mouse and princesses. Sure, young Disney fans are the line’s bread and butter now, and they always have been. But, Dream offers further evidence to debunk the myth that a Disney cruise is only for kids.

While the scales may not be evenly tipped, there’s definitely something for everyone. The experience for children is brought to life through those groundbreaking kids’ clubs, rousing stage productions and entertaining dining experiences.

Disney is strongly influenced by American and Canada travellers, and its primary market, of course, is families (especially those with kids younger than 8). Its new approach to teen cruisers may help the line appeal to families with older kids, as well. Beyond that, Disney has strong appeal for multi-generational travellers, and its superb spa, bar district and alternate dining facilities mean that adults of any age will find their own spaces on-board.

DISNEY SHIPS

The ships are the first in the industry to be designed and built from the keel up as family cruise liners, with the goal of accommodating parents and children. Unlike most ships of their type, they do not include casinos. One of their distinctive fun features is their ship’s horns which play the opening seven-note theme When You Wish Upon a Star from Disney’s Pinocchio!

Disney Dream pics

The ships each contain 900 staterooms and are not identical in their design, with a lot of variations in interior design, restaurants and entertainment venues. They all however contain areas designed exclusively for various age groups, including children, teenagers, and adults.

(Source: http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/)

 

Cruise Training Online – Oceania, Windstar & Disney

OCEANIA CRUISESOceania Cruises logo

Oceania is based in Miami (USA) owned by Prestige Cruise Holdings who also own Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Oceania was formed in 2002 to be the world’s only upper premium cruise line, majoring on being a ‘destination-oriented’ cruise line. There are virtually no days spent ‘at sea’ and Oceania’s ships often stay multi-nights in port so passengers can see places at greater depth.

Their mid sized ships are intimate and luxurious, with two staff to every three passengers which helps to provide good levels of service.  Oceania sails to more than 330 ports with a great range of itineraries that mix must-see places with boutique off-the-track ports. This line’s ships accommodate around 680 passengers, and include the Regatta, Nautica, Insignia and Marina.Oceania ships_insignia-nautica-regatta

The line competes with the mega ships in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean and is known for its value packed itineraries particularly casual atmosphere.  There are no formal nights so dressing up is optional, a real ‘plus’ for many younger cruise passengers.

Oceania cruises are well priced, often well below other premium cruise ships, yet the standards of accommodation and across the ships generally is definitely 4-5 star.

Oceania ship Marina pool deck

Rates are not ‘inclusive’ which means that many items passengers take for granted in other cruise lines are regarded as extras on Oceania ships (coffees, soft drink, bottled water etc) Oceania charges for nearly every service not normally included in the cruise price.

The Two specialty restaurants, Polo and Toscana, are among the finest restaurants at sea, and the use of Canyon Ranch Spa facilities (one of the best in the USA) provides a well recognised on board amenity that cruise passengers rate highly.

Oceania is a laid-back experience when compared to some of the more frantic mass market lines.

OCEANIA SHIPSOceania ship Marina

Oceania’s mid sized ships (Regatta, Nautica, Insignia and Marina) are very well fitted out, with dark wood, elegant furnishings and a club-like atmosphere. The size of the ships is important, they’re not too big, nor too small.  There are plenty of seating areas and it’s always possible to find deck chairs on the lovely pool deck.

There are no children’s programmes on Oceania ships, so no children! This is a plus for many cruise passengers as it restricts the number of children on board!

The standard of on-board entertainment on Oceania ships is less glitzy than on a cruise line such as Crystal, but is enough to keep people entertained on a night they’re not on shore.

The ships all have a mix of cabins and staterooms, ranging from the cheapest (inside cabins) through to veranda staterooms and penthouse suites.

Oceania ship Marina Owners Suites outdoor hot tub

Oceania ship Marina standard balcony cabin

Each ship has six open seating restaurants, which means no fixed sittings for dinner – an increasingly popular feature of cruising and a break from the traditions of having to eat.

Marina is Oceania’s latest ship, and is already attracting a lot of interest in the cruise market. Checkout this interesting review here and if you don’t fancy going on it I’ll eat my hat!

Oceania_Review of Marina ship

Explore the Oceania ships through these videos here:

http://nz.oceaniacruises.com/ships/pointsofdistinction.aspx?o=OVER

http://nz.oceaniacruises.com

WINDSTARWindstar banner_home_setsail

Windstar Cruises is a small cruise line owned by an American based billionaire with sporting events and entertainments interests, under the holding name TAC Cruises.

The cruise line has three intimate, nautical-themed ships. Their flagship, Wind Surf, has five of the tallest masts at sea, and at sea the 27,000 square feet of white sails is a memorable sight.

Wind Surf carried 312 passengers, and the two smaller ships, Wind Spirit and Wind star each carry 150 passengers and 90 crew members.

The ships has been operating since 1984 and have always been popular with couples looking for romantic honeymoons and a more intimate cruising experience. This cruise line also appeals to contemporary travellers, a younger cruising crowd, who appreciate the casual elegance of the ships, a good choice of dining options, good mix of shore excursions and top line spa facilities.

The casual o-nboard atmosphere with no formal nights, friendly crew members, open deck space, open-seating dining and nautical-themed staterooms make up the charm of these motorized sail ships.

Windstar features port-intensive itineraries in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean and they sail frequently around the Polynesian Islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora in the South Pacific.

Check out here some recent reviews of Wind Star:

The food is surprisingly good and guests never feel rushed in the dining room. We like the concept of the breakfast and luncheon buffets which are supplemented by a changing menu of daily specials. Guests always have the choice of dining inside or on the open deck. There really is nothing like having warm croissants and coffee on the open deck, sitting under the sails, as the Windstar ship gently glides into port.

Entertainment is virtually non-existent, perhaps the most appreciated of all of Windstar’s amenities! In fact, much of Windstar’s appeal lies in what the ships do not have versus what they have. No organizing-crazed cruise directors, annoying photographers, or D-List comedians. Expect two or three musicians, a small casino, and a wonderful library of DVD’s to be brought back to the cabin for viewing.

Windstar’s often charming British Officers maintain an “Open Bridge” policy. They appreciate late-night visitors and are eager to explain the inner workings of the ship – the first to use Japanese computer technology to maintain an even keel. For this reason, most Windstar guests are surprised at the ships stability in open water.

WINDSTAR SHIPS

Tahiti 3

The ships have all been recently refurbished and all feature flat screen TV’s and Bose IPod decks in all staterooms.


 

Wind Star Deck Plan

Even though these motorized ships only fly their sails about 5% of the time–mostly for show when sailing out a city harbour–the ships are still distinctly majestic in appearance.

They can access much smaller harbours than larger cruise ships, and each ship has a sports deck built into the stern where it operates a range of water sports, including small dinghies, banana boats, snorkelers and scuba divers. The Windstar water sports programme is a unique feature of one of their cruises.

http://www.windstarcruises.com/

DISNEY CRUISE LINE

Disney Cruise Line was setup in 1995, owned and operated by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, a division of The Walt Disney Company and based in Florida (USA).

Disney Cruise Line web home page

Disney Cruise Line currently operates three ships: the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder, both accommodating 2,400 passengers, and the larger Disney Dream than has 4,000 passenger capacity. A fourth ship, the Disney Fantasy is scheduled to sail in 2012

Disney also owns Castaway Cay, a private island in the Bahamas designed as an exclusive port of call for Disney’s ships.

The Disney Cruise Line offers a variety of destinations including; Europe, Panama Canal, Caribbean, Alaska & Pacific Coast, Bahamas, Mexican Riviera, and Transatlantic destinations

Disney Fantasy interior images

Checkout this review of a cruise from www. cruise.critic.com on the Disney Dream:

Disney has kept the same classic design we love. Inspired by the ocean liners of the 1920’s and 1930’s, Dream has a navy blue hull and bright red funnels, but this ship is far from the same-old — a closer look reveals many innovative features and spaces.

