Carnival readies for Spirit arrival

Carnival readies for Spirit arrival
By admin

Carnival Cruise Lines has again urged travel agents not to pigeon hole its soon-to-arrive Carnival Spirit as a family-only ship as final preparations are made for its arrival in Australia.

While “really pleased” with sales and “thrilled” with the response from the trade, Carnival Cruise Lines director Jennifer Vandekreeke, who has spearheaded the launch, admitted “we have not done as good a job as we might have” in pushing the couple-friendly message.

She said it remains one of the challenges for the cruise line and called on agents to be aware of the ship’s diverse offering.

“It’s a case of targeting our consumer marketing and making sure that when people come through the doors of the trade agents don’t instantly think Carnival Cruise Lines is just for families,” Vandekreeke said.

She cited the 16 bars and lounges, Serenity deck and spa as examples of the ship’s couples-orientated product.

Carnival revealed this week it will recruit a dedicated sales team for Carnival Spirit but Vandekreeke insisted that was no reflection on Complete Cruise Solution who had done an “excellent” good job in selling the ship.

Asked whether it would have made sense to have a dedicated sales team from the outset, she said: “Maybe, maybe not. But we are looking forward. This is the next step in our evolution.”

Carnival Spirit arrives in Australia next Wednesday, the culmination of almost two years of preparation for the US firm.

Quad rooms have proved particularly popular, Vandekreeke said, as the operator tackled the challenges of adapting its product and learning the nuances of the local market.

“Yields are slightly lower than we had originally anticipated two years ago but we are still very happy with results,” Vandekreeke said. “We have been really pleased with the response, particularly as we have not had a ship down in Australia.”

A one-night cruise for the trade from Sydney Harbour next Friday will give agents their first glimpse of the Spirit.

It will provide the perfect opportunity to showcase the “Aussification” of the liner to consultants, Vandekreeke said.

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