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15 Feb 2018

BY Tom Parry


Royal Caribbean aiming to become 'front of mind' for luxury agents

Royal Caribbean International’s UK boss has vowed the line will make itself “front of mind” to some luxury agents who he believes “dismiss us too easily”.

Ultimate Family Suite RCI

The line's UK boss has said he wants to target agents who “dismiss us too easily”

Ben Bouldin, associate vice-president and managing director for the UK and Ireland, told TTG he wanted to make premium agents “question whether or not they really realise [what we can offer] because I don’t think they do”.


He said the line’s investment in “innovative” luxury cabins, such as its double-floor Ultimate Family Suite set to debut onboard Symphony of the Seas in April, emphasised Royal Caribbean’s high-end offering.


“It’s very easy to pigeonhole Royal as the family brand that’s got loads of cool, exciting activities and innovations and I think people forget that you can go and have a very high-end experience onboard our ships,” he said.


“I don’t think the appreciation is there among the trade for the breadth of high-end suite class service that we provide.


“We’ve got cabins that require ‘that type of guest’ and I don’t believe that luxury is only about high-end space which is not for families. There are so many families who want luxury. It’s a different kind of luxury, sure, but it’s definitely a luxury market and we have the space for that.


“I don’t think there are many lines in the world that give you that [amount of] square footage with that dynamic feel and have you within arm’s reach of such a world of entertainment – we just have to do more to promote it.”


Bouldin was speaking to TTG during a trip to tour Symphony at the STX France shipyard in St Nazaire earlier this week.


One of the areas onboard the ship shown to press and trade partners was the Ultimate Family Suite, which when completed, will feature a Lego wall, slide, 3D TV, gaming table and hot tub.


Royal Caribbean told guests during the visit that the suite had sold out for this year, with a spokesperson later confirming to TTG that one booking for 2018 had already been made by a UK agent.


Bouldin said being able to show the cabin to trade partners in person would enable the line to create dedicated agent training for the product.


“Now we can visualise it, we’re in a much better place to build a proper training programme around it,” he said.

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