The first impressions of Dream are grander than those made by its older counterparts. The lobby is large and luxurious and definitely has a “wow” factor. The Art Deco decor is elegant and jazzy, with a colourful glass chandelier, and there’s also the requisite bronze Disney statue to greet passengers at the foot of the marble stairway — this one is Donald Duck.

Deep blues and reds in the ship’s public spaces offset rich yellow and impart an old-world luxury, mostly refined, but with a touch of glitz. The influence of the Mouse is subtle, if omnipresent. “Hidden” Mickeys can be found just about everywhere on the ship: in artwork, on railings, on dinnerware, in cabins. What’s endearing to some, though, may be overkill to others.

Exploring the ship on our two-night preview cruise, we saw many enhancements to familiar spaces, as well as several Disney firsts: the snazzy new Aqua Duck water coaster; redesigned, tech’ed-up kids’ clubs; and a huge amount of beanbag-chair- and Wii-filled real estate dedicated to ‘tweens and teens. All reveal a noble effort to better cater to older children, especially the older-than-8 crowd, for whom the signature character experiences may be starting to lose their appeal. And, in an attempt to please adults travelling without kids (or parents looking to escape theirs), the new $75-a-head French dining restaurant, Remy, is causing quite a buzz.

There’s a great stage production, “Disney’s Believe,” and innovative uses of technology throughout the ship. (The virtual portholes in inside cabins are genius.) Dream is wired with new technology, which touches most areas of the ship. Paintings and pictures called “Enchanted Art” adorn the walls of hallways and come to life as you admire them. Kids can also pick up a packet at the Mid-ship Detective Agency and use the digital works to solve a mystery. MagicPlay floors, a ship-limited social network and a sound studio enhance the kids’ clubs, and wave phones in every cabin can be used to call or text other passengers.

But a few areas were definitely overlooked. The ho-hum adults-only pool area, so welcome on Magic and Wonder, seemed an afterthought on Dream, and don’t plan on breaking a sweat on the new “sports” deck.

Some people (mostly those who’ve never cruised on a Disney ship) are under the mistaken impression that this line is only for families with little kids — kids who love Mickey Mouse and princesses. Sure, young Disney fans are the line’s bread and butter now, and they always have been. But, Dream offers further evidence to debunk the myth that a Disney cruise is only for kids.

While the scales may not be evenly tipped, there’s definitely something for everyone. The experience for children is brought to life through those groundbreaking kids’ clubs, rousing stage productions and entertaining dining experiences.

Disney is strongly influenced by American and Canada travellers, and its primary market, of course, is families (especially those with kids younger than 8). Its new approach to teen cruisers may help the line appeal to families with older kids, as well. Beyond that, Disney has strong appeal for multi-generational travellers, and its superb spa, bar district and alternate dining facilities mean that adults of any age will find their own spaces on-board.

DISNEY SHIPS

The ships are the first in the industry to be designed and built from the keel up as family cruise liners, with the goal of accommodating parents and children. Unlike most ships of their type, they do not include casinos. One of their distinctive fun features is their ship’s horns which play the opening seven-note theme When You Wish Upon a Star from Disney’s Pinocchio!

Disney Dream pics

The ships each contain 900 staterooms and are not identical in their design, with a lot of variations in interior design, restaurants and entertainment venues. They all however contain areas designed exclusively for various age groups, including children, teenagers, and adults.

(Source: http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/)

 

Cruise Training Online – Large cruise ships

SEA DREAM YACHT CLUBSeaDream yacht club  anchored

Sea Dream Yacht Club is Norwegian owned, and feature small ships, described as yachts. Designed as mega yachts, they were prototypes for an ultra-luxury yachting experience.

“Teak decks, inviting seating and lounging areas with plenty of room to stroll or simply relax and watch the world go by with your favourite libation. With all the comforts of home and more, SeaDream yachts reflect a passion for style, quality and casual perfection.”

Their claim is that their cruises are so different to regular cruising that it’s more like a yachting experience. They feature a philosophy of ‘casual perfection’ that runs through everything they do.

Sea Dream yachts feature less than 100 cabins, and with only 112 passengers on to a crew of 95 they can offer an extremely high level of personal service.

Their mega yachts include SeaDream I and SeaDream II which visit the yachting playgrounds where larger ships can’t go. They spend May to October in Northern Europe, the Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.  During November to April they relocate to the Caribbean and offer exclusive voyages to the Amazon from Barbados and to Iquitos in Peru.SeaDream yacht club  water sports

Outstanding service and the some of the best food afloat, combined with a casual “no ties-no formal anything” is a winning combination for these ships.

There are no balcony cabins and the bathrooms are small but guests can sleep outdoors on a Balinese bed. This is high-end, casual, all-inclusive relaxation for those who detest a Vegas-like shipboard atmosphere.

Sea Dream is regarded as a fantastic cruise line for people who don’t like cruising! You’ll be assured a great holiday in beautiful surroundings with none of the hustle and bustle of large cruise lines.

SeaDream yacht club  bar deck

 

SeaDream yacht club cabin

Checkout some reviews of Sea Dream:

“It was the first day of the cruise and I was lying on one of the large “Balinese” chaise lounges on the upper deck. I had just opened the first page of the new Grisholm novel when a passing waiter stopped, excused himself and mentioned that he had noticed “a spot on your sunglasses.” He promptly offered to clean my glasses, producing a small spray bottle. He finished, apologized for interrupting me and asked if he could deliver two drinks so I wouldn’t need to be disturbed for a while. That’s Sea Dream”

“When we pulled up to the ship in St. Thomas, I thought it looked like a miniature cruise ship with a lot of years behind her. When I got off in St. Thomas, one week later, I had tears in my eyes and couldn’t wait to go back.”

“Liked the idea of the water toys and the chance to use a Segway. The evening cocktail party was always a highlight. Loved dining under the stars twice during our cruise. We loved the privacy of breakfast on the back of the ship. The Chef’s French Toast made us decide to do another Sea Dream cruise on our second morning out.

http://www.seadream.com/

SEADREAM SHIPSSeaDream yacht club  ariel view

Seadream operate two large ‘yachts’, Seadream 1 and Seadream 11. SeaDream’s twin, luxury mega-yachts SeaDream I and SeaDream II were designed as prototypes for the ultra-luxury yachting experience. Teak decks, inviting seating and lounging areas with plenty of room to stroll or simply relax and watch the world go by with your favourite libation. With all the comforts of home and more, SeaDream yachts reflect a passion for style, quality and casual perfection.

The Sea Dream yachts offer some really unique features including their retractable ‘Marina’ at the stern of the yacht. This feature provides on board water sports at sea so passengers can enjoy glass bottom boating, kayaking, water ski-ing, tubing or even sailing skills on their small sailing dinghies. They even have a floating island!

