Jo Rzymowska, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Associate Vice President and General Manager, UK & Ireland, visited Dublin last week to launch the new autumn campaigns by Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises and to present RCL Cruises’ inaugural seven awards for Irish travel agents North and South at a trade dinner in the Shelbourne Hotel.
The awards recognised the agents’ support and contribution in helping the Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises brands to achieve and hold positions as leading names in the Irish cruise industry.
Three awards were given to Northern Ireland agents – for best growth performance, one for each brand – and three to Republic of Ireland agents, with the final all-island award being given for the best performance over all three brands.
The winner of the Best Overall Growth Performance Irish Travel Agent Year-over-Year 2012 across all three brands was E-Travel. The other winners were:
Royal Caribbean International: Orr’s Travel
Celebrity Cruises: Co-Operative Travel Group
Azamara Club Cruises: Oasis Travel
Republic of Ireland
Royal Caribbean International: Marble City Travel
Celebrity Cruises: Trailfinders
Azamara Club Cruises: Trailfinders
The ceremony was preceded by brand updates and agent briefings that highlighted the brands’ continued investment in the market with autumn campaigns, an increased fly/cruise offering for 2013, the latest ship deployments including the popular Adventure of the Seas joining Independence of the Seas in Southampton to offer Mediterranean and Northern European itineraries with the convenience of sailing from closer to home.
Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International is characteristically staying one step ahead of the cruise industry by launching its new €3.16 million UK & Ireland brand campaign, ‘The Sea is Calling – Answer it with Royal Caribbean’ with the travel trade’s first use of the innovative Blippar smartphone app. The augmented reality technology allowed agents to see the campaign’s TV advert ahead of everyone else and access exclusive multi-media content including a special welcome to the campaign from Jo Rzymowska, Royal Caribbean International’s Associate Vice President and General Manager.
The campaign also features advertising across TV (TV3, 3e, E4, Sky and Universal) and radio, trade press, national newspapers and online plus a host of interactive games, branded merchandise, point of sale material and lucrative incentives. The TV advertising showcases the huge range of on-board activities and experiences and highlights the service and different pace – from sunbathing to surfing – that can be enjoyed on a Royal Caribbean International cruise.
Agents will be able to offer clients free balcony upgrades from an ocean view stateroom and free or reduced cost regional flights with the added incentive of being entered into a daily prize draw to win €200 ‘experience day’ vouchers that can be used on activities as diverse as rock climbing, spa packages or cookery classes – the same activities that guests enjoy on a Royal Caribbean International holiday.
Meanwhile, premium cruise brand Celebrity Cruises has launched its autumn 2012 campaign with tactical price offers, reduced-cost flights, stateroom upgrades and up to US$500 onboard credit as part of the ‘2013 Celebrity Cruises Spectacular Sale’.
Running until the end of the month, the campaign also includes incentives for agents including picnic days in-store inspired by the Solstice-class ships’ Lawn Club and extensive investment in tools and resources for trade partners including a new training module focused on the Southampton-based ship Celebrity Eclipse and highlights the ship’s 2013 Scandinavia & Russia sailings.