Princess Cruises have described being named the Best Cruise Operator – International Deployment at this year’s National Travel Industry Awards (NTIAs) over the weekend as a “huge honour”.

We caught up with Princess Cruises’ Sales and Marketing Director, Nick Ferguson to chat about the win.

Nick said it truly was “a very exciting time to be in the cruise industry and in particular at Princess Cruises”, as Australians and the world at large, fall more and more in love with cruising.

You can see below just how many milestones Princess Cruises has been hitting.

Haven’t seen the full list of winners yet from the weekend yet? Click here.

 

What does being recognised by the industry in this way mean to you?

On behalf of the team at Princess Cruises, we are delighted to have been named Best Cruise operator, International Deployment at the NTIA Awards this year.

The Awards have an industry-wide reputation for recognising and celebrating excellence in the travel industry so this win is a huge honour. I would like to extend my deepest thanks to those in the industry that voted for Princess Cruises.

 

What are some little or big touches you and the team make to ensure you leave a positive impression on agents/clients?

We have a great e-learning program called the Princess Academy. It’s an engaging training program designed to boost travel agents’ knowledge of Princess Cruises’ products to increase sales. Within Princess Academy, we have our Commodore program.

Agents who complete the required set of modules earn Commodore status which entitles them to a range of benefits including: a ‘Graduation’ cruise for two, onboard Captain’s Circle and Elite tier benefits, priority access to shipboard events, Commodore marketing kit, exclusive access to special offers and promotions, priority Commodore support, and CLIA credit points.

Commodore agencies on average generate 60% more revenue than non-Commodore agencies.

 

What are some changes the brand has made over the last year that would have contributed to your success this year?

Majestic Princess

Image: Nathalie Craig

It is a very exciting time to be in the cruise industry and in particular at Princess Cruises. We have just wrapped up a very successful 2018-2019 season with Majestic Princess, the newest and largest ship in the Princess fleet completing her maiden season here. We’re also heading into our biggest Australian and New Zealand season to date.

Our 2019/2020 Australian cruise season will be our largest in history, featuring the maiden visit of the 113,000-tonne, 3084-guest Ruby Princess as well as Majestic Princess’ second season down under.

The record-breaking 900+ cruise day season will see Princess carry more guests than ever onboard five ships on itineraries sailing from Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland.

Due to the incredible response to our maiden season in Australia, Regal Princess will call Sydney home in the summer of 2020/21. Not only will this be the first time in history that Princess Cruises has deployed two Royal-Class ships from the same homeport outside the Caribbean, but it will also be the biggest deployment we’ve ever had in Sydney.

 

How important is your organisation to the industry?

Australians love to cruise – we are the biggest market for cruise outside of the United States, so it’s safe to say that the industry is booming here.

Princess Cruises has played an important part of this local growth story – Australians spend more nights cruising with Princess than any other cruise line. During our 2020-2021 program, we’ll have an unprecedented six Princess ships based Down Under, representing one-third of Princess’ global fleet.

 

What do you love about the industry?

I feel so fortunate to work in a growth industry like cruise.

We get to be at the forefront of innovations across technology, guest experience, new destinations, and onboard enhancements. It’s incredibly exciting.

 

What do you think the future holds for the travel industry?

karryon-princess-cruises-ocean-medallion

I think personalisation is going to grow to become a key part of the industry. We can see already with guest feedback from our Ocean Medallion platform coming to our shores this summer season.

Ocean Medallion is a complimentary wearable device that elevates the guest experience by enhancing guest-crew interactions, eliminating friction points and enabling interactive entertainment to deliver a high level of service and personalised attention on a large scale.

 

What’s your advice for people thinking of joining the industry?

karryon-princess-cruises-wi-fi

There has never been a better time to join the industry! The travel industry is one of the most innovative industries in the world. Creative ideas are constantly being developed and no two days are ever the same.