Sea Dream Yacht Club plans

Their 54 large staterooms all feature ocean view and are beautifully furnished and equipped like luxury villas. They typically include

  • Refrigerator stocked with beer, soft drinks and water
  • An entertainment centre with flat screen television, DVD/CD Player and iPod Docking Stations
  • A data port for access to the internet – a laptop is available upon request
  • Marble-lined bathroom with a multi-jet shower massage and Bulgaria bath amenities
  • The finest Belgian linens and a selection of pillows, blanket or down duvet
  • SeaDream’s100% Turkish cotton robes with slippers
  • Personalized yacht stationery, direct dial telephones, personal safe, individually controlled AC, make up mirror and hair dryer
  • 24-hour suite “Small Bites” menu so you can spoil yourself at midnight or anytime

 

Sea Dream Suites page

And checkout what’s included in a Sea Dream Yacht fare:

  • Ocean view staterooms – featuring flat screen television, CD/DVD player, iPod® docking station, mini bar, multiple head shower unit, Bulgari bath amenities, personalized stationery, exclusive Belgian linens and plush terry bathrobes.
  • All gourmet meals – served open seating in our Dining Salon or Al Fresco at the Outdoor Topside Restaurant
  • 24 hour room service from the “Small Bites” menu
  • Gratuities
  • Open Bar with selected premium brands
  • Daily selection of wines to accompany lunch and dinner
  • Water “toys” from the yacht’s marina including wave runners, glass bottom kayaks, Hobie cats, snorkel gear, water skiing, wake boards, swim platform, banana boat and floating island.
  • Mountain bikes for shore side exploration
  • State of the art Golf Simulator with 30 signature golf courses
  • Activities with the crew (shore side casuals) – bike, hike, kayak, and snorkel with one of the crew or go shopping with the Chef
  • Full library with over 1,200 hardback books
  • Extensive CD and DVD library
  • iPods® loaded with a wide variety of music
  • Laptop computers for use while on-board
  • High powered binoculars on deck for our guests’ viewing pleasure
  • Pool and Jacuzzi
  • Sauna/steam room
  • Fitness Centre with ocean view featuring treadmills, recumbent bikes with flat screen TV’s and DVD players, free weights, daily Yoga and Tai Chi classes
  • SeaDream’s Champagne and Caviar Splash™ in the Caribbean
  • Balinese Dream Beds with elevated view of the sea
  • Special movies shown both in the Main Salon and under the stars by the pool
  • Piano Bar
  • Iwi

 

CUNARD LINECunardLogo

Cunard Line is a British-American owned shipping company based in Southampton, England and operated by Carnival Cruises. It has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic for over a century.

Cunard Line currently owns and operates three ships: Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria and the Queen Mary 2, considered the flagship of the shipping line. These are probably the best known ships in passenger cruise travel.

These ships spend much of the year doing transatlantic-crossings between New York and Southampton.

The Queen Mary 2 is a destination in itself and a far superior experience then her considerably older sister. Queen Mary 2‘s facilities include fifteen restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theatre, and the first planetarium at sea. There are also kennels on-board, as well as a nursery. Queen Mary 2 is one of the few ships afloat today to have remnants of a class system on-board, most prominently seen in her dining options.

Cunard QE2 Britannia Restaurant

 

Cunard QE2 chess board

Cunard is the only major cruise line that maintains different ‘classes’ on its ships, with cabin/suite accommodations defining the dining room and service levels. Passengers in the higher priced cabins and suites have separate restaurants than the rest of the passengers. The ships are designed as floating resorts to carry passengers in style across the Atlantic; therefore, there are plenty of activities and special features on-board.

Cunard’s brand name and tradition attracts passengers of all ages and types, along with first-time and experienced cruisers.

The ships suit singles, couples and families, and anybody who enjoys elegant surroundings and style. These ships, and Cunard generally, are less suited to people who enjoy a casual atmosphere on board ship.

All three ships have a range of cabin grades and layouts with lots of storage and all the amenities you would expect from a premium cruise ship.

As Cunard still operates a ‘class’ system for accommodation on the ship, passengers will be offered cuisine and service depending on where they are situated in the ship. First Class passengers on the Queen Mary 2 for example, enjoy ‘Their own reserved table in the elegant, single-seating Queens Grill restaurant. When it comes to exclusive luxury touches, our Queens Grill Experience is in a league of its own as Wedgwood china and jewel-like Waterford crystal gleam in the intimate lighting. Our à la carte menu sparkles with exquisite creations, though feel free to make any culinary request you wish. This is, after all, the domain of the truly discerning ocean voyager.’Cunard QE2

All the dining rooms are known however to serve good food, and most passengers who have sailed on other premium lines will find the cuisine and service meets their expectations.

The on-board activities and entertainment are identical for all classes on the Cunard ships with large production and cabaret shows. The ships have lounges and bars, a casino, and disco. Since many of the cruises have a number of at-sea days, lectures and educational classes are provided for the passengers.

CUNARD SHIPS

Queen Victoria joined the Cunard fleet in December 2007. She is a true Cunarder, proudly upholding the famous heritage and traditions. With luxurious marbles, woods, plush carpets, rich fabrics and soft furnishings, this ship simply exudes elegance. Queen Victoria’s many diversions and distractions ensures passengers are thoroughly entertained and entirely relaxed. QV’s facilities include seven restaurants, thirteen bars, three swimming pools, a ballroom, and a theatre. Also unlike many previous Cunard Queens, Queen Victoria is not a true ocean liner as she does not have the heavy plating throughout the hull nor the propulsion system of a dedicated transatlantic liner.

Queen Mary 2 was built in 2004 and is the most magnificent ocean liner ever built. Her every cunard_queen_mary2adetail harkens to the Golden Age of Ocean Travel, while providing one of the most modern travel experiences on earth. From bow to stern, discover 14 spacious decks on which to relax and unwind; to indulge in pleasures and pursuits people never normally have time for. Opulent public areas, extravagant dining rooms, ballrooms, theatres, lounges, even the only Planetarium at sea. Queen Mary 2‘s facilities include fifteen restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theatre, and the first planetarium at sea.

Queen Elizabeth, the newest Cunarder, joined the fleet in October 2010. She relives, in modern glamour, the high society events of the 1930s and 1940s.Grace ornate rooms whose rich décor recalls the heritage of the first Cunarder to bear her name. Images and features from her predecessors, Queen Elizabeth and QE2, sit comfortably alongside her modern charm. The Queen Elizabeth is almost identical in design to her sister ship Queen Victoria, although because of the steeper stern, her passenger capacity is slightly higher (2,058 to Queen Victoria’s 2,014). At the forward end of deck 11, there is a glass roof covering the games deck, unlike the sports deck on the Queen Victoria.Although having an almost identical interior arrangement to the Queen Victoria, the decor is very different. The ship is a tribute to the two previous Queen Elizabeth’s: the original Queen Elizabeth and the QE2. It also evokes the era of the 1930s, in which Cunard’s first Queen Elizabeth was launched, with many art deco interior touches. The ship also features a Britannia Club section of the main restaurant, which is a feature popular on the Queen Mary 2, but not available on the Queen Victoria. This service allows passengers in the Britannia staterooms to have single seating dining arrangements, without having to upgrade to the more expensive Grills classes.

Cunard QE2 in dock

All three ships have a range of cabin grades and layouts with lots of storage and all the amenities you would expect from a premium cruise ship.

(Source: http://www.cunardline.com.au/Ships/Queen-Mary-2/)

 

Cruise Training Online – Large cruise ships

SEA DREAM YACHT CLUBSeaDream yacht club  anchored

Sea Dream Yacht Club is Norwegian owned, and feature small ships, described as yachts. Designed as mega yachts, they were prototypes for an ultra-luxury yachting experience.

“Teak decks, inviting seating and lounging areas with plenty of room to stroll or simply relax and watch the world go by with your favourite libation. With all the comforts of home and more, SeaDream yachts reflect a passion for style, quality and casual perfection.”

Their claim is that their cruises are so different to regular cruising that it’s more like a yachting experience. They feature a philosophy of ‘casual perfection’ that runs through everything they do.

Sea Dream yachts feature less than 100 cabins, and with only 112 passengers on to a crew of 95 they can offer an extremely high level of personal service.

Their mega yachts include SeaDream I and SeaDream II which visit the yachting playgrounds where larger ships can’t go. They spend May to October in Northern Europe, the Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.  During November to April they relocate to the Caribbean and offer exclusive voyages to the Amazon from Barbados and to Iquitos in Peru.SeaDream yacht club  water sports

Outstanding service and the some of the best food afloat, combined with a casual “no ties-no formal anything” is a winning combination for these ships.

