Travel Advisors Find Value in Princess Cruises' Plus/Premier Packagesby Dori Saltzman /
It's not only Princess cruisers who are finding value in Princess Cruises' Princess Plus and Princess Premier fare upgrade packages. Advisors find the packages help them close more sales and provide their clients with better onboard experiences. At the same time, the packages also reward advisors for the upsell.
Convenience Clients Love
"My guests prefer an all-inclusive type experience to their vacations, where they don't have to think about the cost of a beverage or adding on Internet once onboard," said Cheryl Hellmold, an independent consultant at Montecito Village Travel, a Virtuoso member agency. "Plus and Premier includes the amenities that most guests want added to their cruise vacation. With Plus, my clients feel like they can order several drinks, including specialty coffees and bottled water, without having a bill at the end of their vacation."
The convenience that comes from having so many add-ons included in one package is great for advisors too, Hellmold added.
"It is also a timer saver since it is added at the time of booking, agents (or guests) do no need to go back into the booking and individually add these amenities."
About 80% of her Princess Cruises clients opt for either Princess Plus or Princess Premier, she said.
Clients who choose the Premier option do so because they like the added benefits of specialty dining, unlimited photos and the fun that comes with winning prizes.
"All of my clients with Premier have won cash prizes. A few have won over $250."
The obvious value of the packages, especially when broken down for clients, makes closing the sale easier than ever before, advisors told Travel Market Report.
"Our advisors have been able to sell Princess even more effectively than in the past," said Joad Hamed, owner of American Discount Cruises & Travel. "The inclusion of the perks result in Princess becoming a much more premium product and also becoming more attractive to customers that previously thought they could only get all-inclusive on land, with river cruises or ultra-luxury cruise lines. The perks included provide a fantastic value in comparison to the additional cost customers would incur if they were to purchase the perks a la carte."
Hellmold agreed. "I have guests do the math for their individual needs and most see the great value of Princess Plus or Premier. Cruise Lines that do not offer bundled packages can end up being much higher in price once you add Internet, drinks and gratuities while onboard."
Commission Boost Advisors Love
"I honestly believe that Princess Plus and Premier are a valuable addition for guests. That being said, Princess Plus and Princess Premier also add an automatic commission boost," Hellmold said. "Agents make a higher commission when guests add on the Plus or Premier package."
Hamed agreed, adding that it "makes sense for agencies to be compensated by vendors proportional to revenue."
Even without the added bonus of the commission boost, Hellmold indicated she'd be upselling her clients onto the packages anyway.
"As an agent, I have sailed with and without Princess Plus and my overall experience is, it's just better with Plus."