Celebrity Cruises’ new Always Included pricing structure will help the line “evolve our brand”, according to its UK and Ireland sales chief.
The line revealed its new proposition – which includes Wi-Fi, drinks and tips as standard – on Tuesday (10 November) in a bid to end “confusing promotions, complicated add-ons and limited time offers”.
Sales director Claire Stirrup told TTG the move would allow the line to tap into the “new luxury culture” and reposition itself within the luxury cruise market.
“New luxury is a trend that has been emerging across multiple industries over recent years and it speaks to a new set of consumer values, expectations and desires,” she said.
“It’s about being inclusive instead of exclusive. It opens up lots of avenues – it’s about experiences and not just about the product.
“Moving our position to new luxury, along with our Always Included pricing structure, will set us apart from competitors by becoming more distinctive – giving more meaningful experiences and more value.”
Stirrup said prices would not be raised as a result of offering more inclusions to its base fare, explaining: “We’re not increasing our rates to cover the amenities – they’re being built in from the start.”
Stirrup said Always Included would form a major part of Celebrity’s strategy going forward into the wave booking period.
Revealing the proposition a week ahead of going on sale on 17 November, allowed the line to help agents prepare, she said.
“We know it takes time to learn and we didn’t want to launch something that’s so new with only a short amount of notice.
“We don’t know exactly what wave will bring but we want to give the trade as many tools as possible so we’re all ready when consumers want to book.
“I don’t think there’s one particular [booking] trend – people are just looking to get something booked and have something to look forward to.”
To support Always Included, Celebrity is running a series of 10 trade webinars across this week in the morning and afternoon, as well as evening sessions for the first time. More than 600 agents have so far signed up.
“The evening sessions have had some of the best interest. We’ve not done them before but they’ve been really well received and the team are glad to be able to offer them.”
An e-learning module via the line’s Celebrity Passport programme and a dedicated Always Included sales guide will soon be launched.
A toolkit of resources – such as videos, FAQs and recordings of training sessions – are available to access through the Celebrity Central trade platform.
The line’s sales team will also be looking to run personalised training programmes for partners.
Meanwhile, Stirrup pledged Celebrity would do “whatever it takes” to prepare agents and educate them on new protocols and processes when sailings restart.
“We are desperate to get our ships back on water as soon as we possibly can and then we’ll go out to the trade with whatever training is needed,” she said.