There are no balcony cabins and the bathrooms are small but guests can sleep outdoors on a Balinese bed. This is high-end, casual, all-inclusive relaxation for those who detest a Vegas-like shipboard atmosphere.

Sea Dream is regarded as a fantastic cruise line for people who don’t like cruising! You’ll be assured a great holiday in beautiful surroundings with none of the hustle and bustle of large cruise lines.

SeaDream yacht club  bar deck

 

SeaDream yacht club cabin

Checkout some reviews of Sea Dream:

“It was the first day of the cruise and I was lying on one of the large “Balinese” chaise lounges on the upper deck. I had just opened the first page of the new Grisholm novel when a passing waiter stopped, excused himself and mentioned that he had noticed “a spot on your sunglasses.” He promptly offered to clean my glasses, producing a small spray bottle. He finished, apologized for interrupting me and asked if he could deliver two drinks so I wouldn’t need to be disturbed for a while. That’s Sea Dream”

“When we pulled up to the ship in St. Thomas, I thought it looked like a miniature cruise ship with a lot of years behind her. When I got off in St. Thomas, one week later, I had tears in my eyes and couldn’t wait to go back.”

“Liked the idea of the water toys and the chance to use a Segway. The evening cocktail party was always a highlight. Loved dining under the stars twice during our cruise. We loved the privacy of breakfast on the back of the ship. The Chef’s French Toast made us decide to do another Sea Dream cruise on our second morning out.

http://www.seadream.com/

SEADREAM SHIPSSeaDream yacht club  ariel view

Seadream operate two large ‘yachts’, Seadream 1 and Seadream 11. SeaDream’s twin, luxury mega-yachts SeaDream I and SeaDream II were designed as prototypes for the ultra-luxury yachting experience. Teak decks, inviting seating and lounging areas with plenty of room to stroll or simply relax and watch the world go by with your favourite libation. With all the comforts of home and more, SeaDream yachts reflect a passion for style, quality and casual perfection.

The Sea Dream yachts offer some really unique features including their retractable ‘Marina’ at the stern of the yacht. This feature provides on-board water sports at sea so passengers can enjoy glass bottom boating, kayaking, water skiing, tubing or even sailing skills on their small sailing dinghies. They even have a floating island!

Sea Dream Yacht Club plans

Their 54 large staterooms all feature ocean view and are beautifully furnished and equipped like luxury villas. They typically include

  • Refrigerator stocked with beer, soft drinks and water
  • An entertainment centre with flat screen television, DVD/CD Player and iPod Docking Stations
  • A data port for access to the internet – a laptop is available upon request
  • Marble-lined bathroom with a multi-jet shower massage and Bulgaria bath amenities
  • The finest Belgian linens and a selection of pillows, blanket or down duvet
  • SeaDream’s100% Turkish cotton robes with slippers
  • Personalized yacht stationery, direct dial telephones, personal safe, individually controlled AC, make up mirror and hair dryer
  • 24-hour suite “Small Bites” menu so you can spoil yourself at midnight or anytime

 

Sea Dream Suites page

And checkout what’s included in a Sea Dream Yacht fare:

  • Ocean view staterooms – featuring flat screen television, CD/DVD player, iPod® docking station, mini bar, multiple head shower unit, Bulgari bath amenities, personalized stationery, exclusive Belgian linens and plush terry bathrobes.
  • All gourmet meals – served open seating in our Dining Salon or Al Fresco at the Outdoor Topside Restaurant
  • 24 hour room service from the “Small Bites” menu
  • Gratuities
  • Open Bar with selected premium brands
  • Daily selection of wines to accompany lunch and dinner
  • Water “toys” from the yacht’s marina including wave runners, glass bottom kayaks, Hobie cats, snorkel gear, water skiing, wake boards, swim platform, banana boat and floating island.
  • Mountain bikes for shore side exploration
  • State of the art Golf Simulator with 30 signature golf courses
  • Activities with the crew (shore side casuals) – bike, hike, kayak, and snorkel with one of the crew or go shopping with the Chef
  • Full library with over 1,200 hardback books
  • Extensive CD and DVD library
  • iPods® loaded with a wide variety of music
  • Laptop computers for use while onboard
  • High powered binoculars on deck for our guests’ viewing pleasure
  • Pool and Jacuzzi
  • Sauna/steam room
  • Fitness Centre with ocean view featuring treadmills, recumbent bikes with flat screen TV’s and DVD players, free weights, daily Yoga and Tai Chi classes
  • SeaDream’s Champagne and Caviar Splash™ in the Caribbean
  • Balinese Dream Beds with elevated view of the sea
  • Special movies shown both in the Main Salon and under the stars by the pool
  • Piano Bar
  • Iwi

 

CUNARD LINECunardLogo

Cunard Line is a British-American owned shipping company based in Southampton, England and operated by Carnival Cruises. It has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic for over a century.

Cunard Line currently owns and operates three ships: Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria and the Queen Mary 2, considered the flagship of the shipping line. These are probably the best known ships in passenger cruise travel.

These ships spend much of the year doing transatlantic-crossings between New York and Southampton.

The Queen Mary 2 is a destination in itself and a far superior experience then her considerably older sister. Queen Mary 2‘s facilities include fifteen restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theatre, and the first planetarium at sea. There are also kennels onboard, as well as a nursery. Queen Mary 2 is one of the few ships afloat today to have remnants of a class system onboard, most prominently seen in her dining options.

Cunard QE2 Britannia Restaurant

 

Cunard QE2 chess board

Cunard is the only major cruise line that maintains different ‘classes’ on its ships, with cabin/suite accommodations defining the dining room and service levels. Passengers in the higher priced cabins and suites have separate restaurants than the rest of the passengers. The ships are designed as floating resorts to carry passengers in style across the Atlantic; therefore, there are plenty of activities and special features on-board.

Cunard’s brand name and tradition attracts passengers of all ages and types, along with first-time and experienced cruisers.

The ships suit singles, couples and families, and anybody who enjoys elegant surroundings and style. These ships, and Cunard generally, are less suited to people who enjoy a casual atmosphere on board ship.

All three ships have a range of cabin grades and layouts with lots of storage and all the amenities you would expect from a premium cruise ship.

As Cunard still operates a ‘class’ system for accommodation on the ship, passengers will be offered cuisine and service depending on where they are situated in the ship. First Class passengers on the Queen Mary 2 for example, enjoy ‘Their own reserved table in the elegant, single-seating Queens Grill restaurant. When it comes to exclusive luxury touches, our Queens Grill Experience is in a league of its own as Wedgwood china and jewel-like Waterford crystal gleam in the intimate lighting. Our à la carte menu sparkles with exquisite creations, though feel free to make any culinary request you wish. This is, after all, the domain of the truly discerning ocean voyager.’Cunard QE2

All the dining rooms are known however to serve good food, and most passengers who have sailed on other premium lines will find the cuisine and service meets their expectations.

The onboard activities and entertainment are identical for all classes on the Cunard ships with large production and cabaret shows. The ships have lounges and bars, a casino, and disco. Since many of the cruises have a number of at-sea days, lectures and educational classes are provided for the passengers.

CUNARD SHIPS

Queen Victoria joined the Cunard fleet in December 2007. She is a true Cunarder, proudly upholding the famous heritage and traditions. With luxurious marbles, woods, plush carpets, rich fabrics and soft furnishings, this ship simply exudes elegance. Queen Victoria’s many diversions and distractions ensures passengers are thoroughly entertained and entirely relaxed. QV’s facilities include seven restaurants, thirteen bars, three swimming pools, a ballroom, and a theatre. Also unlike many previous Cunard Queens, Queen Victoria is not a true ocean liner as she does not have the heavy plating throughout the hull nor the propulsion system of a dedicated transatlantic liner.

