Last month Royal Caribbean Group saw record-breaking Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales across its three main brands – Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises.
“It was fantastic,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International during a press conference onboard Wonder of the Seas’ two-night naming cruise. “It was ‘wow.’ And it was every single channel.”
Neither Liberty nor Bayley would provide an exact percentage of sales provided by the trade, but Liberty emphasized that it was impressive all around.
“It’s booming for all,” he said. “Talk to travel agents and they’ll tell you the month of November has just been exceptional.”
Liberty did say the percentage share coming from travel advisors has increased over the past few months.
“We saw here toward the back half of the year, as we look at Q3 and now early Q4, our travel partners have really regained their footing… of course the mix would shift more toward travel [agents] relative to the beginning of the year, just because they’re fully back up and running. It’s a natural mix shift.”
Vicki Freed, senior vice president of sales, trade support and service at Royal Caribbean International added, “We’ve seen strong increases with the trade over the last several months to the point that we had not budgeted for all of the backend overrides to the degree that we are now going to be paying them.”
Travel Market Report reached out to two of the biggest cruise-selling franchises to find out just how good Black Friday and Cyber Monday were for their franchisees.
“Our Dream Vacations and CruiseOne franchisees recorded what can be considered the network’s best Black Friday and Cyber Monday booking period ever,” said Drew Daly, senior vice president and general manager for Dream Vacations and CruiseOne. “Compared to the same four-day booking window in 2019, sales and bookings were up more than 30% across all lines. When narrowing the focus across the big three (Carnival, Norwegian and Royal), we saw a nearly 70% increase in sales and nearly 40% in bookings.”
Cruise Planners reported similar results.
“They call it Black Friday but our agents were seeing green all the way through to Cyber Monday,” said Michelle Fee, CEO and founder of Cruise Planners.
“We had a stellar sales weekend with a 35% increase compared to the same time in 2019 on Black Friday and over a 100% increase on Cyber Monday. The demand is out of this world and we couldn’t be more thrilled to see our advisors doing what they do best.”