“Planning a cruise is a bit like a military operation! A good travel agent will help the client determine almost everything in advance, including the right drinks package, wine and dine option, sea pass, excursions, etc,” Jo Rzymowska, Associate Vice President and General Manager, UK & Ireland, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, told ITTN’s News & Features Editor Neil Steedman on a recent visit to Dublin.
“RCCL offers an attractive commercial package to the travel trade,” she said. “It is not just the commission, but also our dedicated Irish brochure, our flight allocations from Dublin and Belfast, and all the other elements of a cruise – including those I have just mentioned. Travel agents should be pro-active in offering their clients the very best and most comprehensive cruise package that they can.
“From 1st February we are back on TV with a new exciting campaign for Ireland, north and south. We are launching a new Royal Caribbean campaign with cruise-only prices from €499 per person and strong offer pricing on fly/cruise packages from Dublin for many 2012 European itineraries when booked up to 29th February 2012. The campaign offers include direct Aer Lingus flights (with checked bag and transfers to/from the ship) between April-October and dates currently available include the key October mid-term break plus family-friendly pricing for Adventure of the Seas from €119 per child.
“The new campaign is backed by high-profile TV advertising and an ‘instant win’ agent incentive offer where every booking qualifies for a prize draw to win prizes including a cruise, flight vouchers and so on.
“In a parallel Celebrity Cruises campaign the special offers include selected Celebrity Solstice Med cruises departing from Barcelona from €119 per person; subsidised return Dublin-Rome (FCO) flights for Celebrity Equinox cruises from €149 per person; a 12-night fly/cruise from Southampton from €999 per person; and a nine-night Eastern Caribbean Fly/Cruise with Balcony stateroom from €1,579.
“Agents who book any Celebrity cruise that is part of the February campaign can enter an instant-win promotion for prizes that reflect the brand’s new ‘modern luxury’ platform, such as champagne, spa vouchers, iTunes vouchers, etc. There is no limit to the number of prizes that can be won – more bookings means more prizes.
“Royal Caribbean is the number one brand in Ireland, with 22 ships and targeted to families and those who enjoy activities and being spectators – more and more we are seeing three-generational travel.
“Celebrity Cruises will offer five Solstice class ships this year with the arrival of the Celebrity Reflection and four Millennium class ships, as well as Celebrity Century and Celebrity Xpedition. Facilities such as our new AquaClass suites, the iLounges and Aqua Spas help to create that ‘modern luxury’ atmosphere.
“Azamara Club Cruises’ smaller 694-guest ships, the Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, are now providing longer stays and more nights – and every itinerary is unique.”
Finally, ITTN asked if ex-Ireland cruises are on the horizon. “We have no immediate plans for any,” Jo replied, “but never say never!”
Jo Rzymowska joined Royal Caribbean Cruise Line in January 2005 as sales and marketing director, UK and Ireland. During this time sales performance has grown 24% year-on-year, and Royal Caribbean International successfully introduced the world’s largest cruise ship and first new-build dedicated to the UK and Ireland market, Independence of the Seas.
In July 2007 Jo was appointed to the newly developed role of associate vice president and general manager for the UK and Ireland, taking on guest and trade services to reflect the huge growth potential of the market.
She has played a significant role in the rapid growth of the UK and Ireland business, including successfully restructuring the sales and marketing teams and the delivery of the ‘Easy To Do Business With’ initiative for trade business partners. She is charged with continuing to move the business forward with the introduction of Celebrity Eclipse (which was dedicated to the UK and Ireland in 2010) and Independence of the Seas sailing all year round from Southampton.
Jo previously held the position of vice president UK and Ireland for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and also served as managing director for the UK, Ireland and Nordic for Disneyland Resort Paris. Other senior roles have included director of dreamticket.com, director of sales and marketing EMEA for Universal Studios Orlando, and corporate sales manager Europe for Thomas Cook Travel Management.