Queen Mary 2 was built in 2004 and is the most magnificent ocean liner ever built. Her every cunard_queen_mary2adetail harkens to the Golden Age of Ocean Travel, while providing one of the most modern travel experiences on earth. From bow to stern, discover 14 spacious decks on which to relax and unwind; to indulge in pleasures and pursuits people never normally have time for. Opulent public areas, extravagant dining rooms, ballrooms, theatres, lounges, even the only Planetarium at sea. Queen Mary 2‘s facilities include fifteen restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theatre, and the first planetarium at sea. There are also kennels on-board, as well as a nursery.

Queen Elizabeth, the newest Cunarder, joined the fleet in October 2010. She relives, in modern glamour, the high society events of the 1930s and 1940s.Grace ornate rooms whose rich décor recalls the heritage of the first Cunarder to bear her name. Images and features from her predecessors, Queen Elizabeth and QE2, sit comfortably alongside her modern charm. The Queen Elizabeth is almost identical in design to her sister ship Queen Victoria, although because of the steeper stern, her passenger capacity is slightly higher (2,058 to Queen Victoria’s 2,014). At the forward end of deck 11, there is a glass roof covering the games deck, unlike the sports deck on the Queen Victoria.Although having an almost identical interior arrangement to the Queen Victoria, the decor is very different. The ship is a tribute to the two previous Queen Elizabeth’s: the original Queen Elizabeth and the QE2. It also evokes the era of the 1930s, in which Cunard’s first Queen Elizabeth was launched, with many art deco interior touches. The ship also features a Britannia Club section of the main restaurant, which is a feature popular on the Queen Mary 2, but not available on the Queen Victoria. This service allows passengers in the Britannia staterooms to have single seating dining arrangements, without having to upgrade to the more expensive Grills classes.

Cunard QE2 in dock

All three ships have a range of cabin grades and layouts with lots of storage and all the amenities you would expect from a premium cruise ship.

(Source: http://www.cunardline.com.au/Ships/Queen-Mary-2/)

 

Cruise Training Online – Large cruise ships

SEA DREAM YACHT CLUBSeaDream yacht club  anchored

Sea Dream Yacht Club is Norwegian owned, and feature small ships, described as yachts. Designed as mega yachts, they were prototypes for an ultra-luxury yachting experience.

“Teak decks, inviting seating and lounging areas with plenty of room to stroll or simply relax and watch the world go by with your favourite libation. With all the comforts of home and more, SeaDream yachts reflect a passion for style, quality and casual perfection.”

Their claim is that their cruises are so different to regular cruising that it’s more like a yachting experience. They feature a philosophy of ‘casual perfection’ that runs through everything they do.

Sea Dream yachts feature less than 100 cabins, and with only 112 passengers on to a crew of 95 they can offer an extremely high level of personal service.

Their mega yachts include SeaDream I and SeaDream II which visit the yachting playgrounds where larger ships can’t go. They spend May to October in Northern Europe, the Baltic, Norwegian Fjords, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.  During November to April they relocate to the Caribbean and offer exclusive voyages to the Amazon from Barbados and to Iquitos in Peru.SeaDream yacht club  water sports

Outstanding service and the some of the best food afloat, combined with a casual “no ties-no formal anything” is a winning combination for these ships.

There are no balcony cabins and the bathrooms are small but guests can sleep outdoors on a Balinese bed. This is high-end, casual, all-inclusive relaxation for those who detest a Vegas-like shipboard atmosphere.

Sea Dream is regarded as a fantastic cruise line for people who don’t like cruising! You’ll be assured a great holiday in beautiful surroundings with none of the hustle and bustle of large cruise lines.

SeaDream yacht club  bar deck

 

SeaDream yacht club cabin

Checkout some reviews of Sea Dream:

“It was the first day of the cruise and I was lying on one of the large “Balinese” chaise lounges on the upper deck. I had just opened the first page of the new Grisholm novel when a passing waiter stopped, excused himself and mentioned that he had noticed “a spot on your sunglasses.” He promptly offered to clean my glasses, producing a small spray bottle. He finished, apologized for interrupting me and asked if he could deliver two drinks so I wouldn’t need to be disturbed for a while. That’s Sea Dream”

“When we pulled up to the ship in St. Thomas, I thought it looked like a miniature cruise ship with a lot of years behind her. When I got off in St. Thomas, one week later, I had tears in my eyes and couldn’t wait to go back.”

“Liked the idea of the water toys and the chance to use a Segway. The evening cocktail party was always a highlight. Loved dining under the stars twice during our cruise. We loved the privacy of breakfast on the back of the ship. The Chef’s French Toast made us decide to do another Sea Dream cruise on our second morning out.

http://www.seadream.com/

SEADREAM SHIPSSeaDream yacht club  ariel view

Seadream operate two large ‘yachts’, Seadream 1 and Seadream 11. SeaDream’s twin, luxury mega-yachts SeaDream I and SeaDream II were designed as prototypes for the ultra-luxury yachting experience. Teak decks, inviting seating and lounging areas with plenty of room to stroll or simply relax and watch the world go by with your favourite libation. With all the comforts of home and more, SeaDream yachts reflect a passion for style, quality and casual perfection.

The Sea Dream yachts offer some really unique features including their retractable ‘Marina’ at the stern of the yacht. This feature provides on board water sports at sea so passengers can enjoy glass bottom boating, kayaking, water ski-ing, tubing or even sailing skills on their small sailing dinghies. They even have a floating island!

Sea Dream Yacht Club plans

Their 54 large staterooms all feature ocean view and are beautifully furnished and equipped like luxury villas. They typically include

  • Refrigerator stocked with beer, soft drinks and water
  • An entertainment centre with flat screen television, DVD/CD Player and iPod Docking Stations
  • A data port for access to the internet – a laptop is available upon request
  • Marble-lined bathroom with a multi-jet shower massage and Bulgaria bath amenities
  • The finest Belgian linens and a selection of pillows, blanket or down duvet
  • SeaDream’s100% Turkish cotton robes with slippers
  • Personalized yacht stationery, direct dial telephones, personal safe, individually controlled AC, make up mirror and hair dryer
  • 24-hour suite “Small Bites” menu so you can spoil yourself at midnight or anytime

 

Sea Dream Suites page

And checkout what’s included in a Sea Dream Yacht fare:

  • Ocean view staterooms – featuring flat screen television, CD/DVD player, iPod® docking station, mini bar, multiple head shower unit, Bulgari bath amenities, personalized stationery, exclusive Belgian linens and plush terry bathrobes.
  • All gourmet meals – served open seating in our Dining Salon or Al Fresco at the Outdoor Topside Restaurant
  • 24 hour room service from the “Small Bites” menu
  • Gratuities
  • Open Bar with selected premium brands
  • Daily selection of wines to accompany lunch and dinner
  • Water “toys” from the yacht’s marina including wave runners, glass bottom kayaks, Hobie cats, snorkel gear, water skiing, wake boards, swim platform, banana boat and floating island.
  • Mountain bikes for shore side exploration
  • State of the art Golf Simulator with 30 signature golf courses
  • Activities with the crew (shore side casuals) – bike, hike, kayak, and snorkel with one of the crew or go shopping with the Chef
  • Full library with over 1,200 hardback books
  • Extensive CD and DVD library
  • iPods® loaded with a wide variety of music
  • Laptop computers for use while onboard
  • High powered binoculars on deck for our guests’ viewing pleasure
  • Pool and Jacuzzi
  • Sauna/steam room
  • Fitness Centre with ocean view featuring treadmills, recumbent bikes with flat screen TV’s and DVD players, free weights, daily Yoga and Tai Chi classes
  • SeaDream’s Champagne and Caviar Splash™ in the Caribbean
  • Balinese Dream Beds with elevated view of the sea
  • Special movies shown both in the Main Salon and under the stars by the pool
  • Piano Bar
  • Iwi

 

CUNARD LINECunardLogo

Cunard Line is a British-American owned shipping company based in Southampton, England and operated by Carnival Cruises. It has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic for over a century.

