Saturday,  June 25, 2022  6:39 pm

Your Cruise Coach: which cruise is right for your clients?

Your Cruise Coach: which cruise is right for your clients?
Ming Tappin

Ming Tappin is a cruise industry expert and is the owner of Your Cruise Coach.

You’ve just received an inquiry from a first-time cruiser. Which cruise line would you recommend? And how can you be sure it is the right cruise for them?

We know that no two cruise lines are alike. They differ in ship size, onboard ambience, activity levels, specialization and inclusions. Ships' capacity range from a few hundred to a few thousand. Some offer nonstop action, some are more sedate, and some are in between. Ships can have casual, elegant, or formal settings. Some specialize in culinary, wine and enrichment experiences. Some attract a younger crowd, others have more senior clientele. Some are all inclusive, others are pay-as-you-go for onboard amenities. You get the idea!

Unlike an all-inclusive resort where clients are happy with a bed, beach and buffet, selecting a cruise is a much more complex procedure because of the aforementioned differences between the cruise lines. With no less than 10 major cruise lines out there, the choice is tremendous. This is where agents can get intimated and flustered with what to offer.

But instead of hitting the panic button, all you have to do is ask your client!

Where have they vacationed in the past and where did they stay? What did they like or dislike about those trips? What interests do they have, and what activities do they participate in while vacationing? Their answers will be a good indication of their travel styles. And ask what are they looking to accomplish on this vacation, as it could be different from the past.

The most important thing is to ask open-ended questions and let your clients express their own thoughts freely. But be mindful not to add "choices" in your question that might limit their answer. Here is an example: "What do you like to do on your vacation? Lay by the pool? Or go sightseeing?" They will choose one of the answers, although the real answer might be to discover the cuisine of the country they are visiting. By giving them choices, you missed the point. So, just ask the first part and let them do the talking.

If you have asked the right questions and engaged your clients in a thorough conversation about their needs and wants, you should be able to narrow down to one or two cruise lines that most suit their style and would give them the best experience. Now, wasn't that easy?