The cruise industry needs to throw nautical language overboard if it is to attract more first-time cruisers.
Speaking at the Clia UK and Ireland Cruise Forum, chairperson Lynn Narraway said she believed the rash of specialist language used by cruise professionals and expertise required to understand it was putting off many first timers.
Instead, she argued cruise experts should use the general language of holidays when selling a cruise and save the specific terms for later, once customers are converts.
“Paint a picture in words and emotions that your clients will respond to,” Narraway said. “We are still using cruise language, not holiday language.”
“For the new to cruise customer we know once we’ve got them on a cruise then we know they’re usually hooked.”
Narraway added only when a customer has been well and truly converted to cruise holidays should agents then start to use specific terms with customers keen to speak the same language, once they know what they’re talking about.
She said this could then be a good time for agents to work with the customer to specify everything from exactly where they want their cabin to be to having in-depth conversations about dining options.
Her words were echoed in a later session by Celebrity Cruises director of marketing and PR Toby Shaw who said: “The one thing I would ask is we stop talking about cruises and start talking about holidays.”