Cunard Line currently owns and operates three ships: Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria and the Queen Mary 2, considered the flagship of the shipping line. These are probably the best known ships in passenger cruise travel.

These ships spend much of the year doing transatlantic-crossings between New York and Southampton.

The Queen Mary 2 is a destination in itself and a far superior experience then her considerably older sister. Queen Mary 2‘s facilities include fifteen restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theatre, and the first planetarium at sea. There are also kennels onboard, as well as a nursery. Queen Mary 2 is one of the few ships afloat today to have remnants of a class system onboard, most prominently seen in her dining options.

Cunard QE2 Britannia Restaurant

 

Cunard QE2 chess board

Cunard is the only major cruise line that maintains different ‘classes’ on its ships, with cabin/suite accommodations defining the dining room and service levels. Passengers in the higher priced cabins and suites have separate restaurants than the rest of the passengers. The ships are designed as floating resorts to carry passengers in style across the Atlantic; therefore, there are plenty of activities and special features on-board.

Cunard’s brand name and tradition attracts passengers of all ages and types, along with first-time and experienced cruisers.

The ships suit singles, couples and families, and anybody who enjoys elegant surroundings and style. These ships, and Cunard generally, are less suited to people who enjoy a casual atmosphere on board ship.

All three ships have a range of cabin grades and layouts with lots of storage and all the amenities you would expect from a premium cruise ship.

As Cunard still operates a ‘class’ system for accommodation on the ship, passengers will be offered cuisine and service depending on where they are situated in the ship. First Class passengers on the Queen Mary 2 for example, enjoy ‘Their own reserved table in the elegant, single-seating Queens Grill restaurant. When it comes to exclusive luxury touches, our Queens Grill Experience is in a league of its own as Wedgwood china and jewel-like Waterford crystal gleam in the intimate lighting. Our à la carte menu sparkles with exquisite creations, though feel free to make any culinary request you wish. This is, after all, the domain of the truly discerning ocean voyager.’Cunard QE2

All the dining rooms are known however to serve good food, and most passengers who have sailed on other premium lines will find the cuisine and service meets their expectations.

The on-board activities and entertainment are identical for all classes on the Cunard ships with large production and cabaret shows. The ships have lounges and bars, a casino, and disco. Since many of the cruises have a number of at-sea days, lectures and educational classes are provided for the passengers.

CUNARD SHIPS

Queen Victoria joined the Cunard fleet in December 2007. She is a true Cunarder, proudly upholding the famous heritage and traditions. With luxurious marbles, woods, plush carpets, rich fabrics and soft furnishings, this ship simply exudes elegance. Queen Victoria’s many diversions and distractions ensures passengers are thoroughly entertained and entirely relaxed. QV’s facilities include seven restaurants, thirteen bars, three swimming pools, a ballroom, and a theatre. Also unlike many previous Cunard Queens, Queen Victoria is not a true ocean liner as she does not have the heavy plating throughout the hull nor the propulsion system of a dedicated transatlantic liner.

Queen Mary 2 was built in 2004 and is the most magnificent ocean liner ever built. Her every cunard_queen_mary2adetail harkens to the Golden Age of Ocean Travel, while providing one of the most modern travel experiences on earth. From bow to stern, discover 14 spacious decks on which to relax and unwind; to indulge in pleasures and pursuits people never normally have time for. Opulent public areas, extravagant dining rooms, ballrooms, theatres, lounges, even the only Planetarium at sea. Queen Mary 2‘s facilities include fifteen restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theatre, and the first planetarium at sea. There are also kennels onboard, as well as a nursery.

Queen Elizabeth, the newest Cunarder, joined the fleet in October 2010. She relives, in modern glamour, the high society events of the 1930s and 1940s. Grace ornate rooms whose rich décor recalls the heritage of the first Cunarder to bear her name. Images and features from her predecessors, Queen Elizabeth and QE2, sit comfortably alongside her modern charm. The Queen Elizabeth is almost identical in design to her sister ship Queen Victoria, although because of the steeper stern, her passenger capacity is slightly higher (2,058 to Queen Victoria’s 2,014). At the forward end of deck 11, there is a glass roof covering the games deck, unlike the sports deck on the Queen Victoria.Although having an almost identical interior arrangement to the Queen Victoria, the decor is very different. The ship is a tribute to the two previous Queen Elizabeth’s: the original Queen Elizabeth and the QE2. It also evokes the era of the 1930s, in which Cunard’s first Queen Elizabeth was launched, with many art deco interior touches. The ship also features a Britannia Club section of the main restaurant, which is a feature popular on the Queen Mary 2, but not available on the Queen Victoria. This service allows passengers in the Britannia staterooms to have single seating dining arrangements, without having to upgrade to the more expensive Grills classes.

Cunard QE2 in dock

All three ships have a range of cabin grades and layouts with lots of storage and all the amenities you would expect from a premium cruise ship.

(Source: http://www.cunardline.com.au/Ships/Queen-Mary-2/)

 

Cruise Training Online – More specific cruise ships

REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISESRegent Seven Seas logo

Regent offers a great blend of casual sophistication, lots of options, and the largest cabins in its class.

Its ships include the Mariner and Voyager (both with 700 passenger capacities) and the Navigator, a smaller ship accommodating 490 passengers. These ships offer a more intimate cruise experience than the large mega ships currently being produced.

Regent ship Seven Seas MarinerRegent are known for innovation, and are the first cruise line to include complimentary luxury pre-cruise hotel stays on some of its European cruises. It also pioneered pricing innovations, such as two-for-one, and fully inclusive pricing that includes air travel, shore excursions, drinks, and even tips.

Regent has announced that it is including a complimentary luxury pre-cruise hotel stay beginning with the Europe and Tropics sailings in 2011. This industry first, is in addition to two-for-one inclusive pricing offers with economy air, shore excursions, drinks, and gratuities. This makes Regent the current leader in terms of inclusions.

Regent majors on its more casual approach on board, with ships large enough to offer a good range of amenities yet small enough to be called ‘intimate.’

Regent is a member of the “Guild of English Butlers” a company created for the recruitment & training of butlers around the world. The ship’s butlers (for categories B & higher) provide everything from in-suite bar set up, afternoon canapés, packing, unpacking, laundry pressing (for a fee) or any special requests.

Regent is one of the few luxury cruise lines that genuinely welcomes children and offers a dedicated children’s programme during school holidays in summer months.

A focus on a great ‘cordon bleu’ dining experience forms part of the Regent cruise Food picexperience. Great food but in a less formal atmosphere. This winning formula has made it the world’s largest luxury cruise line.

Here are some reviews from Regent cruise passengers:

“Our Alaska experience on the Mariner blew away a similar itinerary we took on princess five years ago. The elegance, service, and the way the experience makes you feel about yourself, just can’t be matched by any of the monster ships.”

“The best-kept secret for dining is the “almost always available” Terrace restaurant on the upper deck with its floor to ceiling windows, mini-buffet followed by a Mediterranean sit-down menu. We found the guests aboard our three Regent Cruises to be younger then the crowd on Crystal and bit hipper. Since we’re in our forties, this made a difference.”

“I really liked the Concierge Desk. We were able to rent a car out of Sorrento and we drove along the coast, stopping at the Hotel San Pietro for a great lunch. One night we were exhausted and we asked to see the dinner menu. That night, as cruised off the coast, we were served dinner in our cabin with the sliding glass doors open and a clear view of the sea. It just doesn’t get any better or more romantic then that.”

