Royal Caribbean will whisk away UK agents to see its upcoming ship, Odyssey of the Seas, and visit its private island Perfect Day at CocoCay next year, UK boss Ben Bouldin has revealed.
The line will host “a big trade event” next autumn, giving partners a chance to experience Royal’s resort in the Bahamas, which has become its “best rated destination ever” since opening in May.
Speaking the line’s 50th anniversary, and Club Rewards programme’s fifth birthday, celebrations at Stapleford Park in Leicestershire, Bouldin invited the room of around 80 top-performing agent partners to attend.
“You really need to see it to believe it,” he said.
Speaking later to TTG, Bouldin said the event would herald “a big investment” for the line and offer “a fantastic opportunity” to show the destination to partners more used to selling ex-UK sailings than the Caribbean.
“We need to build that confidence in the Caribbean and being able to go to Perfect Day will definitely help that for our partners,” he said. “When you visit for yourself it really brings it to life and the scale and the excitement of what’s on offer.”
Bouldin also outlined plans for agents to see Royal’s “amplified” Oasis-class ship Allure of the Seas early next summer and its Quantum-class vessel Anthem of the Seas in Southampton.
Allure will be based in Barcelona next summer, with Bouldin telling guests: “Our anticipation is we will run an event as the ship moves into its season, likely to be April-May, between Malaga and Barcelona.”
Looking to UK shores, he claimed the trade’s “appetite and sales” for Quantum-class vessel Anthem of the Seas, which will homeport in Southampton next summer, had been “astonishing”.
“The rates we are getting for Anthem are right up their with our Asian product [China-based Quantum of the Seas and Spectrum of the Seas],” said Bouldin.
“We will have the ability to tap into Anthem every week of the year in the summer,” he added.
Bouldin also used the occasion to thank agent partners for their support during his six-year tenure with Royal, which he originally joined as UK and Ireland sales director.
“From day one, I was bowled over by the appetite of the trade to work with Royal Caribbean and I can honestly say we are blessed that this has continued year-on-year,” he said.