“Our recent Regent Cruise in the Med featured a former Concorde Pilot and one of the nation’s top sleep experts. I was fascinated by virtually everything these two gentlemen had to say. Someone at Regent is doing a good job lining up guest lecturers.”

“Best of all, we like Regent’s more casual atmosphere, particularly as compared with what we experienced on Silverseas. The impression we had was that the Regent guests put up with dressing up once or twice during the cruise while the Silverseas crowd couldn’t wait to get in their formalwear. Surprised they didn’t wear their tux around the pool.”Regent ship Seven Seas Mariner  Mariner suite

REGENT SHIPS

Ships Mariner and Voyager offer the industry’s perfect blend of size (700 guests) and amenities, all-balcony cabins of 300 sq. ft. These are the most comfortable and spacious lower-category categories in the luxury market.

Mariner & Voyager are well equipped with free self service laundrettes.

Regent is a member of the “Guild of English Butlers” a company created for the recruitment & training of butlers around the world. The ship’s butlers (for categories B & higher) provide everything from in-suite bar set up, afternoon canapés, packing, unpacking, laundry pressing (for a fee) or any special requests.

Regent ship Seven Seas Mariner  theatre

Regent ship Seven Seas Mariner  aft deck

Internet use is one of the few services for which there is an additional charge.

Regent is one of the few luxury cruise lines that genuinely welcomes children and offers a dedicated children’s programme during kids school breaks in summer months.

All drinks are included.

SILVERSEA CRUISE LINESilversea logo 2

Silversea Cruises attracts the older, more affluent, and better travelled passenger. Activities, shore excursions and entertainment are sophisticated. Most evenings are formal, but in a relaxed elegant manner. Silversea food and service are admirable.

Silversea offer all-inclusive top-end quality cruising, and is regarding as the current brand that others benchmark against. They offer world class cruise itineraries in  Europe, South America and Asia.

Their ships, names all beginning with Silver, (Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Cloud, Silver Whisper, Silver Spirit and Silver Explorer) are smaller vessels, ranging in sizes from 300 passengers to 540 passengers.

Silversea ships

Note the high ratio of crew to passengers on board these ships, in some cases almost 1:1!

They offer outstanding food and service though lacking dining options found on some competitors. Evenings on board Silversea ships tend to be dressy affairs with a formal atmosphere in the restaurants, although they are starting to include less formal dining options… Service is excellent, and they are known for knowledgeable and helpful staff.silversea-wind-ship

Much of Silverseas reputation is based on the assumption that 300 passengers is small enough to make guests feel truly pampered and large enough to provide a wider range of amenities then smaller capacity rivals.

Silversea is aimed at the older end of the cruise market, often experienced cruisers who love dressing up, formality, and high standards.

Exciting and interesting shore excursions form part of the Silversea experience, as described on their website here:

http://www.silversea.com/life-onboard/silver-shore-programmes/silver-shore/

Silverseas Shadow bow

Here is a sample of review from Silversea passengers:

“Having sailed on each of the top three lines, we have decided that Silversea is best at providing an atmosphere of total luxury with a Concierge staff that really is willing to personalize the cruise experience ashore. We were able to set up a personalized itinerary with a private driver in Monte Carlo on no more then one days notice.”

“Just got off the Wind after its $20 million dollar refurbishment. I thought it was a beautiful ship before – now it’s really nice. The cabins are all new and we love the new Observation Lounge. This has to be the best cruise line on earth.”

SILVERSEA SHIPS

Silversea’s suites offer one of the highest space-per-guest ratios of any luxury cruise accommodations. All Silversea suites have ocean views, and most include a private teak veranda so that you can breathe in the fresh sea air simply by stepping outside your door. And regardless of the ship or suite category, all guests will be pampered with the personalised services of an attentive butler.

From designer soaps to aromatherapy scents, from handmade chocolates to a chilled bottle of fine French champagne, extravagant amenities and head-to-toe pampering create a very privileged world in your Silversea suite. So grab something cold from the refrigerator, watch your favourite movies on a flat-screen TV, invite friends in for cocktails, Silverseas Shadow deck diningor even have dinner in-suite served course by course. Then, when it’s time to retire, curl up beneath Egyptian cotton linens and a fluffy duvet, with your choice of nine different pillow types. The ultimate in luxury cruise accommodations, Silversea’s suites are your home away from home. Suite amenities include:

  • Butler service
  • Champagne upon arrival and replenished as you desire
  • Fresh fruit and flowers
  • Down duvets, fine bed linens, and plush mattresses
  • Spa robe and slippers
  • Spacious walk-in wardrobe and full-length mirror
  • Italian marble bathroom featuring full-sized bath, large separate shower and double vanity
  • Flat-screen TVs with complimentary movie channels and film librarySilversea Cloud veranda suite
  • Daily suite service with nightly turndown
  • Bulgari or Ferragamo bath soaps
  • Aromatherapy room scents by renowned Italian perfumer Laura Tonatto
  • Beverages for your in-suite bar and refrigerator
  • Nine pillow types
  • Writing desk with personalised stationery

(Source: http://www.silversea.com/ships/)

CRYSTAL CRUISESCrystal Symphony  in Alaska

For ten consecutive years, Crystal has been voted the “World’s Best Large-Ship Cruise Line” in Travel and Leisure’s annual readers’ survey.

Crystal is owned by a huge Japanese shipping company who have a leading crew training facility in the Philippines. All Crystal crew attend a six month training programme at their ‘University’, and it is this training system that ensures the Crystal on-board service is at the very highest level.

No other cruise line comes close to the combination of caring, personalised service, memorable cuisine, and the full lecture/entertainment options that form a part of the Crystal experience.

They operate two large 940 passenger ships, the Crystal Serenity and the Crystal Symphony. Catering to a largely retired American clientele who are often quite demanding, Crystal has been successful in winning multiple “best large ship cruise line” awards in the industry.Crystal Symphony  pool

The line features the highest standards of dining service and the specialty Prego Italian restaurant is often described as the finest at sea.

Crystal offers extensive entertainment options, including sophisticated stage shows, classical acts, and full screen movie theatres.

Crystal has recently announced a change in its’ pricing to include drinks and tips, a trend that is taking over the cruise market.

Crystal Symphony  Palm Court

 

Crystal Symphony  penthouse suite living room

Checkout reviews of the Crystal cruise experience:

“We have been on more then twenty cruises but this was the first time my wife and I ever saw crew members standing by on the gangway to hug and kiss guests goodbye. For many, it was their only time off during a very hectic ten-day itinerary. Crystal service is truly caring. We will never sail another line. Perfection does exist.”

“The shows are the best we’ve ever seen, the food and service is European-inspired but this is a truly comfortable, American line for affluent cruisers..”

“You know it’s good when the toughest place to get a seat is the office of the person booking future cruises. My wife loved being taken by the arm and escorted to the dinner table. They couldn’t be more caring or accommodating and, quite frankly, you never had the feeling they were doing it for tips.”

“I am a service trainer and I sat mesmerized every day of our anniversary cruise. I can’t imagine the service feats these folks pull off. This is probably the world’s best cruise line for anyone who doesn’t want to sit on a tiny ship with nothing to do but read another book.  This is big ship excitement with elegant service and amenities.”

(Source: http://www.crystalcruises.com/)

CRYSTAL SHIPS Crystal Serenity in Santorini Greece

Crystal Serenity has often been voted the ‘best cruise ship in the world.’ Built in 2003 it has recently undergone a $25million ‘facelift’ with high standards of facilities in its’ beautiful staterooms. It can take over 1000 passengers and has 635 crew.

85% of all outside staterooms and suites offer private verandas with full unobstructed sea views. (on some ships the lifeboats restrict views beyond)

The ship’s 100 penthouse accommodations includes four Crystal Penthouses, at least 37% larger than those in the existing fleet.  There are nine guest decks and a range of stateroom options, including some with wheelchair access. Not all staterooms have veranda as some just have picture windows.

The ship includes a great range of dining areas, including the beautifully appointed main dining room, Prego Restaurant offering classic Italian cuisine, Silk Road Restaurant featuring contemporary Asian cuisine, a Sushi Bar, Bistro, Grill, Café and Palm Court restaurant for afternoon tea.Crystal Symphony  main plaza

There is a great range of public areas, including the ‘Avenue of the Stars’ shopping arcade, two-story Crystal Plaza, Galaxy Lounge for main entertainment, Hollywood Theatre showing recently released movies, a lab for computer access and a variety of additional lounges to keep passengers busy. Children enjoy the Fantasia children centre and the Waves teen centre, and a 3,000 book library is available to all passengers.

 

Crystal Symphony  penthouse suiteCrystal Symphony

The older of the two Crystal ships, Symphony was built in 1995 but refurbished in 2009. It is a slightly smaller ship carrying around 940 maximum passengers.

This ship has a similar range of on board amenities as Crystal Serenity. 85% of the staterooms feature private verandas and a number of penthouse suites and wheelchair accessible staterooms.

Check out more information here:

http://www.cruiseweb.com/CRYSTAL-SERENITY.HTM#Highlights

Cruise Training Online – More specific cruise ships

REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISESRegent Seven Seas logo

Regent offers a great blend of casual sophistication, lots of options, and the largest cabins in its class.

Its ships include the Mariner and Voyager (both with 700 passenger capacities) and the Navigator, a smaller ship accommodating 490 passengers. These ships offer a more intimate cruise experience than the large mega ships currently being produced.

Regent ship Seven Seas MarinerRegent are known for innovation, and are the first cruise line to include complimentary luxury pre-cruise hotel stays on some of its European cruises. It also pioneered pricing innovations, such as two-for-one, and fully inclusive pricing that includes air travel, shore excursions, drinks, and even tips.

Regent has announced that it is including a complimentary luxury pre-cruise hotel stay beginning with the Europe and Tropics sailings in 2011. This industry first, is in addition to two-for-one inclusive pricing offers with economy air, shore excursions, drinks, and gratuities. This makes Regent the current leader in terms of inclusions.

Regent majors on its more casual approach on board, with ships large enough to offer a good range of amenities yet small enough to be called ‘intimate.’

Regent is a member of the “Guild of English Butlers” a company created for the recruitment & training of butlers around the world. The ship’s butlers (for categories B & higher) provide everything from in-suite bar set up, afternoon canapés, packing, unpacking, laundry pressing (for a fee) or any special requests.

Regent is one of the few luxury cruise lines that genuinely welcomes children and offers a dedicated children’s programme during school holidays in summer months.

A focus on a great ‘cordon bleu’ dining experience forms part of the Regent cruise Food picexperience. Great food but in a less formal atmosphere. This winning formula has made it the world’s largest luxury cruise line.

Here are some reviews from Regent cruise passengers:

“Our Alaska experience on the Mariner blew away a similar itinerary we took on princess five years ago. The elegance, service, and the way the experience makes you feel about yourself, just can’t be matched by any of the monster ships.”

“The best-kept secret for dining is the “almost always available” Terrace restaurant on the upper deck with its floor to ceiling windows, mini-buffet followed by a Mediterranean sit-down menu. We found the guests aboard our three Regent Cruises to be younger then the crowd on Crystal and bit hipper. Since we’re in our forties, this made a difference.”

“I really liked the Concierge Desk. We were able to rent a car out of Sorrento and we drove along the coast, stopping at the Hotel San Pietro for a great lunch. One night we were exhausted and we asked to see the dinner menu. That night, as cruised off the coast, we were served dinner in our cabin with the sliding glass doors open and a clear view of the sea. It just doesn’t get any better or more romantic then that.”

“Our recent Regent Cruise in the Med featured a former Concorde Pilot and one of the nation’s top sleep experts. I was fascinated by virtually everything these two gentlemen had to say. Someone at Regent is doing a good job lining up guest lecturers.”

“Best of all, we like Regent’s more casual atmosphere, particularly as compared with what we experienced on Silverseas. The impression we had was that the Regent guests put up with dressing up once or twice during the cruise while the Silverseas crowd couldn’t wait to get in their formalwear. Surprised they didn’t wear their tux around the pool.”Regent ship Seven Seas Mariner  Mariner suite

REGENT SHIPS

Ships Mariner and Voyager offer the industry’s perfect blend of size (700 guests) and amenities, all-balcony cabins of 300 sq. ft. These are the most comfortable and spacious lower-category categories in the luxury market.

Mariner & Voyager are well equipped with free self service laundrettes.

Regent is a member of the “Guild of English Butlers” a company created for the recruitment & training of butlers around the world. The ship’s butlers (for categories B & higher) provide everything from in-suite bar set up, afternoon canapés, packing, unpacking, laundry pressing (for a fee) or any special requests.

Regent ship Seven Seas Mariner  theatre

Regent ship Seven Seas Mariner  aft deck

Internet use is one of the few services for which there is an additional charge.

Regent is one of the few luxury cruise lines that genuinely welcomes children and offers a dedicated children’s programme during kids school breaks in summer months.

All drinks are included.

SILVERSEA CRUISE LINESilversea logo 2

Silversea Cruises attracts the older, more affluent, and better travelled passenger. Activities, shore excursions and entertainment are sophisticated. Most evenings are formal, but in a relaxed elegant manner. Silversea food and service are admirable.

Silversea offer all-inclusive top-end quality cruising, and is regarding as the current brand that others benchmark against. They offer world class cruise itineraries in  Europe, South America and Asia.

Their ships, names all beginning with Silver, (Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Cloud, Silver Whisper, Silver Spirit and Silver Explorer) are smaller vessels, ranging in sizes from 300 passengers to 540 passengers.

Silversea ships

Note the high ratio of crew to passengers on board these ships, in some cases almost 1:1!

They offer outstanding food and service though lacking dining options found on some competitors. Evenings on board Silversea ships tend to be dressy affairs with a formal atmosphere in the restaurants, although they are starting to include less formal dining options… Service is excellent, and they are known for knowledgeable and helpful staff.silversea-wind-ship

Much of Silverseas reputation is based on the assumption that 300 passengers is small enough to make guests feel truly pampered and large enough to provide a wider range of amenities then smaller capacity rivals.

Silversea is aimed at the older end of the cruise market, often experienced cruisers who love dressing up, formality, and high standards.

Exciting and interesting shore excursions form part of the Silversea experience, as described on their website here:

http://www.silversea.com/life-onboard/silver-shore-programmes/silver-shore/

Silverseas Shadow bow

Here is a sample of review from Silversea passengers:

“Having sailed on each of the top three lines, we have decided that Silversea is best at providing an atmosphere of total luxury with a Concierge staff that really is willing to personalize the cruise experience ashore. We were able to set up a personalized itinerary with a private driver in Monte Carlo on no more then one days notice.”

“Just got off the Wind after its $20 million dollar refurbishment. I thought it was a beautiful ship before – now it’s really nice. The cabins are all new and we love the new Observation Lounge. This has to be the best cruise line on earth.”

SILVERSEA SHIPS

Silversea’s suites offer one of the highest space-per-guest ratios of any luxury cruise accommodations. All Silversea suites have ocean views, and most include a private teak veranda so that you can breathe in the fresh sea air simply by stepping outside your door. And regardless of the ship or suite category, all guests will be pampered with the personalised services of an attentive butler.

From designer soaps to aromatherapy scents, from handmade chocolates to a chilled bottle of fine French champagne, extravagant amenities and head-to-toe pampering create a very privileged world in your Silversea suite. So grab something cold from the refrigerator, wa